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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday Sport

Sport Saturday

Today's sport scene sees a little old, a little new in cycling, NCAA Basketball action, Six Nations Rugby, a surge in Test Cricket in India, and a low down dogs contest between two premier league teams facing relegation. 

Mark Cavendish
Cycling's Tour of Abu Dhabi continues today with a third stage of exciting action.  So far, the tour is a contest between established and well known heros, Marcel Kittel, Mark Cavendish, and Caleb Ewan.  Ewan has done so well recently, it seems like he has been around forever, but he is only 22, and has taken the white jersey for best young
Marcel Kittel and that wonderful hair
rider.    After two stages which have catered to the sprinters, it is time for the climbers to shine on Saturday as the Abu Dhabi Tour heads into the mountains for the 186km Al Maryah Stage from Al Ain to Jebel Hafeet.  This afternoon marks the start of the Spring one day cycling classics, which continue for a couple of months, mostly in Holland,  Belgium and northern France.  Today's race is the Het Nieuwsblad (historically known as Het Volk), which begins and ends in Ghent.  Champion Tom Boonen, who is a one day classics specialist, has announced he will ride today and this season, retiring definitively after Paris-Roubaix on April 9th.  Go Tom! 

In England Premier (for now) League Soccer, dogfights can be interesting, especially when the game is down to the dogs.  One of the most hard fought contests this weekend may not be Sunday's cup championship, but instead the game of two teams fighting relegation.   Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough should both put up an exciting effort, as both teams are in real risk of demotion.  Palace are desperate for a win and the visit of Middlesborough’s misfiring attack gives them the perfect chance. "We are treating this as a final," Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka said, and they will do well to play their hearts out.

Six Nations Rugby continues with its third weekend of play today, with hard fought contests between Scotland and Wales, and between Ireland and France.  Currently England is atop the standings with two wins, Italy at the bottom with no wins.  Ireland is in second place, followed by Wales, France and Scotland, all of whom have a single win a piece.  Today's play may shake up the competition. 

In Test Cricket, visitors Australia currently lead India after Day 2 of the first test.  Left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe
Steve O'Keefe
grabbed a career-best haul of 6-35 to put Australia on top before skipper Steve Smith compounded India’s misery with an unbeaten fifty in the first Test Friday. The Aussies reached 143-4 at stumps on day two, which saw a total of 15 wickets fall at Pune’s Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.  O’Keefe, whose six wickets came off just 24 balls, helped Australia bundle India out for 105 in the afternoon session before the visiting batsmen rammed home their advantage against the world’s top Test team.  Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed three wickets, including the early scalps of openers David Warner and

Ravichandran Ashwin

Shaun Marsh.  Australia are playing in the first match of the four Test series.  The number-two ranked Australia, who lost their last nine Tests in Asia, are looking for an upset win against the world’s top side. In Pakistan Super League play Mohammed Sami’s final over puts has assured Islamabad United of a play-off berth, taking the pressure off of them for their final regular season match against Karachi this week. 


In the USA, in NCAA Basketball, the Southern Methodist University Mustangs will play at the  Connecticut Huskies. The Mustangs won a January 19th meeting against UConn in Dallas 69-49, holding the Huskies to just 15 points in the first half. Shake Milton led the Mustangs in scoring with 23 points. SMU had only five turnovers in that game, and is expected to play well today, even in the aggressive confines of UConn.  Wichita State will travel to Missouri State. The Wichita State Shockers (26-4) roll into Springfield looking to clinch at least a share of their fourth straight regular-season crown in the Missouri Valley Conference. They forced 21 turnovers in an 80-62 win over Missouri State (16-14) on February 9th.

1 comment:

Xersex said...

soon there'll be il Giro d'Italia!