How often do you experience a week where the Wimbledon, Copa America, Euros witness their finals along with a clash of 6 cricketing giants? Never, we say. If you thought Novak Djokovic & ex Big Bashian Ashleigh Barty winning the titles was the news of the week, it was Lionel Messi’s triumph in Copa America for his international team Argentina that became the moment the country was waiting for the past 28 years. Not far behind was the Euro Cup finals that saw Italy winning against England after a long long time and getting the Championship to Rome.
If tennis and football were having their moments at the biggest of stages, cricket wasn’t that far behind with Harleen Deol pulling off the blinder of the year against the England Women’s team. This catch went viral like the speed of light rolling in tweets and messages for Harleen expressing how proud India was for her. Then the week ended with 2 huge upsets where a second-string XI England defeated Pakistan in back-to-back games while a recently thumped Windies pulled off 2 back to back heists against the Aussies.
1. The Wimbledon Finals (Men & Women)
An Australian cricketer who turned into a tennis professional in the Women’s singles game: Ashleigh Barty was in the news for one of the most spectacular wins in the Wimbledon finals. She featured for Brisbane Heat in 2014 during the Women’s Big Bash and then shifted career paths for her love of tennis. Barty couldn’t have justified her decision more than by winning her 1st Wimbledon title in a historic manner.
On the other hand, it was another day at the office for the tennis legend Novak Djokovic as he defeated Matteo Berrettini to win his 20th Grand slam equalling the greats Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer. This was his 6th triumph on the grass court.
2. Copa America & Euro Cup Finals
It was Neymar vs Lionel Messi as the two ex- Barcelona teammates battled it out for their respective countries for the biggest title of American soccer. This was Argentina’s best chance to triumph and little did they disappoint their fans as Di Maria scored the only goal in the game in the 22nd minute. Post that it was all the Argentine defense that got the better of Brazil as they ended Messi’s long wait for an international title.
On the other hand, in Europe’s biggest international extravaganza we saw an epic clash between invincible Italy and ecstatic England. The war cry of ‘It’s Coming Home’ became louder after Luke Shaw scored for England in just the 2nd minute. It was then at the 67th minute when the equalizer came in from Leonardo Benocci that the Italian fans got their breath back. The game was decided in penalties after Italy completed their undefeated record in the Euro Cup 2021 with 3-2 against England and were crowned Champions. It’s going to Rome folks!
3. Harleen Deol & ‘That Catch’
Amy Jones was going great guns as she had decided to accelerate and take England past 200. Partnering with Nat Sciver, she was proving to be a huge threat until she lofted one over the cover region on a Shikha Pandey delivery. In the deep, is a running Harleen Deol who jumps to save the six and manages to put it within the playing region, she herself goes beyond the boundary line as the ball is still in the air. Till now the effort is still humanly believable. What makes it spectacular is what she does next… she dives forward or rather flies to clutch the ball with both hands while still in the air and lands much inside the boundary. A catch for the ages, Harleen!
4. Upset #1: ENG vs PAK
After the entire white ball English squad went into quarantine post the SL series, memes & news started coming up as how Pakistan will still be facing Zimbabwe as an England Second XI was announced with only Ben Stokes being the experienced lad. 6 debutants in and the Pakistan team fell down like a bicycle stand. Saqib Mahmood got the better of ace batsman Babar Azam in both games while the English tailend played spoilsport for Pak in the 2nd ODI. 2-0 and Pakistan are still trying to figure out a way to defeat this newly formed English side.
5. Upset #2: WIN vs AUS
Australia’s squad for white-ball cricket was in question after many specialists decided to take a break before the IPL begins. However, against a West Indies team that was hugely strong only on paper and not otherwise (as was seen against RSA), the Aussies wouldn’t have expected 2 back to back batting collapses like that. Chasing 145 in the 1st T20I they lost the last 6 wickets for just 19 while they conceded 196 in the 2nd T20I, way more than their appetite. So far, West Indies have dominated and caused yet another upset of the week.
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