Michael Klinger cracked an unbeaten century to lift the Perth Scorchers to a crushing 35-run victory over the Melbourne Renegades in Friday’s Big Bash League clash at the WACA Ground.
Klinger crunched a six on the final ball of Perth’s innings to finish unbeaten on 105 off 60 balls, with his blistering knock lifting the defending champions to 3-192 in front of 18,207 fans.
In reply, the Renegades were never in the hunt after slumping to 3-43 in the eighth over, with the visitors finishing at 9-157 despite some monstrous blows at the death from Andre Russell (43 off 21 balls).
The result leaves the Renegades winless after two games heading into Tuesday’s clash with the Sydney Thunder at Etihad Stadium.
Klinger’s blistering knock – the highest of this summer’s Big Bash League – proved to be the difference between the two sides.
The 34-year-old, who played alongside Phillip Hughes at the South Australian Redbacks last summer, paid tribute to his friend by raising his bat into the sky after reaching his century.
Klinger top-scored with 49 in the Scorchers’ loss to Adelaide, and he again led from the front in the high-stakes clash with the Renegades.
His 103-run partnership with Marcus Harris (53 off 39 balls) set the foundation for victory.
But the story could have been vastly different had paceman Andrew Fekete held onto a simple skied attempt when Harris was on just 10.
Harris made the most of the reprieve to do the early damage, before Klinger, who could have been run out on 30, came to the fore with some lusty blows.
Fekete finished with 1-41 from four overs while West Indian Dwayne Bravo (1-48) was also hammered.
Melbourne needed a fast start if they were to have any chance of overhauling the victory target.
But when Matthew Wade (14), Aaron Finch (15) and Tom Cooper (9) all fell cheaply in a pedestrian start from the Renegades, it was as good as game over.
Paceman Jason Behrendorff finished with 2-16 from four overs, while spinner Ashton Agar was also effective with two wickets, including the prized scalp of Finch.
Klinger said he was paying tribute to both his late mum and Hughes when he reached his century.
“I was just looking up to both of them and saying thanks,” Klinger said.
“It’s been extremely tough for everyone.
“The fact that we’re back playing cricket is certainly a good thing, but you don’t go through a day where it (Hughes’ death) doesn’t cross your mind.
“I mean, that sort of stuff just shouldn’t happen.”
Renegades skipper Aaron Finch rued his side’s sloppy fielding.
“We probably let them get 20 runs too many,” Finch said.
“I thought we were sloppy in the field and our energy was down. We missed a couple of chances.
“And when they go none down through the first 10 overs, it’s always going to make it tough.”
Elgar, who came into the match with his position under scrutiny, scored 121 as he shared a second-wicket partnership of 179 with Faf du Plessis which frustrated the touring side who were the architects of their own downfall as they let numerous chances slip in the field.
Du Plessis will resume on a patient 99 along with Proteas captain Hashim Amla, who scored a double-century in the first test in Pretoria and has reached 17.
After being sent into bat, the day belonged to left-hander Elgar, who was involved in his fourth century stand in test cricket –- remarkably all with Du Plessis.
Following the early loss of out of form opener Alviro Petersen, caught at cover by Leon Johnson off Shannon Gabriel for 17, South Africa edged to 68 for one at lunch.
They pulled away in the afternoon session though as sloppy West Indies offered four lives to the batsmen and were made to pay for their profligacy.
Du Plessis, out for a duck in the first test, had eight when he slashed the ball to Marlon Samuels at gully off Jerome Taylor, but was dropped.
The right-hander, on 26, was also put down at first slip off left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn and the next ball the tall West Indian was left fuming as wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin missed a simple stumping chance after Elgar skipped down the wicket with his score on 48.
Elgar was fortunate to survive a run-out chance on 73 when he gave up halfway down the wicket having called an impossible single to mid-on and watched with relief as the throw missed the stumps.
Elgar reached his century from 208 balls in an innings that would be described more as gutsy rather than fluent, but much needed for his test career.
