Home' Greymouth Star : January 26th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, January 26, 2015 - 9
Queensland conditioner Liam
Birchley rekindled his love affair
with New Zealand’s richest
race when he produced exciting
youngster Hardline (NZ)
(Showcasing) to win the eighth
running of the listed Karaka
Million, at Ellerslie last night.
Despite being tardy at the start
of the million dollar contest,
Hardline settled nicely towards
the rear as pacemaker O’Dianne
set a muddling speed early in the
As the field bunched turning
for home jockey Damian Browne
picked a path close to the fence
as he dashed through one-off
the rail in the last stages of the
contest to nab a gallant Selfie
with Dal Cielo finishing third.
An emotional Birchley was full
of praise for the colt immediately
after the race.
“ I think this could be my best
moment in racing,” he admitted.
“Any big race win is special and
we’ve managed to win this one
before but to do that today for a
super bunch of owners including
one of my best mates is just such
an awesome feeling. ”
Birchley admitted to a
few ner ves when the son of
Showcasing was slow at the start
of the contest but was sure that
jockey Damian Browne had the
horse under him to overcome the
“ Damian is a class act and he
doesn’t panic,” he said.
“ We had put the blinkers on
the colt after his last run and
I knew they would help him
concentrate when it mattered at
the finish. ”
Expat New Zealander, Browne,
also was not concerned with his
position early in the race as he
was keen to avoid the rough and
tumble that took place as the
field jostled for position.
“I knew he would be able to
finish it off hard as long as I
could get him focused on the
task. The blinkers worked the
trick and once I moved him
up behind them on the corner
it was just a matter of getting
a run when we needed it and
thankfully that came at the right
time,” he said.
The result was a triumph for
Haunui Farm and their resident
stallion Showcasing, who made
it a second feature race win from
his first New Zealand crop after
Showboy had won at group two
level in early December.
Karaka Million win ‘best moment in racing’
PICTURE: Trish Dunell
Hardline wins the Karaka Million, at Ellerslie.
New Zealander Artem Sitak is out of
the Australian Open men’s doubles, after
losing his third round match, yesterday
Sitak and German partner Benjamin
Becker were beaten 6-2 6-4 by the
French duo of Julien Benneteau and
Edouard Roger-Vasselin in 67 minutes.
It was always going to be a extremely
tough task. The European duo are the
second seeds at this tournament and
the reigning French Open champions,
regarded as the one of the best
combinations in the world.
Sitak and Becker struggled on their
ser vice games for much of the match,
broken twice in the first set and once in
the second set. They could not capitalise
on a number of break chances of their
own, especially in the second set when
Benneteau and Roger-Vasselin saved
five break points.
Still, Sitak will look back with
satisfaction on reaching the third
round in just the second grand slam
tournament of his career and will receive
a solid boost in his doubles ranking,
currently at 66.
— New Zealand Herald
Alan O’Connell’s team of Bill
Johnsen and Albert Whitehead won
the McEwen Triples bowls title,
played on the Blaketown green at
The competition was played in
good conditions and an instant
final situation resulted when two
unbeaten Greymouth sides met in
the fourth game.
O’Connell’s team won the
deciding match 14-9, beating Peter
Moreton Mike Bourke and Bruce
PICTURES: Ben Aulakh
Karoro Bowling Club’s Pete Komen in the Ian McEwen Triples, played at
the Blaketown green on Saturday.
O’Connell team wins McEwen Triples
Andreas Seppi is no
Rafael Nadal but Australia’s
rising tennis star Nick
Kyrgios says his five-set
win over the Italian ranks
as the best in his career.
Kyrgios won a place in the
last eight with a remarkable
five-set triumph over
The Italian proved too
tricky for Roger Federer
in the third round, but the
overcame a back complaint
to win 5-7 4-6 6-3 7-6
Kyrgios burst onto the
scene with a four-set
victory over Nadal at
Wimbledon last year.
