Teenager breaks record
Teenage leg-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman on Friday became the youngest bowler to claim five wickets in a one-day international when he inspired Afghanistan to a 10-wicket rout of Zimbabwe in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. The 16-year-old finished with 5-50 as Zimbabwe were bowled out for just 134 in 34 overs. Afghanistan then cruised to victory in the 22nd over without losing a wicket with openers Mohammad Shahzad on 75 not out and Ihsanullah unbeaten on 51. Mujeeb’s performance allowed him to surpass Pakistan’s Waqar Younis as the youngest bowler to claim a five-wicket haul in a one-day international. Waqar was 18 years, 164 days when he achieved the feat. Craig Ervine was the only Zimbabwe batsman to show any fight, finishing on an undefeated 54. Shahzad clobbered 10 fours and three sixes in his 75 off 74 balls as Afghanistan claimed the series 3-1 with one match to play.
Pellegri debuts in victory
Defending champions AS Monaco on Friday eased to a 4-0 home win over Dijon RCO in Ligue 1 as 16-year-old Pietro Pellegri carved out a little piece of history for himself. Monaco were 1-0 up at the interval thanks to a Keita Balde goal after 13 minutes, before Fabinho, with a 69th-minute penalty, Rony Lopes in the 87th minute and a stoppage-time strike from Poland international Kamil Glik sealed their 17th win of the season. The win took second-placed Monaco to nine points behind Paris Saint-Germain. Despite the victory, it was not all plain sailing for Monaco after they lost striker Stevan Jovetic to a muscle injury in the warm-up which placed more pressure on Balde, who was returning from suspension. Meanwhile, Pellegri, at 16 years, 10 months, 30 days, became the youngest player to appear for Monaco when he came on as an 88th-minute substitute. Pellegri replaced Balde and beat the previous record held by Kylian Mbappe, who was 16 years, 11 months, 13 days old when he made his debut for the club in December 2015. The young Italian arrived at Monaco from Genoa during the transfer window where he had also been the youngest player to feature in Serie A and the first born in the 21st century.
Maritzburg win fiery derby
One player was sent off, 12 were cautioned and 46 fouls were committed on Friday during a fiery South African Premiership derby won 2-0 by Maritzburg United against AmaZulu. There could have been more red cards as Togo centerback Sadat Ouro-Akoriko of AmaZulu escaped with a yellow after pushing his hand into the face of an opponent. The red card that was shown went to another AmaZulu player, Butholezwe Ncube, midway through the second half after a second booking. Both United goals came from close range off low crosses, with Bandile Shandu breaking the deadlock on 40 minutes and Siphesihle Ndlovu sealing a home win one minute into stoppage-time. Before the kickoff at Harry Gwala Stadium, 80km and two places separated the clubs from Kwazulu-Natal cities Pietermaritzburg and Durban. By fulltime, Maritzburg rose two places to fourth, seven points behind the Mamelodi Sundowns having played one game more. AmaZulu, who gained promotion to the top flight this season, slipped one spot to ninth. Although AmaZulu lie in mid-table, their survival is far from certain as they are only five points above the relegation zone.
Fickle winds produced farcical scenes yesterday on day two of the America’s Cup challenger series in Auckland, as the so-called “flying” yachts spent almost as much time in the water as above it. “I’m not sure today is a really accurate read because it’s so puffy, it’s shifty,” British sailing legend Ben Ainslie said after his Ineos Team UK maintained their perfect start to the Prada Cup series with a third straight win. The series would determine which of the 23m yachts — which fly above the water balanced on hi-tech foil arms — would challenge defending champion Team New Zealand for
Transgender athletes are to have an ally in the White House next week, as they seek to participate as their identified gender in high school and college sports — although state legislatures, the US Congress and the courts are all expected to have their say this year, too. Attorneys on both sides say they expect US president-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Education to switch sides in two key legal battles — one in Connecticut, the other in Idaho — that could go a long way in determining whether transgender athletes are treated by the sex on their birth certificates or by
DOUBLES VICTORY: The men’s doubles pairing of Taiwanese Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin downed Malaysians Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, and face South Koreans today Men’s badminton world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen yesterday marched into the semi-finals of the Thailand Open, defeating younger opponent Lee Zii-jia 21-17, 21-15 after a rally, while Tai Tzu-ying had no trouble getting past her Canadian opponent in the women’s singles. The top male Taiwanese credited calm and focus in securing his win after briefly falling behind against his 22-year-old Malaysian opponent. “I think I had more patience against him and I won most of the long rallies,” the 31-year-old Chou said of Lee. “He wanted to attack [too much] and maybe he lost some focus,” Chou said. In today’s semi-finals, second-seeded Chou faces
DOUBLE VISION: The men’s duo of Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin downed the South Korean pairing of Choi Sol-gyu and Seo Seung-jae to secure their place in the final Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying yesterday easily defeated Mia Blichfeldt in her women’s singles match to advance to the finals of the Yonex Thailand Open in Bangkok, while Chou Tien-chen crashed out of the tournament. Tai quickly ousted world No. 18 Blicheldt, of Denmark, in 34 minutes, winning 21-8, 23-21. The world No. 1 today must overcome Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain, who took down An Se-young of South Korea yesterday 21-18, 21-16. In men’s singles, Taiwan’s Chou fell to Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long after a tough 66 minutes of play. While Chou, the world No. 2, bested Ng in the first set,