Usman Khawaja hit his country’s first century of the series and Peter Handscomb a half century on debut as Australia reached 307 for six with a lead of 48 at end of the second day of the day-night third Test against South Africa on Friday.Khawaja’s magnificent 285-ball 138 not out was the glue in Australia’s innings, the left-hander putting on 137 with Steve Smith until his captain was calamitously run out and then 99 with Handscomb.Sean Abbott (3-38), who took two wickets in the first hour, returned to dismiss Handscomb before Kagiso Rabada bowled another debutant, Nic Maddinson, for a duck and Vernon Philander removed Matt Wade for four. (Adelaide Test: Du Plessis century helps South Africa to 259)Khawaja will resume with Mitchell Starc (16 not out) on day three as the hosts look to extend their lead and put themselves in a commanding position to get the result they need to avoid a first ever 3-0 series sweep on home soil.Now 29, Khawaja has been recalled and discarded with regularity since his debut in 2011 but was retained for Adelaide despite the clearout that followed the humiliating innings and 80-run defeat in Hobart.After opening in place of David Warner in the wake of South Africa’s declaration on 259-9 on Thursday, he negotiated a difficult opening hour on Friday before mixing fierce concentration with some typically elegant strokes.He brought up his 50 with back-to-back fours and his fifth test century with a 10th boundary cut through point, whipping off his helmet to take the applause of another big crowd at Adelaide Oval.advertisementSmith, dropped earlier by Hashim Amla, had departed for 59 just before his partner reached the milestone, tearing off for an optimistic single and left stranded as Khawaja stood his ground and Quinton de Kock removed the bails.Handscomb, brought into the side on the back of a double century for Victoria, proved a more than able partner, however, and any prospect of another Australian batting collapse quickly dissipated.The 25-year-old survived a scare when he just dived back into the crease ahead of a direct hit from Temba Bavuma but opened the following over with two drives and a pull for three fours that got him to his fifty and gave Australia the lead.It was the outstanding Abbott who ended Handscomb’s maiden Test innings by bowling the Victorian through the gate an hour into the night session. (Australia gamble on youth to avoid sweep vs South Africa in Adelaide)The 29-year-old, who came into the side in the second test for the injured Dale Steyn and took 6-77, started the day with a brilliant exhibition of disciplined seam bowling, finishing with figures of 2-7 and six maidens in his first 10-over spell.Australia resumed on 14-0 but debutant Matt Renshaw was only able to add two runs to his overnight tally before he was brilliantly caught for 10 at third slip by Dean Elgar.That brought to the crease Warner, who was unable to open as usual on Thursday after Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis’s calculated declaration caught him off the field having treatment on his shoulder.Warner failed to thrive at number three and was dismissed for 11 when he got an edge off an Abbott delivery that was seaming away from him with Elgar once again snaffling the catch in the cordon.
Sebastian Vettel has made clear his future is with Ferrari as Mercedes look to replace newly-retired Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg for next season.Ferrari – the oldest, most glamorous and successful team in the sport – failed to win a race this year and Vettel’s name has been one of those mentioned in media speculation following Rosberg’s surprise decision to walk away. (Lewis Hamilton one of the best, but no friend: Nico Rosberg)Rosberg, 31 and only the third German driver after Michael Schumacher and Vettel to win the championship, announced his retirement on Friday. (Nico Rosberg deserved his title, says Lewis Hamilton)”I think it’s not a big secret that both myself and Kimi (Raikkonen) have a contract for next year,” four times world champion Vettel told reporters at the Ferrari World Finals event in Daytona, Florida, on Sunday. (Ecclestone shocked by Rosberg retirement)”So it should be clear. (Half F1 grid is after Rosberg’s seat, says Niki Lauda)”I don’t know what is their plan,” he said of Mercedes. “But for us we look after ourselves for next year, there’s lots of things changing so we’re quite busy ourselves,” he added. “We’re very positive for next year.”Vettel, who won his titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013 and is still only 29, said Rosberg’s decision was a brave one because it was easier to carry on.”I was 23 when I won the first title so I was having a different mindset. I wanted to go out and do it again, which looking back, I can say I did. I love racing and want to continue,” he said.advertisementMercedes non-executive team chairman Niki Lauda said earlier on Sunday that he expected a replacement to be announced before the end of the year.The team’s German reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein, who won the Rookie of the Year award at the Autosport Awards on Sunday in London, is the bookmakers’ favourite.”One season in F1 is not a lot but I feel ready for the job and confident,” Wehrlein told the audience. “I’ve done most days with the 2017 tyres and I think it’s very important to have that experience.”
Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Gelson Fernandes has revealed that it was his preference to stay in the Premier League in 2009 but Manchester City refused to sell him to a domestic competitor.Fernandes, who scored three goals in 43 appearances for City, looks back fondly on his time with the current champions, but rues the fact that he didn’t get to spend more time in England.With the Etihad side having been bought over by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, City suddenly had copious amounts of cash to spent on new players – and they did with immediate effect. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Fernandes suffered as a consequence, with no less then three players brought in for the same position in midfield.“I will never forget my time there,” the 32-year-old told Goal. “I didn’t want to leave the Premier League, but with Nigel de Jong, Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure, Manchester City signed three new players for my position.“There was no room for me there and a transfer within England wasn’t an option because City didn’t want to give me to a competitor. That’s how I ended up in Ligue 1 with Saint-Etienne.”Nevertheless, Fernandes has good memories of that part of his career, reserving special praise for fellow midfield anchor Dietmar Hamann.“I got to know many great personalities and top athletes during my time at Man City,” he said. “Didi Hamann influenced me a lot.“He was an incredibly clever player, had personality, charisma and was a real leader. He was also very important to me personally because he gave me a lot of tips that helped me a lot in the course of my career.”Having been at Eintracht since 2017, Fernandes was part of Niko Kovac’s squad that won the DFB Pokal last season. Kovac was then poached to coach Bayern Munich in the summer, but things haven’t been smooth for the 47-year-old.A decent start to the 2018-19 Bundesliga campaign hit the breaks late September with a 1-1 draw at home to Augsburg, followed by two defeats plus another draw in the Champions League. Talk of a crisis at the Allianz followed, although a recent 3-1 win at Wolfsburg and a 2-0 win over AEK Athens has gone some way to relieving some pressure.Kovac still has his doubters, but Fernandes believes his old boss is the right man to get the Bavarians back on track.“A few weeks ago he was still being praised because he had started the season so well,” Fernandes said.“Then he didn’t win four games in a row and already there was a big crisis. I can imagine that the team were at a low point because the preparation was tough.“Nevertheless, I’m sure that they will find their way to their old strength. Kovac knows what he wants and can show the team the right path.“Of course, you don’t get much time at Bayern [if there are bad results], but I’m convinced he can lead the club out of the crisis.”Eintracht host Apollon in the Europa League on Thursday evening, looking to add to their perfect start with two wins from two in Group H.
Xiaomi just the other day officially confirmed the Mi 6 launch date for April 19 via a tweet. Well, alongside launching its flagship of the year, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer has a lot more for its fans. The company is also prepping up to announce the much anticipated Xiaomi Mi Max 2 as well.However, like Xiaomi Mi 6, the company has not confirmed the launch date as of now. The new comes from Weibo, where Xiaomi, a couple of days ago tipped the launch of Mi Max 2 for April 19. Ahead of the launch, speculations about this Xiaomi phablet has been making rounds for quite a long time now.A few rumours and leaks have already revealed a rough sketch on how the smartphone will look like, along with a few specifications and approx price. Xiaomi Mi Max 2 was earlier spotted at GeekBench and GFXBench. Wherein, the listing reveals that the phablet will be called Xiaomi Oxygen.Also Read: Xiaomi Mi Max 2 spotted with 5,000mAh battery, Snapdragon 626 SoCThe listing futher discloses that Xiaomi Mi Max 2 will run on the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat on top of MIUI layer and will sport a 6.4-inch full HD display along with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. The smartphone is further expected to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 626 processor along with Adreno 506 taking care of graphics department.Xiaomi Mi Max 2 will come packed with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of an internal storage unit. The storage space can also be expanded further via a microSD card. While on the camera front, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is expected to come with a 12-megapixel camera on the rear with auto focus feature and LED flash. The rear camera may also come with the ability to capture 4K videos with a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. On the other hand, the device comes with a 5-megapixel selfie shooter.advertisementWhile connectivity wise, the smartphone includes several options like WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, Accelerometer, Barometer, Digital compass, Light sensor, Gyroscope, Pedometer and Proximity sensor. Further, the smartphone is expected to juice its power from a huge 5,000mAh battery with fast charging ability.Furthermore, if the rumours are to be believed, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is going to be a mid-ranged smartphone and is expected to be priced between 1499 and 1699 Yuan, which is approx comes around Rs 14,003 and Rs 15,872.Also Read: Xiaomi Mi 6 to officially launch on April 19
After the launch of two most awaited flagships of the year- Galaxy S8 and S8+, Samsung is now gearing up to launch its new J series budget phones- allegedly called as Galaxy J5(2017) and J3. While there are still not words from the company over its release date, a tweet by famous tipster Roland Quandt hints that the Galaxy J5 (2017) may launch today.This is what he tweeted.Samsung Galaxy J5 (2017) now listed on Amazon: 279 Euro, launch June 5?Black: https://t.co/cvtN2iJZB9 ?Gold: https://t.co/fwf4tPPe72 pic.twitter.com/bWTMUWkwQC- Roland Quandt (@rquandt) June 3, 2017The smartphone in April receives its FCC certification, also giving us an idea of the specs and features that the phone could possibly come with. The device could bear model number – SM-J530 and run latest Android Nougat 7.0. The smartphone is purported to be powered by Samsung Exynos 7870 1.5 GHz octa-core processor, coupled with ARM Mali-T830 GPU and2GB of RAM. Further the device could come with 16GB internal storage which is expandable via microSD card. The new Galaxy J5(2017) is said to expected to be backed by 2600mAh battery and leak suggests that the smartphone has already been listed on Amazon France at a price of 279 euro. Colour options of the phone include Black and Gold.Design-wise, Galaxy J5(2017) is rumoured to sport a 5.2-inch display with 1280-720 pixel resolution. The smartphone could don a metal body. The GeekBench listing of the phone had also revealed about the phone’s camera specs. The smartphone is expected to feature a 13MP camera both at the front and rear. The rear camera may come with LED flash and autofocus feature. The connectivity options onboard will be Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi and GPS.advertisementAlso Read: Samsung Galaxy J3, J5 (2017) spotted on certification sites
Jonny Bairstow struck a sublime unbeaten 60 to lead England to a dominant nine-wicket victory over South Africa in the first Twenty20 international in Southampton on Wednesday. (Scorecard)South Africa chose to bat and laboured to 142 for three before Bairstow and Alex Hales shared a superb unbroken second-wicket partnership of 98 to guide the hosts to their target with 5.3 overs to spare.”I’m trying to progress all the time and I played a few shots I didn’t have a few months ago,” said man of the match Bairstow.”I’m feeling good, I was really pleased. The lads bowled outstandingly well, to take wickets up front is what we wanted and then our spinners tied them down.”David Willey bowled JJ Smuts with the first ball of the match and South Africa quickly subsided to 32 for three.Captain AB de Villiers (65 not out) and Farhaan Behardien (64 not out) shared an unbroken stand of 110 but they never broke free from the shackles imposed by a disciplined England attack and the total always looked below-par.England openers Jason Roy and Hales plundered 45 off the first four overs before Roy, playing a risky reverse sweep, was trapped lbw by Andile Phehlukwayo for 28.But Hales (47 not out) and Bairstow looked completely untroubled by a toothless South Africa attack, hitting four sixes and nine fours between them to cruise to their target.Both teams were playing their first matches since the Champions Trophy in which hosts England lost to Pakistan in the semi-finals and top-ranked South Africa failed to advance from the group stage.advertisement”It is difficult to sum up the performance. The result doesn’t look good for us. We lost our way at the start, had to rebuild and we were 20-30 runs short in the end, which probably cost us,” De Villiers said.The second game of the three-match series is in Taunton on Friday.