Emerging from Hisense
Arena after three hours
and 34 minutes on court
on Sunday night, he said
the manner of the build-up
made this a sweeter success.
“I think this one, it feels a
bit better, honestly,” he said.
“There was a lot of
expectation coming into
“I was obviously out for
a couple weeks before
Sydney. I wasn’t expecting,
you know, anything,
especially not quarter-
“It ’s just massive,
especially to do it in front
of your home crowd.
“Hisense is an
unbelievable court. I’d
never played on it before.
It ’s definitely my favourite
Kyrgios’ reward is a
meeting with Andy Murray,
who won through in four
tight sets against Grigor
Murray won the pair’s
only previous meeting 6-2
6-2 in August last year;
Kyrgios’ heaviest loss as a
The Scot has already
knocked one Australian out
of the Open — Marinko
Matosevic in round two —
but said the role of bad guy
did not enter his mind.
“I’m not planning on
trying to break anybody’s
hearts,” he said.
“This is tennis. This is
“I plan on trying to beat
“O bviously the crowd
will be right behind him.
“I’ve played in French
Open against French
players where the crowd
can be very difficult.
“I’ve experienced it before,
so hopefully I’ll deal with
The tournament ’s top
seeds return to action
on Monday, with Serena
Williams playing 24th seed
Garbine Muguruza and
Novak Djokovic facing in-
form Giles Muller.
Reigning men’s champion
Stan Wawrinka will
attempt to return to the last
eight at Melbourne Park
against Spaniard Guillermo
will attempt to knock
out her third seed of
the tournament against
Dominika Cibulkova in
the opening match on Rod
Laver Arena. — AAP
Seppi win my best ever — Kyrgios
PICTURE: Getty Images
Nick Kyrgios of Australia plays a backhand in his fourth round match against Andreas Seppi of
between Maria Sharapova —
for many years the highest-paid
sportswoman on the planet —
and rising Canadian superstar
Eugenie Bouchard are ramping up
again ahead of their blockbuster
quarter-final at the Australian
The pair posted contrasting
fourth-round wins yesterday —
Sharapova blitzing China’s Shuai
Peng 6-3 6 -0 and Bouchard
overcoming a second-set blip to
down unheralded Romanian Irina
Camelia-Begu 6-1 5-7 6-2 .
Sharapova has won all three of
her previous encounters against
Bouchard, who at 20 is seven
years the Russian’s junior, the most
recent a three-set thriller in the
semi-finals at last year’s French
But Bouchard insists she is better
placed than ever before to turn the
tables on the world No 2.
So to the fourth edition of
the marketer’s dream match-
up featuring the tall, blonde,
photogenic and extremely talented
“When I was coming up I was
compared to (Anna) Kournikova
for many years and still occasionally
the name comes up in articles,”
said Sharapova when quizzed
about the perceived similarities
between herself and Bouchard.
“That ’s just part of it, part of the
game, part of the business.
“It’s understandable. It is what it
“I said when I was still a teenager
I didn’t want to be the next anyone
I wanted to be the first Maria
“And that ’s how I’ve been
through my whole career — we all
want to create our own path.”
Sharapova said it was Bouchard’s
aggressiveness and determination
to dictate points which reminded
her most of herself.
Bouchard advanced to the last
eight after continuing her love
affair with the Australian Open.
The seventh seed — who
advanced made the last four on
debut at Melbourne Park last year
looked to be cruising to victory
against Begu when she powered
through the first set and held a 3-0
lead in the second.
The unseeded Romanian
belatedly found her range, winning
five straight games and claiming
the set on her third opportunity
courtesy of a double fault from
Bouchard, only for the Canadian
to regroup in the deciding set and
advance to the eagerly-awaited
showdown with Sharapova.
“ It’s always great to play the
best players in the world,” said
“ We’ve had a couple of matches
and a good match last year which
“ It was just a tough battle.
