Latest Sports News Today Transcript at 4:30 PM on 27 March 2023
Let’s begin with some cricket news. Tom Latham will captain an inexperienced New Zealand team in next month’s home Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka and the five-match series in Pakistan that follows, returning to the shortest format for the first time in nearly two years. With Kane Williamson and Tim Southee playing in the Indian Premier League and unavailable, the wicketkeeper-batsman will return to the leadership role he held in Bangladesh in 2021. New Zealand plays Sri Lanka in Auckland, Dunedin and Queenstown in the first week of April before three T20s against Pakistan in Lahore and another two in Rawalpindi from April 14-24.
Meanwhile, the coach of the Mumbai Indians women’s team, Charlotte Edwards, said that helping the franchise win the inaugural Women’s Premier League title was “one of the greatest achievements of her career”. Mumbai beat Delhi Capitals by seven wickets in an action-packed game at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium. Batting first, Delhi had managed to score 131 runs with skipper Meg Lanning top scoring with 35 runs before she was run out, and Shikha Pandey scoring an unbeaten 27. Edwards said – “We had a team meeting but we kept it very relaxed. Harmanpreet Kaur has been amazing as a captain, it’s been a wonderful experience.”
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s top-order batter Rajat Patidar could miss the first half of the upcoming Indian Premier League owing to a heel injury. According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the 29-year-old Patidar, who was one of the top performers for RCB last season, is currently undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. As far as Patidar is concerned, the report stated that the player has been “advised to rest for the next three weeks before an MRI scan will determine his participation in the second half of the competition”. Patidar, who picked up the injury before joining the camp, will need an NCA clearance heading back to the RCB setup.
Moving on to some football news. Cristiano Ronaldo scored another brace as Portugal completed a 6-0 rout over Luxembourg in Euro 2024 qualifying. The double from Ronaldo, the all-time scoring leader in men’s soccer, took his career tally for Portugal to 122 goals in 198 games. Ronaldo opened the scoring after nine minutes and grabbed his second just after the half-hour, with Chelsea’s Joao Felix and Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva having made it 3-0 to the visitors inside 18 minutes. Portugal leads Group J with six points. Slovakia is next with four points after its 2-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has three.
Karim Benzema was meant to be honoured at the Stade de France today but the striker snubbed the “retirement tribute” as he is still ‘hugely bitter’ over being sent home from the Qatar World Cup by France manager Didier Deschamps. Benzema would have likely taken part in a pre-match tribute which saw France pay respect to Hugo Lloris, Raphael Varane, Blaise Matuidi and Steve Mandanda after their retirements on Friday before their opening Euro 2024 qualifier. The Ballon d’Or winner had turned down an offer from French president Emmanuel Macron to fly back for the Qatar final, which his country lost to Argentina. France had defeated the Netherlands by 4-0 with newly-appointed captain Kylian Mbappe scoring a brace.
Mateo Retegui scored again in Italy’s 2-0 win over Malta on Sunday, 26th March to make it two goals in as many matches as the defending champion recorded its first win in European Championship qualifying. The 23-year-old Retegui had scored on his international debut on Thursday, in a 2-1 loss at home to England. Retegui became the first Italy player to score in his first two competitive international matches in nearly 55 years. Italy was looking to kickstart its campaign after losing a European Championship qualifier for the first time since 2006. Italy was without injured forward Ciro Immobile and its problems up front continued when Wilfried Gnonto went off with an ankle problem midway through the first half.
In some boxing news. Many believed Nikhat Zareen’s toughest bout had been her semi-final against Ingrit Valencia of Colombia. However, Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Tam hadn’t read the script as she proceeded to charge at the Indian boxer in the 50kg title fight on Sunday, 26th March. The KD Jadhav Indoor Hall is adorned with pictures of Nikhat, and she has been one of the prominent faces around which the tournament has been promoted. However, that didn’t make the final any easier after the pressure of that big bout in the semifinal. Nguyen gave the Indian hell in their World Championship gold medal match but still fell short, confirming Zareen’s tough win.