The waiting ends for England’s new Test captain Joe Root on Thursday when he leads his side out for the start of a four-match series against South Africa at Lord’s on Thursday, nearly four months after his appointment.For all the positivity surrounding his coronation in February, when he was hailed as the only credible candidate to succeed Alastair Cook, Root’s first squad has received a mixed reception, with doubts over whether it will deliver the “bold and brave” brand of cricket demanded by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).Although the sport is on a high after the recent announcement of a 1.1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion), five-year TV deal, the five-day game faces a fight to retain the interest of an increasingly diverted public and would relish a champagne summer.Instead, Root risks uncorking what some predict may be a rather a dull vintage by insisting on the recall of his Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance, who has been twice discarded as sub-standard, instead of Middlesex’s Dawid Malan or the promising Surrey opener Mark Stoneman.With England threatening to field a five-man pace attack for the first time since 1993, the team lacks the fizz normally associated with a new era.The captain can at least rely on the complete support of his new team. Senior players were counseled on who should succeed Cook and were unanimous in suggesting Root. “Yes (England coach) Trevor Bayliss spoke to me and others,” said seamer Stuart Broad on Skysports on Tuesday.”Joe was the natural successor to Alastair. He has learnt his game at the top level and will thrive on the extra responsibility.”advertisementRoot is less experienced than any of his 79 predecessors in the job, however, and Thursday will only be the fifth time he has captained a first-class side.He takes over a team humiliated 4-0 last winter by India and looking to use a seven-Test summer — a three-match series against West Indies follows South Africa — to build towards an Ashes winter.Besides winning both this summer’s series, Root will be desperate to ensure that he continues to score the runs that have been his hallmark since bursting into the team in 2012. In five years, no batsman has scored more than his 4,594 Test runs and only India captain Virat Kohli betters him in all forms of the international game.”What will make Joe’s life easiest of all is if he’s doing well himself,” wrote former England captain Nasser Hussain in the Daily Mail. “My first England coach Duncan Fletcher used to tell the press when I was struggling that I was one of the team’s all-rounders. I knew it was rubbish.”Root looks set to move himself one place down the order to four, with Ballance in at three. Cook remains in the team as opener, while Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones looks likely to make his debut on his home ground in the absence of the injured Chris Woakes and Jake Ball. Spinner Liam Dawson is another option in the 12.Although South Africa are ranked two places above England at two in the world, they have been depleted by the loss of captain Faf du Plessis, who has stayed at home to be with his wife after the birth of their first child. Dean Elgar takes over as skipper.Theunis de Bruyn, who played his only Test in New Zealand in March, is likely to replace Du Plessis in an inexperienced line up which also features Heino Kuhn on debut at the top of the order.With Dale Steyn a long-term absentee with a shoulder injury, the tourists will hope that Vernon Philander has fully recovered from the ankle injury that caused him to sit out the warm-up fixture against England Lions with an ankle injury.($1 = 0.7740 pounds)
Taking a cue from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s success in winning over youth by distributing government grants to local sports clubs, the BJP is looking to woo the youth through football. The party has announced the Deendayal Upadhyaya Champions Trophy, a football competition through which it plans to,Taking a cue from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s success in winning over youth by distributing government grants to local sports clubs, the BJP is looking to woo the youth through football. The party has announced the Deendayal Upadhyaya Champions Trophy, a football competition through which it plans to distribute cash prizes, sports accessories and free tickets to the FIFA U-17 World Cup scheduled from October 6 to 28.Though evidently an attempt to firm up its foothold in the state, BJP leaders insist their foray into sports is different from what the Trinamool Congress is doing. BJP youth wing president Debjit Sarkar says it’s the party’s way of reminding Bengal’s youth of Swami Vivekananda and Deendayal Upadhyaya’s ideals.State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh says the clubs patronised by TMC have become dens of anti-social activity. “Our party will try to return these clubs to the local boys by engaging them in sports and things other than politics,” he says.But many saffron leaders are apprehensive that the TMC’s hold over the sports clubs might affect the success of the soccer tournament. Nonetheless, the party has started distributing sports kits, football shoes, jerseys and footballs. It’s unlikely to match up, though, to what the TMC government has planned. The state sports and youth affairs department will spend Rs 3.6 crore on 150,000 soccer balls to be handed out to the youth to celebrate the FIFA U-17 World Cup final. It is a ‘special’ football designed by Mamata herself and named ‘Joyee (victorious)’.advertisementTMC spokesman Partha Chatterjee says if anything, “some parties (BJP) are copying our theme”. Indeed, who better than politicians to play political games over soccer?
The Sri Lankan selectors have resigned following defeats in the Test and ODI series against India. The islanders were walloped 0-3 in the Test matches and trail the five-match ODI series 0-3.In the aftermath of the horror show, the selection committee headed by former captain Sanath Jayasuriya decided to put in its papers. The selectors have already picked the squads for the last two ODIs and the one-off T20 International. (Also read: Injured Chamara Kapugedera doubtful for fourth ODI vs India )Officially, the selectors will step down only after the tour concludes on September 6. Two months ago, the selection committee had been given a six-month extension. (Also read: Dinesh Chandimal ruled out of remainder of India series)However, Sri Lanka’s abysmal performance forced the committee to bow out before its time. (Also read: Lessons to be learnt from crowd troubles aka Eden Gardens 1996 and Pallekele 2017)Sri Lanka whitewashed in a three-Test series in South Africa earlier this year before losing a Test to Bangladesh at home. They barely managed to hold on for a win over Zimbabwe in a one-off Test and were completely exposed by India, the world number one Test team.They have not fared any better in ODIs either, crashing out of the group stages in the Champions Trophy. They were also blanked by South Africa in a five-match ODI series and defeated by Zimbabwe at home before India came visiting.
