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A football jersey isn't the first thing you'd expect to see on the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week. But when you're talking about Cristiano Ronaldo, anything is possible.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's partner Georgina Rodríguez surprised the crowds in the French capital on Friday with an outfit that quickly went viral: a dress based on his iconic Manchester United No. 7 shirt.

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The design, from the Swiss fashion brand Vetements, transformed the Premier League club's kit into a long, flowing red dress, with Ronaldo's name and number on the front.

The dress was apparently signed by the 39-year-old former Real Madrid forward, who now plays for Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League.

Rodríguez has been a regular attendee at Paris Fashion Week over the years, but this is thought to be the first time she has taken to the catwalk.

While the dress -- which is part of Vetement's Fall 2024 collection -- is clearly an homage to Ronaldo's two spells at Old Trafford, there's no sign of the United badge, probably to avoid any unwanted trademark issues.

On the back, it featured a message which appeared to be handwritten by Ronaldo, saying "For the love of my life Gio x Vetements" alongside another signature.

Both Rodríguez and Ronaldo are both usually active on social media, but neither has posted about the outfit yet.

Ronaldo himself has been a keen fashion enthusiast over the years, and has his own "CR7" brand of clothing and underwear, as well as a wide range of endorsements.

Vetements has been an influential presence in contemporary fashion over the last decade, with one of its founders going on to become creative director at luxury fashion house Balenciaga.

Some commentators linked Rodriguez's dress to the so-called "blokecore" movement -- a football-inspired fashion trend which involves wearing vintage football shirts, jeans and trainers -- albeit a more refined version.

The reaction to the influencer's outfit was mixed.

Fashion magazine Vogue didn't reference Rodríguez by name, preferring to focus on some of the other 89 designs or 'looks' in the collection, but it did make an unflattering reference to "evening dresses cut from clingy jersey."

Gossip magazine Hola was more positive, describing Rodríguez as looking "like a professional model, as she walked down the runway with a smouldering face."

Victoria 106 (Bell 4-21) and 18 for 0 need 424 more runs to beat Tasmania 240 and 307 (Webster 167*)

Beau Webster plundered a magnificent century amid a record-breaking final-wicket stand to put Tasmania in the box seat for victory in their top-of-the-table Sheffield Shield clash with Victoria.

It left Victoria chasing a whopping 442 for victory at a bowler-friendly Blundstone Arena. Webster was the hero on Saturday, cracking an unbeaten 167 off 180 balls as Tasmania recovered from 71 for 6 and 154 for 9 to reach 307 in their second innings.

The 30-year-old combined with No.11 Riley Meredith (44) for a 153-run final-wicket stand - the biggest such partnership in Tasmania's Shield history. It bettered the 122-run partnership posted by William Ward and Norman Dodds in 1899.

Webster cracked 22 boundaries and four sixes in his blistering knock.

"I chanced my arm a little bit. That's the way I play, especially when the ball is nipping around," Webster said. "My defence isn't that great, so I've got to play some shots, and today it came off nicely. It was good fun batting with the boys down the order."

Webster has 840 runs this Shield season at an average of 70 and the allrounder still harbours hopes of representing Australia in Test cricket.

"I'll keep plugging away here and keep putting numbers on the board," he said.  "If anything comes, that would be great. But a Shield would mean the most to me at the moment."

Victoria are second on the table, but a loss to Tasmania could leave them leapfrogged by Western Australia with just one round remaining.

Captain Will Sutherland was left to rue his side's inability to wrap up Tasmania's second innings.

"It was looking quite good there for a while," Sutherland said.  "Credit to Beau Webster and Riley there, they batted really well. We just couldn't quite get that last wicket. That's cricket.

"We're still in it. Even if it doesn't go our way this game, we know we can win the last one. We'll keep our heads up and hopefully have a good day tomorrow."

Victoria, who started Saturday at 81 for 7 in their first innings, were bowled out for 106. Webster was only on 16 when Tasmania's sixth wicket fell in their second innings and he steadied the ship with a 70-run seventh-wicket stand with Jarrod Freeman.

But it was the last-wicket salute with Meredith that truly knocked the wind out of Victoria, with the pair cashing in to get the lead above 400.

