Sat, Mar 03, 2018 - Page 16 News List




Gracia backs video referee

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system is a good idea if it helps English referees make fewer mistakes, Watford manager Javi Gracia has said ahead of today’s Premier League clash against West Bromwich Albion. The technology has had a mixed reception with many calling for the system to be scrapped after errors in multiple cup matches, the latest controversies coming in Tottenham Hotspur’s 6-1 FA Cup win over Rochdale on Wednesday. Match referee Paul Tierney was heavily reliant on VAR throughout the match at Wembley Stadium in London, with five of the seven goals scored in the game checked by VAR before being awarded. “England have good referees. If we review the mistakes, we have less mistakes,” Gracia said. “If they can do their job better with the help of technology, we must try to help the referees. So, for me, it’s important we help the referees.”


Del Potro maintains mastery

Argentine Juan Martin del Potro on Thursday maintained his perfect career record against Dominic Thiem with a popular 6-2, 7-6(7) victory over the Austrian in their Acapulco Open quarter-final in Mexico. The former US Open champion raced through the first set against the world No. 6, but had to battle much harder to secure the win in a tight second stanza on the outdoor blue hard court. The victory came in the tiebreak on a Thiem double fault, which was confirmed after the third seed, with nothing to lose, challenged the call. Hawkeye revealed the ball had been a few millimeters long, sending the enthusiastic pro-Del Potro crowd into wild cheering and applause. Del Potro improved his head-to-head record against Thiem to 4-0.


Kang takes four-shot lead

Danielle Kang shot an eight-under 64 to take a four-stroke lead yesterday at the halfway stage of the Women’s World Championship in Singapore. Kang, who won last year’s Women’s PGA Championship, had eight birdies to equal the course record at the Sentosa Golf Club and lead the LPGA tournament at 12-under 132 after her second straight bogey-free round. Nelly Korda, whose sister Jessica won the LPGA Tour event in Thailand last week, had a 66 to be tied for second with fellow American Alex Marina (67). Taiwan’s Candie Kung was in 34th position.


Australia reach 300 runs

An unbeaten 60 from Mitchell Marsh and a quick-fire 35 from Mitchell Starc yesterday helped Australia to reach 300 for eight at lunch on the second day of the first Test against South Africa. Marsh brought up his third Test 50 in 125 balls and is now top scorer for Australia in their first innings as he weathered the second new ball with a circumspect approach. He and Tim Paine resumed with Australia on 225-5, but once South Africa took the second new ball, it took just four deliveries for Paine to edge a full delivery from Kagiso Rabada behind to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock for 25. Starc scuppered home hopes of restricting Australia to under 300 on a slow, batting-friendly wicket, hitting some lusty blows for a rapid-fire 35 runs off 25 balls before Keshav Maharaj bowled him in the last over before lunch.

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