20 Nov

Lionel Messi back at the double after illness to down Celtic

first_imgThe dazzling Lionel Messi returned from illness to score yet another double to help Barcelona ease into the knockout stages of the Champions League for a 13th successive year with their 2-0 win at Celtic on Wednesday.Messi, who missed the goalless draw with Malaga on Saturday with a sickness bug, was back to his tormenting best just as he had been when scoring a hat-trick in Barca’s 7-0 win in the their Group C fixture at the Nou Camp two months earlier.The Argentinian followed up an impressive first-half strike from close range with a penalty after the break, and was a constant threat throughout the match alongside Brazilian team mate Neymar. (Also read: Champions League: Messi powers Barcelona into last 16, Rostov stun Bayern Munich)The brace took Messi’s Champions League total to 92 goals, including nine in this season’s group stages alone, and though he narrowly missed a hat-trick, his genius ensured Celtic exited all European competition while Barca will progress as group winners.”It was a game that we expected. In one of the toughest groups, we have come top. I have to congratulate the team,” said Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.Celtic coach Brendan Rodgers had impressed upon his players not to give their illustrious opponents too much respect as they had done in Barcelona and they were certainly not humiliated in the same manner as they were in September.They had some decent goalscoring opportunities which fell to striker Moussa Dembele, but he failed to add to his three goals in this season’s group stage.advertisementFor all Celtic’s pressing and possession, however, Barca had too much class with Messi their executioner again, latching on to Neymar’s dinked through ball to fire first-time past Craig Gordon in the 24th minute.He doubled his tally from the penalty spot in the 56th after Luis Suarez was fouled by Emilio Izaguirre.Messi had further opportunities to add to his tally and only a remarkable save by Gordon from a Suarez header in the first half prevented the winning margin from being wider.”The players gave everything,” said Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers.”We restricted them to one or two chances and at 1-0 we had a real chance to equalise. However, they went up to the other end and scored a second.”last_img read more

20 Nov

What England’s Test debut centurions went on to achieve

first_imgWhat England’s Test debut centurions went on to achieveWG GRACE (152 on debut vs Australia on 6 Sep 1880) Matches: 22Innings: 36Runs: 1098100s: 250s: 5Average: 32.29KS RANJITSINHJI (154* on debut vs Australia on 16 Jul 1896) Matches: 15Innings: 26Runs: 989100s: 250s: 6Average: 44.95PELHAM WARNER (132* on debut vs South Africa on 14 Feb 1899) Matches: 15Innings: 28Runs: 622100s: 150s: 3Average: 23.92RIP FOSTER (287 on debut vs Australia on 11 Dec 1903) Matches: 8Innings: 14Runs: 602100s: 150s: 1Average: 46.30GEORGE GUNN (119 on debut vs Australia on 13 Dec 1907) Matches: 15Innings: 29Runs: 1120100s: 250s: 7Average: 40.00NAWAB OF PATAUDI (102 on debut vs Australia on 2 Dec 1932) Matches: 6Innings: 10Runs: 199100s: 150s: 0Average: 19.90 BRYAN VALENTINE (136 on debut vs India on 15 Dec 1933) Matches: 7Innings: 9Runs: 454100s: 250s: 1Average: 64.85PAUL GIBB (106 on debut vs South Africa on 24 Dec 1938) Matches: 8Innings: 13Runs: 581100s: 250s: 3Average: 44.69BILLY GRIFFITH (140 on debut vs West Indies on 11 Feb 1948) Matches: 3Innings: 5Runs: 157100s: 150s: 0Average: 31.40PETER MAY (138 on debut vs South Africa on 26 Jul 1951) Matches: 66Innings: 106Runs: 4537100s: 1350s: 22Average: 46.77ARTHUR MILTON (104* on debut vs New Zealand on 3 Jul 1958) Matches: 6Innings: 9Runs: 204100s: 150s: 0Average: 25.50JOHN HAMPSHIRE (107 on debut vs West Indies on 26 Jun 1969) Matches: 8Innings: 16Runs: 403100s: 150s: 2Average: 26.86FRANK HAYES (106* on debut vs West Indies on 26 Jul 1973) Matches: 9Innings: 17Runs: 244100s: 150s: 0Average: 15.25GRAHAM THORPE (114* on debut vs Australia on 1 Jul 1993) Matches: 100Innings: 179Runs: 6744100s: 1650s: 39Average: 44.66ANDREW STRAUSS (112 on debut vs New Zealand on 20 May 2004) Matches: 100Innings: 178Runs: 7037100s: 2150s: 27Average: 40.91ALASTAIR COOK (104* on debut vs India on 1 Mar 2006) Matches: 138Innings: 249Runs: 10934100s: 3050s: 27Average: 53 MATT PRIOR (126* on debut vs West Indies on 17 May 2007) advertisementMatches: 79Innings: 123Runs: 4099100s: 750s: 28Average: 40.18JONATHAN TROTT (119 on debut vs Australia on 20 Aug 2009) Matches: 52Innings: 93Runs: 3835100s: 950s: 19Average: 44.08last_img read more

19 Nov

Egyptian becomes first amputee to swim across Red Sea Gulf

first_imgAn Egyptian adventurer has become the first amputee to swim from Egypt to Jordan, crossing a 20-kilometre (12.4 miles) stretch of the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba last month in under nine hours.Omar Hegazy, a 26-year-old banker, lost his left leg two years ago in a motorcycle accident he said left him with an identity crisis.But Hegazy regained his strength through training and was able to take up sports he had enjoyed before his accident, including rock-climbing and snorkelling.”I used to lead a very active lifestyle… I didn’t know what I was anymore or how I was going to live,” he said.”I like exploring, adventuring and doing things for the first time.”Hegazy raised funds for the swim through local sponsors and audiences tracked his progress across the coral-rich gulf through a Twitter hashtag he created to raise awareness about people enduring mental and physical disabilities.”I see life in near-death experiences and I want to (bring people along for the ride),” he said.last_img read more

18 Nov

Pakistan China’s new colony? Leaked papers reveal Beijing’s stake in economy, key projects