New Delhi, Dec 14 (PTI) Automaker FCA India today said it will increase prices of high end variants of its premium SUV Jeep Compass by up to Rs 80,000 from January.The company, however, would not hike price of entry level variant of the model.”Customers have appreciated the competitive price positioning of the Jeep Compass since launch. Effective January 1, 2018, prices will increase by 2-4 per cent, except for the entry level variant,” FCA India President and Managing Director Kevin Flynn said in a statement.However, the price of the entry level variant of the model will be maintained at Rs 15.16 lakh (ex-showroom), he added.Launched in July, the model comes in three trims – Sport, Longitude and Limited.Price of Longitude variant starts at Rs 17.13 lakh, while Limited variant is tagged between Rs 18.68 lakh and Rs 21.73 lakh (ex-showroom).FCA India said sales of the model have already crossed the 10,000 units milestone in just four months of launch in the country.The company has shipped 600 units, the first batch of the Ranjangaon-manufactured Jeep Compass to Japan and Australia in October. This year, the vehicle is already on sale in Japan.”We are indeed proud to cross the 10,000 sales milestone and we are confident to continue with this great momentum in the new year as well,” Flynn said. PTI MSS SBT
Snapchat is rolling out new filters that can recognise objects or scenes in your photos with the help of object recognition to suggest relevant stickers or borders. The filters aim to give the company a bit of a push in its competition against Instagram, at least for now. Interestingly, the update comes ahead of the company’s planned revamp of the app in a bid to make it more attractive to users.The new filters began rolling out to users gradually last week, a Snap official confirmed to Mashable. Object recognition essentially tries to analyze the surrounding for a particular object, thing or scenery to provide relevant information. In the case of Snapchat’s new filters, taking a photo of say a dog will bring up filters such as “It’s a pawty!” that can be used in relevance to the picture. The filters will work on a number of categories such as pets, concerts, beaches, sports, and food, to name a few. The company has not provided a complete list of categories, so users will have to figure that out by themselves.Snapchat’s new filter not only works on photos captured via the Snapchat app, but also on images taken from Google Images, the report adds. The filters can be found in the carousel by swiping right and left. The social app has used object recognition previously as well to allow users to search for objects or events via a search bar in Snapchat Stories.Also Read: Facebook is testing Snapchat-like Streaks feature for Messenger usersadvertisementObject recognition has been used by companies like Google with Google Lens. In the case of Lens, Google uses the Pixel’s AI to scan the environment and bring up a carousel of relevant information and actions that users can perform. As AR and object recognition are becoming more and more commonplace in products, these companies will look to make the most of it including finding viable revenue models.Snapchat filed a patent back in 2015 for an advertising system that used object recognition to provide relevant filters. This hints at a possible revenue generation for the company where brands can pay to sponsor filters. For example, if you take a picture of a burger, brands like Burger King or McDonalds can try to sponsor their own burger-themed filters. Now that Snapchat is rolling this out, we wonder how long it takes before Instagram follows with its own object recognition filters.
As Olympic officials try to persuade North Korea to join what they hope will be a peaceful winter Games in the South in February, leader Kim Jong Un has a weakness that may help them: He loves sport.Kim has traded insults and nuclear threats with U.S. President Donald Trump for months, raising concerns that the Games, due to be held at an alpine resort 80 km (50 miles) from the world’s most heavily fortified border, could be marred by political tensions, or worse.Economic sanctions on the reclusive nation are mounting but the sporting world and South Korea are doing everything in their power to try to coax Pyongyang to accept an invitation to the Games and relieve geopolitical tensions that have hurt ticket sales.”We are doing our utmost for the North’s participation,” said Song Ki-hun, a lawmaker with South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s party. “But Kim Jong Un is very unpredictable,” added Song. He is based near the Games venue and sits on a special parliamentary committee to support the Pyeongchang Olympics.Kim, a basketball fan who counts former NBA star Dennis Rodman as a friend, has boosted spending on sports as part of his ambition to turn the North into a “sports power.”If the North joins the Games, it would mark the first time in post-war Olympic history that a country has hosted a team from a nation with which it is officially at war. The Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice, not a peace treaty.advertisementThe last time South Korea hosted the Olympics, the 1988 summer Games in Seoul, North Korea’s founding father, Kim Il Sung, boycotted them after a plan to co-host them fell apart.”With North Korea there, things will be smoother,” said a European official from a winter sports federation, asking not to be identified because of the political sensitivity of the subject. “The Games will only be really successful if they are smooth. If the United States, North Korea and China all have their teams in South Korea then that will be a success.”The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the prospect of U.S. athletes competing with North Korea, a country Trump has threatened to “totally destroy” if provoked.North Korea missed an Oct. 31 deadline to accept invitations from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and South Korea to join the Games. But Games officials have said the North could wait until shortly before the Games to say whether it will join.The IOC said its help so far has mainly been with travel and competition costs, and it will consider wild-card entries for those who do not meet qualification standards.Seoul has said it is even open to forming a unified North-South ice hockey team. Pyongyang’s IOC representative dismissed that idea in a recent media interview, but a South Korean culture ministry official said Seoul had not abandoned it.Seoul’s other gestures include a rare proposal for North Korean athletes to enter the South by walking across the border at Panmunjom, the tense and heavily guarded “truce village” where the 1953 armistice was signed.GOING FOR GLORYKim Jong Un, grandson of founder Kim Il Sung, has made sport a major focus of his plan to improve living standards. Since he assumed power in 2011, spending on sport in the nation’s annual budgets has risen faster than most other areas, according to state media reports.The reports, which only give percentage data, include a record 17 percent jump in funding in 2014 when Kim set out his ambition for sports in an open letter to his Workers’ Party.He urged the party and athletes to help make sport part of daily life and uphold “the party’s plan of building our country into a sports power, sweat more in training in order to bring glory to the country by winning gold medals.”He also had school textbooks revised to say that he began shooting a gun at age 3, was off-road driving before turning 8, and had twice beaten foreign master mariners in ship races, according to the Institute for National Security Strategy, the think tank of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service in Seoul. Reuters could not verify that report.Simon Cockerell, head of Beijing-based Koryo Tours, which has brought competitors to the North for events ranging from the Pyongyang Marathon to Frisbee-throwing and cricket, said he had noticed an increasing focus on sports under Kim.”More events seem to be happening, DPRK sports teams are travelling more than ever, and success is celebrated more than before,” said Cockerell, using the North’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.advertisementAt the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea, North Korea’s athletes won 11 gold medals, ranking sixth, and were welcomed with a victory parade and a banquet with Kim who thanked them for validating the “party’s plan for building a sports powerhouse.”The North is developing sports grounds and arenas, according to Curtis Melvin, of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, where satellite imagery is used to map the North’s economic development.”Satellite imagery shows lots of park renovation and construction of skate and sports parks, even in very remote areas,” Melvin said.Kim Jong Un, who studied in the Swiss capital Bern and according to former classmates went on school ski trips in the Alps, has already built a ski resort.HOCKEY STICKS So far, only two North Korean athletes have qualified for the Games: figure-skating pair Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik, whose routines have been set to music by The Beatles and Ginette Reno’s “Je ne suis qu’une chanson.”An IOC official said others could qualify for cross-country skiing, and possibly speed skating and biathlon, a combination of skiing and shooting.Even if they do not, Games organising committee chief Lee Hee-beom told Reuters athletes may be invited to compete – a common Olympics practice to encourage participation by underdogs, for instance athletes from a tropical country in a winter sport. One famous example brought a Jamaican bobsleigh team to Calgary in 1988. That inspired a movie based on their exploits.An extra problem for North Korea could be sanctions. In March last year, the U.N. Security Council added “recreational sports equipment” to a list of luxury goods banned from export to the state. North Korea’s National Sports Guidance Committee has accused Washington of using the United Nations to stretch “its tentacles deep into the area of sports.”When the North Korean ice hockey team arrived in New Zealand last April for the World Championships, the sport’s international body arranged to equip them with 50 new sticks which it would be impossible to export to the North, a New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation official said.The team handed back the sticks at the airport on their way home, a New Zealand Customs Service spokeswoman said.
SALVADOR, Brazil — Tim Howard kept the ball out of the net with slides, with dives and with leaps.He couldn’t do it forever.With the United States trying to reach the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 2002, he saved 12 of Belgium’s shots in regulation to keep the game scoreless.But Kevin De Bruyne scored in the 93rd minute and Romelu Lukaku in the 105th to build a two-goal lead for the Red Devils, who hung on for a 2-1 win on July 1 that eliminated the Americans in the second round for the second straight World Cup.Howard tried to sound modest.“I’m just trying to do all the things that have gotten me here and gotten us here,” he said. “That’s what I signed up to do — stick my face in front of balls. It’s nothing startling.”Howard finished with 16 saves, the most in a World Cup game since FIFA started keeping track in 2002. It was his finest performance in 13 years with the national team.“For my heart, please don’t give me too many games like this,” Belgium coach Marc Wilmots said. “He was in a state of grace.”Howard was the first goalkeeper to be America’s No. 1 in consecutive World Cups since Tony Meola in 1990 and ’94. His 104 international appearances are the U.S. record, two more than the previous mark held by Kasey Keller.“Tim was awesome for us,” U.S. captain Clint Dempsey said. “As you would expect from him.”Howard yells a lot during games. More than most goalkeepers.And his teammates love him for that.“He’s somebody that we rely on so much for his performances on the field but also his leadership and his presence,” midfielder Michael Bradley said. “There’s not enough good things to say about him as a player, as a man, as a leader.”Now 35, Howard has been the starter for Everton in England’s Premier League since the middle of the 2007-08 season. He is signed until 2018 and relishes the grind of the world’s top league.He plans to play “as long as my body lets me” and acknowledges “that’s obviously not a question that I can really answer now.”He also won’t commit to another four years with the national team and the repeated flights from Britain to the U.S., Caribbean and Central America for national team games.“Those decisions will be made, obviously, when I’m less emotional and things settle down and I have a few important conversations with important people,” Howard said.Brad Guzan — Aston Villa’s top goalkeeper — is Howard’s No. 2 and at 29 is positioned well for the 2018 World Cup should Howard decide to retire from the national team.Calling it an “extraordinary performance,” U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati didn’t sound as if Howard would be leaving anytime soon.“I’m not sure Timmy is ready to not look towards Russia,” Gulati said. “He’s one of the players that matters. And nobody goes into a tournament like this with our team and doesn’t expect Timmy to play really well.”Howard was among the final American players to leave the locker room of the stadium on Brazil’s northeast coast, suddenly and unhappily ready for a few weeks off before reporting to Everton for preseason training.He carried a small silver-colored case, clearly not part of the gear he had when he arrived at Arena Fonte Nova. Despite the U.S. defeat, he was selected the Man of the Match and was given an award.Was this his least player of the game honor? That was far easier to deal with than the shots he faced.“Yeah,” he said. “That’s for sure.”(RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shares
