Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza who suffered a bad fall while bowling against Afghanistan in the third and final One-Day International (ODI), hopes his injury is not serious.But he is “a bit worried” about whether he can be fit in time for the England series, beginning on October 7, reports bdnews24.com.The pacer dismissed Afghan opener Mohammad Shahzad with the first ball of his second over at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Saturday. Bangladesh won the match by 14 runs.But in the next ball, his front foot got tangled with the rear one on his delivery stride and he painfully landed on his ankle.His team-mates rushed to attend to their captain but Mashrafe got treated on the field and finished his over. He then went off the field for an over and returned to bowl with a shorter run-up.Mashrafe, who turns 33 on Wednesday, limped his way in and out of the post-match press conference.”I was kind of having a feeling about the injury since this morning — anyways, there is a slight swelling. I hope the pain will go away,” Mashrafe said on Saturday.But with the England ODIs just a few days away, he will not get much time to tend to his sore ankle.”I’ve hurt this ankle before as well. That is why I am a bit uneasy. It might have been okay if I had 10 days. But we have five or six days to go before the England series. So I am a bit worried. Let’s see, I hope there won’t be any problem.”advertisementMashrafe’s career has been plagued with injuries but he has not picked up any major injury since becoming the captain almost two years ago.
Lenovo launched its new battery-centric phone, the K6 Power in India on Tuesday. The Lenovo K6 Power will be available for buying at a price of Rs 9,999 exclusively from online retail website Flipkart starting from December 6 at 12pm. The K6 Power comes with a full-metal unibody and a rear mounted fingerprint scanner. It’s a gradual progression of the K5 Note’s design, according to Lenovo. It comes with a 5-inch 1080p IPS display (441ppi, 450 NIT brightness) and is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor clubbed with 3GB RAM and 32GB memory. The dualSIM phone supports expandable storage of up to 128GB, 4G LTE connectivity and runs Android Marshmallow OS-based Pure UI.It sports a 13-megepaixel camera (Sony IMX258) on the rear with phase detection autofocus and LED flash alongside an 8-megapixel front camera.The phone is backed by a 4,000mAh battery that is claimed to offer up to 13.6 hours of video playback and up to 27 days of standby on single charge, according to Lenovo.Also read: Lenovo K6 Power: Full specifications, top features, price and everything you need to knowFurther more, the K6 Power comes with an ultimate power saving mode that can extend battery life of the phone by up to 3X, by cutting off data and leaving only the essential apps running, as per the company. Users can customise up to 3 apps that will continue to run under such a sitaution as well. The phone also supports reverse charging, much like the Asus ZenFone 3 Max, and can be used to charge other devices.advertisementThe K6 Power will be available in three colours: silver, gold and dark gray.The K6 Power is not so much about hardware specs as it is about smartphone experiences, according to Lenovo. To emphasise its multimedia prowess, the phone comes with TheatreMax and Dolby Atmos sound tech over a pair of stereo speakers.More often than not, TheatreMax is confused with virtual reality, however, it isn’t exactly VR per se. “TheatreMax is not exactly VR, but a technology that creates a stereoscopic effect of the whole UI so that everything you view is rendered twice,” the company stressed. “A VR headset is required just to make the experience more immersive as it prevents the edges from distorting,” it added.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to reschedule the two Ranji Trophy matches which had to be cancelled due to smog in the national capital earlier this month, with both the matches being played from December 15 to 18.The Group A clash between Gujarat and Bengal will now be played in Visakhapatnam while the Group C match between Hyderabad and Tripura will take place in Kolkata, according to a report by espncricinfo.The change in dates of the two fifth round Ranji games, has now forced the board to push the quarter-finals from the originally scheduled date of December 17 to December 24.The last round of league matches will however, take place as scheduled from December 7 to 10.The semi-finals have been moved from December 27 to 31 to the new year now, and will take place from January 3 to 7.The final, which was scheduled from January 7 to 11 will now take place from January 12 to 16.The Irani Cup was to be held from January 18 to 22, but it will now take place from January 22 to 26.
