Australia may lead India in fourth Test in Brisbane but under-strength tourists continue to thrive


Justin Langer is one of those rare sporting characters who is most intimidating when he smiles.

The Australian coach wore a typically disconcerting grin on Sunday morning, shortly before play began at the Gabba. He was talking about Mitchell Starc. Langer seemed certain it would be a big day for the left-arm paceman.

In the early stages of the first session, the prophecy was playing out. Starc’s pace was up, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were a little jumpy, and the edges were coming thick and fast.

All was primed for one of those performances Starc has produced so often in home Tests — four or five quick wickets and a couple of bruises to bully out the middle and lower-order batsmen.

Langer’s faith in the New South Welshman is well-founded in statistics. In the last three Australian summers, Starc’s returns have been 29 wickets at 17.44 apiece, 25 at 25.84 and 22 at 23.54. Those are fine numbers for the third option in a world-beating pace attack. Starc’s remarkable strike rate of 48.9 is the best of any bowler in Australia’s all-time top 20.

Yet he has flagged noticeably this summer, an underacknowledged factor in Australia’s struggles.

Leading into this game, nine series wickets at 31.66 probably flattered his performances. Along with Nathan Lyon (six wickets at 57.66 in the first three Tests), he’s been fortunate that the startling brilliance of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood and the uncertainty of Australia’s batting line-up have provided ample distraction.

Both Starc and Lyon could and probably should have turned a corner today, padding their stats and reconfirming their positions. Starc looked most likely. He was also a little unlucky; he certainly didn’t benefit from Tim Paine’s reactive placement of floating slips, nor the rub of the green.

After lunch, Hazlewood snuffed out promising innings from Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant. The score was 6-186, unheralded newbies Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur were at the crease and another Brisbane rout looked certain. It was, in other words, a situation tailor-made for Starc and Lyon.

Instead, India surged again. An audacious, record-breaking seventh-wicket partnership of 125 took hold and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy started slipping away before Australia’s eyes.

Shardul Thakur proved to be a frustration for the home side.(AP: Tertius Pickard)

In his milestone Test, Lyon was milked for runs like a novice, not a man on the cusp of 400 Test wickets. Just before the final drinks break, Washington dropped to one knee for a slog-sweep and launched the spinner over the ropes with a no-look six.

After a defensive prod back down the pitch, Lyon was reduced to pegging the ball back at the debutant’s head.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Shardul’s sparkling knock went close to demoralising Australia. A 29-year-old fill-in with a first-class batting average of 16, he smacked Starc around like he was a village trundler.

And the highlights were entirely orthodox, not lucky swipes: after tea, Shardul pushed confidently onto the front foot and stroked a delightful straight drive to the fence when Starc over-pitched. Two deliveries later, the retaliatory short ball was dispatched over point for four more.

A week ago, Paine crowed that he couldn’t wait to get the Indians onto the Gabba. On Sunday, he was spilling catches, wasting reviews and tactical inspiration was in short supply.

With Cummins misfiring for the first time all summer, Starc was doubly exposed. A freeze-frame graphic spoke of his scattergun method: at the point of delivery, all the other Australian bowlers had their eyes fixed on the batsman. Starc’s were firmly shut.

Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine speaks to bowler Pat Cummins on the field during a Test at the Gabba.
Tim Paine will hope to get more out of Pat Cummins when the hosts bowl again.(AP: Tertius Pickard)

Incensed at the impertinence of India’s newest pair of heroes, Starc cranked the speed dial up to 150kph and aimed at the body — his go-to move this summer, but not a very successful one.

Even at that speed, you significantly reduce your chances of taking wickets if barely one in 10 deliveries is aimed at the stumps. Surprise surprise, when Shardul was finally dismissed for 67, it was because Cummins returned and bowled stump-to-stump.

Does Australia deserve to win this series? It is hard to mount a convincing argument that a pair of brilliant batsmen and two great fast bowlers make a champion team.

India, on the other hand, has showed that it can throw together almost any combination of 11 fit players and thrive, even at bogey grounds, even at the end of a punishing tour, even when exhaustion is surely setting in.

