Ravichandran Ashwin and Virat Kohli put India in the driver’s seat at the end of day three and Sourav Ganguly feels the hosts are the favourites unless and until England bat out of their skin to save the Vizag Test. (Vizag Test: Ashwin, Kohli put India in command) Ashwin returned with figures of 5-67, his 22nd five-wicket haul in Tests while Kohli remained unbeaten on 56 to give India a healthy lead of 298 runs. India had a jittery start to their second innings with Murali Vijay, KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara falling cheaply, but Kohli steadied things by scoring a fluent half-century, his 13th in Tests. Earlier, England were bowled out for 255 and conceding a lead of 200 runs with Kohli not enforcing the follow-on.Ganguly speaking to India Today also supported Kohli’s decision and said India wouldn’t like to bat fourth on this pitch.”There is so much time left in this game. What happens if you keep playing on this wicket it gets worse tomorrow and India would not want to bat fourth on this pitch. Its a good decision unless and until the lead was about 300, get to about 400 by lunch tomorrow and India have five sessions to bowl. There is only one winner in this game and that is India unless and until England bat exceptionally they don’t have a chance to save this Test,” Ganguly said.The former India captain feels England have to really bat out of their skin to save the Test match, or else the Kohli-led team looks the favourite.advertisement”India should look batting till lunch or half-an-hour after lunch and still they have 150 overs to bowl. But in the second innings 150 overs is fine, its a waning wicket. England will have to bat out of their skin and Virat’s decision was perfectly fine by not enforcing the follow-on. India should win this Test the way Ashwin and other bowlers have bowled,” Ganguly also said. (Taking five wickets was not on my mind: Ashwin)Ganguly also lauded Ashwin’s ability for contributing consistently both with the bat and the ball.”Ashwin has become a terrific cricketer, he contributes with the bat when India were under pressure and now the five wickets. You expect him to pick five wickets in these conditions with the ball turning. But to contribute with the bat and with the ball so consistently speaks volume about his ability,” Ganguly added.
Los Angeles, Budapest and Paris have successfully passed the second round of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Candidature Process for the 2024 Summer Olympics, the IOC has said.During the IOC Executive Board meeting in Lausanne on Thursday, Frank Fredericks, the IOC Evaluation Commission Chair, informed the Board on details of stage 2 of the Candidature Process which was devoted to Governance, Legal and Venue Funding, reports Sputnik. (India target to win 50 medals in 2024 Olympic Games)As the official IOC website states, the deadline for submission of the candidates’ profiles for the next stage devoted to games delivery, experience and venue legacy is February 3, 2017.During Stage 3 in April and May 2017 the commission will visit each candidate city and publish a following report as well as hold in July 2017 a briefing for IOC members and summer Olympic international federations. (Italy withdraws bid to stage 2024 Olympics in Rome)The IOC Candidature Process consists of three stages spread over the period of two years. The host city for the Summer Olympic Games 2024 will be chosen in September 2017 in Lima, Peru.
Lucas Digne has revealed that he elected to leave Barcelona in the summer and join Everton because the club gave him a ‘wow’ factor.The 25-year-old left-back has earned a France recall for the forthcoming matches against Netherlands and Uruguay thanks to his excellent early season form with the Toffees, for whom he has already turned out 10 times in the Premier League.While he admitted it was a wrench to leave Barcelona, he felt the challenge Marco Silva laid down to him at Goodison Park was too attractive to turn down. 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! “I wasn’t really planning to leave Barca and they were not looking to sell me, but when I spoke to Everton manager Marco Silva on the phone I got this special feeling,” he told Goal . “He really lit a fire inside of me and I thought: ‘Wow! I really want to play for this club and manager.’“Then I went to Barca and asked them to please let me go. After a few talks, they accepted, that this was my wish. I am thankful for that, because now I feel happy in Everton.“Barca was my childhood dream, so yes, it was difficult to leave, because I could have stayed to continue a great life in the club and the city. The club wanted me to stay.”But I am 25 years old now and in a phase of my career, where I want to play every week, have a bigger role in the team and feel the full confidence of the coach. So I could not turn down the Everton project. “I was only 22 when I signed for Barca, and it was the perfect place to develop myself. In my two years at Camp Nou I played 46 games for what I consider the greatest club in the world, training every day with the very top players in the world, like Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Neymar and so many more. “Of course, I am a better player now. I enjoyed both seasons in Barca tremendously and chose to leave after a great season, winning the double in Spain, playing fantastic football, and for me personally developing as a player.”The move to Everton, however, has proven to be richly rewarding, with the former Lille, Roma and Paris Saint-Germain player, already a veteran of more than 200 appearances in Europe’s top leagues, thrilled by the intensity of the Premier League challenge.