Akhil meets Haryana Sports Minister to get nod for pro career

first_imgNew Delhi, Nov 17 (PTI) Boxer Akhil Kumar today met Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij to seek his assistance in securing permission from his employer — Haryana Police — to turn professional. The Olympic quarterfinalist, who is serving as a DSP in Haryana Police, had earlier met the state Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Director General of Police, K P Singh as well, to seek permission to return to the ring once again. Jitender Kumar, a former Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist who is also a Haryana Police DSP, will also be turning professional alongside Akhil. “It was a great meeting, Sports minister reassured me that permissions would be granted soon, on the same policy as followed for Vijender Singh (also a DSP). I am looking forward to this new beginning in my boxing career. The authorities have been very supportive of this decision and have assured me that the permission would be granted soon enough,” Akhil said. PTI PM PMlast_img read more


first_imgPlaying a wrestler was not easy for Aamir as he suffered aPlaying a wrestler was not easy for Aamir as he suffered a lot of injuries during the film.”I had a lot of injuries in my back, shoulder, both my elbow and ankle but none of them were serious. The only time it (injury) stopped my work was when I hurt my back while doing a wrestling scene, it was painful,” Aamir said.”I couldnt shoot and doctor asked me to rest for two months. I did not have that much time to wait. I told my director, give me two weeks.. I will rest. I went to Ludhiana from Mumbai to shoot… doctor gave me a pain killer injection and due to this I couldnt feel the pain. I took strong pain killer injections,” he said.After working on this biographical drama, Aamirs perception towards wrestlers has changed.”I had not much knowledge about wrestlers. I had heard wrestlers dont have much brain which I think is wrong, they have to be sharp, need to have an explosive speed and be able to understand what your opponent is going to do and react, its is all tactics its not strength… weightlifting is strength,” he said.The Nitesh Tiwari directed sports drama film is set to release on December 23. PTI KKP DK BKlast_img read more

England want to be No. 1 in the world – Trippier

first_imgKieran Trippier says England “want to be the No. 1 team” in the world after proving that they are capable of competing with the best sides in the business.Gareth Southgate’s side enjoyed a memorable run to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia over the summer, with those exploits helping to raise morale inside the camp.Since then, the Three Lions have held Croatia to a goalless draw and edged out Spain 3-2 on the road – ending their 15-year run without a competitive defeat on home soil. 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! Trippier believes the next challenge is to top the FIFA rankings, with positive progress being made towards a next shot at major silverware in the 2020 European Championship.The Tottenham full-back told Standard Sport after an impressive victory over Spain in Seville: “You want to play against the best and we want to be the No. 1 team.“It was a great night and we move forward now.“We want to beat the big teams. In the past few games we have had draws and not scored, but I think last night we showed we can beat the top teams and defend well against the top teams. It was a statement last night and, ­hopefully, in the future, we can put performances in like this as well.“We want to win every game and play like that in every game. We know how well we can play as a team and last night in the first half we showed that.“It is something to build on, we have a lot of confidence going into the next games. We just have to keep working on our formation in training and, ­hopefully, on matchdays we can put out the performances.“It is good to come to places like this for the young lads to get the experience and, obviously, for me as well.”Harry Kane Marcus Rashford England SpainEngland’s ongoing development has seen them welcome a number of exciting youngsters into the senior squad, while Southgate has also moved away from a three-man defensive unit to favour a back four once more.Trippier added: “The players who came in the other day did very well and we have got so much young talent coming through into what’s already a young team.“It is a bright future for this England squad. We learned a lot as a group and individuals at the World Cup. The manager has changed the formation and I think it releases the forwards more to press. “Maybe sometimes at the World Cup, we were getting dominated in possession, but in this system that we are playing now, the midfielders can press easier higher up the field and we can play better. In the past two games, we played fantastic against difficult opponents as well.”last_img read more

Soft dismissals in first six overs cost us the match, says Delhi pacer Kagiso Rabada

first_imgDelhi Daredevils pacer Kagiso Rabada said that his side lost to table toppers Mumbai Indians in their IPL match here due to some soft dismissals of their batsmen. (POINTS TABLE | SCORECARD)”It was a good outing. Unfortunately, we just did not pull it off. We bowled really well and had a few dismissals, run outs, soft dismissals in the first six (overs). That’s when you are capable of chasing much more than that, said Rabada after the Daredevils lost by 14 runs. (Rohit Sharma praises bowlers after Mumbai Indians defend 142 vs Delhi Daredevils)Rabada was referring to the suicidal run-out of opener Aditya Tare in the fourth ball and the tame dismissals of the other opener Sanju Samson and number three and number four Karun Nair and Shreyas Iyer when a more cautious approach was called for to overhaul the modest target of 143.South African Rabada, used first-up, took 1 for 30 and also led the fightback in the run-chase later, after the Daredevils were reduced to 24 for 6, by making 44 before getting dismissed in the penultimate over.”The pitch was nice to bat on. Unfortunately, this was not our day. They were getting wickets of decent deliveries, nothing spectacular,” he explained.”It’s disappointing that we are losing. At the end of the day, we did not execute quite well. The numbers talk for themselves. But we have trust in our batsmen, we have some young talent. The tournament is far from over,” said Rabada with some optimism after the Daredevils slumped to their fourth defeat of the season in six games.advertisementHe said his side would need a reassessment of their performance but certainly not out of this IPL.”It’s just that last push. We have been in a few tight situations. Actually, all our games have been tight, none of our games have been swinging either way. So, I think we just need to close that up. We are not out of this (IPL) for sure.”Today, our game again got close whereas it should have never been. So, we are a fighting team. We play right till the end. We always throw the first punch most of the time. It’s just about closing it up,” said Rabada.Rabada also had a word of praise for former India stalwart Rahul Dravid’s role in the Daredevils’ team.”Rahul Dravid was a magnificent player. And he has proved to be a good mentor. He knows the game very well and his experience is priceless. He has played the game at the highest level and he has done it exceptionally well,” he said.”He is a great guy to have in the change room specially since we have a lot of youngsters and they are definitely learning from him.last_img read more

