Australia quickens the pace, turning up the heat on England

Australia’s captain Steve Smith calls for a review for England’s Mark Stoneman after Australia’s Mitchell Starc had him caught out during the first day of the third Ashes cricket test match. (Reuters/David Gray)
Updated 14 December 2017
0

Australia quickens the pace, turning up the heat on England

PERTH, Australia: Australia’s pace trio turned up the heat on England on the opening day of the third Ashes Test in Perth on Thursday.
After Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat, the tourists were 175 for four at tea facing hostile bowling on a bouncy WACA Ground wicket hosting an Ashes Test for the last time.
Dawid Malan was on 42 and Jonny Bairstow was on 14 at the tea interval, with the visitors stewing over the contentious dismissal of opener Mark Stoneman during the match’s second session.
The visitors were well-placed just before lunch at 89 for one, but lost James Vince (25) minutes before the first break and were then subjected to a brutal barrage of fast, and often short, bowling after the resumption.
Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins terrorized the English with aggressive bowling that was often more than 90 miles per hour. Starc claimed two wickets, and his fellow quicks took one each.
The pace and bounce of the WACA is one of the main reasons English have only won once in Perth since 1970, and captain Joe Root was the first victim after lunch, caught down the leg side off the bowling of Cummins for 20.
But it was Stoneman, who had looked in very good touch before lunch, who was on the receiving end of the most brutal Australian bowling as the home side sought to close in on reclaiming the Ashes after taking a 2-0 lead in the series in Adelaide.
Stoneman somehow survived a torrid period that saw him dropped twice on 52 — the first a sitter at slip by the recalled Mitchell Marsh — and struck by a fierce blow on the helmet while on the same score.
He survived all that, only to be contentiously given out caught behind off his glove to Starc by third umpire Aleem Dar for 56.
Stoneman fended at a sharply rising delivery from Starc and wicketkeeper Tim Paine pulled off a brilliant one-handed take, but on-field umpire Marais Erasmus turned down the Australian appeal.
Australia called for a review and Dar took little time overturning the original decision, although there did not appear to be any conclusive evidence to support the reversal.
The decision clearly upset the England camp, with Root and fielding coach Paul Collingwood coming out of the dressing rooms to voice their concern as Stoneman trudged off.
Earlier Stoneman and Vince were aggressive in adding 63 for the second wicket, after former skipper Alastair Cook again fell cheaply on his landmark 150th Test appearance.
After Root decided not to send the home side in again, as he ill-fatedly did in Adelaide in the second Test, Cook was trapped leg before wicket by Starc for just seven.
Cook did not review the decision, and the scorer of more than 11,000 Test runs has just 69 in the series at 13.80.


Floyd Mayweather rematch closer as Manny Pacquiao signs to face ‘top PBC fighters’

Updated 23 October 2018
0

Floyd Mayweather rematch closer as Manny Pacquiao signs to face ‘top PBC fighters’

  • Pacquiao said that he was “90 percent” sure a bout with former four-division world champion Adrien Broner would happen in January
  • Unbeaten Mayweather said in September he would come out of retirement to face Pacquiao later this year

MANILA: A potential blockbuster rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather moved a step closer as the Filipino icon confirmed he has signed with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
Eight-weight world champion Pacquiao said he would close out his storied career by facing “top PBC fighters” in announcing late Monday the tie-up with influential Mayweather adviser Haymon’s organization.
“My team will work closely with Al Haymon for the remainder of my career to deliver the most anticipated fights with the top PBC fighters,” Pacquiao said in a statement.
“Those are the fights the fans want to see and the ones I want to have to close out my career,” he added.
Pacquiao said last week that he was “90 percent” sure a bout with former four-division world champion Adrien Broner would happen in January, possibly in Las Vegas.
“Pacquiao’s first defense of the World Boxing Association welterweight world title will kick off the new partnership,” Haymon’s PBC said in a statement without giving further details.
“The new alliance will have team Pacquiao and Haymon work together to navigate the remainder of his illustrious career,” it added.
The deal could pave the way for a Pacquiao-Mayweather rematch of the 2015 megafight which generated a record 4.6 million pay-per-view buys earning $600 million and ended with the American winning on points.
Unbeaten Mayweather, who hasn’t fought since knocking out mixed martial artist Conor McGregor last year, said in September he would come out of retirement to face Pacquiao later this year.
The American, 41, has since hinted at taking a warm-up fight first, talking on social media of a “huge boxing event” in Tokyo and then last week said he would be willing to accept a challenge to fight against McGregor’s MMA conqueror Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The deal with Haymon represents a new chapter for the 39-year-old Pacquiao, who has been promoted for the majority of his 20-year professional career by Bob Arum’s Top Rank organization.
“I wish him the best of luck, a tremendous warrior, and whatever he’s doing in the future, he deserves,” Arum said of Pacquiao on Fighthub TV in Las Vegas at the weekend.
Pacquiao pumped new life into his storied career in July when he delivered his first knockout in nine years against Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.
Ahead of the fight against big-punching Matthysse, Pacquiao said he considered himself the “underdog,” but he rolled back the years to register a 60th win and take the Argentine’s WBA welterweight belt.