He eventually fell when he edged debutant left-arm seamer Kenroy Peters to Ramdin.
The wicket showed variable bounce and took turn on the opening day, but is likely at its best for batting making the decision of the West Indies to bowl first, admittedly in overcast conditions, a brave one.
South Africa won the first test by an innings and 220 runs.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
Suarez needed eight La Liga games to open his Barca account with a goal against Cordoba last weekend and has two in three Champions League appearances, a meagre return for the player who was Premier League top scorer with 31 goals in his final campaign with Liverpool.
The Uruguay international plays in a three-man attack at Barca with Lionel Messi and Neymar and although he has not been as prolific as he or coach Luis Enrique would like he has been contributing with assists and has made four in La Liga and one in Europe’s elite club competition.
“I am obviously a striker who likes to score a lot of goals and have done that in every team I have been with,” Suarez said on Barca’s website (南宁夜网.fcbarcelona.es) on Friday.
“I’m not scoring much at the moment but I’m sure that with help from my team mates the goals will come,” added the 27-year-old, who made his return from a four-month ban for biting an opponent at the end of October.
“But as long as the team is winning important games as it is then I’ll be happy whether I score or not.
“A forward always has to help the team, either with assists or goals.
“Sometimes making good assists or passes makes you feel better than scoring easy goals.”
Barca’s first game after the two-week winter break is a La Liga match at Real Sociedad on Jan. 4 before they host Elche in a King’s Cup last-16 first-leg game on Jan. 8.
Barca are also through to the Champions League last 16 where they will play Manchester City over two legs in February and March.
“We didn’t want to meet them, but they didn’t want to meet us either,” Suarez said.
“We know that we are going to have to beat some strong teams if we want to win the Champions League.
“Beating City is a good target for us and a good chance to show people why Barcelona are here.”
Barca are second in La Liga after 16 matches, a point behind Real Madrid who have a game in hand.
(Writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Ed Osmond)
Not content with basking in the glow of one of Chelsea’s best 90-minute performances of the season, the single-minded Portuguese coach ordered his players to do two light training session in 24 hours to prepare for Sunday’s trip to Southampton.
“I had two training sessions planned for tomorrow but my players are crying so much in the dressing room that I decided to make a change,” Mourinho joked to reporters after his team remained three points clear at the top of the Premier League.
“They are training now and tomorrow they will have only one session.”
The crammed festive programme means Chelsea are in the middle of a run of five fixtures in 14 days and Mourinho acknowledged it was a tough schedule for every team in the league.
“My players are human, Southampton’s are human, so it will be very difficult for us, very difficult for them, very difficult for West Ham against Arsenal on Sunday, very difficult for everybody but we have to do it,” he added.
“But before this match I had the same feeling I always have on a Boxing Day, I was so proud. We get the salaries we get because people are in love with the game so if people want football we must give them football and I’m so happy to do it.”
Chelsea dominated from start to finish against West Ham and it was only an inspired goalkeeping performance from Adrian that kept the scoreline respectable for the visitors.
Captain John Terry was on target in the first half with his second goal in five days, tapping the ball in from close range after a towering Diego Costa header from a corner.
Costa made the points safe when he latched on to a pass from livewire winger Eden Hazard and planted a left-foot shot into the bottom corner of the net for his 13th league goal of the season.
Chelsea went close to winning the title last term but Mourinho believes this season’s vintage is a vastly improved side.
“We are a much better team when we have the ball,” he said. “Last year we were very strong defensively and very well organised but we lacked a bit of creativity when we had the ball.”
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
A double from Wayne Rooney before halftime and another goal by Robin van Persie after the break earned a comfortable three points and fully justified Van Gaal’s decision to give his players the day off with their families on Christmas Day.
“It’s a fantastic Christmas because we dominated for 90 minutes, we didnt’t give away many chances and we created plenty,” the Dutch coach told the BBC.
“I don’t think giving the players the day off was strange. It’s a very important day for families in England and it’s only one training session. Anyway, the substitutes are all doing a training session now.”