Here is your horoscope for June 11

first_imgARIESGet in touch with your inner guide and trust your intuition as it is showing you where to go right now. Your priorities are made clear and situations or relationships are easy to resolve. Professional matters take precedence as you have deadlines to meet. Lucky number 3. Colour cherry red.TAURUSMake sure you are not stuck in a head-trip, which blocks you from seeing different points of view. Lighten up and use your great practical wisdom to achieve your own goals without competing with others. You are subtle while handling emotional situations. Lucky number 15. Colour brown.GEMINIYou are creative and strong in professional projects with new ideas and original concepts. You are generous in family and personal relationships, preserving goodwill and harmony. You have the energy for sport, social activity and hectic schedules. Lucky number 5. Colour earthy brown.CANCERAfter a stressful time you feel depleted, tend to think negatively and undermine your confidence. Instead of making unstable efforts to achieve success, stay with decisions and avoid vacillating. Retain your self-esteem and display dynamic aspects and qualities. Lucky number 7. Colour red.LEOYou tend to go over the top by over reacting to situations emotionally and over indulging in food, drink, work etc. Maintain balance in all areas to gain stability and success. Inner centering and awareness bring a new transformation in relationships and work. Lucky number 7. Colour green.VIRGOYou fall in love with a new person or new idea as eight Wands of light create energy of high velocity. Things happen quickly and you have to be ready with swift decisions or you could miss a golden opportunity. Unexpected happenings can trigger off many changes. Lucky number 8. Colour pink.advertisementLIBRAYou bring stability and order in professional projects with a dynamic, forceful and assertive approach. You need to reassure friends and family about your love for them. Sharing and enjoying the little joys of life is as important as achieving great success. Lucky number 4. Colour yellow.SCORPIOInception of a new venture and partnership proves to be gainful and progressive. You make new beginnings in relationships with a positive approach. A path to complete a difficult assignment opens up for you as you get assistance from an experienced person. Lucky number 14. Colour white.SAGITTARIUSYou are able to influence trends and changes in your field of activity. Despite having a hold on situations and people, there is a harmony of justice that you are appreciated for. Love, romance and loyalty in relationships opens doors to many possibities. Lucky number 2. Colour red.CAPRICORNYour winning strategy is one of pacific resistance rather than dynamic offensive. You maintain your position of power as business situations stabilize. You are able to negotiate deals and come to terms with conflicting interests. Relationships are invaluable. Lucky number 4. Colour red.AQUARIUSRuthless people with overweening ambition need to be avoided. You tend to get emotional easily so remain centered and witnessing within rather than over reacting to situations. Deep feelings of love in relationships are countered by negative attitudes at work. Lucky number 6. Colour blue.PISCESThere is love and peace in relationships. Business and financial matters are arranged and settled according to plan. A joyful event brings much happiness. Whatever you pursue, is crowned with perfect success. Be simple and straightforward to resolve issues. Lucky number 10. Colour orange.last_img read more

Steve Smith’s date night with fiancee Dani Willis in New York

first_imgAustralia captain Steve Smith took his fiance Dani Willis on a date at a rooftop cinema in New York on Saturday. On Wednesday, Smith took to social media to announce his engagement to Dani Willis.Smith shared a picture on his Instagram account captioned, “Today I got down on one knee and dani_willis said YES ????#engaged @ Top Of The Rock NYC.”The couple has been dating each other for the last five years now. They met at a bar during the first season of the Big Bash League in 2011-12.Smith, who is holidaying with Willis in New York, is among the cricketers who were left unemployed after Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association failed to reach an agreement in the ongoing pay dispute.Australian cricketers will boycott an Australia A tour of South Africa unless Cricket Australia takes action within days to resolve a bitter pay dispute, the players’ union said Sunday.Players held an emergency meeting in Sydney on Sunday where they threatened to boycott the Australia A tour, scheduled to start on July 12. The cricketers say unless a new Memorandum of Understanding is signed by Friday, they won’t be touring South Africa.The memorandum between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association expired last Friday, leaving about 230 cricketers from Test to state levels without a contract. The two parties remain deadlocked over the issue of revenue sharing and negotiations have stalled for months.ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson said a “significant breakthrough” is needed for the tour to proceed.advertisement”They don’t intend to tour, but the reality is they don’t fly out of the country until Friday,” Nicholson said. “So the players are going to go into camp as planned and hopefully we can make some progress with regards to the MoU. There would need to be a significant breakthrough on the key issue of the revenue-sharing model.”The Ashes series will be at threat if the situation is not resolved before November, a point that vice-captain David Warner has made in several interviews recently. The five-test series against England is scheduled to begin November 23 in Brisbane.Cricket Australia has paid the women’s World Cup squad in advance for the ongoing tournament in England.last_img read more

Syrians mourn and cheer as Australia shatter World Cup dream

first_imgMany Syrians grieved the end of their national side’s unlikely march towards the World Cup finals on Tuesday, but others were relieved as it meant President Bashar al-Assad could not capitalise on the success.Syria lost 2-1 to Australia in the second leg of their Asian qualifying playoff in Sydney on Tuesday, after last week’s first leg finished 1-1, dashing the country’s hopes of reaching the tournament for the first time.Thousands gathered to watch the match in squares and stadiums across government-controlled areas of Syria, where schools were closed early to allow fans to tune in.Syrians driven from their country by war also gathered to watch from abroad, though some of them were cheering for Australia, who will face either the United States, Panama or Honduras in November to seal qualification to the finals in Russia next year.The support for the opposition underlined the deep divisions in a society split by six years of conflict.”I’d rather the Syrian team lose so that the regime will not get more legitimacy,” said Syrian Salah al-Ashkar, a 29-year-old from Aleppo, speaking from Paris.An opposition activist, posting on Facebook, thanked the goal post for denying Syria a late equaliser.Large crowds gathered to watch the match on a big screen at the central Damascus Umayyad square. State TV broadcast footage of fans watching in large numbers in the cities of Aleppo, Homs, and Latakia.”The importance of this match was that it brought people together… all parts (of society) were happy,” said Alia Abdallah in Damascus.advertisementSyria’s conflict has killed hundreds of thousands, pushed more than half its people from their homes and sent millions abroad as refugees. This made it hard for many Syrians to get behind the national side.Ayman Hilal, originally from Homs, said he would not be cheering for his country but still came out to watch the match at a coffee shop in the Lebanese city of Tripoli.”The Syrian team does not represent me, nor does it represent a great chunk of the people,” he said, with the anti-Assad opposition flag draped over his shoulders.TWO FLAGSThe Australian authorities allowed only the official national flags of Australia and Syria into Tuesday’s match. Hilal’s opposition flag was among a list of flags banned from Sydney’s ANZ stadium.A stadium spokesman told Reuters “a small number of banners” were prevented from entering the stadium. Pictures on pro-opposition social media accounts showed a “Free Syria” sign and an opposition flag raised within the crowd.Mohammed Rasheed, a spokesman for the Syrian rebel group Jaish al-Nasr group, gloated over Syria’s 2-1 defeat, using what became a popular Twitter hashtag.”Congratulations #team_barrel,” he wrote on Twitter, referring to barrel bombs – drums or cylinders packed with explosives and shrapnel that cause indiscriminate damage when dropped from the air.The United Nations has condemned Assad’s government for dropping barrel bombs, though Damascus has denied using them.Some Syrians supported the team, despite their opposition to Assad. “I was delighted that Syrian hearts are beating with anxiety for the same reason. I wish we could stop looking for things that draw us, as Syrians apart,” said 44-year-old Syrian Majed al-Atassi who lives in Dubai.last_img read more

Pakistan cricket springing back to life: Pacers, batsmen make their mark

first_imgThe next ICC World Cup in England in 2019 is almost 19 months away and Pakistan have looked the most settled side with their batting and bowling firing in unison.Pakistan were written off at the start of the ICC Champions Trophy but they pulled up their socks and were eventually crowned the champions by beating India in the final.Pakistan fell apart to the might of India in the tournament opener but the wounded team bounced back to beat tournament favourites South Africa and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Sri Lanka to reach the semi-finals. In the last-four clash, Pakistan recorded a resounding victory over hosts England to set up the summit clash with India.India were outplayed in all departments in that game which Pakistan won by 180 runs.They have not looked back ever since. High on confidence, Pakistan were ruthless against Sri Lanka in the recently concluded five-match ODI series, winning it 5-0.Interestingly, Pakistan have played four ODI series, including the ICC Champions Trophy, in 2017 and have lost only one. They are also on a nine-match winning streak, their joint third best run so far. Pakistan had won 12 in 2007-08, 10 in 1989-90 and 9 in 2001-02.AP PhotoSTRENGTHENED BATTING LINE-UPBabar Azam, Mohammd Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and Fakhar Zaman have all enjoyed a good run with the bat this year. Babar has scored four centuries in 2017 and is only the one of three cricketers to do so this year.The 23-year-old batsman in the form of his life with 872 runs from 18 matches at 67.07. The veterans in the side like Hafeez and Malik too are having a good run with the bat with 555, 516 runs respectively.advertisementZaman, the 27-year-old, too has been impressive with a century and twin fifties to amass 400 runs from nine ODIs.Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq’s nephew made a perfect debut smashing 100 in his maiden innings, against Sri Lanka earlier this month.AP PhotoBOWLERS FIND THEIR RHYTHMOn the bowling front, pacer Hasan Ali has been sensational. The right-arm fast bowler has topped the wicket-takers list with 45 scalps form 18 matches at an impressive average of 17.04. He is also the only bowler to have bagged three five-wicket hauls in 2017.Hasan made his debut in August 2016 but his consistent performance with the white ball has rocketed him to the numero uno spot in the ICC ODI rankings for bowlers.Leg-spinner Shadab Khan has also impressed with 19 wickets in 12 matches. The 19-year-old had made is debut in April this year. Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan have also been among wickets and Pakistan owe their success to these two pacers.Usman Khan Shinwari has been the latest to power the bowling attack and he only in his second ODI recorded his maiden five-wicket haul.CHANGE IN GUARDPakistan showed signs of improvement since Mickey Arthur was appointed the coach of the national side, Inzamam-ul-Haq was named the chief selector and Sarfraz Ahmed was named the skipper. The change in guard has worked wonders for the team.While Inzamam’s selection committee has picked players who have the ability to perform at the highest level, Arthur has groomed the players well and Sarfraz has led his team from the front.Reuters Photolast_img read more

Ashes 2017: Mitchell Starc injury not serious but pacer doubtful for Boxing Day Test

first_imgAustralia paceman Mitchell Starc has been cleared of a serious heel injury but his participation in the Boxing Day Test remains doubtful.”Starc had a scan in Sydney which confirmed bruising on his heel. He will still travel to Melbourne with the squad as planned and will be reassessed ahead of the Test,” the team said in a media release.Starc has been in a sublime form and is currently the top wicket-taker with 19 wickets from three matches of the ongoing Ashes series.Left-armer Starc bowled with the heel problem in the third Test at the WACA on Monday as Australia wrapped up an innings and 41-run win over England to reclaim the Ashes with two matches to spare.Jackson Bird is the reserve seamer in the Australia squad.Steve Smith’s side will look to extend their lead to 4-0 in the five-match series when the fourth Test starts Dec. 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

Maharashtra Cricket Association managing committee gives nod to implement Lodha Reforms

first_imgManaging committee of the Maharashtra Cricket Association has agreed to adopt the recommendations of the Justice RM Lodha committee.”In a recent meeting held here, managing committee of the Maharashtra Cricket Association agreed to implement the Lodha committee recommendations and also decided to implement any modifications, the (Supreme) court may order in future,” MCA president Abhay Apte said.”We want to stabilise the association financially…how long we can continue with the status quo. For last one and a half years, they have stopped the funds and we now want to be financially stable. Stalemate should be resolved,” Apte told PTI.Following the managing committee’s approval, the resolution (to adopt Lodha panel reforms) will now be placed before the general body of the Association, which is likely to be meet this month. The Supreme Court had asked state cricket associations to implement the reforms suggested by the Justice Lodha committee.last_img read more

Marlins Spear Mets, 4-3

first_imgTweetPinShare0 Shares MIAMI — A high pitch count ended Jonathon Niese’s night and propelled the Miami Marlins to another walkoff win.Niese shut down the Marlins through seven innings but, after his pitch count reached 108, the Mets went to their bullpen and it all fell apart.Casey McGehee hit a sharp grounder that caromed into right field off the back of reliever Gonzalez Germen’s foot, allowing the winning run to score, and the Miami Marlins rallied late from a three-run deficit May 5 to beat the New York Mets 4-3.Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a tying double in the eighth off Daisuke Matsuzaka, who failed to retire any of the five batters he faced.“When I was warming up in the bullpen, I was struggling with my command,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. “I tried to focus on the batter and getting outs. I really regret taking away Niese’s win and the team’s win.”Giancarlo Stanton had an RBI single and the Marlins scored another run on shortstop Omar Quintanilla’s fielding error in the eighth.“Anytime a game is lost it’s tough to watch,” Niese said. “But it’s just one game. I never want to leave a game but — 108 pitches — I figured our bullpen has been doing great.”Niese allowed five hits, struck out six and walked one. He has permitted one run or less in his last four starts.Christian Yelich led off the ninth with a single off Scott Rice (0-1). He advanced to second on Ed Lucas’ sacrifice. Germen intentionally walked Stanton before McGehee got his RBI single.Marlins closer Steve Cishek (2-1) pitched to a scoreless ninth for the win. Miami improved to 15-5 at home and is 6-1 on its current nine-game homestand.The Marlins have won two in a row in their final at-bat. “We’re a good ball team,” Saltalamacchia said. “We go out there every day and have a good approach.”Yelich and Ed Lucas led off the eighth with walks. Stanton followed with an RBI single and Quintanilla let McGehee get through his legs, allowing Lucas to score. Saltalamacchia doubled to right-center to make it 3-allKyle Farnsworth relieved Matsuzaka and, with the infield drawn in, retired Jeff Baker on a grounder to second. Farnsworth walked pinch-hitter Garret Jones and struck out Adeiny Hechavarria and retired Marcel Ozuna on a grounder to third.“Give Niese a lot of credit — he looked good out there,” Miami Manager Mike Redmond said. “We had a tough time early on, trying to figure him out. He shut us down but we were able to hang in there and mount a late rally.”Daniel Murphy and Curtis Granderson homered off Miami’s Nathan Eovaldi in the first inning for 2-0 lead. Murphy’s shot over the fence in right field was his first of the season and Granderson hit his third with a drive that bounced off the upper deck in right-center field.Bobby Abreu had a sacrifice fly to left, scoring David Wright in the fourth. Wright led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on Grandeson’s single.Eovaldi scattered five hits, walked one and struck out a career-high 10 in seven innings.“The Marlins have been hot, especially in this park and late,” Mets Manager Terry Collins said. “They can be really tough.”Eric Young Jr. returned to the lineup and went 1 for 4 after a freakish pregame injury on May 4. Young was struck on the right cheek off a batted ball from Lucas Duda that bounced off an indoor batting cage.Although he passed concussion tests, Young said he felt dizzy and Collins sat him out of the series finale against the Rockies.Marlins starter Jose Fernandez said his left thigh feels fine and he will make his next start after being struck by a one-hopper off the bat of Dee Gordon in the fifth inning of Miami’s 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday. Fernandez went 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA in April, earning his first NL Pitcher of the Month award.last_img read more

