12 Oct 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

3:45 pm on 12 October 2021

Latest - Matatū will join the Blues, Chiefs, and Hurricanes in Super Rugby Aupiki next year.

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Photo: Suppplied: NZR

The competition, launched last week by New Zealand Rugby, will feature teams from the Blues, Chiefs and Hurricanes, as well as a combined South Island team encompassing the Crusaders and Highlanders regions.

The name, logo, and colours of the South Island team for New Zealand Rugby's new elite women's competition have been unveiled today.

Matatū is a name gifted to the team by Ngāi Tūāhuriri and is a command to remain steadfast with head held high, alert and ready to take on every challenge head on,

Matatū also announced its first five contracted players - Kendra Cocksedge, Pip Love, Steph Te Ohaere-Fox, Grace Brooker and Te Rauoriwa Gapper.


Knight Riders into IPL eliminator

Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Sunil Narine put in a stunning performance to lead his side to a four-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League eliminator.

Lockie Ferguson of Kolkata Knight Riders

Lockie Ferguson Photo: PHOTOSPORT

West Indies off-spinner Narine took 4-21 to restrict RCB to 138-7 off 20 overs... New Zealander Lockie Ferguson also took two wickets for Kolkata.

He then smashed 26 off 15 balls as KKR reached 139-6 with two balls to spare despite a late wobble in Sharjah.

KKR face Delhi Capitals in Thursday morning's second qualifier for a spot in the final.

The winner of that tie will play Chennai Super Kings this weekend for the 2021 IPL title.

KKR have now won six out of eight games since the delayed tournament resumed in the United Arab Emirates, while RCB are eliminated in Virat Kohli's final match as captain of the franchise.

Kolkata are coached by Brendon McCullum.


Afghanistan Test unlikely

Australia's cricket test against Afghanistan is likely to be postponed until it is clearer what impact the takeover by the Taliban will have on sport in the country.

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Photo: Photosport

CA last month threatened to scrap the test, which is scheduled to start in Hobart on Nov. 27, if the Taliban government which took power in August did not allow women and girls to play the sport.

"It's likely that we will postpone (the test) until a point of time where there is more clarity and that's following consultation with the Australian government," said CA chief executive Nick Hockley.

"The work we've been doing is to understand the current situation on the ground.

"We made our position very, very clear off the back of some earlier comments around, potentially, cricket as a sport for women and girls not being supported in Afghanistan."

Hockley also said he was confident negotiations with the Western Australia government would be successful and that the fifth Ashes test will go ahead as scheduled in Perth next January.

The tourists conditionally agreed to proceed with the tour late last week after Hockley held two video conference meetings with the England players to ease their fears about overly strict biosecurity protocols.


Kenyans cleanup in Boston

Kenya's Benson Kipruto won the men's race and Diana Kipyogei led a Kenyan sweep of the women's podium at the Boston Marathon, each picking up their first-ever major title.

Boston Marathon


American CJ Albertson set an aggressive early pace to lead the men's field by two minutes and 13 seconds through the first half but saw his headstart disintegrate over hilly terrain after the 20-mile mark, as a tight pack overtook him.

Kipruto, who won the Prague Marathon in May, pulled away with less than 10 kilometres to go and had secured a commanding 41-second lead heading into the last mile, absorbing the cheers along Boylston Street as he broke the tape in two hours, nine minutes and 51 seconds.

Ethiopians Lemi Berhanu and Jemal Yimer finished second and third, respectively.

In the women's race, a crowded pack stuck together through the first 25 kilometres before Kipyogei, who won the Istanbul Marathon in 2020, made her move, securing a 10-second lead over the rest of the field by the 30-kilometre mark.

Ethiopia's Netsanet Gudeta quickly challenged her but Kipyogei proved too powerful, again pulling away to win the race in two hours, 24 minutes and 45 seconds.

Edna Kiplagat, who won in 2017, and Mary Ngugi finished second and third, respectively, to complete a podium sweep for Kenya.


Cyclists taken out of Afghanistan

The UCI has said it assisted in the evacuation of 165 people from Afghanistan, including a number of female cyclists.

Cycling's world governing body partnered with Israel Start-Up Nation team owner Sylvan Adams, the Asian Cycling Federation and Fifa.

The refugees are being resettled in Switzerland, Canada, France, Israel and the United States.

The UCI will make its facilities available to the 38 in Switzerland.

In addition to cyclists, artists, journalists and human rights campaigners were among those evacuated from Afghan soil.

UCI president David Lappartient said: "It is very important for the UCI to make a commitment to the members of the cycling family who are suffering due to the current situation in Afghanistan.


Irish batter hits record

Ireland's Amy Hunter celebrated her 16th birthday by becoming the youngest player to hit an international century in a one-day game in Zimbabwe.

The Belfast schoolgirl notched 121 not out as Ireland made 312-3 which earned them a series-clinching 85-run win.

India's Mithali Raj held the previous record when hitting an unbeaten 114 against Ireland at the age of 16 years and 205 days in June 1999.

Shahid Afridi is the youngest man to hit an international century.

Afridi was 16 years and 217 days old when he hit 102 in a one-day game against Sri Lanka in 1996.


Rashford grateful for support

England and Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford said he had never experienced the kind of support he received from fans after he was the target of racist abuse following his penalty miss in the final of the European Championship in July.

No captionEngland's Marcus Rashford reacts after failing to score a penalty during a shootout at the end of the Euro 2020 final at Wembley stadium.

Photo: Photosport

Rashford's penalty miss in the shootout against Italy ultimately cost England the title at Wembley. The 23-year-old's young team mates, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, were also targeted after missing their spot kicks.

A Rashford mural in Manchester was defaced too but the community came together and left messages of support to cover up the vandalism and the player said that was a "special moment".

"It's nice to have that support from different types of people. It's probably something that I've not really experienced before," Rashford told the BBC.

"You never want to get that far in the tournament and then get to the final game and lose. But to lose on penalties it's such, such fine margins.

Rashford also said he was looking forward to playing with Cristiano Ronaldo having been a fan of the 36-year-old during his first stint at the Old Trafford club.


Australia golf tour remains on hold

Australia's hopes of rebooting its golf tour remain thwarted by COVID-19 and its premier event may be a casualty of the pandemic for a second year running, Golf Australia boss James Sutherland said.

Australian Golf Club, Sydney.

Australian Golf Club Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The country's biggest tournaments were cancelled last year and this year's have been pushed back to early-2022 but organisers remain hamstrung by strict travel curbs and quarantine rules.

Australia's borders are effectively shut and unlikely to open to non-residents until 2022, while the mandatory 14-day isolation in quarantine hotels is putting off the nation's top players from returning home to support the domestic tour.

That adds up to a nightmare for tournament organisers whose supply of talent required to sign sponsors and sell tickets has been all but choked off.

The flagship Australian Open, which boasts former world number ones Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy among its recent winners, was pencilled in for late-January or early February last month after its November scheduling proved untenable.

Both the Australian Open and the 2022 women's event in Adelaide in February, which is also a stop on the elite LPGA Tour, are now in doubt.