“Getting into the Premier League has been a pleasure,” he added. “Football is great everywhere – and different. I’ve learned a lot and developed myself as a player and as a person from these different experiences in different countries.“Both the Premiership and La Liga are top class, but the difference is the incredible intensity during the game. In the Premier League there are challenges all the time and it’s full speed ahead every week. “The style of football gives me a lot of pleasure. It is very physical and box-to-box for 90 minutes, and I enjoy going forward and getting a lot of crosses into the box. It is also intense because of the supporters, not only in the home games but also away, where they are simply fantastic. They give you extra power on the pitch.” Digne revealed that settling at his new club has been straightforward due to the welcoming nature of the squad.“I feel fantastic with Everton and in English football,” he said. “It has been a super start to life in the Premiership, and the everyday life in the club gives me an extraordinarily good feeling. “For me it was great to join other French speaking guys like Kurt Zouma and Morgan Schneiderlin, who I know from Les Bleus – and Idrissa Gueye, who I knew for six or seven years in Lille. But in general, we have a great group of players both on and off the pitch.”And that group is finding its rhythm in the Premier League, in which they sit ninth. The left-back is confident that the team will continue to improve as the weeks go by.“The recent results show our progress,” he said, reflecting on the last six matches. “We have done well with four league wins and only one defeat – and our latest game was a 0-0 draw away against Chelsea. It was a tough game, but we fought well and got a deserved point and a great clean sheet in a difficult stadium.“It is still early days for us as a team with many new players and a completely new style of football for the club with a new manager. But there is a great appetite for success, and the manager has an extremely good mentality and a great idea of football. I believe, that now every player understands what he wants. “The manager and his staff have been working hard to implement the new style, and we as players have also been working hard both in training and in the matches. And that is why we are improving as a team and we are now getting good results. “The next step is to believe in ourselves even more in the games against the biggest teams in the league because then the future will look bright for Everton. We are a club with huge traditions and a great history, and most of all we want to give our supporters something new to celebrate.”Though Digne’s immediate thoughts are with the France national side, the Toffees face Cardiff City on November 24 before the Merseyside derby against Liverpool follows on December 2. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
The Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour will close out 2018 on Tuesday when the Selecao meet Cameroon at Stadiu MK in Milton Keynes.Opened in 2007, the venue is home to League Two club MK Dons and seats over 30,00 spectators. 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 hosted a number of games at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and also provided a temporary home to Tottenham Hostpur for their League Cup match against Watford this season.A number of high-profile musicians have also used Stadium MK as a concert venue, including English pop star Olly Murs.The stadium also has an in-built Hilton hotel, which is where the players are staying this week ahead of the match with Cameroon, providing them with the shortest gameday commute the Brasil Global Tour has ever seen.Indeed, a number of the rooms actually offer a direct view of the pitch.#Brasil vs #Cameroon Only 10 days away https://t.co/5sAbK7umm5 pic.twitter.com/MNmY9KjL7J— Brasil Global Tour (@BGT_ENG) November 10, 2018Brazil take on Cameroon in the Brasil Global Tour at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes on 20 November (KO 7:30pm).
West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell, who is ready to make a foray into the world of entertainment with an international music video, may also explore a career in Bollywood. (Russell banned for violating doping code)”Yes it is true that I’m exploring a career in the performing arts. I will be launching my first international music video with main focus in India this year and then maybe explore acting in Bollywood films,” the cricketer said in a statement on Saturday.Produced by Gemini Musiq based in Los Angeles, the production house behind Grammy winning singer Justin Bieber’s recent album “Sorry”, Russell will be launching his music this year.This comes after West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo came out with numbers like “Champion”, “Jaegerbomb” and “Trip abhi baki hai”.The cricketer was given tips and notes on how to go about his passion by Indian actress Mallika Sherawat in San Antonio, Texas. One of the projects might even see the two collaborating.Venus Entertainment Group will be taking care of Russell’s branding and management globally.In January, Russell was handed a one-year ban for a doping whereabouts rule violation.His ban started on January 31, 2017 which ruled him out of the ongoing Indian Premier League. He was part of the two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders.
