Sports News

Djokovic credits Becker for spectacular achievements during past 14 months

Novak Djokovic

Johannesburg, Feb 24 - While previewing his defence of the Dubai Open title, world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic has paid a tribute to the role of his head coach Boris Becker in the amazing advances he has made in the 14 months they have been working together.

Under Becker's guidance the Serb has won two Grand Slam titles, taking his total to eight, and built an overwhelming lead as world number one, now nearly 4,000 ranking points.

Djokovic has claimed that Becker should be given some of the credit for the same, as the German's experience in winning six Grand Slam titles and two Davis Cups with Germany has helped the Serb cope with the psychological stress of continuously playing at the very highest level of the game, Sport24 reported.

Morgan claims will never underestimate 'all-rounder' Ali

Morgan claims will never underestimate 'all-rounder' Ali

London, Feb 24 : England cricket team captain Eoin Morgan has claimed that he would never underestimate batting all-rounder Moeen Ali, who is improving at a rapid rate with both bat and ball, as a player.

Morgan hailed the contribution of the left-hander after Ali smashed a brilliant century, finishing on 128, and then took two wickets with the ball in his side's 119-run win over Scotland, their first of the ongoing 2015 World Cup.

England's much-needed win came on the back of two heavy defeats by Australia and New Zealand in the World Cup, the Daily Express reported.

England would now face Sri Lanka in Wellington on Sunday, and they need to keep their winning momentum going if they want to avoid an early exit in the tournament.

Finch says negating Southee's outstanding swing key to success against Kiwis

Australian opener Aaron Finch

Wellington, Feb 24 - Australian opener Aaron Finch has claimed that he and David Warner are going to have to play as well as they can to try and negate the outstanding New Zealand swing bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult, when the two sides lock horns at the Eden Park on Saturday.

The venue is tailor-made for very high-scoring, given the reduced distance to the ropes beyond each end of the pitch, which would be only 55 metres from the centre of the wicket on Saturday - a full five metres shorter than Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

The reduced boundary length might not prove good for the bowlers given the big-hitting batsmen in both the sides.

Skipper Holder says 'misfiring' Gayle 'perfectly primed' to fire at WC

Jason Holder

Johannesburg, Feb 24 - West Indies skipper Jason Holder has backed out-of-form Chris Gayle to regain form during their World Cup tie against Zimbabwe on Tuesday at Canberra.

The swashbuckling batsman scored an unimpressive 36 runs off 65 balls in the opening loss to Ireland and got out for mere four runs in Saturday's big win over Pakistan.

Backing Gayle to regain form, Holder said that Chris was awake, claiming that he was awake from the beginning of the tournament, Sport24 reported.

The right-arm medium fast bowler said that every time he sees Chris Gayle, he expect to see a positive Chris Gayle, adding that although he hadn't been getting runs, they still had a lot of confidence in him, who could take it as deep as possible for them. (ANI)

South Africa fined for slow over-rate against India

South Africa fined for slow over-rate against India

Melbourne - As if not enough with their embarrassing 130-run loss to India, South Africa were on Monday fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during their World Cup group match against Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men at the MCG here.

ICC Match referee Jeff Crowe found the South Africans fell one over short after time allowances were taken into consideration in the Group B clash yesterday and docked captain AB de Villiers 20 percent of his match fee and 10 percent for each of the remaining players of the team.

31-year-old de Villiers now runs the risk of being suspended from one match during the World Cup if South Africa are fined a second time before the final.

Consistent SSP Chowrasia takes two-stroke lead at India Open

Siddikur Rahman

New Delhi : A late bogey was the only blemish in SSP Chowrasia's card as the Indian golfer turned in a sedate two-under 69 on the third day to jump to a two-stroke lead over defending champion Siddikur Rahman after the penultimate round of the Hero Indian Open, here on Saturday.

Two-time European tour winner, Chawrasia picked up birdies at the first, second and 13th holes before dropping a shot for the first time in last three days at the 17th hole at the tricky Delhi Golf Course to take his total to 12-under

Australia's Marcus Frasar fired a flawless four-under 67 to lie at the third position with a total of seven-under 206.

Windies rout 'feeble' Pak to clinch 150-run win in CWC tie

Andre Russell

Wellington, Feb 21 - It sure was a battle of the unpredictables as West Indies left Pakistan humiliated after reducing the Misbah-ul Haq-led side to splinters to clinch a massive 150-run win in their World Cup Pool B clash at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Put in to bat first, West Indies put up a respectable total of 310-6 in their allotted 50 overs, thanks to Denesh Ramdin (51) and Lendl Simmons' (50) half-centuries and all-rounder Andre Russell 's brisk 42 off just 13 deliveries.

