Reuters Sports Schedule at 0600 GMT on Thursday, March 12

Reuters sports schedule at 0600 GMT on Thursday: - - - - CRICKET World Cup South Africa v UAE, Wellington (0100) De Villiers out for 99 as South Africa post 341-6 v UAE WELLINGTON - AB de Villiers came within a whisker of his 21st one-day international century as South Africa posted an imposing 341 for six against United Arab Emirates in their World Cup Pool B match. (CRICKET-WORLD/SA-UAE (PIX), moved with updates to follow, by Greg Stutchbury, 400 words) - - Mooney once again Ireland's headline act As Ireland prepare for their winner takes all Pool B decider against Pakistan on Sunday, all-rounder John Mooney finds himself at the centre of a 'did he or didn't he?' controversy that once again puts him in the World Cup headlines. (CRICKET-IRELAND/MOONEY (FEATURE), expect at 0630 GMT/2:30 AM ET, by Patrick Johnston, 500 words) - - - - MOTOR RACING Formula One: Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne (to 15) 'Awesome' Mercedes launch dynasty bid in Australia MELBOURNE - Brimful of confidence after successful pre-season testing, Mercedes' bid to build a Formula One dynasty kicks off at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix this week, with world champion Lewis Hamilton hungry for a third title.(MOTOR RACING-PRIX/ (PREVIEW), moved, by Ian Ransom, 400 words) Also moved, factbox with statistics on the Australian race. - - New boy Vettel plays down Ferrari hopes in Melbourne MELBOURNE - Sebastian Vettel is convinced Ferrari have a better car than the one that stuttered through a winless season last year but has played down his team's chances of upsetting Mercedes at Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix. (MOTOR RACING-PRIX/VETTEL (PIX), moved, by Ian Ransom, 400 words) - - - - BOXING Mayweather, Pacquiao discuss Vegas mega-bout LOS ANGELES - After five years of bickering, posturing, and false alarms, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao are face-to-face and ready to do real fighting. (BOXING-MAYWEATHER/ (PIX, TV), moved, by Jahmal Corner, 400 words) - - - - TENNIS Serena's U-turn on Indian Wells praised by peers INDIAN WELLS, California - Serena Williams' decision to end a 14-year boycott of the BNP Paribas Open has been warmly welcomed by her peers with her good friend and rival Caroline Wozniacki saying it was "great for tennis". (TENNIS-INDIAN/ (PIX), moved, by Mark Lamport-Stokes, 400 words) - - - - NBA Limping Bulls battle to welcome victory over 76ers The injury-depleted Chicago Bulls got huge performances from Aaron Brooks and Pau Gasol to edge out Philadelphia in overtime at the Wells Fargo Center. (NBA-HIGHLIGHTS/, moved, 650 words) - - - - NHL Rangers backup Talbot shines again in 3-1 win over Caps New York Rangers backup goalie Cam Talbot played his second dominant game in 24 hours, stopping 28-of-29 shots to earn a victory over Washington at the Verizon Center. (NHL-HIGHLIGHTS/, moved, 400 words) - - - - NORTH AMERICAN SPORTS Roundups of off-field developments in the major North American professional sports leagues. (expect by 0000 GMT/8:00 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 400 words) - - - - SOCCER Europa League Coaches face former clubs in Europa League last 16 LONDON - Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella will return to former club AS Roma in an all-Italian clash and Villarreal boss Marcelino will host his former team Sevilla in the Europa League's last 16. (SOCCER-EUROPA/, expect first take by 2000 GMT/4 PM ET, 600 words) - - La Liga Barca looking to up the pressure on second-placed Real MADRID - With second-placed Real Madrid not playing at home to Levante until Sunday, new leaders Barcelona can put pressure on their arch rivals and open up a four-point lead at the top of La Liga with a win at Eibar on Saturday. (SOCCER-SPAIN/ (PREVIEW), expect by 1100 GMT/7 AM ET, by Iain Rogers, 400 words) - - Premier League Man United face crunch test against Spurs LONDON - Out of the FA Cup and with Champions League qualification hanging in the balance, Manchester United's season reaches a pivotal stage in the Premier League on Sunday at home to Tottenham Hotspur. (SOCCER-ENGLAND/ (PREVIEW), moved, by Michael Hann, 400 words) - - Libertadores Cup group stage Copy on merit - - - - RUGBY Six Nations France name team to face Italy PARIS - Head coach Philippe Saint-Andre names his team to face Italy as France look to revive their campaign (RUGBY-NATIONS/FRANCE, expect by 1100 GMT/7 AM ET, 250 words) - - - - HORSE RACING Cheltenham Festival (to 13) - - - - CYCLING Paris-Nice, France (to 15) Tirreno-Adriatico, Italy (to 17) Copy on merit - - - - (Desk editor: John O'Brien)