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Friday 18 August 2017

CRICKET: Niall O'Brien top scored with 88 as Ireland put their recent batting woes behind then to beat ACT Comets by 124 runs in a day/night game in Canberra to register their first win of their acclimatisation tour.

CRICKET: Niall O'Brien top scored with 88 as Ireland put their recent batting woes behind then to beat ACT Comets by 124 runs in a day/night game in Canberra to register their first win of their acclimatisation tour.

O'Brien shared in a sixth wicket stand of 83 in just 51 balls with Andrew Poynter (34), striking 11 fours and a six in his 77 ball innings.

O'Brien was one of four changes to the side that lost twice to Queensland, with William Porterfield, Gary Wilson and John Mooney all returning to bolster the batting.

John Mooney provided the late fireworks, hitting an unbeaten 41 from 20 balls (6 fours, 1 six), as he and Craig Young (11*) took 54 off the last four overs to take the Irish total to an imposing 302 for 8.

Daniel Hughes (24) and Matthew Condon (18) got the Comets reply off to a solid start with an opening stand of 38, but once Peter Chase (3-39) removed both, Ireland were very much in control. Kevin O'Brien (2-8) and Craig Young (3-36) took further wickets to reduce Comets to 88 for 5, and it was all about respectability then for the home side.

Nadal hopes for best

TENNIS: Rafael Nadal is counting on antibiotics to control his appendicitis so he can get through the Shanghai Masters this week.

The second-ranked Nadal began feeling pain in his abdomen late Saturday, and the next day went to the hospital where he learned he had the early stages of appendicitis.

Nadal said yesterday he chose to try treatment with antibiotics rather than undergo surgery right away. He felt well enough to begin hitting again, he said.

"I am not going to go for surgery. That's great news for me today. That's why I'm here practicing for 45 minutes, and trying to play tomorrow. But obviously I am not in my best condition," he said.

Crash was 'bad luck'

MOTOR SPORT: The crash that left French F1 driver Jules Bianchi in a critical condition with severe head injuries was down to bad luck rather than poor judgement by Japanese GP race officials, a spokesman said yesterday.

The Marussia driver suffered the life-threatening injury on Sunday when he aqua-planed off a wet track and slammed into the back of a recovery tractor that had been deployed to remove Adrian Sutil's crashed Sauber.

"Officials raised 'double yellow flags' after the accident by Sutil, which means drivers had to slow down to the speed that they can immediately stop, but unfortunately Bianchi's car aqua-planed right at the time and ran into the accident site, which was bad luck," Suzuka Circuit spokesman Masamichi Miyazaki.

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