India on verge of series sweep

first_imgNEW DELHI (Reuters) – India subjected South Africa to the ignominy of a follow-on and were two wickets away from inflicting a series whitewash on the visitors after dominating day three of the third and final test in Ranchi yesterday. Replying to India’s 497-9 declared, South Africa were all out for 162, conceding a massive first-innings lead of 335 runs.Asked to follow on, they were equally poor second time round as they slumped to 132-8 at stumps having barely avoided defeat inside three days.Theunis de Bruyn was unbeaten on 30 after coming in as concussion substitute for Dean Elgar who went for tests after being hit flush on the helmet by an Umesh Yadav delivery. Anrich Nortje was on five with India closing on a victory which would consolidate their place on top of the World Test Championship table.Earlier, Zubayr Hamza (62) scored his maiden test fifty in an otherwise insipid batting performance by South Africa who resumed day three on a precarious 9-2.It got worse for the Proteas as they lost skipper Faf du Plessis in the first over to a beautiful delivery by Yadav. Hamza added 91 runs with Temba Bavuma (32) but apart from them and George Linde (37), no other South African batsman reached double figures.In their second innings, South Africa were jolted early by Yadav who bowled Quinton de Kock for five before Mohammed Shami ran through the top order with a three-wicket burst.The right-arm quick bowler bowled Hamza for a duck, trapped Du Plessis lbw and had Bavuma caught behind to tighten the noose around the tourists. Elgar made 16 before sustaining a sickening blow to his helmet and was sent to hospital after he was diagnosed with a concussion.“The opening batsman will be closely monitored over the next 24 hours, followed by reassessment every 24 hours until signs and symptoms resolve,” the South African team said in a statement.“The soonest he can return to play is in six days’ time in keeping with the standard concussion management protocol.” For the visitors, only Linde, who made 27 before being run out, will emerge from his test debut with head held high, having resisted with the bat in both innings as well as taking four wickets.India wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha sustained a finger injury in the final session and was replaced by Rishabh Pant behind the stumps.last_img read more

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England replace handshakes with fist bumps over coronavirus fears

first_img(Reuters) – England players will not be shaking hands on their tour of Sri Lanka and will use fist bumps instead to greet each other following the coronavirus outbreak, skipper Joe Root said. Root’s team were laid low by flu and gastroenteritis in South Africa and are cautious following the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 3,000 people and infected more than 89,000 globally.“After the illnesses that swept through the squad in South Africa, we are well aware of the importance of keeping contact to a minimum,” Root told reporters before flying to Sri Lanka on Monday night for a two-test series.“We’ve been given some really sound and sensible advice from our medical team to help prevent spreading germs and bacteria.” “We are not shaking hands with each other – using instead the well-established fist bump – and we are washing hands regularly and wiping down surfaces using the antibacterial wipes and gels we’ve been given in our immunity packs.”England will play the first of their two practice matches from Saturday before the first test in Galle from March 19 while Colombo hosts the second test from March 27.Sri Lanka confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the country in January but Root expected the tour to go on as planned. “There is no suggestion that the tour will be affected. But, of course, it is an evolving situation so we are in regular contact with the authorities and will proceed as advised,” added the Yorkshire player.last_img read more

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English Premiership season suspended for five weeks due to coronavirus