United’s seventh win in eight league games, the other was drawn, underlined their improvement since a sticky start to the season which often left Van Gaal looking grumpy.
He had lots to smile about on Friday although, just like Scrooge, he was not handing out too many Christmas presents.
“No. Because we also did a lot of bad things, I have to say that,” the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach said with almost a smile.
“You saw their penalty. It was a throw for us. That’s not possible. We gave that goal away again so we can improve.”
Papiss Cisse’s consolation from the spot failed to take the shine off an impressive United display though.
Rooney, revelling in a roaming midfield role, put United in front from Radamel Falcao’s cross and added a second after good work by Juan Mata.
England marksman Rooney could not complete his hat-trick but did set up Van Persie after the break.
“Against Aston Villa (on Saturday) Rooney was a little bit too defensive and I asked for him to be more attacking,” Van Gaal said. “He then scores two goals and gets an assist. What more can you demand as a manager?
“We are improving every match and that’s the most important thing. It’s a process and the process is not for one day, the process is for a year and we are seeing that Manchester is better every week.”
United next visit sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Tony Jimenez)
With nine points available in less than a week the leading duo offered more proof that they appear to be in a mini-league of their own although third-placed Manchester United’s resurgence continued with a 3-1 defeat of Newcastle United.
Goals from John Terry and Diego Costa hardly illustrated leaders Chelsea’s superiority over a West Ham side that reached Christmas in the Champions League places.
The derby win briefly put them six points clear with 45 from 18 matches but City replied to close the gap to three with a seventh successive league win — Fernando, Yaya Toure (penalty) and David Silva on target before halftime at a snowy Hawthorns.
“Football is football, you never know and the only thing we can do to try to reduce the unpredictability of football is to do what we’re doing: playing very well,” said Jose Mourinho who is yet to lose a home derby in two spells as Chelsea manager.
United are 10 points off the pace but growing in confidence after Wayne Rooney scored twice and Robin van Persie once to see off Newcastle at Old Trafford.
Southampton’s return to form was underlined by a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace which lifted them back into the top four, Sadio Mane, Ryan Bertrand and Toby Alderweireld netting.
West Ham dropped to fifth, one point ahead of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur who both enjoyed narrow wins.
Arsenal had striker Olivier Giroud sent off but held on to beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1 with goals from Alexis Sanchez, who also missed a penalty, and Tomas Rosicky. Charlie Austin replied from the penalty spot for QPR.
Tottenham had goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen to thank for a 2-1 win at bottom club Leicester City. Swansea City are eighth after beating Aston Villa 1-0.
Raheem Sterling’s goal gave Liverpool a 1-0 victory at Burnley but Everton’s troubles continued as they lost 1-0 at home to Stoke City.
While plenty of clubs will enter the New Year eyeing a top-four place, Chelsea and City are set to scrap for the title.
Chelsea produced a display full of power, pace and skill against a West Ham side that managed a 0-0 draw in the corresponding fixture last season, prompting Mourinho to accuse their opponents of 19th Century football.
The first half hour was one-way traffic and the surprise was that Mourinho’s men did not score before Terry turned the ball over the line after Costa flicked on a Cesc Fabregas corner.
It was the Chelsea captain’s second goal in successive league games.
Costa showed his eye for goal when he received a pass from the excellent Eden Hazard just past the hour and lashed a left-footer past goalkeeper Adrian.
Chelsea had numerous other chances to score with West Ham’s only flurry coming near the end when substitute Morgan Amalfitano hit the post.
Manchester City responded emphatically and were out of sight before halftime at West Brom.
Keeper Ben Foster dropped the ball at the feet of Fernando after eight minutes to gift the visitors their opener and Toure’s spot-kick made it 2-0. Silva stroked in the third after 34 minutes to end the game as a contest.
Torrential snow slowed City’s slick passing after the break and Brown Ideye grabbed a consolation goal for WBA.
“I am very pleased with the performance. It was very difficult to play especially in the second half,” said City boss Manuel Pellegrini.
