Having swept aside all opposition in the group stage, hosts England are expected to face a strong pace attack when they take on Pakistan in the first semi-final of the Champions Trophy cricket tournament here on Wednesday.Pakistan managed to bundle out a formidable Sri Lankan batting line-up for 236 runs in their last Group B match after deciding to bowl first at the Cardiff Wales Stadium here on Monday.The Pakistan bowling attack comprising pacers Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali and their lone spinner Imad Wasim will look to test the strong England batting line-up as well.Junaid Khan and Mohammad Amir were in excellent form in the previous match against Sri Lanka and will aim to recreate some of that magic against the hosts.Some of the deliveries by the duo against Sri Lanka were almost unplayable and a similar performance at the same venue on Wednesday could prove to be ominious for England.If Pakistan do manage to upstage the hosts, it will be their first appearance in the final of a 50-over International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament since losing to Australia in the title clash of the 1999 World Cup.The last time they qualified for a 50-over ICC tournament was at the 2011 World Cup when they lost a thriller to arch-rivals India in Mohali.However, Pakistan’s power-packed line-up of fast bowlers is offset to some extent by the lack of too much firepower in their batting.Most of the Pakistan batsmen have struggled during the group matches. Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and opener Fakhar Zaman are the only Pakistan batsmen who have shown some kind of form in this tournament.advertisementSarfaraz struck an unbeaten 61 runs in the must-win last group game against Sri Lanka, which Pakistan won by three wickets to qualify for the last-four stage.England, on the other hand, were the dominant team in Group A. They dominated teams like Australia, Bangladesh and New Zealand in home conditions for an all-win record in the group stage and will look to maintain their winning streak.England’s batting line-up, boasting the likes of Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morga, Ben Stokes and Jos Butler, has looked to be in an impressive form but is expected to face a stern test against the Pakistan bowling attack.Joe Root also sits among the top run scorers in the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy scoring 212 runs in three matches with the highest score of an unbeaten 133 against Bangladesh.The bowling department for England has also looked good, trying to provide an equal balance to the side under the likes of pacers Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Jake Ball, Ben Stokes and their spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali who have consistently delivered for their side.England lead the head-to-head battle with a 6-4 record against Pakistan in ICC tournaments. The last time Pakistan defeated England in an ICC event was in 1996.Squads:England: Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(wk), Moeen Ali, Steven Finn, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Jake Ball, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Adil Rashid, David WilleyPakistan: Sarfraz Khan (c and wk), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammed Amir, Mohammed Hafeez, Shadab Khan and Shoaib Malik.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Tottenham boss Pochettino: We’ve toughened up since Man Utdby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino feels his players have become mentally stronger over the first-half of the season.Pochettino believes the temperament of his squad has improved following a dressing down at Old Trafford.He was agitated by players talking about winning the Premier League title after beating Manchester United 3-0 in August.”After our victory at Old Trafford, I was so disappointed with some of the comments, the way we assimilated the victory,” said Pochettino ahead of the Boxing Day clash with Bournemouth.”After that we improved a lot and learned. In football you always have to be respectful and talk on the pitch. We’re in a very good position — last 16 of the Champions League, semi-final of the Carabao Cup and third in the Premier League table.”I remember when we arrived it always was about how? How do we reduce the gap to the top? How can we be competitive in big games? How can we be consistent? How? How? How? After four-and-a-half years I think we’re in a very good position. But now the last step is the most difficult step. It looks so close but sometimes it’s not so close. That is why it’s tough to keep going.”In our first press conference after the World Cup I told you this is going to be one of the most difficult seasons for us. When many things were negative, when all the circumstances were not the best to start with… But we fought a lot and we took a massive challenge, fighting all together, and we’re doing a fantastic job.”
Messi: Ronaldo has improved Juventusby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona ace Leo Messi has no doubts Cristiano Ronaldo has improved Juventus.Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juve in August.“Being in the same League as him and competing with his team to win everything was very nice,” Messi told Marca.“Cristiano was a great player for La Liga and Real Madrid. Our clashes with them were very beautiful, but I always aim to win with my team.“Any team would miss Cristiano because he always scores lots of goals and gives you many other things on the field, but Real Madrid are still a great club with excellent players.“Juventus are a very good team. They already were before and with the arrival of Cristiano they’re much more so. They’re a great candidate for the Champions League.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Roy Williams DabWhen you beat your rival on the road and clinch the seventh ACC regular season title in your tenure as head coach, there’s only one thing you can do: dab. North Carolina head coach Roy Williams did his best Cam Newton impression and broke out his dab in the post-game locker room tonight, much to the delight of his players. Not bad, Roy. That’s one thing we can’t see coach K doing.