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has decided to enter the NFL draft.He announced his decision on the same day the woman who accused him of sexual assault filed a lawsuit against the school’s board of trustees.The 2013 Heisman Trophy winner said he had decided to forgo his final two years of eligibility “after careful consideration and long thought.” Winston’s statement was released to ESPN by The Legacy Agency.Winston was the most successful quarterback in college football during the last two seasons, but also faced lengthy sexual assault investigations. He was not charged by police and was cleared by the university.In a lawsuit filed against the school’s board of trustees, the woman who accused him of sexual assault claimed the board had an unreasonable response to her accusations and created a hostile educational environment for her.The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, including reimbursement for tuition, damages for emotional pain and suffering and loss of past and present earning and earning capacity.Representatives for the woman declined comment.Florida State president John Thrasher released a statement saying he is disappointed in the lawsuit, but the university looks forward to “addressing these meritless allegations in court.”The university has contended it took all the proper steps in fulfilling its Title IX obligations, and “FSU did everything the plaintiff asked for and that the assertions FSU shirked its Title IX obligations are false.”“In all, the University asked the plaintiff or her attorneys at least nine times over nearly 20 months to give a statement that would enable a Title IX investigation. FSU did not ignore the complainant or its obligations under Title IX,” Thrasher said in the statement.“The University’s victim advocates were at the plaintiff’s side within hours of the encounter and continued meeting with or contacting her or her representatives at least 30 times over the ensuing year.Besides offering emotional support and arranging numerous academic accommodations on her behalf, they informed the plaintiff and her attorney five times about the right to pursue a student disciplinary action. The first was in December 2012 – before the Athletics Department ever became aware of the allegation–and the last was in December 2013.“Florida State University does not tolerate sexual violence in any form, regardless of who the alleged perpetrator might be.”A key portion of the lawsuit is expected to center on when the university’s Title IX coordinator was alerted. Florida State previously said the only authorities aware of the incident before January 2013 were Tallahassee police, campus police and the Victims Advocate Program.The university said its Title IX officials didn’t become aware of the incident until November 2013, when contacted by the Tallahassee Police Department and that the woman was not made available for an interview with the school until Aug. 6, 2014.The woman’s lawyers have maintained that she was willing to talk throughout the process. In his two seasons, the Seminoles went 26-1 with Winston starting and won the 2014 national championship.“I reached this very difficult decision after careful consideration and long thought, realizing how difficult it would be to say goodbye to my family at Florida State,” Winston said.“I will always take pride in leading our team back to national prominence and am confident that my returning teammates will continue the success for many years to come.”Winston set the national freshman record with 40 touchdown passes while throwing for 4,057 yards and 10 interceptions en route to winning the title.His numbers dropped this season after losing his top two running backs, two starting receivers and his starting center. Winston threw for 3,907 yards with 25 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 2014.Winston is expected to be one of the first quarterbacks selected in the NFL draft, but faces questions about the off-field incidents.NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt said NFL teams will find out everything they need to know about Winston’s background from league security. Brandt helped build the Super Bowl-winning Dallas Cowboys as Vice President of player personnel from 1960-89.“Initially, he’s going to get a grade and it’s going to be very good because he is a good player,” Brandt said.“They’ll look at the Notre Dame game and see all the unusual blitzes that they brought against him and what he did. They’ll look at the Louisville game where he threw three interceptions and knocks the ball loose from the interceptor and throws a touchdown pass the next play.”A state attorney declined to press sexual assault charges against Winston in December 2013, and the university cleared him in December 2014.“The way he’s played this year is unbelievable with all of the problems that he’s faced and all the adjustments he’s had to make to practice times and to do all the things that he has to do to defend himself, give depositions, appear in court before the student body, all of those things,” Brandt said.Winston was suspended for three baseball games for the theft of crab legs from a grocery store in Tallahassee, Florida, during the spring of 2014.He also was suspended from the Clemson football game in September after the quarterback made “offensive and vulgar” comments about female anatomy on campus.Coach Jimbo Fisher supported Winston throughout.“It was a blessing to be able to coach him,” Fisher said in a statement. “He’s one of the unique players that I’ve ever had the privilege to coach. He embodies what you as a coach want as a person, a student and a player.”(KAREEM COPELAND) TweetPinShare0 Shares
NEW YORK — The New York Rangers keep on winning, even without Henrik Lundqvist. They are just using different methods without their No. 1 goalie.Martin St. Louis scored two goals and added one in the shootout for the Rangers, who blew a three-goal lead but won for the ninth time in 12 games by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 in a shootout on Feb. 22.“We talk all the time about trying to find ways,” St. Louis said of the Rangers, 3-5 in shootouts. “Obviously, up three goals, it’s not the way you are trying to get two points. We should have pulled away and closed it out.”Cam Talbot had been 0-2 in shootouts this season, having allowed four goals on five shots before stopping two of three against Columbus.“We don’t want to give up any points to the other teams, but to get a win in the shootout was big for us,” said Talbot, who lost in the tiebreaker to Vancouver on9. “The guys bailed me out huge.”St. Louis scored in the first and second periods as he appears to have broken out of his slump. After going 15 games without a goal, the veteran forward has four goals and two assists in the past four games.Kevin Hayes added a goal in the first, Derek Stepan had two assists, and Talbot made 27 saves for the Rangers, 9-1-2 in their past 12. St. Louis scored in the first round of the shootout, and Rick Nash had a third-round goal. Talbot then poked the puck away from Cam Atkinson to seal it.“They’re a very hardworking team and they’re never going to give up,” said Talbot, 6-1-2 since Lundqvist’s injury. “Even though we got a good lead on them in the beginning of the second, you can never let a team like that back in the game.”The Rangers are only two points behind the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Islanders. They are well aware of their position, they just aren’t dwelling on it.“We’ve got the standings up in the dressing room, so it’s hard not to see it,” Nash said. “We’re worried about ourselves, worried about our game and our process and our game plan.”Defenseman David Savard forced overtime by scoring the tying goal — his ninth overall this season — with 4:19 left in regulation on a shot that deflected in off Talbot’s stick.Marko Dano and Artem Anisimov had second-period goals for Columbus, which went 2-2-1 on a five-game trip. Curtis McElhinney stopped 34 shots through overtime.Columbus fell behind 3-0 just 1:24 into the second period on St. Louis’ second of the game, but needed only 53 seconds more to begin its comeback.St. Louis slammed in a pass from defenseman Ryan McDonagh at the right post for his 18th goal. The Blue Jackets then got within 3-1 when Dano netted his second of the season and first in four games since returning from the minor leagues.Columbus made it a one-goal game with 1:49 left in the second as Anisimov jammed the puck inside the right post. His fourth of the season was upheld by video review. Anisimov, who scored in each of the first two games this season, has two goals in the past six games.Talbot, who had started eight straight games in place of the injured Lundqvist before getting a rest in New York’s 3-1 win at Buffalo on Feb. 20, was tested early.He denied Anisimov, after the former Rangers forward got behind the defense 2:15 in, and then stopped a deflected drive by Alexander Wennberg just under a minute later during a power play.The Rangers then jumped out to a 2-0 lead.Hayes got it started with help from Carl Hagelin, who made a strong play to keep the puck in at the blue line. Hagelin chipped it to Hayes, who wristed in a rising shot from the high slot at 5:57 for his 11th goal.St. Louis doubled the lead at 8:06 when he was left alone at the left post. Stepan carried the puck behind the Columbus net and found his linemate unguarded for a stuff shot.“Not a great start, not a great first period, but still we found a way to work back into it with two great periods by the guys,” McElhinney said. “That’s a really good sign. It’s something to be proud of.“Of course you want two, but down 3-0 on the road, to fly home with a point, that’s not so bad.”(IRA PODELL, AP Hockey Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shares
PRAGUE — Sidney Crosby led Canada to its first hockey world championship title since 2007 Sunday with a goal and an assist in a dominant 6-1 victory over defending champion Russia in the final.In a meeting of the two most decorated teams in world championship history, Canada claimed its 25th title with another attacking display that Russia simply couldn’t cope with.“That’s why we all came. We came to win,” said Crosby, who finished the tournament with four goals and 11 points. “We got better as the tournament went on and saved the best for here today.”Six players scored for Canada, with Dallas Stars center Cody Eakin putting his team ahead late in the first period before Buffalo Sabres center Tyler Ennis, Crosby and Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin decided the game in a six-minute span in the second.The Crosby-led team, coached by Todd McLellan, dominated throughout the tournament, winning all 10 games and scoring 66 goals. By winning all games in regulation, it won a new bonus of 1 million Swiss francs ($1.09 million).With the win Crosby also joined hockey’s so-called Triple Gold Club, a small group of players who have won the Stanley Cup, the Olympics and the worlds.“You have to be part of some great teams to be part of that (club),” Crosby said. “I feel pretty lucky and pretty fortunate to be part of those teams.”It was only the second appearance for Crosby at the worlds after the 2006 tournament in Latvia.Russia goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made several good saves to keep Canada at bay until Eakin deflected a shot by Tyler Eanis into the net with 1:50 left in the first period.Ennis took the puck on the Russian blue line and skated around the goal to net the second 1:56 into the middle period and Crosby scored with a one-timer off Jordan Eberle’s pass from behind the net before Seguin scored his ninth goal of the tournament.“We played so good in our zone and our top guys can score and capitalize on our opportunities, Seguin said. “I enjoy scoring goals and I’m happy that I can do that. It’s such a good feeling winning with such a group of guys.”Philadelphia Flyers forwards Claude Giroux and Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon added one each in the third before Russia’s got a consolation goal from Evgeni Malkin. Eakin, Ennis and Giroux had an assist each.“In the second period we threw the game away,” said Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin, who was a late addition to the Russia team. “We only had one shot. Of course they played really well today, it’s obvious that they’re a good experienced team and they showed it today.”Earlier, the United States beat the Czech Republic 3-0 to claim a second bronze medal in three years.The U.S. bounced back from a 4-0 loss to Russia in the semifinals on May 16. Nick Bonino scored 7:25 into the game and Trevor Lewis got the second with 1:57 to go in the first.After the U.S. killed a four-minute, one-man advantage, Charlie Coyle netted the third with 50 seconds left in the second to wrap up a decent tournament for the young American team. Bonino and Coyle also had an assist each.“It was a great effort tonight. We were little bit of shaky at the start but once we settled things down we played pretty well,” said Lewis, the Los Angeles Kings forward. “We’re a young group, we battled hard all the way through. To come out with the medal is awesome.”(KAREL JANICEK) TweetPinShare0 Shares
