Luiten in control in Wales

first_imgHolland’s Joost Luiten put himself in pole position to make up for the disappointment of missing out on the Ryder Cup in the ISPS Handa Wales Open on Saturday. Luiten, who was considered for a wild card by European captain Paul McGinley, carded a third round of 65 at Celtic Manor to turn a one-shot deficit into a two-shot lead over Ireland’s Shane Lowry. Both players got off to a flying start on a day of low scoring, Luiten making birdies at the first, third and fifth and playing partner Lowry responding on the second, third and sixth. Press Association “Joost is playing lovely but I felt like I played lovely myself. Just warm up the putter tonight and see what happens tomorrow.” France’s Gregory Havret carded a 66 to lie three shots off the lead on 11 under alongside former champion Thongchai Jaidee, who shot 67. Havret, who finished runner-up to Graeme McDowell in the 2010 US Open but has not won on the European Tour since 2008, said: ” I played good. Unfortunately the last three holes were not as good as the first 15, but it was definitely a good round. “Anything red (under par) in this beautiful course is always good, and that’s three in a row and hopefully another one tomorrow.” Of the three Ryder Cup players left in the field, Welshman Jamie Donaldson was best placed on eight under after a 68, with Lee Westwood three under after a 68 which featured a birdie-eagle finish. In contrast, Thomas Bjorn fired a level-par 71 made up of 18 straight pars to remain two under. But while Lowry could then only manage a string of 12 consecutive pars, Luiten birdied three of the last four holes to continue his superb recent form. The 28-year-old was fourth in the Italian Open, the last qualifying event for the Ryder Cup, and after being overlooked for a wild card two days later, finished fifth in the defence of his KLM Open title on home soil last week. “I f you had these last couple of events counting for Ryder Cup qualification maybe I have a chance, but you know when the date ends and the qualification stops and you have to play well before that and I didn’t do that,” Luiten said. “You have to be realistic. “I’m just happy that I’m playing good again and just want to keep going again. “I’m happy with a good score today. I played solid, consistent, hit a lot of greens and holed some nice putts to start with. I didn’t really make a lot in the middle part, but came back strong at the end with three birdies on the last four, and I’m happy. “You’re in the last group, the greens are not as good as in the morning maybe and you just have to be patient out on the greens. They are quite soft and you have to create chances every hole and they will go in eventually and luckily it did for me at the end.” Lowry, who won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009 and the Portugal Masters in 2012, said after his 68: ” I got off to a flyer and just nothing really happened for me. I did make three good par saves, but I would have liked to make a couple more birdies and probably should have. “I’m right where I want to be for tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it. I’ m still there. If you had given me this Thursday morning before I stood on the first tee, I would have taken your hand off. I’m where I want to be and I feel like I have a chance tomorrow. last_img read more

