SPORTS DAY: De Kock on fire and Root speeds to 6,000 runs

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SPORTS DAY: De Kock on fire and Root speeds to 6,000 runs

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sports editor and columnist: Sunday Times

CRICKET
SA notch another win on their ODI belt
SA opener Quinton de Kock’s attacking 87 set up a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second one-day international on Wednesday, handing the tourists a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. Chasing 245 for victory, South Africa reached their target with 43 balls to spare, giving themselves the perfect opportunity to pick up a series win in the 50-over format after going down 2-0 in the test matches.
Root quickest to 6,000 Test runs
England captain Joe Root became the quickest batsman to 6,000 Test runs in terms of time from his debut when he reached the landmark on the first day of the series opener against India at Edgbaston on Wednesday. England made a solid start on day one as they reached 163 for the loss of three wickets at tea. A streaky four off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin saw the 27-year-old Root, in his 127th Test innings, to the 40 runs he had needed to reach 6,000. It meant Root had got to the landmark in five years and 231 days of his Test career, surpassing former England captain Alastair Cook’s mark of five years and 339 days. 
SOCCER
Zwane unfazed by season opener against ChiefsTaking on bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the opening weekend of the Absa Premiership season at Loftus on Saturday does not bother Mamelodi Sundowns playmaker Themba Zwane. Eyebrows were raised when the PSL confirmed that one of the biggest fixtures on the South African sporting calendar would be played on the opening day of the season but a nonchalant Zwane was unfazed by the prospect of facing high profile opponents like Chiefs so early in the new term. “For me it does not matter as to when we play them‚” he said. “I think it is better to play them now and get it over and done with in the first round.”
Pirates employ a specialist goal scoring  coach
Orlando Pirates have led the way addressing South African football’s chronic scoring problem by employing a full-time finishing coach. Frenchman Stephane Adam took part in his first training session at Rand Stadium on Wednesday‚ employing drills aimed at attacking buildups down the flanks‚ feeding balls through to players running into the area‚ and finishing into squares in the bottom left and right of the goalmouth. Adam (49)‚ a former striker‚ has worked as a finishing coach for Kilmarnock‚ and joins Pirates from last season’s 17th-placed Ligue 1 finishers Lille.
Watch out for Cape Town City, says Benni
Benni McCarthy feels that Cape Town City can be real contenders for honours in the Absa Premiership this coming season after expressing satisfaction with his new signings and pre-season preparations. City kick off their league campaign with a home game against SuperSport United at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday that the 40-year-old coach says they must win to get off on the right foot. “I’m optimistic and the new faces that we have in the team‚ they have come in and made us real contenders now. I’ve got a very balanced squad and two or three players for every position and that is a luxury to be in as a coach.”
RUGBY
Laureus recognises Kolisi’s historic momentSiya Kolisi has won the July Laureus Sporting Moment of the month competition after a vote by thousands of sports fans around the world. Kolisi‚ from Zwide township in Port Elizabeth‚ was named South Africa’s first black Springbok Test captain by coach Rassie Erasmus during the 2-1 series win over England in June. In his first match as Bok captain‚ Kolisi led the Boks to victory over England at Ellis Park.
Lions see aerial superiority as key to success
The line-out has been one of the Lions’ most potent weapons in Super Rugby and it stands to reason that they see aerial superiority as key to their success in the final against the Crusaders on Saturday. Lock Marvin Orie is one of the men tasked with soaring above the opposition‚ but he recognises that the peak facing them this week towers above all they’ve faced this season. “We’ve got a lot of firepower in our line-out. Our captain is one of the best loose forward jumpers in the country‚ and the world. We’ve got Malcolm (Marx) and we’ve got Franco (Mostert).”
ROWING
Ageless Karsten may seek eighth Olympic appearance
Double Olympic champion Ekaterina Karsten may seek to prolong her illustrious career by another two years and make history in rowing by competing at the Games for the eighth time in Tokyo in 2020, the 46-year-old Belarusian said. Karsten is one of only two rowing athletes who have competed at seven or more Olympics with Canada’s female coxswain Lesley Thompson participating eight times between 1984 and 2016, when she became the oldest rower at the Rio Games at the age of 56.
CYCLING
Team Sky best place for Thomas, says Brailsford
Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford said he intended to negotiate a new deal for Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas after the Welshman said he was open to hearing other options. Thomas has been with Team Sky since its inception in 2010, mainly living in the shadows of first Bradley Wiggins and then Chris Froome before his breakout victory this year. His new-found status as Grand Tour winner would make him an obvious target for rival teams, but Brailsford believes the 32-year-old Welshman is best-served by staying at Sky.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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