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Irish boost hope of Nations medal Stoner is quickest

GOLF: Ireland rose four places in the European Nations Championship in Sotogrande in Spain yesterday to give themselves an outside chance of a medal.

The Irishmen started the day in 12th spot and seemingly out of the reckoning, but returned three excellent cards on the third day to sweep into eighth place, some nine strokes outside the medal positions. After three days, and with three cards counting on each day, the Irish are on the 653 mark.

Iqbal leads revival

CRICKET: Tamim Iqbal scored a brutal half-century to provide the impetus for a much-improved Bangladesh batting effort on day one of the second Test against England.

Midway through the afternoon session the hosts were 201 for four, with Tamim in the pavilion having hit 13 fours and a six on his way to 85 in 71 balls. He eventually fell to James Tredwell.

Stoner is quickest

MOTO GP: Australian Casey Stoner set the quickest time in the final MotoGP test at the Losail circuit in Qatar yesterday.

Stoner steered his Ducati around the circuit in one minute 55.353 seconds, less than five-hundredths of a second faster than his Italian rival's best lap of the two-day session.

NBA: Indiana 106 Detroit 102; Toronto 89

Oklahoma City 115; Atlanta 93 Charlotte 92 (OT);

NY Knicks 92 Philadelphia 88; Chicago 85 Cleveland 92; Houston 87 Boston 94; San Antonio 147 Golden State 116; Phoenix 110 Utah 100; Portland 76 Washington 74; Sacramento 108

Milwaukee 114 (OT); LA Lakers 104 Minnesota 96