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Buoyant India look to continue momentum against Australia
Perth: After registering a thrilling 31-run victory in the first Test, India will look to continue the momentum when they take on Australia in the second match on a green top in Perth on Friday. The pitch will offer plenty of pace and bounce at the brand new Optus Stadium and that could, on paper, be an advantage for the hosts. But an upbeat Indian team, having a world class bowling attack at their disposal, would be relishing
 
 
India triumph in Australia would seal supremacy: Butcher
A Test series victory over Australia would remove any doubt about India’s status as the best side in the world but it is unlikely to be a cakewalk, according to former England opener Mark Butcher. Virat Kohli’s side have not lost a home series since late 2012 but have struggled outside the sub-continent, beaten 2-1 in South Africa and 4-1 in England this year alone. “India are already the number one side in the world and the one
   
Sarfraz calls on squad to play ‘without fear’ in SA
Karachi: Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed on Thursday urged his fellow team-mates to play “without fear” during their tour of South Africa — a country where they have won only two Tests during their past five tours. The Pakistani side is en route to South Africa to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals, with the first Test starting in Centurion on Dec. 26. Pakistan head into the series after
 
 
FA chief Glenn to step down at the end of season
London: Martin Glenn has resigned as chief executive of the Football Association (FA) and will leave his role at the end of the season, the governing body announced on Thursday. The FA said Glenn, who was appointed in 2015, “had delivered much of what he came to do”. “When I accepted the role of CEO at The FA, I was tasked with improving the effectiveness of the organisation and making it financially secure,” said Glenn.
   
Sane double takes City to top of group
Manchester: Manchester City survived a sloppy start to secure top spot in Champions League Group F by coming from behind to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 thanks to Leroy Sane’s double on Wednesday. Andrej Kramaric’s penalty put the Germans deservedly in front on 16 minutes as another much-changed City side struggled to get up to speed. However, Pep Guardiola’s men found their feet as the first half wore on and were level just before the
 
 
Ronaldo favours Valladolid’s league games abroad
Madrid: Ronaldo, the former Brazil striker and current majority shareholder of Real Valladolid, has said he would be in favour of the club playing La Liga games outside of Spain. Ronaldo bought a 51-percent stake in Valladolid in September, with the stated aim of establishing the team in the top flight after they were promoted last season. Staging fixtures abroad has become a controversial issue in Spanish football. La Liga were
   
Pochettino comfortable with speculation over future
London: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Thursday he will never get bored of stories linking him to other clubs because it means he is doing something right. Fresh speculation about Pochettino’s future has emerged this week following the club’s qualification to the knockout stage of the Champions League, with reports suggesting the club are braced for interest from Manchester United and Real Madrid. “This type of new
 
 
Australia’s A-League ropes in two new clubs
Sydney: Australia’s football chiefs on Thursday announced two new clubs -- one from Sydney and one in Melbourne -- will be joining the A-League in a bid to create new rivalries and opportunities for players. A proposed expansion to 12 teams has been in the works for a year and Football Federation Australia chairman Chris Nikou announced the successful bidders from a shortlist of six were consortiums from Western Melbourne and
   
Mueller apologises for horror kick on Ajax player
Amsterdam: Thomas Mueller has apologised for his kung fu-style kick to the head of Ajax defender Nicholas Tagliafico which saw the Germany star being sent off in Wednesday’s six-goal thriller in Amsterdam. “No, no - of course I didn’t mean to do it,” the 29-year-old told reporters over the first straight red card of his career in 462 appearances for Bayern in the thrilling 3-3 draw. Mueller said he went to the hosts’ changing
 
 
‘Morocco will not host 2019 Africa Cup of Nations’
Rabat: Morocco will not be a candidate to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after Cameroon was stripped of the tournament, the country’s sports minister Rachid Talbi Alami said on Wednesday, while Egypt expressed an interest in hosting the finals. “Morocco does not intend to run for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and will not do so,” he told AFP. Morocco and South Africa had been seen as the frontline contenders to host the
   
Loftus-Cheek backs Sterling’s stance on racism
London: Chelsea and England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek praised his international team-mate Raheem Sterling for being strong-willed enough to speak out publicly against the racist abuse he has received. Television cameras caught a Chelsea fan allegedly aiming racist abuse at Sterling during the Blues’ 2-0 win over City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Chelsea and the British police are investigating the incident. The club have
 