AC Milan would love to try and bring in Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Lazio but would not be able to do so and stay within the parameters of Financial Fair Play, according to Leonardo.Serbia international Milinkovic-Savic is among Europe’s most sought-after talents, and has been regularly linked with Manchester United and Juventus as well as Milan.The 23-year-old midfielder would be welcomed at San Siro with open arms but, after bringing in Gonzalo Higuain and Mattia Caldara from Juventus in exchange for Leonardo Bonucci, Milan’s technical director has talked down the prospect of another dramatic move late in the transfer window. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “In light of Financial Fair Play we won’t be signing a top midfielder,” Leonardo said at news conference to present Paolo Maldini as sporting strategy and development director.”If we can find a way – within the rules – to pull off a miracle and sign a player who will bring a lot to the team then we’ll try to do it. But we may not be able to.”The deal we already did gives us a lot and stays within the rules, but it’s very difficult to do again.”Milinkovic-Savic is a dream for many teams, unfortunately right now dreaming about a player who is worth so much is not possible for us.”Even a year ago when I was asked to choose one Serie A player [Milan wanted] he was the one I picked. He’s the complete modern midfielder, but it’s not financially possible for us to sign him.”According to Leonardo, Croatia forward Nikola Kalinic is close to leaving the Rossoneri for Atletico Madrid, but the former Brazil international rejected suggestions Suso could move to Roma.Leonardo also dismissed rumours of interest in Paris Saint-Germain’s Adrien Rabiot.
Nathaniel Chalobah has been backed to make it at the highest level by his former Chelsea team-mate Ola Aina after the Watford midfielder made his England debut.England coach Gareth Southgate handed Chalobah his Three Lions bow as a late substitute in Monday’s impressive UEFA Nations League victory away to Spain.Aina is delighted to see Chalobah making his mark with England and feels the 23-year-old has all the attributes required to become an integral member of the squad in the future. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! “It is really good that he is back in the fold and in the eyes of the England set up,” Aina told Goal while on international duty with Nigeria. “Let’s hope he can progress and become the player that always gets picked for England, he has good qualities and he can go all the way.”He is so level headed. His temperament is good. He is very strong and physical, and he is not slow. He has got everything that you need in a midfielder. That’s why I think he can probably go all the way. He needs just more game time at Watford and fewer injuries.”I am close to everyone who has been through Chelsea. Tammy [Abraham], Fikayo [Tomori], Kasey [Palmer], [Charlie] Colkett, Dominic Solanke and Michael Hector. The group that have come from Chelsea are like a family. We all communicate and we all get along.”Meanwhile, Aina also revealed the role Chalobah played in his adaptation to life in Serie A during his loan spell with Torino.Nigeria international Aina is spending the season at Torino, following in the footsteps of Chalobah, who took in a spell in Italy with Napoli during the 2015-16 season.Chalobah was often on the bench in Naples, but he regularly cites it as a crucial stage in his development and Aina credits his friend’s advice in helping him to settle in Italy, having made eight Serie A appearances already.Aina added: “He said it will be difficult, obviously. He said if I absorb the culture and go in with an open mind that it shouldn’t be too hard. That’s what I have tried to do. He has told me how Italians are, what they do differently on the pitch and how they prepare before games.”The advice he has given me has helped. I always message him, we always talk.Aina made his sixth Nigeria appearance in the 4-0 African Cup of Nations qualifying match against Libya, which put his side two points ahead of last weekend’s opponents in Group E. They meet again in Libya on Tuesday, with Nigeria aiming to move five points clear of the third-place team in a group being headed up by South Africa.The 22-year-old is part of a young squad and he hopes that the two-time AFCON winners will be in good shape by the time the competition comes around in Cameroon next summer.”I think so [that Nigeria’s young squad will improve],” he added. “We are working hard every day. The team is working hard. The team bond is really good. Let’s just hopefully get to the AFCON and then hopefully we will have gelled well and be able to play our best football.”Even some of the younger players have already earned such experience. There’s a lot of players who are experienced despite their young age. It is good for my development to be here, this is a vibrant squad. I enjoy the football aspect too.”Of course, everyone helped to make my transition into the team smooth. It has been very helpful to me. I am enjoying myself every time I join up and I enjoy meeting up with the squad every time. To be on the international scene is good for me because I am playing with such good players.”