first_img(Reuters) – England’s Premiership Rugby season has been suspended for five weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, the league announced yesterday. The development comes after the British government advised against mass gatherings that required the presence of emergency workers.“We are sorry to tell our fans that we will be postponing our season for five weeks, in line with today’s advice of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which confirmed that the government would no longer support mass gatherings,” Premiership Rugby said in a statement https://www.premiershiprugby.com/news/a-message-to-our-fans.“We’ll continue to work closely with DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) and Public Health England, and to follow the advice of medical experts, and work with our clubs to help them to support their own wider communities at this time.” The Rugby Players Association (RPA) released a statement supporting the decision.“In light of the government’s Cobra meeting and announcement this evening, today’s difficult decision has been made in the best short term interests of the sport,” it said.  Exeter Chiefs are leading the Premiership standings with 45 points after 13 games, five points ahead of Sale Sharks, while Bristol Bears are third a further two points behind.Meanwhile, England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) has suspended all rugby activity until April 14. “The RFU will continue to review and monitor government advice and will provide detailed updates on the impact to the season in the coming weeks,” it said in a statement.England are top of the Six Nations standings with 13 points, ahead of France on points difference but their final match against Italy in Rome was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 174,100 people and nearly 6,700 have died. The United Kingdom has nearly 1,400 cases with 35 deaths.last_img read more

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It was time to move on – Barath

first_imgIt’s been six years since Adrian Barath decided to take a one-year sabbatical from cricket, never to return. There has been constant speculation on the reason such a talented player quit at the age of 24. Several stakeholders recently weighed in on his mysterious exit in 2014 with their various theories. For the first time since playing a four-day match against Jamaica in April 2014, Barath addressed the topic publicly, albeit quite briefly.He told Newsday, on Thursday, in a WhatsApp message, “There is nothing more to my decision than simply, moving on.”Barath’s retirement will forever be considered premature but cricket fans around the world will remember all he achieved after making his national debut at age 16. The former attacking opening batsman played 15 Test matches and finished his career with one century, four half-centuries and an average of 23.46. His Test debut goes down in history for not only being the youngest West Indian to score a century on debut – age 19 – but also the youngest player ever to reach triple figures against Australia, beating one of his idols, Sachin Tendulkar, who did it 18 years prior.Barath also played 14 one-day internationals with one century and one fifty at an average of 30.30.His TT career was also record-breaking, making his debut at age 16 and sharing a record-breaking opening partnership with Daren Ganga. The right-hander took little time to make more history, notching his maiden first class century in the very next match to become the second youngest player in the region to achieve that feat. He’s scored 3,176 first class runs from 58 matches with seven hundreds and 17 half-centuries and a decent 32.40 average. His List A stats include one century and four fifties. The Enterprise, Chaguanas native has played in the Indian Premier League, Caribbean Premier League and Caribbean T20 Tournament.(Reprinted from Trinidad Newsday)last_img read more

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Australian Rules-”We don’t like you”: Port fume about sharing hotel with rivals

first_imgMELBOURNE,  (Reuters) – Old rivalries flared as Australian Football League teams returned to limited training yesterday, with Port Adelaide Power fuming at having to share accommodation in a bio-secure “hub” with cross-town rivals and arch-enemies Adelaide Crows. The South Australian sides, renowned for their ill-tempered and often spiteful contests, are to head north to the Gold Coast for a closed training camp before the top-flight of Australian Rules football resumes after a two-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.The AFL has booked the sides into the same golf resort, where they will stay for at least the next seven weeks, with travel curbs and quarantine restrictions preventing them from basing themselves in their home state.Port Adelaide chairman David Koch told local radio station 5AA that he had asked for separate accommodations to the twice-champion Crows, saying they rubbed his traditionally blue-collar team the wrong way. “We have enormous respect for the team, for the Crows, absolutely enormous respect, but just don’t like you,” Koch said.“We’re so different. Why should we have to spend eight weeks in the same hotel?“We eat Balfour’s meat pies and you eat quiche … and you guys drink chardonnay. Great respect, but nup. You’re not our type of people.” The teams’ enmity dates back to disagreements about joining the top flight in the early 1990s.Port Adelaide’s hopes of joining in 1991 were thwarted during a legal battle brought by state football officials with the backing of local teams.The same officials hastily formed the Crows to join the AFL in 1991, prompting huge bitterness from Port, the state’s oldest and most successful club. Port, who ended up joining the AFL in 1997, claimed the 2004 title and their rivalry with the Crows has become one of the most intense in the competition. A day after one of their “Showdown” derbies in 2002, players from both teams engaged in a mass brawl outside an Adelaide pub, triggering a media storm.“We are arch-enemies … it doesn’t make a lot of sense to put them together,” Port coach Ken Hinkley told reporters.“We have these great matches, these great grudge matches, and we’re going to go into a place and be all buddies? “I’m not sure about that. It just doesn’t quite feel right in Adelaide.”last_img read more

