Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s European action

Pool 1: Wasps answer their ‘fairweather’ critics Wasps must be kicking themselves for their late capitulation at Harlequins the previous weekend for there can be little doubt it was at the Stoop where their hopes of reaching the knockout stages disappeared. To their credit they produced perhaps their best performance of their campaign to eliminate Ulster, securing an emphatic bonus point win only to come up just short as they and Exeter finished as the two runners-up who failed to qualify. In doing so they may have also answered a few critics…

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Angelique Kerber overcomes Hsieh Su-wei artistry to reach Australian Open quarters

Wim Fissette spoke from grim experience when he declared “you never play names or rankings” after the 2016 champion, Angelique Kerber, flirted with defeat before beating the world No 88, Hsieh Su-wei, on day eight of the Australian Open. Fissette remembers Hsieh only too well; he was in Jo Konta’s box at Roland Garros last summer when the doubles specialist ranked 100 in the world put Britain’s best out in the first round.

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Novak Djokovic crashes out to Hyeon Chung at Australian Open

Novak Djokovic came to Melbourne, the scene of six of his greatest triumphs, with the guarded intention of re-entering Roger Federer’s universe, of maybe even emulating his rival’s heroics of a year ago by returning to the Tour after missing half a year and winning another slam without the luxury of a serious warmup match. Those were the outer limits of his ambitions. Unspoken was the fear that it would end painfully, and it did so on the eighth evening of the tournament. There would be no room in this town…

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Dream comes true as Chung dumps Djokovic from Open

MELBOURNE: South Korean star Chung Hyeon´s dream came true Monday as he dumped six-time champion and his idol Novak Djokovic out of the Australian Open in a sensational fourth round upset. The 21-year-old beat the battle-weary Serb, who was clearly in pain as he stretched for balls, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) in 3hr 21 min in a night match on Rod Laver Arena. Chung, the first South Korean man to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open, will face American bolter Tennys Sandgren in the quarter-finals on…

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Pakistan all out for 262 in second Test

Dubai: Pakistan were bowled out for 262 in their first innings on the third day of the second day-night Test in Dubai on Sunday, a deficit of 220 runs to Sri Lanka´s 482. Azhar Ali (59) and Haris Sohail (56) were the leading scorers as Pakistan fell 21 runs short of the follow-on mark, although Sri Lanka decided not to enforce it. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and off-spinner Dilruwan Perera both claimed three wickets for Sri Lanka, who lead the two-match series 1-0.

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South Africa close in on big victory over Bangladesh

BLOEMFONTEIN: South African paceman Kagiso Rabada continued to make inroads into the Bangladesh batting order with two wickets before lunch on the third day as the visitors battled to stave off defeat in the second test. Bangladesh were 92 for four at lunch at the Mangaung Oval in their follow-on, still trailing South Africa by 334 runs, with captain Mushfiqur Rahim out the last ball before the interval for 26 as he was trapped leg before wicket by Wayne Parnell. Rabada had snagged Soumya Sarkar and Mominul Haque in the…

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PSL 2017: Karachi Kings qualify for playoffs, Qalandars eliminated

DUBAI: Karachi Kings defeated Islamabad United by six wickets in rain-reduced Twenty20 match and qualified for playoffs of the Pakistan Super League 2017. Although, Islamabad United had already qualified for the playoffs but their encounter with Karachi Kings on Sunday was important for Lahore Qalandars too. With the defeat of Islamabad United, Lahore Qalandars are now eliminated from the tournament. Earlier, Islamabad United set a target of 124 runs for Karachi Kings after the match was reduced to 15 overs a side due to rain here at the Dubai International…

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Indian minister demands inquiry into team’s defeat against Pakistan

Indian Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale has sought an inquiry into India’s defeat against Pakistan in ICC Champions Trophy final last month. “India had defeated Pakistan in the earlier match. How can such a strong team lose to its arch-rivals Pakistan in the final by 180 runs?”  Athawale was quoted by Indian media as saying on Friday. Indian team which had earlier defeated Pakistan by 124 run in their opening match was thrashed in the final of the Champions Trophy. . Pakistan crushed defending champions India by…

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Sarfraz, Amir take Pakistan into Champions Trophy semi finals

CARDIFF: Captain Sarfraz Ahmed, following a top-order collapse, led his side from the front to see Pakistan into the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy with a three-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the last group match here at the Sophia Gardens on Monday. Chasing a seemingly modest 237 to win, collapsed to 162 for seven. But an unbroken stand of 75 between Sarfraz, dropped twice on his way to 61 not out, and Mohammad Amir (28 not out) saw Pakistan complete a thrilling win. Pakistan completed their three-wicket victory…

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Pakistan restrict Proteas to 220-8 despite Miller’s 75

BIRMINGHAM: Pakistani bowlers performed well to restrict South Africa to 220 runs for eight wickets in Group B day/night One-day International of the ICC Champions Trophy here at Edgbaston on Wednesday. Right-arm pacer Hasan Ali was the most successful bowler for Pakistan, who captured three wickets for 24 while left-arm spinner Imad Wasim and left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan grabbed two wickets each for 20 and 53, respectively. The main architect of South Africa’s innings was David Miller who scored an unbeaten 75 with one four and three sixes. The…

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