A round-up of today's other stories in brief
England level series after patient knock by Cook
CRICKET:Alastair Cook’s patient knock of 78 yesterday anchored a well-executed England run chase of 270 to beat New Zealand by eight wickets in the second one-day international at McLean Park, levelling the three-match series at 1-1.
England’s bowlers, particularly James Anderson, had done a superb job to dismiss New Zealand for 269 in 48.5 overs at a small venue with short square boundaries, where a score of at least 300 was needed to set a competitive total.
Joe Root (79 not out) then picked up from where Cook left off when the captain was dismissed by Tim Southee, while Jonathan Trott finished on 65 not out as England easily chased down the total for the loss of two wickets in 47.4 overs.
England’s victory ensured the series finale at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday would be a decider after New Zealand won the first match in Hamilton on Sunday by three wickets.
New Zealand’s innings was dominated by Ross Taylor’s 100, his seventh one day international century, and a brutal 74 from 36 deliveries by captain Brendon McCullum, but it was well short of a ground that consistently yields innings in excess off 300.
Ireland thoughts turn to India after 13-0 rout of Fiji
MEN'S HOCKEY:While Ireland equalled their largest ever senior men's victory with a 13-0 rout of Fiji, coach Andrew Meredith said the result will have "no relevance" for tonight's huge date with India.
It makes it two wins from two in the World League Round Two for Meredith's side following Monday's 5-2 success against Bangladesh as Alan Sothern grabbed his second hat-trick in two games while nine players in total were on the mark. Among them was Eugene Magee, who became the most capped Irish international in his 164th game.
The target remains overall victory from the six-team round-robin pool to ensure qualification for round three, though second place looks likely to advance, too. To this end, Bangladesh's surprise win over China provided a welcome bonus.
Meredith said: "It will be a game where the details matter and who defends better will win tomorrow. We're looking to defend a bit better but we have created a lot of opportunities in the last couple of games and I don't expect it to be so open."
IRELAND: D Fitzgerald, J Jackson, G McCabe, R Gormley, M Watt, C Cargo, E Magee, C Harte, S Loughrey, D Carson, S O'Donoghue. Subs: A Sothern, B McCandless, M Darling, P Maguire, P Gleghorne, P Brown, D Harte
Back injury forces Williams to withdraw
TENNIS:Serena Williams withdrew from the Dubai Championships because of a lower back injury just minutes before she was due on court for a second-round match against French woman Marion Bartoli yesterday.
The American’s withdrawal means that the world’s two best players are both out of the tournament after Victoria Azarenka, who beat Williams in the Qatar Open final on Sunday, also pulled out earlier in the week with a foot injury.
Williams, the newly installed world number one, aims to return at the Sony Ericsson Open, which starts in Miami on March 18th.
Bartoli will now play Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-finals after the Dane routed Chinese qualifier Zheng Jie 6-0, 6-1.