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Raptors roll to 6-0 in NBA 2K League

first_img(Field Level Media) Raptors Uprising GC remained undefeated, Heat Check Gaming ended their winless start, and Jazz Gaming won their season opener Thursday in NBA 2K League action. The Raptors (6-0) earned a 2-0 sweep of Hawks Talon GC (3-2). The Heat (1-4) got past Grizz Gaming (0-3) in two games, and the Jazz (1-0) produced a 2-0 victory over Magic Gaming (1-2). The day’s other scheduled match, Celtics Crossover Gaming vs. Cavs Legion GC, was postponed due to technical difficulties. No makeup date was announced.Originally scheduled to begin its season March 24, the NBA 2K League postponed play due to the coronavirus pandemic. On April 27, the league announced an initial six-week, online-only schedule, with all 23 teams playing eight total matches from their home markets. Action finally began May 5. Each match is a best-of-three, with the outcome of each three-game series counting as one win or one loss in the standings. Kenneth “Kenny Got Work” Hailey put up 25 points and eight assists as the Raptors downed the Hawks 76-68 in the first game. Gerald “Sick One” Knapp added 12 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for the Raptors while Michael “BP” Diaz-Cruz and Mykel “Kel” Wilson each scored 25 points for the Hawks.Kenny Got Work exploded for 43 points as the Raptors wrapped up the series with a 79-71 victory. BP had 26 points in the defeat. “We’re proud of our team for not backing down, but we learned tonight why Raptors Uprising GC is undefeated,” Hawks head coach Wesley Acuff said in a statement. “As we enter our bye week, we will take some time to review the tape and consider adjustments that we can make as we prepare for our next game against 76ers GC.”Glenn “GlennRatty” Wilkerson poured in 40 points and dished out eight assists to lead the Heat to an 86-67 win over the Grizz in Game 1. The Heat’s Juan “Hotshot” Gonzalez amassed 14 points, 15 boards and six assists. Zach “Vandi” Vandivier paced the Grizz with 26 points and 10 assists while teammate Dayvon “GOOFY757” Curry contributed 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.GlennRatty was the scoring star again in the Heat’s 79-73 clincher, finishing with 35 points. Hotshot had 11 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. Vandi notched 26 points and nine assists, and GOOFY757 had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Spencer “Ria” Wyman scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Jazz topped the Magic 60-57 in the first game. Kimanni “Splashy” Ingram also had 18 points for the Jazz. Robert “May” May led the Magic with 17 points, and teammate Daniel “DT” Tlais compiled 14 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists.The Jazz got 23 points and 19 rebounds from Ria in a 67-47 win over the Magic in Game 2. Lytel “Lotty” Martin had 25 points for the Jazz. DT managed 19 points and nine rebounds for the Magic, and Brendan “Reizey” Hill had 16 points and 10 assists.last_img read more

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Turkish NBA player Kanter’s father acquitted of terrorism links

