What you may have missed this weekend: Cricket & Soccer
Australia Win Fourth Women’s World T20:
The Australian Women’s Cricket Team continued their display of domination against rivals England in the finals of the Women’s World T20 on Saturday night in the West Indies. After England beat a Mithali Raj-less India by a stunning eight wickets, the English found themselves on the receiving end in the finals, losing to Australia by eight wickets. In what became a massive failure of events for England, Danielle Wyatt and Captain Heather Knight became the backbones with scores of 43(37) and 25(28) each, but as everyone else failed to score more than six, England were forced to deal with a mere score of 105. England’s usual majestic bowling became heartless at the hands of the Australian batting attack, as Australia raced to 106 from just 15.1 overs, handing the trophy to the dominant Australians.
Virat Kohli’s 61* Prevents Series Loss in Australia:
While the Australian Women’s Team found star-studded luck in the West Indies, the men’s team weren’t so lucky in their T20 against India back home in Sydney. Despite valiant efforts D’arcy Short, Captain Aaron Finch, Alex Carey and Marcus Stoinis in the first innings, spinners Kuldeep Yadav’s 1-19 at an economy rate of 4.75 and Krunal Pandya’s 4-36 at 9 runs per over restricted the Aussies to just 164-6. However, the chase wasn’t all too easy for the Indians, who took till the final over in order to complete their chase, thanks to economical bowling from returning veteran Mitchell Starc, leg-spinner Adam Zampa, Glenn Maxwell and Andrew Tye, all of whom each picked up a wicket. Despite this, the star for India this time around was Captain Virat Kohli, who scored 61(41)*, involving four fours and two sixes as India won the third T20I and tied the three-match series 1-1.
Adil Rashid on the Brink of Delivering England Series Win:
England has usually struggled away from home, but this time around, in Sri Lanka, they have turned their weakness into their strength. After a Jonny Bairstow century on return and a sublime half-century from Ben Stokes, Sri Lanka fell short by 96 in response to England’s 336. In Sri Lanka’s response of 240, leg-spinner Adil Rashid picked up a career-best of five wickets for forty-nine runs after 13.5 overs, all five of his dismissals being decisive catches, four of which proudly came from opening batsman Keaton Jennings. Looking for a large lead, Jos Buttler contributed with a quickfire 64(79) at a strike-rate of 81.01. After setting the hosts a tough target of 327, Sri Lanka lost four wickets in their opening 17 overs for just 53 runs thanks to Moeen Ali, Jack Leach, and Ben Stokes. Going into Day Four on Monday, Sri Lanka still need another 274 runs with six wickets in hand.
Patient Haris Sohail and Babar Azam’s Maiden Ton Diminishes New Zealand:
On a slow pitch in Dubai, Pakistan, who decided to bat first after winning the toss, diminished the quality of the New Zealand bowling attack within two days, 167 overs. Despite a slow run rate of 2.5, Pakistan fired their way to 418-5d with Azhar Ali finding form in his 81(187) and centuries on Day Two from young batsmen Haris Sohail and Babar Azam. Sohail, who obtained his second test century in the same city as his first, batted for over nine hours, lasting 421 deliveries, batting at a strike rate of 34.91. The only wicket for New Zealand on Day Two was that of Sohail’s after he was caught behind off of Trent Boult’s in-swinger. After this, Babar Azam fought hard for his maiden test century, which was delivered off 215 balls. After seventeen tests, nearly two years, and multiple innings ending in the “nervous nineties”, Azam won a much-deserved century, which was received by the chanting of “Pakistan Zindabad!” (Long live Pakistan!) by the groups of young school students present at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Pakistan then declared for 418-5 with Azam on 127(263)* and Captain/Wicket-Keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed contributing a handy and quick 30(45)*. Pakistan gave New Zealand nine overs to bat, hoping to pick up a necessary early wicket, but Jeet Raval and Tom Latham held their ground before the umpires stopped play short due to bad light. Going into Day Three on Monday, New Zealand trail by 394 runs with ten wickets at their disposal.
South America in a Mess Over Copa Libertadores Final:
For the first time in “La historia de la Copa Libertadores” (The history of the Copa Libertadores), arch Argentinian rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate were set to play each other in the finals, but are yet to with the match being postponed twice. The tension between the two teams in this rivalry leads to events which have prevented Boca Juniors from taking the field yet after Boca Juniors players were injured in an attack on the team bus by River Plate fans. The inability of the players to play has to lead to the final being suspended twice now, however it was reported that after the attack, representatives from FIFA (Federación Internacional de Fútbol Asociación) tried “to force” Boca Juniors players to play the match.
Cristiano Ronaldo Sets New Juventus Record:
After shockingly leaving Spanish football monarchs Real Madrid for Italian giants Juventus, Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo has already begun to set records within just months of moving. The world-class player became the quickest ever Juventus players to ten goals in all competitions, performing the feat in just sixteen matches, as he scored in Juventus’ 2-0 win over SPAL.
Thibaut Courtois’ Nightmare in Spain:
After signing a record-breaking deal from Chelsea to Real Madrid, Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has had the worst of starts in La Liga. Following Real Madrid’s unexpected 3-0 loss to Eibar, the Spanish giants sit at a low sixth place in the table, behind Espanyol. Real Madrid has lost five matches so far in La Liga and has conceded nineteen goals compared to twenty scored. Perhaps Real Madrid should try to cash in on the Belgian in January and resort back to keeping Costa Rican Keylor Navas in goal.
Atlanta United Nearly Seal a Spot in MLS Cup Finals:
Although the second leg of the MLS Conference Finals has not been played yet, Atlanta United will go to bed tonight dreaming of playing in the Cup Finals. They managed to astonishingly beat New York Red Bulls 3-0 in Atlanta in the first of two matches, thanks to none other than Josef Martínez, Fabian Escobar and substitute Tito Villalba. The only way Atlanta will not play in that Cup Finals is if New York Red Bulls wins 4-0 in ninety minutes on Thursday or if they win in either extra-time or penalties after winning 3-0 in ninety minutes.