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Indian colts face formidable Pakistan in Under 19 World Cup

first_imgIt will be a test of India’s batting skills against a formidable Pakistani bowling attack when the two arch-rivals lock horns in the quarterfinals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup here on Monday.Indian colts managed to put their campaign back on track after losing the opening encounter to the West Indies, but their batting has been a big let-down.Apart from their match against Zimbabwe, where the top-order clicked in unison, India’s batting has been inconsistent with some of the big names like skipper Unmukt Chand and Baba Aprajith failing to deliver the goods.Chand has amassed 104 runs from his three outings in the tournament so far with 78 against Zimbabwe being the best, while Aprajith has managed a meagre 43 from a similar number of matches.The only bright spot in India’s top order has been opener Prashant Chopra, who after a poor beginning against the West Indies has come back strongly to score a couple of half-centuries in the following matches.Vijay Zol and wicketkeeper-batsman Samit Patel have been good with the willow in the middle order, but they definitely need to be better against a potent Pakistani attack.India, though, can boast of a reliable bowling attack which has been able to deliver with some degree of consistency in the tournament so far.However, against Pakistan it will be a different ball game altogether with their captain Babar Azam leading from the front.Azam has accumulated 182 runs from three matches including an unbeaten ton against the Scotland. His only failure with the bat came in Pakistan’s previous match against the New Zealand.advertisementWith the past record also not favouring the Indian colts, it will be a tough task for the boys in blue.India enjoys an overall 9-7 record against Pakistan in Under-19 cricket, but the green shirts have performed better in big and pressure matches, having won five of the six contests in the World Cups.India’s only victory in the U-19 Cricket World Cup came in 1998 in Durban where they beat Pakistan by five wickets.However, skipper Chand is confident of a good show against Pakistan in the knock-out match.”Pakistan will be a challenge but we have worked hard on our skills coming into the tournament and also on the mental side of our game,” the Indian skipper said ahead of the all important match.”We played Pakistan twice in Malaysia in June and learnt a lot from those matches. So, we are confident that we can perform very well not only in the quarter-final but also in the rest of the matches,” Chand said.Pakistan have looked good in the tournament so far with three consecutive wins, the only time they seemed to flounder was against the Kiwis where they lost five wickets while chasing 152 for victory.”We played India in the Asia Cup in Malaysia before this tournament and we won one match (by one run) while the other game (the final) ended in a tie. There is always a tight contest between us and we are expecting nothing different this time,” Azam said.”Our players are aware of how exciting this is for the supporters of both the teams. They know that there will be millions of fans glued to their screens seeing the action when we meet. The last time we met the games were exciting so we hope that continues,” he added.last_img read more


Goetze scores winner to seal Germany’s 4th FIFA World Cup title

first_imgMario Goetze celebrates after scoring the winning goal for Germany against Argentina With two quick and sublimely deft touches, Mario Goetze ended Germany’s 24-year wait for another World Cup title.Statistical Highlights | Top Honours Goetze scored the winning goal in extra time to give Germany a 1-0 victory over Argentina on Sunday in a tight and tense World Cup final that came down to a few moments of individual skill.Goetze, who wasn’t born when West Germany beat Argentina in the 1990 final, controlled a cross with his chest in the 113th minute and in one fluid motion volleyed the ball past goalkeeper Sergio Romero and inside the far post from five yards out.It was a goal that gave Germany its fourth World Cup title in its eighth final, and left Argentina star Lionel Messi still walking in the shadow of his compatriot Diego Maradona, who led his country to the 1986 title.Goetze went on as a substitute for Miroslav Klose toward the end of regulation time and the 22-year-old midfielder’s fresh legs made the difference.Andre Schuerrle broke down the left flank, sending his cross into the area, and the Bayern Munich player did the rest with a clinical finish. The goal echoed that of Andres Iniesta’s four years ago, when the midfielder scored in similar fashion but from the other side of the area to give Spain a 1-0 extra time win over the Netherlands.For Germany, the win ends a string of near misses since winning its last major title at the 1996 European Championship. The team lost the 2002 World Cup final to Brazil and lost in the semifinals in both 2006 and 2010.advertisement”It’s incredible. The team did it beautifully,” said Manuel Neuer, who was voted the tournament’s best goalkeeper. “At some point we’ll stop celebrating but we’ll still wake up with a smile.”It is Germany’s first World Cup title as a unified nation, having won as West Germany in 1954, 1974 and 1990. It was also the third World Cup final between these countries and had been billed as a matchup between the perfect team and the perfect individual, pitting Germany’s machine-like unit against the brilliance of Messi, the four-time world player of the year.But in the biggest game of his career, Messi came up short.He had one good chance to score when he was sent free in the area just after the halftime break, but sent his shot wide of the far post. It was a difficult angle, but still the type of chance he so often converts for Barcelona.Messi threatened intermittently throughout the match, but was effectively neutralized for long stretches. When he did try to break forward with one of his quick dribbles, he was surrounded by the German defense.His free kick in the 120th minute went well high.When the final whistle blew, Germany players collapsed in a pile in the middle of the pitch, while Messi walked with his hands on his hips toward the center circle.Messi, who scored four goals in the group stage but none in the knockout rounds, then had to trudge alone up the stairs of the Maracana Stadium to accept the Golden Ball award for the tournament’s best player, shaking hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel along the way.Shortly afterward, the German team made its way up the stairs for captain Philipp Lahm to raise the hallowed 18-carat gold trophy as confetti rained down and fireworks exploded in the sky.”It’s incredible how hard we worked and what a performance we produced,” Lahm said. “It’s an incredible feeling.”Up until Goetze’s winning goal, the game was more notable for top-class defending than creative attacking, but both teams had their share of chances.The first half had just about everything but a goal.Gonzalo Higuain was gifted a free chance when Toni Kroos’ back header landed at his feet and left him all alone with Neuer. However, he sent his shot woefully wide.Higuain thought he had scored in the 30th after Messi picked out Ezequiel Lavezzi with a great ball and he sent a cross in toward the Napoli striker. Higuain slotted his finish inside the far post and ran to the corner flag in celebration before realizing he had been called for offside.Shortly afterward, Germany was forced to use a substitution as Christoph Kramer had to go off with a suspected concussion after colliding with Ezequiel Garay’s shoulder earlier in the game. Kramer had continued playing but looked visibly dizzy as he was led off the field. Kramer, who was a late inclusion in the lineup after Sami Khedira was injured during the warmup, was replaced by Schuerrle.advertisementGermany’s best chance came just before the break when Benedikt Hoewedes hit the post with a header from a corner.In extra time, both teams had chances to score early. Schuerrle controlled a ball in the area just after the restart and fired a hard shot that Romero had to react quickly to push out.In the 97th, Palacacio controlled a cross on his chest and tried to lob Neuer, but the ball drifted wide of the post.Team Lineups(from):Germany: Manuel Neuer; Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Benedikt Howedes; Philipp Lahm, Christoph Kramer (Andre Schurrle, 31st), Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil (Per Mertesacker, 120th); Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose (Mario Gotze, 88th).Argentina: Sergio Romero; Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis, Ezequiel Garay, Marcos Rojo; Lucas Biglia, Javier Mascherano, Enzo Perez (Fernando Gago, 86th); Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain (Rodrigo Palacio, 78th), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Sergio Aguero, 46th)last_img read more