Webster was in such good touch he smacked paceman Mitchell Perry onto the Ponting Stand roof with one magnificent heave. Perry was so flustered he ended the day with 12 no-balls to his name, including three in one over.

Lyon said he would not have any cheeky words with Australia's batters after top-scoring with 41 as the visitors collapsed for 164 at the Basin Reserve and bring New Zealand back into the game from a vulnerable position.

"No. That's the second time I've done it in my career," Lyon said. "And let's hope it's the last."

But there is a case to be made that some soul-searching should be done among Australia's batting group. It is not the style of this team to have stern words with each other, or even introspect. They are not the anti-negativity evangelists that England's Bazballers are, but they are relatively pragmatic about their failures.

Lyon said that some of the batters would be disappointed with their dismissals in the second innings as Glenn Phillips, with a total of 11 Test scalps and 51 first-class scalps from 53 matches prior to this game, took five of Australia's top seven to become the first New Zealand spinner to take a five-wicket haul at home in 16 years.

"I dare say so," Lyon said. "But I'll never criticise our batters the way they go about it because they've been exceptional for a number of years now. But then you've got to give credit to the bowlers and this is my big thing. Bowlers are actually there to bowl good balls. And it's not always the batters' fault getting out and bowlers are allowed to come up with plans and execute and take wickets. No doubt there will be some frustration in there."

Phillips did bowl some good balls. The one to remove Cameron Green was a beauty. But his four other scalps, while well-planned and well-executed, required Australia's batters to get sucked into the obvious traps that were laid out.

And one after the other, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey did just that.

The first three have plenty of credits in the bank. But Carey is a cause for concern. His form with the bat is more alarming than the raw numbers. His Test batting average has slipped under 30 but it is the manner of his dismissals and the lack of a clear method to his batting that would be concerning Australia's selectors the most.

It was the second time in the match that he holed out to cover, and it was made worse that he nearly holed out twice before his dismissal to the two catching covers in place.

He had scored half-centuries in his most recent first-class match for South Australia and in his last Test for Australia. But even those two innings ended in brainless fashion. Against Queensland, having cruised to 90, he premeditated to lap scoop Mark Steketee from way wide of the off stump and was caught behind.

In his last Test, after making an excellent momentum-shifting 65, he holed out to deep square leg, falling straight into a clear trap that was set for him.

It is not the first time Australia's thoughtless batting has left them vulnerable this summer. They remain in a strong position but much rests on the shoulders of Lyon and the bowlers.

"If we do our job and put pressure on the guys for long periods of time, I'm confident that the bowlers in that change room will create more than seven chances," Lyon said.

He was a threat again in the evening session, picking up Tom Latham and Kane Williamson. He revealed that he felt like he had found a vulnerability in Williamson's game by getting him caught at leg slip but did not elaborate on exactly what it was.

"My biggest weapon and it's no secret is my bounce all around the world," Lyon said. "So I'll continue to try and put some over spin on the ball and try and get the bounce and try and hit the stickers on the bat and challenge the guys' defence on the crease. I've got a fair understanding of what their plan is going to be. So it's a good opportunity for me tonight to reset some goals and reset some plans and we'll go from there."

Western Australia 310 (Goodwin 115, Whiteman 79, Bartlett 5-64) and 16 for 0 lead Queensland 170 (Wildermuth 41, Rocchiccioli 4-54) by 156 runs

Western Australia's bid for a hat-trick of Sheffield Shield titles was back on track after producing a sizzling bowling display against Queensland at the WACA Ground.

In reply to WA's competitive 310, Queensland were skittled for 170 in 54.5 overs in overcast and windy conditions on Saturday. WA reached 16 for 0 in their second innings before nearby lightning forced players off the ground late in the day.

It capped a stop-start day in which rain interrupted play several times as Queensland slumped to 54 for 4 and 108 for 7 in the tricky conditions.

Spinner Corey Rocchiccioli played a key role in cleaning up the tail, while Joel Paris continued his hot form with figures of 2 for 15 off 12 overs. Charlie Stobo and Cameron Gannon were also among the wickets.

