Kylian Mbappe made a winning start to his term as France captain after leading his country to a win over the Netherlands in their Euro 2024 qualification match. Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku marked a new beginning for Belgium with a hat-trick against Sweden.
In tennis, Carlos Alcaraz breezed through to the third round, while a few top seeded players crashed out in the second round.
Afghanistan picked up a win over Pakistan in the first match of their three-match T20 series.
In other football news, Bayern Munich have appointed Thomas Tuchel as their new coach.
Meanwhile, New Zealand continued to torment visitors Sri Lanka after Henry Shipley powered the hosts to a 198-run win in the first One-Day International in the three-match bi-lateral series.
Here’s a look at the key stories from international sporting events through the day for 25 March, 2023:
New Zealand beat Sri Lanka by 198 runs
Henry Shipley tore through Sri Lanka’s batting line-up as New Zealand romped to a 198-run win in the first one-day international in Auckland on Saturday.
Playing just his fourth match for the Black Caps, tall seamer Shipley took 5-31 as the tourists were skittled for 76 at Eden Park, their lowest ODI score against New Zealand and their fifth-lowest ever.
Sri Lanka’s capitulation in 19.5 overs made it their second shortest innings.
The visitors never recovered after slumping to 31-5, with only three batters reaching double figures, including top scorer Angelo Mathews (18).
It comes just two months after Sri Lanka’s world-record 317-run loss to India in Thiruvananthapuram – when they were out for 73.
Daryl Mitchell took 2-12 and Matt Henry 2-20 in an innings that lasted less than two hours.
The tourists needed a clean sweep of the three-match series to take an automatic World Cup berth.
With that no longer a possibility, they are increasingly likely to be forced to play in a qualifying tournament in June-July.
Mbappe makes winning start as France captain
Kylian Mbappe marked his first game as France captain with a brace in a 4-0 demolition of the Netherlands in Euro 2024 qualifying on Friday, while Romelu Lukaku scored a hat-trick as Belgium began a new era with a 3-0 victory in Sweden.
In Paris, France were three goals up before the midway point in the first half of their Group B opener against a Dutch side depleted by a virus.
Mbappe, who has taken over the armband from long-term skipper Hugo Lloris, set up his vice-captain Antoine Griezmann to open the scoring inside two minutes at the Stade de France.
Griezmann, with his hair dyed pink, then set up the second goal in the eighth minute as his free-kick was bundled in from close range by Dayot Upamecano after Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen failed to clear the danger.
Mbappe then ran through to make it 3-0 after Randal Kolo Muani had cleverly left an Aurelien Tchouameni through ball, and the Paris Saint-Germain superstar wrapped up the win in emphatic fashion late on.
A perfect evening for Les Bleus was completed when Mike Maignan, France’s new first-choice goalkeeper, saved a stoppage-time Memphis Depay penalty.
Knocked out of the World Cup in the group stage, Belgium have since seen Roberto Martinez depart and he has been replaced as coach by Domenico Tedesco.
He could not have asked for a better debut as Inter Milan forward Lukaku scored all the goals away in Sweden in Group F.
Lukaku headed in the opener on 35 minutes and then netted with a tap-in, in off Victor Lindeloef, after being set up by Dodi Lukebakio early in the second half.
The 41-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off the bench for Sweden before Lukaku made it 3-0 with another easy finish.
Alcaraz, Sabalenka through as seeds crash
World No 1 Carlos Alcaraz made an emphatic start to his Miami Open title defence, defeating Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis 6-0, 6-2 on Friday.
The 19-year-old Spaniard, the youngest ever player to top the rankings, is looking to complete the “Sunshine Double” after beating Daniil Medvedev in last week’s Indian Wells final.
Alcaraz made a blistering start winning the first 11 points of the match, with the 33-year-old Bagnis having no answer at all to the teenager’s powerful serve.
After his win in Miami last year, Alcaraz boldly predicted he was ready to win a Grand Slam and he returns now having achieved that goal and, he concedes, as a different man.
“I grew up a lot since last year. It has been a great year for me as a player, as a person as well. I learned a lot of things, not only on court, also off the court, as well,” he said.
It was also a straightforward start to the tournament for America’s top ranked player, world number 10 Taylor Fritz who saw off 21-year-old Californian Emilio Nava 6-4, 6-1. Casper Ruud defeated Belarus’s Ilya Ivashka 6-2, 6-3, while Italy’s Jannik Sinner also progressed to the third round with a 6-4, 6-2 victory against Laslo Djere.
In the women’s draw, fourth seed Ons Jabeur crashed out after losing her opening match to Russian qualifier Varvara Gracheva 6-2, 6-2.
In another surprise, Canadian Bianca Andreescu, the former US Open winner now ranked 31st, overcame seventh seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, in a gruelling three-hour, three-minute battle.
Romania’s Sorana Cirstea upset world No 4 Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-3 in a repeat of her Indian Wells win over the Frenchwoman last week.