Six Bundesliga goals in just seven appearances: it’s the kind of form that you’d expect to see from a seasoned professional or top striker playing for Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.Instead, it’s the 18-year-old who couldn’t get a game at Arsenal who is tearing up one of Europe’s most competitive leagues with Hoffenheim.Yes, Reiss Nelson is the other revelation of the Bundesliga season so far! Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Jadon Sancho may be the name on every England fan’s lips right now, after his impressive international debut on Thursday night, but his compatriot and good friend Nelson is matching the Borussia Dortmund winger’s sensational start to life in Germany.Indeed, Nelson’s form has seen him voted ‘Rookie of the Month’ and prompted calls from Arsenal supporters to cut short his season-long loan spell at Hoffenheim and bring him back to the Emirates, particularly now that Danny Welbeck is set to miss the rest of the season with a broken ankle.“At the moment, we don’t speak about that,” Gunners head coach Unai Emery has said. “But we are very happy with Reiss at the moment. We follow him in every match. We are thinking how he can help us in the future.”Still, those calls to see Nelson playing for Arsenal again before the end of the season are understandable when you look at the impact he’s making for Hoffenheim. His total game contribution still has major room for improvement but there can be no argument that his goals and creativity are hugely important to Julian Nagelsmann’s side.The Gunners are pleased with Nelson’s progress and there is genuine believe that he can go on to become a first-team regular next season. Head of football Raul Sanllehi persuaded Nelson to sign a contract extension before he left on loan this summer and it’s a decision which is proving to be an absolute masterstroke. However, those wanting to bring him back early should consider why he has been sent on loan in the first place: to play regular top-flight level, develop and mature as a player and show that he can adapt by going out of his comfort zone. So far so good on all of those fronts, so why risk stunting his growth now?Tellingly, Nelson has also played down suggestions that he could return to north London in January by hinting that he wants to stay at Hoffenheim so that he can continue to grow, thus putting himself in a better position to challenge for a starting berth at Arsenal in 2019-20.“Arsenal are my boyhood club,” Nelson told the BBC. “I’ve been with them since I was eight, so that’s 10 years. “I just want to go back there stronger because, at the time I was at Arsenal, I was 16, 17 and I didn’t feel confident. “I didn’t think I was a man, but now I’m feeling stronger and I think a couple more months or even a year in Hoffenheim will make me stronger and give me the belief and confidence to go back to Arsenal and do very well there. “I want to be an Arsenal legend.”Despite all of the hype surrounding his fine form at Hoffenheim, Nelson says he “needs to keep his feet on the ground and keep positive”, hinting at the kind of maturity required to excel at the highest level.Furthermore, Nelson’s recent brace against Nurnberg showed that he is unfazed by the big occasion and possesses the confidence to become a world-class player.Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger once said that Nelson had skills that not many other players have and tipped him as a future star of the Premier League.He’s already becoming one in the Bundesliga. If he continues on his current path, it’ll only be a matter of time before he becomes one of the Premier League’s leading lights too. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Former England cricketer Isa Guha appointed first woman member of Professional Cricketers’ Association board
Former England fast bowler Isa Guha has been named in the Professional Cricketers’ Association board. Guha is the first female member on the board and will play the role of a non-executive director of the players’ union.PCA chief executive David Leatherdale said: “Isa has a vast knowledge of the game from a men’s and women’s perspective.”With our international women players now full members of the PCA, Isa will bring real insight to the PCA board.”PCA is the representative body of the past and the current First Class cricketers in England and Wales.Guha, who was a part of the England women’s team which won the World Cup, World T20 and the Ashes, said she is looking forward to working with the team at the PCA.”I am delighted to be joining the PCA at an exciting time for the game here in England for our men and women at both domestic and international levels,” Guha said.”I look forward to working with the team at the PCA, and with all the many past and present players, as the country prepares for a number of major events, starting with the ICC Champions Trophy and the Women’s World Cup this summer,” she added.
England all-rounder Chris Woakes said they are paid very well and that he does not foresee English cricket being hit by the kind of pay dispute threatening this year’s Ashes series.Australia’s vice-captain David Warner this week warned that Cricket Australia “might not have a team for the Ashes” unless they back down on implementing a new pay structure for contracted players.Warner, who captains the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, also suggested there are plenty of lucrative opportunities elsewhere given the rise of domestic Twenty20 tournaments around the globe.”It’s not on our radar – we are paid very well and looked after by the ECB and the PCA. What lies ahead lies ahead, and we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” said Woakes, who played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and is due to join England’s training camp in Spain.”It sounds like the (Australia) players are standing firm for what they believe in. If it gets to the stage where the Ashes are under threat, of course it would be a shame for it to not go ahead. It’s the pinnacle… but we are concentrating on what comes next,” he added.Woakes is expected to take part in a one-day international series against South Africa followed by the ICC Champions Trophy.