Oilers Steamroll The Rangers, 3-1

first_imgNEW YORK — Benoit Pouliot made the most of his return to Madison Square Garden.Pouliot scored the go-ahead goal against his former team midway through the second period and backup Viktor Fasth made 20 saves as the Edmonton Oilers beat the New York Rangers 3-1 on Nov. 9.Pouliot scored his second goal of the season off a nifty pass from linemate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at 8:29 of the middle period to put the Oilers ahead, 2-1.Pouliot was a key member of the Rangers as they reached the Stanley Cup finals last spring before he signed a five-year, $20-million deal with Edmonton in July.“It was fun to be back and great that we came out with a win,” Pouliot said. “Last year was awesome for me. Of course playing against guys I had a great time with, I wanted to do well.”Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring at 3:19 of the first with his team-leading fifth this season with assists to Pouliot and Jordan Eberle. Carl Hagelin tied it for the Rangers with 7:26 remaining in the period with his fourth goal.Teddy Purcell’s empty-net goal at with 1:27 remaining in the game sealed the Oilers’ second straight win. Edmonton snapped a four-game losing streak with a win at Buffalo on Nov. 7.“Those are the types of games that we want to get the result in because it goes a long way to the learning process for our guys,” Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. “We had success throughout the game playing an aggressive game.”The Rangers lost for the second time in two nights, coming off a 5-4 loss at Toronto on Nov. 8.With an unusual 6 p.m. local start time, the Oilers played better from the start, outshooting the Rangers 11-8 in the first period. The trend continued in the second as the Rangers put forth a minimal attack, with six shots on Fasth while Edmonton had 13 more on Henrik Lundqvist.The Rangers continued their uninspired play in the third, bringing a few jeers from the Madison Square Garden crowd. It took 11 minutes into the final period for New York to register its first shot on goal by Tanner Glass.“Our effort was unacceptable,” Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said. “We were out of sorts all over the ice and we were losing battles. It’s tough to win a hockey game that way.”The 32-year-old Fasth started opposite fellow Swede Lundqvist for the first time. It was Fasth’s third start in four games in place of Ben Scrivens.“The boys were great blocking shots and making good plays in front of me, especially when they had a push at the end,” Fasth said. “It feels really good as a team.”Lundqvist, who finished with 30 saves, kept the Rangers in the contest, especially in the middle period with saves on Justin Schultz and rookie Leon Draisaitl. The loss left the Rangers’ goalie searching for answers.“When the energy isn’t there, it’s hard to play this game,” he said. “We need to raise our level. There’s no way around that.”The Oilers were without leading scorer Taylor Hall who missed his fourth straight game with a sprained knee. However, they welcomed captain Andrew Ference back after the defenseman missed three games because of a suspension for an illegal check to head of Vancouver’s Zack Kassian.The Rangers continued to play without injured defensemen Ryan McDonagh (shoulder) and Dan Boyle (hand). They also missed John Moore, who completed a five-game suspension for a high hit on Minnesota’s Erik Haula.Moore can return for the Nov. 11 home game against Pittsburgh. Boyle has been out since the season-opener but has resumed practicing with the team and could return this week.Rangers coach Alain Vigneault hinted roster moves could be looming for his inconsistent squad. “We are going to evaluate our team, see where we are, see if we can make some adjustments and go from there,” Vigneault said.(ALLAN KREDA)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Cubs’ Arrieta Hurls 2nd No-Hitter

