SPORTS DAY: All the big PSL guns start chewing their nails


SPORTS DAY: All the big PSL guns start chewing their nails

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day


Sundowns ready to reclaim PSL lead
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic admits that Saturday’s Absa Premiership draw with Cape Town City was a setback in his team’s title ambitions‚ but has promised to rally the players ahead of their decisive clash at home to Polokwane City next weekend. The 2-2 stalemate – despite Pirates leading with six minutes remaining – leaves them a point ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns in the title race. But Pitso Mosimane’s men could overtake them going into the final weekend if they beat Lamontville Golden Arrows on Tuesday. That would mean the title is no longer in Pirates’ hands‚ and they will rely on others to do them a favour.
Benni apologises to Pirates
Benni McCarthy apologised to Orlando Pirates fans for his Cape Town City side hurting their league title chances. “I have to sincerely apologise to Orlando Pirates that this was not going to be the day they become champions on my watch. “Maybe one day the Pirates faithful can forgive me. But I am just doing my job,” said McCarthy, predicting Sundowns would win the league. 
Larsen warns Chiefs
Chippa United coach Clinton Larsen has warned Kaizer Chiefs to expect a proper scrap when the two teams meet in their final Absa Premiership clash of the season at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. The Chilli Boys want to stave off relegation while Chiefs want to hang onto their top eight berth. “Chiefs have got to be very cautious in terms of players getting injured for the [Nedbank Cup] final a week later. So it will be interesting to see what type of team they put out‚” said the steely Larsen. “It’s going to be a very physical encounter. My players will definitely roll their sleeves up ... so it’s going to be interesting to see if the Chiefs players are prepared to put their feet where it hurts.”
Concussed Salah out of Barcelona clash
Liverpool will be without top scorer Mohamed Salah for Tuesday’s Champions League semifinal second leg against Barcelona after manager Jurgen Klopp revealed he was concussed in a 3-2 win at Newcastle.I nearly died, says MaradonaDiego Maradona’s hopes of winning his first coaching title were dashed on Sunday as his Dorados team lost the Mexican second-division finals, along with their shot at promotion. Rivals Atletico San Luis scored the lone goal of the second leg in extra time to clinch the title and a spot in the first division – the second time they have left Maradona empty-handed in two consecutive finals. “I nearly died ... But it’s fine. I’m sad for my boys, though,” Maradona said after the match.ATHLETICS Kipchoge to again target two-hour barrier
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge will again target the mythical two-hour marathon barrier in a special race to be held between late September and early October, likely in London. “I learnt a lot from my previous attempt and I truly believe that I can go 26 seconds faster than I did in Monza two years ago,” said Kipchoge, who went 2:00:25 in his first attempt.
Mthalane will have SA judge
SA ring official Neville Hotz will be one of the three judges when Moruti Mthalane makes the second defence of his IBF flyweight crown against mandatory challenger Masayuki Kuroda in Japan on May 13. The other two judges are New Zealander Ian Scott and local Masakazu Murase. The referee is American Mark Nelson.  Hotz was one of the judges when Hekkie Budler won the IBF and WBA junior-flyweight titles in Japan last year.
Folau father defends son’s right to cite Bible
Israel Folau’s father has defended his son’s right to express his religious beliefs but indicated the star fullback would accept the outcome of a hearing into his dismissal over homophobic comments. Folau’s future remains unclear after the code of conduct hearing into Rugby Australia’s intention to fire the 30-year-old was extended to a third day, following a stalemate over the weekend. It will resume on Tuesday.
CRICKETEngland are favourites, says Gavaskar  India batting great Sunil Gavaskar believes England are a transformed one-day international side and rates them as favourites to win their maiden crown on home soil in July. “England are the favourites. Simply because of the way they are playing cricket, the complete turnaround in their cricketing attitude and approach after their disastrous 2015 World Cup,” said Gavaskar. “England have got a very good team, they have got lots of confidence. You have seen them in all the recent matches and they have been playing outstanding cricket.”  Warner, Smith make mark on returnDavid Warner smashed an encouraging 39 with the bat and Steve Smith took a brilliant catch in the field as the pair savoured a victorious return to the Australia fold in a World Cup warm-up against a New Zealand XI on Monday. Wearing Australian colours for the first time since the ball-tampering scandal erupted in Cape Town in March, 2018, Smith and Warner were greeted warmly by a small crowd in Brisbane, where Aaron Finch’s team took a one-wicket win.
TENNISFederer happy to return to clayFormer world No 1 Roger Federer said he was glad he made the decision to return to clay courts as he prepares for the Madrid Open this week, three years after his last match on the surface. “I’m happy that the decision I took last December, when I started feeling like I definitely want to play on the clay, was the right one,” said the 37-year-old, the fourth seed behind Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Alexander Zverev.– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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