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Warner stranded as Australia fall short in second T20

first_imgPORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (Reuters) – Opener David Warner scored an unbeaten half-century in vain as Australia blew what appeared to be a comfortable chase and South Africa claimed a 12-run victory in the second Twenty20 International on Sunday.South Africa posted a below-par 158 for four in their 20 overs as Australia strangled their bright start, but were able to defend the total as the wicket slowed up and the touring side found scoring increasingly difficult.Warner was unbeaten on 67 from 56 balls and having reached 98 for one in the 13th over, Australia looked odds-on for the victory until South Africa found a way to cut off the boundaries and they finished short on 146 for six.The series is level at 1-1 with the decider to be played in Cape Town on Wednesday, after which the sides will contest three one-day internationals.“We’ve played here a number of times and I’ve realised that the new ball is key,” South Africa captain Quinton de Kock said at the post-match presentation.“We understand that this wicket, especially late afternoon, for the team batting second it’s always going to be difficult.”De Kock was again the mainstay of the South African innings, his clean striking bringing five fours and four sixes in a fine 70 from 47 balls before he holed out to mid-off.Rassie van der Dussen (37 from 26 balls) provided a vital contribution, but South Africa were 20 or so runs short of where they should have been, having scored only 36 runs in the last five overs with wickets in hand.Seamer Kane Richardson was the pick of the Australian bowling attack with 2-21 in four overs.Australia appeared to be cruising in their reply and when Steve Smith (29 from 26 balls) was out with the score on 98, they required 61 from 45 balls with eight wickets remaining.But South Africa used the slow wicket expertly as leg-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi returned figures of 0-17 in his four overs to increase the pressure on the visitors.Australia needed 20 from the final 12 balls and when Kagiso Rabada’s penultimate overwent for only three, they were firmly on the back foot and never recovered momentum.“I thought we were in the hunt for most of the chase. We just didn’t get that kick at the end that we needed,” Australia skipper Aaron Finch said.“Both teams bowled well at the end, it’s not ideal but a great game.”last_img read more

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Fans could return for 20-21 season: Premier League chief

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said on Friday that fans could be allowed to attend top-flight matches in the 2020-21 season on a “phased basis”.The Premier League plans to resume the 2019-20 campaign on June 17 following the coronavirus lockdown.But the remaining 92 fixtures will be played behind closed doors to minimise the health risks of football’s return in a country badly hit by the pandemic.The prospect of playing the next season with no fans is unappetising for the Premier League and Masters suggested it could be possible to being back supporters at some stage.“No one knows when matches will move away from the behind-closed-doors model and it is right to have contingency plans in place, but there is optimism at the Premier League and at clubs that we will see fans back in the stadiums next season and it may happen on a phased basis,” Masters told Sky Sports News.“Hopefully it will be a huge morale boost and that is what we’ve been working towards.“We’ve got some incredible fans in this country and we all know the Premier League as we know and love it won’t be fully back until we have fans back through the turnstiles.”The biggest concern for ‘Project Restart’ is another wave of the virus, which could lead to the competition being suspended again.With that in mind, Masters said it was crucial clubs agreed on a plan for what would happen if the season had to end early before games resume.But he would not be drawn on whether an unweighted points-per-game model would be used in decide the final table in the event of the season being abandoned.“We need to have plans in place so that we go into the start of the season knowing that if it can’t be completed, what then happens,” Masters said. “(But) I’m not going to give away any of the details of the private discussions we are having with our clubs.”– ‘Legitimate concerns’ –The video assistant referee (VAR) system is set to be used in the remaining matches, but Masters said it would be done remotely rather than from the officials’ usual base at Stockley Park.“VAR has its own social distancing issues but we think there is a way of completing the season with VAR, so absolutely our intention is to complete the season with VAR in place,” he said.“The hub itself could be a problem, so if you can’t do the hub you have to do it remotely, and that’s what we’re looking at.”Liverpool are two wins away from clinching their first English title for 30 years, but they could be forced to play at a neutral venue when the trophy is within reach on police advice.Police chiefs are concerned about the safety risks of Liverpool fans gathering outside Anfield or any other stadium their team are playing at.Masters said talks with the police about neutral venues for some games are on-going, but he hopes Liverpool can at least have a trophy presentation.“They (the police) have legitimate concerns but we think we can mitigate some of the issues they’re trying to deal with,” he said.“Ultimately, we want the season to be played out on the pitch and we’re discussing a number of options to make it as fair as possible.“We’ll do everything we possibly can to deliver a trophy presentation. It’s really important to mark that moment and to give the fans that memory to mark it.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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James Conner’s the real deal, and Swin Cash’s tournament is coming! (Sept. 19)

