BOWLS

The Herald on Sunday - - SPORT -

THE Scot­tish dream team of Alex Mar­shall and Paul Fos­ter scraped through to to­mor­row’s pairs semi-fi­nals at the World In­door Bowls Cham­pi­onships in Great Yar­mouth. Mar­shall and Fos­ter have won 11 sin­gles ti­tles be­tween them as well as three pairs vic­to­ries to­gether, but they were pushed to the limit by de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Jamie Ch­est­ney and Mark Dawes, win­ning 6- 3, 6- 6.

There was dis­ap­point­ment for fel­low Scots Dar­ren Bur­nett and Ste­wart An­der­son, who suf­fered a shock first-round de­feat to Aus­tralian qual­i­fiers David Rankin and Kyle McIl­roy, who won 6- 4, 3- 7, 2- 0.

CRICKET

FOR­MER Aus­tralia cap­tain Steve Smith’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Ashes could be in doubt as he needs el­bow surgery.

Smith’s 12-month ban fol­low­ing the Cape Town ball-tam­per­ing scan­dal is set to end on March 28 and the 29-year-old could have found him­self back in con­tention for the baggy green again ahead of the World Cup and the Ashes, which are both to be staged in Eng­land.

How­ever, fol­low­ing the lig­a­ment prob­lem in his right el­bow which forced him to stop play­ing for the Comilla Vic­to­ri­ans in the Bangladesh Pre­mier League, it re­mains to be seen how much re­cov­ery time the

29- year- old will now face.

Cricket Aus­tralia re­vealed Smith is set to un­dergo surgery on Tues­day, and is ex­pected to be in a brace for around six weeks, fol­lowed by a pe­riod of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. The 2019 World Cup opens with hosts Eng­land against South Africa at The Oval on May 30. Aus­tralia are sched­uled to play their first group match against Afghanistan in Bris­tol on June 1.

Mean­while, Ro­hit Sharma’s cen­tury was not enough to pre­vent Aus­tralia from bounc­ing back af­ter their Test se­ries de­feat with an im­pres­sive 34-run win over In­dia in the open­ing one-day in­ter­na­tional in Syd­ney.

GOLF

ENG­LAND’S Charley Hull held her nerve to claim a one- stroke vic­tory at the Fa­tima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi.

The 22- year- old from Ket­ter­ing, the overnight leader, faced a bat­tle with fel­low English Sol­heim Cup player Jodi Ewart Shad­off, who dropped out of con­tention with t wo bo­geys over the fi­nal three holes at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.

Hull, ranked 24 in the world, had ear­lier seen her slen­der one-stroke ad­van­tage dis­ap­pear fol­low­ing dropped shots at the third and the par-four 10th in the warm and breezy con­di­tions. How­ever, an ea­gle at the par-five next pulled her back and vic­tory was se­cured when she chipped out of the bunker on the 18th, putting to save par and sign for a 69, eight un­der for the tour­na­ment.

Nor­way’s Mar­i­anne Skarp­nord took se­cond place af­ter a round of 68, miss­ing a birdie chance at the last.

HOCKEY

GROVE Men­zieshill marched into pole po­si­tion in the In­door First Divi­sion with a 7- 1 thump­ing of tra­di­tional ri­vals In­ver­leith, hav­ing ear­lier sent out an omi­nous warn­ing with a 10- 2 rout of third- placed Grange.

They went on to com­plete a hat-trick of vic­to­ries with a 9- 1 de­mo­li­tion of city ri­vals Dundee Wan­der­ers.

In­ver­leith’s woe was com­pleted when they went down 6-3 to Western Wild­cats, hav­ing led 3-1 at the in­ter­val.

Men­zieshill now lead the ta­ble by three points, Wild­cats are se­cond with In­ver­leith third.

RAC­ING

IM­PUL­SIVE Star shed his maiden tag over fences with a de­ter­mined vic­tory in the McCoy Con­trac­tors Civil En­gi­neer­ing Clas­sic Chase at Warwick.

Neil Mul­hol­land’s charge was with­out a win af­ter five pre­vi­ous out­ings over the larger ob­sta­cles, but had run some fine races in de­feat, most no­tably fin­ish­ing fourth in the Na­tional Hunt Chase at Chel­tenham in March.

The eight-year-old was last seen chas­ing home Ok Cor­ral – a win­ner ear­lier on the card – at Plump­ton last month and was an 8-1 shot mak­ing his hand­i­cap de­but un­der a light weight in this pres­ti­gious con­test. Last year’s win­ner Mi­lans­bar led the way for much of the three- mile- five- fur­long jour­ney, but was a spent force rac­ing down the back straight for the se­cond time. Im­pul­sive Star took the lead un­der Chel­tenham Gold Cup-win­ning jockey Sam Wa­ley- Co­hen, car­ry­ing the colours of his fa­ther, Robert.

Calett Mad and Cross­park both threw down strong chal­lenges in the home straight, but Mul­hol­land’s charge dug deep and saw off the for­mer by three and a quar­ter lengths. Mul­hol­land, who also sad­dled the fourth-home Ca­role’s Destrier, said: “I’m de­lighted with him [Im­pul­sive Star]. He had a nice lit­tle pipe-opener round Plump­ton the other day and ob­vi­ously the win­ner of that race won ear­lier on. We knew he’d im­prove for the run, he had a light weight on his back to­day and we felt he was on a nice mark. It all came to­gether on the day.”

SPEED SKAT­ING

LIV­INGSTON’S Elise Christie claimed a sil­ver medal in the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship 1500m fi­nal in her first in­di­vid­ual event since last Fe­bru­ary’s Win­ter Olympics.

The 28- year- old went quick­est in the heats and semis but was pipped in the fi­nal by home favourite Suzanne Schult­ing, who fin­ished 0.235secs clear with Rus­sian Sofia Prosvirnova tak­ing third place.

It was Christie’s 18th Euro­pean medal and she will bid to make it 19 in to­day’s 1000m.

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