“ But I’ve progressed a lot since
then and I definitely want to keep
playing my game no matter what,
really take it to her and go for my
Russian No 10 seed Ekaterina
Makarova also eased into the last
eight with a 6-3 6 -2 win over
unseeded German Julia Goerges.
The 26-year-old Makarova is in
the best form of her career, having
reached the quarter-finals or better
at each of the past three grand
After dropping only 23 games
in her four matches to date
all of them straight-sets
wins — Makarova will play
No 3 seed Simona Halep from
Romania or Belgian Yanina
Wickmayer in the quarter-finals.
— New Zealand Herald
Sharapova to face Bouchard
The New Zealand World Cup
preparation juggernaut rolled on
yesterday with a 120-run win in the sixth
one-day international against Sri Lanka
in D unedin. The victory meant they have
won the series, leading 4-1 with a match
to play on Thursday. It is their third
series win in four, and the fifth in the
10 series since Brendon McCullum was
appointed captain in December 2012;
there have also been two draws and three
If they win the final game of the series
and England lose their next match to
India in Australia, New Zealand rise to
fifth in the world rankings.
The Kane Williamson and Ross
Taylor batting magic returned with a
117-run third wicket partnership, Corey
Anderson blossomed his all-rounder
skills with 40 runs and four wickets for
52, there was bowling progress from
Trent Boult with one for 31 from eight
overs and Kyle Mills, Daniel Vettori and
McCullum generated lightning run outs.
Kumar Sangakkara offered the most
resistance with 81 from 66 balls, his
93rd ODI half-century, but Sri Lanka
were beset by pressure from the outset
after New Zealand decided to bat and
accumulated 315 for eight.
Williamson and Taylor made their
sixth century partnership in ODIs
advancing their team from 59 for two
in the 14th over to 176 for three in the
35th. The efficiency and crispness of the
stroke-making made the stand feel like
a fait accompli. The regular clonk of the
sweet spot must be demoralising for
The pair gradually accelerated before
cameos from Anderson (40 off 28), Luke
Ronchi (13 off 13) and Grant Elliott (21
off 14). Dhammika Prasad was the best
in a tidier overall bowling display, taking
two for 59.
Williamson reached 97 off 95
balls. He succumbed through a
miscommunication with Taylor after
paddle-sweeping through backward
square leg. Williamson assumed two
runs were on; Taylor ball-watched in
expectation of a single. It ’s the third time
either of the batsmen has run the other
out in an ODI.
Taylor’s blip of 34, 3, 8 and 20 this
series activated a red alert among fans.
However, his numbers suggested it was
no time to fret. The longest spell Taylor
has endured without reaching 40 in
ODIs has been seven matches, once
from April to December 2007 and again
from February to December 2009.
He didn’t disappoint and accumulated
at will in a chanceless 96 before being
trapped lbw to Dilshan in the 47th over.
He appeared satisfied to work singles
but, when bad balls came, he lay in
wait; his preference was savaging them
between backward point and cover.
However, the match was beset by the
odd spot of turbulence. A dysfunctional
Sky Sport camera meant the Decision
Review System failed for 13 overs of
the New Zealand innings, denying the
visitors the opportunity for a Martin
Guptill lbw shout in the fourth over. If
a review had been successful he would
have been dismissed for six rather than
Bowler Dhammika Prasad gestured to
take the option but the Sri Lankans were
told they couldn’t access the technology.
One camera was out of use at the
southern end of the ground because
of cabling issues. It only affected lbw
reviews but raised questions as to
whether the DRS should have been
disabled for the entire match out of
fairness to both teams.
Guptill also received the benefit of
the doubt on 18 at 43 for one. Kumar
Sangakkara took a low take which
appeared to have glove rather than grass
underneath it, but television match
official Rod Tucker sided in favour of the
In fairness Tucker applied the same
logic when Taylor caught Mahela
Jayawardene on four and he was
subsequently given a reprieve.
