The Northern Territory news Tue 3 Jan 2017
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
News Corp Australia
26 SPORT TUESDAY JANUARY 3 2017 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 SAM Stosur gave up a break in the final set to crash out of her home tournament early, falling to world No.7 Garbine Muguruza in three sets at the Brisbane International yesterday. In a replay of last years French Open semi-final, Stosur fought back superbly after losing the opening set to gain control, only to lose it again. While the Queenslander has regularly failed to deliver at her home tournament, never passing the second round in seven visits, she gave one of her Booze ban has OKeefe in top shape ITS been 150 days since Steve OKeefe decided to get off the booze, and today is his reward. Fit, slimmed down, focused and confident, OKeefe put everything he had into playing this SCG Test and now he has been given a golden opportunity to give flight to a spinning partnership with Nathan Lyon that, as yet, has struggled to get off the tarmac. Aside from a couple of quiet beers on Christmas Day, OKeefe (pictured) has sworn off alcohol for a full five months ever since he got himself into trouble on a night out in Sydney. The incident that resulted in him being fined $10,000 by Cricket NSW and read the riot act by then national selector Rod Marsh, was sparked in part by the anguish he was still struggling to overcome after being ruled out midway through Australias first Test in Sri Lanka with a calf strain. With OKeefe, Australia may have won that Sri Lankan series. Without him, they were crushed 3-0. But as important as OKeefe is to Australias plans in the subcontinent, he is no good to them if he is injured and, after a spate of soft-tissue setbacks, the penny dropped that at age 32, he was close to curtains in Test cricket. OKeefe knows better than to declare himself in the best shape of his career, but the leftarmer will walk on to the SCG today without a skerrick of doubt in his mind that he has done all he possibly can. The last time I said I was in as good a shape was before I went to Sri Lanka and I only lasted a couple of games over there so I wont say that again, OKeefe said. Tomic: Tough pre-season left me feeling dead FOR a player often berated for not working hard enough, Bernard Tomic looked ruefully towards an Australian Open preparation that has been upended by having trained too much. Tomics first-round Brisbane International loss yesterday is set to cost him his place in the top 30 later this month. The lanky Tomics movement was all at sea in his first match of the year as he took a 6-3, 7-5 loss to Spains former world No.3, David Ferrer. Ferrer asked the unseeded Gold Coaster if he was ill when they came to the net at the end of the match and was told he was not. The Australian No.2 insisted his sluggish footwork was from being very flat from a longer period of pre-season training than usual, rather than from being sick or carrying an injury. There was a lot of fitness involved. I think last week I felt a little bit dead, said Tomic, who has generally had some of his best results in Australian tour naments. Leading into this, I didnt play an event since October Shanghai. Doing a lot of fitness and that time away from tennis had a lot to do with this match today. Im never going to be the fittest player on the tour. Im (196cm) and I have to rely on different things like my serve and today I served terrible. But I lost to a top player, one of the best of the last six or seven years. The Australian No.2, who served eight double faults, will drop from No.26 in the rankings to as low as No.32 in two weeks time as a consequence of his Brisbane exit. BEN HORNE David Warner and Steve Smith (centre) pose for a photo with teammates at the Sydney Cricket Ground ahead of todays third Test Picture: GREGG PORTEOUS Rivalry is in full swing Leaders and teammates pushing each other to batting greatness DAVID Warner is taking his responsibilities as Steve Smiths deputy so seriously, hes actively driving his skipper towards world domination. Smith is probably not even at the halfway point of his career ahead of walking out for his 50th Test on home soil at the SCG today, yet an official ICC Test Championship ranking has Smith marked as the 10th greatest batsman in the history of cricket. It might be extraordinary recognition for a 27-year-old who three years ago had only just discovered his game, to be ranked behind Sir Donald Bradman and Ricky Ponting in terms of Australias all-time best. However, statistics show that within the current dressing room, Smith is still locked in a face-off with teammate Warner for the title of Australias No.1 batting supremo. Deadlocked on 17 Test