Sat, Jan 18, 2020 - Page 16 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

CRICKET

England take command

Ben Stokes rushed to his century and Ollie Pope moved within sight of a maiden test ton as England reached 335 for four wickets at lunch on day two of the third test against South Africa on Friday.With South Africa digesting the news that top bowler Kagiso Rabada had been hit with a one-match ban that would rule him out of the fourth and final test, England turned the screw at St George’s Park.Stokes was 108 not out and Pope unbeaten on 75 as England significantly picked up the run rate, adding 111 runs to their overnight score.

LA LIGA

Barca still mum: Nishikawa

Japan youth international Jun Nishikawa yesterday said that he had heard through friends that Barcelona were eager to sign him, but denied that there had been any contact from the Spanish side. The 17-year-old attacking midfielder, who has represented Japan at the under-17 and under-20 World Cup, told local media that his main focus is on nailing down a place at J League club Cerezo Osaka. “I read the news on my phone yesterday morning and my friends told me about it, but I didn’t think anything special,” said Nishikawa, who would be eligible for a possible summer transfer.

FORMULA ONE

Hamilton to be ‘a machine’

Lewis Hamilton has warned rivals that he plans to be better than ever as he chases a record-equaling seventh Formula One championship this season. The 35-year-old Mercedes driver — who has 84 career wins, just seven short of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 — posted a picture on Instagram of himself at home, hugging a wooden pillar and smiling. “I am at peace when I’m here, can focus and build my mind and body so that I can come back year on year. I’m going to be a machine this year, on another level than ever before,” he wrote. The opening race is in Australia on March 15.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Polluted air no snag: chief

The Australian Open is to start and finish on time, even if matches have to be moved from exposed outside courts to under the cover of the three main stadiums to escape the effects of bushfire-polluted air, tournament director Craig Tiley said on Thursday. Responding to concerns raised by players who have experienced respiratory problems this week, Tiley said: “The Australian Open is happening.” One player collapsed on the first day of qualifying and others, including Britain’s Liam Broady, have complained that their health is being compromised. “The more I think about the conditions we played in a few days ago, the more it boils my blood,” Broady wrote on social media.

BASEBALL

Sign-stealing scandal grows

Carlos Beltran, the only player implicated in Major League Baseball’s investigation into a sign-stealing scandal, on Thursday stepped down as manager of the New York Mets after being hired in November last year. Beltran said that on Thursday, he met with Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and general manager Brodie van Wagenen about his status. “We mutually agreed to part ways,” Beltran said in a statement released by the Mets. “I’m grateful to them for giving me the opportunity, but we agreed this decision is in the best interest of the team.”

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