Miguel Berchelt easily dispatched late replacement challenger Maxwell Awuku of Ghana to defend his Super Featherweight title. He was supposed to defend against Cristian Mijares who pulled out with an injury and the change of opponent did not distract Berchelt as he dominated from the outset.
Berchelt easily won the first two round before dropping Awuku with a right hand early in the third. Awuku got up but was down a second time later in the round. He got up again but as a third knockdown due to Berchelt’s pressure looked inevitable, the referee stepped in to stop the contest.
Ireland kicked off the second round of the Six Nations with a big win over Italy. in Dublin Ireland had the bonus point for the four tries wrapped up before half time. Jacob Stockdale and Robbie Henshaw went over twice each in an eight try deomoliton running out 56-19 winners in the end.
It was a closer affair at Twickenham. England got off to a blistering start against Wales with two tries for Johnny May giving England an early 12-0 lead. The big talking point was Gareth Ainscombe’s disallowed try. He looked to have scored but the video referee determined the Welshman had not got downward pressure. As a result Wales were chasing the game in the second half and met some superb England defence. Ainscombe struck a second half penalty to reduce the deficit to 12-6 but they could not find the winning score as England held on for victory.
On Sunday the final game at Murrayfield was end to end in the first half as Scotland and France shared four tries. Sean Maitland and Huw Jones went over for the Scots while in form Teddy Thomas scored both the first half tries for the French. The second half became more attritional as the kicking game became more important and the Scots fitness and forward control came into play. The penalties racked up against France and Greg Laidlaw kicked Scotland into the lead eventually ending up with 22 points as France ran out of steam and Scotland bounced back from defeat in Wales to win 32-26 and keep their impressive form at home going.
Cypriot Michael Georgiou won his first ranking title taking the Coral 1 Frame Shoot out. The timed speed event in which 1 Frame is played but if time runs out, the score at that point is final. Over the weekend Georgiou won 6 matches to get to the final and started fast with a break of 52 against Dott, who was in his second ranking final in two weeks after losing at the German Masters.
Georgiou took a 61-0 lead but Dott got his chance to close the gap. He made a break of 51 but missed a long pot when it looked like he might clear up and take it. Dott potted the blue to close to 61-56 which led to a tense battle on the pink which would decide it. Georgiou left Dott in a snooker behind the black, Dott escaped the snooker but left the pink potable in the process which Georgiou duly did to take the title.
As a result the Cypriot moves 35 places up the rankings into the top 32 and earns a place in the upcoming World Grand Prix. A new face to watch or a one off due to the random nature of this tournament? Time will tell.
Mark Williams claimed his second ranking title of the season with a dominant display against Scotland’s Graeme Dott in Berlin. Dott was in his first ranking final since the 2010 World Championship final and the time away from the final limelight showed. Williams took the first with a break of 76 as well as a scrappy second. A 64 clearance from Dott made it 2-1 but then Williams pulled right away. William’s reeled off five frames in a row to lead 7-1 at the interval including a break of 110.
Williams wasted no time in the evening session. A break of 66 was enough to claim Frame 9 and go 8-1 up just one away. An early break of 50 put Williams within reach and as the balls ran out for Dott, he eventually conceded Frame 10 to allow Williams to seal a convincing 9-1 win. A great boost for the Welshman who adds the German masters to the title he won in Belfast in November with only a couple of months to go until the World Championship.
2ND TEST MATCH AT THE SHERE BANGLA STADIUM, DHAKA, BANGLADESH
Sri Lanka 222 & 226 (Silva 70*)
Bangladesh 110 (Hasan 38*) & 123 (Dananjaya 5-24)
SRI LANKA WIN BY 215 RUNS
SRI LANKA WIN THE SERIES 1-0
There was no second escape as in the first test for Bangladesh as Sri Lanka won the match and two game series in Dhaka. Bangladesh’s terrible batting was there downfall failing to make more than 130 in either innings. Sri Lanka’s first innings was nothing special either with Kusal Mendis (68) and Roshen Silva (58) top scoring in a total of 222 with Abdur Razzak and Tajul Islam taking four wickets each for the hosts. However Sri Lanka had a handy first innings lead after skittling Bangladesh all out for 110 with Mehidy Hasan’s 38 Not Out the only score of note, but his partners just kept falling giving him no support.
Sri Lanka added another 226 in the second innings with Silva’s 70 the highest score of the whole match and setting Bangladesh an unlikely 339 to win. They got nowhere near with nobody getting a half century as the hosts were again dismal with the bat being bowled all out for 123. Akila Dananjaya ended with figures of 5-24 with the ball with Rangana Herath also taking 4 wickets as the visitors dominated. Bangladesh held on well for a shock draw in the first game, they never came close this time as Sri Lanka deserved the victory. The experience of Sri Lanka, who also won the Dhaka one day Tri-Series earlier in the year, told and they have some momentum going into more difficult contests ahead.
5TH ODI AT ST GEORGE’S PARK, PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA
India 274-7 (50) (Sharma 115Ngidi 4-51)
South Africa 201 (42.2) (Amla 71Yadav 4-57)
INDIA WIN BY 73 RUNS
INDIA LEAD THE SERIES 4-1
Rohit Sharma was the star as India earned their first ever one day Series win with a comfortable victory over South Africa in Port Elizabeth. Sharma hit 115 including 4 Sixes in india’s total of 274-7. Wickets did fall though and Sharma did not get a lot of back up, Four wickets for Lungisani Ngidi helped the hosts keep India under a 300 score.
As it was the total was still too much for South Africa. Opener Hasim Amla took the fight to the Indian bowlers but he was run out for 71 leaving the homes side at 166-5 and from there began the collapse. The South Africa side lost their final four wickets for just 5 runs with three of those wickets taken by Kuldeep Yadav leaving him with figures of 4-51 for the innings. India become the number 1 ranked ODI side in the world as a result of this series victory with one game still to go at Centurion Park.
4th ODI AT THE NEW WANDERERS, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
India 289-7 (50) (Dhawan 109 Kohli 75)
South Africa 207-5 (25.5) (Klaasen 43*)
SOUTH AFRICA WIN BY 5 WICKETS (DUCKWORTH-LEWIS METHOD)
INDIA LEAD THE SERIES 3-1
South Africa took advantage of a rain delay and reduced total to keep their one day series with India alive in Johannesburg. Shikhar Dhawan got a century (109) including 2 sixes for India and Virat Kohli continued his excellent form scoring 75 as India posted 289-7 from their 50 Overs. The rain break meant a reduced target for South Africa. They would need 207 from 28 Overs in what would be more of a 20/20 like chase.
Arguably this may have suited South Africa. However India looked in a good position when the took the wicket of the returning AB De Villiers with South Africa at 102-4. However a partnership of 72 between David Miller (39) and Heinrich Klaasen (43 Not Out) turned the game and put South Africa in command. Klaasen stayed until the end to score the winning runs with 13 balls to spare as the hosts get their first win of the series and could yet save it by winning the next two games.