England in control DURBAN, South Africa (AP): England had reduced South Africa 136-4 at stumps on the fourth day of the first Test at Kingsmead yesterday and need six more wickets on the final day to win. Scores: England 1st innings: 303 all out in 100.1 overs (Nick Compton 85, James Taylor 70; Dale Steyn 4-70, Morne Morkel 4-76). South Africa 1st innings: 214 all out in 81.4 overs (Dean Elgar 118 not out, AB de Villiers 49; Stuart Broad 4-25, Moeen Ali 4-69). England 2nd innings: 326 all out in 102.1 overs (Jonny Bairstow 79, Joe Root 73, Nick Compton 49; Dane Piedt 5-153). South Africa 2nd innings (target: 416): 136-4 after 47 overs (Dean Elgar 40, AB de Villiers 37 not out, Steven Finn 3-27). PCB chairman turns down Ali’s resignation ISLAMABAD (AP): Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan has refused to accept Azhar Ali’s resignation as ODI captain over the inclusion of former spot-fixer Mohammad Amir in the training camp. Khan met with Ali in Lahore yesterday and after the meeting the PCB said in a statement that “the chairman didn’t accept” Ali’s resignation, who agreed to continue as captain. Last week, Ali and opening batsman Mohammad Hafeez stayed away from the camp after Amir was included, but after meeting with Khan both agreed to join the camp. Amir’s five-year ban for spot-fixing during a Test match in 2010 ended in September and the 23-year-old left-arm fast bowler is in contention for next month’s limited-overs tour of New Zealand. Former Newcastle goalkeeper dies at 47 PRAGUE (AP): Pavel Srnicek, a former Czech Republic goalkeeper who also played for Newcastle, died yesterday, nine days after collapsing while running. He was 47. Sparta Prague, where Srnicek had been goalkeeper coach since 2011, said the former Premier League player died at a university clinic in the eastern city of Ostrava. Srnicek made 150 appearances for the Magpies from 1991-98 and was part of the Newcastle squad that finished runner-up in the Premier League in 1996. He recently published a book, Pavel Is a Geordie, about his years with Newcastle. Srnicek played for his country 49 times between 1994 and 2001 and was a backup goalkeeper at the 1996 European Championship, where the Czechs reached the final. Srnicek also played for English clubs Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and West Ham. Gasquet withdraws from Australian Open MELBOURNE, Australia (AP): World No. 9 Richard Gasquet has withdrawn from the Australian Open because of a back injury. Tournament organisers tweeted news of Gasquet’s withdrawal late yesterday, adding “we wish him a speedy recovery”. France’s Gasquet is the third withdrawal from the Grand Slam tournament which starts on January 18 at Melbourne Park, after Juan Monaco and Thanasi Kokkinakis. Britain’s Kyle Edmund will take his place in the main draw. Gasquet aggravated the injury while playing in exhibitions this month, and he has also withdrawn from the Qatar Open, due to start on Monday.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Reciting the days of the week is a trivial task for most of us, but then, most of us don’t have cooling probes in our brains. Scientists have discovered that by applying a small electrical cooling device to the brain during surgery they could slow down and distort speech patterns in patients. When the probe was activated in some regions of the brain associated with language and talking—like the premotor cortex—the patients’ speech became garbled and distorted, the team reported here yesterday at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting. As scientists moved the probe to other speech regions, such as the pars opercularis, the distortion lessened, but speech patterns slowed. (These zones and their effects are displayed graphically above.) “What emerged was this orderly map,” says team leader Michael Long, a neuroscientist at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City. The results suggest that one region of the brain organizes the rhythm and flow of language while another is responsible for the actual articulation of the words. The team was even able to map which word sounds were most likely to be elongated when the cooling probe was applied. “People preferentially stretched out their vowels,” Long says. “Instead of Tttuesssday, you get Tuuuesdaaay.” The technique is similar to the electrical probe stimulation that researchers have been using to identify the function of various brain regions, but the shocks often trigger epileptic seizures in sensitive patients. Long contends that the cooling probe is completely safe, and that in the future it may help neurosurgeons decide where to cut and where not to cut during surgery.