5 Aug 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

11:12 am on 5 August 2020

Latest - Ireland's Paul Stirling and captain Andy Balbirnie struck centuries as the tourists chased down 329 to stun world champions England with a seven-wicket win in the third and final ODI in Southampton.

Ireland's Paul Stirling celebrates a century.

Paul Stirling Photo: PHOTOSPORT

England, who had already sealed the series, batted first and recovered from early trouble to post 328 all out one ball shy of their 50 overs with captain Eoin Morgan providing another century against the country of his birth.

But Ireland never looked intimidated in their chase as Stirling smashed 142 from 128 balls and Balbirnie 113 from 112 to put on a record 214 for the second wicket, and the second highest partnership for Ireland in ODIs as they reached their target with one ball to spare.

Ireland's only other victory over England in 13 matches came at the 2011 World Cup when they scored 329 for 7 as Kevin O'Brien scored a century.

He was at the crease to hit the winning runs in this latest victory to seal another famous Ireland success.


Taupo gets half Ironman back

Taupo will host the 2022 half Ironman World Championship, a two-day event that will take place on December 10-11, 2022.

Taupō was originally set to host the 2020 edition of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in November but it was cancelled due to ongoing and widespread impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We are ecstatic that, as the home of IRONMAN in New Zealand, we have been able to work with IRONMAN to secure the event for 2022," said Taupō District Mayor David Trewavas.

We had already laid some solid foundations in preparing to host the world's top triathletes and this additional time will allow us to offer an extremely polished event that will showcase both the Taupō District and New Zealand to the rest of the world."

The 2021 event will be held in Utah, USA.

Doubts over Darwin Supercars going ahead

A charter flight set to carry the Supercars series from Queensland to Darwin has has been delayed a second time because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Supercars driver Scott McLaughlin at the 2019 Darwin Triple Crown SuperSprint Event.

Scott McLaughlin at Hidden Valley Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The flight was originally scheduled to leave on Monday, then Tuesday and now this morning as talks continue between Supercars and health officials.

Supercars has based intself in Queensland in recent weeks away from the hotspot of Victoria.

Motorsport.com is reporting that transporters have already left Queensland for the Northern Territory.

Darwin is scheduled to host two rounds of the Supercars over the next two weekends.

New Zealander Scott Mclaughlin leads the championship.

Lee lines up for US PGA Championship

The New Zealand golfer Danny Lee will play alongside Bernd Wiesberger of Austria and American Vaughn Taylor in the first two rounds of this week's US PGA Championship in San Francisco.

Due to Covid-19 the PGA Championship is the first major of the year.

Lee's best result at the PGA was last year when he finished tied for 36th.

He currently has a PGA ranking of 49th.

Three of the four major champions in 2019 will tee it up together in the opening rounds with Brooks Koepka, who is chasing his third consecutive PGA Championship, playing alongside U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland and British Open Champion Shane Lowry.

Two former world number ones will play alongside the game's freshly crowned top player with Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas grouped together.

No crowds at Indy 500

This year's Indianapolis 500 motor race will be held behind closed doors for the first time in its 104-year history due to the Covid-19 pandemic in Indiana.

Scott Dixon 2008 Indy 500 winner.

Scott Dixon Photo: PHOTOSPORT

IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway were initially hoping the race could run at 50 percent crowd capacity, which was further reduced to 25 percent last month.

However, it has been announced that the August 23 event, rescheduled from its traditional Memorial Day Weekend date on May 24, would not be open to the public.

The IMS statement said the decision to run the event without fans had been made "following careful consideration and extensive consultation with state and city leadership".

The New Zealand driver Scott Dixon, who currently leads the Indycar championship, won the Indy 500 in 2008.

Breakers sign NBL star

The Breakers have signed former Brisbane Bullets' star Lamar Patterson to a one-year deal, further bolstering their already impressive roster for the next Australian NBL season.

NZ Breakers RJ Hampton and Lamar Patterson of the Brisbane Bullets.


The 28-year-old American earned himself All-NBL First Team honours in each of his two seasons in the league as a member of the Bullets.

Representatives of Patterson, who has played 40 NBA games, approached the Breakers last month after learning Scotty Hopson was still mulling over a contract sent to him in March.

"No club can ignore Lamar Patterson if he comes knocking because he's a superstar in this league and statistically has been the best Small Forward in the NBL for the last two seasons," said Breakers owner Matt Walsh.

Patterson also played in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks.

He averaged 21 points, six rebounds, and 4.6 assists over 28 games last season.

The acquisition of Patterson means the Breakers have now filled eight of the ten roster spots.


Harris-Tavita returns for Warriors

Chanel Harris-Tavita returns to the halves for the Warriors' NRL clash against the Manly Sea Eagles in Sydney on Friday night.

The club's 2019 NRL rookie of the year is a straight swap for veteran halfback Blake Green, who requested and was granted an immediate release from the rest of his contract yesterday to join the Newcastle Knights.

Injury ruled the 21-year-old Harris-Tavita out of contention for last week's 26-20 win over the Wests Tigers after picking up a wrist injury in the 11th-round loss to the Sydney Roosters.

He'll be playing his 20th career match, his seventh game of the season after mixing three appearances at standoff and three from the interchange bench.