first_imgWhen Mao Zedong’s People’s Liberation Army marched into the restive Muslim-majority region on China’s western frontier in 1949, the Chairman decided to christen the People’s Republic’s newest province Xinjiang, literally meaning ‘new frontier’- a historical name used intermittently for China’s borderlands. Today, for many in Beijing, Pakistan is China’s new,When Mao Zedong’s People’s Liberation Army marched into the restive Muslim-majority region on China’s western frontier in 1949, the Chairman decided to christen the People’s Republic’s newest province Xinjiang, literally meaning ‘new frontier’- a historical name used intermittently for China’s borderlands. Today, for many in Beijing, Pakistan is China’s new new frontier. If the 20-year blueprint envisioned by China’s leaders and Pakistan’s current government comes to fruition, Beijing will soon have a say in how almost every aspect of the Pakistani economy is run.In the three years since the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was launched, this transformation has already begun to unfold. A draft CPEC masterplan, conceived of by China’s National Development and Reform Commission and Pakistan’s ministry of planning and published by Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, and the most sweeping Chinese assessment till date about the project- an internal review undertaken by Beijing’s Renmin University and shared with India Today- both underline the enormous scale of the planned economic takeover, from roads and power plants to even agricultural projects.PAKISTAN’S NEW OLD FRIENDToday, Chinese companies are building and managing the country’s key transport networks, from national highways to Lahore’s metro rail. China has bought a stake in Pakistan’s stock exchange. It is building Pakistan’s power sector, coal plant by coal plant, and will eventually, many experts believe, have a say in how much Pakistani citizens pay their government for electricity.Ties between China and Pakistan go back to the early 1960s, a relationship forged in their mutual animosity towards India in the wake of their respective wars. Since then, both governments, and particularly militaries, have developed close relations. China has supported Pakistan as a counterweight to India in South Asia, most notably through its continuing support of the country’s nuclear programme. China, however, fell out of prominence in the wake of America’s ‘war on terror’ after the September 11, 2001 attacks. This also coincided with Beijing more carefully balancing its growing relations with India after the 1988 normalisation of ties. In the years following 9/11, the US began leaning heavily on Pakistan for its war in Afghanistan, emerging as the biggest financial donor.advertisementThat is now no longer the case. China has now replaced the US as Pakistan’s biggest benefactor. The launch of CPEC has only further reinforced this position: China’s trade with Pakistan has already risen threefold in the past few years, to $13.7 billion in 2015-16, up from just $4 billion in 2007. Today, China accounts for 40 per cent of Pakistan’s foreign direct investment, which is only around $2 billion. According to the Pakistani government, it was China’s $600 million that contributed to a 38 per cent rise in FDI in 2015-’16.Graphics by TANMOY CHAKRABORTYClick here to EnlargeTHE TAKEOVER BLUEPRINTCPEC will usher in an even more sweeping takeover of the Pakistani economy. A draft masterplan says thousands of acres of Pakistani land will be transferred to Chinese companies to grow crops, build meat processing plants and develop free trade zones. Chinese garment factories will, en masse, be transferred to Pakistan, while China will manage and run tourism projects and special economic zones along the southern coast, with rather ambitious plans for even yacht clubs and hot spring hotels to develop an unlikely tourism hub in the restive Balochistan province, of all places.”There are fears that Pakistan will become just another province of China, or will be reduced to being a ‘vassal state’,” S. Akbar Zaidi, a leading Pakistani political economist and professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, has argued in a paper.For Beijing, the stakes are high. The internal assessment by Renmin University’s Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, which sent scholars to visit Pakistan and study CPEC projects late last year, warned of numerous risks, from political infighting in Pakistan to terrorism. The report, however, came to the final conclusion that the only way for China to guarantee success is to assume even more sweeping control.’Neither China nor Pakistan can afford the consequences of the failure of constructing the corridor,’ the Chinese report concluded. ‘If the current uncertainty was to continue, it would not only delay the opening of the flagship project but CPEC would end up becoming a burden on China and have a great negative impact,’ it said, of President Xi Jinping’s pet One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative.The most surprising aspect of the draft masterplan is its revelation of the wide ambit of conceived projects. Previously, CPEC was thought to be limited to power and infrastructure projects in Pakistan. The $46 billion cited estimate of the total initiative envisages $11 billion investment in highways and transport networks, and $35 billion in coal and hydropower plants aimed at tackling Pakistan’s energy deficit.advertisementThe draft plan, however, reveals that CPEC will eventually be far more sweeping than power plants and roads: it envisages a complete takeover of almost every aspect of the Pakistani economy. Agriculture, surprisingly, is the focus. Around 6,500 acres will be leased to China for agricultural demonstration projects, the masterplan draft says. It lists 17 projects, including a fertiliser plant with an annual 800,000 tonne output. Vegetable and grain processing plants with a 1 million tonne capacity have also been planned.Power projects that will cut Pakistan’s soaring energy deficit are also central to the plan. China has announced 17 projects with a total investment of $35 billion. The first of these, a coal-powered plant at Sahiwal in the Punjab, went online in May. Pakistan suffers an energy deficit of around 7 GW, with a capacity of 22 GW that, however, only produces around 12 GW a year. The total energy from China’s projects, once they go online in the next few years, is an estimated 12.1 GW, which China says will end up bridging Pakistan’s energy gap and ultimately contribute between 40 and 50 per cent of the country’s energy needs. In addition to this, the Chinese are planning to overhaul Pakistan’s road and rail infrastructure. Apart from upgrading the Karakoram highway that will serve as a key arterial link connecting Xinjiang and Gwadar, it is already being used to ship goods transported from Xinjiang by road, by sea to West Asia-China is also revamping the country’s crumbling national highway and railway network, starting with upgrading sections of the Karachi-Peshawar road and rail line.The under-construction Orange Line metro at LahoreTrucks carrying goods during the opening of the Kashgar-Gwadar trade routeTHE XINJIANG MODELEssentially, the ‘Xinjiang model’ will be adopted in Pakistan. In the 1950s, Mao set up the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a state within a state tasked with carrying out agriculture and development projects in what was then China’s wild west. The CPEC plan even conceives of a role for the XPCC. ‘We will impart advanced planting and breeding techniques to peasant households or farmers by means of land acquisition by the government, renting to China-invested enterprises and building planting and breeding bases,’ it says.’China-invested enterprises will establish factories to produce fertilisers, pesticides, vaccines and feedstuffs’ while ‘China-invested enterprises will, in the form of joint ventures, shareholding or acquisition, cooperate with local enterprises of Pakistan to build a three-level warehousing system (purchase and storage warehouse, transit warehouse and port warehouse)’. China will even construct a national storage network of warehouses for Pakistan, starting in Islamabad and Gwadar and then in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.The draft also outlines a move to transport China’s waning textile industry, currently grappling with rising wages, to Pakistan. As a start, a cotton processing plant with a 100,000 tonne output has been planned. The longer-term plan, Renmin University’s assessment suggests, is ‘shifting China’s garment industries directly to Pakistan’. Beyond the lower wages and availability of land, China sees the favourable export tariffs Pakistan enjoys as a motivation.advertisement’With Pakistan in 2015 acquiring duty-free access to the EU even as China’s tariffs increased from 9 to 12 per cent, this is worth considering,’ the study advises. China is also planning to develop Pakistan’s mineral resources, particularly in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, eyeing gold reserves as well as setting up marble and granite processing sites.HEART OF THE PLANGwadar, a dusty town of less than a hundred thousand people that sits on the Arabian Sea in Balochistan, is the CPEC hub. China has already built a port here that it is managing. Beyond the port, which will give China access to the Indian Ocean, it envisages a free trade zone and manufacturing hub that could serve as a launch pad for exports to West Asia and Africa. China has already secured a 23-year tax-free deal for its companies that will operate out of Gwadar.The CPEC masterplan rather ambitiously even envisages a coastal tourism belt in restive Balochistan, planning ‘international cruise clubs’ in Gwadar that would ‘provide marine tourists private rooms that would feel as though they were “living in the ocean”.’ A coastal tourism zone will feature ‘yacht wharfs, cruise homeports, nightlife, city parks, public squares, theatres, golf courses and spas, hot spring hotels and water sports’, the Dawn report noted, running all the way to the Iran border.China sees the Gwadar port as the heart of the plan. The Renmin University study forecasts an ambitious annual cargo throughput of 300-400 million tonnes, more than 10 times Pakistan’s current biggest port, Karachi, and, the study pointedly adds, almost equivalent to India’s total current throughput. The university’s researchers found that Gwadar, still nowhere close to capacity, had been transformed under Chinese management. In February 2013, the China Overseas Port Holdings Limited acquired the rights to operate the port from the Singapore Port Authority, which left the port in a state of ruin, ‘filled with rubbish and garbage’, until the Chinese took over. Since then, a first shipping route was opened by the Chinese state-run Shipping Ocean Company (COSCO) in May 2015 exporting local seafood to Dubai. In November, the first CPEC export was flagged, as a convoy carrying 60 containers of a range of Chinese goods, from machinery to appliances, to be exported to West Asia and Africa, arrived in Gwadar after travelling 3,000 kilometres from Xinjiang along the Karakoram highway.SECURITY FEARSChina is certainly more than aware that a lot can go wrong with this ambitious economic blueprint in one of the world’s most volatile regions. A significant portion of the Renmin University assessment was devoted to assessing risks, the biggest of which, in the Chinese view, is Pakistan’s unpredictable domestic political environment. For instance, it cited a project in Sindh that faced a lack of support from the local government. ‘The project is ratified by the federal government but the Sindh government believes the centre does not have the authority,’ it said. The report also noted the heated controversy between states over the CPEC’s alignment, with widespread resentment that Punjab, where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz, the chief minister, are dominant figures, was acquiring prime projects.The Chinese study warned of ‘ethnic and provincial conflicts in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan’, but was optimistic that most provinces and parties were supportive as ‘except Balochistan no other ethnic group party opposes CPEC’. The report concluded that a government under Nawaz Sharif would ensure the project’s progress, expressing concern about his weakening domestic position after the Panama Papers revelations. ‘If there are no exceptions, the chances for PML-N (Sharif’s party) to reassume power are high, and the continuation of the government can guarantee the continuation and support of the government to CPEC,’ the report said.Security is the other major concern, highlighted by the kidnapping and reported killing of two young Chinese from Quetta, Balochistan, in May. The Chinese study cited a number of other incidents that had targeted its citizens in 2016. In May, a Chinese engineer at the Kazmu project was targeted by a bomb attack claimed by an outfit called the Sindh Revolutionary Force. Two months later, a bomb attack in Quetta killed 74 people, while in November last year, a team from a Chinese oil and natural gas exploration company was targeted in an attack by a group called the Baloch Revolutionary Army in which two Pakistani security personnel killed.The Pakistan army has deployed a special security division of 15,000 troops to protect Chinese personnel and assets, but the report argued that ‘a troop size of 15,000 can hardly guarantee the safety of projects around the country…. And considering that Pakistan needs to deploy a large number of troops in its eastern borders adjoining India and now needs to deploy troops in Afghan border, allocating 15,000 is the largest capacity.’ The wider concern was because of security, Chinese staff in Gwadar, for instance, will have to be ‘cloistered within the Chinese zone as the situation around the city is not stable’. The Chinese report worried this will alienate the local population because ‘Chinese personnel are carrying out work under the protection of armed forces and this inhibits improving relations with local people to the extent that it could lead to opposition and lack of people’s support’.Chalay Thay Saath, the first Pak-China romantic storyFINANCIAL RISKSThen there are the financial hazards. China’s exposure, so far, is much less than the advertised $46 billion figure, with estimates that in the past three years, its total investments would be in the $5 billion range, spent largely on coal power projects that are being built, the widening of the Karakoram highway and sections of the Karachi-Peshawar expressway.Chinese assessments suggest the $46 billion figure that Pakistani officials regularly cite may not materialise for a long time yet. The CPEC draft masterplan from China’s planning agency noted, as the Dawn reported, that ‘Pakistan’s economy cannot absorb FDI much above $2 billion per year without giving rise to stresses in its economy….It is recommended that China’s maximum annual direct investment in Pakistan should be around $1 billion’-a damning reality check to fanciful figures of $50 billion being invested in the country.For some in Pakistan, the long-term fear is that this blueprint will, as economist Zaidi notes, render it a ‘vassal state’ deep in China’s economic orbit. After one year of the project, bilateral trade was up 15 per cent to $13.77 billion in 2015-16, while Pakistan’s trade deficit with China was a whopping $12 billion. There are already murmurs of discontent about the favourable terms for Chinese companies.”Estimates range from Pakistan having to pay $3 to $3.5 billion annually back to China for the next 30 years for Chinese loans after 2020, to a probable severe balance of payments crisis,” argues Zaidi, noting how in Sri Lanka and Tajikistan, “with rising costs and debts incurred by the host countries, large chunks of land were handed over to the Chinese in lieu of unpaid funds. Sovereign guarantees to Chinese power producers have been made, where the Pakistan government will, ‘if the power purchaser defaults on payments, pick up the liability and pay 22 per cent of the bills of Chinese power producers upfront'”. As he puts it, “CPEC is a Chinese project, for Chinese interests.” And Pakistan, he says, just happens to be part of the geographical terrain.IMPLICATIONS FOR INDIAWhat does it mean for India? On May 13 this year, India refused to participate in China’s Belt and Road with a strongly-worded statement. “No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity,” MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said. OBOR passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is the primary reason New Delhi boycotted the project. For long, India has held the Kashmir issue as a bilateral dispute with Pakistan, with no room for outside intervention. China has now willy-nilly become a party to it. “Since CPEC was announced, Pakistan has stepped up its activities inside Kashmir. Funding to separatist elements has increased,” says Jayadeva Ranade, former additional secretary in the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW). The presence of Chinese personnel within Pakistan is something India must take into account in the event of hostilities, he says.For instance, China and Pakistan have begun joint patrols in PoK near the Xinjiang border, Chinese media reports have said. Even as China now lambasts India as a “third party” with a “hidden agenda” for “intervening” in its dispute on the Doklam plateau with Bhutan, Beijing has quietly deployed its frontier troops on the soil of PoK, which India considers its territory. In the event of an Indo-Pak conflict, Indian officials do not expect China to intervene directly, but the infrastructure it is laying down in PoK can be used to back Pakistan with massive logistics support.The larger concern is that collusion between the two countries is now assuming sinister dimensions. Gwadar is likely to become China’s second overseas naval base after Djibouti near the Gulf of Aden. The port also sits astride the sea routes from where more than 55 per cent of India’s energy needs flow in. China’s clandestine backing of Pakistan goes back decades starting from the alleged transfer of nuclear weapon blueprints in the early 1980s. The 2016 sale of eight Yuan class submarines to Pakistan not only attempts to checkmate the Indian navy in its backyard, but adds another nuclear dimension. Pakistan is now working to equip them with nuclear-tipped variants of the Chinese ‘Babur’ land attack cruise missiles.Then there is the diplomatic protection China offers Pakistan, which some in Delhi believe is emboldening Islamabad to hurt Indian interests. In the past, Beijing had largely kept away from issues such as the Kashmir dispute. That caution is now giving way to what some see as an open backing of Pakistan. This was evident in Beijing issuing stapled visas to Indian residents of Jammu & Kashmir-which subsequently ended after India stopped defence exchanges-even while it opened the door to Pakistani residents from Gilgit-Baltistan to freely cross the border into Xinjiang to open up trading offices in Kashgar, where ironically India had a consulate and trading presence until 1950.This renewed China-Pakistan nexus has once again begun to cast a shadow on India’s relations with China. In two issues that have recently strained relations-China’s blocking of India’s attempts to sanction the Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar at the United Nations Security Council 1267 sanctions committee and India’s failed entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group-the Pakistan factor has loomed large in China’s calculus. Beijing in 2016 stymied the bid to sanction Azhar, and once again in January placed another ‘technical hold’ on a fresh application backed by the US, UK and France. On the NSG, Beijing’s officials have openly said that “other non-NPT countries” (those that have not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty) besides India also had legitimate aspirations to join the grouping, referring to Pakistan. Chinese nuclear negotiators pointedly visited Islamabad after talks in Delhi to underline how Beijing is linking India and Pakistan, despite the impeccable non-proliferation record of the former and the questionable track record of the latter. As Beijing further deepens its economic and strategic embrace with its ‘iron brother’, its relations with India are set to undergo a transformative shift. And for Delhi, confronting this renewed China-Pakistan nexus has become perhaps the most pressing diplomatic and military challenge.(With Sandeep Unnithan)ALSO WATCH |  How China is trying to make Pakistan its new colony. Blueprint revealedlast_img read more