first_imgLike us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourier BILL NEAL:10—I’ll start you off as I always do. Black people…Hispanic people…and all of our wonderful women. It’s time to Stop-The-Madness!!! Let’s bring the Trump train to a crashing STOP! Vote mid-term, vote general, JUST VOTE!!!:09—Enormous condolences to my “lifelong Brother,” Dwight Law, for the passing of his dear mother…and my second mother…Thelma Law. A wonderful life lived.:08—I know I am in the minority. I also know that Le’Veon Bell is playing the cards they dealt him. But look, I am old school, like a mug. In the offseason, get a zillion dollars if you can…preseason, get a couple zillion more. But when it’s showtime, I want everybody on deck. I don’t want you messing with my legacy or my playoff and/or Super Bowl money. I say un-ring that Bell! Send Le’Veon packin’. I am just sayin’.JAMES CONNER makes a one-handed catch during the game against the Chiefs, Sept. 16.:07—By the way, here’s why that’s an easy call. Some of you have forgotten and some of you just don’t know, but, James Conner is the real deal. The legend that is Tony Dorsett…aka the greatest college running back in history…6,526 yards rushing. #2 in Pitt history? Yep, you guessed it. James Conner with 3,733 yards, ahead of Ray Graham, Curvin Richards, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, Dion Lewis, LeSean “Shady” McCoy, Billy West, Elliott Walker and —and — and Curtis “Hall of Fame” Martin…and, oh yea, he beat cancer…Now shut up!:06—I guess you know that without the members of “The Locker Room” I would just be another handsome, talented, creative sports writer. But it’s the Locker Room cats that made me famous. A tip of the cap to our latest inductee into the Locker Room —Brother Solomon White, a South Hills High School graduate (won’t hold that against him). Keep on reading, S.W.:05—A big shoutout to good brother Reggie Smith. He’s been doing major work with our kids for the better part of 20 years here in the Burgh. Nothing has changed for this former Pitt football star. He’s teamed up with hometown lady and WNBA star Swin Cash to host “Cash for Kids Middle School Basketball Tournament” for Boys and Girls on Sept. 29th & 30th at McKeesport Senior High School. Teams can still enter. For information, contact Reggie Smith at [email protected]:04—Just look over there…no, over there, to the right…you should see a promotion on this page about “The Great Savoy Car Cruise and Show” to benefit disadvantaged kids.:03—There’s a reason it’s called “Best of the Batch.” It’s because he’s recognized as one of the best professional athletes to give back to the community. The fact that he’s a Pittsburgh guy only makes it better. A Black and Gold thank you to Charlie Batch and the Best of the Batch Foundation for their very generous donation to the Champions/Great Savoy Car Cruise and Show. And a tremendous thank you to the fabulous Yasmin Shaheed for her support to help make it happen.:02 —Yea, I am at my spot. It’s Sunday, the Steelers are playing, why wouldn’t I be at my spot? But I gotta tell ya, from where I sit I don’t like what I see. The boys are back in town, but, it looks like they left their game in Cleveland. The defense…oh boy…terrible. Down 21 points to the Chiefs that fast! Now the Steelers are 0-1-1 and Tampa Bay is next, and they’re 2-0…:01—Coming Soon…The 5th Anniversary Edition of the Pittsburgh City League All Sports Hall of Fame Inductions on Friday, Nov. 2. There’s a welcome home reception, followed by the City League Hall of Fame inductions the next night. Give me a call at 412-628-4856 for all the information, such as locations, times, etc. What I can say in this column is that there are 40 total inductees, so please plan for an incredible evening.Recognition of the Fallen HeroesBob Harrison—WestNate Smith—SouthRock Figerelli—CarrickDerrick Moore—AllderdiceDiAndre Smith—BrashearJeff Knoxx—OliverTyke Branch—LangleyLevi Doswell—WestRip Nixon—WestSenior Legends of the CityRalph McDaniels—PeabodyLen Gallo—WestRay Hooper—South HillsDave Jetter—WestFrank Batista—WestVirgil Bocheli—WestCoaches of the GamePat Carmack—LangleyHoward Bullard—AllderdiceJim Kahn—PeabodyBill Cooper—CarrickDebbie Lewis—SchenleyKathy Olesak—SchenleyHall of Fame TeamThe 1988–89 Perry Traditional Academy City League and State Champion Football TeamFuture Stars High School Student Athletes Award (TBA):00—Next week, I’ll announce the 2018 Hall of Fame Class. “City League, It’s Your Time, It’s Your Turn!”last_img read more