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Portugal and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo remained coy about his future with the Spanish football giants, refusing to take questions beyond the Confederations Cup where his national team won 1-0 against hosts Russia.Ronaldo netted the winner of the game with a first-half header to send the European champions to the top of Group A and all but secure a place in next week’s semi-finals.He was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match and thus had to attend the post-match press conference.”I’m very happy,” Ronaldo was quoted as saying by ESPNFC.”We knew it was going to be a difficult game against a very strong team.”It’s the first time Portugal have won in Russia and I think the team played very well. We played against a team playing at home with a home crowd, a team that pressured us but we were better.””We had more opportunities than Russia and we were just winners. We have four points and we have to congratulate the team.”Portugal coach Fernando Santos backed his player when queried over Ronaldo refusing to take questions on his club future.”Do you think he should answer questions from issues outside the game?” Santos said.”He is here to talk about the game, full stop, not about his life and his family.”I understand you are curious, but you have to respect and have an understanding — and I’m saying this with a good feeling.”You will have other opportunities. I think he did very well in not answering other questions,” Santos added.advertisement
German winger Thomas Muller scored two sublime goals as Bayern Munich capitalised on a fast start to edge Chelsea 3-2 in the opening match of the International Champions Cup Singapore friendly tournament on Tuesday.Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti had implored his side to show improvement following a 4-0 drubbing by AC Milan in Shenzhen last week and his players answered the call with a scintillating opening spell as they raced to a 3-0 lead in 26 minutes.Chelsea adopted the 3-4-3 formation that had served them well on their way to the Premier League title in May but new Bayern signing James Rodriguez, Muller and Franck Ribery were able to unlock the English champions’ defence with alarming regularity.After a fairly pedestrian opening, Bayern full back Rafinha struck for the German champions in the sixth minute, cutting in from the right wing and drilling home a low drive into the opposite corner past a sprawling Thibaut Courtois.Bayern were looking irresistible and doubled the lead six minutes later when Ribery skipped past Cesar Azpilicueta on the left side of the penalty area, then dinked over an inviting cross for Muller to volley home his first goal from close range.Rodriguez appeared comfortable in a roaming role behind striker Robert Lewandowski and although the Colombian spurned several chances to extend Bayern’s lead, Ancelotti would have been pleased with what he saw of his new recruit.Muller then made it 3-0 with a spectacular long-range effort after 26 minutes when the German international strolled forward from halfway towards a passive Chelsea defence and unleashed a curling shot past Courtois from 25 metres.advertisement”It was a really nice reaction by the side after the result against Milan so we are very happy and everything is going good,” Muller said in a pitchside interview.Chelsea had been completely outclassed but managed to haul themselves back into the contest on the stroke of halftime when left back Marcos Alonso latched on to Victor Moses’ low cross from the right and beat Tom Starke with a low, crisp shot.Both sides made regular substitutions in the second half with Chelsea replacement David Luiz going closest after the break with a deflected long-range shot that hit the base of the post in the 72nd minute.Michy Batshuayi then stabbed home from close range following a corner in the 86th minute to set up an exciting finale but Bayern held on for victory in front of 48,500 fans packed into the Singapore National Stadium.Inter Milan are the other team involved in the tournament and they will play Bayern on Thursday before rounding out the competition against Chelsea on Saturday.
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the German champions would never spend anywhere near the 222 million euros ($261 million) that Paris St Germain paid for Brazilian forward Neymar this month, saying he would prefer a stadium with that money.Rummenigge, who also heads the Europe’s clubs association (ECA), said more “rationality” was required as transfer costs spiralled out of control.”During the Neymar transfer I asked myself the question what would be more important: Neymar or the Allianz Arena,” Rummenigge told Sport Bild magazine on Wednesday.”I have to say clearly that I prefer having the Allianz Arena which is also more important. We as Bayern Munich must have a different philosophy,” Rummenigge said. “Overall the Neymar transfer could cost even more than the arena.”Bayern took out a 346 million euro loan in 2005 to build its new stadium on the outskirts of the city and paid off the 25-year loan 16 years early in 2014.Bayern’s own transfer record was set in June when the Bavarians paid 41.5 million euros to sign France international Corentin Tolisso.”We do not want to do this and we cannot do this (spending like PSG). And that is fine. That is also seen as the right way by the public and our fans,” Rummenigge said.The French club paid the record fee earlier this month to lure the talented 25-year-old Neymar from Barcelona.The transfer doubles the previous world record fee paid when Paul Pogba moved last August from Juventus to Manchester United for a 105 million euros.”FIFA, UEFA, the ECA, leagues and the players union FIFpro should discuss this,” Rummenigge said.advertisement”I think we should all sit at the table, that would be my proposal. We could find more rational rules for football as a whole. Otherwise the public will not understand it anymore, fans will lose their connection.”
