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India v Australia: first one-day international – live! | Sport






Warner reaches his 18th ODI century!





































































Finch to 50 (for real this time)





Warner to 50!









Finch to 50! (But probably not)









































































Thanks, JP. Our man put in a huge tennis shift today before taking care of the first innings. Well played. Australia did that nicely, denying India the chance to explode the old fashioned way with consistent wickets in the middle overs.

You find me watching Star’s coverage in London, where Michael Slater is currently learning Hindi. Just another day in 2020. Good afternoon/evening to you all.





India 255

Australia will be the happier of the two sides at the changeover. They never allowed India to get away from them, took wickets at regular intervals after that long second-wicket partnership, and they will be confident of chasing down 255 with the fast outfield at the Wankhede Stadium, especially if the dew settles and makes bowling awkward.

The three pacemen all bowled superbly, each deserving their multiple-wicket hauls, while the two spinners kept India in check when their innings was meandering.

Not a great day at the office for India’s much vaunted batsmen. Rohit and Kohli both fell cheaply while Dhawan was one of a number of Indians to give their wicket away needlessly.

Find out if Australia can chase down 256 with the incomparable Adam Collins.

Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins, Australia’s golden boy. Photograph: Rafiq Maqbool/AP




WICKET! Shami c Carey b Richardson 10 (India 255)





WICKET! Kuldeep run out (Smith) 17 (India 255-9)





















WICKET! Shardul b Starc 13 (India 229-8)









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Australia fires: On kangaroo killing field, from horror to hope


A mob of kangaroos had gathered on the fairway, the last patch of green grass left after fire ripped through the eastern Victoria town on New Year’s Eve, destroying close to 100 homes and thousands of hectares of native habitat. Over 4,000 locals and tourists had to be evacuated by sea after the fires cut the one road in and out of Mallacoota.

The pristine national park that rings the town is home to native wildlife in an abundance unmatched throughout Australia. The fires burned fast, killing animals in their thousands — and even those that made it to the comparative safety of the golf course were often horrifically injured.

The four kangaroos Barton had to euthanize Thursday morning had third degree burns on their paws and faces that were already becoming septic. It was not going to be possible to treat their terrible injuries, forcing vets to put them down.

“I have nightmares,” Barton says, standing on the golf course. Behind him is a healthy couple — a baby kangaroo feeding from its mother. Moments earlier he had used his rifle to euthanize another joey which was too badly burned to hop. The young male was tranquilized first and then put down swiftly and, the vet said, painlessly.

“I’ve been a vet for 40 years, and I still don’t get used to it. Wholesale slaughter is awful. It still brings tears to my eyes.”

The Mallacoota golf course was a sanctuary for animals fleeing Australia's bushfires, but it has become a killing field.

The tears flow as Barton’s wife and clinical partner at Vets for Compassion, Elaine Ong, interjects.

“The animals suffer just as humans do,” she says. “The community has been telling us that they’ve gone through so much trauma and they are further traumatized by seeing the animals suffer. So they are pleased we can come and help the animals.”

It’s somber and difficult work, but leaving distressed animals to suffer through a slower and more painful death is even worse for the pair, who arrived from Melbourne on a trip sponsored by the NGO Animals Australia. Barton and Ong want to draw a line under the horror of the fires that burned almost all the land around Mallacoota, allowing others to begin the task of repopulating wildlife and healing the land.

Resilience and recovery

Southeastern Australia is in the grip of a three-year drought, with significant rain not forecast until April.

The conditions have exacerbated the fires burning across Australia for months, razing homes and wiping out entire towns. Across the country, more than 7.3 million hectares (17.9 million acres) of land has been burned — much of it bushland, forests and national parks, home to the country’s beloved and unique wildlife.

Cutie Pie, an orphan koala, is being cared for by Mallcoota resident Sue Johns. His mother died in the fires.
In New South Wales, the state neighboring Victoria, ecologists estimate that as many as half a billion animals may have been affected by the fires, with millions potentially killed. That figure includes birds, reptiles, and mammals, except bats. It also excludes insects and frogs — meaning the true number is likely much higher.

There are fears that some species may not recover, entering a terminal decline, such is the degree to which the fires have ravaged their populations.

But amid all the bleak news, there is still room for hope that Australia’s unique landscape and wildlife could bounce back.

When the rains finally do come, much bushland could quickly recover — particularly eucalypt forests where koalas live and feed. Beds of ash left by the fire provide nutrients for the seeds of Australian gum trees, which evolved to survive and even thrive from fires.

Much of the vegetation that has burned this summer will naturally rejuvenate — and the koala carers in Mallacoota are already preparing.
Jack Bruce holds Wilbur, a koala rescued from the fires, who he and his partner Alyex Burges are helping rehome.

A short drive from the golf course, volunteers Jack Bruce and Alyex Burges believe they may have found a new home for Wilbur, an adult koala that fled the blazes five days ago. After spending that time in a cage, clinging to a stump and shrouded in a buffet of eucalyptus leaf varieties, he’s going back to the bush.

A fertile gully at the back of Bruce’s family farm has been identified as being relatively unscathed after last week’s flames. But when the pair conduct a cursory check that Wilbur is not going to be put up an already occupied tree, they are shocked to find they have company.

This area was meant to be wiped of life — but up in the canopy is a healthy mother koala with a baby on her back. Birds sing as she takes in some of the 20 hours of sleep the species enjoys a day.

Wilbur gets a tree a few steps down the road. After 10 minutes of wondering whether he’ll give up his blanket and free meals, he crawls out of his cage and up a tree.

Nothing is certain when it comes to wildfire, but the gully Wilbur now shares with his neighbor will hopefully be spared again from fires feared this weekend — it’s surrounded by already burned-out bushland and close to homes. Bruce hopes the two koalas there will be part of the rejuvenation of this previously untouched environment.

“It is sad to go out there and see them suffering. But you have to confront that to give them any chance of survival,” he says. (The survivors will) return back to Mallacoota when it begins to rejuvenate. I think there is hope. It is inspiring and it is encouraging.”

This story has been updated to accurately reflect the number of animals affected by the fires in New South Wales.



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Australia fires live: NSW and Victoria bushfire towns get brief rain reprieve – latest updates


Rain falls on some NSW, Victorian and South Australian bushfire-affected areas, but worse fire conditions are forecast to return. Follow all today’s latest news and live updates

9.19pm GMT

Asked if Scott Morrison’s initial response to the crisis was embarrassing for the nation, Craig Kelly says:

Absolutely not. In fact, what has been disappointing, is that we are a very stoic nation. We have had disasters in the past. Everyone has got behind the leader, we have got in there, done our best to clean it up.

But unfortunately, during an international tragedy, we have seen people actually trying to exploit it for political advantage.

9.16pm GMT

“There is no denialist cult,” Craig Kelly says, about views about climate change within the Morrison government.

He says the debate should be about hazard reduction. Which has already been explained about a million times.

Continue reading…



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Australia v New Zealand: Boxing Day Test, day four – live! | Sport










Tea: New Zealand 131-4 (chasing 488)





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WICKET! Nicholls st Paine b Lyon 33 (New Zealand 89-4)

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Thank you very much Adam. My condolences on Peter Siddle robbing you of endless material. If you get nostalgic for the venomous vegan he has a series of instructional videos on YouTube. My favourite is the bouncer edition where he terrorises some patsy on a net wicket that should be roped off with crime scene tape.

Look at the state of that strip. And Siddle’s wearing dark colours. That is an accident waiting to happen.




26th over: New Zealand 77-3 (Blundell 35, Nicholls 24) The Australian fielders are talking loudly around the bat. Simon Katich, also on SEN radio, reckons they are discussing their respective Australian Rules football careers. As my OBO colleague Sam Perry rightly says, cricket is just footy in the summer these days. Lyon concedes four singles this time around, the final of those very, very close to a run out. Indeed, had Cummins hit from mid-on, Nicholls was gone by a long way. And after that moment of chaos, drinks are on the field. New Zealand have made it through the third hour without loss, which isn’t for nothing with both of these players trying to make a something of a statement before this Test is over. I’ll take this moment to hand over to JP Howcroft. Thanks for your company. Bye for now!

























































LUNCH: New Zealand 38-3





WICKET! Taylor b Pattinson 2 (New Zealand 35-3)





WICKET! Williamson lbw b Pattinson 0 (New Zealand 33-2)

















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NSW fires live: roads closed and second person dead in South Australia bushfires – latest news | Australia news






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Australia v New Zealand: first Test, day two – live! | Sport






WICKET! Wagner b Starc 0 (New Zealand 97-5)





WICKET! Nicholls c Paine b Starc 7 (New Zealand 97-4)









Taylor to 50





















WICKET! Williamson c Smith b Starc 34 (New Zealand 77-3)

































































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Hazlewood leaves the field injured!

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WICKET! Raval b Hazlewood 1 (New Zealand 1-2)









WICKET! Latham c & b Starc 0 (New Zealand 1-1)





















AUSTRALIA ALL-OUT 416! WICKET! Paine c Watling b Southee 39.