There was something else Langer said before play that stuck in the mind as India’s innings wore on. For advice on the Brisbane thunderstorms that might wipe out a chunk of day five and ensure India’s retention of the trophy, the coach has been leaning on Michael Neser, the wily local paceman whose primary tasks this summer have been to work on his luscious beard and bowl in the nets.

On today’s evidence, he can consider himself unlucky that his only other role is amateur meteorologist.

Thank you for stopping by to visit My Local Pages and checking this article on National and ACT news and updates published as “Australia may lead India in fourth Test in Brisbane but under-strength tourists continue to thrive”. This news release is brought to you by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local news services.

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Australia may lead India in fourth Test in Brisbane but under-strength tourists continue to thrive


Justin Langer is one of those rare sporting characters who is most intimidating when he smiles.

The Australian coach wore a typically disconcerting grin on Sunday morning, shortly before play began at the Gabba. He was talking about Mitchell Starc. Langer seemed certain it would be a big day for the left-arm paceman.

In the early stages of the first session, the prophecy was playing out. Starc’s pace was up, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were a little jumpy, and the edges were coming thick and fast.

All was primed for one of those performances Starc has produced so often in home Tests — four or five quick wickets and a couple of bruises to bully out the middle and lower-order batsmen.

Langer’s faith in the New South Welshman is well-founded in statistics. In the last three Australian summers, Starc’s returns have been 29 wickets at 17.44 apiece, 25 at 25.84 and 22 at 23.54. Those are fine numbers for the third option in a world-beating pace attack. Starc’s remarkable strike rate of 48.9 is the best of any bowler in Australia’s all-time top 20.

Yet he has flagged noticeably this summer, an underacknowledged factor in Australia’s struggles.

Leading into this game, nine series wickets at 31.66 probably flattered his performances. Along with Nathan Lyon (six wickets at 57.66 in the first three Tests), he’s been fortunate that the startling brilliance of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood and the uncertainty of Australia’s batting line-up have provided ample distraction.

Both Starc and Lyon could and probably should have turned a corner today, padding their stats and reconfirming their positions. Starc looked most likely. He was also a little unlucky; he certainly didn’t benefit from Tim Paine’s reactive placement of floating slips, nor the rub of the green.

After lunch, Hazlewood snuffed out promising innings from Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant. The score was 6-186, unheralded newbies Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur were at the crease and another Brisbane rout looked certain. It was, in other words, a situation tailor-made for Starc and Lyon.

Instead, India surged again. An audacious, record-breaking seventh-wicket partnership of 125 took hold and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy started slipping away before Australia’s eyes.

Shardul Thakur proved to be a frustration for the home side.(AP: Tertius Pickard)

In his milestone Test, Lyon was milked for runs like a novice, not a man on the cusp of 400 Test wickets. Just before the final drinks break, Washington dropped to one knee for a slog-sweep and launched the spinner over the ropes with a no-look six.

After a defensive prod back down the pitch, Lyon was reduced to pegging the ball back at the debutant’s head.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Shardul’s sparkling knock went close to demoralising Australia. A 29-year-old fill-in with a first-class batting average of 16, he smacked Starc around like he was a village trundler.

And the highlights were entirely orthodox, not lucky swipes: after tea, Shardul pushed confidently onto the front foot and stroked a delightful straight drive to the fence when Starc over-pitched. Two deliveries later, the retaliatory short ball was dispatched over point for four more.

A week ago, Paine crowed that he couldn’t wait to get the Indians onto the Gabba. On Sunday, he was spilling catches, wasting reviews and tactical inspiration was in short supply.

With Cummins misfiring for the first time all summer, Starc was doubly exposed. A freeze-frame graphic spoke of his scattergun method: at the point of delivery, all the other Australian bowlers had their eyes fixed on the batsman. Starc’s were firmly shut.

Australia wicketkeeper Tim Paine speaks to bowler Pat Cummins on the field during a Test at the Gabba.
Tim Paine will hope to get more out of Pat Cummins when the hosts bowl again.(AP: Tertius Pickard)

Incensed at the impertinence of India’s newest pair of heroes, Starc cranked the speed dial up to 150kph and aimed at the body — his go-to move this summer, but not a very successful one.

Even at that speed, you significantly reduce your chances of taking wickets if barely one in 10 deliveries is aimed at the stumps. Surprise surprise, when Shardul was finally dismissed for 67, it was because Cummins returned and bowled stump-to-stump.

Does Australia deserve to win this series? It is hard to mount a convincing argument that a pair of brilliant batsmen and two great fast bowlers make a champion team.

India, on the other hand, has showed that it can throw together almost any combination of 11 fit players and thrive, even at bogey grounds, even at the end of a punishing tour, even when exhaustion is surely setting in.

There was something else Langer said before play that stuck in the mind as India’s innings wore on. For advice on the Brisbane thunderstorms that might wipe out a chunk of day five and ensure India’s retention of the trophy, the coach has been leaning on Michael Neser, the wily local paceman whose primary tasks this summer have been to work on his luscious beard and bowl in the nets.

On today’s evidence, he can consider himself unlucky that his only other role is amateur meteorologist.

Thank you for dropping by My Local Pages and checking out this news article involving Australian Capital Territory news titled “Australia may lead India in fourth Test in Brisbane but under-strength tourists continue to thrive”. This post is brought to you by MyLocalPages as part of our local and national news services.

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Ryan Papenhuyzen says first post-Cameron Smith Storm skipper must lead in his own way during NRL 2021 season


Veteran forward Jesse Bromwich has been Smith’s understudy for several years now and has often been seen as the heir-apparent although State of Origin lock Dale Finucane and veteran forward Kenny Bromwich have boosted their leadership stature in recent years.

Representative five-eighth Cameron Munster and winger Sandor Earl were also in the main leadership group last year. Earl isn’t with the team this season.

“I don’t think someone will try to replace Cam if he is not going to be here,” Papenhuzyen told media on Thursday from the team’s annual training camp in Geelong.

“It’s more about bringing your strengths to the table.

“Two who stand out are the Bromwich brothers. They have been here for a while now and they won’t lead like Cam, they will lead like themselves.

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“Everyone respects them, everyone respects our whole leadership group.”

Papenhuyzen said replacing Smith’s poise and calm on-field would be as difficult as replacing his talents.

“What Cam was really good at was his calmness and that is something we will work on [during] pre-season now, get in heaps of reps so when we get to those situations it becomes second nature,” Papenhuyzen said.

He joked Bellamy, who is noted for his animated ways during games, won’t help in bringing calmness to the team.

“Not Craig, that’s for sure,” Papenhuyzen said.

“Kenny Bromwich is really calm, he strikes me as one of those kinds of people. There is that aura, Kenny has that and a few others have that but Kenny stands out.”

Papenhuyzen was told by Bellamy last year he needed to have more of a say around the team and he has stepped up since his return given the team’s State of Origin stars aren’t due back until next week.

He listed utility back Nicho Hynes and Brisbane Easts winger Michael Purcell, who is just training with the side, as two candidates pushing him for the full-back role.

“We have Nicho, who is a pretty talented full-back. and little Purce as well, he’s come down from Brissy and is an unbelievable talent – he reminds me of Josh Addo-Carr a little bit,” Papenhuyzen said.

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“There is also a few younger boys who don’t have a position but are willing to learn to play full-back or wing. It’s competitive but they want to learn and I’m happy to share my experiences with them.”

The Storm have already been told to put the 2020 title behind them and as the new season fast approaches, Papenhuyzen said he wanted another ring in 2021.

“I have my ring at my desk, it makes me smile,” he said. “I’m so happy I’ve achieved that but now I want to get another one.”

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Can Newcastle Knights star overcome inner demons to lead Knights to glory?


And until lewd texts sent to a club employee were later uncovered by the staffer’s furious partner, and subsequently leaked just after Christmas Day, it appeared as though Pearce had shaken his other vice: the “playboy” approach that was at the centre of most of the trouble he ran into while plying his trade in Bondi.

The overwhelming emotions of many people that agreed to speak to The Sun-Herald, on the condition of anonymity, were a mix of sadness for Pearce and disappointment that the 31-year-old should know better.

“The first thing I thought when someone sent me the story was, ‘F—, Pearcey,” one former teammate said. “It’s just disappointing, because he’s a good bloke that we all want to see do well.

“Watching him the night he was called in to do a job for NSW in the Origin decider [in 2019], and knowing what he went through [the pressure to deliver] at the Roosters, I was so happy for him. But he makes life hard for himself.”

It doesn’t take a psychology degree to see Pearce is barely coping with the pressure caused by the texting saga, which has engulfed the Knights in the past fortnight.

He was emotional as he announced his resignation from the captaincy on Thursday. He struggled to hold back tears. He described the situation – his lavish Byron Bay wedding to Kristin Scott was postponed after the story became public – as “traumatic”.

“It’s been a traumatic few weeks for my personal life and those I love,” Pearce said. “Unfortunately, my actions have impacted the team and, more importantly, the people I have closest to me, Kristin and my family.”

It doesn’t take a psychology degree to see Mitchell Pearce is barely coping with the pressure caused by the texting saga.Credit:NRL Photos

Unfortunately for Pearce, those closest to him have heard it all before.

His most infamous off-field incident – when footage of the halfback pretending to have sex with a dog during a drinking session on Australia Day in 2016 was sold to media outlets – was one of those instances. It caused Pearce to seek help at a rehabilitation facility in Thailand.

Upon his return to Australia, Pearce was contrite and emotional, pledging to do, and be, better.

“At this point in time, I am probably the worst role model in sport,” Pearce said at the time. “That is something I have come back a lot clearer about. There has never been any intentional disrespect, but I didn’t think about that. I was just totally selfish. I need to take responsibility, which is something I have always shied away from.

“People are probably going to be waiting for something else, but it is up to me now. It is my life at the end of the day and I have got to do it for myself and for the people I care about.”

Two parts of those comments stand out.

Firstly, that Pearce must take responsibility for his actions – something he admits he lacked prior to the video of his embarrassing drunken antics on Australia Day.

Sources have told The Sun-Herald that was not the case when Pearce heard the texting scandal was about to become public. He was more concerned about the story being leaked, furious someone had betrayed his trust.

‘It is up to me now. It is my life at the end of the day and I have got to do it for myself and for the people I care about.’

Mitchell Pearce in 2016

His comments to News Corp were indicative of that.

“It’s COVID mate … and it’s private,” Pearce said. “We’re sorting things out. It’s a really stressful time for us. It’s our business, no one else’s.”

Once again, those close to Pearce have heard that before.

After another major off-field scandal in 2014 – when he was arrested in Kings Cross after refusing to leave popular nightclub Beach Haus – the playmaker was more concerned about the impact the incident would have on his relationship with Phoebe Carpenter, given he was asked to leave after making “advances” to another woman.

Carpenter stuck by Pearce when he was photographed with Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts and welcomed a Playboy model into the Coogee Crowne Plaza prior to the 2012 Origin decider, but they split three years later.

Pearce isn’t the first star Newcastle No.7 to have off-field problems. But Andrew Johns thrived when not all was well away from the game.

Pearce is the opposite. He needs to be healthy on the field and happy off the field to produce his best. The fact he has brought so much of the unfortunate spotlight on himself has hindered his undeniable talent.

In a contract year, Pearce will now have to balance the process of mending his relationship with Scott and steering the Knights to a second consecutive finals appearance.

That’s a fair bit on his plate, even without the pressure of the captaincy.

One of Pearce’s former coaches at the Roosters, Brian Smith, summed up well the battle some players face.

Asked about Todd Carney’s stellar performance in his debut season for the glamour club in 2010 after a year spent in NRL exile playing bush footy, Smith didn’t miss a beat.

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“Now isn’t the problem,” Smith said. “It’s what happens in a few weeks or months, when he has injury or is struggling with form. Or the off-season. That’s what matters most.”

The same can be said of Pearce.

If he can mend his relationship with Scott and remain on the straight and narrow, the roller coaster that has been his career may reach another high.

The Knights may even win their first play-off game since the preliminary final in 2013. If they do, Pearce will undoubtedly be handsomely rewarded in what could be his final contract. But if all is not well at home, those close to Pearce are concerned.

They’ve seen this movie before.

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‘Bellingcat’ lead investigator publishes database on travel history of FSB operatives implicated in Navalny poisoning




Just weeks after the release of his team’s bombshell joint investigation linking Alexey Navalny’s poisoning to Russian intelligence operatives, Bellingcat’s lead researcher Christo Grozev has published a database of information on the travel history of the FSB agents implicated in the assassination attempt. In the hours after the database was made public, journalists began identifying possible leads. Grozev also noted that two trips have been redacted from the database, so as not to affect already ongoing investigations.



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David Warner and Australian players hope COVID-19 vaccine could lead to easing of hub restrictions


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David Warner has rejoined the team’s bio-secure bubble, after more than a month away because of injury, which has allowed him to refresh and further prepare for what life on the road will be like away from his young family.

“We know what we are facing. We have been in the bubble, we know what we are going to get so it’s not new to any of us who have been inside these bubbles,” he said.

“I wouldn’t say fortunate enough that I got injured, but I was always going to have that time off as well. A lot of us got that option, to take that rest or not and we knew that was going to upset a fair few people coming from the IPL and missing the first couple of the games here.

“But, at the end of the day, when you are given those opportunities, in my own situation with three kids and my wife, having not seen them, it was a no-brainer to have that time off.”

It doesn’t promise to get any easier for the Australians this year. There is a three-Test tour of South Africa and a corresponding white-ball tour of New Zealand planned for February, then comes, for some, the Indian Premier League, and the inaugural Test championship in London in June, should Australia qualify. There is a busy end to the year, including the Twenty20 World Cup that is slated for India but could yet be moved.

Warner had warned on the eve of the summer that it was going to be “very difficult” for players to endure months and months of hub life, particularly if partners and children were not included, but several will at least have a break once the final Test against India concludes.

“At the end of this, we get a couple of weeks off before the next series if you are not playing BBL. Then from there it is back in the bubble, for how long we don’t know. If a vaccine comes, if we are allowed to have that vaccine, there are a lot of things up in the air. As I said, we know what we are facing,” Warner said.

Vice-captain Pat Cummins said the players had been running out of ideas on how to keep occupied, with catch-ups in the team meeting room to watch the Big Bash League one way they were spending their nights.

“We’ll look after everyone as best we can but the priorities are getting through this series really safely and everyone is desperate to play these last two Tests, so whatever it takes,” Cummins said.

Steve Smith and wife Dani, having not seen each other for more than four months, were reunited for a few days in Melbourne but that will change when the team heads to Sydney on Monday.



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Netflix maintains its lead over streaming rivals



Tiger King, The Queen’s Gambit, and now Bridgerton: Thanks to its popular original content, which resonated with viewers forced to entertain themselves at home, Netflix added over 5 million U.S. subscribers over the past year.

But Netflix wasn’t alone. Streaming services grew across the board in 2020, as recent entrants such as Disney Plus and HBO Max built momentum. Combined, those strong performances boosted the category overall by 50% over the last year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. The average U.S. household now subscribes to 3.1 streaming services, versus 2.7 in 2019.

Amazon’s Prime Video closed out 2020 with nearly 50 million subscribers, up from roughly 43 million in Q4 of 2019. Hulu now boasts nearly 35 million subscribers, up from 27 million.

Among the newer entrants, Apple TV Plus more than doubled its subscribers, from 4 million in Q4 of 2019 to over 8 million in Q4 of this year. Since its launch in early 2020, HBO Max has won over nearly 17 million subscribers. Disney Plus, which ended 2019 with 24 million subscribers, today has 37 million.

As for 2021, the outlook for streaming is more murky. Free trials for some of the newer services are expiring. Production delays due to the pandemic will continue to affect timelines for original content. And as other entertainment options reopen, streaming fatigue is likely to drive viewers back to movie theaters, sports stadiums, and concert halls. In other words, it may be back to normal-ish soon.

“We try not to get overly focused on the COVID effects because they’re very onetime in nature,” Netflix cofounder and co-CEO Reed Hastings told analysts during the company’s Q3 earnings call in October. “We compete for time against TNF, TikTok, and YouTube, as well as HBO, as well as Fortnite. So really, the limiter for us is what’s the quality of our service, how often, how many nights do you say, ‘Oh my God, I want to go to Netflix and watch the next show.’”





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Rangers gain revenge over St Mirren to retain 16-point Premiership lead


Alfredo Morelos scored Rangers’ second goal

Rangers retain their 16-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership after avoiding a repeat of their League Cup defeat to St Mirren with ease.

The home side looked capable of two wins over Steven Gerrard’s side within a fortnight early on.

But first-half strikes from Kemar Roofe and Alfredo Morelos were enough to send Rangers into Saturday’s Old Firm derby on the back of 13 straight league wins.

Jonathan Obika scooped over St Mirren’s best chance shortly before the opener.

Rangers have responded to that League Cup exit with four wins in a row in their best top-flight start since 1928 as they prepare to host second-top reigning champions Celtic.

Despite the end of their seven-game unbeaten home run, St Mirren remain seventh.

Considering that League Cup exit and the fact St Mirren had made their own best league start since 1988, this was always going to be a big test for Rangers’ title credentials.

It was no surprise that home manager Jim Goodwin returned to the more defensive starting line-up that secured their place in the semi-finals and Jamie McGrath, scorer of two of their goals that night, was first to threaten as the midfielder dispossessed a lazy Steven Davis and fired a low drive straight at goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

St Mirren were looking as full of confidence as Rangers were with trepidation as two of the three players returning to the home line-up combined to give the visitors another scare.

McGregor, making his 400th appearance during two spells with the Ibrox club, was unable to hold Dylan Connolly’s low shot through a sea of legs and Obika could only scoop his close-range shot on the turn over the crossbar.

St Mirren’s early work was undone when Ianis Hagi pounced on a mix-up between two opponents and played through for Roofe to fire past goalkeeper Jak Alnwick via a deflection off the hosts’ other League Cup scorer, Conor McCarthy.

The striker’s 10th goal in 14 games was quickly followed by Morelos’ first in nine games as the Colombia international pounced on Joe Shaughnessy’s messy passback to slot past former Rangers goalkeeper Alnwick.

St Mirren again started the better after the break, but it was Rangers who came closest to adding to the scoreline as Alnwick saved from Morelos and the visitors appeared able to coast the rest of the game as they preserved energy ahead of that even bigger test to come.

Man of the match – Jonathan Obika

St Mirren's Jonathan Obika (right) in action against Rangers
Jonathan Obika (right) missed St Mirren’s best chance but was a constant menace to Rangers for a second game in a row

What did we learn?

Lightning did not strike twice for St Mirren – it rarely does for provincial sides against either half of the Old Firm – but they can take heart from troubling the league leaders once again.

Goodwin got his tactics spot on and will hope this is a mere blip in a fine run since ending a run of six straight defeats in October around the time of their Covid outbreak.

Rangers, meanwhile, continue to grind out the results despite in recent weeks failing to replicate their early season fluency but will need to combine those elements of teamwork and tenacity to overcome a Celtic side recovering from their own sticky patch.

It was also a win achieved while dropping winger Ryan Kent to the bench and that, along with Morelos’ goal on being restored to the starting line-up, leaves Gerrard with some big decisions to make on Saturday.

What next?

Rangers head for what could be a title-deciding top-of-the-table clash at home to Celtic on Saturday (12:30 GMT) before St Mirren visit a Kilmarnock side two points below them in the table (15:00).

More to follow.

Line-ups

St Mirren

  • 1Alnwick
  • 22Fraser
  • 5McCarthy
  • 4ShaughnessyBooked at 71mins
  • 2Tait
  • 21ConnollySubstituted forMcAllisterat 82′minutes
  • 7Doyle-Hayes
  • 17McGrathSubstituted forDennisat 77′minutes
  • 25ErhahonSubstituted forMacPhersonat 85′minutes
  • 3MasonSubstituted forDurmusat 77′minutes
  • 9ObikaBooked at 53mins

Substitutes

  • 8Flynn
  • 10McAllister
  • 11Durmus
  • 14MacPherson
  • 16Foley
  • 19Morias
  • 20Dennis
  • 23Erwin
  • 26Lyness

Rangers

  • 1McGregor
  • 2TavernierBooked at 29minsSubstituted forBalogunat 89′minutes
  • 6Goldson
  • 5Helander
  • 31Barisic
  • 17Aribo
  • 10Davis
  • 18Kamara
  • 7HagiSubstituted forZunguat 80′minutes
  • 20Morelos
  • 25RoofeSubstituted forKentat 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Bassey
  • 9Defoe
  • 11Itten
  • 14Kent
  • 15Zungu
  • 16Patterson
  • 21Barker
  • 26Balogun
  • 33McLaughlin

Live Text

Player of the match

RoofeKemar Roofe

St Mirren

  1. Squad number17Player nameMcGrath

  2. Squad number7Player nameDoyle-Hayes

  3. Squad number5Player nameMcCarthy

  4. Squad number9Player nameObika

  5. Squad number21Player nameConnolly

  6. Squad number2Player nameTait

  7. Squad number3Player nameMason

  8. Squad number25Player nameErhahon

  9. Squad number22Player nameFraser

  10. Squad number1Player nameAlnwick

  11. Squad number4Player nameShaughnessy

  12. Squad number20Player nameDennis

  13. Squad number11Player nameDurmus

  14. Squad number14Player nameMacPherson

  15. Squad number10Player nameMcAllister

Rangers

  1. Squad number25Player nameRoofe

  2. Squad number20Player nameMorelos

  3. Squad number7Player nameHagi

  4. Squad number18Player nameKamara

  5. Squad number17Player nameAribo

  6. Squad number10Player nameDavis

  7. Squad number31Player nameBarisic

  8. Squad number2Player nameTavernier

  9. Squad number1Player nameMcGregor

  10. Squad number6Player nameGoldson

  11. Squad number5Player nameHelander

  12. Squad number14Player nameKent

  13. Squad number15Player nameZungu

  14. Squad number26Player nameBalogun





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EPA to investigate as Nyrstar admits Port Pirie smelter will exceed annual lead emissions limit


Port Pirie’s smelter is on track to cut annual lead emissions by almost 20 per cent but is still forecast to breach limits set in a new licence, resources company Nyrstar says.

South Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) said the predicted breach was based on current tracking of the smelter’s lead-in-air (LIA) emissions.

In a statement on Tuesday, the EPA said the smelter would breach conditions of its new licence issued in July, which directed the company to lower its annual emissions by 20 per cent.

EPA chief executive Tony Circelli said current readings point to Nyrstar exceeding its new annual average LIA limit of 0.4 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) at the Pirie West compliance monitoring location on December 31, 2020.

The company is also likely to exceed annual average limits at the Ellen Street and Boat Ramp locations.

“While the EPA investigates this matter formally, it will not be appropriate to comment or speculate on likely compliance outcomes.

“Suffice to say, this is an extremely disappointing outcome and indicates unacceptable discharges of lead to Port Pirie in 2020.”

When the predicted LIA figure is confirmed, a formal EPA investigation will be launched.

Nyrstar labels new limit ‘a challenge’

In a statement on Monday evening, Nyrstar said the average LIA result for the 12 months to December 31 was approximately 0.42 µg/m3.

Nyrstar said the result, “while well below the previous limit”, narrowly exceeded its new limit by approximately 0.02 µg/m3.

“Nyrstar acknowledged in June that the new limit would be a significant challenge for the site, and has been proactive undertaking numerous initiatives throughout the year to improve air quality in the community and to work to meet the challenging new limits,” the statement read.

“These have included completion of significant capital works during maintenance stops, upgrading of its air-monitoring network, initiating new road- and materials-handling improvements and purchasing new street sweepers to deliver an improved and expanded site cleaning program.”

The company said the LIA result was “significantly influenced” by two hot and windy days in November.

“In the absence of high wind on these days Nyrstar expects average LIA would have been below 0.4 µg Pb/m3,” it said.

Port Pirie Mayor Leon Stephens said it would have been difficult for Nyrstar to meet the new annual limits within six months.(ABC News)

Port Pirie Regional Council Mayor Leon Stephens defended Nyrstar, saying he was comfortable that the smelter was “tracking very well” towards achieving its new emissions limits.

“We’ve been talking closely with Nyrstar — there’s a couple of predicaments they’ve actually faced with it,” he said.

“I don’t think you’re going to be able to do it.”

However, Mr Stephens conceded the result “isn’t good enough”.

“Nyrstar would be the first to say that as well,” he said.

“They understand what they have to do, it does take time to get in place.

“I’ve actually said to their VP, this time, I can understand in six months it takes a little while to change … as far as delivering efficiencies … [but we’re] probably not going to be as receptive next quarter, if that’s what happens.”

The EPA, however, said it considered the new limits to be reasonable and “practically achievable by Nyrstar” in 2020.

A children's playground with no one using the equipment, in the background across a the water is a lead smelter.
The World Health Organization says there is no safe level of lead exposure for children.(ABC North and West SA: Gary-Jon Lysaght)

Once the figures are confirmed, Nyrstar will be required to file a report to the EPA by January 8, 2021, detailing the cause of its targets being exceeded, along with proposed actions to avoid the same thing happening again.

The EPA will consider that report and its own investigation before it determines “what further enforcement actions are appropriate”.

The incident follows SA Health data revealing in November that lead levels among two-year-old children in Port Pirie were at the highest they had been since testing began in 2011.

Of 68 two-year-olds tested during the nine months to September 2020, blood lead levels averaged 6.6 micrograms per decilitre, up from 6.5 mcg/dL in 2019.

SA Health considers two-year-olds to be the most accurate age group to measure lead exposure in the general population, and World Health Organization guidelines state there is no safe level of lead exposure in people.



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Rahane’s ton gives India big lead at MCG


Stand-in India captain Ajinkya Rahane has filled Virat Kohli’s imposing shoes in impeccable style with his 12th Test century lifting the tourists to an 82-run first-innings lead over Australia in the second Test.

Leading his country for the second time in Tests, Rahane’s unbeaten 104 – the first century of the series – allowed India to move past Australia’s total of 195 at stumps on the second day of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Rahane was put down twice – first on 73 and on the final ball of the day as rain stopped play after Travis Head dropped a simple chance.

India will resume on day three at 5-277, with Rahane and allrounder Ravindra Jadeja (40 not out) to go about further punishing Australia while trying to level the series at one-all.

Rahane’s patient innings was not without luck, surviving multiple scares en route to his second best Test score against Australia.

The 32-year-old has a liking for the MCG, with his only previous triple-figure score against the hosts coming at the famous venue in 2014.

Australia captain Tim Paine was left ruing his decision not to have a first-slip after lunch as Rahane edged a ball right between the wicketkeeper and second slip that flew away to the boundary.

Mitchell Starc, who earlier became the ninth Australian to take 250 Test wickets, should have had his third scalp of the match when he steamed in with the second new ball.

But with Rahane on 73, Steve Smith inexplicably dropped a regulation catch in slips to continue a miserable match for the world’s No.1 Test batsman.

Smith’s surprising missed opportunity summed up Australia’s end to the day, with the hosts putting in a flat final session after a 15-minute rain delay.

It is a remarkable turnaround in eight days, with India’s bid to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy seemingly doomed after their record-low of 36 all-out at Adelaide Oval.

Combined with the fact, Kohli, one of the game’s greatest batsmen, will take no further part in the series, India were barely given a hope heading to Melbourne.

India’s four inclusions have all played major roles in the revival.

Jadeja’s assured batting at No.7 has allowed stability down the order, while wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant (29 off 40 balls) played an entertaining cameo as he combined with Rahane for a vital 57-run fifth-wicket stand.

Debutant Shubman Gill survived two dropped catches, including one in the second over of the day off Josh Hazlewood’s bowling, but captain Tim Paine did make up for the blunder behind the stumps.

Paine’s catch to send Gill (45) packing was regulation, but his brilliant effort to dismiss Cheteshwar Pujara two overs later will be replayed for the rest of the summer.

Australia’s fast-bowling brigade of Cummins, Starc and Josh Hazlewood have toiled hard, but poor fielding has cost them dearly.



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