first_imgANKARA, (Reuters) – NBA center Enes Kanter, an outspoken critic of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, said yesterday his father had been acquitted of charges that he was a member of a terrorist group. Mehmet Kanter, the father and a genetics professor in Turkey, was alleged to have supported U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen who Turkey accuses of orchestrating a failed coup in 2016. Gulen denies any connection with the matter.Enes Kanter, a 28-year-old center for the Boston Celtics in the NBA, himself was indicted in Turkey in 2018 on charges of belonging to an armed terrorist group, which he denies. He is awaiting U.S. citizenship.“Wow! I could cry…Today I found out that 7 years after arresting my dad, taking him through a Kangaroo court and accusing him of being a criminal just because he is my dad, my dad has been released,” Enes Kanter said on Twitter. Enes, who has lived mainly in the United States for more than a decade, describes himself as a close ally of Gulen. Thousands of Gulen’s followers were arrested or fired from their jobs in Turkey after the abortive coup.“They no longer could keep him from his freedom because of the spotlight that we all put on this case! However! He is just one person, there are still tens of thousands of people wrongfully in jail in Turkey. I will not forget you, we will not forget you!” Kanter said.Turkey revoked Kanter’s passport in 2017 and he has since been unable to travel abroad. Mehmet Kanter was fired from his faculty position at Istanbul University and initially jailed for five days, Birgun newspaper reported. He was acquitted on Thursday by a court in northwestern Turkey, local media said. The court did not immediately respond to a query from Reuters.Enes Kanter’s parents publicly disowned him through a Turkish publication back in 2016, soon after the coup attempt.“As soon as they are in contact with me, they (Turkish authorities) would put them in jail,” Kanter has repeatedly said.last_img read more

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GABF to participate in FIBA U17 Skills Challenge

first_imgFollowing the cancellation of the 2020 U17 Basketball World Cup by the world governing body due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF), has confirmed their participation in the International Federation of Association Basketball (FIBA) ‘FIBA U17 Skills Challenges. This was confirmed by veteran administrator Patrick Haynes, Secretary of the Central America and Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CONCENCABA) during an official release.According to Haynes, who also holds the portfolio of FIBA 3×3 Commission Member, “After the FIBA Executive Committee’s decision that the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2020 cannot be held this year, it has been decided to offer an opportunity to the players of this age category to gather with their national team, to train and compete without the need for international travel.Several national federations are planning to organise a training camp for this age category in the coming months, depending on the local restrictions and in compliance with the FIBA Return to Basketball Guidelines. Therefore, FIBA felt that the FIBA U17 Skills Challenge 2020 could provide an additional motivation and incentive to those young players and strengthen their bonds with the National Team.” The FIBA U17 Skills Challenges is set to commence from the date of August 17th and will feature boys and girls divisions respectively. It is also to be broadcast on the entity’s digital platform of YouTube. The official rules and regulations for the event have been issued to the respective members.Haynes elaborated, “In addition, the FIBA U17 Skills Challenges 2020 will be broadcast on FIBA’s digital channels (YouTube) thus providing an opportunity also to the national federations to be present and promote their brand and their activity during these challenging times. The FIBA U17 Skills Challenges 2020 (both genders) are scheduled to take place during the week of 17 August 2020. The sixteen (16) teams already qualified for the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2020 and FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup 2020 are automatically qualified for the FIBA U17 Skills Challenges 2020.”He added, “In addition to the 16 teams already qualified, FIBA has decided to also offer an opportunity to participate to all interested national federations around the world. Namely, each FIBA Regional Office will organise Regional Qualifiers during the week of 10 August 2020 to qualify one (1) men’s and one (1) women’s team from each Region. National coaches Junior Hercules and Lugard Mohan have been identified by the GABF as the primary point of contact for the recruitment and execution of this qualifier. The GABF will be selecting five boys and five girls born on and after January 1st, 2003 to represent Guyana in this regional qualifier.”“The GABF now awaits information regarding the final phase of the FIBA U17 Skills Challenges 2020 from the FIBA Americas Regional Office including the FIBA U17 Skills Challenge 2020 Registration forms, Manual and other relevant documents and video materials. Local players can begin to register via the federation’s website at http://guyanabasketball.com/en/2020/07/01/fiba-u17-skills-challenge-2020-americas-qualifiers/”, he further divulged.last_img read more

