Tue, Dec 30, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Sport Briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

■SOCCER

Gerrard arrested at 2:30am

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was arrested early yesterday in connection with an alleged assault at a nightspot that led to a man being hospitalized with facial injuries. The England midfielder was detained by police at 2:30am in Southport, England, along with five other men and remains in police custody for questioning, a person close to the investigation said. A 34-year-old man was taken to hospital with facial injuries that are not believed to be life threatening, police said. The incident near Liverpool came hours after Gerrard had scored twice and made another goal in the club’s 5-1 victory at Newcastle in northeast England. “Merseyside Police is investigating an assault that took place in the early hours of Monday ... on Bold Street in Southport,” police said in a statement, without naming Gerrard. “Six men were arrested on suspicion of section 20 assault on Lord Street.”

■CRICKET

Proteas near rare win

South Africa were on the brink of a rare Test series victory in Australia yesterday after they bowled out the Aussies for 247 in their second innings. That leaves the Proteas requiring a score of 183 in their second innings and they got off to good start, finishing the day on 30-0. South Africa won the first Test in Perth by six wickets and will be looking to secure an historic victory when play resumes in the second Test in Melbourne today.

■FORMULA ONE

Carlos Slim denies reports

The Telmex racing team owned by Carlos Slim has denied reports the Mexican billionaire will buy Honda’s flailing Formula One outfit. The Telmex team said in a statement that Slim “has not bought, nor is negotiating to buy, the Honda Formula 1 team, and thus all reports in that sense are baseless and completely false.” The statement was posted on the team’s Web site on Sunday. The Italian daily La Stampa reported on Saturday that Slim planned to buy the Honda team after the Japanese automaker announced earlier this month it was pulling out of F1 racing because of the escalating crisis in the automobile industry.”

■BASKETBALL

Bonzi Wells wows Chinese

Former NBA bad boy Bonzi Wells scored 52 points and hauled in 14 rebounds as he continued his spectacular start in Chinese basketball’s top league, leading Shanxi Zhongyu to an overtime victory. Wells scored 13 of his team’s 18 overtime points to seal victory over Fujian SBS on Sunday night, wowing a sell-out crowd of 6,000 in his home debut in the Chinese Basketball Association and fourth game overall. Since arriving this month, Wells has averaged a league-leading 46.8 points a game and the Chinese press has hailed him as a “scoring machine.”

■TENNIS

Federer to start early

Roger Federer faces an early start to next year’s season as he begins his campaign to reclaim the world No. 1 spot from Rafael Nadal. The Swiss star was deposed from the top ranking by Nadal this year, with the Spaniard also taking his Wimbledon crown after a five-year reign. Federer will begin his new year in the unlikely surroundings of the Zayed Sports City at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex where Nadal, as well as four other top 10 players, will battle for the US$250,000 top prize. “Never before have I started a tennis year as early as the one ahead. I will be back in action on January 1st,” said Federer ahead of the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, scheduled from Saturday to Monday.

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