Xiaomi, on Tuesday, launched an all-new variant of its ultra-affordable Redmi 4A phone in India with more RAM and more storage. The upgraded Redmi 4A with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage – keeping all the other specifics constant – will cost buyers in India Rs 6,999 which is interestingly the same price that the base model of the Redmi 4 retails at. The new variant of the Redmi 4A will be available for buying from Mi.com, Flipkart, Amazon India, Paytm, and Tata CliQ from August 31. The Redmi 4A is currently the most affordable smartphone in Xiaomi’s Redmi-range in India. In terms of hardware specs, the phone comes with a 5-inch HD IPS display with a 720p resolution. It is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor coupled with Adreno 308 GPU. The base model – that costs Rs 5,999 – comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage which is further expandable via micro-SD card slot. The dual-SIM phones runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based MIUI 8 out-of-the-box and supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready) connectivity.On the camera front the Redmi 4A comes with a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.2 aperture along with autofocus and an LED flash. On the front you get a 5-megapixel snapper. The phone is backed by a 3,120mAh battery which is non-removable.Clearly, the 3GB RAM, 32GB storage version of the Redmi 4A costs the same as the entry-level model of the Redmi 4. The Redmi 4, it should seem, would be the better choice of the two, but, Xiaomi believes that the two can co-exist, so be it.advertisementThe Redmi 4 comes with an all-metal body and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. It comes with curved 2.5D glass on the front and will also come in matte black finish and gold colour options. It comes with a 5-inch 720p display and an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor under the hood.The Redmi 4 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with PDAF and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.On the software side, the Redmi 4 comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based MIUI. The phone will be eligible for Android Nougat preview out-of-the-box. Furthermore, the phone is backed by a 4,100mAh battery. The phone supports 4G LTE and is also VoLTE-ready.Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi 4A review: An entry-level phone never looked so good
Wellington, Nov 30 (PTI) The ICC U19 World Cup 2018 was today launched here with 44 days to go for the 16-team event that brings together future stars who will compete across four cities and seven venues in New Zealand from 13 January to 3 February.The function was attended by Hon Grant Robertson, Minister for Sports and Recreation of New Zealand, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White and Event Brand Ambassador Corey Anderson among others.Speaking on the occasion, Richardson thanked New Zealand Cricket for hosting the tournament for the third time and extolled the importance of the U19 Cricket World Cup in grooming players from around the world.Richardson: “The ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup is special for so many reasons. It gives players an unrivaled experience of global events, a real flavor of international cricket at senior level and a glimpse into what life as one of the worlds best is really like.”This event plays an important role in developing the participating teenagers into international professionals, teaching them invaluable lessons in comradery, discipline, leadership, playing under pressure and of course in the spirit of the game.”A host of past and present stars have come through the U19s since its inception in 1988. The fact that a number of current captains including your very own Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Joe Root, Sarfraz Ahmed, Dinesh Chandimal and Eoin Morgan have all played in the event demonstrates the calibre of cricket we have come to expect at this event.”advertisementNew Zealand all-rounder Anderson remembered how the tournament helped shape his career.Anderson: “It is an honour for me to be associated with this tournament as its Brand Ambassador. I played in two U19 World Cups ? in 2008 and 2010 ? and can?t forget the experience of playing with the upcoming best from around the world.”I was lucky to have figured in the tournament along with players like Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Joe Root, all of who have gone on to lead their respective sides in world cricket. The tournament provides players with many learnings which hold them in good stead as they develop into top-class cricketers.”Details of the Trophy Tour for the tournament were also revealed during the event, which was attended by current players from the New Zealand and the Windies sides, who are due to play in the first match of their two-Test series at Wellingtons Basin Reserve from tomorrow.The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Trophy Tour will commence in Wellington on December 1 and after several school and club visits to create awareness about the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup and to drive attendances, will culminate in Lincoln on December 13.The West Indies are the defending champions of the tournament, which is widely acknowledged as a platform to inspire the next generation of cricketers and fans.Australia and India have been most successful in the tournament, winning the title three times each. Pakistan are the only side to have defended the title when they emerged victorious in the 2004 and 2006 editions while England and South Africa are the other teams to have won the tournament. PTI AH AH
Changes in MEIS to help leather, handicraft, carpets,Changes in MEIS to help leather, handicraft, carpets, sports goods, agri, marine, electronic components, project exports: FTP Review. PTI RSN NKD CS ARD
CU, IISER Pune, Glasgow University get joint funding CU, IISER Pune, Glasgow University get joint fundingKolkata, Dec 6 (PTI) The Calcutta University, IISER Pune and the University of Glasgow have secured a joint funding of Rs 1.4 crore from an international credit mobility scheme for encouraging collaboration between the three institutes.The funding will allow bilateral exchange of staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students over a two-year period.The Erasmus+ international credit mobility funding will encourage knowledge and research collaboration and build on the strong existing links between the two Indian universities and the Glasgow University, the principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, Prof Anton Muscatelli, said in a statement.The Erasmus+ programme is a funding scheme to support activities in education, training and sports and its international credit mobility is an opening for students and staff between EU countries and non-EU partner countries.Prof Naresh Sharma, head of the International Relations office at IISER Pune, also said in the statement, “The University of Glasgow understood the structure and value of our five-year degree programme and how it harmonised with their flagship M.Sci degrees.”This new award affords a fantastic opportunity for IISER students to work with leading scientists in Glasgow and the IISER is really looking forward to welcoming the group of Glasgow working in our research labs.”The Glasgow and Pune teams have already identified graduate students and staff in chemistry, physics, education and biology who will make research visits between the two cities over the next 24 months, the statement said.advertisementThe Glasgow University also has long-standing links with the University of Calcutta, Muscatelli said. PTI SUS MM MM
Virat Kohli burnt the dance floor with Shikhar Dhawan’s son Zoravar at his wedding reception in Mumbai at the St Regis on Tuesday.Kohli took the little kid in his arms and did a little jig to good-natured laughter and cheer.Several cricketers – current and former – attended Kohli and Anushka Sharma’s wedding reception. The couple had tied the knot in Italy in a private ceremony on December 11 and held a reception in Delhi last week for their famlies and close friends.The reception in Mumbai was expected to be a starry affair with several of Kohli’s cricket colleagues and Anushka’s friends from the Bollywood fraternity in attendance.Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh were the star attractions.Anil Kumble, who had stepped down as coach following differences with Kohli earlier in the year, also attended the event. Former skipper Sunil Gavaskar was also at the venue to bless the couple.Among Kohli’s current team-members, there were the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jajdea, Wriddhiman Saha, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Manish Pandey, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.But the most awaited arrival was perhaps that of Dhawan. The duo had also danced to loud applause in Delhi last week. The two batsmen, close friends of many years, revel in each other’s company and enjoy batting together.advertisementDhawan will be an integral part of Kohli’s team when India tour South Africa for three Tests, six ODIs and three T20 Internationals.