Boxing Day Test: Desperate times call for desperate measures

first_imgBy Veturi SrivatsaIndia have announced their playing eleven for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and on paper the team looks better balanced than the sides that won in Adelaide and lost in Perth to be 1-1 in the four-Test series.Desperate times call for desperate measures. Seldom has one seen both the opening batsmen struggling for runs and getting dropped for the third Test of a series. Both Murali Vijay and Lokesh Rahul have invited their omission, getting dismissed in the two Tests they played in strange ways. When you are not in nick you get the best of deliveries and you also tend to worry about your technique.The Indian team management is so desperate that it is willing to convert a middle-order batsman, Hanuma Vihari, into an opener and give a Test cap to Mayank Agarwal, who joined the squad after Prithvi Shaw went home injured even before the Test series got under way. The change enabled the team to play Raindra Jadeja.One only hopes the selectors, captain and coach do not make Vihari’s life miserable by pushing him up and down like they did with V.V.S. Laxman before the genial Hyderabadi put his foot down against being a guinea pig. But by then he had big runs in the middle order against the likes of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. He was pushed to No. 6 with Saurav Ganguly going up the order and he had to nurse the lower-order batsmen to carry the team ahead. He even got hundreds and won Tests batting with the tail.Cricketers are willing to do anything to find a place in the eleven. When an inconsistent Rohit Sharma realised he had no place at No 6, he offered to open the innings. It may not have made sense for many, but his backers put forward the theory that if he could open in the One-Dayers so successfully he could make necessary adjustments even in Tests.Mohammad Azharuddin wanted Ganguly to open the innings on his return to the side after the disastrous 1992 tour Down Under since he had been opening in the One-Dayers. But the left-hander was adamant he would not open in Tests.Like Vihari, Agarwal also bulldozed his way into the team with tons of runs in domestic cricket. He was in the running for a spot for the last two Tests in England, but the selectors preferred the other opener Shaw and the sound Vihari.Agarwal did not lose heart and kept getting his hundreds in domestic cricket to get into the Test squad against the West Indies, but again could not get into the eleven. He was again ignored when the selectors preferred to go in with the experienced Murali Vijay and Rahul and Shaw, who got a hundred on debut against the West Indies.Agarwal finally got his due, but not to bat with a regular opener. The reserve wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel opened in Tests, but they could not have risked playing him with Rishabh Pant already there.It is not easy to open in Tests howsoever a batsman is sound technically. But mentally, it is not easy, even if someone like Rahul Dravid or Cheteshwar Pujara walks out at the fall of an opener in the first over. Dravid and Pujara came in to bat in any number of Tests even before the new ball bowlers could warm up, particularly overseas. What does Vihari think of opening the innings? It is unfair to force him to go out with Agarwal, who himself has no experience of playing the new ball in a Test match situation, just because he looked technically well suited. There is a mental aspect to it, too.Ravi Shastri himself opened the innings and got a double hundred in Australia after starting his career as a left-arm spinner and lower-order batsman. He might inspire Vihari just as some others like M.L. Jaisimha, Manoj Prabhakar and Nayan Mongia, who opened to accommodate an extra batsman or a bowler when they were not cut out for the job. Mongia scored his only Test hundred (152) as an opener against Australia at Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi in 1996.In fact, Jaisimha batted in the top-order for his state, Hyderabad, and opened in Tests. It was thought this was one way of accommodating Jai in the team as it would have been difficult to accommodate him in the middle-order. When asked about the contradiction, his captain Nawab Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi quipped that on Indian wickets, even he could open!Strange things have happened in Indian cricket. On the tour of England in 1967, Tiger Pataudi opened the innings with two wicketkeepers Farokh Engineer and Budhi Kunderan in the Birmingham Test. Kunderan, playing in what turned out to be his last Test, even shared the new ball with V. Subramanya so that all famed four spinners could be played!(Veturi Srivatsa is a senior journalist. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at sveturi@gmail.com)Also Read: India drop struggling Rahul, Vijay for Boxing Day Testlast_img read more

‘Road to Mecca’ set for December 1

first_imgNINE of the country’s top teams will have a chance to overthrow National Club Champions, Colts, when the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) bounce off their annual ‘Road to Mecca’ tournament on December 1 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. The finals will be played on December 24.The tournament will be launched officially on November 25 at the Marriott Hotel where details will be given, but, according to GABF president, Nigel Hinds, cash prizes will be a minimum of $1.2 million, in addition to trophies and giveaways.Hinds stated that Banks DIH is the ‘Presenting Sponsor’ and has committed $1 million in sponsorship under their Coca Cola and PowerAde brands. Other Sponsors are on Board in the Platinum, Gold & Silver Category.Colts, who also holds the title of Georgetown’s best club, will battle the likes of Ravens, Amelia’s Ward Jets, Half Mile Bulls, and Rose Hall Jammers in Group A of the ten-team tournament.In Group B, Linden’s leading club, the Victory Valley Royals, will be joined by last year’s finalist Retrieve Raiders, along with Pacesetters, Plaisance Guardians and the winner of the qualifier tournament which is being contested between newcomers Cobras, along with UG Trojans, Pepsi Sonics and Republic Bank Nets.last_img read more