WA had slipped to third spot on the ladder after posting two draws and a loss from their previous three Shield encounters. But with second-placed Victoria on track for defeat against ladder leaders Tasmania, WA now have an excellent chance to soar into second spot ahead of the final round.

WA take on Victoria at Junction Oval in the final round, meaning their fate will be in their own hands if they can secure victory here.

Cameron Bancroft and Sam Whiteman will be aiming to form a big second-innings partnership when play resumes on Sunday.

Queensland's top order struggled in the overcast conditions, with Paris snaring the breakthrough when he found the edge of Bryce Street for a 14-ball duck. Gannon produced the highlight of the day when he pulled off a diving one-handed catch off his own bowling to dismiss Angus Lovell.

Jack Clayton, Jimmy Peirson and Jack Wildermuth all made starts, but none was able to go on with the job as wickets fell at regular intervals.

Queensland added 46 runs for their last two wickets, but WA were well and truly in the box seat with a lead of 156.

Avesh takes four as Vidarbha collapse for 170

Published in Cricket
Saturday, 02 March 2024 04:12
Vidarbha then suffered a collapse, going from 101 for 2 to 137 for 8, losing six wickets for just 36 runs. Overall, MP pacers accounted for nine of the ten wickets on Saturday with Kulwant Kehjroliya and Iyer scalping two each while Anubhav Agarwal took one. Karun Nair's resistance fetched him 63 off 105 balls, during which he hit nine fours. His 33-run ninth-wicket stand with Umesh Yadav (0) helped Vidarbha move past 150 but the team survived only 56.3 overs with left-arm spinner Kumar Karthikeya picking up the final wicket to restrict Vidarbha to a below-par score.

Deshpande and Thakur run Tamil Nadu ragged

Published in Cricket
Saturday, 02 March 2024 05:05

Mumbai 45 for 2 (Musheer 24*, Sai Kishore 1-3) trail Tamil Nadu 146 (Vijay 44, Washington 43, Deshpande 3-24, Kotian 2-10) by 101 runs

After opting to bat on a grassy, red-soil pitch at the Bandra Kurla Complex, Tamil Nadu folded for 146 in their semi-final against Mumbai. Tushar Deshpande carved up the top half of the TN line-up with seam movement and extra bounce before spinners Tanush Kotian and Musheer Khan wrapped up the tail in the post-tea session. In response, Mumbai lost both Prithvi Shaw (5) and Bhupen Lalwani (15), but Musheer and nightwatcher Mohit Avasthi guided their team to stumps without any further hiccups.

Avasthi had combined with Shardul Thakur to set the tone for Mumbai's opening-day dominance. After going wide of the crease and beating N Jagadeesan's inside edge, Avasthi hit the inside edge and had the opening batter popping a catch to short leg for 4. Thakur had struck in the very first over when he pinned B Sai Sudharsan lbw with an inswinger for a duck. Sudharsan, who was returning to action after recovering from a back niggle, also burnt a review.

Deshpande then ripped out Pradosh Ranjan Paul (8), R Sai Kishore (1) and B Indrajith (11) to leave TN at 42 for 5. Captain Sai Kishore had bumped himself up to No.4 as a pinch-blocker to protect the middle order, but the move backfired this time, with Deshpande bursting through his defences and knocking him over for 1. In their home quarter-final against Saurashtra, Sai Kishore had promoted himself to No.3 and scored a half-century to drag TN into the lead.

Washington Sundar, who was released from India's Test squad, and Vijay Shankar forged a 48-run partnership for the sixth wicket to briefly resist Mumbai's red-hot attack. Vijay got going with a flicked four off Avasthi and a punchy straight drive off Deshpande. But Thakur stopped him on 44 after lunch. Thakur had angled one in from over the wicket and got it to seam away just enough to kiss the outside edge.

Washington's innings could have been cut short on 11 had Shreyas Iyer latched onto a tough chance in the slips off Thakur. Washington had another nervy moment on 19 when he was given out lbw off left-arm fingerspinner Shams Mulani. But a review saved him, with ball-tracking indicating that the ball would have bounced over the stumps on the red-soil surface.

