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Global sports round-up

New Zealand bounce back in T20 series

HAMILTON – New Zealand turned the tables on England in the second Twenty20 International as Brendon McCullum inspired them to a crushing 55-run victory in Hamilton today.

After batting first and hitting a record score to win the first match, Stuart Broad won the toss but chose to field first this time around, but he could only watch as McCullum’s late burst fired New Zealand to a challenging 192-6.

The home skipper produced a sparkling knock of 74, including three sixes in the penultimate over off England counterpart Broad, which went for 22 in total; the seamer conceded 53 runs from his four overs.

England never got going in response with Jos Buttler’s entertaining 54 from 30 balls coming with the game already way out of reach for England. They were bowled out for 137 as James Franklin took four wickets for the hosts.

With almost ten an over needed from the very start, England needed to get off to a quick start, but they got exactly the opposite when two quick wickets had them in trouble after just two overs.


Fans’ behaviour costs Italian clubs fines

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli

MILAN – Inter Milan have been fined 15,000 euros (12,900) after racist chants from their fans about AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli at a match against Chievo.

The ex-Inter striker joined their local rivals from Manchester City last month.

Juventus were also fined 15,000 euros after their fans were heard singing territorial songs about rivals Napoli. And Napoli were the third team to be fined that amount after away fans were adjudged to have shone a laser pen at referee Daniele Orsato at Lazio.

Inter president Massimo Moratti was quick to condemn the behaviour of his team’s supporters and hoped there would be no repeat when the Milan teams meet at the San Siro on 24 February.

“I was told about it because I couldn’t make out clearly what they were saying. I’m very sorry about that,” Moratti said.

“I’m very sorry and I really hope it doesn’t happen during the derby.”

Earlier this month, AC Milan vice-president Paolo Berlusconi was accused of using racist language to describe 22-year-old Italy international Balotelli.


Wrestling removed from 2020 Olympic Games

LAUSANNE – The International Olympic Committee has dropped wrestling from the 2020 Games, sparing modern pentathlon and taekwondo from the chop.

The IOC board reviewed the 26 sports on the current Olympic programme, and wrestling had been thought an outside bet to be chopped at today’s meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, with modern pentathlon the favourite.

The IOC examined 30 separate areas including TV ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping and global popularity before deciding to axe wrestling.

Wrestling could still be re-instated for the 2020 Games but it will have to bid along with seven others sports to be included. Baseball/softball – the last sport cut from the programme back in 2008 – is viewed as a front runner while squash has also been running a high-profile campaign.

The other sports pushing for inclusion are roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu.

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