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Six Tunisian players test COVID-19 positive at Cup of Nations
14 January 2022, 2:31 PM

Six Tunisian players have tested positive for COVID-19, adding to the increasing number of infections at the Africa Cup of Nations in a blow to their immediate prospects at the tournament in Cameroon.

Defender Dylan Bronn, Oussama Haddadi and Mohamed Drager and strikers Issam Jebali, Naim Sliti and Yoann Touzghar have all gone into isolation, the Tunisian Football Federation said on Friday.

It cuts down their selection options ahead of their second game in Group F against Mauritania in Limbe on Sunday.

Tunisia were beaten 1-0 by Mali in a controversial first group game on Wednesday when the referee blew for full-time four minutes early.

Tunisia later refused to return to the pitch to play the additional minutes but their protest against the outcome was rejected by the Confederation of African Football’s disciplinary committee, which has confirmed the result.

Players are subjected to regular novel coronavirus testing at the tournament and there have been continuing positive cases since the teams began arriving in Cameroon.

Petersen sparkles as South Africa seal series win against India
14 January 2022, 2:16 PM

Keegan Petersen scored a superb 82 as South Africa completed a seven-wicket victory in the third test and a 2-1 series win over world number one India on a spiteful Newlands pitch having chased down their challenging target of 212 on Friday.

It is just the fourth time in 133 years that a team has scored more than 200 in Cape Town to win, and follows on from South Africa’s epic seven-wicket victory in Johannesburg in the second test when they needed 240 in the fourth innings.

Petersen, who was the leading scorer in the series with 276 runs, was the anchor for the home side on a difficult wicket for batting, but there were also important unbeaten contributions from Rassie van der Dussen (41) and Temba Bavuma (32) as they put on 57 for the fourth wicket.

The result means India are still in search of a first test series victory in South Africa having had high hopes when they won the opening match. The teams will now play three One-Day Internationals starting in Paarl on Wednesday.

South Africa, who were underdogs for the series despite home advantage with their inexperienced side, had started the day on 101 for two and had plenty of alarms on the difficult pitch against the high-quality Indian seamers, who might have had more reward with better luck.

They only had themselves to blame though when Cheteshwar Pujara dropped Petersen at first slip when the batsman had 59, a simple chance off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah.

It might have brought a different complexion to the day, but South Africa rode that luck and Petersen looked in control before he chopped a Shardul Thakur delivery onto his stumps 40 minutes before lunch. His innings off just 113 balls followed a fine 72 in the first innings.

India were left hugely frustrated by the technology used for dismissal referrals and might have talked themselves into some trouble with their deliberate on-field comments into the stump microphones.

Their frustration threatened to boil over when they believed they had Van der Dussen caught behind off the bowling of Mohammed Shami, though the bowler himself showed no interest and returned to his mark.

But captain Virat Kohli sent the not out decision for review, and although there was a spike on the ultra-edge technology, it was ruled the batsman had hit the ground.

It followed India’s utter fury on Thursday when they believed they had home captain Dean Elgar out leg before wicket, but after being given out, the ball-tracker technology suggested the delivery was bouncing over the stumps.

Cameroon thump Ethiopia in AFCON Group A match
13 January 2022, 9:16 PM

Hosts Cameroon overcame another hesitant start to crush Ethiopia 4-1 on Thursday and advance to the next stage of the Africa Cup of Nations with their second successive Group A victory.

Captain Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko Ekambi both scored twice as Cameroon turned in a strong second-half performance and advanced to six points after also winning their opening game against Burkina Faso.

But the triumph over Ethiopia at the Olembe Stadium was much more convincing and will come as a morale boost as they carry a major burden of expectation.

Ethiopia made a shock start as they caught Cameroon’s defence napping, with Amanuel Aregawi delivering a square ball into the area and Dawa Dukele getting in front of his marker to slot home the pass.

It was the second time Cameroon trailed in the tournament, but they needed only four minutes to equalise.

Collins Fai, who had proven slovenly in defence when Ethiopia scored their goal, made amends with a quality cross and Toko Ekambi took advantage of poor marking to head home in the eighth minute.

The French-born striker rattled the woodwork with a header but Ethiopia were also dangerous on the counter-attack, catching out Cameroon repeatedly with their pace even if they did not have much possession.

But they wilted soon after the start of the second half as Aboubakar scored twice in as many minutes.
He headed home Collin’s cross in the 53rd minute and slid home a similar square ball from Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu.

Toko Ekambi scored his second, and Cameroon’s fourth, in the 67th minute.

“We were mentally ready for this game. This is a big boost for the tournament and we hope we have more spectators for our next game,” he told a news conference.

COVID-19 restrictions meant the newly built Olembe Stadium was around 20 percent full for the match.

Burkina Faso and the Cape Verde Islands meet later on Thursday in Group A.

UK’s Prince Andrew renounces royal patronages, military affiliations
13 January 2022, 7:52 PM

Britain’s Prince Andrew has renounced his military affiliations and royal patronages, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday.

The move comes after Andrew’s lawyers failed to persuade a US judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit against him that accuses him of sexual abuse.

“With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned the Queen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

A royal source said Andrew would no longer use the title ‘His Royal Highness’ in any official capacity and his other roles would be distributed among other members of the Royal family.

They would not return to Prince Andrew.

Pant scores brilliant ton but South Africa fight back
13 January 2022, 7:16 PM

India’s Rishabh Pant scored a superb unbeaten century but hosts South Africa made major strides towards winning the third and final test, and the series, as they reached the close on 101 for two in pursuit of 212 at Newlands on Thursday.

South Africa still require another 111 for victory on a difficult batting wicket that saw India bowled out for 198 in their second innings, a score significantly boosted by the impressive Pant.

Home captain Dean Elgar (30) and Keegan Petersen (48 not out) put on 78 for the second wicket in a partnership that swung the match in the home side’s favour.

But Elgar was out with what proved to be the last ball of the day with a strangle down the leg side as he edged seamer Jasprit Bumrah to wicketkeeper Pant.

India were earlier furious when Elgar, who made a match-winning unbeaten 96 in the second innings of the second test, earned a reprieve from the ball-tracking technology when on 22.

The delivery from Ravichandran Ashwin was deemed to be bouncing over the top of the wicket, something the livid Indian players could be heard suggesting was impossible.

A fourth-innings target of over 200 has been successfully chased only three times in 133 years at Newlands as India seek to claim a first-ever series win in South Africa.

But one of those was when the hosts managed 211 for the loss of five wickets against India in 2007 to win the test.
They also successfully chased 240 in the fourth innings of the second test of this series in Johannesburg.

 

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