Letran slips past St. Benilde to earn Final 4 playoff

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLetran found its mark when it mattered most as it subdued St. Benilde, 66-60, to secure a playoff for the last Final Four spot in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Bong Quinto nailed a booming triple from the right wing, which was followed by a huge putback from Rey Nambatac off a JP Calvo fastbreak in the final 18.1 seconds to give the Knights a comfortable 64-59 lead in the clutch.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH ST. BENILDE 60 – Leutcheu 18, Pili 16, Sta. Maria 6, Castor 4, Dixon 4, Mercado 4, Domingo 3, San Juan 3, Velasco 2, Johnson 0, Naboa 0, Suarez 0, Young 0.Quarters: 20-11, 28-28, 48-43, 66-60. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Though Dino San Juan split his freebies on the other end, Calvo put the nail in the coffin as he drilled two free throws in the last 6.6 ticks to win the game.Nambatac fired a near double-double with 18 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, while Calvo scattered 16 markers, five boards, and four dimes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJerrick Balanza also shot 2-of-5 from three to wound up with 13 points and three rebounds, while Jeo Ambohot got 10 markers and 13 boards in the victory.Letran halted its two-game losing skid to finish the eliminations at 9-9 and move on to the fourth-place playoff against Arellano on Friday. LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMCcenter_img BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Deaf personalities everyone should know PLAY LIST 04:26Deaf personalities everyone should know05:01What the Deaf want the hearing to know01:43Man arrested for slipping alcoholic drinks inside Manila North Cemetery01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Competitive season expected as 9 teams see action in ABL Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Still, coach Jeff Napa was unsatisfied with how the Knights fought the Blazers in their closer.“A win is a win but we can’t play like this coming to the playoff. Arellano is very dangerous and if we want to succeed and move on to the next phase of the tournament, everybody should play their A-game,” he said.Clement Leutcheu paced St. Benilde (4-14) with 18 points and 18 rebounds, while Eric Pili got 16 markers and six boards in the losing effort.The Scores:LETRAN 66 – Nambatac 18, Calvo 16, Balanza 13, Ambohot 10, Quinto 7, Balagasay 2, Bernabe 0, Caralipio 0, Gedaria 0, Mandreza 0, Pamulaklakin 0, Taladua 0, Vacaro 0.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

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San Beda coach livid over disqualifying foul on Bolick

first_imgRobredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Fernandez said San Beda will file an appeal to downgrade Bolick’s disqualifying foul in time for its game against Mapua on Friday.“We’ll appeal that for sure, but how can we appeal if there’s no report? We want to know what happened, why they called it for Robert? Why? They have to justify it,” he said.Fernandez then turned his ire towards commissioner Bai Cristobal, noting that the official could have handled the matter better knowing that decisions made from that situation gravely impact some of the players’ career in the long run.Bolick is in the running for the Most Valuable Player plum, with him currently sixth in the race with averages of 13.56 points, 7.56 rebounds, and 4.67 assists.He also posted a near triple-double performance in the game with 14 markers, 11 dimes, and seven boards, but him being sent to the showers in the game against St. Benilde already rules him out of any individual plum at the end of the season.ADVERTISEMENT “Why would you throw him out? My God, the guy was running for MVP. He destroyed the future of that guy,” he said. Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul View comments For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. WATCH: Kobe Bryant recites retirement poem with composer John Williams Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img With the Red Lions leading, 71-57, and the game already out of reach, Blazers guard Carlo Young took down Bolick, who was driving to the basket, hard late in the game. But Bolick and Clint Doliguez were also thrown out with 2:28 to play.“It’s unethical. We were already up by 14 points and it’s a fastbreak. Why endanger a guy? And then punish a guy? I really don’t know what’s happening,” said Fernandez.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingFernandez couldn’t stop himself from wondering how the officials were able to come up with their decisions during the scuffle, sensing that there might be some kind of bias against San Beda.“I don’t want to insinuate things. I don’t want to speculate, but it’s a won game already, and then that incident happened and they penalized the other team that did not start it,” he said. “If they want us to lose ball games, then let us lose that ball game in a proper way. God, it’s so bad. It’s wrong. (We had) six fouls in fourth quarter and the other team only has one foul, and then that happens. They tackle a player? Should he be thrown out? Yes, it should be an [ejection]. But why penalize the other guy?” Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ MOST READ LATEST STORIES Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSan Beda coach Boyet Fernandez leapt to Robert Bolick’s defense after he felt his star playmaker was unjustly ejected in his team’s 72-56 win over St. Benilde on Tuesday.“You have to see that. You throw out a guy who is tackled, (who the other player is) trying to get injured, and then you call him and throw him out again? I really don’t know,” the mentor fumed in the press room.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Gameslast_img read more

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Williams edges Kvitova for 1st US Open semifinal since 2010

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ “Definitely felt like a special match. No easy moments, not easy to hold serve or break serve,” Williams said. “This match meant a lot to me, obviously, playing at home and, of course, it being a major.”The 37-year-old Williams, who won titles at Flushing Meadows way back in 2000 and 2001, trailed 3-1 in the third set before digging out of the hole with a little help: Kvitova’s eighth double-fault handed over the break that made it 3-all.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingAnd Kvitova’s ninth double-fault got Williams to match point in the tiebreaker.“Sometimes you have opportunities, and sometimes you take them and you don’t, but it’s not like you get opportunity after opportunity after opportunity in these sorts of matches,” Williams said. “You have to take the ones you have.” Neither woman played with a ton of subtlety, mainly trading stinging groundstrokes from the baseline on exchanges that grew in intensity as the 2-hour, 34-minute encounter went along.“I had my chances,” Kvitova said. “Kind of.”Williams, who revealed in 2011 she had been diagnosed with an energy-sapping autoimmune disease, is the oldest women’s semifinalist in New York in the Open era, which dates to 1968.But this sort of throwback run is becoming almost routine again for Williams, who made it to the Australian Open final in January of this year, then the Wimbledon final in July. In 2002, she participated in three Grand Slam finals, losing each to her younger sister Serena.Stephens, ranked 83rd, has won 13 of her past 15 matches, all on hard courts, reaching the semifinals at three consecutive tournaments for the only time in her career.She had an operation in January, and while forced to stay away from her sport, she found a new appreciation for it. The time off also allowed her to enjoy other aspects of life.“I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t do all the things that I wanted to do. But I did get to hang out with my family and see my little cousin’s soccer games and go to weddings and baby showers and stuff. All the things that I thought before I was missing out on, (now) I really wasn’t,” said Stephens, whose late father, John Stephens, was the 1988 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for the New England Patriots, and whose mother, Sybil Smith, was Boston University’s first All-American in women’s swimming.“It was just kind of, like, eye-opening,” Stephens added. “When I wasn’t playing, like, of course I loved my time off, but when I got back to playing tennis, it was, like, this is where I want to be. This is what I love doing.”In the men’s quarterfinals, No. 12 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and No. 28 Kevin Anderson of South Africa each advanced to the final four at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.Anderson got past 17th-seeded Sam Querrey of the United States 7-6 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-3, 7-6 (7) in a match that ended shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday. Much, much earlier, Carreno Busta of Spain had no trouble beating No. 29 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. It was Carreno Busta’s first match of the tournament against an opponent who was not a qualifier. Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters UFC rival Nate Diaz slams McGregor over boxing loss Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Venus Williams of the United States reacts after defeating Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic during her Women’s Singles Quarterfinal match on Day Nine of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFPNEW YORK — When her work was done, her first trip to the U.S. Open semifinals since 2010 secured, if just barely, Venus Williams sat in her sideline chair and beamed .Williams reached her third major semifinal of the season — something she last did 15 years ago — by edging two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2) on Tuesday night to a soundtrack of thunderous partisan support under a closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT She will face unseeded Sloane Stephens on Thursday in the first all-American women’s semifinal in New York since 2002. Stephens advanced earlier Tuesday with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (4) victory over 16th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia. It is Stephens’ deepest run at any major since 2013 and the apex of a recovery from foot surgery in January.There could be another U.S. vs. U.S. semifinal on the other side of the draw: 15th-seeded Madison Keys and 20th-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe play their quarterfinals Wednesday.“It’s been a great two weeks for American tennis. Seeing all the American players in the draw and all of them advancing so deep and competing so well,” Williams said. “It’s great to see this resurgence, and I hope it can continue.”Kvitova, seeded 13th, was hoping to prolong her comeback from a knife attack less than nine months ago by reaching the first U.S. Open semifinal of her career. She needed surgery on her racket-holding hand after she was cut by an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic in December. She returned to the tour at the French Open in May, losing in the second round there and at Wimbledon.Kvitova has said she still does not have full strength in her left hand. But she was often at her powerful best against No. 9 Williams, especially in the last two sets, repeatedly delivering big, flat forehands.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul “I know that I didn’t win matches against top players — top-10 or top-20 players,” Carreno Busta said, “but I am very happy with my tournament.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View commentslast_img read more

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5-way PBA Govs’ Cup race for 3 premium slots

first_imgRead Next Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges So forges semis duel with Ding Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ The quarterfinal pairings pit No. 1 against No. 8, No. 2 against No. 7, No. 3 against No. 6 and No. 4 against No. 5.It will be the survivors of the 1-8 and 3-6 matches and the 2-7 and 4-5 duels that will collide in the best-of-five semifinals. The finals is a best-of-seven series.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparc The Beermen next take on the 2-8 Phoenix Fuel Masters this Wednesday hoping to match the seven wins of Meralco and NLEX and boost their top four bid. But getting No. 8 won’t be easy with no less than the Bolts facing the Beermen in their final game this Sunday.NLEX (7-3) is also up against a tough final foe this Sunday in Star (5-3), which can still finish with eight wins like TNT and SMB with a sweep of its last three games.The Hotshots were battling the Katropa at presstime then face the Picanto on Friday before meeting the Road Warriors.Blackwater (4-5) was shooting for the last quarterfinal berth behind Rain or Shine (5-4) against GlobalPort (3-6) at presstime. If they win, the Batang Pier still have to get past the Bolts to force a playoff with the Elite.All ties among the eight top teams after the elimination round will be settled by the PBA quotient system except the deadlock for No. 8 which will be decided by a playoff.ADVERTISEMENT With their eighth win in 10 games, the Kings, who again moved ahead of the (7-2) Meralco Bolts, the 2016 runners-up, can now afford to drop their last game against the TNT KaTropa this Saturday and still contend for a slot among the top four finishers that will earn a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.After their 107-103 decision of the Kings last Sunday where they led by as much as 26 points, the Beermen struggled past the winless but suddenly tigerish Kia Picanto, 118-112, in last Saturday’s first game before forging a tie with the Katropa at 6-3.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingWhile Terrence Watson proved an able third import replacement for SMB with 28 points and 17 rebounds against the Kings, coach Leo Austria turned to his crack all-Filipino crew, led by the 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo in the second half, to pin a 10th straight loss on tailender Kia.Fajardo unloaded 22 points in the final quarter to finish with 41 points on top of 17 rebounds. Import Geron Johnson led Kia with 42. Barangay Ginebra showed why it is the defending Governors’ Cup champion even as San Miguel Beer remained on track in its quest for a second Grand Slam in the Philippine Basketball Association.The Gin Kings bounced back from a thorough beating from the Beermen early last week with an 89-82 decision of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Saturday to secure at least a tie for a top four slot going into the final week of elimination of the season-ending eliminations.ADVERTISEMENT Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Ginebra planning for long series vs San Miguel PLAY LIST 02:08Ginebra planning for long series vs San Miguel02:00Games and Amusement chair: Kiefer Ravena should be allowed to play in PBA03:06Ginebra, Meralco expect ‘tough, rough’ finals series to go the distance02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

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It wasn’t easy to win: Pankaj

first_imgPankaj Advani came in for lavish praise from none other than former billiards champion Peter Gilchrist after he won the gold medal in the Asian Games.Pankaj wins billiards gold and Alok Kumar gets bronze in 8-ball pool event.English born Gilchrist chose to represent Singapore in the Asian Games and won bronze on Sunday but at the post medal ceremony press conference, he was effusive in his praise.”India has produced billiards champions before. From Wilson Jones to Michael Ferreira and then Geet Sethi, it has been an evolution. But I have no hesitation in saying that at a young age, Pankaj has achieved so much and is the best,” said Gilchrist.Advani, not the sort of sportsperson who speaks too much, chose to pour his heart out. “I have had a tough year and the mental pressure on me to win today was immense.The Asian Games gold medal means the world to me. For me, it is like the Olympics as our sport is not in the Olympics,” said Advani.Speaking about his roller-coaster ride in the tournament, Advani summed it up well. “For purists like me, the 100- point format is not easy. I wasn’t in great form but I kept hanging in. I am happy that rather than play exceedingly well and not win, it is better to be in there and still win,” said Advani.Elaborating on the event, he said: “I feel my opponent was unlucky towards the end.” Asked if this was one of the toughest finals he had played, Advani said: “I think in terms of responsibility of winning a gold medal for India, this was big. When you are destined to win, you win, and I am not complaining about it,” said Advani, who was defending his gold medal.advertisementAdvani said the toilet break after the third frame was indeed welcome. “I had to answer nature’s call. Once I returned it went my way,” said Advani, who had to go for the mandatory dope test.Coach Manoj Kothari summed up Advani’s performance in simple words. “The Indian billiards players have struggled in the point format. I am very happy Pankaj has won gold after a tough year,” said Kothari.last_img read more

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Asiad: Golfers win team silver

first_imgChina turned out to be a happy hunting ground for Delhi boy Rashid Khan once again as he battled nerve wracking moments towards the end to help India win a team silver medal at the scenic Dragon Lake golf club on Saturday.Coming from a modest background, this was indeed a big day for Rashid, who before this had won the Faldo Series Asia twice. Yet, for one who is now at the crossroads and contemplating turning pro, this was a big medal in his career.Rashid (72), alongwith teammates Abhinav Lohan (72), Abhijit Singh Chadha (76) and Rahul Bajaj (72) guided India to finish second in the team event with a total of 10 over 874 score.India’s total was 32 shots short of the gold medal winner South Korean team comprising Meen Whee Kim, Kyoung Hoon Lee, Jaehyeok Lee and Ilhwan Park. Chinese Taipei finished one stroke adrift of India to clinch bronze medal.As if to show that they are a force to reckon with at the Asian Games, South Korea won all the four gold medals up for grabs with big margins. The other teams were left fighting it out for medals of lesser hue on a sunny and pleasant day.South Korean Kim Meen Whee aggregated 16-under 273 to clinch gold in individual category. He was 10 shots ahead of silver medalist Miguel Luis Tabuena (282) of Philippines while the bronze went to Chien Hung Yao (283) of Chinese Taipei.On a day, when each of three counting Indian players played a par round, Rashid was unlucky to miss out on an individual bronze. He finished in a tie for fourth, two shots behind bronze medallist Hung Yao.advertisementFor the record, this was India’s sixth medal in golf in Asian Games history. They had won three medals in New Delhi in 1982, including men’s gold in team and individual.In 2002 at Busan, Shiv Kapur won the men’s gold and in 2006 India won the silver in team.”I am more than happy with the silver medal the Indian team won. The individual medal would have been a bonus, but it’s fine,” said Rashid Khan, who bogeyed on the last hole and yet kept India ahead in the race for a silver medal.”China has always been a good hunting ground for me. I won the Faldo Series Asia tournament twice here and was third once and now this medal. I am happy we managed to keep up the silver medal we won four years ago,” added Rashid.Bajaj, who had his best round of the week, said, “I have been playing way below my potential for last three days. I am glad I was able to do my bit for the team with a par round.”last_img read more

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Kallis, Amla hit tons to decimate India

first_imgSouth Africa batsmen toyed with India bowlers, making a mockery of their numero uno Test rank at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.South Africa’s Hashim Amla plays one down the leg side as India’s skipper M.S. Dhoni looks on in Centurion on Friday. Photo by APUnlike first day’s play, Friday’s game was dominated by batsmen. And much to India’s despair, all of them came from the Protea camp. Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis hit unbeaten tons to help the hosts put 366/2 on board.The duo put on 200 for the third wicket batting together for more than two hours only to head back when play was called off.Just two wickets fell on the day and both came off experienced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh’s bowling.In the absence of paceman Zaheer Khan, who is out nursing his hamstring injury, India’s bowling department lacked the kill.The medium pacers – Ishant Sharma, S Sreesanth and debutant Jaidev Unadkat were helpless in the face of a clinical South Africans.Sachin Tendulkar, with his unconventional bowling too could not do much for the team’s cause and so did Suresh Raina, who took to bowling in a bid to offset the opposition batting.South Africa’s Jacques Kallis plays one to the deep as India’s captain M.S. Dhoni looks on in Centurion on Friday. Photo by APThe only bright spot was the presence of Harbhajan Singh who on two occasions lifted India’s spirits.First, he broke skipper Graeme Smith and Petersen’s partnership at the stroke of lunch claiming the skipper on 62 and then deep into the second session got rid of the other opener Alviro Petersen on 77.advertisementThe match started half-an-hour early to make up for the lost time on Thursday. And no sooner did it start that India skipper M.S. Dhoni, who was at the crease with last man Unadkat, was seen walking back to Morkel’s delight.Morkel completed his five-wicket haul and India their batting, all out on 136.last_img read more