centuries apiece, a friendly but competitive rivalry between captain and vice-captain is in full swing and neither one is willing to give an inch. There is that sort of healthy competitive nature there, Smith said. I know after he got his 100 in Melbourne (last week) I said oh, Im going to have to get one now. Its obviously not that easy but fortunately I was able to equal him and try and keep it going for this Test match. Im sure hell be keen to go out there and go one better. Smith and Warner go a long way back as teammates at NSW and their desperation to gain a competitive edge over the other can only be a good thing for Australian cricket. As a leadership team, they have been praised by the CA board for the way theyve combined forces in a time of struggle. But the tit-for-tat race for the premier batting record in Australian cricket shapes as a fascinating subplot for the years to come. Warner has already crashed through the 5000 run barrier with his 17 Test tons, while Smith isnt far away, having played 10 fewer matches. Smith can join Bradman, Herbert Sutcliffe and Jack Hobbs as only the fourth batsman in history to average 60 after their 50th Test if he can put up a good score in Sydney. Both Smith and Warner have come from humble beginnings. The skipper was picked as a leg-spinner for his Test debut and his deputy originally typecast as a Twenty20 specialist. Its gone pretty quickly. Its all worked out well that my 50th Test match is at my home ground, so its going to be an exciting week, Smith said. I used to bat on middle stump and not have any preliminary movements, which was something I started in the 2013 Ashes out in the middle of the WACA. They were bowling quite short at me out there and I started a preliminary movement walking across my stumps and it was like everything sort of just clipped into place. BEN HORNE better performances in falling 7-5, 6-7 (2-7), 7-5. But adding to her frustrations of a third first-round exit at Pat Rafter Arena will be the way she succumbed after being poised for victory at 4-2 up in the third. A jittery service game allowed Muguruza to break back and then level, before showing superior composure to close out the match in two hours and 45 minutes. Stosur cursed after she hit a simple forehand passing shot into the net on match point. Early home exit for Stosur AUSTRALIA V PAKISTAN THIRD TEST StartS today, 10.30am SCG. australia leads best-of-three series 2-0 Live on Channel 9 from 10.30am AUSTRALIA David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (c), Peter Handscomb, Hilton Cartwright, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Steve OKeefe, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon. PAKISTAN (likely) Sami Aslam, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Y ounis Khan, Misbah-Ul-Haq (c), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Rahat Ali/ Mohammad Nawaz TAB ODDS Australia $1.45, Pakistan $5.50, Draw $5 FORECAST Today: 25C Shower or two Tomorrow: 25C. Shower or two Thursday: 26C. Shower or two Friday: 26C. Shower or two Saturday: 28C. Shower or two LIVE UPDATES dailytelegraph.com.au Bernard Tomic lost to David Ferrer yesterday Picture: AFP STARTS TODAY 9am Live on Channel 9 from 9am UPCOMING Territory cricketer Darcy Short blasted 60 runs including a six out of the ground at Blundstone Arena from 39 balls to put Hobart in a winning position against Adelaide last night. Not even a half-century to veteran batsman Brad Hodge could save the Strikers, while Hobarts Dan Christian took 5-14 to restrict the Strikers to a modest score of 143. Hodge scored a well-paced 45-ball 55, but it wasnt enough as the Strikers lost wickets regularly throughout the innings. The Hurricanes made short work of the chase, as openers Short and Tim Paine (41) put on 105 for the opening stand. Fellow NT product Jake Weatherald earlier opened the batting for Adelaide, but was caught behind on 14 from 14 balls. Short stars as Canes belt Strikers BESART Berisha became the A-Leagues sole all-time record scorer and Melbourne Victory kept up the heat on leaders Sydney FC with a 4-2 defeat of Newcastle Jets last night. Berisha buried a first-half penalty to set Victory on their way at Simonds Stadium in Geelong before Marco Rojas doubled Victorys advantage with a close- range volley. The title aspirants conceded a long range shot to Lei Lei Ma and a deflected effort from Wayne Brown in the second half but goals to Fahid Ben Khalfallah and James Troisi kept the result out of Newcastles reach. Berishas opener meant he overtook former teammate Archie Thompson with his 91st A-League goal. He scored from the spot when Ben Khalfallahs cross brushed John Koutroumbis arm on 29 minutes. Berisha notches record as Jets crash