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Home Unsweet Home—Steelers win some battles, but Baltimore wins the war, 26-14 (Oct. 3)

first_imgBALTIMORE RAVENS RB ALEX COLLINS played an instrumental role in the Ravens’ convincing win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football, Sept. 30, 26-14. (Photos by Courier photographer Brian Cook)There was once upon a time when fire-breathing dragons roamed the earth and professional football players that wore leather helmets roamed the gridiron with names like Jim Thorpe and Red Grange. There were miniature monarchs that ruled miniature kingdoms named George Halas, Arthur J. Rooney and Paul Brown. All of these “kings” understood that when you crossed the borders of another man’s “kingdom,” the chances of exiting that hallowed ground with a victory, more often than not, were slim and none.Fast forward to 2018. The Baltimore Ravens entered the “kingdom of steel” of the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Sunday, Sept. 30. The Ravens did not place a “Trojan Horse” within the Steelers gates, only to surprise Pittsburgh as they slept. The men from B-more compromised the walls and tore down the gates, not defeating the Steelers by sneaking and attacking them from the rear, but defeating the men of steel face-to-face for the entire world to see. “General” Joseph Flacco had anticipated facing “General” Benjamin Roethlisberger in this most important battle, but the highly anticipated bloodbath was almost a one-sided battle as the Ravens began the battle slinging while the Steelers were just “singing.” Pittsburgh won a few skirmishes but Baltimore won the war. The final score: 26-14 Ravens. The Steelers now find themselves tied for last in the AFC North at 1-2-1 with the Browns.Come with me as we pause in retrospect for a moment or two. At the beginning of the 2018 NFL campaign, “General” Roethlisberger and his array of weapons were feared by many and disrespected by few. Roethlisberger could defeat you by land, by sea, above ground, below ground, in your kingdom, his kingdom or on neutral ground. It didn’t seem to matter. It was obvious to all that mattered that almost anyone that the Steelers faced were more than likely going to go down in defeat. It was not a question of why and how: the only question was when. However, there were stormy clouds gathering on the battlefront for the men of steel. The man charged with the placement and discharge of the weapons of the men of steel, “Colonel” Todd Haley, had been “exiled” from the “kingdom of steel” and took his experience to the Browns to help sculpture a new class of weaponry that the Orange and Brown team now possesses.There was now a new man in town to calculate and implement a new attack strategy for the Pittsburgh Steelers, his name is “Colonel” Randy Fichtner. “Colonel” Fichtner had been a close confidant to “General” Roethlisberger causing many to believe that the “unholy” alliance between he and the general was one of the deciding factors to “exile” “Colonel” Haley. From the beginning of his “tenure” with the Steelers, “General” Roethlisberger seemed to be dissatisfied with the battle plans of “Colonel” Haley and many times those with high stakes in the matter could see and sense a level of disdain exhibited toward “Colonel” Haley by “General” Roethlisberger at many times for no reason, mainly just because. “General” Roethlisberger did not accept or appreciate his new offensive strategist and by golly, by hook, or by crook “Colonel” Haley was going to meet a less-than-stellar end if “General” Roethlisberger and “Colonel” Fichtner had anything to do with it.They seemed to have prayed and waited, prayed and waited and now it appears as if their prayers were answered. As of this time, the walls of the steel kingdom have been breached twice in 2018 and may be breached again in less than a fortnight, as the Atlanta Falcons have been spotted flying toward Heinz Field at warp speed regarding reports that the demise of the Pittsburgh Steelers is nigh. It has been said in many circles time and time again,“Be careful what you pray for.”(Aubrey Bruce: [email protected]) Like us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/New-Pittsburgh-Courier/143866755628836?ref=hlFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NewPghCourierlast_img read more

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Steelers defense turns up pressure by turning back the clock

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers linebacker L.J. Fort (54) recovers a fumble by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Yet the veteran Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback understands he didn’t exactly shut down Atlanta’s Julio Jones during a dominant 41-17 win on Sunday all by himself.The Steelers sometimes had two — and on occasion three — bodies around Jones. And a resurgent pass rush forced Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan to spend a significant portion of the afternoon under heavy duress.“They weren’t running,” Haden said. “The D-line controlled things. They controlled the front and then they got the sacks. That’s helping me out too big time. I just love when the D-line is able to get that type of pressure.”So do the rest of the Steelers (2-2-1), who for the first time this season looked like the group that led the NFL and set a franchise record with 57 sacks in 2017. T.J. Watt took down Ryan three times.Defensive tackle Cam Heyward picked up a sack and split another with linebacker Jon Bostic. Even reserve linebacker L.J. Fort got in on things, collecting the third sack of his six-year career and later falling on Ryan’s fumble in the end zone to put the finishing touches on Pittsburgh’s most complete performance of the year.Though Heyward downplayed the idea his team was desperate, he admitted there was a sense of urgency after the Steelers spent the first month of the season getting pushed around.The Steelers walked onto the steamy Heinz Field turf ranked 30th in total defense. Facing the high-powered Falcons, Pittsburgh responded by restoring a bit of normalcy by getting back to basics. They blitzed from all over. They disguised their coverages and then turned to Haden to put the clamps on Jones.The idea to have Haden shadow Jones came from coach Mike Tomlin, who broached the subject of having Haden follow Jones all over the field during the week. Haden welcomed the assignment, galvanized by the opportunity to take on one of the best in the business.“He can do everything,” Haden said. “He’s big. Physical. Strong. He can catch. Vertical. Everything.”At least until the first three quarters on Sunday, when Jones did nothing. Four times Ryan looked Jones’ way over the first 45 minutes.Each time the play ended the same way: with the pass falling incomplete.By the time Jones finally did break through early in the fourth quarter, the Steelers were already up 17 and the game was effectively over.“They had a good game plan for me today,” Jones said.One Pittsburgh might want to repeat going forward. The Steelers travel to AFC North-leading Cincinnati (4-1) next week.Much like the Falcons, the Bengals and star wideout A.J. Green present their own unique challenge.The Steelers have dominated the rivalry in recent years, winning 9 of 10, including an ugly victory in Cincinnati last December that included several vicious shots on both sides and the possible end of Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier’s career because of a spinal injury.Pittsburgh’s defense hasn’t been the same since, though the way the Steelers put it together against Atlanta offered a glimpse that perhaps things are starting to turn around.The communication issues in the secondary that plagued them in September largely vanished, at least for four quarters.And while Watt’s three sacks boosted his season total to six — tying him with older brother J.J. of the Houston Texans and Bengals defensive lineman Geno Atkins for the most in the NFL — Watt was quick to praise Fort and Tyler Matakevich, who stepped in admirably with Vince Williams sidelined by a hamstring injury.“I think we have so much confidence in them that we don’t have any wavering opinion whether they are in the game or not,” Watt said.“So, I think they just do a great job, go about their business as if they are the starter each and every week, and it shows.”Yet success has been fleeting. Pittsburgh thought it had figured some things out two weeks ago in Tampa Bay when it produced four turnovers in the second quarter to cool off the Buccaneers.Then Baltimore came to Heinz Field and controlled the second half on its way to a decisive victory.Whether Pittsburgh’s play against Atlanta is a one-off or a sign of things to come is uncertain.“Hopefully this performance can catapult us in the right direction, and start climbing the leaderboard of defenses and continue to win,” Fort said.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL PITTSBURGH (AP) — Joe Haden understands how it looks. Spend an afternoon keeping the NFL’s leading wide receiver in check and you’re bound to get all the credit.last_img read more

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