22 Dec 2019

Today's sports news: what you need to know

7:32 pm on 22 December 2019

Latest - New Zealand golfer Michael Hendry finished second at the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast.

Michael Hendry during the fourth round at Millbrook.

Michael Hendry Photo: Photosport

Australian Adam Scott won the title on his home course with a two-shot lead over Hendry.

Hendry was battling injury and despite leading for periods on the final day, it was Scott who claimed his 30th career win.

The next best placed New Zealand golfer was Denzel Ieremia who finished tied for 10th.

Tuatara sweep series

The Auckland Tuatara have achieved their first ever series sweep in the Australian Baseball League.

Auckland Tuatara player Won-Seok Kim  in action from the Australian Baseball League (ABL).

Auckland Tuatara player Won-Seok Kim Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Tuatara beat the Sydney Blue Sox 6-4 in Albany today to wrap up four wins from four games against the visitors.

Today's victory extended the Tuatara's winning streak to seven games and moved the side into outright first place in the Northeast Division for the first time.

It is a turnaround in form for the Tuatara, after the club had one win and nine losses earlier in the season to now be 11-9.

The Auckland club now travels to Adelaide for the next round of four games against the Adelaide Giants starting on 27 December.

New manager for Everton

Everton were held to a 0-0 home draw by Arsenal in a dull Premier League clash, which took a back seat to both clubs naming new managers.

The now former Real Madrid football coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Carlo Ancelotti Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Carlo Ancelotti, named as the new Everton manager barely an hour before the kickoff, got a first glimpse of the Toffees from the directors' box as did Arsenal's new head coach Mikel Arteta who was appointed by the Gunners on Saturday.

The result provisionally lifted Everton up one place to 15th on 19 points from 18 games, while Arsenal also moved up one place to ninth on 23 points.

A battle of outgoing caretakers - Everton's Duncan Ferguson and Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg - failed to produce any fireworks and suggested their successors face a demanding task to rebuild their respective clubs.

Former Everton striker Ferguson, who oversaw a 3-1 win over Chelsea coupled with draws against Manchester United and Arsenal, acknowledged he would join Ancelotti's backroom staff a happy man.


Former All Black lock dies

The former All Blacks lock Sam Strahan has died aged 74.

Strahan played 45 games for New Zealand during the late 1960s and early 1970s after starting his playing days in Manawatu.

The Manawatu Rugby Union chairman Tim Myers said Strahan will be remembered as not just a great rugby player but as a true gentleman.

"Sam was one of New Zealand's great custodians of our game. He was proud of the Manawatu and we were proud to have him," Myers said

"Sam was as kind as he was humble and he had time for everybody."

After playing three games of senior club rugby Strahan was selected for his Manawatu debut in 1965 and the next season he debuted for the All Blacks.

Bushfire smoke forces cricket cancellations

Smoke from bushfires raging across eastern Australia prompted match officials to abandon Saturday's Big Bash League cricket match in Canberra over what they called "dangerous and unreasonable playing conditions".

Chasing 162 for victory against Adelaide Strikers, Sydney Thunder were 40-1 in the fifth over when the contest was halted because of a lack of visibility and poor air quality caused by smoke.

"After a delay, officials deemed conditions were unsuitable for play to resume ..." BBL said in a statement.

Sydney captain Callum Ferguson was upset at being stranded four balls away from victory with his side already past the five-over target.

Umpire Paul Wilson said there was no way they could have gone ahead with the contest.

Close to 100 fires were burning across Australia's eastern state of New South Wales on Saturday of which six were characterised as "emergency level".

Earlier this month, players complained of "toxic" conditions at the Sydney Cricket Ground during a Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and Queensland which was blanketed in a smoky haze.


Pakistan's Abid, Shan flatten Sri Lanka

Pakistan openers Abid Ali and Shan Masood have smashed hundreds and forged a 278-run stand to flatten Sri Lanka in the second and final cricket Test in Karachi.

Bundled out for a paltry 191 in the first innings, Pakistan finished day three on 395 for 2, with a commanding lead of 315 runs, after a vastly improved batting display at Karachi's National Stadium.

Abid followed his century on debut in the drawn Rawalpindi Test with a career- best 174, which included 21 boundaries and a six.

Shan's 135 was also his highest Test score, studded with three sixes and seven boundaries.

Skipper Azhar Ali (57) and Babar Azam (22) will return later today (Sunday) hoping to bat Sri Lanka out of the contest and inch closer to a series victory.

The two-match series, part of the World Test Championship, marks Pakistan's first Tests on home soil since the 2009 militant attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore.