Vijender trumps – Retains WBO Oriental & Asia Pacific pro boxing titles

Jaipur : Vijender Singh belatedly went into the offensive to defend his WBO Oriental and Asia Pacific Super middleweight titles with an unanimous verdict over African champion Ernest Amuzu here Saturday night, continuing his unbeaten run in the pro circuit.

With this victory, Vijender has now won 10 pro bouts on the trot.

The 32-year-old Olympic bronze medallist has so far enjoyed a great run in the professional career, winning all his nine fights, and tonight was no different at a jam-packed Sawai Mansingh Stadium as he emerged as the king of ‘Rumble Rajasthan’.

It was very cautious first round from both, and barring a few jabs here and there, both tried to read each other’s styles.

Vijender seemed to have found his bearing only when the sixth round started.

He landed some real hard punches on Amuzu’s rib- cage to take control of the bout. Amuzu returned the favour with a few of his own, but the West African Boxing Union Middleweight champion could not sustain the tempo against his determined Indian opponent.

A confident Vijender then turned up with renewed vigour to unleash a flurry of punches on Amuzu.

Two powerful jabs on Amuzu’s jawline must have hurt the African, but he retaliated with a hook aiming at Vijender’s head.

It was easy picking for Vijender thereafter as the Amuzu committed technical blunders by rushing to the corners.

With Vijender having the upper hand, a tired Amuzu tried to stage a fightback but the Indian was up to the task, even as the duo exchanged a few punches.

Vijender played a percentage game during the final round when he had already suffered a muscle pull and didn’t attack a lot.

Prior to this bout, Amuzu had 23 wins under his belt including 21 knockouts out of 25 fights.

In other under-card bouts of the day, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Amandeep Singh defeated Punjab’s Manoj Kumar.

Kuldeep Dhanda beat Fateh Singh, Pradeep Kharera got the better of Nikhil Sharma, while Dharmender Grewal beat Harsh Nagar.

India vs Sri Lanka Visakhapatnam ODI: Statistics highlights of the third match

Visakhapatnam: Statistical highlights of the third and final cricket one-dayer between India and Sri Lanka here. India’s winning streak of eight successive bilateral series is a new record for them. After losing 4-1 to Australia in Australia at the start of the last year, India have won each of the eight bilateral series they have played.

The world record is 14 consecutive bilateral series victories by West Indies between 1980 and 1988. Out of ten bilateral series against Sri Lanka in India since 1982, India have won nine — the remaining one ended in a draw. India have played 51 ODIs vs Sri Lanka in India, winning 36 and losing 12 while the remaining three could not produce results — win/loss ratio 3.000. India have won 21 out of 29 ODIs contested (lost 7 and NR 1). India’s win/loss ratio of 3.000 is their all-time best in a calendar year. India’s run-rate of 5.93 is their best ever in a calendar year in ODIs, eclipsing the 5.88 recorded in 2009.

Sri Lanka have fared poorly this year in ODIs – just 5wins out of 29 matches contested (lost 23 and NR 1). The win/loss ratio of 0.217 is the worst recorded by any team this year. Dhawan’s unbeaten 100 off 85 balls is his 12th century in ODIs. Dhawan has recorded four hundreds vs Sri Lanka – the most registered by him against a team. In wins, Dhawan is averaging 53.75 – his tally being2903, including ten centuries and 17 fifties, in 58 matches. # Dhawan race to 4,000 runs in just 95 innings.

Just five players have taken fewer innings for this milestone -South Africa’s Hashim Amla (81), West Indian Vivian Richards(88), England’s Joe Root (91), India’s Virat Kohli (93) and Australia’s David Warner (93).  Dhawan’s feat of reaching 12 centuries in 95 innings is the fifth quickest in ODIs – the top four being Quinton de Kock (74 innings), Hashim Amla (81), Virat Kohli (83) and David Warner (90). For the third time, Dhawan was adjudged the Player of the Series in ODIs. Kuldeep Yadav (3/42) has recorded his second best figures in ODIs behind the 3 for 41 vs West Indies at North Sound on June 30, 2017.

He was deservingly named the Man of the Match for the first time in ODIs. Danushka Gunathilaka has made just 30 runs at a poor average of 10.00 – the least average recorded by him in an ODIseries. His scores were 1 at Dharamsala, 16 at Mohali & 13 at Visakhapatnam. His previous worst performance in a series of three matches was against Bangladesh in Sri Lanka in 2016-17 -43 runs in three innings at an average of 14.33.  Upul Tharanga (95) has posted his sixth fifty vs India- his 36th in ODIs. Tharanga has totalled 1011 runs (ave.48.14) in 25 matches this year, including two hundreds and six fifties.