After the moisture dried up, Washington took more risks along with the lower order, but they could not take TN to 150. M Mohammed, who hit a career-best 85 off 99 balls in the first round, laced Thakur for four successive fours in the 51st over. Musheer, though, ended Mohammed's cameo in the next over, his first of the innings, when he had him nicking behind to slip. Musheer also trapped Sandeep Warrier to finish with 2 for 18. Kotian, the offspinner, dismissed both left-handers Washington and S Ajith Ram to also come away with two wickets.

Kuldeep Sen, TN's guest pacer who had sat out of the last three games, then marked his return with the dismissal of Shaw in his first over. Sai Kishore had Lalwani, Mumbai's highest run-getter this season, lbw but the hosts trimmed the deficit to 101 by stumps. With both Shreyas Iyer and captain Ajinkya Rahane in the shed, Mumbai will look to bat TN out of the semi-final on Sunday.

Caruth 3rd Black NASCAR driver to win series race

Published in Breaking News
Saturday, 02 March 2024 04:52

Rajah Caruth made a promise after taking the checkered flag in the Victoria's Voice Foundation 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"There's more to come, for sure," the 21-year-old Spire Motorsports driver said moments after securing his first NASCAR Truck Series win from pole position Friday night.

An alumnus of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, Caruth is the third Black driver to win a NASCAR national series race, joining Hall of Famer Wendell Scott and Bubba Wallace.

Wallace took to social media to congratulate Caruth, calling it a "a monumental win for our sport!"

It was a day for firsts for Caruth, who earlier Friday won the initial Truck Series pole of his career by 0.001 seconds over Christian Eckes. It was Caruth's pit crew that helped decide the issue.

During a 62-lap green-flag run to the finish, crew chief Chad Walter called Caruth's No. 71 Chevrolet to pit road early in the cycle. The over-the-wall crew performed a flawless stop, and after other contenders made their stops during the cycle, Caruth inherited the lead on Lap 114 with an advantage over Taylor Gray of nearly two seconds.

That margin enabled Caruth, who led 38 laps, to finish 0.851 seconds in front of fast-closing Tyler Ankrum, who passed Gray for second on Lap 120.

"It's surreal," Caruth said. "Thanks so much to [sponsor] HendrickCars.com and Mr. H [Hendrick] for putting me in this thing all year, and with the men and women at Spire.

"So many people have helped me get to this point, and I can't believe it. I just stayed cool. We lost track position in little portions of the race, and we stayed in the game. ... My guys got me a great stop, and we just executed."

A lack of execution ruined the chances of several contenders. Ty Majeski, who led a race-high 40 of the 134 laps and swept the first two stages, drew a penalty for speeding on pit road on Lap 102. So did Daytona winner Nick Sanchez, snuffing out a late rally. Defending race winner Kyle Busch's crew was guilty of a tire violation, preventing Caruth's Spire teammate from contending for the victory.

But with Busch winning last week at Atlanta, Spire now has two straight victories.

In the closing laps, Ankrum could see Caruth tantalizingly in front of him, just out of reach.

"I wish we would have had 10 more laps, and I think we could have gotten it," said Ankrum, who retained his series lead by five points over second-place Majeski. "But we tend to say that a lot in racing. I wish we would have been able to do it, but I think our time is coming."

Corey Heim finished third and is seven points behind Ankum in the standings. Caruth climbed one spot from fifth to fourth, 10 points out of the series lead. Gray ran fourth on Friday, followed by Christopher Bell. Eckes, Matt Crafton, Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger and Majeski completed the top 10. Busch finished 15th, one lap down.

Field Level Media contributed to this report.

Sources: 49ers promote for DC; Staley joins staff

Published in Breaking News
Saturday, 02 March 2024 04:52

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- After a deliberate search involving both internal and external candidates, the San Francisco 49ers have their new defensive coordinator. And that's not the only significant addition to the team's coaching staff.

Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jeremy Fowler on Saturday that the Niners are promoting Nick Sorensen, the team's defensive pass game specialist and nickel cornerbacks coach, to the defensive coordinator role that was left open by the dismissal of Steve Wilks on Feb. 14. The team is also expected to hire former Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley as assistant head coach, sources said.