The Latest: Britain reverses, fans no longer going to sports

first_img July 31, 2020 The Racing Point driver tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and will miss Sunday’s race at Silverstone and another the following week at the same track while in isolation.Perez says he was visiting his mother in Mexico after she was hospitalized following a “big accident.”Perez says it is “one of the saddest days in my career” missing races “but it just shows how vulnerable we (are) to this virus.”The Mexican used a private jet to fly home and says he has no symptoms.The pandemic delayed the start of the season by more than three months. The Latest: Britain reverses, fans no longer going to sports Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Britain has reversed course and now says spectators will not be able to attend sporting events in England because the coronavirus infection rate is rising. Associated Press Fans were due to attend horse racing, cricket and snooker in the coming days as part of pilot events but Prime Minister Boris Johnson says fans will no longer gather at sporting events until at least Aug. 15.They were initially approved to test procedures ahead of a planned wider re-opening of stadiums in October.The Oval cricket stadium in London has been used as a test for fans returning in the last week.___Formula One driver Sergio Perez says he might have contracted the coronavirus during a trip to Mexico between races in Hungary and Britain. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sportslast_img read more

Hart has 34 saves in Flyers’ 4-1 win over Bruins

first_imgHart has 34 saves in Flyers’ 4-1 win over Bruins After leading the NHL with 44 wins and 100 points and allowing a league-low 167 goals, the Bruins have endured their share of hiccups following the 4 1/2-month break.First leading scorer David Pastrnak and defenseman Ondrej Kase were pictured on social media enjoying themselves in Boston’s North End before the start of training camp. Kase still isn’t ready to play.Then Rask broke his finger working out.Though guaranteed a spot in the first round, the Bruins looked nothing like a team with a “Stay Hungry” tagline, in reference to losing the Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final to St. Louis last year.The game lacked the intensity and chippiness of the elimination-round series games that preceded it, and reflective of two teams easing their way into action, already assured of advancing. ___For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Associated Press Chris Wagner scored for the Bruins, who came out flat and were without starting goalie Tuukka Rask, who was deemed unfit to play.Jaroslav Halak stopped 25 shots starting in place of the Vezina Trophy finalist, who broke a finger on his left hand before the start of training camp. Rask was healthy enough to start in Boston’s 4-1 exhibition game loss to Columbus on Wednesday. He allowed three goals on 23 shots over 30 minutes, before giving way to Halak.Hart closed the season going 9-2 and allowing 21 goals, and surpassed Pete Peeters, who was nearly 23 in winning Game 1 of Philadelphia’s preliminary series over Edmonton in 1980.The Flyers were among the NHL’s hottest teams before the season was paused in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Philadelphia had won nine straight before a 2-0 loss to Boston on March 10, the two teams’ final game before play was stopped. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditTORONTO (AP) — Carter Hart stopped 34 shots, and the Philadelphia Flyers opened the NHL expanded playoffs seeding round with a 4-1 win over the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston Bruins on Sunday.Hart is 11 days shy of his 22nd birthday in becoming the youngest goalie in Flyers history to win a playoff game. Michael Raffl had a goal and assist, while Nate Thompson, Philippe Myers and Scott Laughton also scored for the Flyers.With 16 teams competing in best-of-five elimination series, the top four teams in each conference are playing a round-robin series to determine seeding entering the first round of the playoffs. Philadelphia finished fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, and the Bruins first. On Sunday, the Flyers were the more physical and opportunistic team in capitalizing on the Bruins’ sloppiness.Raffl opened the scoring 5:33 into the second period when he was set up alone driving to the net by Travis Sandheim, who kept the puck in at the blueline. Thompson scored 3:58 later with a snap shot from the left circle on a play that began with teammate Ivan Provorov pouncing on a Bruins’ turnover in the neutral zone.And even when the Bruins scored on Wagner’s wrap-around goal with 1:09 left in the second period, they allowed the Flyers to regain the two-goal edge on Myers’ goal 8 seconds later.Boston’s Anders Bjork appeared to misplay the puck in the neutral zone, allowing Myers to drive up the left wing and snap a 40-footer inside the far post.Laughton then sealed the win 4:07 into the third period, when he drove in alone after teammate Kevin Hayes forced Brandon Carlo to turn over the puck at the right point of the Flyers’ zone. One of the better checks was delivered by Philadelphia’s Nicolas Aube-Kubel, who stood up Carlo along the boards in the Bruins’ zone four minutes into the second period NOTES: The Bruins have four players with 100-plus career playoff appearances: Zdeno Chara (182), Patrice Bergeron (137), David Krejci (132) and Brad Marchand (108). … The Flyers have one player with 100 or more career playoff appearances, D Matt Niskanen (125), none with Philadelphia, and 70 during his tenure with the Washington Capitals. … Bruins players stood arm in arm at their blue line for the anthems, while coach Bruce Cassidy linked arms with his staff on the bench.UP NEXTFlyers: Face third-seeded Washington Capitals on Thursday.Bruins: Face second-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday. August 2, 2020last_img read more

