16 Dec 2019

Today's sports news: what you need to know

11:23 am on 16 December 2019

Latest - England cricketer Ben Stokes has been voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2019.

New Zealand-born England cricketer Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The New Zealand-born all-rounder was man of the match as England won the World Cup for the first time with a dramatic super over victory against New Zealand at Lord's.

In a public vote, Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton finished second while sprinter Dina Asher-Smith was third.

Manchester City and England footballer Raheem Sterling, world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Welsh rugby union legend Alun Wyn Jones were also shortlisted for the main award.

Stokes becomes the first cricketer since Andrew Flintoff in 2005 to win the prize.

England's World Cup cricket team also won Team of the Year.


Breakers beaten with last shot

The New Zealand Breakers lost a nail biter 99-96 to the Adelaide 36ers in their NBL basketball clash in Auckland last night.

Dejected Breakers basketball player Robert Loe.


The win keeps Adelaide in fourth place while the Breakers are second to last.

Even without Corey Webster, the Breakers got back to within 10 by half-time and then kept that momentum flowing to be within three at three quarter-time and then snatch the lead on Sek Henry and Jarrad Weeks' threes early in the fourth.

Breakers coach Dan Shamir was proud of his team's fightback, but knows ultimately falling 20 points down is not going to be a winning formula.

"Every loss is disappointing and definitely when you put in such an effort to comeback into a game from a huge deficit, we were down 20 and came back to take the lead but dropped it again," Shamir said.

The Breakers are eighth on the table.


More medals for cyclists

The New Zealand cycling team finished with seven medals from the final Track World Cup meeting in Brisbane and secured starts in all key events for February's world championships in Germany.

New Zealand track cyclist Sam Webster.

Sam Webster Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The final night of competition in Brisbane produced three more medals and excellent efforts from the Vantage New Zealand riders.

The medals came from a silver to Sam Webster in the individual sprint, silver to Aaron Gate and Tom Sexton in the omnium and a bronze medal to Holly Edmondston in the women's omnium.

Cycling New Zealand high performance director, Martin Barras said he was pleased with performances in the key Olympic events and they can now plan the build-up to the world championships and from that point secure qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.

"Overall I am delighted with the performances in our core endurance events, particularly team pursuit for both men and women, who have both produced near world record rides from the women in Cambridge and the men in Brisbane," said Barras.

Wellington win a thriller

Champions Wellington remain unbeaten at the top of the women's Super Smash T20 competition after beating Canterbury in a rematch of last season's final.

Chasing 138 for victory, the Blaze reached their target in the last over with four wickets to spare.

Meanwhile, the Wellington men opened their season with a win, coasting past Canterbury by six wickets at Hagley Oval.

After three rounds of the women's competition Wellington and Auckland have maximum points, while Wellington, Otago and Central Districts won their opening games.

Today Northern Districts play Otago.

City too strong

Manchester City resumed normal service in the English Premier League as a masterful display by Kevin De Bruyne fired them to a 3-0 victory over a listless Arsenal at the Emirates.

Belgian De Bruyne produced two sublime finishes and one silky assist for Raheem Sterling as Pep Guardiola's City killed the match as a contest before halftime.

There was no big celebration by the travelling City fans as the champions, who dropped eight points in their previous five games, remain 14 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool.

Arsenal are ninth with 22 points, seven points adrift of the top four and showing little sign that things will improve.

Tottenham Hotspur winger Lucas Moura's brilliant solo strike and defender Jan Vertonghen's late header sealed a 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux Stadium. Spurs are fifth in the standings and Wolves eighth.

Meanwhile youngster Mason Greenwood continued his good run of form as he struck a late equaliser for Manchester United in their 1-1 home draw with Everton after a Victor Lindelof own-goal had put the visitors ahead. United are sixth on the table and Everton 16th.


Pakistan-Sri Lanka draw

Abid Ali and Babar Azam each hit a century to light up the final day of Pakistan's first Test at home in a decade against Sri Lanka as the weather-hit match at Rawalpindi ended in a drab draw.

Rain and bad light did not allow full play on any of the previous four days since Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat but Pakistan's supporters still packed the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on the final day amid bright sunshine.

There was ample entertainment on offer for the crowd as Abid became the only male cricketer to hit a century on his debut in both the Test and one-day international formats.

Azam also added to his burgeoning reputation as one of world's top upcoming batsmen, completing his third Test hundred after knocks of 104 and 97 in his last two Tests in Australia.

Abid, who scored a ton in his ODI debut against Australia at Dubai in March, remained unbeaten on 109 while Azam was 102 not out as Pakistan reached 252 for two when the stumps were drawn.

Earlier, Sri Lanka declared their first innings closed on 308 for six.

The teams will next travel to Karachi for the second and final test from Thursday.


US wins Presidents Cup again

A deeper pool of talent finally proved decisive for a Tiger Woods-led United States team that clinched a 16-14 victory at the Presidents Cup teams golf tournament after what had been a difficult week.

As well as being up against a highly motivated and well prepared International team, the US players faced a steep learning curve to become familiar with a Royal Melbourne course most had never stepped foot on until Tuesday morning.

A dose of jet lag after the long trip from the Bahamas added another wrinkle, but it was evident as the competition progressed that the Americans were gradually figuring out how to play the sandbelt layout.

It all came together on Sunday when, needing 7.5 points from the 12 singles matches to win the Cup, the Americans racked up eight points to win the singles for the first time since 2009.

With Woods at risk of becoming only the second losing US captain, after Jack Nicklaus at Royal Melbourne in 1998, the American players responded just in time.

Woods led by example, a perfect 3-0-0 for the week.

The Americans now have 11 wins and a tie from 13 stagings of the biennial event, and will no doubt start favourites in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2021.


Boucher confident of Preoteas future

New South Africa head cricket coach Mark Boucher is confident he can turn around the fortunes of the country's ailing test team and has warned England they will not roll over in the upcoming four-test series starting on Boxing Day.

South Africa have lost their last five Tests, two shock home defeats to Sri Lanka and three thrashings in India.

Former wicketkeeper Boucher, a veteran of 147 tests and the world record holder with 999 international dismissals across all formats, was unveiled as the new coach today.

"I've been involved in sides over the years where we have had some tough times. One of the toughest times was the Hansie Cronje saga (in 2000) and straight after that we beat Australia," Boucher told reporters.

"I think we've got a good chance of turning it around. Sport is an amazing thing, it can be turned around in a couple of days but I understand there is a lot of work to be done.

Boucher was appointed by South Africa's new director of cricket Graeme Smith, the most successful test captain in history.

The first test against England starts in Pretoria on Boxing Day, followed by three more in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg.