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West Indies in control of Test against NZ

The West Indies look set for a series-levelling victory going into the final day of the second Test against New Zealand in Trinidad on Thursday.

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Trailing on first innings by 239, New Zealand reached 8-257 at stumps on day four, leading by just 18 runs.

West Indies were anticipating an innings victory late on the fourth day when Tim Southee was the eighth wicket to fall with the score at 212 and more than an hour-and-a-half left in the final session.

However BJ Watling (38 not out) and Mark Craig (29 not out) held firm for 110 minutes in adding 45 runs to ensure the home side will have to try to complete victory on Friday and so set up a series decider in Barbados next week.

Kemar Roach was the leading wicket-taker with 3-53, but the bowling honours of the day went to Sulieman Benn.

The gangling left-arm spinner operated unchanged through the first two sessions but for one over when he was off the field, taking the vital wickets of Tom Latham and Jimmy Neesham in the morning session.

Latham could do little to avoid a delivery that kicked off a length and offered a simple catch to silly-point, but the dismissal of Neesham stunned everyone, even the bowler, as he flung himself low to his right to come up with a sensational catch.

Benn ended the day with 2-62 off 49 persevering overs and should have broken the stand between Watling and Craig early as Jermaine Blackwood failed to hold on to a sharp chance at forward short-leg when Craig was just on five.

Kane Williamson, who added 75 for the second wicket in a partnership that had started the previous evening, has been New Zealand’s top-scorer so far, getting to 52 before being caught at the wicket off Roach.

He also accounted for Ish Sodhi and Southee in the final session.

Lethal Suarez gives Uruguay 2-1 win over England

Suarez took advantage of slack defending to fire the ball past England keeper Joe Hart five minutes from time having been restored to the lineup after recovering from knee surgery.

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He had given Uruguay the lead by nodding in Edinson Cavani’s cross after 39 minutes before Wayne Rooney equalised in the second half with his first ever World Cup goal.

The result meant Uruguay joined Italy and Costa Rica on three points and left England at the bottom of the group after two straight losses. Italy play Costa Rica on Friday.

It was Uruguay’s first win over European opposition at a World Cup since they beat the Soviet Union in the 1970 quarter-finals.

“I dreamed about this,” said a sobbing Suarez. “I am enjoying this moment for all the criticisms that I had to take.”

Suarez scored 31 goals in 33 games for Liverpool in the Premier League last season, and was named Player of the Year, but remains a highly controversial figure in England.

He received a 10-match ban at the end of the 2012/13 season for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and was banned for eight games and fined 40,000 pounds for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra in December 2011.

Love him or hate him, there can be no denying Suarez is one of the most lethal finishers in football.

UNBELIEVABLY SLIM

While England huffed and puffed around the box, clinical Suarez put away his only two clear chances.

“I thought defensively we held up well against him for long periods,” said devastated England manager Roy Hodgson. “But two chances came his way and he took them well.

“The second goal was a defensive mistake on our part. We came here with great hopes but were unable to deliver. It’s a major, major sadness for me,” said Hodgson, who described England’s chances of advancing as “unbelievably slim”.

Rooney went close after half an hour when he met Steven Gerrard’s inswinging cross but his close-range header smacked back off the woodwork while he landed in the net.

With England fans jeering Suarez’s every touch, the stage was set for the striker to turn the game on its head.

A lucky break in midfield sent the ball out wide to Edinson Cavani and Suarez escaped the attentions of Phil Jagielka to nod back across Hart for a 1-0 lead.

Suarez, who had been well policed by England’s centre backs until that point, wheeled away with a huge smile on his face, kissing his wrists and gesturing frantically in delight.

After the break, Uruguay had England on the ropes and Cavani should have done better when put clean through by Suarez, but the rampaging forward screwed his shot wide.

England gradually regained the initiative with Rooney, widely criticised for his performance against Italy, at the heart of all their best work.

The number 10, who had never scored in the World Cup, picked up the scraps from a Leighton Baines delivery and brought a terrific save out of Muslera in the 55th minute.

NEW LIFE

Just when it looked like they would never find the net, Rooney breathed new life into England.

Fullback Glen Johnson worked his way into the box after delightful work by Daniel Sturridge, and his square ball was rammed home by Rooney at the far post, sending the massed ranks of England fans behind the goal into a frenzy.

England were in the ascendancy but when Gerrard failed to deal with Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera’s punt Suarez was away, outpacing Gary Cahill and slamming the ball past Hart.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez outlined the importance of Suarez, who was Player of the Year in England, to his side.

“His team mates really love him, we all love him, he is a wonderful person and a very important player for our team,” Tabarez told a news conference.

“This chance, this destiny, after I don’t know how long, we’ve been able to win against a European team and both goals were scored by a player who was unable to play a couple of weeks ago. So of course we love him and I think he loves us.”

England battled bravely for an equaliser but South American champions Uruguay held firm, picking up three points that could go a long way to putting them in the knockout stages.

(Editing by Ed Osmond and Ken Ferris)

Harley-Davidson testing electric motorbike

Would a Harley still be a Harley if it didn’t have that out-of-my-way rumble and those fat, hydrocarbon-belching exhausts?

Motorcycle enthusiasts are about to find out as Harley-Davidson rolls out an electric bike – a sleek, futuristic version that sounds like a jet aeroplane taking off.

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The public will get its first look at handmade demonstration models at an invitation-only event on Monday in New York.

The company will then take the models on the road for riders to try and provide feedback.

Harley will use the information to refine the bike, which might not hit the market for several more years.

Harleys have long been the bad-boy bike of choice with an image associated with motorcycle gangs, even though most riders are middle-aged and middle-class.

The new venture is a departure from Harley’s mainstay touring bikes and presents an added risk because currently there’s almost no market for full-size electric motorcycles.

