The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed a criminal complaint against former India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni by an Andhra Pradesh resident following his depiction as Lord Vishnu by a business magazine.Quashing the criminal complaint, the bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said that the ingredients of the offence alleged in the criminal complaint amounting to hurting the religious feelings of the complainant are not made out.Another bench of the apex court had in September last year quashed an identical complaint filed by another complainant before a court in Bengaluru.In the magazine cover that was released in 2013, Dhoni — dressed up as Lord Vishnu — was seen holding several objects in his hands, including a shoe.A court in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh had issued a non-bailable warrant against him for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.That had prompted Dhoni to approach the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings against him.
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Maruti Suzuki is all set to launch their much awaited product, the new generation Dzire in India on May 16. Yes, you read it right. Along with the cosmetic changes to the 2017 Dzire, Maruti Suzuki have also tweaked the name of their compact sedan. The new generation Dzire drops the Swift tag from its name, because the people at Maruti thought that its time that the compact sedan has its own brand name. So, in comes the new generation Dzire.Since its launch in 2008, Maruti Suzuki have sold approximately 13.8 lakh units of the Dzire. According to the people at Maruti, one out of every 2 compact sedan sold in India, is the Dzire. So let’s take a look at what’s changes have come in with the 2017 Dzire from its predecessor.Design:2017 Dzire: The new generation Dzire will come with a completely new and fresh look. Maruti Suzuki Dzire has been redesigned with a hexagonal grille with a chrome strip around it. The front bumper and the headlamp cluster gets an appealing makeover. At the rear, the new generation Dzire gets minor cosmetic change as the tail lamps has a revised design. The new Dzire will also sport new projector headlamps, LED DRLs and redesigned alloy wheels.2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire. (Photo: Rahul Ghosh)2015 Dzire: The 2015 compact sedan’s front bumper comes with a larger air dam. There are chrome accents on the sides around the fog lamp housings, while the grille now sports honeycomb styling and a thick chrome bar on the top. Moving on to the sides, the alloy wheels on the top variants get an all-new design. When it comes to rear space, the Dzire is not the best of the lot and the same is the case when it comes to its 315-litre boot which is the smallest of the lot here.advertisement2015 Maruti Suzuki Swift DzireEngine: 2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire 2015 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Engine Type K Series Petrol Engine With VVT/ DDiS Diesel Engine K Series Petrol Engine With VVT/ DDiS Diesel Engine Displacement 1197cc/ 1248cc 1197cc/ 1248cc Power 83 bhp/ 74 bhp 83 bhp/ 74 bhp Torque 115 Nm/ 190 Nm 115 Nm/ 190 Nm Transmission 5-MT/ AGS 5-MT/ 4-AT Drive train FWD FWDFeatures:2017 Dzire: The new generation Maruti Suzuki Dzire will come with an upgraded list of features to compete with its competition in the segment. The list includes touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Bluetooth, USB and Aux-in among others. Another added bonus to the new generation Dzire is that the car now comes with rear AC vents, which was not seen in the previous generation Swift Dzire.2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire. (Photo: Rahul Ghosh)2015 Dzire: Inside not much was changed from a design point of view but the company has added features which add value. Things like electric folding mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors and a 12V socket at the back.2015 Maruti Suzuki Swift DzireDimensions: 2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire 2015 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Wheelbase 2470mm 2430 mm Length 3995mm 3995 mm Width 1735mm 1695 mm Height 1515mm 1555 mm Ground Clearance 163 mm 170 mm Boot Space 376-litres 316-litresColors:2017 Dzire: The new Dzire will be available in 6 different colour options- Oxford Blue, Sherwood Brown, Gallant Red, Arctic White, Silky Silver and Magma Gray.2015 Dzire: The older Swift Dzire also came in 6 colour options- Silky Silver, Sangria Red, Alp Blue, Magma Gray, Cave Black and Pearl Arctic White.
