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Sports Briefs

Published:Saturday | February 28, 2015 | 2:00 AM
Darren Bravo

Bravo ruled out of WCup

SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):

Top-order batsman Darren Bravo has been ruled out of the ICC Cricket World Cup after failing to recover in time from a hamstring injury.

The left-hander limped out of the game against Pakistan in Christchurch last Saturday with a lower-grade tear to his left hamstring, and has been receiving treatment ever since.

He was ruled out of the games against Zimbabwe last Tuesday in Canberra and against South Africa in Sydney yesterday.

"Unfortunately, Darren has not recovered as we hoped and will have to be replaced," team media manager Philip Spooner told CMC Sports.

"He still cannot run and will return home to continue his rehabilitation."

A replacement will be named on Sunday.

Bravo made 49 against Pakistan before pulling up in the 32nd over, while taking a quick single. He did not take the field as West Indies went on to win by 150 runs.

de Villiers backs Holder

SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):

South Africa skipper AB de Villiers has backed his young West Indies counterpart Jason Holder to succeed as captain, and says he also expects the Caribbean side to pose a threat in the ongoing World Cup.

The 23-year-old Holder has had a rough initiation, suffering a 4-1 drubbing to South Africa in his first series at the helm and then also enduring a shock four-wicket defeat to Ireland in the Windies opening Group B game two weeks ago.

However, de Villiers praised Holder's maturity and said he expected him to come through this tough period.

"He's actually a really nice guy, so yes, we've all been there. I've been there before in my career, as well," de Villiers pointed out.

South Africa handed West Indies the joint worst-ever defeat in World Cup history yesterday, when they thrashed them by 257 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Azarenka defeats Venus

DOHA, Qatar (AP):

Victoria Azarenka defeated Venus Williams for the first time yesterday, rallying for a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory to reach the final at the Qatar Open.

A two-time champion in Doha, Azarenka made adjustments in the second set and took a 5-1 lead in the third. Azarenka had 36 winners in a match watched by David Beckham.

Williams entered the match with a 4-0 record against the Belarusian, who reached her first final in more than a year.

"From 5-1, she really went for her shots, she was really aggressive," Azarenka said of Williams. "So I just wanted to stay composed."

The 48th-ranked Azarenka will face No. 15 Lucie Safarova in today's final. She's undefeated in six matches against the Czech player, who beat Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-2 in the other semi-final.