LONDON -- After discussions between Manchester United's senior players and manager Louis van Gaal about how to halt its decline in form, the squad heads to Stoke under intensifying pressure to ease the scrutiny surrounding the Dutchman. SENT: 735 words, photos.
LONDON -- UK Anti-Doping says that rally driver and motorsport owner Paul Bird has been banned for two years after failing a doping test. Bird tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, and the diuretic furosemide following an in-competition test in July 2015. SENT: 135 words.
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's ODI captain Azhar Ali and opening batsman Mohammad Hafeez have refused to join a training camp after Mohammad Amir, who served a ban for spot fixing, was included, local media reported on Thursday. SENT: 330 words.
DURBAN -- James Anderson will miss England's first test against South Africa in Durban with a right calf injury. SENT: 100 words.
SYDNEY -- Striker Mark Bridge scored his fifth goal in as many games to clinch first-place Western Sydney's 2-0 win Thursday over Newcastle, its eighth victory in nine A-League matches. SENT: 90 words.
MELBOURNE -- West Indies allrounder Carlos Brathwaite is favored by captain Jason Holder to make his test debut on Saturday against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. SENT: 135 words, photos.
NEW YORK -- Dirk Nowitzki moved past Shaquille O'Neal into sixth place on the NBA's career scoring list, then made the go-ahead basket with 19.2 seconds left in overtime to give the Dallas Mavericks a 119-118 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. SENT: 290 words.
OAKLAND -- Golden State extended its run of consecutive home victories to 31 by beating Utah 103-85 on Wednesday, going to Christmas with a dominant 11-1/2 game lead in the NBA Pacific Division. SENT: 790 words, photos.
OAKLAND -- Klay Thompson scored 20 points, Stephen Curry had 16 points and nine assists and the Golden State Warriors remained unbeaten at home with a 103-85 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. SENT: 1280 words.
SYDNEY -- Forecast southerly winds of up to 35 knots (65 kilometers per hour, 40 mph) will create a blustery first night for 109 yachts entered in this year's Sydney to Hobart race which begins Saturday. SENT: 415 words.
SAN DIEGO -- Boise State's Jeremy McNichols scored the first of his three touchdowns just 58 seconds into the game as the Broncos embarrassed Northern Illinois 55-7 in college football's Poinsettia Bowl on Wednesday. SENT: 335 words, photos.
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