18 Nov

Indian Super League: Kerala Blasters sign ex-Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov

first_imgIndian Super League’s Kerala Blasters have signed former Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur striker Dimitar Berbatov ahead of the 2017-18 season, the player’s agent said on Wednesday.The 36-year-old, who has signed a one-year contract, was a free agent after leaving the Greek side PAOK Salonika in June 2016.Berbatov, who is Bulgaria’s all-time leading scorer with 48 goals in 79 matches, joined United from Spurs in 2008 for a then club-record fee of 30 million pounds ($39 million).In Manchester, the Bulgarian scored 48 goals in 108 Premier League appearances, winning two league titles.Berbatov will link up with Kerala’s new head coach Rene Meulensteen, who worked with the him during his time at Old Trafford as well as Fulham. Last week, the Indian club also signed former Manchester United defender Wes Brown.Berbatov, named Bulgaria’s Footballer of the Year on seven occasions, has also played for CSKA Sofia, Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco during his illustrious career.($1 = 0.7813 pounds)last_img read more

18 Nov

India thrash Kazakhstan to enter women’s Asia Cup hockey semi-final

first_imgIndia stormed into the women’s Asia Cup semi-final here on Thursday, thrashing Kazakhstan 7-1 in the quarter-final at the Kakamigahara Kawasaki Stadium.Dragflicker Gurjit Kaur was in sublime form as she pumped three goals while Navneet Kaur scored twice and Deep Grace converted two penalty corners to ensure India remained unbeaten in the tournament.After an early setback when Vera Domashneva scored a field goal in the second minute of the match to give Kazakhstan 1-0 lead, India made amends when a tactical manoeuvre in the circle won them a penalty corner in the fourth minute.In-form dragflicker Gurjit Kaur hardly broke a sweat to fiercely strike the ball past Kazakhstan goalkeeper Guzal Bakhavaddin to equalise.India were off to a steady start, patiently negotiating their way into the 25-yard mark not making hasty forays but waiting for the right opportunity.The Ritu Rani-led forward line was smart in their attacks. The Indians won penalty corners to put their opponents under pressure.The plan worked as a penalty corner won in the 16th minute was brilliantly converted through Deep Grace’s well-struck dragflick to give India a 2-1 lead.The following minutes saw Navneet Kaur score back-to-back field goals in the 22nd and 27th minutes to take India’s lead to a comfortable 4-1 at the end of second quarter.The 10-minute halftime break saw the team come back stronger on the pitch. They began the third quarter by winning a penalty corner but this time it was well saved by the Kazakhstan goalkeeper.advertisementHowever, another penalty corner awarded in the 41st minute was beautifully converted by Deep Grace (5-1). Gurjit was splendid in her dragflick to convert her second goal through a penalty corner in the next minute to ensure India were on the right path to win.The 22-year-old Gurjit struck yet through another penalty corner in the 56th minute to register her hat-trick and help India triumph 7-1.last_img read more

