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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sports round up - who will Wimbledon ~ and news from Harare and Mirpur

At the time of posting this @ 9.15 pm Indian time, rain has halted the match for a brief while.  It is great Tennis exhibition – after  Novak Djokovic won  a tight first-set 7-6, Roger Federer  came back to win  the second set  tie-break 12-10. Who will win the Wimbledon final?  In the second Set, Djoko was almost running and had set points – there was a great rally of 27 and Federer’s serve volleys are at display – a game of high quality tennis.  Locked 1 set each, Djokovich leads 4-2 in the 3rd set. 

Yesterday, the final was different – Serena Williams breezed past her opponent Spaniard Mugurza in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 as the first timer was let crying into her towel at the side of the court.  Speaking after her win, Williams, who last won Wimbledon in 2012, said it felt 'so good' to have the trophy back in her hands.  So rise of Serena again, and how long this innings lasts, remains to be seen – Serene is looking good enough for long stint at the top.

Ashes series started differently.  England went one up as the score card reads : England 430 (Root 134, Moeen 77, Starc 5-114) and 289 (Bell 60, Root 60, Lyon 4-75) beatAustralia 308 (Rogers 95, Anderson 3-43) and 242 (Johnson 77, Warner 52, Broad 3-39, Moeen 3-59) by 169 runs.  Australia's coach Darren Lehmann has described England's big victory in the first Test as a "minor hiccup", and has effectively challenged the Lord's ground staff to produce a quicker pitch for the second match from Thursday. While Lehmann was happy to acknowledge England played the better cricket across the first four days of the series, he denied that his side had been surprised by the enterprise with which the hosts played, attacking at every reasonable opportunity and using relentless pressure and inventive fields to goad the touring batsmen into error.

For the die-hard Cricket fan, on a slow Harare surface, India wrapped up the ODI series with a steady performance.  The newest opening pair Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay  gave a  partnership of 112 – a target of 272 may have produced a tighter contest against a stronger batting side, even on a pitch as sluggish as this one, but it was more than sufficient to beat this Zimbabwe side by a handy margin.  In the 2nd over Dhawal Kulkarni went for 3 fours but that flourish was never sustained. Bhuvneshwar Kumar  dismissed Hamilton Masakadza and Elton Chigumbura  in a first spell that read 6-3-19-2. He came back and took the last two wickets to finish with his second four-wicket haul in ODIs. The wicket of Masakadza was his 50th.

The most surprising result came from elsewhere.  Bangladesh strangled South Africa with seam and spin on a slow surface to bowl them out for 162 in the second ODI in Mirpur. It was South Africa's lowest total against Bangladesh and their lowest batting first in an ODI since November 2009, when they were bowled out for 119 by England.  A good unbeaten 88 by Soumya Sarkar and his partnership with Mahmudullah took them through, for what is a grand victory against stronger opponents. 

I read this on Wimbledon official web – could not see though – the toss being performed by a 11 year old – pupil of a primary school, supported by the Wimbledon Foundation, the charity of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.  It is stated that the boy Michael and his parents will enjoy a tour of the Clubhouse and sit down for lunch in the Competitors’ Restaurant before the match. Like Kaci Finch, 10, who on Saturday performed the coin toss at the Ladies’ Singles Final, Michael was assisted in his on-court duties by Andrew Jarrett, Championships’ Referee.

In the all important umpire's chair on Sunday will be 37-year-old Ali Nili, an ATP Full Time Gold Badge Umpire who was born in Tehran, Iran, and became a naturalized US Citizen in 2011. It is Ali’s first Grand Slam singles final.

Who won the Wimbledon will be known by the time, you read this tomorrow morning

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

12th July 2015 @ 21.15 hrs

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