England in dramatic tie

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England took three wickets in a dramatic final over to tie the second one-day cricket international with South Africa at Bloemfontein. South Africa, chasing England's 270-5 and hoping to tie the seven-match series at 1-1, needed eight to win off Kabir Ali's final over. Ali bowled a full-pitch no-ball first delivery that Mark Boucher pulled for four. Boucher was caught off an identical shot next ball and Ashwell Prince was then run out, but South Africa still looked favourites with one needed off the final delivery. Andrew Hall, however, missed it and was stumped by Geraint Jones, standing up, as the home side ended on 270-8.

Earlier man of the match Kevin Pietersen, born in South Africa but who moved to England to improve his chances of international cricket, scored an unbeaten maiden century to help England to 270-5 after they were put in. But Jacques Kallis (63) and Herschelle Gibbs (78) put on 134 for the third wicket to keep the game alive. The home side still needed 82 off the last 10 overs and 36 off five but Justin Kemp, Boucher and Shaun Pollock waded in with some big hitting.

In an orchestrated move, many of the spectators had turned their backs on Pietersen as he walked back to the pavilion after his innings. The third game of the series takes place on Friday in Port Elizabeth.

* There was more bad news on funding for athletics and gymnastics on Wednesday, as UK Sport set out how £75m for elite sport over the next four years was to be divided, writes David Owen. Athletics' share of the world-class performance programme is to be cut from £8.3m in 2001-05 to £7.2m in 2005-09, with the number of athletes funded slashed from 82 to a maximum of 40. Gymnastics funding falls from £3.6m to £1.8m.

The body said its approach would be more targeted to ensure that athletes with the potential to "mount the rostrum" at the 2008 Beijing Olympics were offered a "full programme of support" through their governing bodies. Up to 320 athletes would be included in the programme in 2005-09, down from an average of 480 in 2001-05.

A recent National Audit Office report put the cost to UK Sport of each British medal at last summer's Athens Olympics at £2.4m - more than 40 per cent higher than targeted. Athletics and gymnastics were among the main losers this week when Sport England revealed how £315m of funding was to be allocated.

* Leinster lock Malcolm O'Kelly will equal Mike Gibson as the most-capped Irishman when he takes the field for his 69th appearance in Ireland's Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome on Sunday, writes Huw Richards. O'Kelly, 30, has edged out Munster's Donncha O'Callaghan in the battle to partner Paul O'Connell that is likely to continue beyond the domestic season into this summer's British Lions tour of New Zealand. In a vastly experienced squad - even the replacements average 35 caps apiece - novelty is represented by flanker Denis Leamy, who has displaced Wasps' Jonny O'Connor from the open side and will make his Six Nations debut.

Gordon D'Arcy returns at centre, reforming the partnership with Brian O'Driscoll expected to be Ireland's main cutting edge after missing the autumn internationals. Full-back Girvan Dempsey is the loser in the ensuing reshuffle as Geordan Murphy takes the number 15 shirt and Shane Horgan reverts to the wing. Seven Leinstermen, including the entire three-quarter line, will start while replacement David Humphreys is the sole Ulster representative

Team: Murphy, Horgan, D'Arcy, O'Driscoll (captain), Hickie, O'Gara, Stringer, Corrigan, Byrne, Hayes, O'Connell, O'Kelly, S Easterby, Foley, Leamy.

* The FA will take no action against Arsenal or Manchester United over a tunnel incident before Tuesday's tempestuous league clash at Highbury. TV cameras caught United captain Roy Keane shouting and pointing at Arsenal skipper Patrick Vieira in the tunnel as the players lined up. Referee Graham Poll was forced to intervene. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said after his side's 4-2 victory that Vieira had started the latest bout of trouble between the two clubs. Keane said Frenchman Vieira had tried to intimidate United defender Gary Neville.

The FA said Poll was satisfied he had dealt with the incident at the time. Neville played down the spat, telling the Manchester Evening News: "There was nothing on our part in the tunnel. It was just a case of they were a little bit wound up. That is not a criticism." United's victory moved them into second place behind leaders Chelsea and probably ended Arsenal's hopes of retaining their title.

* Bernhard Langer will not return as European captain for the 2006 Ryder Cup, opening the way for favourites Ian Woosnam or Nick Faldo to take over. Langer led Europe to an 18½-9½ victory over the US last year. "I have officially informed the European Tour tournament committee that I have every intention of being a playing member of the 2006 European team," said Langer.

* German prosecutors have widened their soccer match-fixing probe to include three more referees, including one from the Bundesliga, and 14 players from lower division clubs. Police raided 32 premises in 10 states on Wednesday and seized evidence but no arrests were made, said the Berlin prosecutor's office.

A total of 25 people were now under investigation on suspicion of manipulating 10 matches in the first, second and third divisions as well as in the Cup competition in 2004 to favour betting on the games, it said. As well as former referee Robert Hoyzer, prosecutors were investigating Bundesliga referee Juergen Jansen as well as match officials Felix Zwayer and Dominik Marks.

* Apprentice Kristin Stubbs will make history at the Jockey Club on Thursday when she becomes the first rider to take part in a disciplinary hearing open to the press. The 24-year-old will appeal against a two-day suspension for careless riding aboard Pagan Storm at Wolverhampton on January 24.

Meanwhile Robert Winston became the fifth jockey to be arrested as part of the City of London police's investigation into alleged race-fixing. A total of 25 people, including former champion Flat race jockey Kieren Fallon, have already been arrested and are on bail.

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