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — California Chrome, who won the 2014 Kentucky Derby and went on to earn Horse of the Year honors, has a bruised cannon bone that will force him out of the Arlington Million and likely sideline him for the rest of the year.Trainer Art Sherman said on Twitter that X-rays revealed the injured bone that extends from the knee to the fetlock a day earlier.California Chrome has been at Arlington Park outside Chicago since July 7, when he arrived back in the U.S. from England. He was scheduled to run in the Arlington Million on Aug. 15.Sherman says the injury isn’t life-threatening and the horse should be fine.California Chrome hasn’t raced since a second-place finish in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 28.After that he was sent to England and was scheduled to run twice there, but he never did. He developed a reported foot bruise while at Newmarket.Sherman told the Daily Racing Form that the cannon bone bruise was found when California Chrome underwent thorough X-rays while being checked out for a possible sale to breeders. Perry Martin is majority owner and breeder of the colt, along with Steve Coburn.California Chrome added the Preakness to his Derby win last year, but his Triple Crown bid was derailed in the Belmont, when he tied for fourth.TweetPinShare0 Shares
BALTIMORE — For a change, the New York Yankees did just about everything right.Mired in last place and riding a six-game losing streak, New York got a sharp outing from CC Sabathia in a 7-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on May 4.Sabathia kept the Orioles in check over seven innings to help the Yankees improve to 9-16 and avoid their worst skid since April 2007. The left-hander was backed by a defense that turned three double plays, and he received ample support from New York’s sputtering bats.Playing in his 1,000th major league game, Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-3 with two walks and Brian McCann drove in three runs for a lineup that started the day tied for last in the AL in runs.“We had some tough losses, and to be able to come out here tonight and get a win and score some runs felt good,” Sabathia said. “We needed a win. It’s been a tough start to the season for us, so hopefully we’ll get on a little roll now.”Sabathia (2-2) turned in his best performance of the year at a time when New York desperately needed a victory. He allowed six hits, walked two and struck out six.After giving up three runs in each of his first four starts, the 35-year-old Sabathia craftily used a variety of off-speed pitches to earn his first win in nine tries at Camden Yards since 2011. “The change-up was good, the two-seamer was good,” he said. “It was just making pitches when I need to.”Sabathia retired the side in order only once — in his final inning — but permitted just one runner past second base.“His velocity is obviously not where it used to be, but he knows how to pitch,” Orioles slugger Chris Davis said. “You don’t stay in this game that long not knowing how to pitch.”Sabathia outdid Tyler Wilson (1-1), who took a one-hitter into the sixth before the Yankees took a 3-0 lead.New York added four runs in the eighth against the Baltimore bullpen. “Something like this can get a team going,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. “Hopefully it does.”Ellsbury opened the game with a double and was thrown out trying to score on a grounder. His one-out single in the sixth, however, ignited the uprising that brought the Yankees out of their ugly slide.Ellsbury stole second, advanced to third on a single by Brett Gardner and scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Beltran. McCann followed with a two-out RBI single, and another run scored on a throwing error by Wilson.McCann’s two-run double was the big hit in the eighth.Before the game, the Yankees put designated hitter Alex Rodriguez on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. Despite a .194 batting average, A-Rod started the day tied for the team lead with 12 RBIs.That’s a tough loss for a struggling offense. In this game, however, one run was enough.Despite allowing a hit in each of the first five innings, Sabathia kept the game scoreless. After Baltimore put runners on the corners with one out in the fifth, he struck out rookie Joey Rickard and retired Manny Machado on a liner to center.(DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert.A European player will win this award. If it’s Gobert, the Frenchman will be recognized not only for his defensive dominance but also for his growth as an offensive player. Antetokounmpo was voted to start the All-Star Game at midseason and the Greek Freak could add another honor after it. Jokic was a creative playmaking center for a Denver team that ranked behind just Golden State and Houston in scoring.Westbrook, Harden, Leonard finalists for NBA MVPNEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James will have to settle for trying to win another NBA title. He isn’t even a finalist for the MVP award.Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard are the three players in the running for the league’s top individual honor.The NBA announced the three finalists for that and its five other individual awards Friday. They are voted on by a panel of writers and broadcasters. The winners will be announced June 26 in New York during the NBA’s first awards show.In previous years, the individual awards were announced separately throughout the postseason.The categories:MVP: Westbrook, Harden and Leonard.The NBA will have a new winner after Golden State’s Stephen Curry won the last two seasons. Westbrook had a record 42 triple-doubles this season and averaged a triple-double for the season. Harden also put up record-setting offensive numbers, while Leonard carried the Spurs on both ends of the floor as they won 61 games and a division title in their first season after Tim Duncan retired.ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Dario Saric, Joel Embiid, Malcom Brogdan.The Philadelphia 76ers will have two cracks at the award for top first-year player. Embiid made the final three even though he was limited to 31 games by injuries, while Saric put up impressive numbers after his teammate was lost. Brogdan, a second-round pick, helped the Milwaukee Bucks made the playoffs.COACH OF THE YEAR: Gregg Popovich, Mike D’Antoni, Erik SpoelstraPopovich, often regarded as the NBA’s best coach, has a chance to win for the third time in six years after the Spurs compiled the NBA’s second-best record. D’Antoni can add this award to the one he won in Phoenix in 2005 after returning to the NBA and guiding Houston to 55 wins and the league record for 3-pointers in a season. Spoelstra guided the Miami Heat to a 41-41 finish and nearly into the playoffs after they started 11-30.SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR: Eric Gordon, Lou Williams, Andre IguodalaHouston has two chances to win the honor for the best player in a reserve role, though most of Williams’ success came with the Los Angeles Lakers before the Rockets acquired him in a trade. He won in 2015 in Toronto. Gordon, in his first season as a non-starter, set the record for most 3-pointers for a player off the bench. Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, became even more important for Golden State late in the season after Kevin Durant was injured.DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green, Rudy Gobert.Leonard has won the last two years and Green will be hoping it’s his time for everything he does for the Warriors, including a game this season where he had a triple-double that didn’t even include points. Gobert was the dominant man in the middle for a Utah team that allowed the fewest points per game during the regular season.BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball WriterTweetPinShare11 Shares