Elsewhere, Hull City ended a run of 10 league games without a win by beating Sunderland 3-1 to move out of the bottom three.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
Several hundred marchers turned out in Sweden Friday to denounce an arson attack on a mosque that injured five people Thursday, as the traditionally tolerant country confronts the rising influence of the extreme right.
A firebomb was thrown through a closed window of the mosque in the central city of Eskilstuna Thursday, injuring five of the nearly 70 worshippers inside — two of whom remained hospitalised Friday.
Answering calls to denounce the attack by the “Together for Eskilstuna” Facebook page, a large group of people converged on the damaged mosque to show their support.
“Several hundred people were there to deliver a message of friendship,” police spokesman Roland Lindqvist told news agency AFP.
According to police, windows in a second Eskilstuna mosque were broken overnight Thursday, though authorities couldn’t say whether the two attacks were linked.
Sweden’s leftist Prime Minister Stefan Lofven denounced what he called the spurt of “hateful violence.”
“We will never tolerate this kind of crime. Those who want to practise their religion should have the right to do so,” Lofven told public radio station SR.
No suspects had been arrested Friday afternoon in the case police have opened for aggravated criminal arson, which has been joined by Sweden’s intelligence service, Sapo.
“This is a serious crime, but for the moment, nothing is pointing us in one direction more than others,” said Sapo spokesman Sirpa Franzen.
The arson struck another blow to Sweden’s self-perception as a generally warm and welcoming host of foreigners.
In September elections, the extreme right, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party became the third-largest party in the Swedish parliament by winning 12.9 percent of the vote.
Earlier this month, Sweden Democrats joined with conservative parties to reject the proposed budget of the country’s leftist government, forcing it to call new elections in March 2015.
According to a recent mock election poll for radio station SR, Sweden Democrats has increased its September showing by a full point to 13.9 percent, with other surveys showing support of nearly 16 percent.
“There has been an intensification of hatred against foreigners,” Omar Mustafa, chief of Sweden’s Islamic Association, told public radio SR on Thursday.
In January, unknown perpetrators painted black swastikas on the door of a Stockholm mosque, after neo-Nazis attacked a peaceful anti-racist protest in a Stockholm suburb and seriously injured three people the previous month.
Giroud lost his cool and appeared to thrust his head into QPR defender Nedum Onuoha’s forehead in the 53rd minute when Arsenal were leading 1-0 thanks to Alexis Sanchez’s first-half goal.
Tomas Rosicky doubled the lead soon after the sending-off but the hosts were left hanging on when Charlie Austin converted a penalty 11 minutes from time.
QPR, who have now lost all nine of their away league games this term, came close to an equaliser when Eduardo Vargas had a header cleared off the line while Bobby Zamora also had a penalty appeal turned down.
Arsenal survived to give Wenger his 600th victory in charge of the north London club and take them back into sixth position in the Premier League, two points behind fourth-placed Southampton.
Wenger, who looked less than pleased with Giroud when he was dismissed, said the red card changed the game.
“From the moment of the sending-off we knew we were in a battle,” the manager told the BBC. “It was a deserved red card, Olivier didn’t control himself.
“It completely changed the dynamic of the game, we were completely in control at that stage and it was quite comfortable. Olivier is a guy who, when he makes mistakes, he stands up and admits it.”
Arsenal are 15 points behind leaders Chelsea but can climb higher in the table on Sunday when they face fifth-placed West Ham United.
“We find ourselves detached from the teams above us at the moment with a bit of ground to make up so we can’t get too carried away with trying to make up that ground at the moment, we must just concentrate on what we’re doing,” Wenger said.
(Editing by Tony Jimenez)
Egypt has banned the Hollywood biblical epic movie Exodus: Gods and Kings citing historical inaccuracies, the culture minister says, a day after a similar move by Morocco.
The film relates how Moses helped Israelite slaves flee persecution in Egypt under the Pharaoh Ramses by parting the Red Sea to let them cross safely.
