Black Caps crushed by Proteas in third ODI

South Africa’s pacemen have torn through New Zealand to win the third one-day international by a demoralising 159 runs and snatch a 2-1 series lead.

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After two tight matches which went to the final over, the third game in Wellington turned into a rout on Saturday.

The Black Caps were dismissed for 112, their lowest total in 69 ODIs against the Proteas.

The tourists, who reached an impressive 8-271 in tricky batting conditions, will clinch the five-match series if victorious in one of the remaining games in Hamilton or Auckland.

It was New Zealand’s eighth biggest defeat in all ODIs and it would have been worse if allrounder Colin de Grandhomme hadn’t thumped an unbeaten 34.

Few other Black Caps had much to cheer as they fell well short of their previous lowest score against the Proteas of 134, in Cape Town 13 years ago.

The home batsmen had no answer to the variable bounce and sideways movement generated by the visitors, whose five bowlers shared the wickets.

Tom Latham’s dreadful form continued, caught off Wayne Parnell (2-33) for a a six-ball duck, before opening partner Dean Brownlie (2) feathered a snick off recalled speedster Kagiso Rabada (2-39).

Kane Williamson was spilled early by Hashim Amla at first slip but it wasn’t too costly as the skipper fell for 23.

Game two centurion Ross Taylor’s dismissal for 18, trapped by lively allrounder Dwaine Pretorius (3-5 off 5.2 overs), signalled the end of New Zealand’s hopes.

“They got a lot of movement and they bowled superbly,” Williamson said.

“In hindsight, there was probably a little bit more to extract out of that surface that we weren’t able to get.”

Captain AB de Villiers and opener Quinton de Kock were the key figures in South Africa’s innings, as they have been all series.

De Villiers posted a 51st ODI half century in reaching 85 off 80 balls, the prolific skipper firstly steadying an innings which was losing direction before opening up over the closing stages.

De Villiers put on 100 for the seventh wicket with Parnell (35 off 32) in less than 14 overs, striking seven fours and a six in a milestone knock.

“I didn’t expect the pitch to do that much, I never felt in,” De Villiers said.

“I had a feeling it would be important to bat through and be there at the end. I felt there was a risk our side would be bowled out.”

The peerless De Villiers became the 18th player to pass 9000 ODI runs. He boasts a better average and strike rate than any of his contemporaries.

His 9080 runs have come off 9080 balls while his average is 54.04.

Wicketkeeper/batsman de Kock passed 50 for the fifth successive ODI innings.

O’Keefe praises Matt Renshaw’s resilience

Matt Renshaw was criticised by former Australia captain Allan Border for retiring hurt because of illness in Pune, but teammate Steve O’Keefe was full of praise for what he termed “as resilient a knock as you’ll see”.

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Renshaw, who set foot in India for the first time a week ago, has demonstrated a ton of guts in a pulsating first Test in Pune.

The opener top-scored for Australia in their first-innings total of 260, returning to the crease to score 68 after retiring 15 minutes before lunch on day one.

Renshaw then overcame injury and illness on day two of the contest, scoring 31 as Australia built a lead of 298 runs at stumps.

The 20-year-old was forced to bat at No.5 on Friday because he spent the morning session off the field, still suffering the effects of a stomach bug.

Further pain – and vomit – came when a Umesh Yadav bouncer cracked Renshaw’s exposed forearm. Renshaw took his time but continued to bat, having regained composure with the help of team doctor Peter Brukner.

“He’s a tough cookie Matt. Hats off to him,” O’Keefe said.

“His 68 set up our game, it was as resilient a knock as you’ll see.

“The second innings (he showed resilience) again.

“There’s something about a young bloke coming in who doesn’t have the scar tissue of previous tours, who’s probably a bit naive to the conditions.

“He just sees the ball and hits it and keeps it as simple as possible – and it’s working for him.”

Renshaw’s ill-timed bathroom break infuriated former Border and temporarily Steve Smith, but the opener made it up to his skipper.

“He wasn’t too thrilled about it,” Renshaw said of Smith’s reaction on day one.

“He didn’t really understand what was going on at the start, I sort of just ran past him .. he called me back and he wanted to have a discussion with me but I just told him I had to go off.

“But we’ve had a chat now, we’re all good.