Precautionary Pruning of Trees Urged for the Hurricane Season

first_img Director of the Metrological Service of Jamaica, Evan Thompson, projects that the 2017 season will be very active with the formation of 11 to 17 tropical systems, up to nine are expected to develop into hurricanes, with at least four likely to reach the dangerous category three strength or greater. Story Highlights Overhanging trees are often regarded as an enhancement to the beauty, luxury and comfort of homes and business places, both as rich sources of fruits as well providing welcome shading from the sun.However, these extended limbs can become dangerous elements during a storm or hurricane.Director of the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, Evan Thompson, projects that the 2017 season will be very active with the formation of 11 to 17 tropical systems, of which up to nine are expected to develop into hurricanes, with at least four likely to reach the dangerous category three strength or greater.Forest Technician at the Department, Deon Brown, emphasizes that doing reduces wind resistance within the canopy of  trees and the likelihood of limbs breaking and being tossed, given the erratic nature of strong winds accompanying a storm or hurricane.“One of the impacts on trees in a hurricane is that it can topple over. So if the tree is in close proximity (to a building), you can lessen the damage by removing some of the branches because sometimes they might get entangled in electric wires and could cause all kinds of problems,” she points out.Miss Brown urges persons not to resort to willy-nilly hacking of trees, but rather to consult with qualified tree-care professional to ensure that proper pruning methods are employed.She emphasises that incorrect methods can affect the overall health and lifespan of trees.Miss Brown advises that when pruning, care must be taken to protect the sections of trees where cuts or incisions have been made to avoid exposure to fungus or termite infestation which could compromise it by causing decay, thereby rendering it vulnerable in extreme weather.President of the Incorporated MasterBuilders Association, Humphrey Taylor, also underscores the importance of pruning trees and doing so properly.While arguing that trees should not be planted close to buildings, he says where this is the case, pruning must be a foremost safety consideration.Mr. Taylor acknowledges that some homeowners resist the idea of cutting trees because they think it may lose its beauty. However, he assures that “it will grow back.”Meanwhile, the Forestry Department has issued guidelines which it says should be followed when pruning a tree.These include not making cuts that are flush with the tree trunk or main branches to which they are attached. Additionally, incisions should be slightly slanted from the upper to the lower side of the branch.The Department further recommends that, where feasible, a fungicidal tincture (or plain paint) be applied to the area of the incision to retard or prevent rot or termite infestation.Additionally, is says where large branches overhang buildings or other infrastructure, incremental removal of small, manageable pieces of limbs will decrease the potential threat of damage.For further information, persons may contact the Forestry Department at 173 Constant Spring Road in Kingston or call them at 924-2667 or consult the nearest tree care professional or company.center_img Overhanging trees are often regarded as an enhancement to the beauty, luxury and comfort of homes and business places, both as rich sources of fruits as well providing welcomed shading from the sun. However, these extended limbs can become dangerous elements during a storm or hurricane.last_img read more