He became the first Sri Lankan and the third batsman to aggregate1,000 or more in a calendar year – the first two being Virat Kohli (1460) and Rohit Sharma (1293). # Sadeera Samarawickrama (42), playing in his third innings, has posted his highest score in ODIs.  In his first two innings in this format vs Pakistan at Sharjah in October 2017, he had recorded ducks. Gunathilaka and Tharanga shared a 121-run partnership -Sri Lanka’s fifth century stand for the second wicket vs India in India in ODIs. Shreyas Iyer (65) has recorded his second fifty in ODIs- the first being 88 at Mohali on December 13, 2017.

Brazilian football star Kaka announces retirement

Brasilia: Former AC Milan, Real Madrid, Brazil midfielder Kaka has announced his retirement from football. The 35-year-old footballer posted a prayer on Twitter on Friday to announce his decision to hang up his boots, writing that he is “ready for the next journey”.

“Father, It was much more than I could ever imagined. Thank you! I’m now ready for the next journey. In Jesus name. Amen,” he tweeted. The 2007 Ballon d’Or winner confirmed that he would not renew his contract at MLS side Orlando City in October.

However, Kaka also indicated he could continue his post-playing career in football. The local media quoted Kaka as saying, “I am preparing to continue in football and to have a different role, but I will no longer be a professional player, an athlete”. “I would like to take part in a club in a role more like… a manager, a sporting director – someone between the field and the club”, he added. Kaka made his professional club debut at the age of 18 at São Paulo FC in Brazil in 2001.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d’Or award

Paris: Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo won a record-equalling fifth Ballon d’Or award for the year’s best player. The Real Madrid forward’s second successive win drew him level alongside Barcelona rival Lionel Messi on five Ballonsd’Or, after the Argentinian took second in the vote, with Brazilian Neymar third. The 32-year-old was the top-scorer in last season’sChampions League as Real successfully defended the trophy with victory over Juventus in June, and also led the Spanish giants to their first La Liga title in five years.

“Of course I feel happy. This is something I look forward to every year,” Ronaldo said at the ceremony at the EiffelTower in Paris. “The trophies won last year helped to win this award.Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.” Ronaldo, who also won the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award in October, added the 2017 Ballon d’Or to his previous wins in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

He scored 42 goals in all competitions for Real last season, and also netted 15 times in European World Cup qualifying. Ronaldo will lead Portugal at next year’s World Cup in Russia as he looks to add football’s greatest title to the2016 European Championship win when the Portuguese beat hosts France in the final. Messi and Ronaldo have now shared the last 10 Ballons d’Or since the latter’s first win after leading ManchesterUnited to the 2007-08 Champions League title.

“I hope to play at this level for a few more years, I hope the battle with Messi continues, things happen for a reason,” he added. “I feel good this season and we’ll see what we win at the end of the year.” When asked if he would like to finish his career at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ronaldo said: “I’m happy at Real Madrid, I want to stay there… If possible.” Real Madrid president Florentino Perez would have been pleased to hear Ronaldo’s intention to stay, and he compared his current star to Alfredo Di Stefano, the only other player to win multiple Ballons d’Or while with Real. “For me, he’s the most complete player after Alfredo DiStefano, he’s Alfredo’s heir,” said Perez. “He embodies all the values of Real — effort, respect, teamwork, and solidarity.”

The prestigious France Football magazine award, which was first won by Englishman Stanley Matthews in 1956, is decided upon by a journalists’ ballot, with each naming a top five from a list of 30. It was a replica first two from 2016, which was the first year after FIFA ended its association with the Ballon d’Or and restarted its own Player of the Year award. Neymar will be hoping to take over the mantle of 32-year-old Ronaldo and Messi, 30, in the coming years after coming third for the second time, having finished fifth last year.

The 25-year-old left Messi’s Barcelona during the close season in a world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, where he has already scored 15 goals this season. “Neymar has a lot of talent, a lot of potential, and I’m sure he’ll have some chance to win in the future,” Ronaldo said. Veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon finished fourth after helping Juventus to the Champions League final, while Real’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric rounded out the top five.

Centre-back Sergio Ramos was the highest-ranked Spaniard and the third Real player in the top 10, one ahead of French rising star Kylian Mbappe in seventh. Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante was the highest PremierLeague representative, with Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and England’s Harry Kane completing the top 10.

Top foreign players to feature in Pakistan Super League Players Draft

Karachi: Around 200 foreign players will feature in a list of 500 cricketers in the Players Draft which will be held in Lahore tomorrow for the third Pakistan Super League. Top foreign players, including Chris Lynn, JP Duminy,Imran Tahir, Carlos Brathwaite, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo,Jimmy Neesham, Angelo Mathews, Mustafizur Rahman, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mitchell Johnson, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi, Adil Rashid, Wayne Parnell, Thisara Perera, Rashid Khan and ColinIngram will up for grab in the Players Draft.

The third PSL will have a new — sixth — franchise in Multan Sultans. Each franchise has a salary cap of USD 1.2million for the players draft to complete a squad of 20players. Teams have already retained nine players each for the third PSL and will go into the Players Draft to pick one platinum, one diamond, one gold, two silver and two emerging players each in order to complete their squads of 16. Teams may also pick up to four players in the supplementary rounds.

Interestingly, only one Pakistani player, Ahmed Shehzadfeatures in the platinum category which has 21 players for the draft. A high number of players from England, Bangladesh and SriLanka will feature in the players draft. The Pakistan Cricket Board has announced that it will be holding a number of matches of the third PSL in Lahore and Karachi in March next year, including the final. Sources say that the foreign players, who sign contracts for the PSL, will have to also sign a clause confirming they will be available to play for their franchises in Pakistan.For this, they will be paid extra fees of USD 10,000 to 20,000per match if they travel to Pakistan.

Injury fears cloud Rafael Nadal- Roger Federer dream clash at ATP Finals

London: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer can set up a dream climax to the 2017 season at the ATP World Tour Finals, but organisers are sweating on the Spaniard’s fitness and a new crop are itching to spoil the party. The two all-time greats get star billing in London after each won two Grand Slams and locked down the top two ranking spots as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray had injury-plagued seasons to forget. The eight-man field at the O2 Arena has an unbalanced look about it but 20-year-old Alexander Zverev leads a hungry chasing pack, desperate to stake a claim to membership of the game’s elite.

World number one Nadal, who won the French Open and USOpen this year, admitted on Friday that he is not training at100 percent ahead of his tournament opener against Belgium’s David Goffin on Sunday, although he said he is likely to be fit enough to play. “I hope. And if I didn’t believe I can be ready, for me, I wouldn’t be here,” said the Spaniard, who will also do battle with Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov in the ‘Pete Sampras’ group. “I’m working every day, practising well and just trying to be ready for the action.”

The 31-year-old, forced to pull out of the Paris Masters last week with a knee injury, is painfully aware that the ATP finals is the one major piece of silverware missing from his trophy cabinet and he wants to put that right. “Being here is an important thing but for me the most important thing is everything that happened to me this year, the tournaments, competing almost every week with a very competitive level of tennis, being healthy until Paris,” he said. And Nadal said although he welcomed the opportunity to finish the year with another high-profile clash against Federer, he was not fixated on the need to defeat the Swiss after four straight losses to his old rival in 2017.



Federer, chasing his seventh Tour Finals title, is happy to be back at the end-of-season showpiece after missing out last year during a long layoff. “Last year I couldn’t be here so it’s nice to be here again because this year I had to start further back in the rankings,” said the Swiss, who astonished the tennis world by winning the Australian Open after months away from the sport. Federer, at the grand old age of 36, said he felt fresh after a season that had exceeded his expectations.

ATP Tour Finals: Federer to face Zverev, Nadal drawn against Grigor Dimitrov

“This year I ended up playing much less than I thought I would. Because of the great start to the season I didn’t have to push it that much to be honest, which was great,” he said. So can anybody smash the Federer-Nadal duopoly at the tournament featuring the season’s top players? The most likely candidate appears to be Zverev, who has rocketed up the rankings to number three after an outstanding season in which he has won five tournaments, including two Masters titles.

“Winning two Masters series is special for any player in an era where the top events have been monopolised by the ‘BigFour’,” said the German, who is in the ‘Boris Becker’ group along with Federer, former US Open winner Marin Cilic and Jack Sock. He added that the younger generation was making a pushtowards the top of the game to challenge the existing powers. The singles tournament, which runs until November 19,begins with Thiem taking on Dimitrov. The top two in eachgroup qualify for the semi-finals.