“He understands that when you need to go to the toilet, you need to go to the toilet.”

Border was highly critical of Renshaw, saying he hopes the opener is “lying on the table in there half dead”.

“Otherwise as captain, I would not be happy,” Border said on Fox Sports.

Pies break AFLW drought to dash Dogs hopes

Collingwood have defeated the Western Bulldogs to record their first win of the AFL Women’s season.

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The Pies led by 22 points at three-quarter time but had to withstand a late push from the Dogs to register their 5.2 (32) to 3.7 (25) win.

Strong winds made conditions tricky for both sides with neither able to score a goal at the Geelong Road end of Whitten Oval.

Ellie Blackburn kicked a goal inside the first minute of a tense final term but the Bulldogs couldn’t make the most of the scoring end.

The Pies slammed through four goals in a decisive third quarter to set up the victory after trailing by three points at halftime.

The result leaves both sides with one win after four rounds with just three rounds remaining before the top two teams play off in the grand final.

The Bulldogs were one of the main premiership fancies before the inaugural season got under way but Paul Groves’ side have now lost three straight on their home ground.

Collingwood full-forward Moana Hope, who had managed just one goal in the first three matches, doubled her tally with the first goal of the match.

A scoreless second quarter for the Pies ended in disaster when debutant Kate Sheahan’s left leg buckled under her as she attempted a quick change of direction with less than a minute left.

With her father, respected veteran journalist Mike looking on, Sheahan was inconsolable as she was carried from the ground.

Collingwood regrouped admirably to keep the Dogs scoreless in the third term, Jasmine Garner booting two of her side’s four majors for the quarter.

The Bulldogs were again without star skipper Katie Brennan, who was unable to shake off an ankle injury.

Groves lamented his side’s inability to capitalise on scoring opportunities, which he said has been a recurring theme.

“That five-minute patch in the third quarter (was costly),” he said.

“We couldn’t stem the flow there.

“Once we take the game on we’re a pretty damaging team.

“(But) I think over the last four weeks probably (a poor) 15 minutes across those four games has cost us.”

Collingwood coach Wayne Siekman said it was pleasing to finally get their first win.

“It’s just great for the players,” he said.

“We are Collingwood Football Club, we’re the biggest club in the country, and these players probably felt a bit of that (pressure).

“(But) it looked like they played with a bit more freedom this week.”

We don’t hold a grudge against Foran: Eels

Parramatta have given their blessing to Kieran Foran’s move to the Warriors, insisting there’s no bad blood despite his mid-season exit last year leaving them in the lurch.

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Foran will come up against his former side for the first time in a round-six NRL blockbuster at Mt Smart Stadium which will be filled with intrigue.

The former Kiwis Test playmaker was granted a release by the Eels in July to address personal issues less than one season into a rich four-year deal.

The Eels moved to ensure there was no ill feeling between the club and the 26-year-old, saying they had moved on and wished him well.

“We’re looking through the windshield and not the rear-view mirror,” chief executive Bernie Gurr said at Friday’s announcement of the club’s new independent board.

“There’s so many things we need to work on here at Parramatta. Kieran’s well-being is very important. Everyone wants to see Kieran fit, well and doing what he does.

“We don’t want to waste any energy being vindictive about what happened here at Parramatta with Kieran Foran. He goes and plays with the Warriors – good luck to him. We’ve got our own club to worry about.”

Foran’s exit was one of many body blows which rained down on the Eels during arguably the most-tumultuous year experienced by a NRL club.

While the salary-cap scandal, domestic violence allegations levelled against Semi Radradra and Corey Norman’s ban for a string of indiscretions all took their toll, Foran’s exit had one of the most-lasting effects.

Foran was recruited as a marquee star and the Eels hoped to rebuild Brad Arthur’s side around him.

After checking into a rehabilitation facility to address personal problems following the breakdown of his long-term relationship, he signed with the Warriors on a one-year deal.

He last week received permission from the NRL to return in round three but the Eels said they had no problem with him turning out in Warriors colours in 2017.

“That was an agreed release,” Gurr said.

“These situations are never black and white. There’s a lot of grey areas in everybody’s situation. Unless you’re looking at all those different grey areas around the Kieran Foran situation, it’s very, very difficult to measure where you’re at.

