Sharapova shoots up rankings

PARIS - Maria Sharapova has shot up the women’s world rankings following her victory in Tianjin on Sunday, rising 29 places to 57th in the latest WTA list. The 30-year-old former world number one triumphed 7-5, 7-6 (10/8) against teenager Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus to claim her first title since serving a 15-month doping ban. Sharapova will hope to build on that victory this week in Moscow after being handed a wildcard for the Kremlin Cup. The top 10 remains unchanged, with Romania’s Simona Halep on top ahead of Spain’s Garbine Muguruza. Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova climbs three places to 18th after beating Daria Gavrilova in the Hong Kong Open final at the weekend. Czech Barbora Strycova, winner of her second WTA Tour title in Linz on Sunday, climbs just one place to 25th.–AFP


Federer closes on Nadal after title win

PARIS - Roger Federer has closed the gap on Rafael Nadal at the top of the latest ATP world rankings released on Monday following his victory over the Spaniard at the Shanghai Masters. Nadal remains well clear of Federer, but the Swiss maintains a chance of finishing the year as world No 1 after shaving more than 400 points off his lead. Federer claimed a surprisingly one-sided 6-4, 6-3 victory over Nadal Sunday to secure a 94th career title, drawing him level with the great Ivan Lendl. Only Jimmy Connors (109) has won more trophies. Meanwhile, Marin Cilic reaches his best ever ranking of fourth after his run to the semifinals in Shanghai. Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka each slip a place but Juan Martin Del Potro continued his climb up the rankings, rising four places to 19th.–AFP


CPL T20 Championship gets underway

LAHORE - The Pepsi Corporate Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 Championship has got underway with eight warm-up matches were played on the inaugural day here at the four different grounds of the city. In the opening match of the championship Pepsi thrashed Zephyr by 125 runs. Pepsi scored 203 runs and in reply, Zephr were all out for meager 78. The second encounter saw Bright Paints routing by 64 runs. Batting first, Brighto gathered 189 runs and their opponents could score only 125 in reply. The third encounter was won by Allied Bank who defeated Intech by 15 runs while Descon beat Service by 6 wickets in the fourth match of the day. In the fifth encounter, Razziq defeated Nestle by 13 runs. Razziq scored 162-6 and in reply, Nestle were all out for 149. Ufone won the sixth match by toppling Abacus by 6 wickets while Gourmet edged Atlas by 12 runs in the seventh match and in the eighth and final match of the day, Meezan Bank trounced Unifoam by 9 wickets. Unifoam set target of 115 runs which Meezan achieved for the loss of just wicket.–Staff Reporter


Eight matches decided in T20 League

LAHORE - As many as eight matches were decided on the inaugural day of the Descon Twenty20 Super League 2017 here at the various venues of the city. The colourful opening ceremony of the league was first held which was participated by passionate cricket lovers, players and their families. In the first match of the day played at Arfa Kareem Tower ground, Nespak defeated Descon Engineering by 5 wickets. Ahsan Ikhlaq played brilliantly and was named man of the match. The second match was played at Race Course ground where Nestle thrashed Jazz by 170 runs with Faisal Iqbal emerging as man of the match. In the third encounter at Valencia ground, ICI outclassed PC by 88 runs. Hamza Mohsin was star of the day for ICI and was declared player of the match. At Model Town cricket ground, CCI crushed Abacas by 10 wickets in the fourth match with Imran Dogar stealing the show through his outstanding performance. In the first match of the second round, Packages trounced Akzo Nobel by 9 wickets. Hassan Mehmood was hero of the day for Packages and was named man of the match. The second match saw PTV defeated Fatima Group by 10 runs with Usman Zafar claiming player of the match award. The third match was conducted between FBR and Meezan Bank and outstanding performance of Tariq Mehmood helped FBR win the encounter while in the final match of the second round, Honda XI outplayed Tetra Pack.–Staff Reporter