England’s limited-overs team have improved significantly since being dumped out of the World Cup in the group stage two years ago but they remain a work in progress, batting mainstay Joe Root has said.The team have undergone a transformation under Eoin Morgan and were considered one of the favourites at the ongoing Champions Trophy. And while their bid to win a maiden global 50-overs title was scuppered by Pakistan in Wednesday’s semi-final, Root said it was clear they were on the right track.”This was a golden chance to win a tournament at home, and I think all we can do now is keep looking towards that World Cup and use this as a really good platform,” test captain Root told reporters.”We know we’re not the finished article. But we have made huge strides and we’ve got to continue to work out ways to get on the right side of these scenarios when things aren’t favourable to us.”England will host the next World Cup in two years’ time and Root, who is expected to assume one-day captaincy before that, said it was important for the side to keep improving.”It is a good learning curve for us but we’ve got to keep the same drive that we’ve had over the last 18 months to keep getting better so that, when that World Cup does come round, we’re in the best shape possible and give ourselves the best chance of really contending that final.”
Most people acknowledge Volkswagen in India as a manufacturer of hatchbacks and sedans and there is a reason for that. The only SUV the company ever launched in India was the Touareg and it was in a segment which is out of bounds for most. The Touareg also led a short life and was taken out of the portfolio many years back, leaving the SUV section blank. Quite a ‘no, no’ in a country fascinated by these big beasts. Now there is an option in the form of the Tiguan.Design:Let’s start with a fact which is not clear to the naked eye. The Tiguan is based on Volkswagen’s famous MQB platform and the same makes its debut here in India with this SUV. The Tiguan follows the brand’s global design philosophy and as a result this SUV has a very different take on SUV design. It is not butch and bulky but smooth and sophisticated.Build quality inside is top class. Soft touch dash adds to plushness. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)The front end design is unmistakably VW with the grille flanked by a sleek pair of headlamps. These lamps are all LED units and incorporate daytime running lights and indicators. The bumper adds a sporty hue and also houses the fog lamps and cornering lamps. Mind you these are both separate units and not combined into one and we can vouch that they come really handy especially driving around in the hills. In profile the Tiguan looks good thanks to the prominent cladding and the strong shoulder line.advertisementThe 2.0-litre engine offers ample grunt and is smooth too. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)It is here that we come to a rather unique figure, the ground clearance. VW in Europe claim the Tiguan to offer 200mm of clearance but here that figure has reduced to 149mm. Now before you dismiss the Tiguan, let us tell you that this lesser figure is due to the fact that the Indian authorities have started measuring ground clearance at full payload or gross vehicle weight. Hence the difference.At the back, the large LED tail lamps take up most of the space and the roof spoiler adds to the sporty feel.The front end design is unmistakably VW with the grille flanked by a sleek pair of headlamps. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Features:Inside the Tiguan looks and feels well-built much like most other VW products. There are multiple shades of black in the offering and the dash is soft to touch. There is a deep glove box and the centre console houses an infotainment system which supports Android and Apple devices. The system also offers the ‘Think Blue Trainer’ which essentially marks the way one drives and gives a real time score on 100 marks.At the back, the large LED tail lamps take up most of the space and the roof spoiler adds to the sporty feel. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)On the downside, the system does not come with an in-built sat nav. The multi-function steering wheel is good to grip and the comprehensive IP displays all things related to the car. The Tiguan also comes with a three-zone climate control system and that means the driver, front passenger and the rear passengers can set their own temperatures. The driver’s perch is all electric and comes with memory function as well. The cabin also sports mood lighting which highlights the panoramic sunroof. This five-seater SUV offers ample space for its occupants and is pretty versatile as well. The rear seats are foldable and can help increase boot space. So with the rear seat in place, the Tiguan can take in 615 litres of cargo which can go up to 1,655mm with the rear seats folded.The Tiguan also offers a unique feature which comes as a help while loading up the boot. Say you reach the SUV with your hands full. To access the boot you will have to drop it all somewhere and then open the boot. Not in the Tiguan. With the key within proximity, a certain gesture below the rear bumper is enough to release the boot.The 18 inch Kingston alloy wheels are only available with the top end variant of the Tiguan. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Safety Features:When it comes to safety VW has decided to load up the Tiguan properly. The SUV comes with six airbags, Electronic Stabilisation Program, ABS Hill Decent Control and Hill Hold functions. Further to that the Tiguan also comes with an Active Hood designed to save the pedestrian in case of a collision.advertisementEngine:Under the bonnet, VW has decided to plonk in the tried and tested 2.0-litre TDI motor which is tuned to offer 143bhp and 340Nm of torque. The motor is mated to a seven-speed DSG gear box which sends power to all four wheels (if necessary) using VW’s 4MOTION AWD system. The 4MOTION system can be further regulated using a knob placed conveniently on the centre console. The driver can then choose to leave it in auto or select modes depending on the type of terrain he or she is attempting to tread.Blue Drive gives the driver marks based on driving patters. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)Now this is the only combination which the company is offering here in India and both Comfortline and Highline variants get the same mechanicals.Drive Quality:The Tiguan on the road feels extremely refined. The engine comes to life without much clatter and within the cabin things remain rather quiet thanks to the excellent NVH packaging. Our test route was a mix of city, highway and hilly terrain and it gave us the opportunity to truly test out the capabilities of this SUV. In the city to start with one does feel a bit of a lag. It is primarily because the motor hits the sweet spot just around the 2,000rpm mark and till then one has come to a stop. So in stop-and-go traffic things get better if the manual mode is used on the gearbox.Photo: Nishant JhambShift down a gear, get the Tiguan motor in the right rev range and then acceleration is brisk. On the highway though, the Tiguan comes into its own. The smooth DSG gearbox shifts up and once you start cruising, the Tiguan gathers speed rapidly and can sit at high speeds all day long. Overtaking on the highway too is no problem as there is ample power to take care of most situations. We simply enjoyed our highway run more than the crowded city roads. Handling:Moving on to the ride and handling department. The Tiguan to begin with does not feel like a SUV on the move. It feels extremely well-planted on the highway and the suspension is tuned to take on and dismiss most rough patches with ease. This means that the passengers generally get to hear but not feel bad sections.The motor is mated to a seven-speed DSG gear box which sends power to all four wheels (if necessary) using VW’s 4MOTION AWD system. (Photo: Nishant Jhamb)We also loved the way the Tiguan handled around the twisties. The taught suspension helps reduce body roll and the driver should feel ever so confident. The steering too is well-balanced and offers plenty of feedback to the driver which helps tackling twisties. So overall, the Tiguan looks much like an SUV but drives like a car and that should be taken as a compliment.Dimension:Last but not the least, the delicate topic of the 149mm ground clearance. We were driving well loaded most of the time and at no point did we feel scared of a speed hump or getting off the road. At one stage we did lose our way and entered a village section with literally no roads. Even in such sections we came out with the under body un-scraped.advertisementVerdict:The Tiguan in itself has proved to be a rather complete SUV. It looks good, offers a plethora of features, is efficient, comes with AWD tech and last but not the least offers brilliant ride and handling. What’s not to like? Now here comes the real question of how much?Taught suspension reduces body roll, gives confidence while tackling twisties.(Photo: Nishant Jhamb)At Rs 31.4 lakh for the Highline and Rs 27.9 lakh for the Comfortline, the Tiguan sure is pricey. It should ideally compete with the Hyundai Tucson and the soon to be launched Jeep Compass, but it competes with SUVs a notch above. This should only be the cause of concern for the Tiguan buyer. Rest everything is just brilliant.ALSO READ:Volkswagen Tiguan vs Ford Endeavour vs Toyota Fortuner vs Isuzu MU-XALSO READ:Volkswagen Tiguan launched in India, prices of SUV begin from Rs 27.68 lakh
Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, subject to the Spain international agreeing personal terms and passing a medical, the Premier League champions said on Wednesday.British media reports said Chelsea would pay around 70 million pounds ($91 million) for Morata, which would shatter the club’s current transfer record by eclipsing the 50 million they spent on Fernando Torres in 2011.”Chelsea Football Club and Real Madrid have agreed terms for the transfer of Alvaro Morata to Stamford Bridge,” Chelsea said in a statement.The 24-year-old will give Chelsea manager Antonio Conte the attacking reinforcement that he has been searching for after he was reported to be frustrated by the club missing out on Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku, who joined Manchester United last