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Ravens again show they’re not ready to be great in shocking loss to Seahawks

first_imgAt one point during the first half of an inexplicable 22-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, I quipped that the Ravens should petition the NFL to play the Pittsburgh Steelers every week.In retrospect, maybe it wasn’t such a crazy idea.After securing one of the most significant wins in the 16-year history of the franchise in Pittsburgh last week, the Ravens once again proved the margin for error in the NFL is too small to expect to win on the road with anything less than your best performance. Three turnovers, a one-dimensional offense, and a tired defense aren’t going to get it done, even against a 2-6 team that had lost four of its last five games.While much blame will fall on the shoulders of kick returner David Reed’s two fumbles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron for only giving running back Ray Rice five carries, there were far too many problems across the board as the Ravens dropped their third game of the season against sub-.500 teams — Baltimore had only one in John Harbaugh’s first three years as head coach — and lost their hold atop the AFC North.The Ravens are now 2-3 against teams with losing records this season while they are 3-0 against those with winning marks (Pittsburgh was 0-0 in Week 1, of course).Simply put, the Ravens aren’t ready to be an elite team that disposes of inferior competition. For whatever reason, Baltimore has been unable to handle the success of beating quality teams and has followed such feats with mistake-laden, uninspired play against teams it’s supposed to handle without many complications.After falling behind two scores in the first quarter, the coaching staff panicked despite having come back to win in the Ravens’ two previous games against the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead of mixing in the run with 30 minutes to play after trailing 19-7 at halftime, Cameron put the game solely on the shoulders of quarterback Joe Flacco in the shotgun much earlier than the Ravens really needed to.This wasn’t a three-possession deficit like the Ravens faced against Arizona two weeks ago. And the Seahawks defense clearly doesn’t possess the pedigree of a Steelers defense where you simply presume you won’t be able to gain yardage on the ground.Yet, the Ravens put everything on Flacco all afternoon, who performed exceptionally in come-from-behind victories in their last two games, but the sum of the parts simply isn’t good enough for the Baltimore passing game to expect such success every single week.Flacco missed open receivers, including a wide-open Torrey Smith streaking down the right sideline at one point, but his receivers let him down with drops on several key occasions as well. Flacco tossed it 52 times for 255 yards and a touchdown, but a meager 4.9 yards per attempt just doesn’t justify the complete abandonment of the running game after an early 10-0 deficit. The heroics in Pittsburgh aside, Flacco and his receivers just aren’t ready to be Tom Brady and the Patriots or Aaron Rodgers and the Packers where you can throw and throw and throw some more to be successful every single week.As was the case in a loss to Jacksonville last month, giving Rice — your best offensive player — 13 total touches just isn’t nearly enough. And while it’s true the Seahawks ran the same 4-3 defense that’s given the Ravens difficulty all season, it’s not an excuse to fail in even trying to mix in the ground game.Of course, the Ravens’ inept special teams put Cameron and the offense in a difficult position. To fumble two kickoffs — plays that are meant to swing field position in your favor — is a formula for disaster. The second-year kick returner Reed should find himself fortunate to still have a job this week, let alone remain as the team’s primary returner.Two more missed field goals from 50 yards or more from Billy Cundiff can — mathematically speaking — be pointed to as the difference in the game. Awarded a five-year, $15 million contract in the offseason, Cundiff cannot be expected to connect on every long try, but a far better clip than the 1-for-6 he has this season isn’t unreasonable.And, yes, even the vaunted defense failed the Ravens when it mattered most. Though only two of the Seahawks’ six scoring drives were longer than 20 yards, Ray Lewis and the defense took the field with 5:52 remaining in the fourth quarter after a Ed Dickson touchdown catch narrowed the margin to 22-17.Instead of forcing a three-and-out and affording Flacco an opportunity at a third-straight game-winning drive in the final minutes, Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch ran for 32 yards on seven carries and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson twice completed passes on third down to move the chains and keep the ball out of the Ravens’ hands. Though the Baltimore defense spent 35:01 on the field, it failed to look like that championship-caliber unit that could get a stop when it was needed the most.As much as the Ravens talked all week about the need to build on the elation of sweeping the regular-season series with Pittsburgh last week, they sure didn’t come out and play like it.Credit Pete Carroll and the Seahawks — proving once again that no game in the NFL is a slam dunk — but the Ravens tripped and fell down the steps to greatness for a third time this season. They have to find a way to play their best football every week, regardless of who they’re playing, and avoid playing to the level of their competition.As strange as it sounds, one of the biggest challenges in sports is being able to handle success.The good news is Baltimore still has seven games remaining on the schedule to figure it out.The Ravens are good — even very good, at times.But they’re just not ready to be great.last_img read more