Culture Minister Gaber Asfour told news agency AFP on Friday that Ridley Scott’s blockbuster was rife with mistakes, including an apparent claim that “Moses and the Jews built the pyramids”.
“This totally contradicts proven historical facts,” Asfour said.
“It is a Zionist film,” he said. “It gives a Zionist view of history and contains historical inaccuracies and that’s why we have decided to ban it.”
The ban was decided by a committee comprising the head of the supreme council for culture, Mohammed Afifi, the head of the censorship committee and two history professors, said Asfour.
Afifi said he took issue with the scene showing the parting of the Red Sea in which Moses — a prophet revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike — is seen holding a “sword” like a warrior, instead of a “stick”.
Furthermore, he said, the parting of the Red Sea is explained in the movie as a “tidal phenomenon” rather than a divine miracle.
Watch the trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings
Morocco has also banned the film, despite it already having been approved by the state-run Moroccan Cinema Centre, media reported on Thursday, quoting theatre managers.
Hassan Belkady, who runs Cinema Rif in Casablanca, told media24 news website that he had been threatened with the closure of his business if he ignored the ban.
“They phoned and threatened they would shut down the theatre if I did not take the film off the schedule,” Belkady said.
In March, Al-Azhar, Egypt’s top Islamic body, banned the screening of “Noah”, another Hollywood biblical epic starring Russell Crowe, saying it violated Islam by portraying a prophet.
The film triggered controversy in the United States where some Christian institutions criticising Crowe’s reportedly unconventional portrayal of Noah.
“Exodus” has also sparked unkind reviews and upset some Christian groups, with critics saying Scott took too many liberties with the Bible and cast Western actors in Middle East roles.
Egypt has censored other movies in the past, including the blockbuster “The Da Vinci Code” after protests from the Orthodox Coptic Church.
But it did allow the screening of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of The Christ”, which depicts Jesus being crucified.
Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet and was not crucified.
Exodus was earlier criticised for its “white-wash” casting. The film stars Australian actor Joel Edgerton as Egyptian pharoah Ramses, British-born Christian Bale as Moses, Aaron Paul plays Joshua and Sigourney Weaver takes on the role of Ramses mother, Tuya.
Writer David Dennis said: “Not only are all the main characters white, but the servants, thieves and assassins are played by Africans.”
“To make the main characters white and everyone else African is cinematic colonialism,” he said.
In August 2014, SBS spoke to Australian actor Joel Edgerton about the criticism.
SBS Movies: Exodus Gods and Kings reviewed
Singer Alberta Adams, who was known as Detroit’s Queen of the Blues before a career resurgence in her 80s, has died at age 97, her label says.
“On the big scale, she was really the last of the great post-World War II blues singers,” said RJ Spangler, who helped her relaunch her career in the 1990s through his Eastlawn jazz and blues label.
Born in Indianapolis and raised in a troubled home in Detroit, Adams started as a tap dancer in the Motor City’s clubs before her break filling in for ill singer Kitty Stevenson, who was known as the Blues Bombshell in her brief career.
Adams soon became booked to perform with blues greats, including T-Bone Walker, Louis Jordan, John Lee Hooker and Cleanhead Vinson as well as jazz pioneer Duke Ellington.
She toured nationally and abroad and signed to record with the iconic Chicago blues label Chess Records in an era just before the Motown sound defined Detroit.
Her career eventually was reduced to club gigs around Detroit, but her voice remained powerful.
In 1994, she linked up with Spangler’s Eastlawn Records, which specialises in Detroit classics, and released the album Born with the Blues in 1999 with blues guitarist Johnnie Bassett.
“She still knew how to deliver the goods on stage,” Spangler said. “I loved working with her. She was a joy to be around – never grouchy or irritable.”
Adams only stopped performing several years ago as she lost her hearing and her health declined, Spangler said. She died on Christmas Day.
One of her early songs that she re-recorded at age 90 was a version of Leroy Carr’s tune with the opening line, Just remember me baby, when I’m in six feet of cold, cold ground.