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Contador closes in on third Tour Bangladesh square up the series at Stormont

CYCLING: Defending champion Alberto Contador closed in on the Yellow Jersey, and his third Tour de France, netting second in yesterday's 12th stage behind fellow Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) before the eagerly-awaited four-day climbing-fest in the Pyrennes which starts tomorrow.

The Astana rider was the only one to answer Rodriguez's attack on the final climb of the Col de Mende, and the duo overhauled the remnants of an early break.

Race leader Andy Schleck finished fifth, losing 10 seconds, and now only leads Contador by 31 seconds in the general classification. He will be disappointed as he needs to gain time over Contador, not lose it.

Ireland's Nicolas Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale) had a strong showing on a stage finish that was likely to be tough for him. He was 31 seconds back and drops one place to 14th overall.

Bolt has the beating of Powell again in Paris

athletics: World-record holder Usain Bolt overcame a slow start to power past Jamaican compatriot Asafa Powell and win their first 100 metres showdown of the season in 9.84 seconds at the Paris Diamond League meeting.

Bolt, whose season has been interrupted by an Achilles tendon strain, pulled away over the latter part of the race from Powell, who finished second in 9.91 seconds. Bolt's time was the third fastest in the world this year. Yohan Blake completed the top three with a p.b. time of 9.95.

"I'm happy with my time. I'm feeling very good," said Bolt.

Bangladesh square up the series at Stormont

CRICKET: A relatively restrained knock of 74 from Tamim Iqbal saw Bangladesh to a six-wicket win over hosts Ireland to square their short one-day international series 1-1 at Stormont.

Having lost to the Irish on Thursday, the pressure was on Mashrafe Mortaza's side and they responded with a clinical display. Shafiul Islam, restored to the XI in place of the expensive Syed Rasel, did the brunt of the damage with figures of four for 59 as Ireland made 189 for nine in the 46 overs allowed after a rain delay.

Tamim, who has burned brightly but too briefly at the crease of late, this time played a more responsible hand, hanging around for 91 balls to take the tourists within 17 runs of victory.

MLB: Chicago Cubs 4 Philadelphia 3, Baltimore 2 Toronto 4, NY Yankees 5 Tampa Bay 4, Cleveland 8 Detroit 2, Pittsburgh 2Houston 5, Boston 4 Texas 8, Florida 0 Washington 4, Cincinnati 3 Colorado 2, Atlanta 3 Milwaukee 9, Kansas City 1 Oakland 5, Minnesota 7 Chicago White Sox 4, St Louis 8 LA Dodgers 4, San Diego 12 Arizona 1, LA Angels 3 Seattle 2, San Francisco 1 NY Mets 0.