first_imgCINCINNATI — Jake Arrieta’s first no-hitter set him apart. Pitching another one in the span of only 11 regular-season starts has put the Chicago Cubs ace in elite company.And his catcher suspects that the reigning NL Cy Young winner has a few more of those no-hit moments left in him.Arrieta overcame early sloppiness and bore down at the end, shutting down the Cincinnati Reds in a 16-0 rout on April 21 that left everyone amazed except him.After all, he’d done it before. “It feels different the second time,” said Arrieta, who did his best pitching in the last few innings with the gem in reach. “I was a little more relaxed as the game progressed.”Arrieta (4-0) struck out six, walked four and allowed only six balls hit out of the infield during the first no-hitter in Major League Baseball this season.No spectacular plays were needed by Cubs fielders to preserve Arrieta’s performance. He threw 119 pitches, retiring Eugenio Suarez on a routine flyball to right field to end it.Arrieta threw his first career no-hitter last Aug. 30 at Dodger Stadium, beating Los Angeles 2-0. That game came as Arrieta put together one of the best pitching stretches in club history — he’s 15-0 in his last 16 regular-season starts.“What can I say?” Manager Joe Maddon said. “Man, it was spectacular.”The Reds hadn’t been held hitless in a regular-season game since 1971, when Rick Wise did it for Philadelphia at Riverfront Stadium. In the 2010 NL playoffs, Roy Halladay of the Phillies pitched a no-hitter against Cincinnati.“We got dominated,” Reds outfielder Jay Bruce said. “That’s the most dominating game I’ve ever been a part of. He was great; we weren’t.“Every time he goes out there, he’s got no-hit stuff. He’s arguably the best pitcher in the game today.”Arrieta is among several pitchers in the last decade to pitch two no-hitters. The 30-year-old righty is on the list with Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Tim Lincecum and Homer Bailey, who threw the only other no-hitter at Great American Ball Park on July 2, 2013, against the Giants.“I feel like I didn’t do a whole lot,” said David Ross, who caught his first no-hitter. “That animal was in control the whole time. He locked it in when he needed to.“He’s got the capability of doing that every night out.” At 39, Ross has already announced this will be his final season. Arrieta said it was exciting to let Ross have this thrill.Arrieta is the first Cubs pitcher to win his first four starts in a season since Greg Maddux went 5-0 in 2006. Ken Holtzman is the only other Cubs pitcher to throw more than one no-hitter in the modern era, doing it in 1969 and 1971.Kris Bryant homered twice, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs. Arrieta contributed a pair of singles and a walk as the Cubs pulled away.The 16-run margin approached the most-lopsided victory in major league history. In 1884, Pud Galvin and Buffalo beat the Detroit Wolverines 18-0 in the National League, STATS said.By Arrieta’s standards, it was a bit of a struggle. He walked three batters — he’d allowed only two walks in his first three starts combined — and needed 85 pitches to get through six innings. After that, he dug in and made quick work of the Reds’ lineup.“In the sixth, I knew it was going to be a possibility for me,” Arrieta said.The thousands of Cubs fans in the crowd of 16,497 were on their feet cheering as Arrieta walked Scott Schebler to open the ninth, got pinch-hitter Tucker Barnhart on a popup, Zack Cozart on a fly to center and Suarez on an easy fly.Arrieta and Ross embraced halfway between home plate and the mound as the rest of the Cubs circled around him.In September 2014, Arrieta lost a no-hit bid against the Reds on Brandon Phillips’ one-out double in the eighth at Wrigley Field.This time, the offense made the outcome a moot point while extending the Cubs’ best start since 1970 at 12-4.Bryant hit a two-run shot in the first off Brandon Finnegan (1-1), and his third career grand slam in the seventh off Drew Hayes made it 13-0. Ben Zobrist and Ross added solo shots, and Anthony Rizzo had a three-run homer.As the Cubs made it a romp, there was only one question left: How far could Arrieta go? He gave himself a chance by getting through the seventh and eighth innings on only 18 pitches, bearing down against an over-matched lineup.Finnegan started at Wrigley Field on April 11 and didn’t allow a hit until Ross singled with two outs in the seventh. They were ready for the left-hander this time. Dexter Fowler doubled off the wall in center on Finnegan’s first pitch of the game, and Bryant’s homer made it 2-0.(JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Fortounis Extends Contract with Olympiacos

first_imgKostas Fortounis has signed a contract extension with Olympiacos which will keep him with the Erythrolefki until 2020. The new deal has a high release clause and it will increase Fortounis’ yearly earnings. Additionally, Dominguez’s contract was extended for one more year while Andreas Bouchalakis will remain with the club until 2020.Fortounis new contract extends his stay in Piraeus to 2020 (previously 2019). With the new deal, Fortounis will now earn roughly €1 million a year, doubling his previous agreement with the club (€400,000). In the scenario of a transfer, before 2020, his new contract has a release clause of €20 – €25 million. Fortounis had a tremendous season with Olympiacos and has caught the eyes of many European clubs. With the new deal, anyone interested in Fortounis will need to pay a hefty amount to Olympiacos to acquire the rising Greek star. Similar to Fortounis, Bouchalakis also extended his contract with the club until 2020.Olympiacos decided to activate the expansion clause in Chori Dominguez’s current contract and the Argentinian playmaker will remain with the club for one more season. There were rumors that the Greek Champions would not progress with the expansion clause, but according to Live Sport, Dominguez will wear the Erythrolefka for another year.Source: www.agonasport.comTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Apoel reach Europa League knockout stage despite defeat

