CRICKET: Australia captain Tim Paine praised Usman Khawaja’s batting performance as “one of the great Test innings” after his team hung on for an unlikely draw against Pakistan overnight in the First Test in Dubai.
Opener Khawaja batted for eight hours and 44 minutes to help spoil Pakistan’s victory bid, while Travis Head (72) and Paine, who finished not out on 61, played key supporting roles to take Australia to 362-8 and save the match.
Paine and number 10 batsman Nathan Lyon (5 not out) batted out the final 12.1 overs to snatch a draw, as Australia ended 100 short of a daunting* 462-run target set by Pakistan.
“I am just really proud of the whole group, how they stuck to our plans and kept digging in. I am really proud of Usman, too, on one of the great Test innings,” said Paine.
HALL OF FAME: Kurt Fearnley has challenged Australia to lead the way on inclusion* for people with disabilities after becoming the first Paralympian to receive The Don Award.
Fearnley, 37, was recognised as the Australian sporting star whose achievements over the past 12 months — which included a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games — have most inspired the nation.
And while the wheelchair racer spoke of his humility* in receiving the award, he used his speech to push Australians to use sport as a vehicle to embrace and support the disabled community.
“I’m the first within the Paralympic movement to receive this award, and I am incredibly grateful to have been given this opportunity. But I will guarantee that I won’t be the last.
“We need every person … to embrace our community of people with disabilities.”
AFL: The AFL says it’s listened to fans and will introduce nine rule changes next year to produce more free-flowing football and make the game better to watch.
AFL general manager of football operations Steve Hocking said: the new rules were shared with AFL coaches 10 days ago and were well-supported and he felt fans would feel the same.
“We have taken good care of the game and listened to what fans have had to say,” Hocking said on Thursday.
Under the changes, the man on the mark will be positioned an extra 5m back at kick-ins and players will be able to play on from the goalsquare without first kicking the ball to themselves.
The hands-in-the-back rule will be scrapped while “traditional” playing positions will be enforced at centre bounces, with six players required to start in the two 50m arcs and four in the centre square zone, with two on the wings. Each team will need to start with one player inside each goalsquare.
Players will also be given more space to take their kick after marking or receiving a free kick deep in defence, and the freedom to play on after receiving a 50m penalty.
“The changes are about enhancing what’s great about the game — the fast and open nature of the game, the unique skills of the players and we’re also looking to even up the offensive and defensive strategies,” Hocking said.
daunting: difficult or intimidating
inclusion: being included into a group
humility: being modest about one’s own performance
1. What score did Usman Khawaja hit in the second innings?
2. What does The Don award recognise?
3. What changes have been made to playing positions in the AFL?
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many connectives as you can find in pink. Discuss if these are being used as conjunctions, or to join ideas and create flow.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you think the AFL rule changes will improve the game?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking.