India face New Zealand in the inaugural World Test Championship final starting on Friday. India’s Cheteshwar Pujara feels that an India win will help the format’s survival. “Test cricket needs to survive, and a WTC format helps where every Test, every series is important,” he said. “If we win, then many youngsters would want to play the Test format and be part of the final when the next cycle comes around.” The draw at 16-10 is the current favourite result on offer.
Test cricket is back on the menu this week with South Africa taking on West Indies in the second Test at Gros Islet, St Lucia. In our series preview we called it a “Caribbean Cruise” and that’s how the first Test panned out with the Proteas winning by an innings and 63 runs. Man of the match on that occasion was Quinton de Kock but it was the fast bowlers who ran through the Windies batting. All of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi proved too much with the ball and there’s no reason why they won’t be as troublesome just a week later.
US Open: The third men’s Major of the year finishes up on Sunday at Torrey Pines. Traditionally the golf course and the championship has been set up tough, so don’t expect birdies to fly in from all angles. The action started on Thursday.
Rainbow Cup final: The Bulls travelled to Italy this week where they will be strong favourites to beat Benetton in their one-off final to decide who lifts the Rainbow Cup. Jake White has built a formidable squad playing out of Pretoria and they should be too strong for their Italian opponents. Our call is for the Bulls to win by at least 14 points on Saturday.
Super Rugby final: OK, so there are no South African teams involved, because they didn’t take part in the competition. The same can’t be said though of the Australian teams, or perennial champions Crusaders for that matter. This final features the Blues against the Highlanders. Our call is for the Blues to win by at least 6 points
Currie Cup: South African rugby’s domestic Currie Cup competition kicks off this weekend for what is round one of 14. There are three games. The Pumas host the Golden Lions at 7pm on Friday night, Griquas are at home to the Sharks at 1.30pm on Saturday and that is followed by the Bulls and Western Province at 4pm. A word of betting caution though – these sides aren’t the same as the Super Rugby franchises and there are often a few “upsets” along the way. The Bulls, for instance, are 20-1 outsiders to beat Western Province, while Griquas have a chance of upsetting the Sharks in Kimberley.
Euro 2020: The second biggest football competition in the world continues this weekend with more round two action. Friday’s games see Sweden play Slovakia, Croatia take on the Czech Republic and England against Scotland. On Saturday it’s Hungary and Poland, the big one of the weekend – Portugal versus Germany – and Spain against Poland. Then Sunday’s matches feature Italy against Wales and Switzerland versus Turkey.
The Track and Ball Derby and Track and Ball Oaks headline Saturday’s card at Scottsville and often the winner of each race increases its chances of making the final field of the Vodacom Durban July. Silver Host is favourite for Saturday’s Track and Ball Derby and should take a lot of beating in that race. Best bet of the weekend is probably Hasta Manana in the second race at Scottsville and a double with Illicit Kiss in the first race could make for spending money for the place accumulator and Pick Six. At Kenilworth, Nippy Winter gets a golden opportunity to crack her maiden in the first race at Kenilworth and it could pay to take her in a win double with Crackin’ Rose, also from Bass Racing, in the third race.
How chaotic was the conclusion of the Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix a fortnight ago?! At the end of all the spills and thrills though the standings remain unchanged. That was after Max Verstappen crashed his Red Bull while leading with a couple of laps to go and then Lewis Hamilton overshot the first turn in the restart and finished out of the points. This weekend sees the French Grand Prix take place. We’re saying back Hamilton at current odds of 12-10.
Action on Saturday features “The Korean Zombie” Jung Chan-sung who takes on rising American featherweight star Dan Ige in the headline bout at UFC Vegas 29. “It’s all going to depend on how Dan is prepared and how he comes out,” No4-ranked Jung said. “If he’s ready to brawl, then I’m ready to brawl. I’ve prepared to be ready to match any pace he thinks he can take the fight.” They’re both 9-10 for this fight … we say go for the Korean Zombie.