Heading into the 2012 season, Ohio State’s ban from the Big Ten Football Championship Game didn’t seem so bad. Coming off its first losing season since 1988, turning around to win the conference title in one season seemed like a very tough task in a conference with four other teams ranked ahead of the Buckeyes. However, three of those four teams have already lost one game just two weeks into the college football season. Now, the Big Ten looks very winnable for the Buckeyes - except for the fact that they are still ineligible to win. The Big Ten’s top-ranked team in the preseason, Michigan, which was ranked No. 8 in the preseason Associated Press top 25 poll, has gotten off to a very rough start. Michigan was blown out by a score of 41-14 in its season-opening game against Alabama, and struggled to a 31-25 victory over Air Force last Saturday. While Michigan at least won its game last week, two other Big Ten favorites were not so lucky, losing road games to Pac-12 Conference opponents. Wisconsin suffered a 10-7 defeat in a close game at Oregon State, while Nebraska lost 36-30 at UCLA. The Big Ten’s stature among major conferences has taken several hits over the first two weeks, but the Buckeyes are off to a 2-0 start, and have risen to No. 12 in the AP top 25. Only one Big Ten team, No. 10-ranked Michigan State, still stands ahead of OSU in that poll. Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska all still have teams strong enough to regroup and win the Big Ten, but behind Michigan State, the conference already looks wide open. Now, what could have been a blessing in disguise for the Buckeyes in gearing up for a more realistic championship run in 2013 instead seems like a missed opportunity. This is especially true because of how weak the Leaders Division looks. There are only four teams in the Leaders Division eligible to play in the conference championship game, as Penn State, which does not look like it would have factored in anyway after a 0-2 start, is also ineligible, while in its first season of a four-year postseason ban. That leaves Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois and Indiana as the only four teams that could represent the Leaders Division in the conference’s championship game on Dec. 1 in Indianapolis. Wisconsin came into the season as the overwhelming favorite, but its loss follows a struggle to a 26-21 win in its season-opener against Northern Iowa. Among the other three teams, only Indiana stands at 2-0 thus far, and although it has already won one more game than it did in all of 2011, both wins have come against teams that did not play in the Football Bowl Subdivision last season. Unless Wisconsin has a drastic turnaround from its first two games of the season, the Leaders Division has set up perfectly for OSU to finish first. The Buckeyes can still earn a trophy and the distinction of being Leaders Division champions, but that hardly matters in the big picture of the situation, because when December rolls around, they still will not be representing the division in the conference title game. Buckeyes coaches and players are unlikely to admit it, but it has to sting to see a window of opportunity opening wide for them to play for their conference’s biggest title, but be barred from capitalizing upon that opportunity. Instead, it appears increasingly likely that the winner of the Leaders Division will be in for a defeat at the hands of Michigan State, or whichever team finishes atop the Big Ten’s Legends Division, when the championship game comes around.
The Indiana men’s basketball team’s Sunday win at Michigan clinched the outright Big Ten regular-season championship. By virtue of that result, Ohio State was denied a share of the title as well as almost $80,000 in bonuses paid to its four coaches. OSU coach Thad Matta would have received $20,000 for a share of the league’s regular-season title on top of his base salary of $3.2 million, as well as an additional year added on to his current contract, according to OSU athletics spokesman Dan Wallenberg. Matta’s contract expires in July 2019. The three OSU assistants – Dave Dickerson, Chris Jent and Jeff Boals – missed out on a combined $58,334. Each of Matta’s assistants would have received “supplemental compensation in the amount of one month’s salary” had OSU won a share of the Big Ten title, Wallenberg told The Lantern in a Monday email. For Dickerson, the team’s associate head coach and highest-paid assistant, a Big Ten title would have resulted an additional $21,667. Jent and Boals would have received $20,000 and $16,667, respectively. OSU, which defeated Illinois, 68-55, Sunday afternoon to improve to 23-7 overall and 13-5 in the Big Ten, needed a Michigan win to claim a share of the regular season title for the fourth consecutive year. The Wolverines, which led by as many as five points during the final minute of play against the Hoosiers, collapsed down the stretch before eventually losing, 72-71, in Ann Arbor, Mich., hours after the Buckeyes defeated the Illini. Wallenberg did not immediately respond to The Lantern‘s Monday afternoon request for information regarding whether these or other bonuses would be awarded if OSU wins this weekend’s Big Ten Tournament. Matta, who is in his ninth year at OSU, has led the Buckeyes to two Final Fours and five Big Ten titles. He and the Buckeyes will chase their third Big Ten Tournament title in four seasons when the team, seeded No. 2, begins play Friday against the winner of Purdue-Nebraska. OSU’s game against either the Boilermakers or Cornhuskers is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the United Center in Chicago.
12 teams, three groups, two teams from Asia, this is the new version of the world’s oldest tournament set to be played in Brazil this summer.The draw for the 2019 Copa America tournament already took place, with 12 nations from two confederations competing for a single trophy.Six stadiums in five hosts cities in Brazil will witness how from June 14 to July 7th, 12 teams will try to show they are the best in South America.Including Japan and Qatar.These two Asian teams, who are currently in the Semifinals of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and who might even get to meet in the final, were invited by CONMEBOL.This happened after both Mexico and the United States from CONCACAF decided not to attend a tournament they have been left uninvited when it was announced, then invited again some months ago.Neymar can win the Ballon d’Or, says Ander Herrera Andrew Smyth – September 13, 2019 An “excited” Ander Herrera believes new Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar is a contender for the Ballon d’Or alongside Kylian Mbappe.Hosts Brazil will lead Group A together with Bolivia, Venezuela, and Peru.Argentina was drawn into Group B with Colombia, Paraguay, and guests Qatar.While Uruguay is set to play in Group C with Ecuador, Japan, and Chile.The best two teams of each group will qualify directly to the Quarterfinals, while the best two ranked third places will also win a ticket to the elimination round.The Group Stage will be played from June 14 up to the 24th, while the Quarterfinals will be played from the 27 to the 29.Semifinals are set to be played on July 2nd and 3rd. Meanwhile, the Third Place match is scheduled for July 6 and the final for July 7 at Maracana Stadium.
The Manchester City manager believes the Brazil midfielder is not certain to face Southampton on SundayBrazilian midfielder Fernandinho is injured.But he trained with Manchester City on Saturday and might be able to face Southampton tomorrow.“It is not necessary to lose three games from four to say how important Fernandinho is to us,” Guardiola said to The Standard.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“It is a specific position, we don’t have his qualities again. He is an incredible player.”“We tried but when players don’t want to come what can we do?” Guardiola spoke about trying to cover him.“I never in my career with Barcelona or Bayern Munich, I never complain about what they try to do, the clubs.”“They do their best because they want to win too. They try to provide me with the best team possible and they did it,” Guardiola added.