The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 29 August 2012


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The Independent Online

South Africa top ODI rankings and take series lead

South Africa last night became the first side to top the ICC rankings in all three formats, after Hashim Amla's stunning 150 propelled the visitors to an 80-run victory over England in the second one-day international at the Ageas Bowl, claiming a 1-0 series lead. On a day when the exiled Kevin Pietersen, right, made 163 for Surrey, England were dismissed for 207, short of the 288 target, and surrendered top spot in the ODI table just as they gave up their place at the Test summit earlier this month. Amla began that Test series with an unbeaten triple century and he was on match-winning form again in Southampton, striking 16 fours in a superb 124-ball knock that saw his side to 287 for 5. England's ODI captain Alastair Cook praised Amla afterwards, saying: "His innings showed us how to play. It's frustrating as a captain but he played beautifully." MORE

Spurs set to sign Fulham's Dembélé

Tottenham hope to announce the signing of Fulham midfielder Moussa Dembélé in the next 24 hours, having beaten Manchester United to the player in a deal worth around £15m. Negotiations have moved quickly since Spurs' sale of Luka Modric to Real Madrid for £27.8m. MORE

Swansea shun £6m City bid for Sinclair

Swansea last night rejected Manchester City's £6.2m bid for Scott Sinclair, who says he will not sign a new contract. QPR's Joey Barton tweeted that his proposed move to Marseilles has stalled, writing: "Doesn't look like this Marseilles thing is gonna happen now". MORE

Fulham crash out out Capital Cup

Fulham were knocked out of the Capital One Cup last night, falling 1-0 to Sheffield Wednesday in the second-round match at Hillsborough. Striker Gary Madine scored the winner in the 50th minute, firing home a penalty after Stephen Kelly had fouled Chris Maguire. page 47

West Ham too strong for Crewe

West Ham reached the third round of the Capital One Cup after beating Crewe 2-0 at Upton Park. Nicky Maynard scored in 34th minute, volleying in Ricardo Vaz Te's cross, before new signing Modibo Maiga scored his first goal for the club in the 55th minute. MORE

Murray wary of 'unorthodox' Croat

Andy Murray expects his second round opponent, Croatia's Ivan Dodig, the world No 118, to "serve and volley a lot" today at the US Open. The Scot added: "He's very flexible and a tough guy to play against because he's very unorthodox." MORE

Clijsters lavishes praise on Robson

Kim Clijsters praised Laura Robson ahead of their second-round US Open match, after the Briton beat Samantha Crawford 6-3, 7-6 yesterday. "She's a great ball-striker. She hits the ball so clean and has a very good eye for the ball," said Clijsters.

Wiggins success inspires Waddon

Britain's Paracyclist Rik Waddon, who competes in the C1-3 one-kilometre time-trial tomorrow, is inspired by Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins. "Bradley's one of my heroes," said Waddon, "like Chris Boardman was in the '90s." MORE

Games will 'change people's mindsets'

Oscar Pistorius believes the Paralympic Games can change people's perceptions on disability. He said: "It is going to completely change people's mindsets. I am just so excited to see the impact this will leave around the world." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

What follows over the 11 days of the Paralympics has to be viewed in the same light, and with the same fervour, as the 30th Olympics – already seen as arguably the most heart-warming of all time. MORE

'Refreshed' Oakley joins Northampton

Northampton yesterday signed the Wales back-row Rhys Oakley from the French club Bourgoin. "I come to Northampton a more rounded player for my time in France," said Oakley. "I feel refreshed." MORE