Amir fit and plays in Champions Trophy final

A back spasm kept Amir out as Pakistan defeated hosts England brilliantly on Wednesday but Arthur is now pinning his hopes on a full-strength attack to contain India’s batsmen better than most other sides have managed so far.

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“If we can get amongst them with the new ball, we can expose the middle order that hasn’t batted much in this competition, so that’s pretty much our aim and focus,” the South African Arthur said on Saturday.

Arthur believes that the way his players recovered from a heavy defeat by India in the group stage with impressive victories over South Africa and England proves that it was merely “an aberration”.

“That was something we hadn’t prepared for,” he said.

“We knew how hard the guys had prepared. So what we’ve produced after that doesn’t come as any surprise because that’s how we trained, and that’s what we worked at.

“It was very disappointing to see that go wrong in the Indian game. But we’ve closed the chapter on that. We’re now moving forward. And the guys have played really well.”

With eight wins in the teams’ previous 10 World Cup and Champions Trophy meetings, India are firm favourites but Arthur has taken confidence from their defeat in the group stage by Sri Lanka.

“Sri Lanka batted exceptionally well there. They played fielders’ cricket. They took the game on. But we’ve got to look at our strengths, and our strength has been the fact that we’ve been able to take wickets consistently through the middle periods.

“We’ve got to play to our strengths, and our strength certainly is with the ball. I said it before the England game, if we put our “A” game together and do the basics well, we can beat anybody.”

As for the intense pressure that will surround the final, Arthur said he hoped his young players could draw on their experience of the Pakistan Super League.

“Exposure to high-pressure situations is what India have had above Pakistan,” he said.

“The PSL has been a very, very successful competition. So that exposes more and more young players to pressure situations, and I think the more we can expose our guys to those situations, the better results we get out on the ground.”

(Reporting by Steve Tongue; Editing by Ian Chadband)

Sailing – Generation ‘F’ sets sights on Youth America’s Cup

Among the crews in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in Bermuda, which culminates next week as eight teams battle for the title, one team found a novel way to boost sailing’s youth appeal.

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“Interested in dating one of the boys?” was splashed across the Austrian team’s sails. The advertising image, for a dating app, has been widely shared on social media in the high profile event for the world’s top 18-24-year old sailors.

“We’ve never had so many people watching us, helicopters following us and people cheering,” Heli Schulz, who is the sail trimmer for Austria’s Candidate Sailing Team, told Reuters.

Although this is the second youth event, it is the first time the sailors have raced the foiling AC45F catamarans which are used by America’s Cup sailors to train.

The boats can hit speeds of over 30 knots (56 km per hour) as they ‘fly’ on hydrofoils, a spectacle which is winning over television audiences and spectators but has heads shaking among sailing traditionalists.

However, the championship has already shown it can be a path to success. Winning the debut event in San Francisco in 2013 turbocharged the career of Peter Burling.

The 26-year-old is now the youngest helmsman in the America’s Cup for Emirates Team New Zealand, which is challenging defending champions Oracle Team USA.

“I see some incredible hooks evolving here for young people, this is the world of Formula One on the water. It’s really exciting,” said John Bertrand, who skippered Australia II to victory in the 1983 America’s Cup.

The introduction of foiling boats into the youth event has levelled the playing field between the national teams of varying experience ranging from near professional multi-hull sailors to those who stepped on a catamaran for the first time a year ago.

“We had no multi hull or foiling experience, it’s been a steep learning curve,” Bermudan skipper Mackenzie Cooper said.

Rapidly developing technology on the demanding foiling boats has also opened a door into the sport for athletes such as Bermudan bowman Philip Hagan, a swimmer who has competed internationally, and wing grinder and soccer player Mustafa Ingham.

“I don’t think they realised how emotionally intense it is, I don’t know any other sport where you’re so dependent on the actions of others and moving on a platform that is potentially deadly,” said Laura Cutler, Bermuda’s team manager.

The sport still has some way to go in other areas.

Britain’s Annabel Vose is the only woman racing in the competition and is doing strategy for her team.

Female participation on high performance multi-hulls has previously been curtailed by a high weight limit and the physical demands, but a lower weight limit in this competition helped Vose to get on board.

“I think we would struggle to get there without a lighter person,” British skipper and bowman Rob Bunce said.

(Editing by Alexander Smith and Ed Osmond)

Rugby – South Africa overpower France to clinch series

Jan Serfontein, Siya Kolisi, Coenie Oosthuizen and Elton Jantjies scored tries for South Africa and Jantjies added 17 points with the boot.

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Scott Spedding and debutant Damian Penaud went over for the French.

The Springbok forwards laid the platform for success as they edged the French in a bruising battle, dominating the breakdowns and proving tenacious in defence.

South Africa, who lost eight of 12 internationals in 2016 in the worst year in their history, were 37-14 winners in Pretoria last week in the first test and have a 2-0 lead going into the last game of the French tour at Ellis Park in Johannesburg next Saturday.

Jantjies got his first test try after Kolisi set him up with a break in the closing stages but it was in the last 20 minutes of the first half that the home side found their stride as they dominated the breakdown and established a 23-7 interval lead.

France were ahead after just three minutes as South African-born Spedding scored in the corner but Serfontein and Kolisi dotted down for the Boks before the break.

Kolisi’s try was a moment of magic. A punt up field was fielded by Francois Trinh Duc but he was caught by Serfontein and popped the ball up in the tackle for the rampaging Bok flanker to grab it millimetres off the ground and sprint from outside the 22 to dive over behind the posts.

