South Africa's Kagiso Rabada available for rest of Australia series after ban overturned

Rabada was in hot water for a number of incidents during South Africa's win in Port Elizabeth.
Updated 20 March 2018
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South Africa's Kagiso Rabada available for rest of Australia series after ban overturned

LONDON: South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has had his two-Test ban overturned on appeal, meaning he will be available for the remainder of the series against Australia.
Rabada was banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the third and fourth Tests after being found guilty of two charges of misconduct for aggressive wicket celebrations in South Africa’s series-leveling victory in the second Test in Port Elizabeth.
The first charge, of deliberately bumping into Australia captain Steve Smith after getting him out in the first innings in Port Elizabeth, earned Rabada three disciplinary demerit points, taking him over a threshold and resulting in the ban.
Rabada and Cricket South Africa appealed that finding on the basis that he did not deliberately bump into Smith. The appeal was upheld after an independent judicial hearing in Cape Town on Monday.
“The key issue is whether Mr. Rabada made ‘inappropriate and deliberate physical contact’ with Mr. Smith,” said judicial officer Mike Heron, who heard the appeal. “I am not ‘comfortably satisfied’ that Mr. Rabada intended to make contact and I therefore find him not guilty.”
For the Smith incident, Rabada was found guilty on a lesser charge but the punishment did not constitute a ban. He had already pleaded guilty to a second charge in Port Elizabeth, of shouting in Australia batsman David Warner’s face when he got him out. That also did not constitute enough demerit points for a ban.
The decision to drop the two-Test ban is a major boost for South Africa ahead of the third clash in Cape Town starting tomorrow. Rabada is ranked the No.1 bowler in Tests and is the spearhead of the home team’s bowling attack.
The series is level at 1-1 with tests in Cape Town and Johannesburg to come, with South Africa seeking a first home series win over Australia since the end of apartheid.


Francesco Molinari sees off Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods to win maiden major at the Open

Updated 22 July 2018
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Francesco Molinari sees off Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods to win maiden major at the Open

  • At the age of 35, he becomes the first Italian ever to win a Major
  • Molinari had started the day three shots behind a trio of overnight leaders in Schauffele, Kisner and Spieth

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland: Italy’s Francesco Molinari emerged from the pack on a thrilling final day at Carnoustie to win the British Open on Sunday, seeing off the challenges of reigning champion Jordan Spieth and a revived Tiger Woods to win the first major of his career.
At the age of 35, he becomes the first Italian ever to win a Major, after keeping his cool in remarkable fashion when almost all around him seemed to be losing theirs on a windy afternoon.
A two-under-par round of 69 on the Scottish links allowed him to finish on eight-under, two shots clear of the quartet of Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner.
Molinari had started the day three shots behind a trio of overnight leaders in Schauffele, Kisner and Spieth, who were all nine under par when they teed off.
The latter had been hoping to become the first player since Padraig Harrington a decade ago to retain the Claret Jug, but he faded with a final-round 76 to finish on four under par.
Meanwhile Woods, who was playing with Molinari, was in the outright lead at one point on Sunday but ended with a 71 to finish in a tie for sixth with England’s Eddie Pepperell and Kevin Chappell of the United States.