Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands prepares for the first practice session for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka. Photo: AP Photo/Toru Takahashi

DURBAN –  What a whirlwind of a week it has been over in The Land of the Rising Sun. It’s figuratively and literally been chaos in Japan, where a typhoon by the name of Hagibis has brought with it some hefty weather, which has certain quarters in complete dismay and others filled with elation.

Let’s just say the Japanese, over 100 million of them, may not mind a typhoon this time round.

Before we get to the showpiece in Tokyo and surrounding cities, let’s start with the motor heads who have also already been affected by the weather at Sazuka race track, in the practice and qualifying rounds. Order was restored by the championship leaders from Mercedes two weeks back in Russia, but this weather will potentially put a cat amongst the pigeons, as it usually does when it rains, with many spills and thrills.

Whenever there is some sort of factor which may change the course of a normal race, I always fancy a driver like Max Verstappen to be that cat.

Outside of the mad Dutchman, the lightie at the prancing horse Mr Charles Leclerc, will be there and thereabouts, perhaps getting his third victory of the season, and his life. Lewis will always feature as expected but a surprise may be in store.

In the rugby there has been something a World Cup has never seen, with one huge game between England and France cancelled. This has Eddie praising the weather gods as his army get a rest and go through top in their pool, without having to play the unpredictable French roosters, and both teams save themselves from getting potential injuries.

The prospect of a vital pool deciding game between hosts Japan and Scotland now looms. The decision on this game will be made tomorrow morning, according to reports - thanks for heads up Bra Vata.

Currently Scotland sit in third position in their pool, and a bonus point win (if they could deny the hosts a bonus point) would see them through to the quarter-finals.

Japan's Michael Leitch talks to his players during the Rugby World Cup Pool A game at City of Toyota Stadium between Japan and Samoa in Tokyo City. Photo: Kyodo News via AP

According to the rules a cancelled game is declared a draw, which means each team gets two points. This being the case, it means that potentially the tournament's biggest game day has just been ruined by typhoon Hagibis, hawe ma.

Kwibhola it’s an international break all around the world, where most of the action is in Europe, with the Euro 2020 qualifiers being played. Denmark and Switzerland is the game with the best prospects today, perhaps followed by the Spain and Norway clash, out of Oslo. I suspect both home teams will win, putting them a step closer to qualifying.

Sweden, Italy and Romania should also win against Malta, Greece and Faroe Islands respectively.

At the moment only Belgium have qualified, which they achieved on Thursday night, when they best tiny San Marino 9-0, ouch!

La eMzansi there is a random cup game between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs, at FNB Stadium this afternoon. Last year Sundowns won the match, beating Chiefs 2-1. I suspect today’s result may be different, and my prediction is perhaps same score but different winner.

In cricket the second Test kicked off on Thursday in Pune, in a three-match series in which the Proteas are already 1-0 down.

Yesterday India declared their first innings with a massive score of 605/5. And at stumps South Africa were in desperate trouble at 36/3.

For the Proteas to save the match, although this would be the mother of all miracles, they will have to bat the best two innings of their lives.

India clearly look like they will walk away as series winners, so at this rate expect a whitewash, fellas.

Sanele Tshabalala

The Sport Sangoma


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