WICKET! Lyon c de Grandhomme b Wagner 8 (Australia 416-9)





WICKET! Starc c Williamson b Southee 30 (Australia 408-8)

Updated





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Australia fires: blazes ‘too big to put out’ as 140 bushfires rage in NSW and Queensland | Australia news


Dozens of fires will burn across Australia for weeks, fire authorities say, including a “mega-fire”, already the size of greater Sydney, that is too big to put out.

At 6am on Sunday there were 96 bush and grass fires in NSW – 47 of which were not contained. Five fires are at a watch and act level.

Conditions eased on Sunday morning, allowing firefighters a chance to do critical back-burning and containment work ahead of Tuesday, when the mercury is tipped to soar into the 40s in parts of the state.

NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said overnight conditions had improved.

“We’ve got much more benign conditions, particularly a dominant easterly influence which will stretch pretty much right across most of our fire grounds,” he told Seven News.

“Which means hundreds – as a matter of fact more than 1600 – firefighters are around again today doing really important and critical back burning and containment-line consolidation to try and gain the upper hand before we see those conditions deteriorate into Tuesday.”

Already this fire season, six people have died and more than 1,000 homes have been lost across NSW and Queensland.

The largest conflagration, the “mega fire” at Gospers Mountain near Sydney’s north-western outskirts, was likely to burn for weeks until substantial rain falls, likely at the end of January or early February.

The NSW Bureau of Meteorology said the largest fires simply could not be extinguished by water-bombing aircraft or firefighting crews on the ground.

“The massive NSW fires are in some cases just too big to put out at the moment … they’re pumping out vast amounts of smoke which is filling the air, turning the sky orange and even appearing like significant rain on our radars,” the bureau said.

The bureau has forecast a grim week ahead, with strong winds forecast for fire-affected areas and no rain relief in sight. A months-long drought in eastern Australia has left bushland tinder dry and prone to ignition, especially from dry lightning strikes.

Temperatures are expected to reach 43C in western Sydney, and 44C in the Hunter region immediately north of Australia’s largest city.

Temperatures will also soar in the state’s north-west, where they are forecast to hit 44C in Bourke and 43C in Colbar.

In Queensland late on Saturday, a shipping container filled with fireworks exploded and residents were forced to flee their homes as an unpredictable fire threatened homes in Bundamba, on the outskirts of the state capital, Brisbane.

Residents within an three-kilometre-squared exclusion zone were ordered out as the firefront was waterbombed but fire crews warned they might not be able to stop the fast-moving blaze.

Conditions have eased off, a spokeswoman for Queensland’s Fire and Emergency Services said on Sunday morning, however are expected to pick up later in the day.

A high fire danger rating is in place for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt to Cape York Peninsula, and will ramp up to severe in the Northern Goldfields and Upper Flinders on Monday.

One home was reportedly destroyed in the Bundamba fire on Saturday night.

The chief scientist at the Australian Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Dr Bidda Jones, said that, beyond the human cost of the fires, the widespread blazes would have a “major impact of biodiversity”.

“Depending on the intensity of the fire, it will have had a massive impact on wildlife,” she said. “And not just on those iconic species like koalas. You have to think of this in terms of how it affects the entire ecosystem.

“You have animals relying on the eucalyptus trees for their primary diet – greater gliders are another example of that. Then you have a whole range of other species living off nectar or the insects in that environment, and there’s going to be a considerable loss of insect life in those fires.”

Jones said animals often preferred old large trees for nesting, the trees most likely to be destroyed by the fires.

“And then with fires that have been burning even at low intensity, leaf litter and all the understorey is gone. That’s providing food and refuge to animals there and the animals they would eat.

“So if you look at the overall picture … the damage has been so extensive, it’s going to have a major impact on biodiversity.”

Much of Jones’s own property, which backed on to national park at Braidwood near the Australian capital, Canberra, was lost to fires this week.

“At this point almost all of that has been burnt, all of that continues forest, up to 31,000 hectares,” she said. “The big trees are still there and we have greater gliders that live in the forest, as well as powerful owls.

“So I’m hoping that they’ll be OK. They’ll have lost nesting holes because the big trees have fallen and it’s the big old trees that have the nesting holes.”

Jones’s property was home to a huge variety of birds, as well as eastern grey kangaroos, swamp wallabies and red wallabies.

“We were going out and meeting kangaroos and red neck wallabies that were moving away from the fire,” she said. “A lot of wombats, I’m not sure what they’re going to eat. All of the forest floor, any grass any shrubs, are gone.”

Jones said her rainfall records showed last month to be the driest November in 40 years. The November average is about 100ml but this year it was 18ml.

The role of climate change in contributing to Australia’s unusually early and fierce fire season has been the subject of acute political debate. The federal government has refused to concede that climate change – and in particular Australia’s continued rising carbon emissions and massive fossil fuel exports – have played any role in the current fire crisis.