But world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka got past American Shelby Rogers 6-4, 6-3, despite being hampered by what appeared to be a groin injury.
Results from ATP/WTA Miami Open on Friday (x denotes seed):
Men’s singles second round
Carlos Alcaraz (ESP x1) bt Facundo Bagnis (ARG) 6-0, 6-2
Dusan Lajovic (SRB) bt Maxime Cressy (USA x30) 6-4, 7-6 (7/2)
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP x20) bt Brandon Nakashima (USA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)
Tommy Paul (USA x16) bt Marc-Andrea Huesler (SUI) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
Taylor Fritz (USA x9) bt Emilio Nava (USA) 6-4, 6-1
Denis Shapovalov (CAN x24) bt Guido Pella (ARG) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Diego Schwartzman (ARG x31) bt Wu Yibing (CHN) 7-6 (7/1), 6-1
Holger Rune (DEN x7) bt Márton Fucsovics (HUN) 6-3, 7-5
Casper Ruud (NOR x3) bt Ilya Ivashka (BLR) 6-2, 6-3
Botic van de Zandschulp (NED x26) bt Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2
Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) bt Roberto Bautista (ESP x22) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)
Taro Daniel (JPN) bt Alexander Zverev (GER x13) 6-0, 6-4
Jannik Sinner (ITA x10) bt Laslo Djere (SRB) 6-4, 6-2
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x21) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB x29) bt Ugo Humbert (FRA) 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/3)
Andrey Rublev (RUS x6) bt J.J. Wolf (USA) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4
Women’s singles second round
Bianca Andreescu (CAN) bt Maria Sakkari (GRE x7) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
Sofia Kenin (USA) bt Anhelina Kalinina (UKR x28) 6-3, 6-4
Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS x18) bt Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
Belinda Bencic (SUI x9) bt Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 6-1, 6-1
Petra Kvitova (CZE x15) bt Linda Nosková (CZE) 6-3, 6-0
Donna Vekic (CRO x22) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
Magdalena Frech (POL) bt Erika Andreeva (RUS) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
Varvara Gracheva (RUS) bt Ons Jabeur (TUN x4) 6-2, 6-2
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Caroline Garcia (FRA x5) 6-2, 6-3
Karolína Muchová (CZE) bt Zhu Lin (CHN x32) 6-4, 6-2
Karolína Plíšková (CZE x17) bt Wang Xinyu (CHN) 6-2, 6-4
Markéta Vondroušová (CZE) bt Veronika Kudermetova (RUS x11) 6-4, 6-2
Barbora Krejcíková (CZE x16) bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-3, 6-2
Madison Keys (USA x19) bt Robin Montgomery (USA) 6-4, 6-4
Marie Bouzková (CZE x31) bt Anna Blinkova (RUS) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x2) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 6-4, 6-3
Afghanistan beat Pakistan in T20 series opener
Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi guided Afghanistan to a six-wicket win over a new-look Pakistan in the first Twenty20 international of a three-game series on Friday.
Nabi took 2-12 and was ably assisted by Mujeeb Ur Rahman (2-9) and pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi (2-13) to restrict Pakistan to 92-9 after they won the toss and batted at Sharjah Stadium.
Nabi then kept his cool with a cautious run-a-ball 38 not out and added 53 for the unbroken fifth wicket with Najibullah Zadran (17 not out) to help Afghanistan overhaul the target in 17.5 overs.
Nabi hit his first boundary off his 27th ball and then hit two more in the next over from Naseem Shah before sealing the win with a six off Ihsanullah.
This becomes Afghanistan’s first win in four Twenty20 internationals against Pakistan.
This is the first bilateral series between the two countries with the remaining matches also in Sharjah on Sunday and Monday.
Thomas Tuchel appointed Bayern Munich coach
Bayern Munich announced Friday they had appointed former Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel as their new boss after firing Julian Nagelsmann.
Nagelsmann, 35, led Bayern to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and will face Premier League champions Manchester City next month.
But Bayern have not enjoyed their normal dominance of the Bundesliga so far this season and so have replaced Nagelsmann with 49-year-old Tuchel, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021.
The reigning German champions said in a statement: “FC Bayern and head coach Julian Nagelsmann have parted company… Nagelsmann will be succeeded by Thomas Tuchel.”
Bayern said Tuchel would receive a contract until June 2025 and he will supervise training for the first time on Monday. He will be presented to the media on Saturday morning.
Bayern chairman Oliver Kahn said: “Personally and on behalf of FC Bayern, I would like to thank Julian and his coaching team, and wish everyone the best of luck for the future.”
Bayern signed Nagelsmann to a five-year deal just two years ago but nerves have been fraying as the perennial Bundesliga champions struggle to hold onto their title.
They sit second to Tuchel’s former club Borussia Dortmund in the league table.
With text inputs from AFP
Updated through the day