The Independent

Sport news in brief


Croatia beat Spain to reach Davis Cup semi-finals

Twice champions Croatia reached the last four of the Davis Cup finals for a sixth time with a 2-0 win over hosts Spain in Malaga yesterday. Marin Cilic rallied to clinch the winning point for Croatia with a 5-7 6-3 7-6(5) victory over Pablo Carreno Busta after Borna Coric had earlier given his side the lead with a 6-4 76(4) win over Roberto Bautista Agut. With Carreno Busta up 5-4 in the third set tiebreaker and two points away from forcing a deciding doubles rubber, Cilic fired down an ace to draw level and then coolly went on to seal the win in three hours and 13 minutes. Croatia, who finished runner-up to Russia in last year’s

Davis Cup final, will play Australia in semi-final action today. Reuters

Ricciardo on brink of rejoining Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo is set to rejoin Red Bull as the team’s reserve driver, with team principal Christian Horner hailing the Australian as one of the biggest names in Formula One. Ricciardo, who has won eight times in F1 – seven with Red Bull between 2014 and 2018 – has been dropped by McLaren after an underwhelm­ing two-season spell.

But the 33-year-old has been handed a temporary lifeline by Red Bull and will serve as backup to double world champion Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport adviser, revealed to German television in Abu Dhabi that Ricciardo, who discussed a reserve role with Mercedes, had signed a contract with the Milton Keynes team.

“We have not signed anything yet but, in Helmut’s enthusiasm, he has announced it, so I guess that means Daniel will be joining us unless he chooses not to sign,” said Horner. “Daniel is a big character and it has been disappoint­ing to see his performanc­es this season, but he is still one of the biggest names and biggest characters in Formula One. PA

Teenager Ahmed added to tour of Pakistan

Rehan Ahmed joins England’s Test squad for the tour of Pakistan after impressing during the camp in the United Arab Emirates. The 18-year-old could become England’s youngest-ever men’s Test cricketer should he feature in the three-match series, which begins in Rawalpindi on 1 December.

Ahmed has done enough over the last three weeks to persuade the management that he is ready to join the senior side, despite having just three first-class appearance­s under his belt. He only made his LV= County Championsh­ip debut for Leicesters­hire in May and stands on the brink of full Test honours having bowled only 446 balls in first-class cricket, with nine wickets.

If he wins selection in Rawalpindi, Multan or Karachi he will beat the previous record of Brian Close, who first wore the Three Lions at 18 years and 149 days in 1949. PA

England pack aiming to ‘get things right’ against South Africa

Hooker Jamie George believes a confrontat­ion with South Africa offers the perfect opportunit­y for England’s pack to rediscover their edge after being bullied by New Zealand. George has revealed that the team is “hurting” after being outmuscled in a 25-25 draw, particular­ly during a passive first half in which the All Blacks establishe­d a 19-point lead. South Africa complete the Autumn Nations Series at Twickenham on Saturday and George views the clash with the world champions as the ideal stage for forwards looking to snarl once again. “That’s been the talk all week,” George said. “It’s the perfect test for us as a front five off the back of a poor performanc­e against New Zealand.”

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 ?? (AFP) ?? Marin Ci l ic on his way to victory in Ma l aga yesterday
(AFP) Marin Ci l ic on his way to victory in Ma l aga yesterday

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