The Australian, prime minister Scott Morrison, has consistently said it was “no credible scientific evidence” linking climate change with the fires. This has been rejected by climate scientists, who have said politicians are “burying their heads in the sand while the world is literally burning around them”.

“Anytime I hear ‘don’t talk about climate change’,” Jones said, “anyone in my situation has absolutely no doubt these conditions are extreme and are connected to climate change.”

with Australian Associated Press



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Australia bushfires north of Sydney ‘too big to put out’


Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media caption‘Sydney’s mega fire is getting out of control’

A “mega blaze” raging across a 60km (37 mile) front north-west of Sydney cannot currently be put out, Australian fire officials have warned.

The fire across almost 300,000 hectares (1,150 sq m) is just an hour’s drive from the nation’s most-populous city.

People who cannot defend their property from approaching fires have been told they should leave immediately.

Since October, bushfires have killed six people and destroyed more than 700 homes across Australia.

The severity of the blazes so early in the fire season has caused alarm, and prompted calls for greater action to tackle climate change.

Fires have also raged across Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

What’s the latest on the ground?

Several fires have combined to form the Gospers Mountain mega blaze, which is more than 283,000 ha in size.

At 12:00 local time Saturday (01:00 GMT) 95 fires were burning, with half yet to be contained, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) tweeted.

It said that more than 2,200 firefighters “were out in the field”.

At one point on Friday, nine fires had been raised to emergency level warnings, although these decreased markedly amid a brief respite in conditions later in the day.

The blazes north of Sydney were sending black fumes across the city, causing a rise in medical problems.

NSW RFS deputy commissioner, Rob Rogers told national broadcaster ABC: “We cannot stop these fires, they will just keep burning until conditions ease, and then we’ll try to do what we can to contain them.”

He said the 60km stretch from Hawkesbury to Singleton was “just fire that whole way”.

Video footage from the Orangeville area showed firefighters running from a wall of fire and the Walkabout Wildlife Park has evacuated hundreds of animals.

Fire officials in Ingleburn warned: “If your property is not prepared for the bushfire season and you’re not sure you are able or capable of defending your property if a fire approaches you need to leave straight away.”

Firefighters from Canada were briefed in Sydney on Friday and will be deployed across New South Wales over the weekend, to be joined by teams from the US.

What’s the outlook?

There was some respite overnight but another dry and windy day is predicted.

“They were able to strengthen a number of containment lines [overnight]… in preparation of some of those challenging conditions we are expecting this afternoon,” RFS Chief Superintendent Ben Millington told the ABC.

But he added: “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

Image copyright
EPA

Image caption

A smoky haze has enveloped much of Sydney

Tuesday is the next big concern, with temperatures inland of Sydney likely to reach above 40C (104F).

Some firefighters have expressed concern that volunteer numbers might not be enough and that there are inadequate water supplies.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said that “some fires were too big to put out” while the NSW RFS said late Friday the blazes would only be extinguished “when we get good rain”.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionFirefighters flee intense flames in Sydney, in a video shared by them to show the dangers of bushfires

Sydney may be blanketed in smoke for weeks, if not months.

Is this fire season particularly bad?

It hasn’t come close to the fatalities of 2009, when nearly 200 people died, but the scale of the damage has been huge.

  • How bad is bushfire smoke for health?
  • Toxic smoke affects golfers at Australian Open

More than 1.6 million hectares of land have burned in New South Wales alone.

The season has hit earlier than normal and has been exacerbated by drought conditions.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said: “There is an absolute lack of moisture in the soil, a lack of moisture in the vegetation… you are seeing fires started very easily and they are spreading extremely quickly, and they are burning ridiculously intensely.”

Is climate change to blame?

The BOM says that climate change has led to an increase in extreme heat events and raised the severity of other natural disasters, such as drought.

Last week, the bureau noted that NSW had endured its driest spring season on record. It also warned that Australia’s coming summer was predicted to bring similar conditions to last year’s – the nation’s hottest summer on record.

  • Australia may see 50C days ‘in decades’
  • Climate emergency ‘clear and unequivocal’

The government has been criticised over its efforts to address climate change. PM Scott Morrison has dismissed accusations linking the crisis to his government’s policies.

  • Final call to halt ‘climate catastrophe’
  • What could be wiped out by temperature rise

Hundreds of bushfire survivors and farmers converged on the nation’s capital, Canberra, this week in protest. One woman displayed the charred remains of her home outside Parliament – on which she had written: “Morrison, your climate crisis destroyed my home.”

Image copyright
Dean Sewell/ Greenpeace

Image caption

Melinda Plesman called for the government to take action on climate change





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