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WGM’s weekend wrap

Written by Ben Blaschke

It proved to be a surprisingly busy weekend in the world of sport despite the impending Christmas break and all of the distractions it inevitably brings.

Let’s start with the cricket and the bizarre Test match played between South Africa and India in Johannesburg. South Africa is the number one ranked Test side in the world but looked to be in serious trouble after they were set a whopping 458 to win the first Test by the tourists. To put that in perspective, the highest successful fourth innings run chase of all time was 418 by the West Indies against Australia 11 years ago, so it would have been a new world record had they done it. But this is where it all became a bit bizarre – thanks to a brilliant 138 by Faf du Plessis, South Africa were in sights of the amazing mark and needed just 16 runs from the final three overs with three wickets remaining, yet for some reason the home side chose to play for the draw rather than go for victory. They blocked the third last and second last overs, and although the final over went for eight runs they fell eight short of victory with the match declared a draw. To us that simply sounds way too conservative … no wonder the crowd booed their own side!

The English Premier League continued along with Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Cardiff seeing them move top of the ladder ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Chelsea. Manchester City, Everton and Tottenham also won while Manchester United continues to improve – their 3-1 win over West Ham no doubt ensuring the top sides have one eye on them.

The NFL threw up some telling results with Carolina upsetting New Orleans to put the Saints’ play-off hopes at risk. Peyton Manning reclaimed the record for most touchdown passes in a season with his 51st as the Broncos downed the Texans to secure the AFC West crown while the Bengals clinched a playoff spot with a big win over the Vikings.

And Champions League holders Bayern Munich cemented their standing as the best club side in the world by winning the Club World Cup with a 2-0 win over Raja Casablanca in Morocco. The German champions were far too strong for their outclassed opponents as they made it four trophies in 2013