Any hopes Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) had of qualifying for the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) play-offs virtually ended after they lost by 61 runs to Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Saturday.The 2017 edition of the IPL has been a disappointing one for the Bangalore franchise, losing seven of their 10 outings so far to be virtually knocked out of the race to the play-offs. Pune, on the other hand kept their play-off dreams alive to stay at the fourth spot after registering their fifth win from nine matches.Chasing a decent 158, RCB were in self-destructive mode losing wickets at regular intervals with skipper Virat Kohli (55) fighting a lone battle to take the team through.Kohli, who went in to open the innings with Australian Travis Head (2), failed to find the support at the other end as the Pune bowlers seized the momentum to their favour.Medium pacer Jaydev Unadkat started the downfall for the visitors with the wicket of Head, who chopped one to the stumps before New Zealand quick Lockie Ferguson packed back the dangerous AB de Villiers (3) after the South African added RCB’s highest partnership of 21 runs for the second wicket with Kohli.New man Kedar Jadhav (7) looked good in the middle before a lack of communication between him and the skipper cost Bangalore their third wicket.Rookie off-spinner Washington Sundar immediately jolted the visitors with the wicket of Sachin Baby (2), brilliantly caught by a diving Steve Smith before Furguson saw the back of Stuart Binny (1) to reduce the men in red and black to 49/5.advertisementLeg-spinner Imran Tahir then joined the party with the wickets of Pawan Negi (3), Adam Milne (5) and Samuel Badree (2) to further dent RCB’s hopes.Struggling at 82/8, Kohli, who by then had reached his half century, the lone RCB batsman to get to the double figures also lost his focus to be caught at sweeper cover by Mayank Agarwal off Daniel Christian after striking four boundaries and a six.Towards the end, tailenders Yuzvendra Chahal (4 not out) and Sreenath Aravind (8 not out) had little answer to the mounting asking rate as RCB finished at 96/9.Earlier, Pune rode on skipper Smith’s 45 and Manoj Tiwary’s unbeaten 44 to reach 157/3 after being sent in to bat.The home side failed to find the momentum against the RCB bowlers, who stuck to a perfect line and length as the last five overs yielded just 46 runs for the home side.Ajinkya Rahane’s (6) dismal run continued to haunt Pune before opener Rahul Tripathi (37) cashed in on the dropped chance by Virat Kohli at 11, to help the hosts cross the 50-run mark with Smith.Smith, who looked in good touch raised a 40-run second wicket stand with Tripathi before the Maharashtra right-hander spoilt another good start to be caught behind by Kedar Jadhav off left-arm spinner Pawan Negi.The fall of Tripathi, who slammed four boundaries and a six during his 28-ball knock, however dried up the boundaries for Pune before Smith broke the shackles in the 12th over, by spanking Badree for a flat six and two consecutive fours.New man Tiwary, promoted to No.4 joined the party by taking Yuzvendra Chahal to the cleaners before Smith added two more fours off Stuart Binny as the third wicket partnership flourished to 50 off 32 balls.Struggling to find the momentum at 115/3 after 16 overs, Pune needed Mahendra Singh Dhoni (21 not out) and Tiwary to press on the accelerator and the former skipper responded in style by muscling Sreenath Aravind for a flat straight six.
Rafael Nadal reached the final of the Barcelona Open by dispatching Argentine Horacio Zeballos 6-3 6-4 on Saturday to book his place in Sunday’s showpiece against Dominic Thiem where he will be looking to win the tournament for a 10th time.Nadal struck the first blow by breaking the unseeded Zeballos in the fourth game and the difference in quality between the two players soon began to show.Zeballos earned two break points in the fourth game of the second set but 14-time grand-slam winner Nadal recovered to hold his serve and wrapped up his victory in 94 minutes, setting up a re-match with Thiem, who beat him last year on clay in the Argentina Open semi-finals.Thiem knocked out world number one Andy Murray 6-2 3-6 6-4 for the first time in his career, becoming the first Austrian since Thomas Muster in 1996 to reach the final of the claycourt tournament.Just as in Friday’s gruelling quarter-final with Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Murray got off to a bad start.The Briton relied on his serve to recover the second set but could not sustain the level and bowed out.
Tennis star Leander Paes’ long-pending matrimonial dispute with wife Rhea Pillai failed to reach an out-of-court settlement, after which the Supreme Court on Monday expressed readiness to adjudicate it.Both sides had prepared terms of agreement regarding a house, payment of maintenance and custody of the child but they could not achieve a common ground despite six sittings.Counsel for Pillai told the bench that she had asked Paes for a house but he was not agreeable to it. Both Paes and Pillai were present in the courtroom.PAES’ ARGUMENTSPaes’ lawyer said Pillai had already got a house from Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt (her former husband) and the tennis star was not ready for another such demand. “He (Paes) is not agreeable to anything. Niether does he want to give anything, nor does he want to pay money”, Pillai’s counsel said. To this, the bench said it cannot force the parties for settlement and the matter would now be heard on merit.”If both sides are not ready to settle it amongst themselves, then we have to consider many things. The problem is that we cannot force a settlement. It has to be voluntary. Let the matter now go before a new bench as we had been pushing for mediation and propriety demands new judges hear the matter”, a bench of justices Arun Mishra and Amitav Roy said.’RESOLVE ISSUE AMICABLY’On