first_imgApoel suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Astana on Thursday, but the night ended in celebration for the Cypriots as Olympiacos’ 1-1 draw against Young Boys in the group’s other game means they are through to the knockout stages of the Europa League for the first time in their history.Astana had to come from behind to defeat ten-man Apoel, but the Nicosia club quickly got over the loss after Olympiacos stopped Young Boys from winning, meaning they cannot be caught by the third or fourth-placed sides with one more game still to play.The game in the Kazakhstan capital was in doubt earlier in the week with temperatures reaching -30 degrees Celsius, but the eventually rose to a modest -8 ahead of kick-off.The home side got an early foothold on the game and the first good effort on goal came on 25 minutes when Apoel defender Astiz cleared the ball into the path of Astana full-back Shomko who hit a rasping effort with his left-foot which whistled past the post with Waterman helpless.But just as they did in three of their previous four Europa League group games this season, it was Apoel who took the lead. A long ball out of defence was flicked on by Aloneftis and Efrem, without taking a first touch, hit the bouncing ball with the outside of his left boot which flew into the top corner, for one of the goals of the competition so far.The joy was short lived however, as Apoel were quickly reduced to ten men. A poor touch from Astiz, allowed Kabananga to intercept and the Spaniard made the hasty decision of bringing him down, leaving the referee no other option but to send him off as he was the last man.Despite being a player down, Apoel started the second half on the front foot, with De Camargo having an effort on goal before Efrem nearly picked out Sotiriou for what would have been a close-range tap-inAstana nearly equalised on 57 minutes when Apoel’s Lago slipped in his attempt to clear, presenting Despotovic with a fine chance, but Waterman spread himself well to deny the striker from six yards.On the hour mark however, the hosts were level. What should have been a routine collection of a harmless corner by Waterman, the Dutchman let the ball slip out of his hands allowing Anicic to equalise from close range.From then on, it was backs to the wall stuff for the Cypriot side, as Astana piled on the pressure. On 64 minutes, after a free-flowing move, Beysebekov lashed into the side netting.Astana’s momentum continued to grow, with Kabananga going close minutes later. The Congolese striker again threatened with a sharp volley on the turn with ten minutes remaining, though Waterman appeared to have it covered.Apoel’s resolve was finally broken on 84 minutes when Shomko’s cross found Despotovic, who edged ahead of Carlao, then hit the post with his first attempt but made no mistake from the rebound.The defeat was quickly forgotten however, thanks to Olympiacos preventing Young Boys from winning in Piraeus and the fact that the Greeks drew rather than won means Apoel can finish group winners with just a draw when the pair meet in the final group game on 8 December in Nicosia.Source: cyprus-mail.comTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Playoff Berth Gives Rest of NBA Glimpse into Bucks’ Future

first_imgMILWAUKEE (AP) — Steel beams and giant cranes tower over a lot next to the Bradley Center, a busy construction site that will turn into the next home of the Milwaukee Bucks.A new downtown arena offers the most visible sign of progress for a franchise in transition.From the emergence of Giannis Antetokounmpo as an NBA All-Star to a return to the playoffs, this has been an important season for the Bucks. They return home on Thursday to host the Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of a first-round series tied at 1-1.“In a very real sense, we’re in the process of fulfilling the commitment we made … building the arena and building in downtown Milwaukee,” co-owner Wes Edens said. “Every time you go out there, you can see the arena rising before your eyes.”Edens was part of an ownership group that bought the franchise from former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl in 2014. The goals seemed lofty back then: turning a 15-win team back into a winner while also building a new arena that would keep the Bucks in town.While the road to reaching both targets hasn’t always been smooth, the Bucks are brimming with optimism.On the court, Antetokounmpo blossomed into the team’s first All-Star since 2004, and first All-Star starter since 1986. He’s now in the top 10 of NBA jersey sales, the first Bucks player on that list since Gary Payton’s brief tenure with the team in 2003.A 6-foot-11 forward with freakish athleticism, Antetokounmpo is a triple-double threat every night.“His length is unbelievable,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “He plays so hard, the kid plays so hard. He has a heart as big as this table.”A first-round draft pick in 2013, the 22-year-old Antetokounmpo is part of a young group for the Bucks at similar points in their development, including fifth-year forward-guard Khris Middleton and third-year forward Jabari Parker. Middleton returned from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the season’s first 50 games on Feb. 8, the same night that Parker was lost with a season-ending left knee injury.The Bucks still made the playoffs and finished above .500 for the first time since 2009-10 on the strength of tougher defense and winning close games in a 14-victory March.“One of the things that I’ve learned is that no one feels sorry for you. At one point (we were) 22-30 and struggling,” Edens said. “It starts with the very high play of Giannis. … Khris came back and he’s such a good basketball player, you see him down the stretch being so effective.“Look at the record in close games, were much better down the stretch. More broadly, the team is a very deep team,” Edens added.After the new ownership group took over, the Bucks began using the slogan “Own the Future.” They’ve tweaked that slogan on a highway billboard in recent days to read “Come See the Future,” a nod to the playoffs and the arena project.“We have a two- to four-year plan to be an extremely successful, sustainable NBA franchise,” team President Peter Feigin said. “You tell the promise and then you deliver on it.”The $524 million project is expected to be completed before the 2018-19 season. A public financing plan covered $250 million toward construction, with current and former team owners having committed $250 million and expected to cover any cost overruns.The Bucks are scheduled to move into a new 60,000 square-foot practice facility across the street from the new arena this summer, what the team says will be a state-of-the-art space that will be among the best in the league. It promises to be a big upgrade over the current facility just outside Milwaukee.The new downtown project would be the centerpiece of a multi-purpose entertainment district on what was 30 acres of mostly vacant land or parking lots. The goal is to turn the area into “a vibrant neighborhood activated by sports, entertainment, residential and office uses,” the team has said.A playoff berth for the Bucks allows the rest of the NBA to also get a glimpse of the team’s future.“It means a lot for the franchise and the city of Milwaukee,” Middleton said. “We’ve come a long way.”GENARO C. ARMAS, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Alonso Breaks NL Rookie HR Record, Mets Crown Royals 11-5 (Video)

