19 Oct 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

9:42 am on 19 October 2020

Latest - Aston Villa stretched their perfect English Premier League start to four wins after a superb stoppage-time goal from Ross Barkley gave them a 1-0 victory at Leicester City.

Tyrone Mings of Villa.


The result left Villa second on 12 points with a game in hand over leaders Everton who have 13. Third-placed Liverpool have 10 from five and Leicester in fourth are on nine after suffering their second successive home defeat.

Gareth Bale made his first appearance for Tottenham Hotspur for more than seven years but his return was overshadowed as West Ham United scored three times late on to earn a 3-3 draw.

Welshman Bale, on loan from Real Madrid, came off the bench in the 71st minute, but instead of a glorious introduction, West Ham ripped up the script with a stupendous fight back.

Substitute Alexis Mac Allister struck late on with his first Premier League goal to secure Brighton and Hove Albion a deserved point in a 1-1 draw away at arch-rivals Crystal Palace.

Sheffield United and Fulham picked up their first point each of the Premier League campaign after a cagey 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Meanwhile Liverpool centre back Virgil van Dijk has damaged knee ligaments and is set to undergo surgery after he was injured in Saturday's Merseyside derby draw against Everton.


Kiwis involved in IPL Super Overs

Super overs were needed to decide today's games in the Indian Premier League and New Zealanders were heavily involved in both.

Playing his first match in seven months New Zealander Lochie Ferguson took two wickets in the extra over as his Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Ferguson had earlier taken three for 15 from his four overs.

Kane Williamson scored 29 opening for Hyderabad.

Meanwhile Kings Eleven Punjab beat the Mumbai Indians in two super overs with Trent Boult bowling the second extra over in a losing effort for Mumbai.

Rins wins in Spain

Suzuki's Alex Rins held off a spirited challenge from Repsol Honda rookie Alex Marquez to claim his first victory of the MotoGP season at the Aragon Grand Prix in Spain.

Spanish MotoGP rider Alex Rins.

Alex Rins Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Rins' team mate Joan Mir finished third to take a six-point lead at the top of the championship ahead of Fabio Quartararo, who started at the top of the grid but finished a disappointing 18th for Petronas Yamaha.

Starting 10th on the grid, Rins stormed out of the blocks to move up to fourth on the opening lap before moving past Yamaha's early pace-setter Maverick Vinales to take the lead on lap eight.

Marquez, fresh off his maiden MotoGP podium finish in France last weekend, climbed up nine spots and tested Rins in the final five laps, but the Suzuki rider held his nerve to seal victory on home soil.

Valentino Rossi has been ruled out of next weekend's MotoGP Teruel Grand Prix and Yamaha will not enter a replacement rider for the nine-times world champion who is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.


Hart wins latest stage on Giro

Tao Geoghegan Hart claimed a fifth stage win for Ineos-Grenadiers in this year's Giro d'Italia when he won the 15th stage, a 185-km mountain trek, as Joao Almeida's overall lead was whittled down to just 15 seconds.

Briton Geoghegan Hart was the freshest man at the end of the final ascent, a punishing 14.5-km effort at an average gradient of 7.8%, to beat Dutchman Wilco Kelderman by two seconds.

Kelderman's Sunweb team mate Jai Hindley of Australia was third, four seconds off the pace, after pacing the leading trio up the climb.

Portuguese Almeida came home fourth, 37 seconds behind the winner. He retained the overall race leader's Maglia Rosa jersey, with a 15-second lead over Kelderman.

It was a bad day at the office for double champion Vincenzo Nibali, however, who dropped to seventh overall, 3:29 behind Almeida after cracking with 8.8 kilometres left on the last ascent.

Monday is a rest day on the Giro.


Zverev and Rublev bag titles

Top seed Alexander Zverev bagged his first ATP tennis crown of the year after beating Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3 6-3 to lift the Cologne Indoor title.

German tennis player Alexander Zverev.

Alexander Zverev Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The German, who lost the U.S. Open final last month and exited the French Open in the fourth round, needed only an hour and 20 minutes to get the better of the 20-year-old Canadian thanks to a dominant service game.

Victory gave Zverev his 12th ATP title and his third on home soil after he won the Munich Open in 2017 and 2018.

Meanwhile Russian third seed Andrey Rublev won his fourth ATP Tour title of the year when he beat Croatia's Borna Coric 7-6(5) 6-4 to lift the St Petersburg Open trophy.

Having also won tournaments in Doha, Adelaide and Hamburg this year, Rublev is now tied with Novak Djokovic for most titles in 2020 and the 22-year-old is also three wins shy of the world number one's 37 victories.

Victory also gave Rublev a big push in his quest to qualify for next month's season-ending ATP Finals for the first time and the Russian will move up to eighth in the world rankings.


IPL clears Narine to bowl

The Indian Premier League says West Indies spinner Sunil Narine can continue to bowl after it found nothing illegal in his deliveries during an assessment that was prompted by an on-field caution earlier this month.

The West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine.

The West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Narine's team, the Kolkata Knight Riders, asked for the assessment after umpires suspected an illegal elbow bend in an Oct. 10 tie against Kings XI Punjab and issued a warning.

The clearance means the 32-year-old can continue bowling in this year's tournament, which is being held in the United Arab Emirates due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic in India.

The bowling all-rounder remodelled his action after he was reported twice during the now-defunct Champions League T20 in 2014. He was reported in the 2015 IPL and also after a one-day match against Sri Lanka the same year. He was reported again during the 2018 Pakistan Super League.

Each time, Narine was subsequently cleared to bowl.


Grandfather plays another game

Egyptian grandfather Ezzeldin Bahader has been recognised as the world's oldest professional football player after completing a second full match - amazingly, just short of his 75th birthday.

Bahader was awarded the title by Guinness World Records on Saturday evening on what, actually, wasn't the old boy's finest night.

He missed a penalty as his team, 6th October, lost 3-2 to El Ayat Sports club in the Egyptian third division.

The former amateur player, who turns 75 on November 3, scored a goal from the penalty spot in his debut match on March.

The record was previously held by 73-year-old Israeli Isaak Hayik.