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Predictions of Jones, Wieters playing October baseball in New York come true

first_imgThere was a time not long ago when many predicted Adam Jones and Matt Wieters would eventually be playing postseason baseball at Yankee Stadium.The only difference in that prophecy was the Orioles’ center fielder and catcher would be wearing the pinstripes of the New York Yankees after moving on from Baltimore in free agency in a few years. Instead, after an improbable 93-win season, the Orioles head to New York tied 1-1 with Game 3 of the American League Division Series set for Wednesday night.To survive and advance, the Orioles need only to repeat what they did on three separate occasions at Yankee Stadium in the regular season. Winning two of three means Baltimore advances to play either the Detroit Tigers or the Oakland Athletics in the AL Championship Series.The Orioles were reminded of their 6-3 record at Yankee Stadium often after their 3-2 victory in Game 2 Monday night, but there was no hubris in describing the task in front of them. The club knows it won’t be easy.“Everything’s heightened now,” Jones said. “We’ve just got to go there [and] win the inning. It’s not [simply saying], ‘Oh, we need to win Game 3.’ It’s not about that. We need to go out and win every inning of Game 3 first.”Predictably, the Orioles are viewed as the underdog in this series against the playoff-tested Yankees. It’s understandable when remembering Jones and Wieters were still in grade school the last time Baltimore found itself in this position.But don’t tell the Orioles they’re the young shepherd boy carrying a sling and a stone into battle against the powerful giant in the Bronx. The analogy doesn’t apply in their minds after finishing only two games behind the Yankees in the AL East and tying the season series at 9-9 this year.“The David and Goliath or whatever you’re talking about, that’s not something that’s a mentality for us in there,” manager Buck Showalter said. “There are no flukes in baseball. There are no Cinderellas. You play too many games. You play 162 games. And that mentality might go for a short span, but it doesn’t play for very long, believe me.”The success at Yankee Stadium came at different points in the season as the Orioles finished off three-game series wins in early May, early August and early September. Baltimore outscored New York in those nine games by a 49-32 margin.The Orioles acknowledged those results in the regular season don’t mean anything now as they walk into a hostile environment to deal with the Yankees’ mystique that can leave opponents intimidated against a club that’s won 27 World Series titles. But the quiet confidence expressed by many players following Game 2 convinced anyone who’s followed the club all season that they won’t be intimidated.“We played well there, but we haven’t played postseason baseball there,” Jones said. “That’s going to be a totally different atmosphere. Their fans are going to be crazy. Just like our whole stadium was packed full of orange and black, there’s going to be that dark blue. I know there’s going to be some orange and black up there, but you know the scenarios are going to change. It’s going to be their home-field advantage, but we’ve got to go there and try to silence that crowd as much as we can.”Hearing Jones and Wieters talk about a playoff trip to Yankee Stadium has been surreal for anyone who dared dream of the Orioles finding themselves in the postseason over the last few years. Many feared Jones and Wieters would be long gone by the time the club would be in a position to play October baseball.Of course, much of that trepidation disappeared earlier this season when Jones inked a six-year, $85.5 million contract extension. Wieters isn’t eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season, but their long-term commitment to Jones has reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to keeping their young talent in Baltimore.CONTINUE ON NEXT PAGE >>>last_img read more

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