Jantjies’ boot also punished French forward infringements to give the Boks a handy lead but they had to defend ferociously for the first 15 minutes of the second half to hold out the visitors’ efforts to get back into the game.

“We managed to hold them out at that stage which was very important. We are extremely excited with our improvement,” South Africa captain Warren Whiteley told a news conference.

A raft of substitutions with 15 minutes ago allowed fresh attacks from South Africa with prop Oosthuizen bursting through for their third try, only for Penaud to evade several tackles straight from the resultant kickoff and touch down for France.

Kolisi, who had won several turnovers and showed sharp handling skills a day after his 26th birthday, created an exciting finale for the 41,000-strong crowd with a break to set up Jantjies and put the seal on a convincing home performance.

“Things are really falling into place but we haven’t achieved anything yet. If we continue building like this we’ll definitely be a force to be reckoned with again,” South Africa coach Allister Coetzee said.

(Editing by Ian Chadband and Ed Osmond)

New Commissioner brings hope to Victoria’s African communities

Standing alongside the Victorian Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott, Sisay Dinku shakes hands and greets the dignitaries like old friends.

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It’s the launch of a new state government initiative and a truck offering members of the public a virtual reality experience of the life of a new migrant takes centre stage.

VMC members and state government officials experience virtual realitySBS

It’s one of Mr Dinku’s first official functions as a Victorian Multicultural Commissioner, but the Ethiopian born migrant has long been an advocate for the state’s various African communities.

Chair of the Victorian Multicultural Commission Helen Kapalos said Mr Dinku’s appointment forges an essential link with the communities.

“It’s an important community, they do need our help. That community’s intelligence and seeing that leadership back in the community is an incredibly potent symbol for them.”

And it couldn’t come at a more important time, with the state’s African communities – in particular the Sudanese-born communities – experiencing unprecedented levels of negative media attention.

Sisay Dinku (centre) greets state government officialsSBS

The 2015 census shows Sudanese-born citizens make up just 0.11 percent of Victoria’s population.

But Victorian Crime Statistics report the group is over-represented in its data – accounting for 5.65 per cent of car thefts, 7.44 per cent of  home invasions, and 13.9 per cent of aggravated robberies.

Sisay Dinku said more support is needed for integration and settlement programs.

“There’s a lack of understanding, a lack of awareness of the rule of law, especially with young kids engaging with the justice system. But in terms of the majority of African communities, they are law abiding.”

He said addressing negative perceptions of African-Australians is a major first step in his battle to promote social cohesion.

Sisay Dinku among AFL Multicultural CommissionersSupplied

Chairman of the African Think Tank, Dr Berhan Ahmed, said a lot of misconception about Australia’s African-born communities comes down to cultural differences.

“We come from a communal society. And as a communal society we go as friends and brothers, in groups. In a western system, going in groups is gangs. Yes crime is crime, and I’m not saying crime is not bad but to label them that way is to fail them.”

Sisay Dinku sees his role as not just a conduit for the community, but to also come up with new ways to promote social cohesion with the wider Australian community.

Mr Dinku said a whole of community approach is the best way to achieve integration.

“Not only focusing on African communities working across the spectrum of all society, between African communities, between Vietnamese communities, between Chinese community.”

Sisay Dinku (far right) with Victoria PoliceSupplied

As part of his role, Mr Dinku will be representing the interests of these communities to the government.

But Dr Berhan Ahmed said the commissioner’s appointment also provides youth in the African-born communities a role model.

“This is a step in the right direction, that our kids will be inspired to dream big and see that the future is brighter because they can get into parliament, they can get in to government.”

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Cosby jury deliberations now longer than trial

Since Thursday morning, when the jurors told Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas Judge Steven O’Neill they were having trouble reaching agreement, they have spent nearly 24 hours either discussing the case in a conference room or re-hearing trial testimony in the courtroom.

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All told, the deliberations, which began on Monday, have lasted approximately 52 hours – longer than the trial testimony.

Cosby’s lawyers have repeatedly urged O’Neill to declare a mistrial, given the length of the jury’s debate, but the judge said on Friday he could not intervene without a fresh signal that jurors remained deadlocked on the three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

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Cosby, 79, once one of the country’s most beloved entertainers, is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004. About 60 women have made similar allegations, although only Constand’s is recent enough to sustain a criminal prosecution.

Cosby has denied all of the accusations, which have shattered the reputation he built as “America’s dad” while starring in the 1980s hit TV series “The Cosby Show.” He has said the encounter with Constand was consensual.

O’Neill and Cosby’s lead lawyer, Brian McMonagle, clashed on Friday, with the defense attorney complaining that the jury was essentially getting a replay of the entire trial. But the judge said he would allow the jury to work toward a verdict as long as it wanted.

O’Neill also appeared to take issue with comments that Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, made to the media on Thursday night, when he said the judge should end the trial and send the jurors home for good. McMonagle has said Wyatt was not speaking at his direction.

If the jury cannot break its impasse, the judge would have to declare a mistrial. In that case, prosecutors would have the option of seeking to retry Cosby before a new jury.

The jury has spent days reviewing large chunks of trial testimony, including both Cosby’s and Constand’s accounts of the night in question.

Cosby did not testify but his version of the encounter was shown to jurors in the form of a police interview he did in 2005, as well as sworn depositions he gave in 2005 and 2006 during Constand’s civil lawsuit.