SPORTS DAY: Allrounder spot going begging for cup opener

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SPORTS DAY: Allrounder spot going begging for cup opener

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

Journalist


CRICKET
Faf hints at World Cup lineup
Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has given the strongest hint yet of how the side will line up at the Cricket World Cup in England in the coming days. Du Plessis and coach Ottis Gibson have not yet nailed down the specifics, but they will go for a balance of six specialist batsmen‚ one allrounder‚ three fast bowlers and a spinner when they open their account against the hosts at the Oval on May 30. The big questions that remain are: Hashim Amla or Aiden Markram up front, and Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris at No 7?
NETBALL
SA target World Cup medal
Netball SA on Wednesday named a strong team they believe can win their first World Cup medal since 1995. Bongi Msomi will captain the team at the tournament in Liverpool from July 12-21‚ where they will face Jamaica in their pool.
RUGBY
Branco set for record
After nine years in the colours of the Springbok sevens‚ sweeper Branco du Preez will become the most capped Blitzbok of all time at this weekend’s London leg of the World Sevens Series. When Du Preez takes the field against Japan in SA’s Pool A match at Twickenham on Saturday‚ he will earn his 70th World Series cap‚ surpassing the 69 he shares with Kyle Brown.
Duane to lead Bulls
Springboks eighthman Duane Vermeulen has been chosen to lead the Bulls in their Super Rugby clash against the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday. The experienced Vermeulen assumes the leadership role in the absence of regular captain Handré Pollard who has been ruled out by a calf strain injury he picked up at training last week.
 
Jantjies still feeling fresh despite workload
Elton Jantjies, whose third son was born less than two weeks ago, has yet to get an enforced week off as part of the national player management plan. But he doesn’t look like someone who is about to take his foot off the pedal. “I still feel good‚” said Jantjies, whose team takes on the Sharks in Durban on Saturday. “I’ve been working with one of the best conditioning coaches in rugby‚ Cash [Ivan van Rooyen]. He manages our workloads. I’m also looking after my own body.”
‘Sharks need to step up against SA teams’
The Sharks’ bulky inside centre Andre Esterhuizen doesn’t quite comprehend why they’ve had a dodgy record against their SA counterparts this season. “I don’t have a reason for that, but we like touring, but I also think it’s a mindset thing that we need to get right. We have to play at our best against South African teams. We always want to beat the overseas guys but it has to be a priority to beat SA teams.” 
SOCCER
Maritzburg take big step
Judas Moseamedi and Bongokuhle Hlongwane scored second-half goals as Maritzburg United took a giant step towards PSL safety with a 2-0 victory over Tshakuma Tsha Madzhivhandila in their promotion/relegation play-off clash in Thohoyandou on Wednesday. The result ends TTM’s realistic chances of promotion‚ while Maritzburg can seal their survival when they travel to Royal Eagles next Wednesday.
SWIMMING
Champion retires after missing doping tests
Lithuanian swimmer Ruta Meilutyte announced her retirement on Wednesday at the age of 22 after missing three doping tests, ending a career in which she became Olympic and world champion. Lithuania’s swimming federation said earlier this month that Meilutyte faced a suspension of up to two years for missing three drug tests, meaning she would be ruled out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
BADMINTON
Schoolgirl stuns No 1
Seventeen-year-old South Korean schoolgirl An Se-Young stunned Taiwan’s world No 1 Tai Tzu-ying at the Sudirman Cup on Wednesday to burnish her fast-growing reputation. Rising star An, who is ranked 50th in the world, roared back to defeat Tai 14-21, 21-18, 21-16 in 66 thrilling minutes in the Chinese city of Nanning.
– AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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