“From our club’s point of view, that ship’s sailed. We have to look forward.”

We won’t copy the Labor movie: Minister

A Liberal frontbencher insists his party won’t be following the Rudd and Gillard script of knifing a sitting prime minister in the back.

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Tony Abbott reignited tensions in the party after launching a scathing critique of the coalition government’s direction last week.

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The former prime minister, ousted by Mr Turnbull in 2015, said the coalition had become “Labor lite” and politics should not be “just a contest of toxic egos or someone’s vanity project”.

Assistant Cities Minister Angus Taylor played down the distraction.

“We’ve seen the Labor movie,” Angus Taylor told the Seven Network.

“The overwhelming thing you’ve heard from the party room in the last 24 hours is we’ve had enough, we want to get over the distractions and move on and focus on the agenda that Australians care about.”

Labor frontbencher Jason Clare was doubtful the ongoing feud can be put to bed.

“Abbott and Turnbull have hated each other for years. It goes back to university,” he told the Seven Network.

“We know division is death, people hate this stuff. This is a bad, divided government and that’s why the people will throw you out at the next election.”

Mr Turnbull and senior ministers have blasted Mr Abbott for his “sad” provocative outburst.

However, Mr Abbott’s backers say he simply wanted the government to focus on issues concerning voters.

The Liberal backbencher called for the renewable energy target to be cut, immigration rates to be reduced, the Human Rights Commission to be scrapped, an end to new government spending and reform of the Senate.

Zampa spins SA into strong Shield position

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa had delivered a reminder to national selectors by taking a career-best 6-62 for South Australia on Saturday.

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Zampa bowled with bounce and zip throughout 21.4 impressive overs to help fire out Queensland for 218 in their Sheffield Shield clash at the Adelaide Oval.

In reply, South Australia’s openers Sam Raphael and Jake Weatherald weathered a tough late session to be 0-35 at stumps.

It was Zampa, a regular for Australia’s ODI and Twenty20 sides throughout the summer, who shone in what is a crucial match in the race for next month’s Sheffield Shield final.

“I have felt like a big bag (of wickets) was coming pretty soon,” Zampa said.

“But it has been pretty tough when we have been producing wickets like we have, and obviously our seam bowlers have been having a lot of success.

“I feel I have bowled really well in Shield cricket for the past couple of seasons now and I have just been trying to play my role for the team.”

Wicketkeeper Alex Carey aided Zampa’s cause, collecting five dismissals, including a sharp stumping.

Queensland lost wickets in clumps after a bright start against the consistent South Australian attack.

Opening pair Peter Forrest (21) and skipper Joe Burns (30) fell in quick succession.

But it got worse for the Bulls, who lost three middle-order wickets without the addition of a run.

It took gritty knocks from inexperienced pair Jake Wildermuth (40) and Jimmy Peirson (50) for Queensland to avoid complete embarrassment.

Zampa believes the wicket will improve for batting on day two in a match neither side can ill-afford to lose.

“The wicket was actually better early on (today) than we have been used to so we had to drag things back and build the pressure,” Zampa said.

“It was pretty hard to score out there with the wicket pretty slow.

“But seeing the way our openers played (shows) the wicket is not zipping around and is not as bad as we have been used to lately.”

Warbuton sees tight Supercars series

With the Supercars championship just a week away from kicking off at Adelaide’s Clipsal 500, chief executive James Warbuton is a happy man.

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He has an exciting field of drivers.

Shane van Gisbergen brings the total of champions in the field to seven, while Simona de Silvestro will be blazing a trail for women in motorsport and Alex Zullo eager to impress as the sport’s youngest full-time driver.

There’s a new season-ending race in Newcastle and a new high-profile ambassador in Delta Goodrem.

But if there’s one thing that could be keeping him up at night, it’s the monstrous team at the front of pit lane.

The newly-merged Red Bull Holden Racing Team brings together Triple Eight’s unparalleled success with factory backing.

In van Gisbergen, six-time champ Jamie Whincup and evergreen veteran Craig Lowndes, the team has a ferocious pack of champions, and marketable ones at that.

The Triple Eight pair of van Gisbergen and Whincup won 13 of the last 17 races in 2016 en route to a record margin of victory in the teams’ championship.

So can anyone stop them in 2017?