Vettori’s selection saw him break the
record for New Zealand ODI caps,
appearing in his 280th match two days
before his 36th birthday. He’s overtaken
Stephen Fleming. Vettori has also played
four ODIs for the World XI. New
Zealand Cricket presented him with a
framed photo in recognition.
Mills returned to the line-up after a
spell out with a groin injury, taking none
for 29 from six overs.
— N ZM E -New Zealand Herald
Black Caps crush Sri Lanka
PICTURE: Getty Images
Corey Anderson bats against Sri Lanka.
A dysfunctional Sky Sport camera
resulted in the Decision Review System,
which decides lbws, failing for 13 overs
during the sixth one-day international
between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at
University Oval in Dunedin yesterday.
The breakdown prevented a prospective
review in the fourth over when Martin
Guptill was on six and the hosts were 10
Guptill went on to score 28.
New Zealand won the match by 120
runs, sealing the seven-match series with
a game to spare.
After the delivery to Guptill, bowler
Dhammika Prasad gestured for a review
but the Sri Lankans were not able to
access the technology.
The camera affected was fixed to the
scaffold at the southern end of the
ground so it is guaranteed not to move
or need recalibrating during a broadcast.
The camera was understood to be out
of action because of cabling issues. It
solely affected lbw reviews rather than
catches, run-outs or stumpings but
raised questions as to whether the DRS
should have been disabled for the entire
match out of fairness to both teams.
The producer of Sky Television’s
cricket coverage, Alan Henderson,
said he informed the television umpire
Rod Tucker and match referee Javagal
Srinath before the players took the field.
The camera resumed ser vice around
12.05pm, 65 minutes into the innings.
“ I’m not entirely sure (if cabling issues
were) why it died,” Henderson said.
“ It’s the first time I can remember that
happening, so it’s uncommon.”
Star batsman Ross Taylor regained
form, scoring 96. Kane Williamson
compiled 97 before being run out by
Taylor. Corey Anderson was man of
the match after taking four wickets and
scoring 40 runs.
— New Zealand Herald
Dysfunctional Sky Sport
camera bowls DRS
Sitak out of Australian Open
The women’s Black Sticks are set to take
on Canada in early February, but their
attention is still on addressing issues that
afflicted them in 2014 — namely, penalty
shootouts and closing out tight games.
The Canada series will comprise three
tests in Whangarei during February
5-8 . The Canadians aren’t in the same
league as the Black Sticks, who are
ranked fourth in the world. But coach
Mark Hager said the series would throw
up some challenges despite the gulf in
“ You’ve got to play teams ranked lower
than you and learn how to win those
games as well,” he said.
“Sometimes we have that difficulty,
where we tend to play well against the
top three or four teams but then don’t
play so well against teams ranked below
us. It’s a good opportunity to learn that
we’ve still got to win those games.”
The series will also give Hager the
opportunity to blood new players and
one likely to figure is Canterbury’s
“She’s played really well in the under-
21s in the last couple of years, so it will
be good to see her in [the international]
environment,” said Hager.
He has also been working hard on trying
to remedy the side’s recent inability to
convert wins from tight situations. Last
year saw the team pipped at the pointy
end of two major tournaments.
The first came at the Glasgow
Commonwealth Games, where they
lost their semifinal to the less-fancied
English. Then came the Champions
Trophy in Argentina, where they were
beaten by Australia in the semis in
a penalty shootout, and went on to
succumb to the Dutch in the bronze
The close-but-no -cigar results have
become something of a theme for the
side in recent times.
“It’s frustrating for the players,” said
Hager. “ The shootout is an area we’ve got
to improve on.”
While they may have stumbled when
it mattered most, Hager said he was
still pleased with the team’s overall
performance in Argentina.
He said the key change that was
required was a psychological shift, but
that had to be achieved without bogging
the players down with too much self-
“In the end, it’s just having that belief
you can do it. And you don’t want to delve
too deep into it because you could make
yourself go crazy. You can talk yourself
out of belief if you over-analyse it.”
— NZM E -New Zealand Herald
Black Sticks look to
address issues before
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