ICC does not have power to pursue BCCI: Wasim Akram

Karachi: Former Pakistan seamer Wasim Akram has reflected that International Cricket Council (ICC) is powerless in front of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), as it cannot foster a deal between the latter and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for a bilateral series. “I don’t think ICC has the power to pursue BCCI, but again I have always said people to people contact is necessary. Politics and sport should be separate,” Geo News quoted Akram, as saying.

The 51-year-old pacer also expressed, it is very unfortunate that the current players from both the sides are missing out on playing against each other. Akram said an India-Pakistan series is more exciting to watch than the Ashes series played between England and Australia.

“A Pakistan India match is more fun to watch than the Ashes. 20 million people watch the Ashes while a Pakistan India match is watched by a billion people,” the skipper said. In 2014, BCCI and PCB signed an agreement to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023; however, the series have not been materialised yet in wake of political tensions between the two countries.

The last time the two rivals clashed against each other was in the ICC Champions Trophy final in June earlier this year, where the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side conceded a 180 run defeat to the Virat-Kohli led team.

India vs New Zealand: Sehwag-Taylor have sign off banter as thrilling series ends

New Zealand lost a hard-fought three-match T20I series against India after falling six runs short in the final T20I in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. Their series win over the Kiwis handed Virender Sehwag the perfect chance to have one final go at his friend Ross Taylor. As soon as the Team India registered a 6-run win in the 3rd T20I, Sehwag tweeted Taylor. “Dhulaai ke baad silaai, but well played NZ.Never feel very bad losing against NZ because they are such nice guys,but sweet victory for India,” he wrote.

 Virender Sehwag ✔@virendersehwag
Dhulaai ke baad silaai, but well played NZ.Never feel very bad losing against NZ because they are such nice guys,but sweet victory for India …
11:05 PM - Nov 7, 2017
 898 898 Replies   3,372 3,372 Retweets   26,218 26,218 likes
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The duo has been trading friendly fire on the social media site throughout the series. Though the Kiwi batsman may not ended up on the winning side in the end, but he did carve out a special place in the hearts of the local fans with his Hindi. And before signing off from India, Taylor shared a post on his Instagram account with picture, including teammat Ish Sodhi and staff member Dev. The picture was captioned, “As always India it was a pleasure. FYI – the two responsible for helping me with banter with @virendersehwag are here in this photo, thanks, Dev and @ic3_odi, signing off with one last message: Dhullai aur Silaai Anne waale samay mein jaari rahegi ☺️#India #indvnz #Mumbai #darji.”

Taylor thanked his Indian origin staff member and teammate who helped him in the Twitter banter against Viru in the past few days by replying to his messages in Hindi. Sehwag and Taylor recently indulged in some healthy arguments on Twitter, which became famous all over social media, enjoyed by the fans as well. The Twitter banter went on throughout the tour of New Zealand to India. Both ODI and T20I series was played in great spirit on and off the field as the teams fought gamely in all the six matches. The deciders went right down the wire but India prevailed every time by keeping their nerves.

Anyway, the Nawab of Najafgarh won the ultimate battle in the end and had the last laugh.

Andy Murray and wife Kim Sears welcome second daughter

Melbourne: Former world number one Andy Murray and his wife Kim Sears have welcomed the birth of their second child.

The couple, who got hitched at Dunblane Cathedral in April 2015, is blessed with a baby girl. Earlier in July, it was announced that Murray and Kim are expecting their second baby.

The British tennis maestro and his wife already have a daughter, Sophia, who was born in 2016, reported.

The news of the arrival of the couple’s little princess emerged less than 24 hours after Murray played a charity match against 19-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

It was Murray’s first public appearance since suffering a hip injury at Wimbledon.

India beat New Zealand in T20 series decider

Thiruvananthapuram: Virat Kohli‘s India beat New Zealand in a match reduced to eight overs a side by rain to beat the Kiwis in a T20 series for the first time 2-1.
India made 67-5 with Manish Pandey hitting 17 off 11 balls and Kohli 13. Though the result could have gone either way with just two balls remaining, New Zealand reached just 61-6 with Colin de Grandhomme making an unbeaten 17.

India had never beaten New Zealand in a T20 match going into this series.

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