Sharapova marches into Tianjin semis

TIANJIN - Maria Sharapova equalled her best performance since returning from a doping suspension as she breezed into the Tianjin Open semi-finals on Friday. The Russian easily defeated Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 6-1 in 64 minutes and the former world number one will face China's Peng Shuai in the last four. Sharapova returned in April from a 15-month suspension for taking the banned substance meldonium. The 30-year-old, ranked 86 in the world, was granted a wildcard for Tianjin because her ranking was too low. "Obviously she really likes playing here and is the defending champion so she feels really good about the court and the atmosphere," Sharapova said of Peng, according to the WTA website. Peng thrashed Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-0, 6-1 in their quarter-final.–AFP

Angel Yin storms into Incheon lead

SEOUL - LPGA tour rookie Angel Yin fired six birdies and one eagle to storm into the sole lead at the second round of the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship Friday. The 19-year-old American fired a sizzling seven-under-par 65 to post an 11-under total of 133, rising to the top of the leaderboard at the star-studded event that features the game's top three players. Yin scored a par-five at the fifth where she hit a 6-iron to 12 feet and sank the eagle putt. "That got everything started," Yin, who turned pro last year, said after the event. "I made a few pars in the beginning, but that eagle just fired everything up." Local favorite Chun In-Gee, a two-time winner on the LPGA tour, carded 65 on Friday to a total of 135 to share second place with world number two Park Sung-Hyun and Ko Jin-Young.–AFP

Perez takes lead at CIMB Classic

KUALA LUMPUR - Pat Perez posted a seven-under-par 65 to take the second-round lead of the rain-interrupted CIMB Classic on Friday as defending champion Justin Thomas slipped further behind. American Perez fired home eight birdies to take him to 13-under-par 131 after day two at the TPC Kuala Lumpur, where play was stopped for almost four hours due to a tropical thunderstorm. Compatriot Xander Schauffele was one shot behind, after starting strongly with an eagle on the third hole to pave the way for five-under-par 67. It was another disappointing day for Thomas, who is hoping to win a third consecutive title at the event.  The American is coming off the back of a breakthrough season which saw him rack up five wins, including a maiden major victory at the PGA Championship in August.–AFP

CFL launching ceremony held

KARACHI – The launching ceremony of Classic Football League (CFL) was held here on Friday at a local hotel. The Strawberry Sports Management will organize the league in Karachi, the purpose of which is to develop football at grassroots talent. Sindh Olympic Association secretary, Agha Khan, Youth and Sports Board for Pakistan, Sindh Football Association, international players of Pakistan, president and secretary of Referee Association Sindh, renowned coaches, representatives from the departments including NBP, KPT, K-Electric, HBL, PIA, renowned artists, producers, directors, C level executives of various corporate entities were present on the occasion. At the sidelines of the media briefing, teaser of Pakistan’s first ever movie on football was also screened that was keenly observed by the participants.–PR


Karachi win U-18 girls rugby title

LAHORE – Karachi girls routed Vehari 5-0 to win the Under-18 Girls Championship, which was held at Lodhran Rugby Stadium under the aegis of Pakistan Rugby Union. PRU women coordinator Roma Abbass said five teams participated in this one-day 7s championship, in which Lodhran, Vehari, Dunyapur and Karachi took part. In first match of the day, Vehari thrashed Lodran 15-0 while in the second match, Karachi crushed Kotaddu 20-0, Dunyapur routed Lodhran 5-0 in the third match and in the fourth match, Vehari trounced Dunyapur 15-0. After round matches, Vehari and Karachi qualified for main final. For the third position, Dunyapur defeated Kot Addu 5-0 while Karachi toppled Vehari 5-0 to win the final. PRI chairman Fawzi Khawaja vowed to continue for the promotion of women rugby.–Staff Reporter


Descon Super League commences today

LAHORE - The Descon Super League Corporate Cricket Tournament 2017 will roll into action today (Saturday) with eight matches to be played on the inaugural day here at the various venues of the city. As many as 16 spirited teams from corporate sector, including Nestle, Tetra Pak, Honda, Descon, Jazz, Nespak, FBR, Meezan Bank, ICI, PTV Sports, Coca Cola, PC, Fatima Group, Packages, Akzonobel and Abacus, are participating in the league, which will be played during next two months at the top ranking cricket grounds of the city. Speaking about the league, head administration Faheem Mukhtar Butt said: “We are planned to not only provide the best cricketing opportunities to our employees but also involved other companies to be part of this event, which is being organized by Descon Engineering.”–Staff Reporter