Johnson's magnificent 7 helps Aussies to big lead

Updated 10 December 2013
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Johnson's magnificent 7 helps Aussies to big lead

ADELAIDE: Mitchell Johnson tormented England by taking seven wickets with some fearsome fast bowling on Saturday and Australia's batsmen compounded the pressure by extending the lead to 530 runs with two days remaining in the second Ashes Test.
It was a hectic third day at the Adelaide Oval, with 12 wickets tumbling after England resumed at 35-1 and was skittled for 172 in reply to Australia's first innings of 570-9 declared. Johnson took 7-40, including a withering spell of 5-12 in 18 balls.
After electing not to enforce the follow-on, Australia slipped to 4-2, with Jimmy Anderson dismissing Chris Rogers (2) and Shane Watson (0) within two balls in the third over, before recovering to reach stumps at 132-3.
David Warner was unbeaten on 83. He shared partnerships of 61 with Michael Clarke (22), who was bowled by Monty Panesar, and 67 with Steve Smith (23 not out).
Johnson's spell starting the second over after lunch rocked England's middle and lower order and was instrumental in giving the Australians a 398-run first-innings lead. It could prove to be a series-deciding spell, as England faces an uphill task to avoid going 2-0 down.
Only Ian Bell (72 not out) and Michael Carberry (60) defied Johnson.
It was the third straight innings in this series that England has failed to reach 200, with Johnson's pace proving just as effective on the slower Adelaide Oval pitch as it was when he took nine wickets in the 381-run victory in the first Test at Brisbane.
Johnson, who was not considered good enough for selection for the last Ashes tour to England, where Australia lost 3-0, rattled the touring batsmen and was twice on a hat-trick.
"The rhythm has just stuck with me," the 32-year-old Johnson said. "It means a lot to me to be able to play test match cricket for Australia.
"Coming back from injury and plenty of people telling me I wasn't going to play again, so it's emotional for me."
He commenced work on his ninth five-wicket haul in Tests by clean bowling England skipper Alastair Cook (3) on Friday.
Johnson didn't take a wicket in the morning session Saturday but was devastating in the middle session, producing a triple wicket-maiden in his second over; trapping Ben Stokes (1) lbw and then snaring Matt Prior (0) caught behind and scattering Stuart Broad's (0) stumps on the fifth and sixth deliveries.
No. 9 Graeme Swann prevented the hat trick, only for Johnson to set up another tilt at that feat by claiming wickets on the last two balls of his next over: Swann slashed to second slip where Michael Clarke took a sharp catch, and Jimmy Anderson had his stumps rattled next ball as England slid to 135-9.
Bell blocked the hat-trick ball and then went on the attack to score quick runs with No.11 Monty Panesar at the other end.
The England No. 5 took 18 runs off an over from Ryan Harris, hitting three fours to raise his 50 and England's 150 then pulling a six in front of the Sir Donald Bradman Pavilion.
They put on 37 for the last wicket before Panesar was bowled by Johnson.
Where Johnson was near unplayable in the middle session, it was some England batting lapses which caused the damage in the morning.
Joe Root (15) faced 79 deliveries before sweeping the first ball he faced from Nathan Lyon directly to Chris Rogers at deep backward square to make the score 57-2.
Kevin Pietersen (4) didn't wait to get settled. He was beaten between bat and body by Peter Siddle and then, trying to stamp some authority, walked into the next ball and chipped a catch to short mid-wicket where George Bailey took a juggling catch on the third grab.


NBA, FIBA announce plans for pro league in Africa

Updated 17 February 2019
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NBA, FIBA announce plans for pro league in Africa

  • The Basketball Africa League is a new collaboration between the NBA and the sport’s global governing body FIBA
  • Qualification tournaments will be held to determine those clubs that will take part

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina: The NBA is bringing a pro league to Africa.
The Basketball Africa League, a new collaboration between the NBA and the sport’s global governing body FIBA, was announced Saturday. The initial plan is for the 12-team league to begin play in January, and former President Barack Obama is among those who are expected to have direct involvement with the league’s plan to keep growing the game in Africa through the league and other initiatives.
The scope of what Obama’s involvement will be remains unknown, and it’s yet to be determined which existing club teams will be part of the league. Qualification tournaments will be held later this year to determine those clubs, with teams from Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia expected to be among those taking part. No nation will have more than two teams in the league.
“As we’ve been talking about this concept over the last several months, there’s been a tremendous reception from many of our NBA team owners ... and in addition, several of the partners of the NBA have expressed a strong desire to work with us in Africa,” Silver said.
Silver said Pepsi and Nike’s Jordan Brand — Charlotte owner Michael Jordan was among the owners in the room where Silver made the announcement — are among the partners who have reached out to the NBA and said they want to be part of the Africa league. Silver also said that Obama, an enormous basketball fan, has told him he wants to “be directly involved with these activities in Africa.”
Silver said talks between the NBA and Obama are ongoing. Obama spoke on a video that was shown during the event where Silver announced the league.
“I hope you know through sport, that if you put in effort, you will be rewarded,” Obama said. “I hope you learn through sport what it means to play as a team, and even if you are the best player, your job is not just to show off but your job is to make your teammates better.”
The NBA and FIBA’s involvement will include financial support and resources toward continued growing of the game on the continent, as well as providing training for players, coaches and referees and some infrastructure for the new league. Silver said there are 438 companies in Africa that generate more than $1 billion in revenue annually, but that sport there has not seen the same growth — yet.
“Africa is a huge economic engine,” Silver said. “And one place, though, where we haven’t seen enormous economic growth yet is in the industry of sport. And that’s something that we are all particularly focused on.”
The NBA has held three games in Africa since 2015, all of them selling out — two games in Johannesburg, the other in Pretoria. Many of the league’s current players and coaches, along with several legends and Hall of Famers, have been part of those trips.
“I went with them last year,” Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said. “The NBA reaches out across the world.”
The league has an office in South Africa, has helped create 87 learn-and-play facilities in seven African nations, and 13 players who were born in Africa on opening-night NBA rosters this season. The league also built an academy in Senegal that opened nearly two years ago.
“It’s a huge joy to see our partnership with the NBA enter uncharted territory as we work together for the first time to maximize the potential of professional basketball in Africa,” said Andreas Zagklis, FIBA’s secretary-general.
This marks the first time the NBA has been involved with the operation of a league outside of North America.
“We’re excited to work closely with the NBA to develop and put in a place a professional league like none that we have ever seen in our region before,” said FIBA Africa Executive Director Alphonse Bile. “Through the Basketball Africa League, we can provide the many great clubs and players with the best possible environment to compete for the highest stakes.”
The NBA says more details about the new league will be released in the coming months.