SPORTS DAY: Reeza smashes SA to series-clinching win
Your roundup of the sporting news of the day
CRICKETHendricks shines on debut, SA clinch ODI series
Reeza Hendricks’s sizzling century in his debut match helped set up SA’s series-clinching 78-run victory against Sri Lanka in the third one-day international on Sunday. The number three batsman took only 88 balls to smash the fastest ODI hundred by a debutant and was one of the four South African batsmen to post a 50-plus score as they amassed 363-7. The tourists then returned to bowl out Sri Lanka for 285 in the 46th over to record their third successive victory in the five-match series. Put into bat on a flat track, Hendricks and Hashim Amla, who made a run-a-ball 59, took SA past the 100-mark following opener Quinton de Kock’s early dismissal. Thisara Perera (4-75) removed Amla and South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis (10) but Hendricks and JP Duminy kept the scoreboard ticking with their 78-run stand.
Pirates stand by keeper Sandilands after howler
Orlando Pirates rallied around unfortunate goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands in the change room at the break after his blunder in their 1-1 Absa Premiership draw against Highlands Park‚ Bucs coach Milutin Serdojevic said. Sandilands‚ receiving a back-pass on Saturday night at Orlando Stadium from Gladwin Shitolo in the 15th minute to his right foot attempted to pass out with his left‚ the ball sneaking in under the keeper. It went down as a Shitolo own goal. Justin Shonga equalised in the 61st‚ but the blunder was the last thing Sandilands needed playing just his second league game since fumbling in Hlompho Kekana’s shot from Mamelodi Sundowns’ half at the same ground in November. It also got the home crowd on Sandilands’s back. “The first thing we did in the dressing room was that we requested that the team stands behind Wayne Sandilands. “The players stood firmly behind him‚ in order to protect him‚” Sredojevic said after the game.
Super champs Crusaders eye next title
The victory celebrations for back-to-back Super Rugby titles had hardly started when the Canterbury Crusaders put the spotlight on completing a triple crown next year. The Crusaders were too smart and too clinical for the Golden Lions in Christchurch on Saturday as they took the grand final 37-18, to go with their 25-17 win over the same side the previous year. It extended the New Zealand club’s phenomenal record in the 23-year-old southern hemisphere competition to nine titles from 13 finals, and they have missed making at least the semi-finals only five times. Coach Scott Robertson said talk of winning again in 2019 has already started. “One of the players – I won’t name names – it was the first thing he said ... I thought he was going to come in for a cuddle. He was talking about that,” Robertson said.
MOTOGPDucati’s Dovizioso wins three-way Czech thriller
Italian Andrea Dovizioso won a Czech Grand Prix thriller in a Ducati one-two on Sunday while Honda’s Marc Marquez finished third to stretch his MotoGP lead to 49 points. Spain’s Jorge Lorenzo was second, holding off compatriot Marquez to the line. Four-times MotoGP champion Marquez now has 181 points after 10 races while Italian great Valentino Rossi, who finished fourth, has 132. Dovizioso is third on 113. Dovizioso led from pole position in a slow-burning race that turned into a wheel-to-wheel thriller, with riders looking to save tyres early on and wary of the threat of rain before setting caution aside. The top three were split by just 0.368 of a second at the chequered flag.
Kenny keeps baby Albie happy with second gold
Britain’s Laura Kenny reckoned she felt guilty when she had to leave baby son Albie and go to work at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome on Sunday – but she felt much happier when she could bring home a second European Championship gold to show him. The four-time Olympic champion, back to something near her best after her career break to start a family with husband and fellow multi-Olympic medallist Jason Kenny, won her speciality, the elimination race, to go with her team pursuit gold. It was Kenny’s 12th European title, which she won in seemingly effortless fashion despite saying afterwards that she hadn’t felt “good out there” after suffering a sleepless night while tending to 11-month-old Albie.
Redemption for history-maker Momota
Kento Momota dedicated his world title on Sunday to those who stuck by him when a gambling scandal threatened to wreck the history-maker’s budding career. The explosive 23-year-old convincingly defeated China’s highly promising Shi Yuqi 21-11, 21-13 in Nanjing, becoming the first Japanese man to win the World Championships. Carolina Marin claimed her own slice of history as the Spaniard became the first woman to win three badminton world crowns with an emphatic victory over PV Sindhu of India. Momota’s career descended into controversy in 2016 when Japanese badminton chiefs suspended him for more than a year for visiting an illegal casino, denying him a place at the Rio Olympics.
Bhullar wins ninth Asian Tour title
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar chipped in from off the green to record an eagle on the 17th hole to propel himself to a one-shot victory in the Fiji International over Australia’s Anthony Quayle at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course on Sunday. The 30-year-old’s eagle gave him the lead over the Queenslander, who shot an impressive nine-under 63 while playing with South African great Ernie Els. Bhullar made par on the final hole, leaving his birdie putt a matter of inches short, to finish with a six-under 66 and 14-under total of 274 to give him his ninth win on the Asian tour. Quayle finished on 275, while Els shot a seven-under 65 to tie for third with New Zealand’s Ben Campbell. Both finished on 12-under 276.
Sundowns coach Mosimane reveals his plans
Faced with a demanding schedule that will see his side competing in five competitions this season‚ Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has conceded that he will need to find creative ways to manage his players. Sundowns began the defence of their Absa Premiership title with a 1-1 draw against Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus on Saturday and they still have the MTN8‚ Telkom Knockout‚ Nedbank Cup tournaments and the group stages of the Caf Champions League to contend with in the coming months. “I don’t want to call it rotation. Maybe player management‚” Mosimane said. “It does not mean that when you have a lot of players you will win, because when you change your team regularly you disrupt the momentum and rhythm.
Ex-Chelsea striker at centre of racism row
Senegalese striker Demba Ba found himself at the centre of a racism controversy in China over allegations that an opposing Chinese player hurled insensitive comments at him during a match on Saturday night. The former Chelsea forward, now with Shanghai Shenhua, became embroiled in a heated exchange with Changchun Yatai midfielder Zhang Li late in their 1-1 Chinese Super League draw after Ba collided with one of Zhang’s teammates. Chinese media reports said a furious Ba later claimed that Zhang made racially insulting remarks. Shenhua coach Wu Jingui condemned the incident. “Later, I learned that a Yatai player used insulting language toward him (Ba). Around the world, it has been stressed that there should be no insulting speech toward black athletes,” Wu said, in comments posted on a team social media account.
BOXINGAlvarez stuns Kovalev to seize WBO title
Unbeaten Eleider Alvarez knocked out Sergey Kovalev in the seventh round on Saturday with a stunning upset victory to capture the World Boxing Organization light heavyweight title. Alvarez, of Colombia, hit Kovalev with a devastating right hook that sent the Russian to the canvas for the third and final time late in the seventh round. Kovalev, 35, was trying to re-establish his dominance in the light heavyweight division in his first real boxing test since losing in back-to-back fights to Andre Ward. Kovalev was the more aggressive and was winning the majority of the rounds heading into the final round at the Hard Rock Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. But he let down his guard in the seventh and Alvarez seized the opportunity to land several power punches and go on to win the fight in one of the biggest boxing upsets of the year. He knocked Kovalev down twice and then finished him off with consecutive right hooks to the head that sent him down for the third and final time.
AFP, Reuters and TimesLIVE