New Zealand wobble after Head century puts Australia in command

first_imgMELBOURNE. Australia (Reuters) – Australia’s pacemen struck twice to leave New Zealand vulnerable at 44 for two on day two of the Boxing Day Test after Travis Head scored a sparkling century to put the hosts firmly in command.Tom Latham was nine not out with Ross Taylor on two, and New Zealand facing a mountain to climb to reel in Australia’s first-innings total of 467.The tourists’ opening woes continued, with Jeet Raval’s replacement Tom Blundell out for 15 edging a Pat Cummins delivery to wicketkeeper-captain Tim Paine.The huge contingent of New Zealand fans in a crowd of 60 000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) were soon groaning again when captain Kane Williamson top-edged a pull-shot to be caught by Paine for nine.Under pressure to cement his place in Australia’s middle order, South Australian scrapper Head completed his second Test ton after tea and celebrated with emotion on a sun-drenched afternoon.He was eventually dismissed for 114, smashing spin-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Santner straight to cover when looking for quick runs late in Australia’s innings.Head scored 56 in his first innings in the series-opener in Perth but was disappointed to give up his wicket with a loose drive off paceman Tim Southee.“Last week I threw it away a little bit and then was really disappointed with that,” he said. “So it’s nice (to) get another opportunity.”Head combined with captain Tim Paine in a 150-run partnership that all but crushed New Zealand’s hopes of forging a series-levelling victory after their 296-run loss in the pink ball Test in Perth.Their sixth-wicket stand was ended soon after tea when the tireless Neil Wagner trapped Paine lbw for 79, denying the Tasmanian skipper a maiden Test hundred.Kane Williamson’s bowlers mopped up the tail for the cost of only 34 runs but the damage was already done.New Zealand managed only one wicket from the first two sessions yesterday, placing Williamson’s decision to send Australia in to bat upon winning the toss under an even harsher light.After Australia resumed in the morning on 257 for four, paceman Wagner denied Steve Smith his first century of the home summer, dismissing the master batsman for 85 with a short ball for the third time in the series.Smith was out parrying at a bouncer that pinged off the shoulder of his bat before being plucked out of the air with one hand by a leaping Henry Nicholls in the gully.That was as good as it got for the Black Caps who were soon on the back foot as Head and Paine counter-attacked with vigour.The pair marched off unbeaten at tea, having survived the whole middle session and pushed Australia to 431 for five.David Warner c Tim Southee b Neil Wagner 41Joe Burns b Trent Boult 0Marnus Labuschagne b Colin de Grandhomme 63Steven Smith c Henry Nicholls b Neil Wagner 85Matthew Wade c BJ Watling b Colin de Grandhomme 38Travis Head c Mitchell Santner b Neil Wagner 114Tim Paine lbw Neil Wagner 79Mitchell Starc c Kane Williamson b Tim Southee 1James Pattinson not out 14Pat Cummins c Tom Latham b Tim Southee 0Nathan Lyon c Neil Wagner b Tim Southee 1Extras: (b-5, lb-22, w-4) 31Total: (all out, 155.1 overs) 467Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-61, 3-144, 4-216, 5-284, 6-434, 7-435, 8-458, 9-463.Bowling: Trent Boult 31-3-91-1 (w-1), Tim Southee 33.1-6-103-3 (w-1), Colin de Grandhomme 30-5-68-2 (w-1), Neil Wagner 38-11-83-4 (w-1), Mitchell Santner 20-1-82-0.NEW ZEALAND 1st inningsTom Latham not out 9Tom Blundell c Tim Paine b Pat Cummins 15Kane Williamson c Tim Paine b James Pattinson 9Ross Taylor not out 2Extras: (b-4, lb-3, nb-1, w-1) 9Total: (two wkts, 18.0 overs) 44Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-39.Bowling: Mitchell Starc 4-0-18-0 (w-1, nb-1), Pat Cummins 7-3-8-1,James Pattinson 5-1-9-1, Nathan Lyon 2-0-2-0.last_img read more

