21 Oct 2019

Today's sport news: what you need to know

12:03 pm on 21 October 2019

Latest - Football Ferns defender Abby Erceg has led the North Carolina Courage to a third straight final in the National Women's Soccer League in the United States.

New Zealand defender Abby Erceg.


Erceg captains the Courage and played the full 120 minutes as North Carolina beat Seattle Reign 4-1 in extra time.

The semi-final was level after 90 minutes.

The Courage will play the Chicago Red Stars in next week's final.

It'll be Erceg's fourth straight championship match.

She won the 2016 title with the Western New York Flash before the team moved to North Carolina.

The Courage were beaten in the 2017 final, but won last year.

Two Black Caps picked up in The Hundred draft

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson is one of just two New Zealanders drafted for the inaugural The Hundred cricket competition in England.

Kane Williamson batting.


Williamson has been signed by the Birmingham Phoenix for £100,000, while the Manchester Originals have picked up left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner for £50,000.

White Ferns Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates have been announced as two of the eight marquee players for the women's competition.

Devine will join Williamson at the Birmingham Phoenix, while Bates has been signed by the Southern Brave.

The new format of cricket will see teams face 100 balls in an innings, 20 fewer than a Twenty20 match.

Murray back in winners circle

An emotional Andy Murray has claimed his first ATP Tour title for more than two-and-a-half years by beating Stan Wawrinka in the European Open decider in Antwerp.

British Andy Murray pictured in action during a tennis match between British Andy Murray and Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, in the second round of the men's singles tournament at the European Open ATP Antwerp, Thursday 17 October 2019 in Antwerp.

Photo: AFP

In just his sixth singles tournament since returning from the hip resurfacing operation he underwent in January, Murray faced his old rival Wawrinka, who was in the ascendancy for the vast majority of the match.

But Murray dug in superbly, saving eight of the 12 break points he faced, including several at crucial times, and battled to a 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory.

The last time he lifted silverware in singles came in Dubai in March 2017, so it was no surprise that the tears quickly flowed.

"Obviously it means a lot, the last few years have been extremely difficult, both me and Stan have had a lot of injury problems the last couple of years," Murray said.

"This is one of the biggest wins that I've had after everything so I'm very proud."


Sharma and Rahane smash India to commanding position

Rohit Sharma has smashed a maiden Test double century, with he and centurion Ajinkya Rahane helping India reach 497 for 9 before declaring on day two of their third and final Test against South Africa in Ranchi.

The hosts then reduced South Africa to 9 for 2 in their first-innings reply before bad light stopped play, with India chasing a series whitewash to consolidate their position atop of the World Test Championship.

South Africa will have to produce an exceptional batting performance to get back into the contest when skipper Faf du Plessis and Zubayr Hamza return to the crease.

India were tottering at 3-39 when the Mumbai duo came together and by the time Rahane fell for 115 in the morning session, their fourth-wicket stand had produced 267 runs.

Rohit's sparkling 212 also included 28 boundaries.

- Reuters

Breakers slumped to second defeat

The Sydney Kings have come from behind to preserve their unbeaten start to the NBL season with a 76-66 win over the New Zealand Breakers in Auckland.

Scoring was hard to come by for both sides in a defensive slugfest as the Breakers slumped to their second defeat in as many games.

Andrew Bogut, the league's reigning Most Valuable Player, had his way on the boards as he collected 16 rebounds to go with his 13 points for the Kings.

The Kings started hot and built an early lead but the defensive intensity of Breakers import Brandon Ashley helped the home side compete.

On the back of some improved shooting, the Breakers established a small lead as they took a 45-40 advantage to half-time.

Keeping with the see-saw theme of the contest, the Kings fought their way back into the game in the third quarter.

With the game poised at 63-63 with five minutes to play, the Kings made some crucial baskets while the Breakers went cold.

Corey Webster, playing his 200th NBL game, top-scored for the Breakers with 14 points but his team only managed eight points in the fourth quarter, which proved costly.


More allegations of racism in football

English Championship club Bristol City are investigating allegations of racist language used by their fans during their 3-0 away defeat against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.

Saturday's incident occurred on the same day an English FA Cup fourth qualifying round match between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town was abandoned due to alleged racist abuse suffered by Haringey's players.

"Bristol City are a family club which celebrates diversity and inclusivity... the club naturally condemns any form of abuse or racist language," the club, who play in the second tier in England, said in a statement on their website on Sunday.

Meanwhile, British media reported that the Metropolitan Police were investigating the allegations by Haringey after the alleged incidents at Coles Park Stadium.

England's black players were subjected to racist abuse during a Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia on Monday.

Bulgaria boss Krasimir Balakov and football union president Borislav Mihaylov both resigned in the wake of the match, while police in the country have made several arrests.

- Reuters

Marc Marquez wins again

Marc Marquez registered yet another race victory as the recently-crowned 2019 MotoGP champion triumphed in Japan.

Having secured a sixth world title with first place in Thailand two weeks ago, the Spaniard (Honda) won his fourth race in a row and 10th of the season at Motegi.

Second behind Marquez was Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), who got past him early on to briefly take the lead, while Italian Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) was third.

In the overall standings, with three races of the season to go, second-placed Dovizioso is 55 points ahead of Spanish pair Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) and Alex Rins (Suzuki), who each have 176 points.

The next race is at Australia's Phillip Island next week.

- PA