At the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis this week, 49ers general manager John Lynch said the team was in "no rush" to hire a coordinator but reiterated what coach Kyle Shanahan said when he announced Wilks' firing that San Francisco didn't want to stray far from what it has done defensively for the past seven years.

"We know who we are, who we're going to be, and that's not going to make a wholesale schematic change there," Lynch said. "We feel good about where we're at."

Lynch's words seemed to point to the likelihood of an in-house hire given that one reason Shanahan moved on from Wilks was his struggles to adapt to the defensive scheme San Francisco had used in previous years under former coordinators Robert Saleh and DeMeco Ryans.

In Sorensen, the Niners should be able to retain the continuity Shanahan and Lynch have sought. Although this will be Sorensen's first time as a coordinator, he has been with the Niners since 2022 when he joined the staff as a defensive assistant. In his second season, he was promoted to defensive pass game specialist and put in charge of the nickelbacks.

Sorensen's previous duties with the Niners have also included running the team's weekly meeting called "The Ball," which puts an emphasis on winning the turnover battle.

Before his arrival in San Francisco, Sorensen spent the 2021 season as the Jacksonville Jaguars special teams coach. Before that, Sorensen was assistant special teams coach, assistant defensive backs coach and secondary coach over eight years (2013-20) with the Seattle Seahawks.

Sorensen's history working with Pete Carroll in Seattle was perhaps most valuable considering the Niners run a version of that defensive scheme, which is focused on an attacking front four paired with mostly zone coverage on the back end.

In Staley, the 49ers are adding another experienced voice to their staff. As assistant head coach, Staley would replace Anthony Lynn, who left San Francisco after two seasons to become the run game coordinator and running backs coach of the Washington Commanders.

Staley spent the past two-plus seasons as the Chargers coach but before that was the Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator in 2020 and had previously worked as the outside linebackers coach for the Chicago Bears (2017-18) and Denver Broncos (2019).

While Staley's defensive background is different from what the Niners do schematically, Lynch said in Indianapolis that wouldn't preclude Staley from being a potential addition to the staff.

"He's a really bright dude," Lynch said. "We have an open mind, but we do know there's certain core principles that we're going to always be on the defensive side. ... I wouldn't rule him out because of that."

Along with Sorensen, Staley was one of five known interviews for the defensive coordinator job. The Niners also spoke with secondary coach Daniel Bullocks, Kansas City Chiefs defensive backs coach Dave Merritt and Las Vegas Raiders safeties coach Gerald Alexander.

Source: Lakers agree to 2-way deal with F/C Giles

Published in Basketball
Friday, 01 March 2024 22:26

The Los Angeles Lakers are adding some size to fortify their ailing frontcourt.

Harry Giles III has agreed to a two-way contract with the Lakers, a team source confirmed to ESPN on Friday. L.A. will waive guard Dylan Windler to open the roster spot to accommodate the signing.

The 6-foot-11 Giles was a first-round pick out of Duke in 2017 and has played for the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers and most recently the Brooklyn Nets after being out of the NBA for two years.

Brooklyn waived him last month after the 25-year-old averaged 3.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 5.1 minutes in 16 game appearances this season.

L.A. is currently missing centers Christian Wood with swelling in his left knee and Colin Castleton, another two-way player, with a fractured right wrist.

Giles is expected to join the Lakers on Monday, the team source told ESPN.

The Athletic was the first to report the Giles signing.

Raptors' Barnes out indefinitely with hand fracture

Published in Basketball
Friday, 01 March 2024 22:26

The Toronto Raptors lost a game and All-Star Scottie Barnes on Friday night.

Barnes suffered a fractured third metacarpal bone in left hand and will be out indefinitely, the team announced after its 120-105 home loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Barnes injured the hand late in the first half when he smacked it against the rim on a potential block attempt. He was subbed out with just under two minutes to play in the second quarter and immediately went to the locker room for treatment. Kelly Olynyk started the third quarter in Barnes' place.

Speaking after the game, Toronto coach Darko Rajakovic told reporters that Barnes was still having his hand evaluated, and the team announced the diagnosis shortly thereafter.

Barnes had 10 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes, ending a career-best streak of five consecutive double-doubles.

He entered the night averaging 20.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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