ROUND-UP: An English collapse; Head’s ton; Fury/Wilder rematch; Zlatan’s new deal; and Russia’s appeal
International Round-up: England’s batting collapse give SA upper hand; Travis Head’s hundred puts Australia in control; Fury vs Wilder rematch set for February 22; Zlatan Ibrahimovic rejoins AC Milan at 38; and Russia appeals against WADA four-year ban.
CRICKET: England’s batting collapse give SA upper hand
An England batting collapse gave South Africa the upper hand in the first Test as 15 wickets fell on an entertaining second day in Centurion.
Having bowled South Africa out for 284, England lost their final seven wickets for just 39 runs as they were bowled out for 181, with the superb Vernon Philander taking 4-16.
South Africa were quickly reduced to 29-3 in their second innings and, although they lost Faf du Plessis late on, they ended on 72-4, a lead of 175.
England’s bowlers showed admirable fight after a poor display with the bat, but batting last on a pitch already showing signs of uneven bounce will be a difficult task.
They may already have squandered their chance of winning this game.
CRICKET: Travis Head’s hundred puts Australia in control
Travis Head hit a century and Australia took two late New Zealand wickets as the hosts continued to dominate the second Test on day two in Melbourne.
Australia resumed on 257-4 and, after Steve Smith fell for 85, Head and Tim Paine (79) put on 150.
Head made 114 – he was one of four wickets for Neil Wagner – as Australia lost their last five wickets for 33 to finish on 467.
The tourists lost Tom Blundell and Kane Williamson to close on 44-2.
James Pattinson picked up his first Test wicket in Australia in four years in removing captain Williamson, who was caught by wicketkeeper Paine for nine after he skied an attempted pull shot.
BOXING: Fury vs Wilder rematch set for February 22
Tyson Fury’s rematch with WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will take place in Las Vegas on February 22, both fighters have confirmed.
Briton Fury, 31, drew with undefeated American Wilder, 34, in December 2018.
Wilder, whose WBC belt will be on the line when they meet at the MGM Grand, tweeted “there will be no more unanswered questions” and “I will finish what I started”.
Fury told fans on Instagram to “watch me knock out Deontay Wilder”.
Wilder said as long ago as June that an agreement had been signed for a rematch, but that it would take place after his fight with Cuba’s Luis Ortiz, who he went on to defeat at the MGM Grand in November.
Fury survived two knockdowns by the American to earn a draw when they last met, in Los Angeles.
FOOTBALL: Zlatan Ibrahimovic rejoins AC Milan at 38
Former Sweden and Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has rejoined AC Milan on a six-month deal, with the option for another season.
The 38-year-old was a free agent after leaving LA Galaxy at the end of the Major League Soccer season.
The Serie A side said Ibrahimovic “will be in Milan on 2 January, 2020 to take his medical” and join his team-mates.
“I’m coming back to a club I hugely respect and to the city of Milan I love,” Ibrahimovic said.
Ibrahimovic was at Serie A side Milan from 2010 to 2012, scoring 42 goals in 61 league games for the club.
Russia appeals against WADA four-year ban
Russia has appealed against the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) decision to ban it from all major sporting events for four years.
The ban means Russia’s flag and anthem will not be allowed at events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) has sent a letter to Wada stating that it “disputes the ban in its entirety”.
The case will now be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
In a letter dated 27 December and addressed to Wada’s director general Olivier Niggli, Rusada general director Yury Ganus wrote: “Rusada herewith disputes the notice in its entirety, including Wada’s assertion of non-compliance, the (alleged) facts on which such assertion is based, as well as the sanctions and reinstatement conditions set out in the notice, all of which are unfounded.”
Wada’s executive committee made the unanimous decision to impose the ban on Russia in a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on December 9.