Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Pakistan pulls off sensational win in first one-day againt sri lanka

Pakistan survived a late order scare from Sri Lanka to pull off an exciting 11-run win in the first one-day international in Sharjah on Wednesday, to go 1-0 up in the five-match series.
Pakistan's innings was built around a brilliant 122 from Mohammad Hafeez which saw them post an impressive total of 322-5 in their 50 overs but were made to work hard for their win, finally bowling Sri Lanka out in 49.4 overs.
Besides Hafeez's 122, Sohaib Maqsood (73) and debutant opener Sharjeel Khan (61) were the main contributors on a flat pitch.
Sri Lanka had all but lost the match at 221-7 but Sachithra Senanayake (42) and Seekkuge Prasanna (42) gave Pakistan a scare during their 87-run partnership for the eighth wicket, a record for Pakistan-Sri Lanka one-day internationals.
Sri Lanka needed 27 off the last two overs but both the batsmen were out in quick succession to hand Pakistan a deserved win.
Sri Lanka got off to a solid start with Tillakaratne Dilshan (30) and Kusal Perera (64) batting quite comfortably against the spin-cum pace Pakistan attack.
Dilshan pulled a short Junaid Khan delivery straight to deep square-leg before Kumar Sangakkara (23) and Perera added 47 for the second wicket.
Perera, who hit five boundaries and a six off 68 balls, also holed out off Hafeez before leg-spinner Shahid Afridi then struck twice, dismissing Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne (10) in quick succession.
Dinesh Chandimal hit a 50-ball 46 while Angelo Mathews made 31 off 32 balls during a resolute 73-run stand for the fifth wicket before the tail wagged.
Paceman Junaid finished with 3-44.
Earlier, Hafeez smashed 122 off 129 balls in a power-packed Pakistan batting performance after they won the toss.
Hafeez, whose place was in danger over poor form after only 147 runs in the last eight one-dayers, hit seven boundaries and four sixes in his seventh one-day hundred.
He hoisted paceman Suranga Lakmal over long-on for a six to reach the three-figure mark.
Hafeez added 140 for the third wicket with Maqsood and 83 for the second wicket with Sharjeel to give Pakistan a good platform.
Maqsood was run out after hitting four sixes and two boundaries during an entertaining 68-ball knock.
Shahid Afridi, promoted to fifth in the batting order, produced a fiery 12-ball knock of 34 studded with three sixes and two boundaries as Pakistan mustered 103 in the last ten overs.
Hafeez and Sharjeel raised the scoring rate, with the opener hitting two sixes and a four off paceman Thisara Perera in the 13th over and then hit spinner Sachitra Senanayake for a boundary towards long-off to bring up his half-century off 46 balls.
Dropped on 56 by Thisara off Seekkuge Prasanna, Sharjeel failed to benfit from the lapse, holing out off the same bowler five runs later.
Lakmal finished with the best bowling figures of 2-73.
The second match will be played in Dubai on Friday followed by the third in Sharjah on Sunday and the last two in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and Friday

Saturday, 23 November 2013

WTA awards for Serena Williams and Sonia Halep

Awards for Serena and Halep 

Serena Williams has been named as the WTA Player of the Year for the fifth time whilst Sonia Halep won the Most Improved Player award.
The American, the oldest world No 1 in history at 32, enjoyed one of the greatest seasons on record.
She won 78 of her 82 matches, winning the US Open, the French Open and 11 other WTA titles in the process. She also won a record $12,385,572 in prize money.
Williams said her victory at the French Open was the highlight of her year.
"Obviously the French Open was probably the thing that stands out most," she told the WTA website. "I really wanted to win that for a number of years now, so that was definitely something exciting. And also being undefeated on clay was pretty exciting too. So my results on clay this year definitely stand out.
Williams was also player of the year in 2002, 2008, 2009 and 2012. Only Steffi Graf - with eight - has won the award more times.
Romania's rising star Halep is the WTA's Most Improved Player Of The Year.
Halep had been tipped for years to make the big time after some stellar performances in the juniors.
She is a former junior world No 1, and won grand slams at that level. But in her first three seasons on the women's tour she struggled, and was ranked No 64 going into the tournament that was to become the turning point of her year, and her career - Rome, in May.
In the Italian capital she beat Svetlana Kuznetsova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Roberta Vinci and Jelena Jankovic - before losing to Williams in the semi-finals.
After Rome she won 39 of her 46 matches in the rest of the season, and won six titles, at N├╝rnberg, 's-Hertogenbosch, Budapest, New Haven, Moscow and Sofia, and finished the season at No 11 in the world rankings.

