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SPORTS

WEDNESDAY 17 JANUARY 2018,

SAUDI GAZETTE

16

SNIPPETS

Kohli fined for complaining

to umpire, throwing ball

CENTURION —

India captain Virat Kohli

was fined for complaining to an umpire

and throwing the ball into the ground “in an

aggressive manner” during a dispute over the

playing conditions in the second cricket Test

in South Africa Monday. The International

Cricket Council said in a statement Tuesday

that Kohli argued with umpire Michael Gough

after play resumed following a rain delay on

Day 3 at SuperSport Park in Centurion. India

was fielding and Kohli was unhappy that play

resumed so soon after the rain, leaving India’s

players struggling on a damp outfield and with a

wet ball. “Kohli continued to complain to umpire

Michael Gough about the ball being affected

by a damp outfield following a rain delay,

before throwing the ball into the ground in an

aggressive manner,” the ICC said. Kohli was

given one demerit point and fined 25 percent of

his match fee. He accepted the punishment and

there was no need for a formal hearing.

— AP

Karthik to replace injured

Saha for 3rd South Africa Test

NEW DELHI —

India Tuesday called up Dinesh

Karthik to fly to South Africa to replace injured

wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha for the third and

final Test against the Proteas. Saha, the first

choice Test wicketkeeper since Mahendra Singh

Dhoni retired in 2014, missed the second Test

due a hamstring injury. Karthik, 32, last played

for his country in 2010. He will join the team

ahead of the final Test starting in Johannesburg

on Jan. 24, the Board of Control for Cricket in

India (BCCI) said. Karthik has played 23 Tests

with 51 catches and five stumpings to his name.

The BCCI said Saha, who claimed 10 catches in

the first Test in Cape Town, “suffered an upper

left hamstring tendon injury” during training last

Thursday. He was replaced by Parthiv Patel for

the second game against South Africa.

— AFP

Pele backs Brazil to win

sixth World Cup in Russia

RIO DE JANEIRO —

Footballing legend

Pele said Monday that Brazil is favorite to

win the World Cup in Russia, four years on

from its humiliation on home soil. Five-time

winner Brazil was thrashed 7-1 in the 2014

semifinals by eventual champion Germany at

the Maracana, but Pele, considered one of

the best players of all time, insisted that new

coach Tite has formed a team ready to put his

country’s painful memories to rest. The Selecao

romped to qualification as winners of the South

American group, with Tite building an exciting

side featuring the world’s most expensive player

Neymar and new Barcelona signing Philippe

Coutinho. Pele also claimed that modern

football produces fewer great players than in

his era, despite the presence of Lionel Messi,

Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. “Today, there

are only three players who really stand out;

Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar,” he said.

“Before, at the time of Cruyff or Beckenbauer,

there were three in each team.”

— AP

Greipel opens 2018 in style

at Tour Down Under

ADELAIDE —

Germany’s Andre Greipel opened

his 2018 season in style when he claimed the

first stage of the Tour Down Under in the South

Australian town of Lyndoch Tuesday. Greipel

timed his final sprint to perfection to overpower

young Australian Caleb Ewan in the last 50

metres and claim a record 17th stage win in the

first UCI race of the year. World champion Peter

Sagan from Slovakia (BORA-Hansgrohe) edged

Italian Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) to take

third, with another Italian, Simone Consonni

(UAE Team Emirates), in fifth place. Favorites

for the general classification Richie Porte and

Jay McCarthy finished safely in the peloton in

a stage that was designed to produce a sprint

finish in the wine-growing Barossa Valley town.

Greipel said the sprint had worked out perfectly

for him. “It was a pretty fast sprint but I thought

I could wait as long as possible and I did a nice

sprint I guess,” he said. Greipel will wear the

ochre leader’s jersey in Wednesday’s stage

from Unley to the Adelaide Hills town of Stirling,

with a four-second advantage over Ewan and

Clarke, who picked up six bonus seconds for

winning the two intermediate sprints.