first_imgAlonso also had an RBI double and scored three times during his second consecutive three-hit game. Rosario had three hits and three RBIs in the leadoff spot, and Joe Panik added three hits as the top four batters in the Mets’ lineup combined to go 11 for 18 with nine RBIs and seven runs.“When we’re locked in and try to put good at-bats together and hit the ball hard and not try to do too much, I mean, we can be really dangerous,” Alonso said. “Today we showed that.”New York scored six times in the seventh to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 9-4 lead. J.D. Davis tied it with a pinch-hit RBI single and Rosario had the go-ahead single two batters later. Alonso, Conforto and Wilson Ramos added RBI base hits later in the inning.New York battered Royals reliever Kevin McCarthy (2-2), who was charged with four runs in one-third of an inning.Jeurys Familia (4-1) allowed one run in two innings.“Familia did a great job. Six big outs for us,” Callaway said. “Some in a tight game and then went back out. Tough spot to go back out — he probably sat for 20 minutes.”Conforto put the Mets up 3-0 in the first, sending the first pitch he saw from starter Glenn Sparkman 452 feet to right field for his 25th home run.Sparkman settled down after that to throw six solid innings. He set down 14 of his next 15 batters and pitched around a couple of one-out singles in the sixth.“Once I got my groove, I felt really good,” Sparkman said. “I really wanted to go as far as I possibly could in this game.”Mets starter Zack Wheeler didn’t allow a hit through the first three innings, but things snowballed over the next two. He gave up four runs — three earned — on five hits in five innings and committed a costly throwing error in the fifth.“A couple of bloopers dropped in and then I messed the play up at first that I should have made and it kind of took off from there and I couldn’t stop it,” Wheeler said.STATS AND STREAKSMets catcher Tomás Nido snapped an 0-for-24 skid with a double in the seventh. … Ramos singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, tied for the longest active run in the majors with Cincinnati’s Jose Iglesias. … Rosario moved from shortstop to left field in the seventh, his first major league appearance in the outfield. … Cheslor Cuthbert went 0 for 4 for the Royals, matching Chad Kreuter’s team record with his seventh straight 0-for-4 game. Cuthbert is hitless in 30 at-bats since Aug. 8. … Kansas City is 1-10 in series rubber games this season and 1-24 dating to May 30, 2018.TRAINER’S ROOMWith an off day on Monday, the Mets held Davis out of the starting lineup for a second consecutive day as he nurses a sore calf. Following his pinch-hit single, he went first to third on Nido’s double but then was removed from the game. Afterward, Davis said it was just a precaution and he expects to play Tuesday.UP NEXTMets: Return home Tuesday night to begin a nine-game homestand against playoff contenders. Steven Matz (7-7) starts the series opener against All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber (12-5) and the Cleveland Indians. Callaway was Cleveland’s pitching coach under skipper Terry Francona before getting the job in New York.Royals: Head out of town for a seven-game trip beginning Monday night in Baltimore. Jorge Lopez (1-7) makes his 12th start of the season.By: Kollin Miller, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shares KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Pete Alonso wasn’t even sure he was going to make the New York Mets’ opening day roster, so even he never could have imagined the incredible season he’s having.The burly first baseman hit his 40th home run to break the National League rookie record, capping a late outburst by the New York Mets in their 11-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.“This season’s been unbelievable,” Alonso said. “It’s been a dream come true so far and I just want to keep building off of it and keep trying to help this team win.”Michael Conforto hit a long homer in the first inning and drove in four runs. Amed Rosario put the Mets ahead 6-4 with a two-run single in the seventh, and Alonso went deep in the ninth.New York Mets’ Michael Conforto hits a three-run home run off Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Glenn Sparkman during the first inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)Alonso quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count, but when Royals pitcher Jacob Barnes threw a high fastball, he didn’t miss.“I was just trying to hit the ball hard like I have been,” Alonso said. “Take good, quality swings at good pitches and, thankfully, he gave me a fastball up in the zone, which I like to swing at.”The result was a no-doubt shot over the bullpen in left field that snapped a tie with Cody Bellinger, who hit 39 home runs for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017 on the way to winning Rookie of the Year honors.“It was a pretty grand one,” New York manager Mickey Callaway said. “It went a long way, it seemed like.”Next up for the 24-year-old Alonso is the Mets season record of 41 home runs set by Todd Hundley in 1996 and equaled by Carlos Beltran a decade later.“That’s even more mind-boggling,” Alonso said. “I’m just really grateful. Grateful and thankful and happy that I’ve had this opportunity.”New York, in the middle of a crowded NL wild-card race thanks to its second-half surge, completed a 3-3 road trip and improved to 24-10 since the All-Star break.last_img read more