Thapa, Paneru advance

KATHMANDU: Balram Thapa and Pashupati Paneru entered the third round of the Yonex Sunrise Asian Badminton Tournament, which has been held in Kuala Lumpur, today. According to a release issued here by Nepal Badminton Association on Thursday, Thapa defeated a Jordanian player 15-6, 15-4 and Paneru beat a player from Kyrgyzstan 15-4, 15-1 in the second round matches. — HNS

Brown wins CoY award

MEMPHIS: Hubie Brown won the NBA Coach of the Year award for leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a team-record 50 wins and their first playoff berth. Brown — at 70, the oldest coach in the league — beat Utah’s Jerry Sloan in a close race with 466 points, including 62 of 122 first-place votes from a panel of sports writers and sportscasters. The award marks a 26-year span between victories for Brown, who also was honoured as the top coach in the 1977-78 season with Atlanta. — AP

Akhtar plays with kids

MUMBAI: A number of Indian children suffering from cancer had a memorable Thursday when they played cricket with the world’s fastest bowler — Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar. In Mumbai for a television commercial shoot, Akhtar took time off to send down some overs to dozens of children suffering from cancer at the city’s St George Hospital. “It is a lifetime opportunity for these kids that I am here with them,” said a visibly-moved Akhtar. — AFP

Norwich promoted

LONDON: Norwich City returned to the Premier League for the first time in nine years on Wednesday after Sunderland lost 3-0 at Crystal Palace. The result means that third place Sunderland can’t catch division one leader Norwich which is guaranteed one of the two automatic promotion spots. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but I’m proud to be manager of this football club tonight,” Norwich manager Nigel Worthington said. — AP

Australia manage draw

SYDNEY: Travis Brooks’ goal in the closing minutes gave Australia a 2-2 draw with India in a 4 Nations Challenge men’s field hockey match on Thursday. Jamie Dwyer gave Australia a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute before Jatinder Pal Singh tied the match on halftime. Deepak Thakur put India ahead in the 61st minute before Brooks tied the match seven minutes later. Malaysia beat South Africa 2-1 in an earlier match for its second consecutive win. Kuhan Shanmuganathan scored in the 12th and 60th minutes while Ian Symons replied for South Africa. — AP