18 Nov

Himachal Pradesh election results reaction: Rajnath Singh gets cheeky, Smriti Irani gets filmy

first_imgWhile the results of Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017 steal the show, don’t forget that Himachal Pradesh is also counting votes to see which party comes to power this poll season.The counting of votes for Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election 2017 began along side that of Gujarat at 8AM.So far, BJP has a majority in its kitty, and it doesn’t seem to Congress’ day for a win. As the results for Himachal Pradesh assembly elections roll in, here is a quick look at who had to say what about it:PK Dhumal on losing seat and BJP’s win.Personal loss is not of much importance.The gain that victory has brought to state BJP is important. Thankful to people of the state for voting for BJP. In politics, sometimes one wins, sometimes one loses. I was not expecting to lose, I will do an analysis: PK Dhumal #Himachal pic.twitter.com/7UrumoxVhp- ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2017CM Virbhadra Singh on Congress losing:I accept the victory of BJP. I, being the CM, take full responsibility of our performance here. I hope Vikramaditya (Singh) keeps winning in future, like he won today: Virbhadra Singh #HimachalPradesh pic.twitter.com/ImNkW32qdy- ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2017PM Modi thanks citizens for their votes.I bow to the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh for their affection and trust in BJP. I assure them that we will leave no stone unturned in furthering the development journey of these states and serve the people tirelessly: PM Modi- ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2017While Smriti Irani went for a Bollywood-themed attack and Rajnath Singh tossed a burning Hindi proverb, Goa CM Manohar Parrikar went for sports analogy to attack new Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.”In his opening innings he scored zero” says Goa CM Manohar Parrikar on #RahulGandhi #ElectionResults pic.twitter.com/CeKxX9HikRadvertisement- ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2017Home Minister Rajnath Singh has some cheeky remarks in Hindi for Rahul Gandhi on the party’s performance in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.Abhi toh kuch nahi bolunga kyunki woh haal hi mein adhyaksh bane hain lekin ‘sar mundwate hi ole pade’: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Rahul Gandhi #ElectionResults pic.twitter.com/6q8eMW1lZD- ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2017Defence Minister calls BJP’s lead in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat “a major victory”. Undoubtedly, a major victory. The kind of work which Party workers have done right from booth workers level till PM’s level, everybody put their best foot forward and both #Gujarat & #HimachalPradesh have recognised the good work going on in the name of development: N Sitharaman pic.twitter.com/HfkCleQlCZ- ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2017Union Minister Smriti Irani comments “Jo jeeta wohi sikandar” on being asked about Congress giving BJP a tough fight at the Gujarat elections.”It is a matter of happiness for us, this is the victory of development,” says Union Minister Smriti Irani, on a question about Congress giving a tough fight she said, “jo jeeta wohi sikandar. It is victory of every booth worker’s hard work & the people who trusted development” pic.twitter.com/oJMQKK45NV- ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2017Uttar Pradesh CM Adityanath Yogi has also spoken on the majority votes.Maine pehle hi kaha tha ki Congress ka netritve badalna BJP ke liye shubh sanket hoga: Yogi Adityanath,UP CM on #ElectionResults pic.twitter.com/kfYUdGBCms- ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) December 18, 2017 Himachal Pradesh Youth Congress President Vikramaditya Singh, who is contesting from Shimla Rural confident that the Congress party will be “victorious” in the state. “I am sure in the end Congress will be victorious and form Government in the state” says Vikramaditya Singh, contesting from Shimla Rural #HimachalPradeshElections pic.twitter.com/bmZP0RWeec- ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2017Home Minister Rajnath Singh thinks otherwise.”Will form Government in both Himachal and Gujarat with clear majority” says Home Minister Rajnath Singh #HimachalPradeshElections2017 #GujaratVerdict pic.twitter.com/TZymBvklV7- ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2017last_img read more

18 Nov

Fireworks units stir: VCK cadres held for staging rail roko

first_imgSivakasi(TN), Jan 11(PTI) Around 30 members of the VCK were arrested today for staging a rail roko here in support of the ongoing stir launched by the fireworks units demanding exemption of their produce from the ambit of the Environment Protection Act. The activists of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) blocked the Madurai-Shencottah train for more than half an hour, police said. The agitators sought the state government to help the fireworks manufacturing units in and around this town, national hub for fireworks, resume work. A large posse of police personnel has been deployed after the VCK announced its support for the nearly 860 units, which had remained indefinitely closed since December 26 over their charter of demands. The fast launched by nearly 4,000 workers engaged in the fireworks units in and around this town continued for the second day today. Their other demands include early hearing of a case in the Supreme Court related to nationwide ban on sale, possession and bursting of crackers to prevent air pollution. The striking workers had urged the central government to make a small amendment to the Act, just as they did to allow jallikattu (bull-taming sport). Meanwhile, sources in the industry said business worth Rs 250 crore has been affected due to the 13-day-long strike. Local traders and autorickshaw operators have also extended their support for the fireworks industry. The apex court had on October 9 last year, said no firecrackers would be sold in the Delhi-NCR during Diwali that year while banning its sale till November 1. PTI SSN ROH MVVadvertisementlast_img read more

18 Nov

1st Test: Colin De Grandhomme’s blazing century takes New Zealand to 313-run lead against West Indies

first_imgRoss Taylor fell for 93, seven runs short of his 17th Test century, then watched Colin de Grandhomme score a maiden century from 71 balls as New Zealand took control of the first Test against the West Indies by stumps on Saturday.Taylor carried New Zealand past the West Indies’ meager first innings of 134 in a 127-run fourth wicket partnership with Henry Nicholls (66), then de Grandhomme scored the second-fastest Test century by a New Zealander in a 148-run seventh wicket stand with Tom Blundell who became the third New Zealand wicketkeeper to make a half century on Test debut.At stumps New Zealand was 447-9, holding a first innings lead of 313 runs with Blundell 57 not out and Trent Boult 2.Colin de Grandhomme with the 2nd fastest Test century for NZ and equal 9th fastest ever – 71 balls! ?? #nzvwi pic.twitter.com/C2BAA8Zil0- BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 2, 2017De Grandhomme rushed to a century faster than any New Zealand batsman other than Brendon McCullum who scored the fastest-ever century in Tests, from 54 balls, against Australia in Christchurch last year. His was the ninth-fast century of all time and comprised a half century from 44 balls and a second 50 from 27 deliveries with 11 fours and three sixes.New Zealand’s grip on the game was strong when he came to the crease and became almost unbreakable when de Grandhomme and Blundell combined to plunder a tiring West Indies attack, with Blundell reaching ahalf century on debut from 83 balls.”It was a good innings, set up by our top order, by Ross (Taylor) and Henry and Jeet (Raval),” de Grandhomme said. “They made the bowlers come back more and more and made it a bit easier for me at the end there.advertisement”I just batted according to what the situation was. I don’t mind coming in in that situation. It makes it a lot easier for me.The crowd goes wild at a sensational maiden test century for Colin de Grandhomme, off 71 balls. A great afternoons test cricket at @BasinReserve for the @BLACKCAPS. pic.twitter.com/5AYY8fDndf- Michael Appleton (@michelappleton) December 2, 2017″I just saw what I saw in front of me and my score just got higher and higher. Tom (Blundell) and I just tried to get to the end of the day and get them coming back tomorrow. That was the plan. Tom was awesome. He looked pretty confident and chilled and was just enjoying the time.”De Grandhomme’s innings helped make up for the disappointment that Taylor narrowly missed his own milestone.The 17-century mark is a particularly personal and emotional one for Taylor as it would allow him to draw level with Martin Crowe and captain Kane Williamson who share the New Zealand record of 17 Test hundreds. Crowe, who died last year of cancer aged 53, was Taylor’s close friend and adviser, credited with being a major influence on his career, and Taylor has frequently spoken of his desire to match Crowe’s record as a tribute to his mentorship.New Zealand lost only one wicket in each of the first two sessions on the second day as it increased its controlling position in the match. Opener Jeet Raval (42) was the only man out in the morning as New Zealand reached 181-3 after resuming at 85-2, and Taylor’s was the only wicket to fall between lunch and tea when he was lost in the third over of the second new ball.Taylor reached his 28th Test half century before lunch Saturday, from 87 balls with six fours, during the early stages of his partnership with Nicholls which guided New Zealand past the West Indies’ total shortly before the first drinks break.He was playing with increasing authority and had hit 10 boundaries when he fell lbw to Kemar Roach in the 84th over of the innings. The ball struck Taylor low, first on the front pad, then on the back and directly in front of middle stump but the umpire turned down the West Indies’ appeal having heard two noises and concluded the first was from the bat.Roach and the West Indies’ referred the decision to the video referee, Bruce Oxenford of Australia, who quickly determined the ball had missed the inside edge and with the ball clearly hitting the stumps he called on compatriot Rod Tucker to reverse his decision. With Nicholls, Taylor had steered New Zealand from 109-3 on Raval’s dismissal to 236, a lead of 102.It was only the third time that Taylor has been dismissed in the 90s in his 82-Test career and the first time since he fell for 97 against Pakistan in Welington in 2009. He made his 16th century, an unbeaten 102 against Pakistan, in Hamilton in November last year.advertisementNew Zealand then added 180 runs after tea, thanks to de Grandhomme who completed a century in a single session and took the first match of the two-Test series away from the West Indies.last_img read more