Second seed Simona Halep will face Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza in the final of the Cincinnati Open after they both won their semi-finals easily on Saturday.Halep crushed Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-1 while Muguruza beat top seed Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-2.Victory in the final would give the Romanian the world’s top ranking, moving past Pliskova.”I think it’s something special to get number one in the world,” Halep told reporters. “Everyone can get to number one now. The ranking is close. I really want that.”Halep needed just 54 minutes to end the run of Stephens, who had enjoyed strong form following her return at Wimbledon after an 11-month absence with a foot injury.Simona Halep (Photo Credit: Reuters) Halep said she believed Muguruza, who beat American Venus Williams for her Wimbledon crown last month, is the favorite for the final.”I know that she has a lot of confidence coming with title from Wimbledon, so she’s favorite, in my opinion,” Halep said.”She’s hitting the ball strong, but I had already two matches, so I know how the ball is gonna come.”But still, I want just to do the same and not thinking about the result. I just want to go there and enjoy the moment.”Muguruza had lost six successive matches to Pliskova, who made 28 unforced errors and ended the match when a forehand sailed long on the fifth match point.In stark contrast to two of her earlier matches in the tournament, Muguruza advanced to Sunday’s final in less than 80 minutes.advertisementShe endured a two-hour, 45-minute three-set win over Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova on Friday that followed a two-hour, 18-minute win over American Madison Keys on Thursday.
Liverpool must improve quickly or risk getting badly beaten by their Premier League rivals, skipper Jordan Henderson has said after the team’s 4-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.Tottenham brutally exposed Liverpool’s defensive frailties as in-form striker Harry Kane scored a brace while Son Heung-min and Dele Alli were also on target at Wembley.Mohamed Salah pulled a goal back in between but it was not enough to inspire a comeback as Liverpool dropped to ninth in the table on 13 points and have conceded 16 goals so far — their most after nine games since 1964.”I’m sure a lot of criticism will come our way and deservedly so… we’ve got to change it quickly, otherwise you lose games and you lose them badly like we did today,” Henderson told the BBC.”So we need a reaction quickly, we need to bounce back on the training field and in games, but like I say, I believe we can.”We know there are things to improve and things to change quickly. I’ve got every faith that we can because we’ve got a fantastic team. But we need to work on a few things and change it quickly.”Henderson sprung to the defence of Dejan Lovren after the hapless Croatian centre-back was hauled off the pitch on the 31st minute by manager Juergen Klopp.”I think we didn’t start well at all, so it’s about being ready for the game – everybody, I know Dejan (Lovren) got took off early in the game but it could’ve been anyone of us that came off because it wasn’t good enough,” he said.advertisementLiverpool will look to bounce back from their loss when they host Huddersfield Town at Anfield on Saturday. Tottenham, who moved level with second-placed Manchester United on 20 points, travel to Old Trafford.
By Bharat SharmaAlbany (Bahamas), Nov 29 (PTI) Tiger Woods doesnt know how long he is going to play but is fully motivated to show his kids that he can be a lot more than the Youtube golfer they have seen in their grown up years.Woods, who has undergone multiple back surgeries in his long and illustrious career, is set for his latest comeback at this weeks Hero World Challenge here after a nine-month absence from the sport.He is just happy being pain-free after a long time and wants to be back on the course with his friends, whom he will be up against during the week.He also hopes that his kids — daughter Sam and son Charlie — see him play a lot on the tour and may be one day carry his bag in a tournament.Ahead of the Hero World Challenge, Woods was asked what Sam and Charlie thought of him as a golf player and whether they know that he was the Lionel Messi of his sport. The legendary golfer recently had an interaction with the star Argentine footballer.”Its more Charlies, thats his idol. He plays FIFA all the time and its always Messi, so its pretty neat to see my kids kind of in awe like that. I thought it was really neat for them to have us back in the locker room just to meet (Luis) Suarez and a few other guys on the team. It was really a surreal moment for me to step back and watch my kids just really appreciate it,” said Woods.advertisementDo they know that their 14-time major winning father is considered one of the greats of the game?”Thats what I was referring to about the quote that my daughter said. I said, Isnt it neat to be a living legend? She said, Yeah, we live with one. I never thought my kids have understood what Ive been able to do in the game of golf because they always think Im the YouTube golfer. Theyve never seen me in action.”So most of the stuff theyve watched has been on highlight packages. Theyve never seen what I can do on a golf course, and then when I started coming back for this event, Sam wanted to go out on the golf course with me.”She just thought it was so cool I was hitting it where she couldnt see it. Charlies the same thing, he wants to compete, he wants to play with me, those are things that are special,” said the 41-year-old in his first interaction with the media on his return.Woods now wants his kids around whenever he is playing.”I want them to see what Ive been able to do my entire career. Ive been fortunate enough to play tournament golf for 37 years and I want them to experience some of that, have a better understanding of it.”I dont know how long Im going to be playing but I want them to come to a few events, I want them to feel it, I want them to understand it a little bit more. It would be neat to have one of them carry the bag in a tournament,” said a relaxed looking Woods as he answered the barrage of questions in detail.The last edition of the Hero World Challenge was also a comeback event for him but he could not continue for long and withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic in February.Woods insists this time his body feels much better.”You know, Im not going to be dunking a basketball anytime soon, but Im able to live without any lower back pain or any kind of zinging down my leg or have foot drop. I dont have any of those issues anymore. Thats why it is very different.”Woods further said his future will depend a lot on how his body behaves in competitions.”You know, I hate to be so mundane on this one, but honestly, Im just looking forward to getting through these four rounds and having an understanding, a better understanding of where Im at. I dont know where Im at. What I mean by that is I dont know how hard I can hit it, what shots can I play.”I dont know what the future entails in that regard because Im still learning about this body and once I get a better understanding I can give you a better answer,” he added. PTI BS CM CMadvertisement
Madurai, Jan 4 (PTI) A meeting to discuss the security arrangements, rules and regulations for jallikattu (bull taming) sport, to be conducted at three places in the district, was held here today.District Collector Veeraraghavarao said jallikattu will be held at Avaniapuram on January 14, at Palamedu the next day and Alanganallur on January 16.The sport will be held from 8 AM to 3 PM, he said.About 500 policemen would be deployed on security duty. A total of 500 bulls are likely to be used in the event.Besides 10 ambulances, 3 fire service units and 10 medical teams would be deployed on duty, officials said. PTI SSN BN
NEW YORK – Carmelo Anthony wanted New York, and the Knicks wanted him.Now, a little more than three years after the trade that brought them together, Anthony could decide to leave.The Knicks would like him to stay — at the right price — and have told their All-Star forward that. But they also realize he will have some appealing options elsewhere.“As the head coach, I have to be prepared to coach the players that we ultimately have,” new coach Derek Fisher said last week. “I would love to have the opportunity to work closely with Carmelo. I’m looking forward to it and we’ll see if it can happen.”Fisher, team President Phil Jackson and General Manager Steve Mills met with Anthony in Los Angeles on June 13, three days after the Knicks hired Fisher as coach. Jackson had already met with Anthony after the season ended, asking him to consider delaying free agency for a year.However, Anthony is still expected to go through with his plan to opt out of the final year of his contract before the June 23 deadline. That would make him a free agent on July 1, and depending on what LeBron James decides, possibly the best one on the market.Teams such as Chicago, Dallas and Houston have been linked to the two-time Olympic gold medalist, as have the Miami Heat, under a scenario where Anthony would go play with James.Those were all playoff teams this season, and Anthony, who just turned 30, has said his priority is competing for championships. The Knicks, who went 37-45, have to make him think he can do that in New York, even without much flexibility to improve the roster this summer.“We obviously firmly believe that here is that place for Carmelo,” Fisher said, “and we’ll do our best not to convince him or change his mind from maybe a decision that he’s already made, but really just help give him some confidence that with the personalities involved and our commitment to working hard to achieve a certain level of success, that this is the place that he can have what it is he wants.”Anthony believed that a few years ago, pushing the Denver Nuggets to trade him to New York. The deal got done in February 2011 but at a heavy price for the Knicks, who not only dealt away promising young players such as Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Timofey Mozgov, but also their first-round pick in this year’s draft.Jackson hopes Anthony would take less than a maximum salary to stay, making it easier to rebuild the roster. Or put off the decision by opting in for the last year of his deal, which would pay him $23.3 million. The Knicks would be in a much better position in the summer of 2015 to construct the type of roster Anthony wants — if he’s willing to wait.“He’s great and he deserves that, and so that’s what we want to work to create with him and hopefully we can do it,” Fisher said.(BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shares
BUFFALO — Donald Trump remains in the running to buy the Buffalo Bills.And so are NHL Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula, a person close to the process confirmed Thursday night to The Associated Press while speaking on the condition of anonymity because the sale is supposed to be private.Michael Cohen, Trump’s executive vice president and special counsel, confirmed in an email to the AP that his boss was chosen to advance to the next round of bidding. Cohen said he was informed of the decision by Morgan Stanley, the banking firm overseeing the sale of the team for late owner Ralph Wilson’s estate.“Mr. Trump’s significant wealth, name recognition and real estate knowledge makes him a viable option,” Cohen said.Trump is bidding on his own after electing against being joined by partners. He is prepared to make an all-cash offer.Trump is proving to be serious in his efforts to buy the Bills, who are on the market after Wilson died in March. Trump was previously dismissed by critics as using the Bills’ sale as a publicity stunt.The Pegulas have been low-key throughout the sale process in regards to their interests in purchasing the Bills.The Bills most recently were valued by Forbes at $870 million but are expected to sell for at least $1 billion, partly because NFL teams rarely go on the market.Morgan Stanley’s selection of Trump and the Pegulas comes after prospective groups were asked to submit non-binding bids by Tuesday.A Toronto group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi was expected to submit a bid. It’s not known if that group has been selected to advance.The deadline Tuesday was regarded as a soft one, meaning other interested parties can still submit bids until a prospective owner is identified. The time, however, is growing shorter for outside groups to become involved.The next step is for groups who have been approved to advance is to meet with both Morgan Stanley and members of the estate to obtain the franchise’s financial information. Bills President Russ Brandon also is expected to make a presentation to prospective bidders.Once that is done in the coming weeks, groups will then be asked to submit formal bids. The bidding process is unsealed, meaning Wilson’s estate will have the ability to ask groups to increase their bids.Though no timetable has been established by Morgan Stanley, a prospective owner is could be identified by as early as Labor Day and presented to NFL owners for approval during league meetings in early October.TweetPinShare0 Shares
NEWARK, N.J. — There wasn’t much celebrating after the New York Rangers won the Presidents’ Trophy for the best regular-season record for the third time in franchise history.The post-game activity after the Rangers 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on April 7 was businesslike, from congratulating goaltender Cam Talbot on the ice to talking about heading into the playoffs with home-ice advantage.It was good to get the job done, but there is more to do.“It’s not an easy thing to do,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “You look at the teams still fighting to get into the playoffs. It’s a challenging thing. For our group, it’s one thing in the direction that we’re looking to get to. I’m very proud of our group but we all know that we are going to be judged by what we do in the playoffs. So this is a first step and we’re going to get ready for the next one.”New York won’t know who it wlll face in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, but Game 1 will be at Madison Square Garden next week.The Rangers never trailed against the Devils after getting goals from Kevin Hayes and Ryan McDonagh in a 47-second span in the first period. Talbot made 19 saves and James Sheppard and Carl Hagelin added third-period goals as the Rangers swept the four-game season series with New Jersey.“We battled hard all season long to get to this point but we know that the job’s not finished yet,” said Talbot, the backup who played a major role this season by posting a 17-5-3 record since Feb. 4, when starter Henrik Lunqvist was lost for nearly two months with a neck injury.The win was the Rangers’ fifth straight — four with Lundqvist in net — and it improved their record to 52-21-7 for 111 points. The 52-wins ties the franchise record and the point total is one less than that franchise mark, both set in 1993-94, the last time they won the Stanley Cup.“It is a great accomplishment. Like any team, we had to handle adversity, injuries, ups and downs, travel, everything that goes about an NHL season,” McDonagh said. “For us to clinch and say we won the regular season is a huge confidence boost. It’s a reassurance of what this team is capable of.”Patrik Elias and Steve Bernier scored and Cory Schneider made 36 saves in the Devils’ final home game.The Rangers will be looking to return to the Cup finals for the second straight year. They lost the final to the Los Angeles Kings last season.The Rangers never trailed in this game but it was nothing like Saturday’s 6-1 rout of New Jersey in New York.Despite being outshot by a 40-21 margin and having to kill off seven penalties, the Devils were right in the game until Hagelin scored into an empty net with just under than 2 minutes to play.Sheppard have given the Rangers a 3-1 lead midway through the third period, deflecting Dominic Moore’s shot past Schneider for his seventh goal of the season.Bernier closed the gap to a goal less than a minute later, with a backhander that Talbot originally stopped. As the puck lay in the crease, the goaltender and Derick Brassard scrambled to clear the puck but Talbot kicked it into his own net.Talbot was outstanding earlier in the period, stopping Adam Henrique twice and and Scott Gomez in close with a backhander to preserve the Rangers’ 2-1 lead.Hayes gave the Rangers the lead at 13:45 of the first period with his 16th goal of the season. Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas turned the puck over behind his net and Martin St. Louis poked the puck out front to Hayes for a shot past Schneider.McDonagh doubled the margin less than a minute later with a goal just 7 seconds after Jacob Josefson was sent off for hooking. Brassard won the ensuing faceoff, and Hayes and Keith Yandle moved the puck to the Rangers’ captain from the left point that beat a well-screened Schneider.The Devils, who had only two shots in the opening 17 minutes, got on the board with their third. With Tanner Glass of the Rangers in the penalty box, Bernier found Elias alone between the circles for his 12th goal of the season.“I think we got in penalty trouble,” Devils forward Mike Cammalleri said. “It’s tough to get a flow and a momentum. When we did get to play them 5-on-5, we did pretty well.”The Rangers had a two-man advantage for 1:27 in the opening minutes but only managed one shot on goal. It foreshadowed a night in which they converted on 1 of 7 extra-man chances.(TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shares
TweetPinShare0 Shares WASHINGTON — Unburdened by the catastrophes of past Game 7s littering the Washington Capitals’ playoff history, rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov delivered a breathtaking, series-clinching goal that got Alex Ovechkin’s seal of approval.“Pretty sick,” Ovechkin declared.Sure was.Skating around every opponent on the ice as he swooped across from the right boards, past the slot and waited, waited, waited for the right moment to lift a rising shot over sprawling goalie Jaroslav Halak, Kuznetsov scored the go-ahead goal with 7:18 remaining, and Braden Holtby only needed to make 10 saves April 27, leading the Capitals to a 2-1 victory that eliminated the New York Islanders in the first round.“If you’ve never played hockey,” Kuznetsov said, “you’ll never feel this.”Joel Ward gave Washington a 1-0 lead late in the second period, and Frans Nielsen pulled New York even early in the third.The Capitals now face the Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers, who eliminated Washington from the 2012 and 2013 playoffs — in Game 7 each time.That’s part of a long history of postseason failures for the Capitals, including never advancing beyond the second round since Ovechkin arrived and began earning MVP trophies and leading the NHL in goals year after year.This was the eighth time in 10 playoff series involving Ovechkin that went to a Game 7, and his team was only 2-5 in such contests until Monday.Until Kuznetsov — a 22-year-old center taken with the No. 26 pick in 2010, six years after Ovechkin went No. 1 overall — came through, adding to the two goals and assist he had in Game 3.“That’s the best I’ve seen us play,” Holtby said. “Start to finish, that’s the game we’ve been trying to groom all year.”The Islanders’ loss ends their playing days at Nassau Coliseum, which opened in 1972. The team is moving to Brooklyn next season.“We wanted to get back home,” coach Jack Capuano said.You have to go back 22 years to find a playoff series won by the Islanders, and that victory in 1993 came against — guess who? — the Capitals. Since then, New York has lost seven consecutive first-round series.“It’s just hard to believe it’s really over,” said Islanders captain John Tavares, who had two goals and four assists in the series. “”It was intense. It was physical. It was draining.”Halak pointed to Washington’s 26-11 edge in shots, saying: “We needed to shoot a little more. Obviously you’re not going to score if you don’t shoot.”Only three teams have produced fewer shots in a playoff game since 1990, according to STATS.This was the first Game 7 of this year’s NHL playoffs, fittingly. Through the first six games, each team scored 14 goals. Each won on the road. Each won in overtime. During the regular season, both finished with 101 standings points.But this was the Capitals’ turn to thrive. “By Game 5,” coach Barry Trotz said, “I thought they wore down a little bit.”Kuznetsov thought the Islanders looked tired during his highlight-reel goal.They did seem to move in slow motion as he swooped across the ice to put his team back in front.“For him, it’s just another day. There’s no previous history for him, so he could just go into it raw and just have a good time,” Ward said. “That’s the good thing about young guys.”There was one last bit of tension, when Capitals defenseman John Carlson was whistled for roughing with just under three minutes remaining. But the Capitals killed it off, making the Islanders 0-for-14 on power plays in the series.Perhaps fueled by a combination of relief and elation, the crowd grew louder and louder as the final seconds ticked away.“We were hungry, we wanted to get after it, and I think people doubted us a little bit,” Ward said. “So we wanted to prove something to ourselves and to our fans.”(HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Sports Writer)
BALTIMORE, MD — With tempers still smoldering in riot-torn Baltimore and nearby neighborhoods clearing out rubble and debris, the Orioles played a baseball game Wednesday.This wasn’t for the fans, because there weren’t any at Camden Yards.The game was held behind closed doors, and the Orioles and Chicago White Sox played because it was considered to be the best way to fill out the schedule for both teams.The timing worked for baseball, not so much for Baltimore. It was an unusual move by Major League Baseball, which usually errs on the side of caution in the wake of tragedy.Baseball games were canceled after riots ignited in Los Angeles and terrorists attacked New York and Washington. Baseball put off the World Series in 1989 after an earthquake hit San Francisco.In Baltimore, after a drug store was set on fire about four miles from the ballpark and the National Guard was summoned to restore order, they played a game because this was the only planned visit by this season by the White Sox. The postponed games Monday and Tuesday were to be made up as part of a doubleheader on May 28, but there was seemingly nowhere to go on the schedule with Wednesday’s game.So they moved up the starting time by five hours to 2:05 p.m. to beat the 10 o’clock curfew and had the teams go at it before 47,000 empty seats. Baltimore won 8-2.“We have a schedule so we’ve got to get games in,” Chicago second baseman Gordon Beckham said. “We can’t just miss all three games and expect to make them up down the line. I mean we’ll have no off days for the rest of the year.“So, we at least have to get this one in.”Just about everyone who put on a uniform understood the circumstances. Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died of spinal cord and other injuries while in police custody. The protests that followed included looting, violence and rioting.Though no property around the ballpark was damaged, the city was hurting and here they were, playing a baseball game to preserve the integrity of the schedule.“It is strange. The commissioner of baseball made a decision,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “I’m glad that we don’t have tens of thousands of fans down there. Even though things appear to be calm, having tens of thousands of people in that part of the city, that’s where our command center is operating.”On a scale of what was significant to Baltimore on this day, the Orioles’ 20th game of the season wasn’t exactly at the top of the list.“It makes you realize how unimportant really in a lot of ways this is compared to some things that are going on,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “You try to keep that mind and look at things realistically, where this fits in the scheme of things. You prioritize what’s important and we tried to do that.”Athletes are paid well to play when they’re told, no matter what the sport.“There’s nothing those guys can do about it. They’re a team,” said 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, who played in college at Maryland. “They have no control over what just happened. This is just how the world is. It has to be like this. They’re going to have to play no matter what.”Showalter hopes this game can serve as the first step toward getting Baltimore back on its feet.“We’ve made quite a statement as a city, some good and some bad,” he said. “Now, let’s get on with taking the statements we’ve made and create a positive. I want to be a rallying force for our city.”Their intentions may have been in the right place, but seemingly not much else.Playing the game without any fans in attendance was both a good and a bad thing. The team didn’t divert any police from doing their job around the city, but the people of Baltimore didn’t get a chance to turn the page by watching the home team play at Camden Yards.“Sports brings people together — black, white, or any different,” Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said. “For those three hours, you can have beers, nachos and some Boog’s (barbecue) and forget about our daily lives.“But today, we’re just going to have to play a Major League Baseball game without fans. I think that’s first time in history.”Must the game go on?“We’re doing the right thing,” Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said. “I’m not real happy about playing in an empty stadium. That’s one of the reasons that we look forward to coming home so much, playing in front of our fans. But we also understand that there’s a bigger picture here.”That’s true, but the bigger question is whether they should have been playing at all.“There are a lot more important issues going on outside the stadium,” Orioles left-hander Zach Britton said. “It kind of makes you realize how small baseball is compared to some of the other issues in the U.S. and around the world.”___TweetPinShare0 Shares
NEW YORK — All that stands between the New York Jets and the playoffs is Rex Ryan.Well, how’s that for an absolutely juicy story line?The Jets, in their first season under coach Todd Bowles, are facing a win-and-in scenario against the Buffalo Bills and their former coach, who was fired after failing to lead New York to the postseason in each of the last four of his six seasons.“In the words of the great Steve Smith,” linebacker Calvin Pace said, referring to Baltimore’s loquacious wide receiver, “‘Man, it’s going to be a bloodbath.’”The Jets (10-5) went from being outside the playoff picture to controlling their chances with a 26-20 overtime victory Sunday over the New England Patriots — helped in large part by Bill Belichick choosing to kick off rather than start the extra period on offense.Ryan Fitzpatrick coolly marched the Jets down the field and won it with a 6-yard pass to Eric Decker.Pittsburgh, which held a tiebreaker edge over New York, surprisingly lost to Baltimore and slipped behind the Jets in the playoff race. As a result of Denver’s 20-17 overtime win over Cincinnati on Monday night, New York can earn a berth with a win or if Pittsburgh loses to Cleveland next Sunday.“I want it,” defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson said of reaching the postseason. “I want it bad.”He and the Jets get to prove how much next Sunday at Buffalo (7-8). The Bills had high hopes in Ryan’s first season, especially when he declared their playoff drought would end. Instead, they’ll miss out for the 16th straight year.So, after spending six years doing everything he could to get the Jets into the postseason, Ryan will be out to keep them from getting in.“It’s just the next game on the schedule,” cornerback Darrelle Revis said, downplaying the matchup.Ryan is already 1-0 against his former team after a 22-17 victory over the Jets in a Thursday night game. While Ryan was clearly excited by the win, he also predicted the teams’ next meeting would probably help decide who goes to the playoffs.He was half-right.On Monday, Ryan praised the Jets, not adding any extra fuel — but, it’s early in the week, of course.“I think, first off, it’s about getting the win and we know we are facing a team that is red hot,” Ryan said in Buffalo. “This team is a complete football team.”After their loss to the Bills, the Jets fell to Houston 24-17 to drop to 5-5. A 4-1 start was washed away by inconsistency, lost opportunities and a search for answers.“We had to come together,” Pace said, “or the ship was gonna sink.”They haven’t lost since.“The past couple weeks have been playoff games,” Bowles said. “There really is no pressure. They just play together and we have fun and we try to get better as a team. There’s no pressure on us. We know have to win. We’ve been having to win the past five weeks. ”Fitzpatrick’s steady play during the winning streak has been MVP-like. He has thrown for 1,525 yards and 13 touchdowns with one interception. In three of the last four games, Fitzpatrick has driven the Jets to a win in the final 2 minutes of regulation or overtime.“Fitz has been amazing for us,” Pace said.So has Brandon Marshall, who set the franchise’s season record with 101 catches — and counting. Decker has, too, with 75 catches, including 11 TD grabs.The defense has been terrific the past month, led by a front line that made things miserable for Tom Brady and the Patriots.These are the things the Jets players expected back in September.“There was still a ton of belief and I just think you know being in the league and having experience that a lot of us do have, you can recognize when you have a good team,” Fitzpatrick said. “So, I think the belief’s always been there just because we see the way that everybody works week in and week out and we see the talent level on this team.“I think that the belief has been there from Day 1 and it hasn’t wavered.”Left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson echoed that sentiment: “I think we knew we had a special team even at the beginning of the season.”Bowles let his team know what’s at stake in his postgame speech Sunday, telling the players: “Win and we’re in.”That’s about as far as the coach will go in terms of motivational tactics. Bowles feels none of that stuff is needed at this point with so much on the line.“We’re going to treat it the same,” Bowles said of the approach for Sunday’s game. “We understand what we’re going up against. We’ve got to continue to do the things we’ve been doing. We try to do anything else, then we won’t have a chance to win.”DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shares