— AFP

Stokes charged with affray

LONDON —

England cricketer Ben Stokes

has been charged with affray following an

incident in the city of Bristol last September,

the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said

Monday. Stokes, 26, and two other men are

due to appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court

at a date to be fixed. The Durham all-rounder

has not played for England since the incident

outside a club, missing out on the Ashes

tour to Australia. He did play in six domestic

matches in New Zealand in December. The

England and Wales Cricket Board has also

given Stokes permission to play in the Indian

Premier League, which starts in April. The CPS

said Avon and Somerset police had passed on

a file of evidence on Nov. 29 in relation to the

incident, which left a 27-year-old man with a

fractured eye socket, and further material was

received in late December. The other two men

charged were named as Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan

Hale, 26.

— Reuters

De Grandhomme

steers Kiwis to victory

Al-Shammeris snatch lead in Hail

Unbeaten Ohud

beats Ittihad

Cycling ‘a laughing

stock’ — Bardet

HAMILTON —

Colin de Grand-

homme returned from time out fol-

lowing the death of his father to spur

New Zealand to a five-wicket win

over Pakistan in the fourth One-Day

International Tuesday and to a 4-0

lead in the five-match series.

De Grandhomme was playing for

New Zealand for the first time since

mid-December, when he returned to

his native Zimbabwe after the sudden

and unexpected death of his father,

aged 61.

New Zealand's unbeaten record

at home this season was under threat

until De Grandhomme went to the

crease at No. 7 and hit 74 not out, in-

cluding a half century from 25 balls

with five sixes, to guide the hosts to

their target of 263 with 4.1 overs re-

maining.

Pakistan produced its best bat-

ting performance of the series so far

to reach 262-8 batting first, led by

Mohammad Hafeez with 81 and half

centuries to Haris Sohail and Sarfraz

Ahmed.

New Zealand started strongly

with an 88-run opening partnership

between Colin Munro, who made 56

from 42 balls, and Martin Guptill (31).

But teenage leg-spinner Shadab Khan

turned the match with three quick

wickets as New Zealand slumped

from 88-1 to 90-3 in the space of 24

deliveries.

New Zealand crumbled further

to 99-4 before captain Kane William-

son steadied the innings in a 55-run

fifth-wicket partnership with Henry

Nicholls.

Williamson's innings of 32 from

54 balls contained only one boundary

and he scored almost entirely in sin-

gles as he attempted to turn around

the innings. New Zealand appeared

to be regaining the upper hand when

Williamson, attempting to step up the

run rate, was lured into a loose shot

by Haris and was brilliantly caught

on the long-on boundary by Rumman

Raees.

The match was again in the bal-

ance with New Zealand at 154-5 after

35 overs. But de Grandhomme blasted

Pakistan out of the match. Shadab

saw his figures scrambled: he had

3-8 when he dismissed Guptill, Tom

Latham (8) and Ross Taylor, who was

out for 1 in his 200th ODI, and fin-

ished with 3-42 from his 10 overs.

De Grandhomme's half century

included 42 runs from boundaries

and his 74 came from only 40 balls

and included seven fours and five

sixes.

He was well supported by Nich-

olls who reached his half century

from 69 balls and hit the winning run

next ball to finish 51 not out.

"I just took what I'd been doing in

the nets and brought it out here," de

Grandhomme said.

New Zealand remains unbeaten

in 12 matches at home this summer

after winning two Tests, three ODIs

and three T20 Internationals against

the West Indies and first four one-

dayers against Pakistan.

Pakistan was trounced by 183 runs

in the third ODI but rebounded with

a more spirited performance in game

four.

Fakhar made 54 at the top of the

order; Haris made 50 in his first ODI

in almost two years; Hafeez produced

his 34th half century in ODIs and

went on to top score with 81, hitting

22 runs including three sixes in the fi-

nal over before being run out on the

last ball of the innings.

Captain Sarfaz (51) combined

with Hafeez in a 98-run partnership

for the sixth wicket which substan-

tially boosted Pakistan's total after

a poor start and after it struggled to

boost its scoring rate through the

middle of the innings.

"It was disappointing but there

were some positives," Sarfraz said.

"Fakhar batted well, Hafeez and Haris

batted well. But the problem is we're

not finishing well.

"I think when we scored 262 we

had lots of confidence but the differ-

ence was de Grandhomme who bat-

ted really well."