18 Nov

Keep calm and carry on, says England coach Trevor Bayliss after Adelaide loss

first_imgCoach Trevor Bayliss thinks England left some “scars” on the Australia team during the second Ashes Test and can still enjoy success Down Under despite being 2-0 down with three matches to play.England raised hopes of a remarkable comeback victory when they managed to get on top of their hosts on day three and four of the day-night contest in Adelaide, only to slump to a 120-run defeat on Wednesday.As holders of the Ashes, England would at least need to win two and draw one of the remaining Tests in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney to take the urn back home with them.Suggesting there would be no major changes to the team for Perth, Bayliss said his players just needed to figure out how to be competitive for longer periods.”I don’t think there is a real need to panic, the guys have shown the capabilities we have got. We have just got to find a way to do it for longer,” he said.”In both Test matches we have competed for a couple of days but to win against Australia in Australia we have to compete for longer than that.”All of our players have competed at different times and showed they can bat but we just have to do it for longer.”Bayliss admitted that batting was more of a concern than the bowling with not a single Englishman yet to make a century in four innings where the tourists managed scores of 302, 195, 227 and 233.”You have to take 20 wickets but, to put pressure on the opposition, you have to score more than 220 in each innings,” he added.advertisementEngland did have Australia rattled in the night session on day three when James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes got the ball moving around under the lights.”We have got a few scars there with the Australian team,” Bayliss told the BBC.”There will be a few who have missed out and a few who will be nervous. They’ve got four good bowlers and we’ve shown we can compete with them for a period of time.”Other positives for England were a solid debut from Craig Overton, who looked good with ball, bat and in the field, and a rare good performance outside England from Woakes, who took 4-36 in the second innings.Bayliss clearly does not think that any more practice is the key for England’s batsmen and on Thursday named only Moeen Ali from the side that lost in Adelaide in an England XI to face a Cricket Australia XI in a two-day tour match in Perth.The rest of the team is made up of the squad members who did not play in the second Test and six players from the England Lions team, who are training in the city.last_img read more

18 Nov

Sachin Tendulkar: Parents should not force their dream on children

first_imgOn the occasion of World Children’s Day, cricket legend and UNICEF ambassador Sachin Tendulkar advised parents to support their kids and encourage them to take up sports.Here’s what Tendulkar said:”I have seen the world because of the sport and believe parents should appreciate their kids to take sports seriously. You never know what kind of talent he or she has and what they can give to the country,” Tendulkar said during a World Children’s Day event in New Delhi.Pursuing a career in sports:Moreover, Cricket legend Tendulkar said that whatever he has achieved is because of the sport and thus he feels that a talented child should not be barred from pursuing a career in sports, as reported by Indian Express.Meanwhile, UNICEF in a recent tweet shared the picture of the event.#KidsTakeOver teams meet @sachin_rt before #WorldChildrensDay match pic.twitter.com/piCcjvFUKT- UNICEF India (@UNICEFIndia) November 20, 2017Technology helps children become smarter:Further, Tendulkar said that technology has helped the current generation to grow smarter and more confident in comparison to the previous generation.”Today’s generation is confident, I interact with so many children of this generation and have to accept they are smarter than the earlier generation,” the record international century scorer told IANS.”And this is with the help of technology, you know within minutes you can find out what is happening in any part of the world. You see actually a three-year-old kid sitting in front of the computer comfortably, he knows exactly what to do, a mobile phone he wants to call someone or message someone, all these fancy gadgets are there today which give them new perspective,” Tendulkar added.advertisementMeanwhile, at the event, Tendulkar also played cricket with a group of specially-abled children.Children’s day should be all 365 days:”November 20 is one such day where you (children) get your freedom to express yourself, but with freedom, there also comes responsibility. And according to me children’s day should be all 365 days,” Tendulkar added.While speaking of the importance of education, Tendulkar said, “Education is very important but the right to education is only applicable to primary level and we need to have it at the secondary level. Giving his example, Sachin said that he and his two brothers had to make requests to his parents whereas his sister was more privileged. “In my family, it was the other way round.”We three brothers had to seek permission from our parents whereas my sister (Savita) enjoyed her freedom. She was privileged to go out without permission,” he told Indian Express. (With inputs from PTI and IANS) Read: Play porn, hear bhajans: BHU professor creates ‘Har Har Mahadev’ app to block pornography Read: Delhi’s Dyal Singh Evening College changes name to Vande Mataram Collegelast_img read more

18 Nov

Jallikattu row: Supreme Court seeks reply from Tamil Nadu in 4 weeks on PETA plea against law

first_imgThe Supreme Court today issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government on a plea by PETA challenging the law on jallikattu, the bull-taming sport.The Supreme Court has sought a reply from the Tamil Nadu government within four weeks on the plea moved by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).The Supreme Court has tagged the PETA plea with the petitions of the Animal Welfare Board and other NGOs challenging the law passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly in January this year which made jallikattu legal in the state.Following widespread protests against the ban on jallikattu, the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a bill, replacing an ordinance, that made the bull-taming sport legal in the state after it was banned by the Supreme Court in 2014.The law while legalising the sport also laid out various safety measures in favour of the bulls and the manner in which the sport should be held.Actor Kamal Haasan, coming out in support of jallikattu, had said that “if you want to ban jallikattu, let’s also ban biryani”. “I am a proud Tamilian, this is our culture,” the actor said at the India Today Conclave in January this year.ALSO WATCH: Kamal Haasan backs jallikattu, says sport is not about harming animalslast_img read more