The millions of two-wheeled electric vehicles sold each year are almost exclusively scooters and low-powered bikes that appeal to Chinese commuters.

But those focused on electric vehicle development say Harley has the marketing power to create demand, and its efforts to lower costs, build charging stations and improve technology will help everyone involved.

“It does validate what we’ve been doing; it adds additional credibility to it,” said Scot Harden, vice president of global marketing at Zero Motorcycles, the top seller of full-size, high-powered electric bikes.

“It is certainly going to draw more people’s attention to electric motorcycles.

“The marketing horsepower of Harley-Davidson is going to be able to do things for us that we can’t do on our own.”

Zero expects to sell 2400 electric motorcycles this year, a drop in the bucket compared with the more than 260,000 conventional motorcycles sold last year by Harley.

The new LiveWire won’t make the distinctive “potato-potato-potato” chug that Harley once tried to patent.

Its engine is silent, and the turbine-like hum comes from the meshing of gears.

But electric motors do provide better handling and rapid acceleration – with the electric Harley able to go from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds.

LiveWire’s design places the engine at the bottom of the bike.

“When you ride a motorcycle, it’s the movement of the top of the bike side-to-side that gives you agility in regard to making turns,” said Gary Gauthier, of NextEnergy, a Detroit-based nonprofit with expertise in electric vehicles.

“So, if I put weight low in a motorcycle, I can turn faster. I can drop the bike down and make quicker moves.”

Jeff Richlen, Harley’s lead engineer on LiveWire, put it this way: “Some people may get on it thinking, ‘golf cart,’ and they get off thinking, ‘rocket ship.”‘

One hurdle Harley and others have yet to address is the limited range offered by electric motorcycles.

Batteries typically must be recharged after about 210km, and that can take 30 minutes to an hour.

Harley President Matt Levatich said he expects technology to improve and the company is less interested in immediate demand than long-term potential.

Cavs finally look at Exum for NBA draft

Dante Exum could be the number one pick in next week’s NBA Draft.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers, owners of the top selection, have reportedly invited the 18-year-old Australian basketball phenomenon to work out for the team after the player they had targetted, Cameroon-born centre Joel Embiid, suffered a foot injury.

The Cavaliers did not appear to be interested in Exum before news broke on Thursday of Embiid’s injury.

While the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic, holders of the second, third and fourth picks respectively in next Thursday’s draft have all worked out Exum the past fortnight, the Cavaliers didn’t.

If Cleveland does select Exum, the team would have three Australian-born guards with star Kyrie Irving and Victorian Matthew Dellavedova on the squad.

Exum would also be the third Australian picked number one after Andrew Bogut in 2005 and Irving in 2011.

Embiid, 20, is a 213cm tall, 113kg, centre who played just one year with the University of Kansas before declaring for the draft.

Despite his talent and potential to be a force in the NBA, teams have had health concerns about him.

Embiid suffered a stress fracture in his back that forced him to sit out the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments for Kansas and, while it seemed he had recovered from that, the latest injury, possibly a broken foot, could scare off the Cavaliers and other teams.

“He suffered a foot injury to his right foot sometime over the last few days,” Embiid’s agent Arn Tellem told ESPN.

“He’s getting evaluations from various doctors and experts in the field.”

The other potential number one picks are forwards, Andrew Wiggins of Kansas and Duke’s Jabari Parker.

Lyon says working on "Australian" carrom with Murali

An orthodox spinner who has rarely strayed from his stock off-breaks, Lyon teamed up with Australia’s new spin bowling consultant Murali to work on the delivery on a two-day training camp in Sri Lanka this week.

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The partnership between Lyon and Murali, who holds the record of 800 test wickets and was a master of the ‘doosra’ — a ball that turns the opposite direction of the off-break — has intrigued cricket fans in Australia.

Local media have speculated that Murali’s appointment would include teaching Lyon how to bowl the carrom, a ball that also turns the other way but with spin imparted by the flicking of the middle finger rather than the wristy action of the doosra.

Lyon, however, said he had been working on a different ball with spin coach John Davison long before teaming up with Murali.

“I certainly haven’t landed in Colombo and suddenly started bowling a new ball,” the 26-year-old said in a Cricket Australia interview.

“I’ve been working on them for a while now, especially with Davo back home.

“So it’s just been good to talk with Murali. We all know how good a bowler Murali was so to have his ideas and feedback about the progression of the ball that Dave and I have come up with has been very helpful.

“It’s definitely not the carrom ball,” he added. “It’s trying to have a different variation, it’s a ball that we’ve come up with working at the spin wicket at the MCC.

“It’s an Australian version of that carrom ball, I guess you could say, but hopefully it’s going to be a different variation.”

Lyon, who has taken 112 wickets in 33 tests at an average of just under 33, has previously experimented with unorthodox deliveries, and unveiled a ball he coined the “Jeff” in 2012 to some success, though it has made few appearances since.

Although Australia’s leading slow bowler and at 26, still developing his craft, Lyon has long lived in the shadow of retired legspinner Shane Warne and never quite been able to silence his critics with a virtuoso match-winning performance.

Murali was once among the critics, and cast doubt on Lyon’s ability to take wickets even on turning pitches after the spinner laboured on a deteriorating Hobart wicket in a 2012 test against Sri Lanka.

The top-ranked test nation, Australia play matches against Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and Lyon may need to play a leading role on the pitches in Gulf where the powers of fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris may be blunted.

“Murali’s been really good to talk to about training methods and especially having different tactics on-field against the Pakistanis in the UAE (United Arab Emirates),” Lyon said.

“We don’t know what we’re going to get over there in the UAE … It’s going to be a good challenge for us.”

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)