Harris-Tavita's selection apart, the line-up named is unchanged from the one used against the Tigers. The starting pack remains intact for a third week running.

Success against the Sea Eagles is rare with only 10 wins in 34 attempts since 1995.

Casillas calls it quits

Spain's World Cup-winning captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas has announced his retirement from the professional game, ending a career that spanned over two decades in which he captured the game's biggest prizes.

Iker Casillas of Porto 2019.


The former Real Madrid skipper had called time on his five-year spell with Portuguese side Porto last month after his contract with the club expired.

Casillas, 39, has not played any competitive football since he suffered a heart attack during a training session last year.

Casillas was given a role on Porto's technical staff at the start of last season and was included in the first-team squad, although he was never named in a matchday squad.

He captained Spain's 'golden generation' that won a maiden World Cup title in 2010 as well as two consecutive European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

The shotstopper, who came through Real Madrid's youth system, made his senior club debut in 1999 at the age of 18 and went on to make 725 appearances over 16 seasons, winning five La Liga titles and the Champions League three times.

Casillas holds the record for most appearances in the Champions League, featuring 177 times -- 150 of which came with Real Madrid -- as well as the most clean sheets in the history of the competition (57).


Wanderers out of play-off contention

Western Sydney Wanderers' A-League Finals Series hopes are all but over after slumping to a 3-1 loss to Perth Glory in Sydney.

After a dour first-half where both sides cancelled each other out, the match sprung to life after the break and it was Glory who came out with the priceless win.

Needing all three points to keep their hopes of playing finals football alive, the Wanderers pushed hard to find a winner but it was the visitors who fired twice late to snatch victory.

The win snaps Glory's two-game losing streak and has basically sewn up a top six spot for Tony Popovic's side.

But the Wanderers' campaign appears over, sitting in ninth spot and four points outside the finals places with just two games to play.


Marquez to miss Czech GP

MotoGP champion Marc Marquez will miss this weekend's Czech Grand Prix after having a second operation on a broken arm, with test rider Stefan Bradl replacing him for the race, his Repsol Honda Team confirmed.

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Spaniard Marquez had fresh surgery on Monday to replace a damaged titanium plate inserted after he broke his right arm in the July 19 season-opening race in Spain.

The team had said that the 27-year-old, who tried to return for the second race in Jerez but withdrew without qualifying, would stay in the hospital in Barcelona for 48 hours before being discharged.

Bradl has claimed three top 10 finishes at Brno from his seven starts in the MotoGP class and only once missed out on points, the team added.

The Czech race is in Brno, with Petronas Yahama's French rider Fabio Quartararo targeting a third victory in as many races this season.


Madrid Open cancelled

The Madrid Open that was scheduled to take place next month has been cancelled due to the rise of Covid-19 cases in the Spanish capital.

Initially scheduled to be played in May before the pandemic shut down sport, the tournament was to feature both men's and women's draws and was seen as an important claycourt event for players to prepare for the French Open which begins on Sept. 27.

Organisers said they had created a 'bubble' to minimise the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus but over the weekend they were advised by local health authorities not to stage the tournament next month.

The Sept 12-20 tournament's fate was sealed when a directive was issued that said "social gatherings are to be reduced to 10 people".

Spain, one of the worst-affected countries when the pandemic first hit Europe earlier this year, has recorded nearly 315,000 confirmed cases and over 28,400 deaths so far, according to a Reuters tally.

The U.S. Open is scheduled to be played from Aug.31-Sept. 13.


Pakistan up against it

Pakistan will have to hit the ground running if they are to have any chance against England in their three-test cricket series which starts tonight, coach Misbah-ul-Haq said.

Six months since their last test match, Pakistan go into the games at bio-secure venues in Manchester and Southampton against an England team that beat the West Indies 2-1 last month as international cricket returned from the COVID-19 shutdown.

"We have to really come in this test series right from the word go at our best if we want to win a test series or a test match," Misbah said.

"We're aware that England have a slight advantage, but if we're alert and go 100% in the first test, that's the only way we can beat England ... otherwise we will find ourselves in difficulty."

England have lost the first game in eight of their last 10 test series, including against the West Indies, but Misbah said the hosts' latest defeat could have been due to the long break amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"That was their first test in a long time and obviously after that they played consistently," said Misbah, adding, "...we should be ready for an England team that have had three matches of experience and won their last two tests."

Misbah said his players were mentally fresh ahead of the series. "But test cricket is different," he added. "Once you're in, pressures build sometimes, but we'll try to keep it so they're mentally fresh regardless of the results."


Relegation confirmed for Wigan

Wigan Athletic's relegation to English football's League One (third-tier) has been confirmed after the club said they had lost their appeal against a 12-point deduction.

The English Football League said last month that Wigan would be docked 12 points after the club entered administration. Wigan finished second-bottom of the Championship standings as a result, two points from safety.

The club, who spent eight seasons in the Premier League before they were relegated in 2013, went into administration less than a month after being taken over by a partnership headed by Hong Kong businessman Au Yeung Wai Kay.

As a result of Tuesday's decision, Barnsley remain in the Championship after finishing a point above the relegation zone with a stoppage-time winner on the final day of the season.