Aussies wrap up series win
Australia beat the West Indies by 35 runs in the third Test at Perth yesterday to wrap up a 2-0 series win. West Indies’ hopes rested on last-wicket pair Kemar Roach and Gavin Tonge, who needed to score 51 runs for victory, but Australia needed just three-and-a-half overs before Roach was caught behind off the bowling of Doug Bollinger. It was the West Indies’ fifth successive Test series defeat against Australia.
Reds extend Rolen contract
The Cincinnati Reds have restructured third baseman Scott Rolen’s contract and extended it by another two seasons, the team said on Saturday. Rolen was originally signed up until next year, earning US$11 million for that season, but has agreed to play through to the end of 2012 for an extra US$13 million. Under the terms of the new deal, the 34-year-old would earn US$6 million next year plus US$6.5 million for each of the next two seasons as well as a US$5 million signing bonus deferred over the length of the contract.
Martin retains lead
Spaniard Pablo Martin stayed on track for back-to-back European Tour victories despite scrambling to a level-par 72 in the third round of the South African Open on Saturday. Winner of the Alfred Dunhill Championship last weekend, Martin leads Italian Edoardo Molinari by one stroke entering the final round at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Pearl Valley Golf Estate course near Cape Town. Martin stands on 205 while Molinari fired a second consecutive 69 in the second of four tournaments during December and January co-sanctioned by the South African Sunshine Tour. Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed (68), Dane Anders Hansen (72) and South African James Kingston (69) were on 207.
Ishikawa ‘lets it rip’
Record-breaking Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa fired a warning he may be about to add power to his game by smashing a drive 367 yards in an exhibition tournament. “I just let it rip,” Ishikawa told yesterday’s Sankei Sports newspaper following the event in Okinawa. “My target was 350 yards. I took a bigger swing than I usually do in tournaments and gave it the biggest whack I have all year. I’m well happy with that.” The 18-year-old averaged just over 290 yards during this year’s Japanese season when he won four tournaments and became the country’s youngest order of merit winner, but the multi-millionaire schoolboy still sees distance off the tee as a slight weakness to his game. To help improve his distance, he had a special driver designed for him that cost Japanese sports maker Yonex more than US$1 million to develop.
Oldie attempts comeback
Former Japan striker Masashi Nakayama, the J-League’s record goal scorer, is struggling to find a new club at the ripe old age of 42. Nakayama, famous for scoring Japan’s first World Cup finals goal in 1998, has been turned down by semi-professional Nagasaki, the Japan Football League club said yesterday. The forward’s search for new employers has been met with a frosty reception, with front offices unwilling to take a risk during tough economic times for Japanese clubs. Surplus to requirements at J-League first division side Jubilo Iwata, where he has played since making his pro debut in 1990, Nakayama’s options are running out. Japanese second division sides Sapporo and Kumamoto are the clubs his agents are targeting, local media reported.