— AP

Al-Dossari maintains 2nd place

HAIL —

Samai Talab Al-Shammeri and naviga-

tor Abdullah Mutar Al-Shammeri guided their

Nissan Patrol to an unofficial 4min 44sec lead

after the first of three desert selective sections

at the Hail Nissan International Cross-Country

Rally Tuesday.

The local driver clocked an unofficial time

of 2hrs 20min 06sec and that was sufficient to

beat overnight T1 leader Essa Al-Dossari in his

ED Racing Nissan Navara.

The pair were part of a field that was com-

pletely dominated by Nissan drivers. Nine of

the top 10 positions were held by the Japanese

manufacturer. Ahmed Abdulah Al-Shuhail held

third and Meshal Abdulaziz Al-Saeedi and Kha-

lid Abdullah Al-Shammeri rounded off the top

five. Al-Saeedi also headed the T2 runners.

ATVs had been inside the top 10 and held the

overall advantage after the super special stage,

but the desert terrain was not ideally suited to

these lightweight, lower powered vehicles and

Talal Al-Thukair led the way in 10th overall with

his Can-Am.

Muneef Al-Salmani held 11th position and

fifth in T2 in his Nissan Patrol — the Hero of All-

Terrains. He is running the ex-Emil Khneisser

car that is supported by Nissan Saudi Arabia.

Saleh Abdullah Al-Abdulaali was not able to

start the stage in his ex-Al-Rajhi Hummer, while

a spectacular crash hospitalized the Toyota Land

Cruiser crew of Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri and

Muath Ababtain. They had been third overall at

the start of the day, but were not seriously injured.

Technical issues also plagued the current

FIA World Cup T2 champion Yasir Saeidan,

Rida Lafi Al-Shammeri and Rajeh Farhan Al-

Shammeri.

The Hail Nissan International Cross-Coun-

try Rally is being staged under the patronage of

Prince Saud Bin Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdul Aziz,

Governor of Hail, President of the Supreme

Commission for Hail Development and the

Head of the Supreme Commission of the Hail

Rally.

Officials at the Saudi Arabian Motor Federa-

tion (SAMF) have laid on a daunting selective

section of 351.01km for Wednesday. This starts

out of Radifah, 59.93km from Ha’il, at 08.40hrs

and finishes in Umm Al-Qulban.

— SG

By Umar Abdul Salam

JEDDAH —

Ohud took the top spot

in the standings by beating Ittihad

81–79 in the Saudi Basketball League

here in Jeddah.

Ohud protected its basket by

blocking shots and preventing in-

side play. Ohud’s Fredy Lee Nicholas

poured in 28 points, big man Mo-

hanned Enani Moraco 18 and Fadad

Alsalik 12.

Ittihad’s Jordan Williams made 27,

Justin Hawkins 18, while Mohammed

and Methana Hassan scored 8 each.

Ittihad couldn’t stop point guard

Nicholas from penetrating or getting

past big man Moraco to make a dif-

ference.

Hilal overpowered Wehdah 83-

51 in another match. Hilal’s big main

scorers were Abdul Rahman Al-Do-

sary (23), Dominic (16) and Fouad

Al-Mitrif (12). Wehdah’s Mohammed

Adam scored 13, while Hesam Bogai-

di and Abdul Rahman Falater made 7

each.

Fateh ran over Nasser 77-54

and Ahli won over Al-Safa 79-

67. Ahli’s Jones hit 27, Mazook 22

and Brown 10. For Al-Safa Hay-

wood top scored with 22, An-

drew contributed 17 and Ahmed

Mohammed 15.

PARIS —

Leading French rider Romain Bardet has called cy-

cling “a laughing stock” for failing to announce any sanctions

against Chris Froome since his adverse doping test during

last year’s Vuelta a Espana was revealed.

In an interview with French sports daily L’Equipe, Bar-

det, who has finished on the podium in the Tour de France

in each of the last two years, also said he doubts the British

rider will be cleared.

“I would like to believe in Chris Froome’s good faith, but

when you go over the limit, the rules provide for sanctions.

We can no longer be permissive about this,” Bardet said.

Bardet finished second on the Tour in 2016 and then third

last year, both times behind Froome, who has won the race in

four of the last five years.

