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Amla century, poor NZ batting gives South Africa series WELLINGTON Hashim Amla's composed century helped South Africa to within a sniff of reclaiming the one-day top ranking after they beat New Zealand by 72 runs to wrap up their three-match series with a game to spare on Friday.Amla's 119 led South Africa to an impressive, but not overly daunting, 282 for nine in the second match at Mount Maunganui before the home side failed to get going against a bowling attack that put them under constant pressure.With Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor out injured, none of New Zealand's top-order batsmen did themselves any favours in the jockeying for World Cup selection as they were dismissed for 210 in 46.3 overs.Wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi, who top-scored for the hosts with 99 in the first game, again led his side with 79 and shared in another record final wicket partnership, this time with Mitchell McClenaghan (34 not out) as they put on ...

Chelsea striker Costa released from hospital LONDON: Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been released from hospital following treatment for an illness, British media reported on Thursday. Costa, who has scored nine Premier League goals since joining from Atletico Madrid during the close season, has been dogged by niggly injuries in recent weeks and picked up a groin strain while on international duty with Spain. However, according to media reports the 26-year-old, who has missed Chelsea's past two games against Crystal Palace ...

Warner hits back after Sarfraz's whirlwind ton DUBAI: Sarfraz Ahmed's belligerent century powered Pakistan to a strong 454 in their first innings on the second day of the first test against Australia on Thursday.The 27-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman scored at breakneck pace, reaching his second test century in 80 balls to make Australia regret their decision to go into the match with two specialist spinners. Australia opening batsman David Warner gave a fitting reply with an unbeaten 75 off 77 balls to take the ...

ICC empowers umpires in unfairplay KARACHI: International Cricket Council (ICC) is empowering umpires to use their discretion in unfairplay, according to reports published in cricket's leading website carried on Thursday."Next time R Ashwin or Mohammad Hafeez or Suresh Raina pauses in his delivery stride, watch the umpire closely. The ICC has asked match officials to use their discretion to decide if the pause is unfair play under Law 42.2. This is a clarification in the latest, and unpublished, match officials ...

Korda leads Wie and Feng after China LPGA 1st round SANYA: Jessica Korda of the US fired a six-under 66 at the first round of the LPGA Blue Bay Championship in China on Thursday, edging ahead of a chasing pack including compatriot Michelle Wie.Korda got off to a flying start with birdies on her first three holes, and provided a masterclass in long-range putting which culminated in a 65-foot par putt to stay at five under on the 10th hole."It was really nice. I was ...

Olesen, Wade course records to lead Perth International PERTH: Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen and Australian John Wade both fired a course record eight-under 64 to lead the European Tour co-sanctioned $1.75 US million Perth International at Lake Karrinyup on Thursday.Wade carded six birdies and an eagle three in the morning before he was joined later in the opening round by Olesen.Olesen compiled eight birdies - four in the outward nine holes and another four coming home -- to lead a group of four golfers ...

Sharapova blow-up hits world number one hopes SINGAPORE: Maria Sharapova's hopes of ending a year as world number one for the first time in her career faded dramatically Thursday when she crashed in straight sets to Petra Kvitova at the WTA Finals.The Russian superstar needed a win to boost her chances of overtaking top-ranked Serena Williams but she blew up in spectacular fashion as Kvitova won 6-3, 6-2 in 75 minutes in Singapore.It was the second upset in quick succession at the ...


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