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Pakistan keen to put fixing shadow behind

first_imgKeen to re-establish their reputation dented by the spot-fixing scandal, unpredictable Pakistan will look to launch their World Cup campaign on a rousing note when they take on minnows Kenya in Hambantota on Wednesday.Having suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Ireland, which eventually resulted in their first round ouster the 2007 edition, Pakistan would be wary of taking their opponents lightly this time around. In fact, captain Shahid Afridi has already warned his team to take every opponent seriously.”There have been so many upsets in the World Cup in the past, like the one against Ireland four years ago. So we have that in mind and we will be on our toes in every match, be it Kenya or Sri Lanka,” said Afridi.Going into the match, Pakistan would take heart from their recent 3-2 one-day series victory over New Zealand in New Zealand just before the World Cup.And even though they had mixed fortunes in the their two warm-up games – a win against Bangladesh and a defeat against England, Pakistan are well aware that if they play as a unit, they have enough firepower to go a long distance in the tournament.Pakistan’s batting, consisting of the likes of Mohammad Hafeez, former captain Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, the Akmal brothers Kamran and Umar, has the reputation of creating quite a flutter in the opposition camp.In the absence of their banned opener Salman Butt, Pakistan would be banking on Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad in the opening slots, followed by the more experienced middle-order. Veteran Younis is expected to bring in stability with all his experience of playing international cricket, followed by Test skipper and in-form Misbah and the two Akmals.ND with captain Shahid Afridi and allrounder Abdul Razzaq coming down the order, Pakistan should not have any trouble blowing the Kenyans away in their opening match.As far as the bowling department is concerned, Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul would be looking to go for the kill from the very first ball. This match will also give both the pacemen an opportunity to get back to their peak form.Even Saeed Ajmal would get a chance to experiment with his doosra before his team faces bigger names during the course of the tournament. Afridi’s fast wrist spin is also expected to come in handy against the African nation.Kenya, semi-finalists in 2003, Afridi not ready to take Kenya lightly in their opener at Hambantota suffered an embarrassing 10-wicket defeat against New Zealand in their opening match, would be keen to re-group against the Asian cricketing giants and pose a challenge.The Kenyans were bundled out for their lowest-ever World Cup total of 69 against New Zealand and the entire match was over in no time. Surely, the Kenyans will need to put up an improved show to be able to compete against the Pakistanis.They would be relying on their promising opener Seren Waters, who scored a century in their last warmup match against the Netherlands, to give them a good start.Their bowling unit has not performed too badly over the last few practice games they have played but the failure of their batsmen gave them little opportunity to make a mark. Nehemiah Odhiambo has performed consistently and has been well supported by Peter Ongondo and bowling all-rounder Thomas Odoyo.advertisement- With PTI inputslast_img read more

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IPL 2011: Bangalore hope to revive campaign against Rajasthan

first_imgStruggling to keep their campaign on track, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) clash with the inconsistent Rajasthan Royals in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Bangalore on Tuesday, desperately needing a win to revive their fortunes.Three defeats in four matches is not a good record to start their campaign and the Royal Challengers will be seeking to correct it when they take on Rajasthan at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.The over-dependency on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to produce match-winning knocks has seen RCB plummet to bottom of the points table. Thus far, only Kohli and de Villiers have been consistent with the bat, notching up 30-plus scores with great poise in the IPL-4.But the failures of Saurabh Tiwary, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mayank Agarwal have accentuated RCB’s misery. The fans are as disappointed as the team owners. From what has been seen of them in the last four matches, RCB’s bowling has been rather unimaginative and has come apart under their opponents’ onslaughts.Their fielding and catching has been pathetic, manifested in the mostly-reliable Mohammed Kaif spilling a feeble offering from Michael Hussey in the previous game against the Chennai Super Kings. Given the reprieve at eight, Hussey went on to make a matchwinning 56-ball 83 not out. To sum it up, it could be said that RCB’s show has been way below par.If they are to raise their level of performance, the entire outfit would have to show great character in pulling up their socks and deliver when it matters most. But unfortunately, this is something that this loosely-knitted outfit has been found wanting in.advertisementOn the other hand, inaugural IPL champions Rajasthan Royals, who have four points in as many games, have also had their share of downs. Rajasthan had a poor day against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday night when they were bowled out for 81. But they have the resources and tenacity to bounce back from such adversity.Shane Watson is one all-rounder who could win the match on his own. Rahul Dravid, who has been hitting the ball sweetly right through the tournament, is another batsman whom RCB would be wary of. Dravid will be eager to settle scores against his former team.As captain and bowler, the visitors have a phenomenon called Shane Warne. The Wizard of Oz has led from the front and bowled his mesmerising bag of spin goodies to great effect. Only if RCB could have a measure of Watson, Dravid and Warne can they expect to break their losing streak.-With PTI inputslast_img read more

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