Warbuton thinks so.

“The key is everyone has the same opportunity but a lot of teams are going to have to lift their game” he told AAP.

“There’s a thousand things (Red Bull) does better over the course of a race weekend.

“There’s no easy solution in terms of getting high performance (from other teams) although there have been a few driver moves which will be good.

“Remember that last year, we had 11 different winners. Our absolute ambition is to have the most winners that we can.

“We want to see drivers fighting all the way to the wire for the title. Last season was a great case in point. We had such a diverse group of winners then Red Bull ran away with it.

“I’ve got a feeling it will be close, it will be a close one again. We’ve got enough competitive nature in all those teams.”

Away from the track, Warburton sees a healthy sport that will be bolstered by new initiatives – including Goodrem.

“The product is incredible and it’s about growth,” he says.

“We’ve taken it from the best secret (in Australian sport) that’s worst told, to making it mainstream.

“People like Delta help build the awareness curve which is our weakness – one week you’re racing and the next you have a two week gap.

“She will perform at a couple of meets and at Bathurst on the grid. It’s a key moment and will help us make another big move on the mainstream of Australian sport.”

Dry pitch played into our hands: Aussies

Skipper Steve Smith says the curator in Pune “played into our hands” by producing a spin-friendly pitch for Australia’s first Test against India, which finished late on day three.

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The dustbowl raised eyebrows when it was unveiled on Thursday, with Shane Warne opining he had never seen a deck so dry and declaring the game could become “a bit of a lottery”.

Smith won arguably the most important toss of his career and the tourists proceeded to record their first win in India since 2004.

Left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe grabbed six wickets in 38 minutes on Friday, when the top-ranked Test side suffered a game-changing collapse of 7-11.

O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon then shared all 10 wickets to fall in India’s second innings, delighting in the conditions.

“It was up to them to prepare a wicket and they prepared a wicket that actually played into our hands. It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with in Bangalore,” Smith said after Australia took a 1-0 lead in the four-Test series.

“It was certainly a wicket that was probably more likely to suit the Indian players. I think it evened up the contest a lot more.

“We saw the way our spinners bowled on that, they were able to generate some good spin and natural variation.”

Warne shared similar sentiments on broadcaster Star Sports prior to the match starting.

“We know India prepare those pitches that turn,” he said.

“But if they take it too much, suddenly it becomes even for both sides. It’s a bit of a lottery … they might have just pushed this a bit too far.”

Virat Kohli’s side had played on more docile pitches for much of their 20-Test undefeated streak at home, especially during the five-Test series against England that finished last December.

Kohli refused to blame the surface.

“I don’t think it was any different from the turners that we played on in the past. We just didn’t play good cricket,” India’s skipper said.

“They exploited it better than us. They put us under pressure throughout and deserved to win this game … there are no excuses.”

Embarrassing collapses have recently been the lot of Darren Lehmann, who oversaw five of Australia’s nine consecutive Test defeats in Asia.

But in Pune it was India mentor Anil Kumble left to bemoan a “couple of soft dismissals” that led to Australia taking complete control of the contest.

“We needed a lot more restraint,” Kumble said.

“If you put your head down, you could make those runs … it’s a surface where you needed to adapt. We didn’t adapt really well.

“It is a challenging surface which requires application, aggression and a bit of caution as well.”

WA elections: Micro parties playing the majors at their own game

There is a record number of micro parties contesting Western Australia’s March election and thanks to a preference deal they could make an impact in a tight race.

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Most of the micro parties are directing preferences to each other in the state’s upper house.

It could lead to three being elected with just a fraction of the primary vote.

The deal has been brokered by so-called preference whisperer Glenn Druery who helped get the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party’s Ricky Muir elected to the senate in 2013 with a primary vote of just 0.51 per cent.

“Multi-party democracy is a good thing for the community and diversity of voices is a wonderful thing,” Mr Druery said.

“Who wants party hacks, unionists and lawyers and staffers in there?

“That, I’m afraid, is what we have in Western Australia at the moment.”

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If the micro parties do find themselves on the crossbenches in a tight parliament, West Australians might find themselves putting their clocks forward an hour and drinking un-fluoridated water.

The Daylight Savings Party and Fluoride Free WA are just some of the record 16 registered political parties in the March contest.