18 Nov

Wait – It’s Not Over for Yogi

first_imgNEW YORK — Baseball people tell a wonderful story about Yogi Berra and the most famous home run in history.Yogi and a couple of his Yankees pals went to Game 3 of the Dodgers-Giants playoff for the 1951 National League pennant, eager to see who they’d face the next day in the World Series opener. But when Brooklyn took a late 4-1 lead, Yogi told his buddies it was time to leave the Polo Grounds.Yep, Yogi said it was over. They needed to beat the late-afternoon traffic. So the man cherished for saying “it ain’t over till it’s over” missed seeing Bobby Thomson’s home run.Did it really happen that way?Who cares?Yogi always insisted that some of the sayings that put him in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations and into the heart of American lexicon didn’t actually come out of his mouth.Not that he put up too much of a protest.In fact, only once could people ever remember him getting angry. Watch how mad he gets when the plate umpire called Jackie Robinson safe on a steal of home in the 1955 World Series. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XY-XshGhMU )A half-century later, Yogi still was steamed.There’s a big picture of the play at his museum in Montclair, New Jersey. Almost every time he’d walk past that shot, he’d grumble: “You’re out.”Until recent years, Yogi was a fixture at Yankee Stadium. He’d pop into the pinstriped clubhouse on days of big events at the ballpark, or sometimes he’d just show up unannounced.Derek Jeter would stop whatever he was doing to visit with Yogi. All the stars made time for him. Rookies would point and, eyes wide, marvel that his man, barely over 5 1/2 feet tall and stooped over a cane, commanded such a presence.It was hard for them to imagine that he’d been such a great — a slugging catcher who earned three AL MVP awards and won a record 10 World Series titles. Or fully take in that this soft-spoken person had spawned such lore and a legacy.Of course, everybody who crowded around him hoped to hear a Yogi-ism. Just one. They’d ask him questions and get him to tell stories, ears alert for something funny.Maybe a “thank you for making this day necessary.” Or a “when you come to a fork in the road, take it.”More often than not, nope. He’d talk for a bit, make observations about a player or a game, and that was it.Nothing hilarious, nothing new to post on Twitter or go viral on Vine.Not that anyone seemed disappointed. Far from it.Former Yankees fan favorite Paul O’Neill fondly recalls one of his best days at the ballpark. It was the time he spent with Yogi in an equipment manager’s office.O’Neill said he sat mesmerized as Yogi talked about being aboard a Navy gunboat at the D-Day invasion. No boasting, just telling how it was. That, and reminiscing about spring training in the 1940s and the way things were.I can remember approaching Yogi in spring training in 1988, working on a story about the dearth of good catchers in the majors.He was a coach then for the Houston Astros. On a morning in Haines City, Florida, hours before an exhibition game against the Royals, he was standing by himself in the dugout.He didn’t have an aura around him, like a Sandy Koufax or Reggie Jackson. He wasn’t a huge physical presence, like Dave Winfield or Willie Stargell.A couple of questions, a couple of quotes — “Maybe they’re scared to catch. We didn’t know any better” — and an impish smile. Simply Yogi, right there.A day after he died, the tributes poured in from the sports world and beyond.Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn, a New Jersey native, began his regular Sept. 23 news conference with a nod to him, even before talking about a big upcoming game against the Cowboys.“I’d like to give a little recognition to Yogi Berra today,” Quinn said. “Anytime you’re a 10-time world champion, that shows what a good career you’ve had. That’s a stellar career. What a neat guy.”And as fans traded their favorite Yogi-isms, it was nice to see another one emerge, thanks to Johnny Bench. The Reds Hall of Famer posted a picture of a telegram he got from Yogi right after topping his mark for home runs by a catcher.“I always thought the record would stand,” Berra wrote Bench, “until it was broken.”(BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

18 Nov

Clippers Clip Knicks, 101-94

first_imgLOS ANGELES — The Clippers again blew a double-digit lead on their home court and were dragged to the finish line by the New York Knicks, who didn’t have quite enough left to pull it out.Chris Paul had 24 points and 15 assists, and J.J. Redick added 20 points, leading Los Angeles to a 101-94 victory on March 11. All of the starters scored in double digits to help fuel their eighth straight victory over the Knicks.DeAndre Jordan had 19 rebounds and blocked six shots in addition to his 10 points. Los Angeles, coming off a 120-108 defeat at Oklahoma City on March 9, hasn’t lost consecutive games since a three-game skid Dec. 18-21.“Fouls and free throws got them back into the game, but we just stayed together,” Paul said. “J.J. hit some big shots, DeAndre blocked some shots and we found a way to win.”Paul made his first seven shots – three from 3-point range – and finished the first half with 17 as the Clippers built a 61-50 halftime lead and shot 51.2 percent.Jeff Green, who played a whopping 45 minutes, added 15 points by intermission to help offset 16 points each by Carmelo Anthony and Robin Lopez.“Tonight, I thought he fought and he had to play just a high volume of minutes,” coach Doc Rivers said. “I thought he was in the right place tonight, which for me, was the most important part.”Kristaps Porzingis, the fourth overall pick in the draft, led the Knicks with 23 points in 31 minutes after getting into early foul trouble. Anthony and Lopez each played more than 43 minutes and had 20 points apiece.“Porzingis is a tall dude who can really play,” Paul said. “Melo is Melo, and Robin Lopez plays hard. So they compete every night.”The Knicks, who were coming off a 129-97 rout at Phoenix, were missing Arron Afflalo for the second straight game because of a strained abdominal muscle and fell to 27-40.“I think I have said this for 10 years, but people do not respect how hard it is to win a game in this league,” Rivers said. “Just because a team has a bad record — and you have everything to play for — they didn’t just wake up this morning and say: ‘Let’s lose.’”New York is 4-9 since Derek Fisher was fired and replaced as head coach by Kurt Rambis. The Knicks are 5-18 since Jan. 22, a nosedive that began with their home loss to the Clippers.“I think we’re figuring out who we are as a ballclub and what we have to do in order to play well, but we’re still growing and I really like the direction that we’re heading,” Rambis said. “That doesn’t mean we don’t have lapses and kind of go away from who we’re trying to be.”Sasha Vujacic, no stranger to Staples Center after playing his first six-plus NBA seasons with the Lakers and another with the Clippers, made his second straight start at shooting guard and had nine points.Porzingis spent the final 9:22 of the second quarter on the bench after picking up his third foul with the Knicks trailing 32-27.The 7-foot-3 forward was back on the floor at the start of the second half, and had 12 points in the third, including a reverse layup that cut the Knicks’ deficit to 76-71 after they had trailed by as many as 15.The Clippers were caught at 84-all on a 21-footer by Vujacic with 6:27 to play. But the Knicks weren’t able to pull ahead, as Porzingis missed a few easy ones down the stretch and Paul and Redick each hit clutch 3-pointers in the final 2:42.“We were doing well until the last few minutes when I missed those important shots,” Porzingis said. “I feel sorry about letting my team down like that because I know how hard we fought to get back in the game and be right there. So it’s tough, but it’s all a learning experience for me.”(JOE RESNICK) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

18 Nov

Guatemala Kickers Beat US, 2-0

first_imgWith a 2-0 loss at Guatemala, the United States forced itself into what basically amounts to a must-win situation when the teams meet again March 29 in Columbus, Ohio.American coach Jurgen Klinsmann made some puzzling lineup choices and the team’s defense self-destructed March 25 in Guatemala City.“I think it was a lack of focus, concentration, and wrong decisions,” Klinsmann said. “We have to take responsibility for it, every one of us — coaches, players — and move on and get it done on Tuesday.”Edgar Castillo’s poor backpass set up corner kicks that led to Rafael Morales’ goal in the seventh minute. A goal kick by Paulo Motta went most of the length of the field in the 15th, and 36-year-old Carlos Ruiz ran onto the ball, came in alone on goalkeeper Tim Howard and doubled the lead.“Sloppy,” Howard said. “It’s almost something like you can’t account for.”Seeking their eighth straight World Cup berth, the Americans had been unbeaten in 21 games against Guatemala since January 1988 and had never lost to Los Chapines in World Cup qualifying.“Maybe it was a lack of focus, but these places are very difficult to come play at,” defender Omar Gonzalez said.Trinidad and Tobago (2-1) leads Group C with seven points after rallying for a 3-2 win at St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Guatemala (2-0-1) is one point back. The U.S. (1-1-1) has four points and St. Vincent (0-3) is last.In September, the Americans play at St. Vincent and host Trinidad to complete the regional semifinals. The top two teams advance to the six-nation regional finals.“We always said that World Cup qualifying is a long road, a tricky road, a difficult road,” Klinsmann said.Klinsmann already was criticized following his team’s semifinal elimination in last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup and a loss to Mexico in the Confederations Cup playoff.He started Gonzalez and Michael Orozco in central defense after John Brooks returned to Germany on March 25 because of a bruised left knee and defender Matt Besler sustained a concussion in training March 24.Fabian Johnson, a midfielder and defender who has a groin injury, didn’t dress; midfielder Jermaine Jones is suspended; and Jozy Altidore, the top American forward, was limited to entering in the 66th minute as he recovers from yet another hamstring injury.Howard started for the U.S. at the last two World Cups, but lost his starting job at Everton and was appearing in his first match since Jan. 24.Geoff Cameron started at right back rather in the more central role he usually plays for Stoke; DeAndre Yedlin started in midfield rather than right back, his position with Sunderland; and Mix Diskerud was in a defensive midfield role, which he doesn’t play for New York City.Cameron switched to the center and Yedlin moved to right back when Gyasi Zardes entered in the 59th.Castillo, making his first national team appearance in two years, made a wide backpass that Howard couldn’t get to and rolled over the end line, leading to the first goal.Guatemala’s first corner kick was chested over the line by Orozco, leading to a second. Morales jumped over Diskerud, who appeared to slip, to meet Jean Marquez’s corner and Morales nodded the ball off Diskerud and to the left of a diving Howard, just inside the post.Klinsmann said a defender was supposed to be on the line.“We write everything on the white board. It’s in the locker room,” Klinsmann said. “It shouldn’t happen.”Ruiz scored his 60th international goal when Motta’s goal kick went the length of the field, with Michael Bradley deciding not to head it. Ruiz burst past three Americans, ran onto the ball and slotted it under Howard from just inside the penalty area.“A sequence of mistakes,” Klinsmann said, “from Michael not heading the ball to the center backs thinking that Michael has it.”Motta blocked Bedoya’s shot in the 23rd minute, used his right leg to stop Dempsey’s 8-yard shot following a pass from Yedlin in the 52nd minute, then slid to stop Bedoya’s effort with his chest and had a kick save on Altidore in the 82nd.Morales’ header off a corner kick glanced off Dempsey and the crossbar in the 71st. Asked what has to get better Tuesday, Bradley said simply: “Everything.”TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