Irish PM to skip UK Brexit debate for Rugby World Cup clash

first_imgBRUSSELS (Reuters) – While British lawmakers agonise in parliament today over whether to approve a last-minute European Union divorce deal, one interested onlooker will be watching a different television channel.Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who played a key role in striking the Brexit agreement this week, said he will instead be glued to Ireland’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand in Japan.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address lawmakers at 0830 GMT today to kick off an extraordinary Saturday sitting, the first since 1982, with the teams set to take the field at Tokyo Stadium at 1015 GMT.“My plans for tomorrow are to watch the rugby match,” Varadkar, a keen Ireland and Leinster fan who has togged out for the Irish parliament’s rugby team, told a news conference in Brussels.“Hopefully that will be successful for Ireland and then we’ll see what happens in the House of Commons,” he said.Varadkar moved a televised address to his Fine Gael party’s annual conference away from its regular prime time spot last year because it clashed with live coverage of Ireland’s last Test match against world champions New Zealand.Ireland beat the All Blacks 16-9 that day, just their second victory in 31 attempts, as their prime minister watched via a big screen at the conference.last_img read more

SWAN President Condemns Assault on its Member in PlateauÂ

first_imgSirawoo described the alleged actions of the two club officials as “reckless, irresponsible, shameful and disgraceful” to football administration in Nigeria, while calling on the Plateau State government, Nigerian Football Federation and League Management Company to apply appropriate sanctions on the suspected assailants.According to him, nothing could have warranted the actions of the clubs officials who are entitled to right of reply if they felt the journalist didn’t present the facts well, rather than resorting to self help in clear contravention of laws on human rights.He commended the management of the radio station for their prompt action and the Plateau State Police Command for the timely release of Mr Mbum, whose only sin was to have reported issues around the club as part of his responsibilities as enshrined in Nigeria’s Constitution and international charters on human rights.The SWAN president gave an ultimatum of 48 hours for the management of Plateau United Football Club to tender an unreserved apology to Mr Mbum, treat any injuries he may suffered in the process of his abduction, in addition to the accused officials being given appropriate sanctions.In the interim, Mr Sirawoo has directed the national and the North Central secretariats of the Association to investigate the issues raised by its brutalised member, Mr Ferdinand Mbum, who has written to the leadership of the body, saying the findings will propel the next line of actions to be proffered by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of SWAN.The angry SWAN boss said “enough of these brutalization, how many sports administrators have been abducted for wasting tax payers money, how many administrators have been brutalized for owing players or athletes allowances; how many administrators have been man handled for misappropriating funds, why must we be killed in the face of slightest provocation, when there are established legal procedures at any point of disagreement”.While awaiting the outcome of investigation, Sirawoo urged sports journalists across Nigeria to re-examine their relationship with Plateau United pending investigation and the position of NEC, and solicited the support of its members in ensuring that this becomes the last attempt on the life of a sports journalist who hasn’t been convicted of wrongdoing by a court of law.  Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram By Seriki Adinoyi in JosThe President, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Mr Honour Sirawoo has condemned in the strongest terms and described as barbaric the alleged actions of Chairman of Plateau United Supporters Club, Mallam Audu and the club’s General Manager, Mr Pius Henwan, that led to the battering, assault and abduction of a sports presenter with Jay FM, Jos, Plateau State, Mr Mbum Ferdinand.According to a statement from Jay FM Station Manager, Mangna Yusuf, Mr Ferdinand was abducted and taken to an unknown destination. However, it took spirited efforts from the station through its lawyer to get the journalist released on bail after he was traced to a police station in Jos.last_img read more

