Latest – South Africa became the second team to reach the Women’s World Cup semi-finals after their group match against West Indies was abandoned due to rain, while England are still in the hunt after thrashing Pakistan by nine wickets.
South Africa were 61 for 4 after 10.5 overs at Basin Reserve in Wellington before the match was called off, with both teams receiving a point.
South Africa have nine points and will finish second in the round robin stage behind unbeaten Australia, who lead with 12 points. Both teams have one group match left.
West Indies are third on seven points, having played all seven of their matches, and will advance if South Africa beat India on Sunday. India are fifth on six points.
Defending champions England kept their hopes alive by defeating Pakistan at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
All-rounder Katherine Brunt and spinner Sophie Ecclestone took three wickets apiece as Pakistan were bundled out for 105. Danni Wyatt led England’s chase as her 76 not out helped wrap up the win in 19.2 overs.
England are fourth on six points, above India due to a better net run rate. They face Bangladesh in their final group match on Sunday.
New Zealand have four points and play Pakistan in Christchurch tomorrow.
Breakers go down in OT again
The Breakers have lost another NBL game in overtime, going down 101-100 to the Brisbane Bullets in Cairns.
The game appeared to be going the Breakers way before Brisbane hit three three-pointers in the final 16 seconds to score a dramatic come from behind win.
The Breakers lost to Perth in overtime last week.
Yanni Wetzell finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds for New Zealand with Chasson Randle adding 12 points and four assists, Peyton Siva 11 points and eight assists, and Ousmane Dieng 11 points and five rebounds.
It was an understandably shatters Breakers coach Dan Shamir afterwards.
“That’s really a tough one. We’ve been playing better the last few games since we’ve had Tom back and Yanni back and Will back, and still not 100 per cent obviously but we kind of had a lot of good things going,” Shamir said.
“Basketball is a game of decisions and we made two bad ones at the end and made a few other mistakes throughout the game, but obviously had the game in our hands. We just made two big mistakes to close it and there it goes.”
The 5 and 16 Breakers remain in Cairns to take on the Taipans
Pakistan start their chase well
Pakistan openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique made a solid start to set up a thrilling final day in the deciding third test in Lahore, keeping the hosts in the hunt for a series-clinching win against Australia.
Australia captain Pat Cummins made a sporting declaration in the final session of the fourth day at the Gaddafi Stadium, calling his side’s second innings closed on 227-3 and setting Pakistan a target of 351 to chase.
On a wicket offering turn for the spinners and some deliveries keeping low after pitching, Imam and Shafique denied Australia any success to take Pakistan to 73 without loss at stumps with the hosts needing 278 more for victory.
Imam was unbeaten on 42 with Shafique 27 not out.
Steve Smith, who has had a tough time in the series with his catching, dropped an edge from Shafique off part-time leg-spinner Marnus Labuschagne in the final over of the day’s play.
The first two tests — the first between the sides in Pakistan since 1998 — were drawn.
Australia opener Usman Khawaja earlier continued his run-scoring spree against Pakistan, remaining unbeaten on 104 after completing his second hundred of the series.
Japan beat Australia to qualify for World Cup
Japan booked their place at this year’s Word Cup in Qatar with a dramatic 2-0 victory against Australia that also confirmed Saudi Arabia’s qualification for the tournament.
Two late goals from substitute Kaoru Mitoma in Sydney sealed Japan’s place in Qatar with a game to spare… it will be their seventh successive appearance at the finals.
Victory lifted Japan top of Group B of Asian qualifying, above Saudi Arabia who are four points clear of Australia.
Australia now face a play-off campaign to reach a fifth successive World Cup.
The Socceroos next face Saudi Arabia in Jeddah in what is now a dead rubber on Tuesday, before going on to face the country that finishes third in Group A in a play-off game on 7 June.
With two group games to go, the United Arab Emirates are third in that group, three points ahead of Lebanon, while Iraq are a further point adrift.
The winner of that tie goes on to a play-off against the fifth-placed team from South America.
Korda to miss major
Nelly Korda, the reigning Women’s PGA Championship winner, will sit out the first major of the season as she continues her recovery from a blood clot in her arm
The 23-year-old Florida native, who isn’t playing this week in the JTBC Classic at Carlsbad, Calif., will also skip the major next week in Rancho Mirage, Calif., the Chevron Championship.
Korda revealed March 13 on social media that her arm began swelling following a “typical morning workout.” A doctor advised her to go to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with a blood clot.
Korda wrote at the time, “I am currently at home getting treatment to eliminate further risks.”
Her return date is unknown.
Korda had registered four top-10 finishes in major tournaments before breaking through to win the Women’s PGA last summer at Atlanta Athletic Club. She went on to win the Pelican Women’s Championship at Belleair, Fla., last November for the most recent of her seven career LPGA titles.
British government wants cricket to do more to fight racism
The British government has supported a parliamentary committee’s recommendation to limit public funding for cricket unless the sport can demonstrate continuous progress in getting rid of racism.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport parliamentary committee issued its report in January, saying cricket must clean up its act or face cuts in funding.
Former Yorkshire spinner Azeem Rafiq, who is of Pakistani descent, appeared before the committee in November to detail the “inhuman” treatment he suffered at county level and said the sport in England was institutionally racist.
The committee had also called for quarterly reports and monitoring by indicators developed by the ECB, which the government has now endorsed.
“The Government will continue to call in the ECB quarterly and track their progress in tackling racism and increasing diversity, and will hold them to account for delivery against the joint 12-point action plan published in November 2021,” it added.
Vettel may miss another race
Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel has yet to return a negative test for COVID-19 that will allow him to travel for this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Formula One Grand Prix.
The four-times world champion missed the season opener in Bahrain last weekend after testing positive, with reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg replacing him.
Aston Martin said Hulkenberg would be on standby for the race in Jeddah.
“Sebastian Vettel has not yet returned the required negative COVID test to fly to the #SaudiArabiaGP,” Aston Martin said on Twitter.
“Nico Hulkenberg will be in Jeddah to deputise for Seb if necessary. We will delay our final decision until Friday to provide Seb every opportunity to race.”
Hulkenberg finished 17th in Bahrain, while Lance Stroll was 12th.