There are 58 candidates in one upper house seat alone.

Fluoride Free WA candidate John Watt said his party was formed ironically on the back of a suggestion by a Liberal state politician.

His party’s platform is that they believe fluoride is a neurotoxin that should not be in drinking water.

“I think it’s a very good chance the end of fluoridation is on hand,” he said.

“The fact that we might get close will galvanise the anti-fluoridation movement throughout Australia.

“We will be the first party, but we won’t be the last.”

Daylight Savings WA candidate Wilson Tucker said that the state was ready to have daylight saving despite a 2009 poll showing otherwise.

Mr Tucker said the West Australian population, which surged during the state’s mining boom with workers from the east coast and overseas, would now accept putting the clocks forward an hour.

“If we’re successful in that bid (winning a seat), then we’re just going to try to legislate daylight saving for WA without bringing it to a referendum.”

Western Australia could also face a radical overhaul of its democratic process if the Flux the System! Party got its way.

Candidate Alex Brownbill said the party was developing a smartphone app to give members of the public the ability to vote on legislation.

Through a process of delegating votes to experts in their field, or voting directly on a matter, it would create direct democracy Mr Brownbill said.

“We’re hoping that as political decision making is dispersed throughout the community, then communities will actually start self-organising,” he said.

“Not necessarily to the left, not necessarily to the right, but people will start talking around the dinner table, sports clubs, wherever they are because they actually have a more engaged role in formulating policy.”

One Nation, Nationals will feel the impact

Political analyst William Bowe said the preference deal, which he believed could lead to at least one party getting elected, would hurt One Nation and the Nationals in the state’s upper house.

Mr Bowe said it would also work out better for the Labor party, which most polls have on track to win, because the West Australian upper house is usually dominated by the Liberal and National parties.

“There’s a bigger mix of possibilities for them to cobble together the numbers to get difficult legislation through,” he said.

“So Labor can never really hope for a situation that they probably yearn for where at least they’ve got the Greens with the balance of power because that’s extremely difficult to achieve in Western Australia.

“If they’ve got a couple of people, whoever they are, holding the balance of power there, then I think that’d take that.”

Trump vows military build-up

US President Donald Trump says he will make a massive budget request for one of the “greatest military build-ups in American history” in a feisty, campaign-style speech extolling robust nationalism to eager conservative activists.

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Trump used remarks on Friday to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an organisation that gave him one of his first platforms in his improbable journey to the US presidency, to defend his unabashed “America first” policies.

Ahead of a nationally televised speech to the US Congress on Tuesday, Trump outlined plans for strengthening the US military, already the world’s most powerful fighting force, and other initiatives, though he again offered few specifics.

He said he would aim to substantially upgrade the military in both offensive and defensive capabilities, with a massive spending request that would make the country’s defence “bigger and better and stronger than ever before.”

“And, hopefully, we’ll never have to use it, but nobody is going to mess with us. Nobody. It will be one of the greatest military build-ups in American history,” Trump said.

With appeals to people on welfare to go to work and pledges to follow through on his vow to build a wall on the US-Mexican border, Trump drew rounds of applause from the large gathering of conservatives, many of them wearing hats emblazoned with the president’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

His speech was heavy on the nationalist overtones from his campaign last year, focusing on promises to boost US economic growth by retooling international trade deals, rolling back regulations and boosting energy production,

Trump is looking to put behind him a rocky first month in office. An executive order he signed aimed at banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries became embroiled in the courts and he had to fire his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, for Russian contacts before Trump took office.

With the federal budget still running a deficit, Trump will have to square his request for a military build-up with his plans to cut taxes for most Americans and for corporations. During his speech, he complained about spending caps that were put in place on the defence budget dating back to 2011.

Trump also heaped criticism on what he called purveyors of “fake news,” seeking to clarify a recent tweet in which he said some in the US news media should be considered an “enemy of the people.”

“I’m against the people that make up stories and make up sources. They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name. Let their name be out there,” Trump said. “Let there be no more sources.”

Trump has repeatedly chosen to make news media criticism a focus of his public remarks since taking office on January 20.

Trump addressed the third day of the CPAC gathering, which has addressed how to fulfill long-held Republican goals to revamp the tax code, roll back regulations on business and repeal former Democratic President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.