week.Chelsea were in the market for a striker as Spain’s Diego Costa is expected to leave the club having not travelled on their pre-season tour to China and Singapore.Morata, who had also been strongly linked by British media with a move to Manchester United earlier in the transfer window, helped Madrid win a second successive Champions League title last season, but spent much of the campaign as a substitute.The former Juventus forward scored 20 goals in all competitions in 17 starts, giving him the best goals to games ratio of all Real’s forwards.It was, however, his knack of grabbing vital goals, including late winners against Sporting Lisbon, Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao, that made him a key component in Zinedine Zidane’s double-winning side.Morata was an academy graduate at Real and made his debut in 2010, but left four years later for Juventus, where he spent two seasons.advertisementHe helped Juve reach the 2015 Champions League final, scoring a decisive equaliser against Real in the semi-final, second leg. He also found the net in the 3-1 defeat by Barcelona in the final.Yet like at Madrid, Morata failed to hold down a regular place for Juventus despite his decisive cameo appearances.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to go to the Supreme Court to appeal against S Sreesanth’s life ban lifted by the Kerala High Court in the 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing case. The Kerala High Court on Monday lifted the life ban imposed on Sreesanth by the BCCI.In his order, Justice A Muhamed Mustaque also set aside all proceedings against Sreesanth initiated by the BCCI.Sources have confirmed to India Today that BCCI has sought legal opinion on the matter so also the advice of its Anti Corruption Unit head, Neeraj Kumar.”Proving criminal charges and misconduct are two different things. We are still to study the order completely but our position has always been that misconduct has been proven under our internal disciplinary proceedings. There are some who don’t want us to pursue the case but we have to take a considered view following legal advice,” a top source told India Today.BCCI’s position in a counter affidavit to Sreesanth’s plea after the Patiala House Court acquitted the cricketer from criminal charges in 2015 read, “The decision of the session’s court to acquit the petitioner from criminal charges has no impact whatsoever on the decision of the internal disciplinary committee of the BCCI to ban the petitioner from playing cricket tournaments organised by the BCCI and/or its affiliates.”Kerala Cricket Association has reiterated its position requesting the BCCI not to push for appeal at a higher court. World Cup winner Sreesanth after falling from grace and being found guilty of IPL spot-fixing under BCCI’s disciplinary proceedings has remained in the limelight acting in films and dance shows. Significantly, in the interim, he also contested the Kerala Assembly polls on a BJP ticket.advertisement
PIRAEUS, Greece — Manchester United’s troubled season took another turn for the worse on Feb. 25 as David Moyes’ side slumped to a 2-0 first leg defeat to Olympiakos in the last 16 of the Champions League.Moyes described the match as “the worst performance in Europe” he’d seen from his players, and took full responsibility for the result.Argentine striker Alejandro Dominguez broke the deadlock at Karaiskaki Stadium when he got his foot to a shot from Yiannis Maniatis in the 38th minute and turned the ball past goalkeeper David de Gea.First-half composure from the visitors soon turned to complacency after the break when striker Joel Campbell, on loan from United’s Premier League rival Arsenal, caught De Gea off guard with a well-placed shot in the 55th minute.Wayne Rooney produced no threat up front and strike partner Robin van Persie missed the visitors’ only clear chance — a shot over the crossbar in the 82nd minute — as United slipped to its first defeat in the Champions League this season.“It was a very poor performance, and we didn’t deserve to get anything. To a man there was nothing,” Moyes said. “I’m just surprised. I just didn’t see that level of performance coming. We didn’t offer enough on the night to create any goals.”Olympiakos coach Michel Gonzalez played down the implications of the result, saying that 2-0 wasn’t a big enough margin to give an advantage in terms of qualifying.“I will never say anything bad about Manchester United, because I have such great respect for them. The players know that we still have more to do,” Gonzalez said. “But I can’t hide it. I am very happy. It’s the players I’m so proud of … to get this result against a team of this caliber.”Runaway leaders in the Greek league, Olympiakos fielded its untested strikers after the sale last month of Kostas Mitroglou. But the hosts threatened early with Dominguez nearly grabbing a goal in the eighth minute, stopped only by a last-ditch tackle from Nemanja Vidic.Moyes brought on Danny Wellbeck and Shinji Kagawa in the second half but they made little impact, while Olympiakos nearly made it 3-0 in 67th but Michael Olaitan failed to finish.Despite the defeat, United midfielder Michael Carrick insisted that the three-time European champions could turn the result around in the second leg on March 19 at Old Trafford. “We just haven’t been getting the right results,” Carrick said. “As players we have to stand up … that’s the business we’re in.”Premier League champions last season under Alex Ferguson, United is currently sixth in the domestic standings — 15 points adrift of leader Chelsea. It also made an early exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Swansea.TweetPinShare0 Shares