After getting off to a stuttering start with opener Darren Smith and big-hitting batsman Chris Gayle going off for their individual 23 and four runs respectively, Darren Bravo steadied the ship for the West Indies with his 49-run knock before a hamstring injury forced him to retire from the match.

Boxing's richest Mayweather-Pacquiao bout finally agreed to be held on May 2nd

Floyd Mayweather Jr

Wellington, Feb 21 - The long awaited mega bout between unbeaten US boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr and Filipino politician and boxer Manny Pacquiao has finally been agreed upon and it is reportedly projected to be the most lucrative bout ever in the sport's history.

Mayweather revealed that the long awaited bout, which had been more than five years in the making, would take place in Las Vegas on May 2.

Showtime and HBO would jointly broadcast the bout, which is one of the most eagerly anticipated in boxing since the classic 1975 'Thrilla in Manila' between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier , Stuff. co. nz reported.

Virat Kohli 2nd most followed Indian sportsperson on FB, crosses 20m

Virat Kohli 2nd most followed Indian sportsperson on FB, crosses 20m

New Delhi: Star batsman Virat Kohli on Friday became the second most followed Indian sportsperson on 'Facebook' behind iconic Sachin Tendulkar as he crossed the 20-million mark, the social networking site said.

26-year-old Kohli, the first Indian batsman to score a century against arch-rivals Pakistan in a World Cup match in the 76-run victory on February 15, currently has 20,002,000 followers on Facebook. He is the second Indian sportsperson to cross 20 million benchmark behind Tendulkar who currently has 24,775,138 followers.

Globally, Kohli is listed at 20th position, while Tendulkar occupies 13th spot in the list of sportspersons who have maximum followers on Facebook.

ICC World Cup 2015: Jonty Rhodes predicts South African win against India

ICC World Cup 2015: Jonty Rhodes predicts South African win against India

New Delhi: India might have begun their World Cup campaign with a morale-boosting win over Pakistan but former Protea batsman Jonty Rhodes feels that South Africa are a better all-round side and tipped them to win their high-profile clash against the defending champions in Melbourne on Sunday.

Jonty said despite a strong performance by India in their comprehensive win over arch-rivals Pakistan, South Africa's strong batting, lethal bowling attack and all-round fielding capabilities would give the Proteas the edge.

Tottenham held to first leg draw in Europa League by Fiorentina

Roberto Soldado

London, Feb 20 - ACF Fiorentina held Tottenham Hotspur to a round of 32 first-leg 1-1 draw in the Europa League at the White Hart Lane and the Premier League side now faces a battle to remain in the European league.

Roberto Soldado volleyed in a sixth-minute opener from Paulinho's corner to give Tottenham the lead and help them dominate the opening half-hour.

However, Argentine centre-back Jose Maria Basanta scrambled in an away goal to give Vincenzo Montella's side the edge ahead of next week's second leg, the BBC reported.

Nacer Chadli hit the bar for Tottenham, who faded after half time, as both the sides failed to score another goal.

Viswanathan Anand tops Zurich Classical

Viswanathan Anand tops Zurich Classical

Zurich: Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand played out an easy draw with Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the fifth and final round to win the Classical section of Zurich Chess Classic here.

Awarded two points for a win and one for a draw under new rules in place here, Anand tallied seven points in all, winning two and drawing the remaining three games in the six-player round robin. This also meant a much-needed recovery in ELO points after losing heavily in the preceding Grenke Classic tournament.

Clarke set to return for Oz's WC tie against Bangladesh

Michael Clarke

London, Feb 19 - Australia cricket team coach Darren Lehmann has confirmed that skipper Michael Clarke will be returning for Saturday's World Cup group stage game against Bangladesh in Brisbane.

Following his recovery from hamstring injury, Clarke made a solid return by smacking 64 runs against United Arab Emirates in a warm-up game last week.

Reflecting on Clarke's chances, Lehmann said that yes, he is playing.

Commenting on his fitness, Clarke said that they had a good conversation (with selectors) last week and thought it was in the team's best interests to not play against England and give him another week, Sport24 reported.

The returning skipper, who is likely to replace stand-in skipper George Bailey, was satisfied with his progress after a good practice session.

Ferrari unveils `ravishing` futuristic F1 concept car

Ferrari unveils `ravishing` futuristic F1 concept car

Washington, Feb 18 : Formula One giants Ferrari has the fans drooling over the newly released image of its radical concept car ahead of the first race of the season next month in Australia.

The futuristic concept car features two-tiered nose and nose wing, resembling like a predator about to swallow its prey and also boasts of safety light placed in the center of a Batmobile-like oval, the Verge reported.

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel will form a new look line-up at Ferrari next month. (ANI)

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Bhuvneshwar Kumar's fitness still under cloud

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Bhuvneshwar Kumar's fitness still under cloud

Melbourne: The doubts over Bhuvneshwar Kumar's fitness continue to be a concern for the Indian cricket team ahead of its second World Cup pool game against South Africa as the seamer looked far from convincing during a net session here on Wednesday.

Bhuvneshwar, who had suffered an ankle injury before the start of the Test series against Australia and only played the last Test in Sydney where he bowled way below his best, looked out of sorts and unfit at the Junction Oval ground of St Kilda Cricket Club here.

With Dhawal Kulkarni being kept as an additional member of the side, it seems that Bhuvneshwar's gingerly demeanour has kept the team management worried.

'Shunned' Akram eager to help salvage Pak's WC campaign post debacle against India

Wasim Akram

Johannesburg, Feb 18 - Former Pakistan pace spearhead Wasim Akram has expressed his willingness to help Misbah-ul-Haq's side rescue their World Cup campaign after the team's defeat against India in Adelaide.

India extended their unbeaten streak against Pakistan in World Cup to 6-0 after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men claimed a 76-run win over neighbors.

Speaking on a local news channel, Akram said that neither the Pakistan cricket authorities nor anyone in the team had approached him to help or advise them, Sport24 reported.

Expressing his willingness to help Pakistan team, Akram said that he was there in the World Cup and he wanted to go and help their players adjust and do well in the tournament in those conditions, but he couldn't do that without an invitation, the report added.

IPL 8: Happy to be playing under Gary Kirsten, says Yuvraj Singh

IPL 8: Happy to be playing under Gary Kirsten, says Yuvraj Singh

Bangalore/New Delhi: All-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who on Monday became Indian Premier League's costliest ever buy by going for a whopping Rs 16 crore to Delhi Daredevils, said that he was happy to be playing again under former India coach Gary Kirsten.

"I was sleeping when the auction was going on. I came to know of this only when some guests came to my house and told me about the good news. The best part is, I am going to play under Kirsten. I had my best years under him and hopefully I can repeat that with Delhi," Yuvraj said after he was bought for the record sum at the IPL 8 player auction in Bangalore.

Kirsten, who was present at the auction along with top team officials, said that his franchise had come prepared to go all out bidding for Yuvraj.

Sourav Ganguly awarded honorary life membership by Lord's based MCC

Sourav Ganguly awarded honorary life membership by Lord's based MCC

Johannesburg, Feb 16 : The celebrated Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) awarded former India cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly on Sunday with an honorary life membership to the club.

Following Ganguly's Test debut in 1996 he played a combined 424 Test and ODI matches for India, averaging over 40 with the bat and taking 132 wickets.

Ganguly, who captained India 195 times, claimed that he has got some fantastic memories of playing at Lord's that he carries with him forever, from the hundred on his debut to the amazing NatWest Trophy Final in 2002, Sport24 reported.

Dhoni claims India can still 'improve' post 76-run win over Pak in CWC opener

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Wellington, Feb 16 - India cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels that his side can still improve, despite claiming that their win against Pakistan was to quite extent a very complete game for all of them.

India beat Pakistan by 76 runs at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday to start their World Cup campaign on a winning note. Since arriving in Australia in November, India had only won one match, a practise game against Afghanistan, and they were under pressure.

And skipper Dhoni knew that it was important for India to avoid losing to Pakistan in their opening World Cup match. After the victory, Dhoni said that he felt the guys did really well because a World Cup opening game against Pakistan is a high-stake game, Stuff. co. nz reported.

Ex-Pak bowling coach Foster believes 'quality spin' will play decisive role in CWC

Daryl Foster

Karachi, Feb 15 - Former Pakistan bowling coach and leading biomechanics expert Daryl Foster has claimed that he would have certainly picked Saeed Ajmal after Mohammad Hafeez had to withdraw due to injury, as he believes that quality spin would play a decisive role in Australia and New Zealand.

Although there is a popular notion that wickets in Australia are conductive to pace bowling alone, Foster believes otherwise and claims that good quality spin bowling would be key in the World Cup.

Foster, who worked with Pakistan in three stints between 2001 and 2004, said that the perception among visiting teams of fast and bouncy pitches was true to some extent but often captains made the mistake of packing too many pacemen in the side, The Dawn reported.

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