18 Nov

Panathinaikos clinches fourth place with second-half surge (video)

first_imgPanathinaikos Superfoods Athens waited 20 minutes before putting a lock on fourth place and home-court advantage in the upcoming playoffs with a 61-81 road win over eliminated Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv on Thursday. The Greens finished the regular season at 19-11, while Maccabi dropped to 10-20 to close its Turkish Airlines EuroLeague campaign. Panathinaikos flirted with disaster as Maccabi vaulted in front 45-32 on the first basket of the second half. But after that, the Greens flipped a switch, using an 11-0 run to spark a 16-49 finish to the game. Mike James led the winners with 17 points, all in that second-half splurge. Chris Singleton had 13 points, 8 rebounds, a career-high 6 steals and 2 blocks, with Nick Calathes scored 12. Maccabi got 17 points from Victor Rudd and 14 from Joe Alexander, who hit 4 three-pointers each. Gal Mekel dished a career-high 9 assists but coughed up 7 of his team’s 16 turnovers. Panathinaikos went 1 for 15 on three-pointers in the first half and made 9 of 18 in the second.Singleton and Calathes made layups for the visitors while Alexander did so for Maccabi before a triple by Rudd made it 6-4. Calathes tied it but Rudd went long again and Diamon Simpson followed up a fastbreak miss at 11-6. Demetris Nichols and James Gist joined the scoring for the visitors, as did Mekel for Maccabi before Alexander dropped a corner triple at 16-10. Gist found Nichols for a sweet reverse and Singleton scored twice in close to make it 19-16. Dueling dunks by Rudd and James Feldeine were followed by Alexander landing another triple at 24-18. Feldeine’s fastbreak was answered by Colton Iverson downing his second basket off an offensive rebound for a 26-20 Maccabi advantage after 10 minutes. Ioannis Bourousis tipped a pass through the basket at one end and Mekel found Guy Pnini cutting at the other to start the second quarter. Bourousis kept it going and K.C. Rivers hit his team’s first three-pointer. A Bourousis dunk was met by Rudd’s third triple and a pull-up jumper at 36-31. Free throws by Mekel and Iverson gave Maccabi its biggest lead yet, 39-32. But the hosts weren’t done and found Nimrod Levi right before the first-half buzzer for a banked-in triple and the game’s first double-digit margin, 42-32. The threes kept dropping for Maccabi as Alexander’s third extended the difference, but only until Kenny Gabriel answered him from the arc and Calathes hit a two-point jumper at 45-37. Alexander was back with a shot from the corner, restoring the double-digit difference, but again that inspired a Panathinaikos shooter, James, who next gathered up a steal by Singleton and went the other way for a dunk. Calathes turned another turnover into a layup and then Singleton’s block led to Nikos Papaps drilling from deep. When Singleton himself joined the shooting party, suddenly the Panathinaikos run was 11-0 and the visitors led 48-51. Rudd answered with his fourth triple, but James busted out with 2 layups around another three-pointer as Panathinaikos zoomed ahead 51-58. Another Maccabi turnover sent Gabriel flying in for a dunk before Pnini and James finished the quarter from downtown as Panathinaikos took command of the scoreboard, 54-63, after 30 minutes. Singleton and Rivers kept the triples falling in the fourth quarter as the Panathinaikos scoring run reached 6-33 and the difference ballooned to 54-72. Pappas was the next three-point striker and Singleton kept blocking shots and making steals to demoralize Maccabi’s offense. There was little movement on the scoreboard after that as Panathinaikos held onto a 61-81 victory that looked impossible by that margin 20 minutes earlier, but assured the visitors would start the playoffs at home in less than two weeks!TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

18 Nov

Microsemi: new PFX-I PCIe switches address industrial, defense and security markets

first_img Continue Reading Previous RTI: AUTOSAR releases latest adaptive platform adopting the DDS standardNext IBASE: video wall player for UHD multi-screen signage Microsemi announced the availability of its Switchtec PFX-I Gen3 PCIe switches with support for extended industrial temperature range. The new PM857x PFX-I PCIe switches support the feature set of Microsemi’s PFX PCIe fanout switches, and are designed to operate in harsher environments demanded by applications including automation, defense, healthcare and industrial computing.The Switchtec PFX-I extended industrial temperature PCIe Gen3 switch family has passed thermal cycle testing, interval testing at various extreme temperatures and vigorous temperature humidity testing of several hundred hours to ensure durability at different humidity levels and wide temperature ranges. Thus, the switches operate over an extended temperature range of -40 °C ambient to 105 °C junction, supporting up to 48 ports, 48 Non-Transparent Bridges (NTBs), 24 virtual switches, advanced error handling, hot- and surprise-plug controllers, dynamic port bifurcation and dynamic partitioning.Microsemi’s new PFX-I device is ideally suited for a variety of industrial and defense applications, such as medical imaging, instrumentation, security and radars.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components last_img read more

17 Nov

John Isner beats Ryan Harrison to win fifth Atlanta Open title

first_imgJohn Isner battled past fellow American Ryan Harrison in the final to win his fifth Atlanta Open title on Sunday.Isner came from a set down and saved four of five break points against Harrison to win 5-7 6-3 6-4 in the summit clash.The victory helped Isner join an elite club of American players to have won the at least five times after Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.But it was tough going at times for Isner against eighth seed Harrison, who took the first set and was clearly the better player early in the second..@JohnIsner reigns supreme in Atlanta!He picks up his 5th @BBTatlantaopen crown after a 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Harrison…#USOpenSeries pic.twitter.com/Lt0RmRNNBvUS Open Tennis (@usopen) July 29, 2018Isner appeared to be wilting in the heat but Harrison could not take his chances and his opponent squirmed out of trouble before pouncing when presented with a break opportunity.Heres your 2018 @BBT #AtlantaOpen champion – @JohnIsner! His fifth title in Atlanta! #USOpenSeries pic.twitter.com/TmUVoai2fbBB&T Atlanta Open (@BBTatlantaopen) July 29, 2018A revitalised Isner never looked back in the third set as Harrison’s frustration finally boiled over and he smashed his racket against the court.It was the 14th career title for Isner, who lost a marathon semi-final 26-24 in the fifth set against Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon a fortnight ago.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

17 Nov

Lionel Messi becomes new Barcelona captain ahead of La Liga 2018/19

first_imgLionel Messi was announced as the new captain of FC Barcelona on Friday after the long-serving midfielder Andres Iniesta departed to J-League ahead of the season.In a statement issued by the La Liga champions, Messi has now been handed over the role of a captain while midfielder Sergio Busquets and defenders Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto are the new vice-captains.Messi, who is Barcelona’s all-time top scorer, became the vice-captain of the club in 2015 when Iniesta succeeded Xavi Hernandez as the club’s captain.Midfielder Sergio Busquets was named first vice-captain, followed by Pique, who has been at Barcelona since 2008. It’s the first time Pique has been named a vice-captain at the club.Academy graduate Roberto took the final position, vacated by Javier Mascherano who left earlier this year for Chinese outfit Hebei China Fortune, despite only being a first team regular for three seasons.It is the first time since the 2014-15 season that all the club’s four captains have come through the club’s famous La Masia youth academy.Messi recently featured in the shortlist for the best forward award in Champions League 2017-18, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah.Messi scored six goals in the past season’s Champions League as Barcelona finished quarter-finalists.Messi is coming off a disastrous 2018 FIFA World Cup with Argentina when he scored only once and Argentina were knocked out in the Round of 16 by eventual champions France.Barcelona will begin their La Liga title defence against Alaves on August 19.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more