Yaya Toure likely to miss first leg with Real

first_imgManchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is unlikely to face Real Madrid in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg because of a thigh injury.Toure was hurt late on in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Stoke but stayed on as they had used their three substitutes.Captain Vincent Kompany, who has only played 20 times this season for the club, says he is “100% fit” after repeated calf injuries.Real are bringing all their players to Manchester despite injury concerns.They are hopeful Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit despite missing Saturday’s 3-2 win over Rayo Vallecano with a thigh injury.But fellow forward Karim Benzema is a doubt after limping out of the match in the first half.   –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img

Doc Rivers says he wants the injury-riddled Clippers to keep fighting

first_imgTeodosic was listed as questionable to play Monday and the others were ruled out.JOHNSON RECALLEDThe first order of business Sunday for the Clippers was to summon Brice Johnson from their G League team in Ontario. Johnson could fill Griffin’s roster spot Monday and until Griffin is cleared to play again. He was concussed when he was struck by an accidental elbow in the first quarter Saturday.Griffin entered the NBA’s concussion protocol when he was diagnosed during the game. He and the team must adhere to strict guidelines adopted by the league and he cannot return to the court until he is free of concussion symptoms, is examined by a physician and passes an exertion test.Then there are further steps that must be taken until he’s cleared to play, including transitioning from riding a stationary bike to jogging to agility work to non-contact drills with teammates. He cannot be cleared until he is asymptomatic. Timetables cannot be established in advance. Coach Doc Rivers said after Blake Griffin suffered a concussion during the Clippers’ loss Saturday to the Golden State Warriors that he “just wants fighters right now.” The more the Clippers fight, the more they seem to suffer, though.“You back up to no one,” Rivers said he told the injury-depleted team after it lost by 16 points to the defending NBA champions. “You know we’ve got all these injuries, so you step in and don’t back up. If they’re better, let them be better, but make them be better.”Griffin is one of four opening-night starters who could be sidelined for Monday’s home game against the Atlanta Hawks. Patrick Beverley (knee surgery), Danilo Gallinari (glute) and Milos Teodosic (foot) could be out when the Clippers try to end a two-game losing streak.Plus, Austin Rivers, who has started in place of Beverley, won’t play because of an ankle injury. WALLACE DEBUTSTyrone Wallace made his NBA debut Saturday and scored 13 points on 4-for-12 shooting with three rebounds, three steals and two assists in 31:28. He’s likely to play significant minutes for as long as the Clippers are without fellow guards Austin Rivers and Teodosic.Beverley is sidelined for the rest of the season after undergoing right knee surgery Nov. 22.Doc Rivers had a simple third-quarter message for Wallace, who signed a two-way contract Saturday after playing in the G League to start the season: Play hard, don’t back down, do what you’ve done, play how you’ve played with Ontario.“He just told me to be aggressive,” Wallace said of their mid-game conversation. “He said he thought I was passive. I think he knows how I play and I play aggressive, so he just told me to go out there and play my game, and that’s what I tried to do from that point on.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more