ATHENS — Nelson Valdez scored a hat trick in the first 13 minutes March 23 as Olympiakos cruised to a 4-1 win at Ergotelis in the Greek league.Joel Campbell added the fourth with a penalty in the 32nd before Abdisalam Ibrahim, on loan from Olympiakos, pulled one back for Ergotelis in the 55th.The win kept already-crowned champion Olympiakos 18 points ahead of Atromitos and PAOK. Atromitos beat Platanias 3-0, while 10-man PAOK came from behind to beat Giannena 2-1.Also, Xanthi beat Panionios 2-0, Levadiakos defeated Veria by the same score and Kalloni edged OFI 1-0.TweetPinShare0 Shares
NEW YORK — Atlanta Braves pitchers have always had a knack for being good at the plate, as well as on the mound. Mike Minor is the newest member of the club as he showed off his arm and his bat Aug. 28 in a 6-1 win over the New York Mets.“It was fun to have a night like this hitting and pitching,” he said.Minor (6-8) had an RBI single in the second for the game’s first run. He doubled and scored in the eighth, then took a two-hit shutout into the bottom half.“At one point of the game he was everything,” Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He pitched well, drove in a run, (had) a double. He was not only pitching well, he was our offense for six innings.”Minor was perfect for four innings before Lucas Duda led off the fifth with a single that just barely touched the glove of leaping shortstop Andrelton Simmons.“Today I thought his curveball was probably his best pitch, other than commanding his fastball,” Gonzalez said. “He had a nice mix going and good for him. Young man earlier in the year had some tough luck and I think he’s progressing in the right direction.”In his previous start, Minor took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning against Cincinnati. Before that, Minor had given up three earned runs or more in nine of his previous eleven starts.“Any day you face the Braves you’re going to face a pretty good pitcher,” Mets third baseman David Wright said. “He threw a lot of fastballs — some were straight, some cut and some sank. His fastball command was excellent.”Wright was 0-for-4 in his return to the lineup after missing two games with a muscle spasm on the right side of his neck. Minor gave up four hits, struck out five and walked none.The Mets did not have a runner in scoring position until Travis d’Arnaud opened the eighth with a double. Eric Campbell followed with an RBI single, ending Minor’s night.Jonathon Niese (7-10) only allowed one run until Minor and the Citi Field wind helped Atlanta score twice in the eighth.Minor led off the eighth with his fifth career double, a ball that the wind carried over the head of right fielder Curtis Granderson. Emilio Bonifacio hit a triple to center field that was also helped by the wind, and scored on Freddie Freeman’s single.Pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit had a two-run, wind-aided, homer onto the bridge beyond the wall in right-center field in a three-run ninth.Doumit connected off Daisuke Matsuzaka, who came off the disabled list before the game. Bonifacio also had a run-scoring single for his fourth hit. He drove in two runs and stole a base.(CHARLES O’BRIEN)TweetPinShare0 Shares
OAKLAND, Calif. — Down and out just days earlier, the Golden State Warriors suddenly look alive and well again.Stephen Curry turned in an MVP-worthy performance, Klay Thompson snapped out of his shooting funk and the Warriors rolled past the Memphis Grizzlies 98-78 on May 13 to take a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.“It’s like wine,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said about learning how to stop Memphis. “It gets better with time.”The Warriors turned up the league’s top-rated defense and finally found their rhythm from long range.Curry scored 18 points on six 3-pointers and added a career-playoff high six steals to go with seven rebounds and five assists. Thompson scored 21 points, and Harrison Barnes had 14 as the Warriors won their second straight game in impressive fashion.Golden State can close out the Grizzlies in Game 6 on Friday night in Memphis.“I think I said the first couple games, ‘Our defense was good enough, but it wasn’t championship defense,’” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I was wrong. This is what it’s going to take.”With defensive stopper Tony Allen sidelined with a left hamstring injury, the Grizzlies struggled to contain Golden State’s streaky shooters. The Warriors made 14-of-30 shots from 3-point range, while Memphis made just four of 15 from long distance.Marc Gasol had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Zach Randolph had 13 points and 10 boards for a Grizzlies team suddenly on the brink of elimination. It was Memphis’ lowest point total in these playoffs.