January 18 also the court had asked the couple who have been fighting a legal battle for three years over their matrimonial dispute to resolve the issue amicably and try for an out-of-court settlement and sent them for mediation.advertisement”Show sporting spirit in real life too”, the bench had told the couple during the last date of hearing.The pair is locked in a legal battle over maintenance and custody of their 11-year-old daughter since 2014, when Pillai had filed a case of domestic violence and harassment against Leander Paes and his father in a magistrate’s court in Mumbai.She had sought maintenance, but her plea was opposed by Paes who claimed that he was not married to Rhea and hence, she was not his wife.Also Read:Leander Paes and Ramkumar Ramanathan in finals of Tallahassee ChallengerMahesh Bhupathi-Leander Paes war gets uglier after India Today reveals text messagesAlso Watch:Never communicated to Leander Paes he was in the scheme of things for Davis Cup: Mahesh Bhupathi to India Today
South Korean major Samsung launched the Z4 smartphone on Friday. “Beginning in May, the Samsung Z4 will launch in select countries, starting in India and will be available in black, gold and silver depending on the market,” the company said in a press statement. Geared towards feature-phone users who are looking to make a switch to smartphones, the Samsung Z4 is powered by Samsung’s in-house Tizen (Tizen 3.0) operating system which is a custom fork of Android. It is a follow up to the company’s previously launched Z2.The Samsung Z2, although all-plastic, has curved 2.5D glass on the front that enhances looks and aesthetics. It comes with a 4.5-inch WVGA (480×800) display and is powered by a 1.5GHz quad core processor (unspecified chipset) coupled with 1GB of RAM. It comes with a 5-megapixel camera on the rear with dual flash LED and a 5-megapixel camera on the front with flash.The dual-SIM Samsung Z4 supports 4G LTE, VoLTE, and VoWiFi. It is backed by a 2,050mAh battery.”The Samsung Z4 brings a simplified mobile experience to first time smartphone users and represents our ongoing commitment to expanding the Tizen ecosystem,” DJ Koh, president of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics said.Samsung launched the Z2 in India in August last year at a price of Rs 4,590.The Z2 features an all-plastic body with a textured back. It comes with a 4-inch display and is powered by a 1.5Ghz quad-core processor clubbed with 1GB RAM and 8GB of memory which is further expandable by up to 128GB via micro-SD card. The dual-SIM phone runs Tizen OS and supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready).advertisementAccording to Samsung, Tizen OS gives the phone an intuitive interface, easy access to top 8 applications on the screen among other smart features. Moreover the phone also come pre-bundeled with my money transfer app which allows users to check their bank balance, get mini statement and transfer money.The phone also supports offline maps and web pages alongside 12 Indian languages. At the same time, the phone’s Smart Tutor feature lets first-time users get a guided tour to use the device. You also get Samsung’s proprietary ultra data saving and S Bike mode.On the camera front, it sports a 5-megapixel camera on the rear and VGA snapper on the front. The phone is backed by a 1,500 mAh battery.Also Read: Samsung Z2 quick review: This can be your first smartphone
Refreshed Australia pace spearhead Mitchell Starc is confident of regaining his rhythm quickly for the Champions Trophy after being sidelined nearly three months with a foot injury.Starc is set to be unleashed against Pakistan in Edgbaston later on Monday in Australia’s final warm-up ahead of the one-day tournament. It will be his first competitive hit-out since breaking down during the second Test against India in March.The left-armer was rusty coming back against West Indies last year after a more serious foot injury kept him out of action for seven months, but he felt it would be a smoother return in England after positive signs at training.Starc, who skipped the Indian Premier League and returned to training about a month ago, said he has found it much easier to get up to speed after the latest injury.”So even coming back into the nets, it didn’t feel like it took too long to get some good rhythm back. So hopefully it’s not like last time with such a big lay-off,” he added.”I’m pretty confident with how it’s going, it’s feeling good in the nets and with the few centre wickets we’ve had.”But it’ll be nice to get out in the middle and bowl some overs in match-like conditions.”Starc will lead a young but formidable pace battery including Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson.Injuries have kept the quartet from coming together sooner, so Starc was thrilled they were all fit for selection.”We’re looking forward to hopefully playing a few games together if the four of us get picked,” he said.advertisement”We’ve obviously come through the ranks together, we’ve played a lot together and against each other in the under-age stuff and heading into to domestic cricket.”But we haven’t all been on the park at the same time for Australia. So I think it’s exciting for the four of us.”Australia’s preparations for the tournament, which they start against New Zealand at Edgbaston on Friday, have been overshadowed by a pay dispute between the players union and board, Cricket Australia (CA).Over the weekend, The Australian newspaper reported CA high performance chief Pat Howard had written to senior players directly in a bid to end the impasse with less than a month to go before a new collective bargaining agreement is due.Starc, who hinted at the possibility of an Ashes boycott on social media earlier this month, said the Australian Cricketers Association had players’ full support.”They have four weeks to go on the MoU (memorandum of understanding) and the players are leaving it to the ACA to sort it out for our side of things,” he said.
Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo saved three successive penalties to give them a 3-0 shootout win over Portugal after their Confederations Cup semi-final had ended goalless on Wednesday.Bravo stopped Portugal’s first three spot kicks from Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani while Chile converted their first three to win the clash of South American and European champions.That meant that Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who usually goes last in the shootout, did not get to take a kick, as was the case when Portugal lost to Spain on penalties in the Euro 2012 semi-finals.The result was justice for Chile after they hit the woodwork with two successive shots in the dying seconds of extra time.Arturo Vidal struck the post and the rebound fell to Martin Rodriguez who hit the underside of the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.There was controversy shortly before that when Chile winger Alexis Sanchez went down in the box under a Jose Fonte tackle but the referee did not consult the Video Assistant Referees (VARs), even though contact seemed to be made.Bravo has been criticised for his club form with Manchester City this season but he was Chile’s hero alongside Vidal who gave another inspired and tireless performance in midfield.”Claudio was amazing and the penalty takers were amazing and I think we deserve to be in the final,” said Chile coach Juan Antonio Pizzi. “Claudio and the goalkeeping coach had studied the penalty takers.”Chile will face either Germany or Mexico, who meet on Thursday, in Sunday’s final in St Petersburg to close an exhausting two weeks.advertisementThe game only came to life in exasperating patches.It started promisingly as Chile forward Eduardo Vargas had an excellent chance blocked by Rui Patricio, then Andre Silva’s close-range effort was smothered by Bravo at the other end.Vargas provided the high point of the second half with a brilliant overhead shot which Rui Patricio saved while Ronaldo had several second-half chances.One effort was parried by Bravo, then he sent a long-range free kick high and wide, then had a shot deflected wide and then missed the target with a header from Cedric Soares’ cross.Sanchez was largely kept under wraps and Chile’s record scorer did not have his first sniff of goal until early in extra time when his header from Mauricio Isla’s cross curled away from the goal.Portugal coach Fernando Santos pointed out that the same three players who missed on Wednesday all took penalties and converted when his side beat Poland in their Euro 2016 quarter-final. “On that occasion, they were heroes,” he said.
Riding on skipper Mithali Raj (109) and left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad (5/15) efforts, the Indian women’s team on Saturday steamrolled New Zealand by 186 runs and set their date with Australia in the second semi-final of the ICC Women’s World Cup here on Thursday.Chasing a healthy 266, New Zealand crumbled under pressure and failed to offer any kind of resistance as Rajeshwari, playing her first match of the tournament, spun a web to skittle them out for a meagre 79 in the do-or-die final group tie.The New Zealanders found themselves three-down in the 11th over and after a brief, ineffective resistance from Amy Satterthwaite (26) and Sophie Devine, they fell like nine pins as the Indian bowlers maintained an immaculate line throughout.Such was the havoc created by the Indian bowlers that only three of New Zealand’s batters — Amy, Katey Martin (12) and Amelia Kerr (12 not out) — managed to reach double figures.Rajeshwari was well assisted by off-spinner Deepti Sharma (2/26) while veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey and Poonam Yadav took one wicket apiece.Earlier after being put in to bat, Mithali (109 off 123 balls, 11×4) helped resurrect India’s innings with two century stands — first a 132-run third wicket partnership with Harmanpreet Kaur (60 off 90, 7×4) and then joined forces with Veda Krishnamurthy (70 off 45, 7×4, 2×6) to add 108 runs for the fifth wicket.India were off to a disastrous start, losing the early wickets of Smriti Mandana (13) and Punam Raut (4) to find themselves tottering at a precarious 21/2 by the eighth over.Mithali, who on Saturday became the first Indian batswoman to notch 1000 World Cup runs, batted cautiously to steady the ship along with all-rounder Harmanpreet as the New Zealand bowlers kept testing the Indians with some tight line and length.advertisementThe 34-year-old Mithali, already the highest run-getter in the 50-over format, got to her sixth One-Day International (ODI) ton off 116 balls when she drove Leigh Kasperek between long-on and deep midwicket.India overcame the poor start in the middle overs, milking 16-year-old leg-spinner Amelia Kerr for 64 runs besides skipper Suzie Bates leaking 59 from her 8 overs.Veda’s innings towards the end was what India missed in the previous match against the Australians on Wednesday, as the right-hander gave the innings the much-needed acceleration, which included two towering sixes.The final over, however, witnessed a quick fall of wickets with Mithali, Veda and Shikha Pandey (0) going one after the other as India finished at 265/7.For the White Ferns, Kasperek was the pick of the bowlers grabbing 3/45 while Hannah Rowe took 2/30 and Lea Tahuhu contributed with the wicket of opener Punam.Brief Scores: Indian Women: 265/7 (Mithali Raj 109, Veda Krishnamurthy 70, Harmanpreet Kaur 60, Leigh Kasperek 3/45, Hannah Rowe 2/30) beat New Zealand women: 79 (Amy Satterthwaite 26, Amelia Kerr 12 not out, Rajeshwari Gayakwad 5/15, Deepti Sharma 2/26) by 186 runs.