Pakistan tight win over South Africa

Pakistan held on for a close six-run win in the second Twenty20 on Friday to end a six-game losing streak to South Africa in limited-overs games.
Shahid Afridi’s 3-28 backed up earlier half-centuries by Umar Akmal and captain Mohammad Hafeez as Pakistan successfully defended its 176-4 at Newlands to draw the series 1-1. Akmal made 64 and Hafeez 63 in a match-winning 102-run stand off just 55 balls after Pakistan opted to bat first and made it count.
Hashim Amla replied with 48 opening South Africa’s chase, but legspinner Afridi accounted for Quinton de Kock (26), Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers to have the hosts 87-3.
After Amla was out just short of his half-century, JP Duminy (47 not out) and David Miller were held at bay by good death bowling by Sohail Tanvir to give Pakistan a long-awaited win. South Africa finished on 170-4.
Akmal and Hafeez combined for their century stand to lift Pakistan from a slow start at 44-2. Akmal had five fours and four towering sixes in his explosive 64 off 37 balls in Pakistan’s only significant partnership. Hafeez hit five fours and three sixes for his 63 off 41 balls before he was out in the 17th over to Dale Steyn (2-29).
Akmal fell to Steyn in the last over but the damage was already done, giving the home team a tough target to chase down under lights.
Amla began brightly, stroking five fours while opening partner De Kock hit four boundaries in his 26.
Spinner Afridi changed the game, though, having De Kock and captain Du Plessis caught in the deep and then bowling De Villiers with a quicker, flatter delivery. Amla fell to Pakistan’s other spinner, Saeed Ajmal, leaving Duminy and Miller with 60 runs to get in only 27 balls.
Their unbroken 53-run stand brought South Africa close, but Tanvir held his nerve in the final over to concede just six runs off the first five deliveries, clinching just a second win for Pakistan in nine limited-overs games against the South Africans.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Sharapova appoints Groeneveld as coach

Sharapova appoints Groeneveld as coach

Four-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has hired Sven Groeneveld as her new coach for the 2014 season.

The Russian world number four made the announcement on her Facebook page on Thursday after being without a coach since parting ways with Jimmy Connors in August.

Connors lasted just a month after joining the 26-year-old following the Wimbledon tournament in July.
Groeneveld has previously worked with other top players in Monica Seles, Mary Pierce and Ana Ivanovic.

Sharapova withdrew from the US Open with a shoulder injury and has not played since.

She is scheduled to return to competition at the Brisbane International tournament as she finalises her preparations for the Australian Open, the year`s first grand slam.

Pakistan beat South Africa by six runs in second T20 international to level series at 1-1

Pakistan sealed a thrilling six-run victory to level the second and final Twenty20 international against South Africa at Newlands on Friday.
With the hosts needing 17 runs to win off the final over, chasing Pakistan's 176-4, fast bowler Sohail Tanveer kept them at bay to help the tourists snap a six-game losing streak against their opponents.
Mohammad Hafeez and Umar Akmal went on a six-hitting spree in a brilliant 102-run stand partnership as Pakistan piled up an impressive total in their innings.
Hafeez hit 63 off 41 balls with three sixes and Akmal hammered 64 off 38 deliveries with four sixes.
Pakistan captain Hafeez and Akmal put on 102 off just 57 balls for the third wicket as the South African bowlers were put to the sword.
The innings gained momentum when Wayne Parnell was no-balled and Hafeez slammed the free hit over the square leg fence for the first six.
Hafeez hit two successive straight sixes off left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso before Akmal followed suit in an over which cost 21 runs.
Three overs later Morne Morkel conceded 22 runs in an over during which Akmal hit 16 off three deliveries.
Hashim Amla made 48 opening South Africa's chase, but legspinner Shahid Afridi took 3-28, accounting for Quinton de Kock (26), Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers to leave the Proteas on 87-3.
After Amla was out just short of his half-century, JP Duminy (47 not out) and David Miller were held by good death bowling by Tanvir.
The side's will next take to the field on Sunday in the first of three one-day internationals.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

World Chess Championship: Carlsen defeats Anand in game 9, extends lead to 6-3

World Chess Championship: Carlsen defeats Anand in game 9, extends lead to 6-3 

Defending champion Viswanathan Anand was put under tremendous pressure by Norwegian Magnus Carlsen who won the ninth game of the World Chess Championship on Thursday to take a 6-3 lead in the tournament.

Carlsen now needs just .5 points to seal the tournament. Carlsen has won three matches in the tournament and is on the verge of winning the World Championship.

Prior to this match, Viswanathan Anand was trailing 3-5 to the 22-year-old with just four games remaining in their World Championship title clash. 

The fans were hoping for a turnaround in the ninth game which was to an extent dominated by the Indian veteran. 

In the ninth game, Anand who was playing with white pieces missed out on several chances and suffered a shocking defeat that almost sealed the fate of the match.

The 22-year-old Norwegian went for a Nimzo Indian defense as black and Anand, who knew this was his last chance for a strike, went for the Saemisch variation.

Anand had used this system before, in World Championship match against Kramnik and later in a gem of a match against Wang Hao of China.

South Africa beat Pakistan in rain-hit 1st T20I at Wanderers

South Africa beat Pakistan in rain-hit T20I at Wanderers

 A surprise bowling change brought a key wicket and was a crucial factor as South Africa beat Pakistan in a rain-affected first Twenty20 international at the Wanderers Stadium on Wednesday.
Rain ended an intriguing chase  from Pakistan and handed South Africa a four-run victory via the Duckworth/Lewis scoring system in the first Twenty20 international in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Quinton de Kock top-scored with 43 as South Africa posted 153 for seven in their 20 overs having been put into bat by Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez at the Wanderers.
The visitors had reached 60 for two in 9.1 overs when the heavens opened and ended the game with the sub-continent side needing a further 94 to win from 65 balls.
The second and final Twenty20 international will be played in Cape Town on Friday.