 
Intermediaries got 2.14bn euros in 2013-18 transfers
Paris: Intermediaries acting for clubs in players’ transfers have been paid $2.14 billion (1.88 billion euros) since 2013, FIFA said in a report published on Thursday. The report revealed that over half of the total amount paid by clubs to intermediaries over the last six years came from just six percent of transfers involving middle men acting for clubs. Commission paid by the clubs buying the player tended to be higher than the
   
Sindhu stuns top-ranked Tai in thriller
Guangzhou: India’s PV Sindhu pulled off a shock at the badminton World Tour Finals on Thursday as she fought back to defeat top-ranked Tai Tzu-ying for the first time in over two years. Sindhu sank to her knees at the end of an exhausting 14-21, 21-16, 21-18 victory over the Taiwanese in 62 enthralling minutes in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. The 23-year-old, a silver medallist at the Rio Olympics in 2016, faces Zhang
 
 
Lowry, Ibaka power Raptors in lopsided win over Warriors
Los Angeles: Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka combined for 43 points as the Toronto Raptors beat the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors at home for the first time in 14 years with a 113-93 victory on Wednesday. Lowry finished with 23 points and 12 assists and Ibaka tallied 20 points and 12 rebounds as Toronto won despite not having Kawhi Leonard in the lineup. “It is good for us to get out there and everyone is touching
   
Belgium set up semis showdown with England after Germany win; Netherlands pip India
Bhubaneswar: The line-up for the semi-finals of the Hockey World Cup 2018 has been revealed following quarter-final victories for Belgium and Netherlands on Thursday. Belgium’s Red Lions claimed a hard-earned 2-1 triumph over Germany to secure a first World Cup semi-final appearance in their history. Their opponents in Saturday’s final four meeting will be England, who defeated Olympic champions Argentina on Wednesday. The
 
 
Blackhawks top Pens to end skid; Flames douse Flyers
Chicago: Marcus Kruger scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period on Wednesday, and the Chicago Blackhawks broke an eight-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins. At 3:49 of the third, Kruger was at the lip of the crease when he converted a centering pass from the corner by Andreas Martinsen to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 lead. Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad added empty-net goals in the last 62
   
Rose chases leaders at storm-hit Indonesian Masters
Jakarta: Justin Rose was hot on the heels of the leaders at the Indonesian Masters on Thursday despite having his opening round curtailed by a severe thunderstorm that forced play to be abandoned. Former US Open champion Rose, who needs a top-15 finish in Jakarta to reclaim the number one spot in the world golf rankings, fired four birdies and an eagle before his round was cut short after 14 holes. At five-under-par he was just
 
 
Le Clos pips Dressel to win gold at worlds
Shanghai: Chad le Clos raised both hands to the heavens after seeing off the new American golden boy Caeleb Dressel to win the 100m butterfly at the short course World Swimming Championships on Thursday. In one of the most eagerly anticipated match-ups so far in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, the South African star romped to victory in 48.50sec. That was 0.21sec ahead of rival Dressel, who at age 22 has drawn comparisons with US
   
WI hope to end series drought vs Tigers
Sylhet: West Indies captain Rovman Powell said Thursday his men were “upbeat and confident” of clinching the deciding one-day international against Bangladesh and sealing their first series win in four years. The touring side won Tuesday’s match in Dhaka by four wickets after losing the opener, levelling the three-match contest 1-1 and setting the stage for a series decider in Sylhet on Friday. The Caribbean side last won an ODI
 
 
Nibali aiming for 2019 Giro-Tour double
Rome: Four-time Grand Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali announced on Wednesday that he will ride in both the 2019 Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, according to Italian media reports. The 34-year-old has never won two Grand Tours in a single season, and said that his home race would be his main target next year. “Next year, I will do the Giro and the Tour. The Giro d’Italia is my main aim,” he said at a presentation of his team, Bahrai
   
SL gets Lewis in coaching revamp for World Cup
Colombo: Jonathan Lewis was Thursday named Sri Lanka’s new batting coach, with the former England player to be tasked with preparing the national team for next year’s World Cup. His appointment by Sri Lanka Cricket comes just days after Australia’s Steve Rixon was brought on as fielding coach. Lewis, 43, was head coach of the Durham County Cricket Club before accepting the post. He played 13 ODIs for England and one Test, the
 
 
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