The Indian hockey team rode on twin strikes from Ramandeep Singh and Chinglensana Singh Kanjugam to register a sensational 4-3 win over Austria in their final encounter of the Europe Tour here.Ramandeep (25th minute, 32nd min) and Chinglensana (37th min, 60th min) helped India overcome Austria on Wednesday, and end their tour with three wins and two loses.After two successive wins against World No.4 The Netherlands, India made a steady start against Austria. While they kept most of the ball possession, penetrating into the striking circle was hard to come by. In fact, it was Austria who took an early lead through Oliver Binder’s goal in the 14th minute to end the quarter 1-0.India however, made amends in the second quarter when they won a penalty corner (PC) in the 25th minute. A clever variation saw comeback-man Amit Rohidas pass the ball to Ramandeep Singh who deflected the ball into the circle to equalise the score to 1-1.The 10-minute halftime break saw India come back into the game as a stronger team with better attack. They made better circle penetrations and a brilliant breakthrough came in when Ramandeep scored a rollicking field goal in the 32nd minute.It was a reverse hit from the top of circle which flew past the Austrian goalkeeper to give India a 2-1 lead. India found another chance to score when Mandeep Singh helped win a PC through a stick check.But the opportunity when amiss with the ball hitting the cross bar. However, another opportunity created by Mandeep again was successfully converted by India vice captain Chinglensana Singh in the 37th minute through a superb variation by drag-flicker Varun Kumar.advertisementGoing into the final 15 minutes, India had a comfortable 3-1 lead. But a determined Austria put one past the India goalkeeper when they won a PC and Michael Korpher converted it successfully in the 53rd minute to set up a close finish.Though India had won a PC only minutes before- thanks to forward Gurjant Singh, injector Manpreet Singh sent the ball slightly wide. With a little over eight minutes left, forward Lalit Upadhyay found a great opportunity to score but failed to beat the Austrian goalkeeper.Austria then pushed India on the back foot when they scored in the 55th minute via Patrick Schmidt to equalise 3-3. It was a tense final few minutes with India pushing hard for a goal.With just 10 seconds left for the final hooter, Chinglensana scored a sensational goal when Ramandeep made a brilliant circle penetration to find Gurjant Singh. A cross hit by Gurjant saw Chinglensana deflect the ball into the goal and seal the match with winning points.
Formula One title favourite Lewis Hamilton shattered the Circuit of the Americas track record on Friday as he dominated practice for a US Grand Prix that could bring him a fourth world championship.The Mercedes driver had been half a second quicker already than his Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel in a damp opening session and dazzled in the afternoon as the sun made an appearance.His storming time of one minute 34.668 seconds was the fastest ever at the Texas track and the Briton, winner of four out of five races to date there, was the only driver on the timesheets below the 1:35 mark.Hamilton, 59 points clear of Vettel with four races and a total of 100 points remaining to be won, took pole in Austin last year with a record lap of 1:34.999.Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, fresh from signing a new contract through to the end of 2020, was second fastest in 1:35.065 with Vettel third in 1:35.192.”It’s been an interesting day with lots of ups and downs in terms of how the track has moved around and how the car feels. But overall the car was feeling good,” said Hamilton, who could count on plenty of local support.”There are lots of areas we can improve on, but generally it feels like a solid platform and a solid start to the weekend.”Hamilton’s morning time was 1:36.335 seconds on the supersoft tyres.Vettel had a difficult afternoon, spinning into the gravel and complaining that the front of the car felt “like jelly”, a problem that cost him precious track time while mechanics worked on the car.advertisement”It was a messy afternoon and not an easy session but the car is quick so no need to worry,” the German told reporters.”Obviously we lost a lot of time but you need to take precautions. Now we need to have a good look but I’m sure for tomorrow we’ll have more planned running and less trouble,” he added.Hamilton, who has won all but one of the five races since the August break, is clear favourite to triumph again on Sunday but he will need to score 16 points more than Vettel to clinch the title.That means finishing first or second on Sunday, and hoping Vettel has a nightmare for the fourth race in a row. Otherwise the championship fight will remain open to the next round in Mexico.While much of the attention was on the title rivals, Spaniard Carlos Sainz and New Zealand debutant Brendon Hartley also caught the eye with strong performances.Sainz, moving to Renault from Toro Rosso in place of the dropped Briton Jolyon Palmer, was quicker than German team mate Nico Hulkenberg in both sessions.Hartley, who will have a 25-place grid penalty for his debut, stepped into a single seater for the first time since 2012 and looked at home straight away with the 14th best time of the morning.He was 17th in the afternoon, with Russian team mate Daniil Kvyat 1.2 seconds quicker in 13th.The New Zealander, a Le Mans 24 Hours winner, did more laps (13 more than the 56 lap race distance) than anybody else as he drove an F1 car for the first time since 2010 when V8 engines were still around.McLaren’s Fernando Alonso made up lost time after a hydraulics problem in the morning with the seventh best time.
Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has undergone a bio-mechanics bowling test in England and will know in two weeks time whether he can continue to bowl in international cricket or faces another ban.The 37-year-old Pakistan spinner was reported again for a suspect bowling action during the recent one-day series with Sri Lanka in the UAE.It is the third time in his international career that his bowling action has been reported to the ICC by match officials. The former Pakistan captain, in fact, had only resumed bowling again last December after completing a 12-month ban and getting his action cleared in Brisbane.The ICC had banned Hafeez for a year from bowling in July, 2015 and before that also in December, 2014.”Hafeez has undergone his latest bowling test at the Loughborough University biomechanics lab under the supervision of experts. He will know the results of the test in two weeks time. Until that time he can’t bowl now,” a board official said.Hafeez told the Pakistani media that he had worked extensively on his bowling action after his ban in 2015.”I am confident of clearing this test as it went well and I bowled four overs. I am sure I will be cleared to bowl again in international cricket. I myself want to contribute as an allrounder to the Pakistan team,” Hafeez said.He insisted that since modifying his bowling action he had made it a point to not try any new deliveries or change his action.
Laitkor (Meghalaya), Dec 28 (PTI) Opposition Hills State People Democratic Party today alleged corrupt people were responsible for the financial mess in the state and if elected to power the HSPDP-UDP alliance will provide a clean government.Assembly elections in Meghalaya are due early next year and the HSPDP has forged a pre-poll alliance with United Democratic Party (UDP).HSPDP president Ardent Basaiawmoit alleged corrupt officials were allowing corruption to take place at various levels in the government resulting in low availability of funds for developmental works and causing hardships for the people.”HSPDP will not tolerate corruption at any level of governance. We will not be afraid to pull out all the corrupt people in governance responsible for all the financial mess in the state. We will take them to task,” he said.”Our vision is very clear ? to remove hardships of the people and to protect them through appropriate legislations and to root out corruption,” the HSPDP president said.The HSPDP has at present four MLAs.As per the pre-poll alliance with the UDP, he said the HSPDP will be contesting in 10 seats reserved for the party.But the party and will also put up candidates in another nine free-to-contest seats in the Khasi – Jaintia Region, the HSDP president said. Basaiawmoit, who is also the MLA from Nongkrem seat distributed work orders worth Rs 2 crore to beneficiaries under the Special Rural Work Programme of the government.The HSPDP president also distributed work orders worth Rs 2.5 lakh each under the Intensive Sports and Youth Development Programme and the Development of Traditional Folk Music. PTI JOP RGadvertisement
Two of world football’s biggest names will meet Friday in the playoffs to determine Europe’s final four World Cup qualifiers.Ever since last month’s draw pitted Portugal against Sweden, the matchup has been billed as a head-to-head between Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.It will take something special to budge them from the spotlight, but Iceland is attempting to do just that.A Nordic nation better known for fishing and freezing temperatures than football, Iceland would become the least populous nation to play at a World Cup if it can get past Croatia.“This is the most important game in the history of the Icelandic men’s team,” Iceland midfielder Olafur Ingi Skulason said.In the other two-leg matches, it’s Ukraine against France and Greece vs. Romania. The second legs take place on Tuesday, when the 13 qualifiers from Europe will be finalized.Owning two of the biggest egos in football, Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic have dominated the build-up to the most anticipated of the four playoffs.Both players are in supreme form, with Ronaldo having scored 16 goals in 13 league games for Real Madrid this season and Ibrahimovic netting a string of brilliant goals for Paris Saint-Germain in the French league and Champions League.They both belong on world football’s biggest stage, but one will not be making the trip to Brazil.“With the squad and the individuals they have, Portugal is naturally the favorite,” Ibrahimovic said in an interview with Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. “But we finished second in a group with Germany, which I consider the strongest squad in Europe, while they finished second in a group they should have won.“So I think we deserve to go to Brazil more than they do.”In Sweden, local media have republished the famous picture of Ronaldo crying after Portugal’s loss to Greece in the 2004 European Championship final, suggesting he might shed more tears next week.“Let’s hope he looks like that after Nov. 19,” said Sweden defender Mikael Lustig, who will be tasked with marking a forward he describes as the “best football player in the world right now.”Portugal is at home for the first leg.In Iceland, excitement is rising. Other sports organizations have changed their schedules to avoid clashing with one of biggest occasions in the history of Icelandic sport.It has been a logistical slog to get the field prepared at the Laugardalsvollur national stadium, which has never hosted a match so late in the year, because of Iceland’s unique climate.Preparations started last week to get the field as game-ready as possible, with a special fabric placed over the grass with hot air blowing under the cloth. The forecast for Friday is 0 degrees C (32 degrees F) with sleet and snow, and referee Alberto Unidiano Mallenco will arrive a day earlier than planned to determine whether the field is playable due to the weather.Win or lose on Friday, Icelanders will celebrate.