ATHENS — IOC President Thomas Bach says the torch relay for this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will include a stop at a refugee camp in Athens.Bach has also promised to build sporting facilities on the island of Lesbos that has been hard hit by the migrant crisis.Bach visited a refugee camp in Athens on Thursday and met potential candidates who could compete for the first time as part of a stateless refugee team at the games in Rio.Bach said the athletes will attend the opening ceremony, marching behind the Olympic flag before host team Brazil enters last.TweetPinShare0 Shares
NEW YORK — The New York Knicks won’t re-sign Jimmer Fredette to a second 10-day contract.The former college player of the year appeared in two games with the Knicks, making a 3-pointer on his lone shot attempt. His deal expired March 2 and the team elected not to give him another.Teams can sign players to two consecutive 10-day contracts, then must offer them a contract for the rest of the season if they want to keep them beyond that.Fredette has spent most of the season playing for the Knicks’ NBA Development League affiliate, where he averaged 21.8 points.The Knicks called him up Feb. 22, but interim coach Kurt Rambis made it clear the former BYU sharpshooter would have to outplay the guards already on the roster.Fredette had averaged 6.0 points for three NBA teams before the Knicks.TweetPinShare0 Shares
NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees’ offense was asleep for seven innings and so was the sellout crowd. New York was about to get shut out for the second straight night and drop a season-high 5½ games behind first-place Boston.Aaron Hicks woke everyone up with his bat, then made a rocket of a throw, preserving a ninth-inning lead with a double play that electrified fans and bailed out Aroldis Chapman in yet another Yankees-Red Sox thriller.“We need to get as many wins as we can against these guys and just show that we’re willing to fight back,” Hicks said after his two-run homer sparked a five-run eighth inning that led the Yankees to a 5-4 win Friday. New York cut its AL East deficit to 3½ games and stopped Boston’s winning streak at eight.Hanley Ramirez’s two-run, first-inning homer and Andrew Benintendi’s fifth-inning solo drive off Jaime Garcia built a 3-0 lead for Eduardo Rodriguez, who held the Yankees to two hits in six innings. Matt Barnes followed with a hitless seventh that extended the scoreless streak by Boston’s bullpen to 19 innings.And then the drama began.In the first of 10 games between the AL East rivals in 24 days, the Yankees sent 11 batters to the plate in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Brett Gardner was nicked on a foot by a pitch from Addison Reed (0-1), a call originally missed by plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth and overturned on video review.Didi Gregorius and Todd Frazier followed Hicks’ home run with RBI singles and Ronald Torreyes hit a sacrifice fly for a 5-3 lead.And there was more.Pitching for the first time since Saturday, Chapman walked Jackie Bradley Jr. on four pitches and Eduardo Nunez on five. He missed outside with a 100.6 mph fastball, and Benintendi — whose bases-loaded walk against Chapman gave Boston a July 14 win at Fenway Park — came to the plate as Dellin Betances warmed up.Benintendi lofted on 0-2 pitch 327 feet to Hicks, just in front of the left-field warning track, and Bradley scored on the sacrifice fly. The strong-armed Hicks, who returned Thursday from a lengthy stay on the disabled list, made a one-hop throw to third base that was about 6 feet to the fair side of the base. Frazier made a backhand catch and swiped Nunez on the back as the former Yankee slid headfirst and reached for the base with his left arm.“If it happened again tomorrow, I would take the chance tomorrow again,” said Nunez, a former Yankee acquired by Boston from San Francisco last month. “That’s how you play the game. That was a great throw. That was a great pick from Frazier and an amazing tag.”Mitch Moreland flied out, giving Chapman his 15th save in 18 chances.“If he’s safe right there,” Gardner said, “the next play’s a sacrifice fly and the game’s tied, right? Who knows how it would have played out. A game-changer on both sides of the ball.”Boston and New York met while 1-2 in the division this late in the season for the first time since 2011.Hicks, back from an oblique injury that sidelined him since June 25, hooked an inside slider high down the right-field line. He tried to will the drive fair.“Of course, I’m talking the ball,” he said.And what did he tell it?“Go!”That made it 3-2 and stopped the Yankees’ shutout streak at 16 innings.Gary Sanchez singled, advanced on a wild pitch and Aaron Judge walked.Joe Kelly relieved, Gregorius blooped an opposite-field hit to left that tied the score, and Frazier dropped a single into left, a ball he thought was going to reach the outfield.Frazier, who is from New Jersey, thought back to his youth.“I remember that excitement, coming to the ballpark and watching these games,” he said.CROWDSThe Yankees drew 46,509 in their eighth home sellout, matching their total in each of the last two seasons. They had 16 in 2014, Derek Jeter’s final season.TRAINER’S ROOMRed Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia could be headed to the DL for the third time this season. Pedroia’s left knee was too inflamed for him to play, two days after he went 0 for 4 as a DH at Tampa Bay in his first game since July 28. … LH David Price, who hasn’t pitched since July 22 because of left elbow inflammation, threw in the outfield from 120 feet, then threw more intensely from 60 feet on flat ground, including breaking balls.Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (right knee inflammation) hopes to miss just one turn. He was put on the 10-day Friday, a move retroactive to Wednesday, when he had cortisone, platelet rich plasma and Synvisc injections. LHP Jordan Montgomery was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and will take Sabathia’s turn Sunday. … 2B Starlin Castro (strained right hamstring) and 1B Greg Bird (right ankle surgery) are likely to start minor league injury rehabilitation assignments next week.UP NEXTRHP Luis Severino (9-4) starts Saturday for the Yankees and LHP Drew Pomeranz (11-4) for the Red Sox. Severino has won four straight starts and is unbeaten in his last six outings. Pomeranz is 5-0 in his last eight starts.TweetPinShare0 Shares