As New Jersey awaits to host what should be a cold weather Super Bowl 48 amid a lot of speculation about the weather, fans are talking too about the matchups of the toughest defense in the game, the Seattle Seahawk’s NFC champions, trying to stop the gun of the Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning’s record-breaking season of 55 TD passes.The National Herald’s Executive Editor Constantinos Scaros and Online Editor Andy Dabilis took a look at how the teams sized up and both picked the Broncos to come out on top.SCAROS:Super Bowl 48, between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, basically can go four different ways: Denver winning big, Denver winning close, Seattle winning close, or Seattle winning big.First, what I’d like to see happen: I want the Broncos to win because I want Peyton Manning’s comeback to be complete. Besides, it always irritated me that his brother, Eli – who although is probably more clutch than his big brother, doesn’t even come close to possessing Peyton’s gifts as a field general – has won two Super Bowls to Peyton’s one.Then again, Eli had an absolutely dismal year while Peyton broke the all-time single season touchdown passing record, throwing an unbelievable 55 touchdowns, so I think the “who’s the better Manning” debate has been settled once and for all.Druthers aside, what does my head tell me? Denver has the league’s top offense and Seattle the top defense, which makes this a battle for the ages indeed. But a closer look reveals that Denver’s forte, its passing offense, might be overinflated because the Broncos have played against only a couple of the top-rated defensive teams all year.Similarly, Seattle held teams to an average of 14 points per game but did not exactly play the NFL’s most explosive offenses. Essentially, then, both teams’ identical and superb 13-3 regular season records were boosted by rather easy schedules.That said, Seattle had impressive scoring bursts even against some good defenses, whereas Denver, which scored an average of 37.9 points per game in the regular season, had games of only 29 and 12 against some of the better defenses.Seattle scored about 26 points per game, Denver allowed about 24, and so if Seattle musters 25 for the Super Bowl, that is to be expected. The real disparity is with how many points Denver is accustomed to scoring per game (nearly 38) and how many Seattle gives up (just 14).The scenario seems tailor-made for Manning – known to blow big games – to fall apart, as Seattle laughs all the way to the Lombardi Trophy. A 37-19 final score, with the Seahawks on top, seems very likely. But I’m sayin’ otherwise: Broncos 28-21.Theirs is not your run-of-the-mill high-octane offense. This is Peyton Manning’s career year – 55 touchdowns – and he just seems to be getting better and better. He has taken adlib play-calling to new levels of greatness, and even the Seahawks’ ferocious defense won’t be able to stop him. Manning has had an outstanding season, and has shown real mettle in the playoffs this year, spreading the ball to numerous targets. This is no Manning to Marvin Harrison or to Reggie Wayne-type offense like in Indianapolis.Given all those factors, not to mention experience (by contrast, Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson, a fine player in his own right, is in the Super Bowl for the very first time), I pick the Broncos. Of course, given my opening remarks, it could just be wishful thinking.A very good friend of mine, who played high school football and is a lifelong student of the game, likes to say: “Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships.” This year’s Broncos are going to do both.ANDY D:Being old enough to remember the FIRST Super Bowl, when it seemed the Kansas City Chiefs might actually hang tough against the indomitable Green Bay Packers before Bart Starr found Max McGee, and old enough to remember when the New Jersey Giants were the New York Giants and the New England Patriots were the Boston Patriots (and still should be) I can add some perspective to this one 47 years later.First, the Seahawks braggadocio defense back Richard Sherman may be a Stanford grad but he apparently didn’t study football history or he would know what happened when Chiefs DB Fred “The Hammer” Williamson promised to knock cold Green Bay receivers: it was Williamson who found himself prone on the field with his lights out and while no one wishes injury on anyone, we could settle for Sherman being so embarrassed by Peyton Manning that he hangs his head in the shame he deserves for being a big-mouthed bad winner in the game against the San Francisco 49’ers.Sherman may have tipped the end zone pass but he didn’t intercept it and a word of praise for his teammate who did, Malcolm Smith, and the rest of the Seattle players – plus just a touch of humility and recognition that but for a tipped pass his team would have lost – would have made him American’s football darling instead of its loathed loudmouth.This game will disprove the much-loved football axiom that a good defense beats a good offense because there’s a more apt boxing term: a good big man will beat a good little man every time, and Manning is the big man in this one, even if he’s not the best QB in Denver history: John Elway is.When the Super Bowl annals are written, no one will remember who Russell Wilson was because he’s just a poseur compared to Manning, even though this game shapes up to be one that is not a big draw compared to many of the others in its history.And while everyone’s talking about Seattle’s Big D you have to remember that if Denver took care of Tom Brady that it can handle a guy named Wilson, who’s not even in the same league. This game will be won on the arm – of Manning – not on the legs of Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch or Wilson’s passing. Lynch is a strong, tough runner but he’s not Jim Brown, still the greatest football player ever.Manning had a Joe Namath kind of year, except that he had four more games to do set the record of 55 TD’s passing, and what’s even more important is that he didn’t throw an interception against the Patriots.The two strengths – Seattle’s defense and Denver’s offense – are even. But Denver’s defense is better than Seattle’s offense, an overlooked factor in all the building hype, and it will come down to who’s cooler under pressure, Manning or Wilson, and Manning has just too much experience to be rattled in such a big game. Plus, as he said: “I’m an AFC guy.”Me too, so this one’s for the Boston Patriots and the AFL and if there’s any justice it will end with Manning throwing a fadeaway winner over Sherman and then having enough class – like Jim Brown – not to boast but to walk away a winner and like someone, who, as Brown said, acts like he’s been there before because he has. Denver 24-21.TweetPinShare0 Shares
NEW YORK — Brandon McCarthy. Chris Capuano. Shane Greene. And now, Esmil Rogers.The New York Yankees have gone on an improbable run to get right back in the thick of the playoff race and an unlikely bunch of pitchers have led the way.Rogers, perhaps the unlikeliest of all, worked five sharp innings Aug. 8 and Carlos Beltran hit a grand slam and drove in five runs as the Yankees beat the sloppy Cleveland Indians 10-6 for their sixth win in seven games.“They’ve pitched extremely well,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “I’m not sure any of us knew exactly what to expect, but since the All-Star break we’ve had a chance to win every game and that’s because of them.”The Yankees walked seven times in moving seven games above .500 (61-54) for the first time this season. They are 14-7 since the break.Derek Jeter tied Honus Wagner for sixth place on the career list with his 3,430th hit in a five-run first inning against Trevor Bauer (4-7).Beltran’s 11th career slam highlighted a five-run sixth. The Indians, who have the majors’ worst fielding percentage, prolonged both innings with errors in their fourth straight loss overall and seventh in a row in the Bronx.“I think we all understand the type of team we need to be to win, and not making teams earn every single thing they get does not put us in the best position to win,” Indians Manager Terry Francona said.Picked up off waivers on July 31 after the Toronto Blue Jays cut him for the second time this season, Rogers (2-0) became the 12th player to make a start for New York.Pitching in place of David Phelps (elbow inflammation), he allowed one run and four hits over five innings in his first start since Sept. 25 for Toronto and threw 88 pitches — 45 was his high this season coming in.“I didn’t have my confidence like I have right now,” Rogers said about the difference between the way he is pitching now compared to earlier in the season.Rogers’ outing followed four fine starts by a makeshift rotation against the Detroit Tigers’ heralded staff. Three of those came from pitchers who made their first start for the Yankees in July: McCarthy, Capuano and Greene.The Yankees took advantage of three walks by Bauer in the first inning. Beltran, Stephen Drew and Martin Prado had RBI singles and another run scored on second baseman Jason Kipnis’ throwing error.Bauer was charged with five runs and six hits in 3 1-3 innings.John Axford walked the bases loaded — one intentional — before Beltran connected.(HOWIE RUMBERG, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
Giannis Antetokounmpo registered a new personal best in an official game with the national team with 21 points, along with 5 rebounds and 2 blocks after 25 minutes of playing time and Giannis Bourousis “touched” the double-double (16 points, 9 rebounds) as Greece defeated Mexico 86 – 70 to win first place in Group A of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament of Turin. Both teams had already advanced in the semifinals where Greece will play against the winner of the Croatia vs Tunisia match, and Mexico will face tournament’s hosts Italy.Francisco Cruz scored 19 points for the losing side, while Hector Hernandez added 14 plus 7 rebounds.While the “Guerreros” had the upper hand in the first twenty minutes, being ahead in the score 35-33 at halftime, things radically changed after the teams’ return from the locker rooms. Playing superlative basketball in the third quarter and amplifying the sound of their efforts with increased levels of energy, the Greek players scored 27 points against their opponents 13, to enter the final period from a 60-48 pole position.Even though Mexico tried to answer back, Coach Katsikaris’ squad kept delivering the appropriate goods in their offensive game, holding a steady and safe lead until the end.source: eurohoops.netTweetPinShare0 Shares
BOSTON (AP) — The Celtics and Bulls found another thing to argue about after Game 5 of their spirited first-round playoff series:Was Avery Bradley more impressive on offense, or on defense?“Everyone knows he’s a good defender. Tonight, he got his offensive game going,” Chicago’s Dwyane Wade said after Bradley scored 24 points to lead Boston to a 108-97 victory and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.“You expect him to do what he does defensively, but we gave up 24 points to him tonight. He hurt us offensively tonight more than anything.”Isaiah Thomas also scored 24 for the Celtics, the top seed in the East. After the road team won each of the first four games, the Celtics won at home in Game 5 to earn a chance to eliminate the Bulls on Friday night in Chicago. A Bulls victory would force the series back to Boston for a decisive Game 7 on Sunday.Al Horford had 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Celtics. Bradley’s 24 points were a career playoff high, but after watching him hold Bulls star Jimmy Butler to 14 points — and just one foul shot — Celtics coach Brad Stevens praised Bradley’s defense.