SPORTS DAY: Bavuma and the big guns all set for third Test

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SPORTS DAY: Bavuma and the big guns all set for third Test

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Sports editor


CRICKET
Wiser SA unlikely to rest players for the final Test Despite an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series‚ SA are unlikely to rest players for the final Test at the Wanderers. The folly of resting players after an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series came to bite SA in the back when they lost their last Test against India last season. “Against India we had the opportunity to put the nail in the coffin at two-nil‚” said captain Faf du Plessis. “We then tried one or two combinations and in hindsight it felt like we took our foot off the gas a little bit. You don’t often get the opportunity to win 3-0 in a series. We are learning from that so we will probably stick to our strongest team.”
Faf comes out batting for Bavuma after KP criticism
Having batted his way back into form with a fighting ton in the second Test against Pakistan‚ SA captain Faf du Plessis afterwards came out batting for teammate Temba Bavuma. The diminutive middle order batsman scored 75 in SA’s first innings but was criticised by SuperSport guest commentator Kevin Pietersen for not converting more starts into hundreds. Bavuma’s only Test ton is the one he famously scored against England at Newlands in 2016. Last year at the Wanderers he came close, scoring 95 not out against Australia. “Temba will be the first guy to tell you over his career he has got a few opportunities where he could have gone on to score 100s where the wickets were good enough to cash in‚” the SA captain said.
Historic Test series win for India in Australia
India ended a 71-year wait for a Test series victory in Australia on Monday, their 2-1 triumph finally confirmed when the rain-affected fourth and final Test ended in a draw at Sydney Cricket Ground early on Monday afternoon. The finale may have have turned out to be a damp squib but Virat Kohli’s tourists utterly dominated what action there was to deservedly become the first side from the Asian sub-continent to take the honours Down Under. Wins in the first Test in Adelaide and third in Melbourne ensured they could not lose the series.
SOCCER
Vries set to be back in goal for Kaizer Chiefs
Goalkeeper Virgil Vries is almost certain to be back in goal for Kaizer Chiefs against league leaders Bidvest Wits on Wednesday night even after the howler that cost his club the game against champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the weekend. Coach Ernst Middendorp said it was essential for Vries to play again to put the incident behind him. “It’s good for him that the next game follows in just four days‚” said the Chiefs coach. “It is not a big deal. We will work it out but there is no finger pointing. He has our support even if the disappointment was big.”
Guinea accepts it will host 2025 Africa Cup of Nations
Guinea will stage the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations instead of the 2023 edition, a move that confirms Cameroon as the 2021 hosts, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) president said on Monday. In 2014, CAF awarded hosting rights to Cameroon (2019), Ivory Coast (2021) and Guinea (2023). Following the decision to remove this year’s edition from Cameroon because of severe delays in building stadiums and security concerns, Egypt and SA have bid to step in as hosts. CAF will announce on Wednesday which of the two countries has won the right to host the tournament, with the clock ticking to the June 15 kickoff. Ivory Coast will now host the tournament in 2023.
FORMULA ONE
Ferrari to replace F1 team boss with Binotto?
Formula One outfit Ferrari are set for a management reshuffle with team principal Maurizio Arrivabene to be replaced by technical director Mattia Binotto, according to reports in Italy on Monday. Arrivabene’s contract will not be renewed following another disappointing season, with management errors blamed for the team missing out once again to Mercedes. Ferrari president John Elkann has decided that Binotto, 49, is the right man to lead the Italian stable in 2019, Gazzetta reported.
GOLF
Another disappointing final round for McIlroy
A subdued Rory McIlroy said he would remain patient after another disappointing final round scuppered his chances of victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Sunday. The four-times major champion, playing for the first time on Maui, seemed ideally placed to put the heat on overnight leader Gary Woodland but once again failed to deliver in the final pairing, a one-under 72 the worst score of the top 10 finishers at Kapalua. Xander Schauffele, who flew under the radar until an eagle at the ninth, slipped through for victory and his course record-equalling 62 was 10 strokes better than McIlroy’s round.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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