“Everybody’s saying we couldn’t score because Tony Allen’s on the floor. We put up 78 without him,” Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said.Since going down 2-1 in the series, the top-seeded Warriors have rediscovered their regular-season form — swarming defense, pace-and-space offense and lots of long-range swishes.And for the second time in three nights, Memphis had no answer for them.“They’re moving the ball. They’re getting a lot more penetration. Everybody,” said Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, who scored 13 points wearing a mask over his still-healing face. “When you do that, it’s always tough to stop.”The Grizzlies had hoped to find an offensive rhythm to match Golden State’s scoring punch. Instead, Jeff Green and veteran Vince Carter struggled to supply the same energy and intensity on defense as Allen, who wore a suit on the bench and often waved instructions to his teammates.Curry carried the Warriors back from an early 13-point deficit, connecting on four 3-pointers to give Golden State a 26-25 lead at the end of the first quarter.He motioned his hands wildly to the roaring, golden-yellow-shirt-wearing sellout crowd following the fourth make just before the buzzer, showing as much emotion as he ever has at home.“You feel the energy of the crowd,” Curry said. “It was a cool moment.”Added Kerr: “It was a miracle we had the lead after the first quarter.” The Warriors never gave it back, either.Barnes helped build the momentum with several big plays in the second quarter, and Curry came back with another from long distance to put Golden State up 49-41 at the half.The Warriors wore down the short-handed Grizzlies following the break with a fast-pace tempo that never relented.They led 74-57 through three quarters and went ahead by 24 points early in the fourth on Thompson’s four-point play, turning the game into the type of home wipe-out that became routine in the regular season, when they rolled to a franchise-record 67 wins.“That’s our brand of basketball,” Green said. “We got a couple of stops and all of a sudden the game started changing. It’s tough for anybody to keep up with us in transition, but that has to start on the defensive end.”(ANTONIO GONZALEZ, AP Basketball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
FLUSHING – Yoenis Cespedes hit a blast “to the moon, Alice.” Curtis Granderson drove in five runs. And the Mets’ celebrated ace, Matt Harvey, while not at his best, pitched five solid innings to keep the Dodgers in check as the Mets’ bats finally came alive this post season to defeat their West Coast rivals 13-7, but it wasn’t even that close.If not for the three “garbage time” runs given up in the ninth by Steven Goeddel, until phenom closer Jeurys Familia put the game away, the Mets’ win would have been a total laugher.The Amazins can clinch at home on October 13, with young sensation Steven Matz facing the Dodgers’ scariest starter, Clayton Kershaw, whose sensational Game One performance was for naught only because Mets’ fireballer Jacob de Grom was even more sensational. TweetPinShare0 Shares
LONDON — Eden Hazard’s slalom through the defense before scoring the Chelsea opener on Monday didn’t exactly leave the West Ham fans speechless.“Eden Hazard,” they chanted at Stamford Bridge, “he’s off to Madrid.”For now Hazard’s feet are very much in west London. But maybe not for much longer, given the transfer talk the winger continues to stoke.Hazard dribbled through everybody ?(via @TelemundoSports)pic.twitter.com/wONSxYpD0C— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 8, 2019The mesmerizing move before Hazard’s 24th minute-goal was far from a flash of brilliance. Hazard produced a fine individual displayed, capped by scoring again in the 90th minute to complete a 2-0 victory that lifted Chelsea to third in the Premier League.With 19 goals in all competitions this season, Hazard has matched his previous-best Chelsea tally in 2014-15 and there is still more than a month remaining. Then, with only a season left on his contract, Chelsea could find it hard to keep its biggest asset.TweetPinShare0 Shares
PIRAEUS, Greece — Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.In a statement posted Monday on the website of Greek club Olympiacos, Blatt said he was diagnosed with condition, which attacks the central nervous system, “a few months ago” and has experienced fatigue, weakness in his legs and balance problems.“I am a coach and my job is to lead and teach and inspire a lot of people. Not being as agile or active doesn’t affect my ability to do those things,” Blatt said in the statement.“How could I possibly complain? I absolutely cannot and will not. It’s wasted effort and while I ask my players and staff to be the best version of themselves, I must ask and even demand from myself to do the same.”Blatt was appointed coach of Cleveland in June 2014 and took the team to the NBA finals in his first season, losing to the Golden State Warriors.He was fired partway through the 2015-16 season, in which Cleveland won the NBA championship for the first time under coach Tyronn Lue. He has coached Olympiacos since June 2018.TweetPinShare1717 Shares