International Sports Briefs

Alonso wins

SAKHIR: Fernando Alonso won season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix to lead a Ferrari 1-2 on his debut for the Italian F1 team. The Spaniard passed teammate Felipe Massa at the second corner after the start before overtaking pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel on the 34th lap for a lead he would never relinquish. After two frustrating years at Renault, Alonso pounded his chest after jumping on top of his car as Ferrari got off to its best start since 2004 — when Schumacher led a 1-2 start. He replaced Kimi Raikkonen, who also won on his Ferrari debut three years ago. Lewis Hamilton finished third ahead of his Red Bull opponent. Nico Rosberg was more than 40 seconds behind Alonso in fifth place. Mercedes teammate Michael Schumacher was sixth in his first race in three years.

Clarke splits

SYDNEY: Cricketer Michael Clarke has confirmed his split from swimsuit model Lara Bingle, almost a week after leaving Australia’s tour of New Zealand to sort out his troubled relationship. Vice-captain Clarke rushed home from New Zealand last week to be with his 22-year-old fiancee after a nude photo of her in the shower taken by a former boyfriend appeared in a gossip magazine. On Sunday media reports said Clarke, who has been named in a 14-man squad for the two-Test series against the Kiwis later this month, would fly out for New Zealand on Monday.

England on top

CHITTAGONG: Graeme Swann grabbed five wickets to bowl England into a commanding position in the opening Test against Bangladesh on Sunday. The off-spinner took 5-90 as the hosts were bowled out for 296 in their first innings in reply to England’s 599-6 declared. England, who did not enforce the follow-on, were 131-5 in their second innings at stumps on the third day for a lead of 434. Mushfiqur Rahim (79) and Naeem Islam (38) earlier put on 113 runs for the eighth wicket before England ended the hosts’ fightback with three wickets in four balls.