Wednesday 22 November 2017

Windies boss poor Pakistan

CRICKET: The West Indies battered Pakistan to get their World Cup campaign up and running with a 150-run victory in Christchurch.

Denesh Ramdin and Lendl Simmons laid the foundations, with knocks of 51 and 50 respectively, before Andre Russell sparkled with an unbeaten 42 off just 13 balls to guide them to 310 for six.

Pakistan's reply got off to an awful start, with Jerome Taylor (three wickets) and Jason Holder (one) leaving them on one for four after four overs - the worst start in one-day history.

A sixth-wicket stand of 80 from Sohaib Maqsood (50) and Umar Akmal (59) staved off the inevitable, but they were skittled for 160 with 11 overs remaining.

With criticism still ringing in their ears after a four-wicket defeat to Ireland in Pool B, the Windies slipped to 28 for two after 7.5 overs as Chris Gayle (four) and Dwayne Smith (23) departed cheaply.

Pakistan had an opportunity to cut the Windies off before they had a chance to build up steam, but Shahid Afridi dropped an easy catch.

With defeat inevitable, Pakistan did their best to drag it out, but Russell and Sulieman Benn mopped up the tail of Shahid Afridi (28), Wahab Riaz (three) and Sohail Khan (one) to win.

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Michael Clarke's Australia return from injury was put on hold by rain as his side's World Cup clash against Bangladesh was abandoned without a ball being bowled in Brisbane.

The sides were forced to share a point each, which is bad news for England, who are so far without a win. Clarke may feature in Australia's crunch clash with New Zealand.

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ATHLETICS: Dara Kervick booked his place at next month's European indoor championships after clocking 46.70 seconds to win his 400m heat at yesterday's GloHealth indoor championships in Athlone IT.

Elsewhere, Leevale's Alex Wright retained his 5,000m walk title, posting 19 minutes 52.36 seconds, well clear of Brendan Boyce. Kelly Proper bagged her 17th national indoor title with long jump gold after a best of 6.22m.

Meanwhile, 2013 Dublin Marathon champion Maria McCambridge posted a 9.26.77 solo run to take the 3,000m title, and Leaving Cert student Veronica Burke took the women's 3,000m walk title.

Away from the action in Athlone, European 800m bronze medallist Mark English secured the 800m qualification time for the European Indoors at the Sainsbury's Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham, running 1.47.17 for sixth place inside the standard (1.48.50). The race was won by Kenya's Jeremiah Kipkorir Mutai in 1.45.93.

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GAELIC GAMES: Free-taker Ray Lahart helped himself to 10 points as All-Ireland champions St Kieran's College eased into the Leinster Post Primary Schools senior hurling championship final against St Peter's College (Wexford).

The Kilkenny school proved way too strong for Good Counsel (Wexford) in Thomastown yesterday as they advanced to next weekend's decider.

The winners opened with the wind, and with Lahart, Richie Leahy and Tadhg O'Dwyer in good shooting form, they led by 0-14 to 0-2 at the break. The Counsel were even outscored in the second half - 1-4 to 0-3 - while playing with the elements.

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HOCKEY: Hermes and Ulster Elks will meet in the Irish Senior Cup Final after yesterday's semi-finals wins, which saw the Dublin side coasting to a comfortable 3-0 away clash with Cork Harlequins.

However, Ulster Elks had to go all the way against visitors Railway Union before shading it 6-5 in a nail-biting penalty strokes finish.

GOLF: Local favourite SSP Chawrasia will head into today's final round of the Indian Open with a two-shot lead in his pocket and a third European Tour title in sight. After going 52 holes without dropping a shot in Delhi, his bogey-free run came ended at the 17th. But a two-under-par 69 saw him finish ahead of holder Siddikur Rahman on 12-under 201.

On the US Tour, Pádraig Harrington carded a disappointing five over round of 76 at the Northern Trust Open.

Four front-nine bogeys saw the Dubliner drop down the Riviera leaderboard behind early pacesetter Retief Goosen.

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CYCLING: UCI president Brian Cookson has promised there will be no FIFA-style wrangling over the publication of a report into the investigation into past doping and allegations the governing body was complicit.

The Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) was established to investigate if the UCI was involved in wrongdoing and a cover-up. It will report its findings to the UCI by the end of the month.

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DCU Mercy secured their place in the Women's Premier League play-offs yesterday with a 75-70 win over Meteors at the Colaiste Iosagain gym.

The home side, who needed a win to stay in contention for a top four place, were heading Mercy in the third quarter when Katie Black hit a series of threes for Mark Ingle's side. And while the two teams were level 62-62 heading down the stretch, a three-pointer from Sarah Woods and two free throws from Sarah McGrath sealed it for the north Dublin outfit.

Elsewhere, Killester ensured their Premier League status as they defeated Liffey Celtics 76-55, which means UL Huskies are now relegated.

Glanmire, confirmed as champions last weekend, won away at Wildcats while Demons can claim the Men's Premier League title with a win at home to UCD Marian this afternoon.

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