“Jimmy Butler’s a hard guy to guard. Dwyane Wade’s a hard guy to guard. You’re not going to stop those guys, but you just try to make it as hard as possible,” Stevens said. “Avery … has done a really good job.”Butler, who shot 23 free throws in Game 4 and made 19, was 0 for 1 on Wednesday.“I was trying to eliminate letting Jimmy Butler get to the free throw line. That was my goal this game, and I feel like I did it,” Bradley said.Wade had 26 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. But Wade and Robin Lopez were called for technical fouls 32 seconds apart with just under five minutes left, helping the Celtics to a 20-5 run that turned an 84-84 game into a 15-point Boston lead.The Bulls cut it to nine before Horford got loose for a dunk, Wade missed a 3-pointer and then Horford fed Jae Crowder for a layup that made it 108-95 with 99 seconds to play.Despite the technical fouls, there was little of the tension that characterized Game 4, when Butler and Marcus Smart got in each other’s face on the court and continued the criticism in their postgame comments.The Celtics started slowly on their home court, making just one of their first nine shots to fall behind 12-4. Boston missed its first eight 3-point attempts before making three in a row at the end of the first quarter.TIP-INSBulls: Before winning the first two games of the series, Chicago had only won one playoff game in Boston ever — Game 1 of the 2009 first round. … Butler brought the ball down with 6.2 seconds left in the third quarter and hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bulls an 81-79 lead. … The Bulls had 16 turnovers that led to 23 Boston points. The Celtics only had six turnovers, leading to four Bulls points.Celtics: There were at least nine members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the crowd, and a handful of players from the Boston Bruins as well. … Thomas missed his first four shots and didn’t make a basket until a second-chance 3-pointer with 42 seconds left in the first half. … Gerald Green made his third start, but he played less than 13 minutes and finished with two points after scoring 18 with seven rebounds in Game 4.RONDORajon Rondo, who was the point guard on the 2008 Celtics team that won the franchise’s record 17th NBA title, did not play for the third straight game because of the broken thumb and strained ligament in his right wrist. He was on the court handling a basketball with his left hand before the game, then sat on the Bulls bench in a suit — this one with sleeves — and cheered on his teammates.The Bulls fell to 0-3 without him in the series, with Wade largely taking over as point guard in Game 5.CARRY ONBulls coach Fred Hoiberg made waves after Game 4 when he questioned whether Thomas was getting away with carrying the ball when he dribbled.Thomas took exception with the suggestion, saying it was the way he’d dribbled his entire career and was no different than the style of other All-Stars such as LeBron James and Rondo.The final question to Hoiberg Wednesday was whether he’d had spotted any illegal dribbles from Thomas in the Game 5 loss.“No,” he said, before walking out.JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shares
LONDON (AP) — Christian Coleman’s career record against Usain Bolt: 0-0.The University of Tennessee product who recently turned pro could actually end up in very rare company — a sprinter with a winning mark against the Jamaican great. That would involve Coleman pulling off the improbable — impossible? — in Bolt’s final 100-meter race at the world championships. The semifinals and final are Saturday.Coleman is one of the few who could challenge Bolt, especially with Andre De Grasse of Canada withdrawing because of a hamstring injury. Coleman finished in 10.01 seconds Friday, the second-fastest time behind another Jamaican, Julian Forte (9.99). And while Bolt won his heat, his time of 10.07 was eighth overall.Don’t read too much into that, though. Bolt always saves his best for big occasions.“I have a lot of confidence in myself that I can come out and win,” Coleman said. “But you never take anybody for granted. … Got to make sure I’m on my ‘A’ game, make sure I’m ready to compete.”The 21-year-old Coleman certainly is getting his name out there. He won the 100 and 200 at the NCAA championships in June. But before that, he made a splash by sprinting 40 yards in 4.12 seconds , then posting video of it after the NFL draft. His time was faster than any football player who ran at the NFL combine.Fun, though that was a mere sideshow. Sprinting is his game, and Coleman has grown up a big fan of Bolt’s. He insisted he’s not the least bit intimidated by Bolt, whose presence and 6-foot-5 frame cast a large shadow.“You can’t call yourself the best if you don’t go against the best,” Coleman said. “I’ll be ready to compete. I won’t be distracted.”Coleman doesn’t rattle easily, something his coach in college learned early on.