Playoff baseball continues to provide special moments

first_imgPerhaps we don’t see it much in Southern California, but this is the time of year when the cool air rolls in and the leaves begin to change. For a certain group of sports fans, this change of weather means one thing: the MLB postseason. I love October baseball. It’s not my favorite playoffs of the professional sports — the NHL holds that spot — but when October rolls around, I’m always excited for baseball playoffs, regardless of if I have a team in contention or not. There’s just something about the magic of October baseball that I really love. Some of my most memorable sports moments happened in October. I’ve gotten to see the Red Sox win the World Series three times in my life. While all wins are great, the 2013 win sticks out to me the most. I remember Game 6 at Fenway Park the most. John Lackey took the mound after losing Game 2, also at Fenway. The Red Sox knocked in six runs, three each in innings three and four. At this point, sitting on my couch at home, I was on top of the world. The Red Sox were set to win their third World Series in 10 years. The Cardinals picked up a run in the seventh, but I wasn’t worried. I could just feel that the Red Sox were going to win. Koji Uehara came in as the closer. When he walked out, I knew the Red Sox were finally going to clinch the World Series at Fenway — something that hadn’t happened in 95 years. Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter to win it all. Watching the team and the fans at Fenway celebrate, I jumped off the couch, just as happy as all of them. I wanted more than anything to be there that day. Going to Fenway had been my dream since I was about 7 or 8. I finally got to live out that dream this past May. While at Fenway, I got to see all of the team’s World Series memorabilia. Getting to see everything from the 2013 World Series was beyond cool. To top the victory off, David Ortiz was named the World Series MVP. I was so excited for him that I cried during the presentation of his award and his interview. It was a pretty amazing Wednesday.The second most memorable memory I have is Game 2 of the 2015 National League Division Series. My friend Sam and I sat atop Dodgers Stadium excited to watch Zack Greinke pitch. It was an eventful game, to say the least. The Mets knocked in two early, which brought down our spirits just a bit, but then the Dodgers knocked in one a inning or so later. The Dodgers were down 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh when one of the biggest things to come out the this series happened. With one out, Chase Utley slid into second, collided with Ruben Tejada, and broke his leg. At first, everyone in Dodgers was screaming and cheering that Utley was called safe. It wasn’t until Tejada didn’t get up that everyone realized something was wrong. A silence more or less fell through the stadium as they played replay after replay on the big screen — Tejada still hadn’t gotten up. It felt like forever until they finally brought the stretcher out. Everyone clapped as Tejada was strapped on and taken off the field. The Dodgers went on to score four runs in that inning, winning the game 5-2. After the first run, the stadium was rocking. It continued to get louder and louder with each run the Dodgers scored. That was some of the most fun I’ve ever had at a sporting event.Even though the Dodgers ended up losing the series, it was still a great game and atmosphere to take part in. The Dodgers haven’t won a World Series in my lifetime, but every year when October rolls around and the boys in blue are playing, part of me hangs onto the hope that it’ll finally be the year. So far, it’s never been the year, but maybe this year will be different. To me, October baseball is the best kind of baseball. There’s a type of magic around it that keeps me coming back year after year. Maybe it’s the fact that the MLB season has 162 games that make October so special. There are stretches of the baseball season that don’t seem to matter. With so many games, baseball feels long and tedious, but that’s not the case in October. Crazy and exciting things always seem to happen in the postseason. This year’s playoff is nothing short of expectations. The Cubs are looking to break their 107-year curse. The Indians are looking to win their first championship since 1948. The Dodgers are trying to “Win for Vin” and get their first title since 1988. Whoever ends up winning, it’ll be an exciting, magical journey through October, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch. Jodee Storm Sullivan is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. Her column, “The Storm Report,” runs Tuesdays.last_img read more

“I Played With A Sense Of Joy” – Read Full Text Of Jay Jay…

first_imgCredit: FIFA.comRelatedWATCH: Jay Jay Okocha Declares Support For Former Club PSG Ahead Of UCL FinalAugust 23, 2020In “Europe””Jay Jay” Okocha Reveals Why He Failed To Win CAF Best Player And Ballon d’Or In His Hey DaysApril 30, 2020In “Featured”INSIDE AFCON 2019: Iwobi Outlines Differences Between Him and “Jay-Jay” Okocha Ahead of Cameroon Clash (AUDIO)July 6, 2019In “AFCON” Former Super Eagles of Nigeria midfield maestro, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, has given a hint on who he thinks would take over the reigns from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as “The Best”.Jay Jay Okocha, who appeared in three FIFA World Cups from 1994 to 2002, caught up with FIFA.com, and gave his opinion on this year’s FIFA world footballer of the year.FIFA.com: You were one of those players who managed to dazzle on the pitch while always seeming to enjoy yourself. Are those qualities sufficient to be crowned The Best?Jay Jay Okocha: Anyone aspiring to be the best or one of the best, needs more than that. You also need to be able to focus, work hard, and be consistent, as natural talent alone is not enough to elevate you to that level. If you understand that, and you have the raw talent, then you can compete at that level.Is there anyone today who resembles you as a player?I’d say the player whose style most resembles mine would be Neymar. That’s because I played with a sense of joy and you can see that he feels the same and really enjoys his own play. He doesn’t play for himself or just to entertain the fans – he plays for his team. He uses his quality and skill for the good of the team.Do you see him as a future successor to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi?Yes, I think he will be the one to do it. Messi and Ronaldo have dominated world football for a decade and, given the nature of football, at a certain point the baton will have to pass to someone else. I think Neymar has a great chance of filling that role.Ronaldo and Messi have the shared the glory over the last decade, but do you favour one over the other?I have to be diplomatic here, especially as I’ve a lot of Portuguese friends, but I tend to lean towards Messi. He’s a more natural talent. Ronaldo is a fantastic player, one of the best I’ve ever seen, but he’s been a bit unfortunate to be of the same generation as Messi. Consequently, they have to share the limelight.Can you think of an African player with a chance of being among the final three for The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award?It’s hard to name one at present. If you’re talking about the top tier of players internationally, we don’t consider ourselves good enough to compete at that level. We have to change that attitude, and then we’ll be able to produce a player of the stature of the other top guys.last_img read more