ATHENS, Greece — Greece coach Rick Pitino is planning on trying to qualify for the 2020 Olympics without Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.Pitino officially took over as coach of the Greek national basketball team on Monday. He said he would leave a roster place open for Antetokounmpo in qualifying games but is not sure if he will be able to rely on his best player.Greece will try to reach the Tokyo Olympics by winning a qualifying tournament. But the dates could clash with the NBA schedule, probably ruling out Antetokounmpo.“It is a possibility he will not be playing with us in the qualifying round if he goes far (in the playoffs). I understood that coming into this situation, and that’s why it’s such a high mountain to climb,” Pitino said. “But Giannis is something, it’s a bridge we have to cross later on. But we are going to leave a roster spot even if he has to take my place.”Pitino said he hoped to meet Antetokounmpo and his brother, Milwaukee teammate Thanasis Antetokounmpo, in March when the Bucks travel to Miami.The 67-year-old Pitino is a veteran of the college game and the NBA, coaching the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks as well as Kentucky and Louisville. He has returned to Greece after coaching Athens club Panathinaikos last season and remains popular.Pitino said he also felt that attachment.“(Coaching Greece) is the crown jewel for me as a basketball coach,” Pitino said. “This is one of the greatest honors I’ve had as a coach. I consider this so special because it’s a mountain that is so worth climbing.“And for the next eight months. I’m not American. I’m not Italian. I’m Greek. And that’s the way I’m going to carry myself. You won’t see anybody who will bleed every possession like I will bleed to try and win a game.”By: Derek Gatopoulos, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shares
As demand for artificial intelligence (AI) increases, chip makers strive to create more powerful and more efficient processors. The goal is to accommodate the requirements of neural networks with better and cheaper solutions, while staying flexible enough to handle evolving algorithms. At Hotchips 2017, many new deep learning and AI technologies were unveiled, showing the different approaches of leading tech firms as well as budding startups. Check out this EETimes survey of Hotchips for a good summary of the event focused on chips for AI data centers.The future of AI is mobile Some of the cool stuff that was revealed at Hotchips included a deeper look at Google’s second generation tensor processing unit (TPU v2), which was developed to perform efficient neural network training. Also, Microsoft exhibited its Project Brainwave, which is a “soft” FPGA-based deep neural network (DNN) processing unit. These solutions are intriguing for heavy duty data centers that preform cloud based AI, but…While data centers are important, the most interesting use cases for AI are mobile. Since not all mobile scenarios can rely on the cloud, some of the AI processing needs to be handled on-device or as edge processing. Similar to virtual reality, which has its own set of mobility challenges, AI must be untethered to unleash its full potential. In the rest of this column we’ll consider a few of the uses that make it clear that the future of AI is mobile.Smartphone photography is not what it used to be Last year, I made a prediction that the future of smartphone photography would combine dual cameras and deep learning to generate enhanced images. Now that Samsung has come around, realizing that two cameras are better than one, I think it’s safe to say that the prediction is coming true. Samsung’s newly released Galaxy Note 8 flagship is their first smartphone to feature dual rear-facing cameras. Another development in this category are new smartphones that sport dual front-facing cameras to maximize the quality of selfies, like two of the new Asus Zenfone models. Out of the six new models that Asus just released, five are equipped with either a front or rear dual camera setup.The Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro uses two 12MP sensors to intelligently create one 24MP photo (Source: Asus) Smartphone cameras have made giant steps forward in quality and effects, but there is still a lot more that can be done. Combining AI techniques like face recognition and tracking with advanced photo features like autofocus can result in amazing customizations. For example, you can teach your camera to identify your kids and automatically focus on them whenever they’re in the frame. Alternatively, the same technology could automatically remove non-family members from the frame. Add to that the use of bokeh effect to blur the background, and you can capture amazing looking pictures every time. This really redefines the concept of point-and-shoot!All this intelligent processing must take place on the device. In addition to privacy concerns, the speed with which we take photos, capturing fleeting moments, makes it unfeasible to process in the cloud. This means that the smartphones that take these photos must be able to perform deep learning tasks efficiently, without depleting the battery.Voice interfaces would be smart to perform edge analysis Since the advent of the virtual voice assistants, voice interfaces have become huge. In smart speakers as well as in smartphones, most of the speech analysis is performed in the cloud. This, again, opens a lot of issues such as privacy and latency, and even something as simple as being offline. As the virtual assistants improve and become ubiquitous, users are becoming more accustomed to using their voice as a main interface. Performing edge processing enables some of the functionality to be local and averts all the problems of cloud processing, enabling a seamless and convenient user interface.Deep learning also powers augmented reality