“We call him ‘Cool-man,’ instead of Coleman,” said Tim Hall, an assistant at Tennessee. “Because his temperament is always even in terms of focusing on the things he wants to accomplish. He’s been able to apply those things to his daily practice sessions. You see the results when he’s on the track.”A few sprinters who could give Bolt a run for his gold Saturday:THE TOP CONTENDER: The 35-year-old Justin Gatlin made a tactical mistake at the 2015 world championships in Beijing, going into his lean too early as Bolt sneaked past him by 0.01 seconds. Gatlin also finished runner-up to Bolt at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. “I feel good. I feel confident,” Gatlin said of his chances this time. “We’ve been working on some things, making sure our race pattern is a little different than before.”THE OTHER JAMAICAN: Yohan Blake’s request is simple: Don’t call him “The Beast” anymore. Blake has the distinction of being the last sprinter to win a 100-meter gold at the worlds other than Bolt. Blake captured the title at the 2011 world championships after a false start by Bolt led to a disqualification. Blake has been slowed by injuries in recent seasons and finished second in his heat Friday behind Abdul Hakim Sani Brown of Japan.THE OTHER, OTHER JAMAICAN: Forte tied his personal best in posting the evening’s top time. A confidence boost? “I’ve always been confident,” Forte said. “I just kept it at its high level.”THE LONG SHOT, PART I: Ever heard of Chijindu Ujah? The British sprinter may not win, but could be in the mix for a medal. He won the 100 a month ago in a Diamond League race in London.THE LONG SHOT, PART II: Akani Simbine of South Africa did just enough to advance Friday. He did beat the likes of Gatlin and De Grasse during a Diamond League meet in Doha in May.By PAT GRAHAMTweetPinShare0 Shares
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (AP) — With the country’s most one-sided World Cup victory, England advanced to the last 16 with a game by spare.Harry Kane scored a hat trick in Sunday’s 6-1 rout of Panama, giving England its biggest victory margin at the World Cup in its highest-scoring game since 1966.That previous high-scoring affair turned out well, too, with England beating Germany 4-2 to win its only World Cup title.Four years ago, England failed to win a match at the World Cup and was eliminated in the group stage.On Sunday, England was taking on a weaker team: A Panama side making its World Cup debut. The loss eliminated Panama and Tunisia, while putting Belgium into the round of 16.Kane’s three goals moved him into the lead with five at this year’s tournament, one more than Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku after two games.John Stones headed in two goals and Jesse Lingard curled in another to ensure England goes into its Group G finale against Belgium level on points and with the same goal difference.England’s Jesse Lingard reacts as he celebrates with teammate England’s Raheem Sterling, left, after scoring his team’s third goal during the group G match between England and Panama at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod , Russia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)In Russia, England has been trying to cast aside the negativity of the past while remolding the image of the team on and off the field. Even locals were supporting the team in Nizhny Novgorod, despite the bitter diplomatic relations between Russia and Britain.The egos who dominated in England’s celebrity-obsessed, underperforming Golden Generation in the first decade of century have gone. The joy and togetherness in the squad — the second-youngest in Russia — becomes clear in the goal celebrations.Where past England teams might have wilted in warm temperatures, this one pressed with high-tempo intensity to ensure there was no need to scrape a victory like on Monday against Tunisia.England picked up where it left off in Volgograd, with a corner from Kieran Trippier headed into the net in the eighth minute. It wasn’t Kane on the end this time but Stones, who was left unmarked to score his first international goal.Kane didn’t have to wait long to add to his tally, converting from the penalty spot in the 22nd after Lingard was brought down by Fidel Escobar.Lingard did get on the scoresheet in the 36th with the pick of the goals. The Manchester United forward played a 1-2 with Ashley Young and exchanged passes with Raheem Sterling before shifting the ball across and bending it into the top corner.England players run to teammate John Stones after he scored his team’s first goal during the group G match between England and Panama at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod , Russia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)The fourth goal was the culmination of a well-worked free kick with Sterling’s close-range header parried by goalkeeper Jaime Penedo. Stones was primed to follow-up, giving the defender his second.However much they tried, Panama struggled to block England’s route to goal. Anibal Gody resorted to trying to wrestle Kane to the ground, only to concede a penalty that was converted by the Tottenham striker.England was merciless. At 5-0, the job was complete by halftime.Chasing the golden boot, Kane relied on his heel to complete his hat trick by getting the faintest of touches to divert Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s shot into the net.England could afford to ease up and preserve energy but it cost the team first place on goal difference. Felipe Baloy slid to meet Ricardo Avila’s free kick and score Panama’s first World Cup goal.Panama, beaten by Belgium 3-0 in the opening game, finally had something to celebrate, briefly.KEY TO SUCCESSEngland had spells of sloppy defending that could be punished by stronger teams, like Belgium. But by taking their chances and exploiting a porous defense, England showed what it is capable of.GROUP DYNAMICSThe winner of the England-Belgium match on Thursday in Kaliningrad will win Group G. In the event of a draw, it could come down to which team has fewer yellow cards.—By ROB HARRIS , AP Global Soccer WriterEngland’s Harry Kane celebrates after he scored his side’s second goal during the group G match between England and Panama at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod , Russia, Sunday, June 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)TweetPinShare0 Shares