17 Nov

India complete historic Test triumph in England: Recapping all seven victories

first_imgAfter coming agonisingly close at Edgbaston, India have finally dragged themselves over the line and recorded their seventh victory in England on Wednesday at Trent Bridge.With 521 runs needed to win from a maximum of 189 overs, England were always going to find it difficult to even survive, let alone chase that total down.And that is exactly what happened. India got and early breakthrough on day four when Ishant Sharma removed Keaton Jennings and Alastair Cook inside the first three overs of the day and the hosts never recovered from that.They lost two more in Joe Root and Ollie Pope and after a session of resistance from Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, Jasprit Bumrah roared in with the new ball and got India back into the game with the wickets of Buttler and Chris Woakes. Hardik Pandya removed Ben Stokes soon and England, who were smiling after the end of two sessions, were left stunned in a matter of minutes.Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad and James Anderson then offer some fight and survived the final few overs of day four to drag the game to the last day but Rashid and Anderson’s resitance lasted only 17 ballls in the last day before Ravichandran Ashwin got the wicket of Anderson to help India clinch the match by 203 runs.Also read – Jasprit Bumrah’s five-wicket haul scripts India’s 7th Test victory in EnglandThis was India’s first win of the series and they are now 2-1 down in the five-match series.Here are all the seven wins in England:advertisement1971 – India clinch series 1-0 India won their first Test series in England under Ajit Wadekar in 1971 (Getty Images)It took 39 years for India to win its first Test match in England as the hosts had no answer to the visitors’ three-pronged spin attack consisting of Bishen Bedi (11 wickets), BS Chandrasekar (13) and S Venkataragahavan (13) who took 38 wickets during the three-match series.Also read – Virat Kohli breaks Sourav Ganguly’s record as Test captainThe first Test took place at Lord’s which ended in a draw after England made 304 and 191 in both innings after which India responded with 313 and 145 for 8. The second match produced the same result at Manchester but it was at The Oval where the three Indian spinners stole the show with Chandrasekar leading the way with 8 wickets in the match, including a 6-wicket haul in the second innings.England got bowled out for 355 in their first innings and then India responded with 284. Chandrasekar then produced a memorable spell to bundle out the hosts for 101 inside 42 overs which meant India had to chase 173.Also read – India give it back to Stuart Broad for Rishabh Pant sendoffCaptain Wadekar led the way with the bat scoring 45 runs while Dilip Sardesai (40), Gundappa Viswanath (33) and Farokh Engineer (28) made useful contributions as India chased down the target in 101 overs with 4 wickets in hand. The whole nation celebrated the win back home as Wadekar lifted the trophy.1986 – India clinch series 2-0 India beat England at Lord’s and Leeds during the 1986 Test series (Getty Images)Kapil Dev led a strong Indian team in England and beat them convincingly as the visitors clinched the series 2-0.The first win came at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground when England got bundled out for 294 and 180 in both innings with Chetan Sharma picking up a five-wicket haul in the first innings and Kapil Dev leading by example in the second with 4 wickets. Dilip Vengsarkar’s unbeaten 126 in the first innings was also one of the highlights of the match as India won by 5 wickets to claimed its maiden victory at the Mecca of cricket and take a 1-0 series lead.Also read – Jos Buttler, dropped on 1 by Rishabh Pant, slams maiden Test hundredThe Indian team carried the momentum into the second Test at Leeds where the bowling attack completely blew away England with the visitors winning by 279 runs inside 4 days. Roger Binny took 7 wickets in the match including a five-wicket haul in the first innings and was ably supported by Kapil (3 wickets), Madan Lal (3 wickets) and Maninder Singh (4 wickets).2002 – India win at Leeds by an innings and 46 runs India drew the Test series 1-1 in 2002 under Sourav Ganguly (Reuters Photo)India’s first Test victory in England in the new millennium took place in 2002 when Sourav Ganguly’s team thrashed the hosts by an innings and 46 runs in the third Test at Leeds to level the four-match series 1-1.Also read – Jasprit Bumrah returns to Test cricket with 2nd successive 5-wicket hauladvertisementIndia crossed the 600-run barrier for the first time against England as Sachin Tendulkar (193), Rahul Dravid (148) and Sourav Ganguly (128) ripped apart the English bowling attack to declare the first innings on 628 for 8. The bowlers then led India to victory with Anil Kumble leading the way with 7 wickets in the match while Harbhajan Singh (4), Zaheer Khan (3) and Ajit Agarkar (2) played the supporting roles. England had won the first match at Lord’s while the second and fourth match ended in draws as Ganguly and Nasser Hussain shared the trophy.2007 – India clinch series 1-0 Rahul Dravid led India to a series win in 2007 in England (Reuters Photo)Five years after the Leeds victory India repeated history by claiming the series 1-0 under Rahul Dravid by winning the second Test at Nottingham.India took a massive 283-run first innings lead after bowling out the hosts for 198 with Zaheer Khan (4) and Anil Kumble (3) leading the wickets tally.Also read – India give it back to Stuart Broad for Rishabh Pant sendoffCaptain Michael Vaughan’s hundred in the second innings couldn’t save England’s batting collapse as they got bowled out for 355 thanks to some brilliant bowling by a fired-up Zaheer, who took a five-wicket haul after the jellybean prank which England had played on him during India’s first innings.This meant that India needed just 73 runs to win which they chased down in 24.1 overs with 7 wickets in hand and took a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series. The third Test at The Oval ended in a draw as Sourav Ganguly lifted the Pataudi Trophy, named in honour of former India captain Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi.2014 – India win at Lord’s by 95 runs Ajinkya Rahane scored 103 off 154 balls in the Test match (Reuters Photo)MS Dhoni led the Indian team in a five-match Test series and delivered the first blow on the hosts by winning at Lord’s for the first time after 1986.The first Test ended in a draw at Nottingham following which the teams locked horns on a green top at Lord’s. Ajinkya Rahane scored one of the greatest hundreds in Indian Test history as he negotiated prodigious swing and seam movement against the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.Such was Rahane’s class that none of the other batsmen managed to score over 36 runs, which was the next best score coming from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. India made 295 and then conceded a first innings lead of 24 runs with Gary Ballance scoring a century. Bhuvneshwar took a six-wicket haul as England made 319.Murali Vijay (95), Ravindra Jadeja (68) and Bhuvneshwar (52) then rose to the occasion with the bat in the second innings to help India set a target of 319 for the hosts.Ishant Sharma then produced one of the most memorable spells by an Indian bowler on English soil and picked up a record 7 wickets in the process as India bowled out England for 223 and registered a historic win at the Mecca of cricket.India however, couldn’t carry the momentum as England bounced back in the next three matches to clinch the series 3-1.advertisement2018 – India record convincing 203-run win at Trent Bridge Jasprit Bumrah’s inspiring bowling on day four of the third Test helped India win the match (AP Photo)After a close Test at Edgbaston, India were battered in the second Test at Lord’s. Following the defeat, former cricketers and media slammed the Indian team for their lack of practice before the Test series as they went 2-0 down in the five-match series.Kohli even took to social media to ask the fans to back them after their horrendous start to the Test series. And, as they took the field in Nottingham, Kohli and his men were determined to make amends and they did it in style.After being put in to bat by Root, India were off to a commendable start thanks to KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan and after they departed, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane put on a 189-run stand for the fourth wicket to take India to a commendable position. Rahane scored 81 and Kohli missed his century by three runs as he fell for 97. India were eventually bowled out for 329 but the stage was set for India to make a comeback in the series.And, the bowlers didn’t’ disappoint as well. Led by Hardik Pandya, India rocked England and bowled them out for a paltry total of 161. Pandya answered his critics in style as he grabbed his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests.With a lead of 168, India were again provided a solid start by their openers and after they fell, Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli led the charge as they planned to bat England out of the game. Pujara fell for a gritty 72 but Kohli scored his 23rd Test century and it was followed by a run-a-ball 52 from Pandya as the visitors declared for 352/7, with a lead of 520.Chasing 521 to win, the England openers somehow managed to play out the nine overs on day four but the nervousness and fear was there in their mammoth chase. In the penultimate day of the Test match, the onus was always going to be on Cook and Jennings to see out the new ball in the opening hour. But they failed as Ishant Sharma removed the openers in his first two overs to peg England back early.Root and Pope fell soon after and the hosts were staring at a big defeat until Buttler and Stokes played out the entire lunch session with the former scoring his maiden Test hundred as well. But, the game changed when India took the second new ball after tea.Bumrah got the wickets of Buttler and Woakes early and then Pandya got the wicket of Stokes to get England eight down. Bumrah got Rashid out as well but the ball was ruled as a ‘no-ball’ and Rashid survived.Rashid then counter-attacked and somehow survived the day along with Anderson and dragged the game to the last day but the game only lasted three overs and four balls as Ashwin got the wicket of Anderson to earn a 203-run victory for the visitors.last_img read more