Froome and his Team Sky revealed in December that the

32-year-old had tested for elevated levels of the asthma medi-

cation salbutamol during the Vuelta, which he won for the

first time, in September.

Although salbutamol is permitted in certain doses,

Froome gave a urine reading of twice the allowed limit.

However, as the medication can be taken legally, Froome

was not suspended by cycling’s governing body the UCI but

merely asked to explain the elevated reading.

Bardet admitted his frustration that no decision has yet

been taken on whether to suspend Froome or strip him of his

Vuelta victory. In the meantime, he can ride as normal.

“Froome gave the test in September and, as if by chance,

we find out about it in December,” Bardet, 27, said in the in-

terview.

The new season is swinging into gear in Australia at the

Tour Down Under, and Bardet added: “The season is starting

without any decision having been taken. This is ridiculous,

we are a laughing stock.

“I am astounded that, without this being leaked to the

press, it might have been years before we found out about

this test.”

Bemoaning a “lack of transparency” in the sport, AG2R

La Mondiale rider Bardet called for an “independent inqui-

ry”.

In the meantime, he added: “I don’t see how Froome can

carry on riding as though nothing has happened.”

“As Sky are not doing anything, there is nothing to pre-

vent the rider from taking the decision to pull out while wait-

ing for the authorities to decide.”

Asked about Bardet’s comments, Tour de France director

Christian Prudhomme said he understood his compatriot’s

concerns.

“I can only repeat that I want an answer as quickly as

possible,” Prudhomme said in Brussels during an event to un-

veil the start of the 2019 Tour in the Belgian capital.

“I amconvinced that the UCI and it’s president David Lap-

partient will do everything to ensure that is the case.”

—AFP

Pakistan's Haris Sohail bats against New Zealand during their fourth One-Day

International cricket match at Seddon Park in Hamilton Tuesday.

— AFP

Samai Talab Al-Shammeri and navigator Abdullah Mutar Al-Shammeri cruising ahead in their

Nissan Patrol.

Ohud’s Mohammed Enani Moraco proctects his basket against Ittihad during

their Saudi Basketball league match in Jeddah.

Scoreboard

Pakistan

F. Zaman b Santner ..............................54

F. Ashraf c Latham b Southee ............01

B. Azam c Latham b Southee .............03

H. Sohail c Nicholls b Williamson ......50

M. Hafeez run out (Boult)................... 81

S. Malik c Santner b Williamson ........06

S. Ahmed c Guptill b Boult ..................51

H. Ali c Guptill b Southee ....................01

S. Khan not out ......................................06

Extras

: (lb2, w7) ....................................09

Total

: (8 wickets; 50 overs) ...............262

Falls

: 1-7 (Faheem), 2-11 (Babar), 3-97

(Fakhar), 4-123 (Haris), 5-130 (Shoaib),

6-228 (Sarfraz), 7-233 (Hasan), 8-262

(Hafeez).

Bowling

: Southee 8-0-44-3 (1w), Boult

10-0-73-1 (2w), Ferguson 6-0-32-0 (1W),

de Grandhomme 3-0-16-0, Williamson

10-0-32-2, Santner 10-0-43-1 (3w), Mun-

ro 3-0-20-0.

New Zealand

M. Guptill c Hasan b Shadab ..............31

C. Munro c Hafeez b Shadab ..............56

K. Williamson c Rumman b Haris ......32

R. Taylor lbw b Rumman Raees .........01

T. Latham c Babar b Shadab ...............08

H. Nicholls not out ................................52

C de Grandhomme not out .................74

Extras

: (lb4, w5) ....................................09

Total

: (5 wickets; 45.5 overs) ............263

Falls

: 1-88 (Munro), 2-89 (Guptill), 3-90

(Taylor), 4-99 (Latham), 5-154 (William-

son).

Bowling

: Mohammad Amir 6-1-36-0

(2w), Hasan Ali 8.5-0-60-0 (3w), Faheem

Ashraf 6-0-33-0, Rumman Raees 9-0-59-

1, Shadab Khan 10-0-42-3, Haris Sohail

6-0-29-1.

Man of the Match

: Colin de Grand-

homme.