“I cannot say that we have been successful yet, but we’ve done pretty well, and it is great to go into two playoff games and have a chance to get to Brazil,” said Iceland coach Lars Lagerback, who led Sweden and Nigeria at previous World Cups.Trinidad and Tobago, with about 1.2 million inhabitants, is currently the least populous nation to qualify for the World Cup, in 2006. Iceland has about 320,000.The Iceland match will mark the coaching debut of Croatia’s 42-year-old Niko Kovac, who stepped up from the under-21 team after Igor Stimac was following the national team’s failure to qualify directly for the World Cup.France, which has reached two of the last four World Cup finals, has the highest profile of the eight countries remaining but must qualify from the playoffs for the second straight campaign.Four years ago, the French got past Ireland because of an infamous handball by Thierry Henry in extra time, earning the striker and his team the ire of world football. They will be hoping for a more straightforward passage to the final tournament this time around, against a team it has never lost to in seven meetings.For Franck Ribery, a contender for this year’s world player of the year award and in the form of his life for Bayern Munich and France, missing the World Cup doesn’t bare thinking about.“You don’t ask yourself that question. I don’t want to think about it,” Ribery said. “I want us to win and to qualify. After all, it’s Brazil. It’s the land of a football.”TweetPinShare0 Shares
ATHENS – Panathinaikos’ hoopsters showed a rejuvenated spirit, beating Unicaja Malaga 69-60 on April 3 to assure itself of a making the playoffs of the Euroleague basketball tourney, which was won last year and in 2012 by its arch-rival in Greece, Olympiakos.The Greek team dominated from start-to-finish despite the relatively close score, showing it was not going to be denied a chance for a crack at taking back a title it won in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011.The winners where cheered on by some 15,000 fans at the Olympia Sports Hall who roared from beginning to end. Panathinaikos led 33-28 at halftime but ran away to a 17-point lead, 60-43 behind a vise-like defense that strangled the Spanish team.Captain Dimitris Diamantidis had 13 points and Stephane Lasme another 10, as Panathinaikos had 11 players who scored.If in the last round of games Panathinaikos beats Olympiakos in Piraeus next week it will finish third, and if it loses it will probably end up fourth. In either case it will face one of Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow without home advantage in the best-of-five play-offs.TweetPinShare0 Shares
NEW YORK — Derek Jeter stood on the dugout steps, stone-faced as a statue, when Ichiro Suzuki approached after rounding with the bases with his first home run since last August.Only when the Japanese star was inches away did the New York Yankees captain crack a wide smile and offer a fist bump.Suzuki hit a go-ahead, three-run drive in the third inning against Mark Buehrle, and the Yankees overcame an early deficit to beat the Blue Jays 6-4 the night of July 25th for their 17th straight home win against Toronto.“I was kind of expecting that,” Suzuki said through a translator, referring to Jeter’s reaction. “During batting practice, he always tells me, ‘Can’t leave,’ which means the ball doesn’t leave the ballpark.”This time, Jeter altered his comment slightly — or so Suzuki thought. “I think he said, ‘Can leave,’” Suzuki said before laughing.After months of injuries and mediocre play, the Yankees find themselves back in playoff position and in a much better frame of mind. New York won for the seventh time in eight games since the All-Star break and moved one game in front of the third-place Blue Jays in the AL East.“It’s better than the alternative, but it really doesn’t mean a whole lot with 60 games to go,” Manager Joe Girardi said.Jose Bautista homered twice to reach 20 for the fifth straight season. He also doubled and drove in four runs, but Buehrle couldn’t hold leads of 3-0 and 4-2. The All-Star left-hander dropped to 1-12 against the Yankees, including 10 straight losses over the past decade.New York is 26-10 against Toronto since September 2012. The bottom four batters in the Yankees’ lineup combined to go 7 for 14 with four RBIs. “You walk in this stadium, you feel energy. It’s hard to really describe why, but it’s there,” said third baseman Chase Headley, acquired from San Diego on July 22nd.Hiroki Kuroda (7-6) shrugged off a shaky start and allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings. David Robertson pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 28 chances, completing the bullpen’s two-hit, scoreless night. “With the stuff I had, I was struggling all day. But at the same time, I tried to hang in there,” Kuroda said through a translator.Buehrle (10-7) started the season 10-1 but dropped to 0-6 with a 4.83 ERA in nine starts since beating Kansas City on June 1. He gave up six runs and nine hits in three innings, his shortest outing since June 6, 2010, for the Chicago White Sox against Cleveland. “That’s just frustrating,” Buehrle said. “A big game like this, we needed to come out and try and make a point.”Toronto Manager John Gibbons called off pregame