SPORTS DAY: Spinners need to rock up to the Lankan party

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SPORTS DAY: Spinners need to rock up to the Lankan party

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sunday Times sports editor

CRICKET
SA spinners need a little inspiration
South Africa have said that despite the prevailing conditions in Sri Lanka they are depending on their fast bowlers to get the job done in Sri Lanka. Well they might: it’s been that way since Brett Schultz took 20 wickets there in August and September 1993. But that was before South Africa were hammered by 278 runs inside three days in the first Test in Galle. With the last match of the series starting in Colombo on Friday‚ South Africa will take their redemption anywhere they can find it. Like from their spinners. The visitors’ left-arm laaitjies‚ the orthodox Keshav Maharaj and wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi‚ accounted for eight of the 20 Lankan wickets that fell in Galle. 
Sri Lanka seek clear rules on ball tampering 
Sri Lanka’s sports minister has called on the International Cricket Council to establish “simple, clear rules” after skipper Dinesh Chandimal was punished for ball tampering. “Laws governing the offence/act of altering the condition of the ball are somewhat vague and lack clarity,” Faiszer Musthapha said in a statement. Chandimal refused to take the field for two hours on the third day of the second Test against the West Indies last month after he was accused of ball tampering on the previous day.
GOLF
No whisky for Stone before OpenSouth Africa’s Brandon Stone had to cancel a tour of some of Scotland’s finest whisky distilleries because of the small matter of playing in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie this week. Stone‚ 25‚ is riding a wave of positivity as he heads in to only his third Open Championship after winning the Scottish Open in spectacular style last week‚ which earned him entry to the Open. “We were actually planning on going to Scotland for a whisky tour‚ to be honest‚” Stone said after winning the Scottish Open by two strokes at Gullane Golf Club last week.
SOCCER
Expect to see new Chiefs coach Solinas soon
New Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas has begun to familiarise himself with the club’s Naturena headquarters as he awaits his work permit to arrive next week. Solinas is not expected to be on the bench when Chiefs meet Mamelodi Sundowns in Saturday’s Shell Helix Ultra Cup preseason friendly at FNB Stadium. Solinas‚ the 50-year-old Italian former Free State Stars coach is expected to watch his new team from the stands.
Sarri just wants to have fun at the Bridge 
New Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, formerly boss of Napoli, wants to establish a fun atmosphere at the Premier League club. The 59-year-old Italian replaced compatriot Antonio Conte who was sacked, a year after leading the team to the title, after Chelsea failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League. “If a team has fun, often the fans have fun too. This is very important. We want to reach high-level objectives, but first we must have fun.” Spanish media have linked Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with Real Madrid and although Sarri wants to keep the duo at Stamford Bridge, he is happy for the club’s hierarchy to handle transfer business.
BOXING
Joshua plans his bid for historyAnthony Joshua has set his sights on joining boxing’s all-time greats as the heavyweight champion builds up to his title defence against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin. Joshua, the reigning WBA, IBF and WBO champion, faces mandatory challenger Povetkin at Wembley on September 22 amid mounting expectation the British fighter will then get in the ring with WBC champion Deontay Wilder. Negotiations between Joshua’s camp and Wilder’s team are still ongoing and the unification clash could be lined up for April 13, with Wembley reportedly booked for that date.
FORMULA ONE
Vettel in line for last chance for win
Sunday’s German Grand Prix could be Sebastian Vettel’s last chance to win on home soil but Lewis Hamilton will be doing all he can to deny Ferrari’s Formula One championship leader that particular pleasure. Hockenheim is also home for Hamilton’s employers Mercedes and after Vettel beat the Briton at Silverstone a week ago, there is plenty of desire to get one back on a rival who grew up in nearby Heppenheim.
RUGBY
Mongalo wary of Jaguares
Statistics don’t lie‚ but they can be bent to the truth you wish to seek. Or something to that affect‚ reckons Lions defence coach Joey Mongalo. “Context in the figures is always good‚” he said when reminded what has set the Crusaders apart from the Lions is the eight-time Super Rugby champions’ unremitting defence. “We are still top five in fewest tries conceded. It is not great‚ but we have the desire to defend better than what we have. It takes a while to get the combinations right.” The Lions play the Jaguares in a Super Rugby quarterfinal at Ellis Park on Saturday and although their execution has let them down at times‚ the South Americans have struck a splendid balance between rumbling forward play and exploring wide open spaces.
Sam Warburton calls it a day
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton has retired from rugby union at the age of 29, admitting defeat in his battle against chronic injury. Flanker Warburton, who won 74 Wales caps and captained his country a record 49 times, was forced to sit out last season after undergoing knee and neck surgery. Warburton, who spent his entire professional career with Cardiff Blues, making his debut for his hometown region in April 2009 and winning his first cap just two months later, will go down in history as the most successful British and Irish Lions captains of all time.
AFP, Reuters, TimesLive

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