batting practice, hoping to change his team’s luck in the Bronx. And it seemed to work at first when Bautista hit a three-run homer over the left-field scoreboard on a 3-0 pitch in the first.But New York closed in the second on Brian Roberts’ bases-loaded infield hit on a bouncer to third and Brett Gardner’s sacrifice fly. Bautista hit a solo drive in the third — he’s 4 for 16 against Kuroda with four home runs.Carlos Beltran’s solo drive and Suzuki’s first home run since Aug. 30 off Baltimore’s Miguel Gonzalez put the Yankees ahead. The homerless streak of 294 at-bats was the third-longest of Suzuki’s major league career. The 40-year-old entered in a 6-for-41 (.146) slide overall but is hitting .431 in his career against Buehrle (25 for 58).Toronto’s Yankee Stadium skid, which started in September 2012, is the longest for a team at one opponent since Tampa Bay lost 18 in a row in Cleveland from September 2005 to July 2010, according to STATS.Suzuki was happy to have any kind of positive number in his home run column. “Now that’s it’s not a 0, maybe Michael Kay will be easy on me,” he said playfully, referring to a Yankees broadcaster.TweetPinShare0 Shares
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sam Querrey gave the U.S. a commanding 2-0 lead Sept. 12 in its Davis Cup World Group playoff against Slovakia with a 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-3 win over Martin Klizan.In the opening match of the night, American John Isner hit 29 aces in a 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-2 win over Norbert Gombos.The U.S. can ensure a trip to the 2015 World Group on Saturday by winning the doubles when it sends out U.S. Open champs Mike and Bob Bryan.“It’s the kind of day you want to have, be comfortable 2-0 with the Bryan brothers coming up,” U.S. captain Jim Courier said. “Both Sam and Jim started off slow but finished strong. Played their best tennis at the end of the match.”Querrey, ranked 51st, faced a set point in the first-set tiebreaker, but responded with two straight aces. He captured the opening set when the 57th-ranked Klizan netted a backhand.Querrey finished with 20 aces on the hard court at the Sears Centre, none bigger than the two he unleashed in the tiebreaker. “It was tough. But my serve is my biggest weapon,” Querrey said. “Just puts the pressure right back on him.”Gombos, ranked 126th, was a surprise choice as Slovakia’s No. 2, but he showed his skills during a group quarterfinal in April when he made his Davis Cup debut and beat Austria’s Dominic Thiem.But this time he had to fight off the powerful serves of Isner and managed only two breakpoint opportunities.“Going into a match like this, three-out-of-five match, it’s not surprising I didn’t lose my serve,” Isner said. “I’ve done that before, for sure. Always going to be the biggest part of my game and it’s going to be the part of my game that I lean on the most.”Isner trailed in the first-set tiebreaker 4-2 before pulling it out 7-5 when Gombos netted a volley and hit long after a strong serve. Isner then broke Gombos in the opening game of the second set and his game improved steadily thereafter.“I was a bit nervous in the beginning. I had to really dig deep to win that first set. But once I got that under my belt, I exhaled and then I started to play better,” Isner said. “It’s never easy. But that first set was very important.”Serving for the second set at 5-4, Isner double-faulted twice but then won the next four points with an ace, a volley, an overhead and a service winner.“I know that he’s serving perfect, like from the Eiffel Tower, you know,” Gombos said. “I never returned a serve like his because it’s quite different from the other players because he is really tall. The ball is bouncing so high.”Isner said he was aware of how well Gombos, who has flat groundstrokes and good speed around the court, can play.“It’s a tough match for someone like me,” Isner said. “We’re at home. I’m ranked higher than him. I guess on paper I’m expected to win that match. There’s a lot of pressure on me. It’s not an easy situation.”The U.S., which lost to Britain earlier this year, hasn’t missed competing in the World Group, the upper tier, since 1988.Slovakia is trying to pull the upset and make it back to the World Group for the first time since 2006.“Well, it’s really tough. I was hoping at least to get one point today. With the better luck we could maybe hope for more,” Slovakia captain Miloslav Mecir said. “But this is the reality.”TweetPinShare0 Shares
Georgios Samaras has brought his playing career back to Europe for Spanish side Real Zaragoza. The Greece international signed a six month deal until the end of the season.Spanish club, Real Zaragoza, announced the signing of Georgios Samaras on a six month contract that will keep him at the club until the end of the season.Since the 2014 World Cup, where Samaras sent Greece to the knockout stages of the competition with his last minute penalty against the Ivory Coast, the Greece international has been troubled by injuries. He signed with West Bromwich, was loaned to Al-Hilal, and then made a move to the United States for Rayo OKC in the North American Soccer League, making 24 appearances and scoring two goals.Samaras will now look to re-find his form and end his career on a strong note. Real Zaragoza currently sit in 12th place of the Spanish Second Division.In the past, Samaras has mentioned that if he does get a call up back to the National Team he will gladly once again wear the ethnosimo.Source: http://www.agonasport.com/agonasport-allnews/20170208-2 (Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and Twitter) TweetPinShare0 Shares