AI is also at the core of augmented reality (AR) functionality. As proven by the Pokémon Go craze, the ideal scenario for AR is to run on a mobile phone that can be used by anyone, anywhere. But, it also must run efficiently so that the device can still be used for other things, like — I don’t know — phone calls? Since Pokémon Go first appeared, AR has been improving, and users have been anticipating the release of more and better applications.At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) earlier this year, they announced their AR development kit, ARKit. It should be available on all devices running iOS 11, which will be released this year. In the meanwhile, Google beat them to punch by releasing their own similar augmented reality platform, ARCore, made for Android. As opposed to Google’s project Tango, which requires hardware that isn’t part of every phone, ARCore (see this introductory video) is a platform that could potentially run on any Android smartphone, which would make it the world’s largest AR platform.ARCore introduction video (Source: Google) All smartphones will have a dedicated neural engine Taking all of the significant benefits presented above into account, I feel confident to make a bold prediction: within a few years, most smartphones will be equipped with a dedicated neural engine. A few months ago, a slew of rumors hit the web that Apple is developing a chip called the Apple Neural Engine dedicated to powering on-device AI. Soon, when the iPhone 8 is released, perhaps, we’ll find out if the rumors have basis. But, even if this acceleration is delayed to a later model, Apple already announced Core ML, a library which enables AI acceleration for developers utilizing existing engines.More recently, at IFA 2017, Huawei announced that their new flagship processor would include a neural processing unit to accelerate AI computing. I think it’s a safe bet that other companies will follow suit. We probably won’t see a mobile version TPU in the upcoming Google Pixel 2, but — within a couple of years — I’m sure that Google, Samsung, and all the rest will include a dedicated deep learning engine in their smartphones and find many new hot features utilizing these engines.Here is an example. User: “OK Camera, detail shirt of person crossing the street?” Camera: “That’s an NBA Warriors shirt; it says — 2020 Champs — last AI-free year.” User: “What does it mean?” Camera: “That was the last year without AI-assisted shooting, which increased the average shooting by 18.5 percent”…Learn more Visit CEVA To find out how the CEVA Deep Neural Network toolkit can streamline development of embedded AI and discover how CEVA’s computer vision and deep learning embedded platform, the CEVA-XM6, is enabling AI to go mobile. Log in to Reply Max The Magnificent says: 1 thought on “Will the iPhone 8 include a dedicated neural network engine?” Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Communications, Consumer, Industry September 7, 2017 at 9:58 pm Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Continue Reading Previous Designing for safety and security in a connected systemNext Priming Your Brain to Percolate Brilliant Ideas at ESC Minneapolis 2017 “@Yair: “…For example, you can teach your camera to identify your kids and automatically focus on them whenever they’re in the frame…”nnI think it’s “little” things like this that are going to make so much difference — I also don’t think many of
Two technologies combined in a compact device – that is what acceed offers with the new MXE-210 in its portfolio. The controller, designed for robust use in the temperature range from -40 to +85°C, can be used both as an IIoT gateway and as an embedded platform for local controllers. This makes the MXE-210 particularly interesting for demanding applications in the areas of transport, automation, manufacturing and Smart city solutions.The increasing requirements for IIoT solutions requires a functional variety covering a broad range of operating conditions. At the same time, users do not wish to be forced to revert to different manufacturers in order to do justice to the requirements of the respective application. With its large number of interfaces and comprehensive support of data communication standards, the new compact controller series MXE-210 is immediately ready for use for a variety of solutions in the tension field of IIoT and embedded controlling.Frictionless and intelligent data exchange is becoming increasingly decisive for successful systems due to the rapid developments in the areas of Industry 4.0 and Smart homes. The industry standards supported by the MXE-210 include Modbus, EtherCAT, DDS, MQTT and CANOpen by Vortex Edge Connect, as well as Wi-Fi, BT, LoRa (Long Range Wide Area Network), 3G and 4G LTE for the various wireless communication technologies. LoRa is a wireless network protocol geared to top energy efficiency and energy-savings developed specifically for communication in the Internet of Things.The MXE-210 stands for a series of models with different basic equipment with regard to CPU, memory and optional features. The experts from Acceed are available to support you in the selection and configuration of the models. This service of ready assembly is one of the points of focus in Acceed’s professional range, guaranteeing a rollout of several hundred systems per week.All models have a fanless and at the same time exceptionally compact casing with the dimensions 140 x 58 x 110 mm, in accordance with industry requirements. Its robust construction allows use in harsh environments and includes vibration resistance up to 5 Grms, impact resistance up to 100 G, and the extreme operating temperature range from -40 up to +85 °C. The operating systems Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 64Bit and Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS 64 bit are supported.Respectively two LAN 10/100MbE interfaces, COM ports (RS-232, RS-232/422/485), USB 2.0 hosts and Mini-PCIe slots are available for further classical data exchange. A USIM socket is available for the installation of the wireless modules. Moreover, all models in the series offer certified EMI/EMS stability for extreme operating conditions in accordance with EN 61000-6-4/2. Due to their conformity with EN 50155, the controllers are approved for use in all types of rail vehicles.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules Continue Reading Previous Kontron showcases TSN starterkit at embedded world 2018Next Rohde & Schwarz: moveable over-the-air test chamber for 5G antennas and transceivers
Continue Reading Previous Eurotech: ReliaGATE 20-25 achieves SAP-certified integration as built on SAP Cloud PlatformNext MEN merging with duagon Pentair is expanding its product range with a modular PXI Express system for test and measurement applications. As with all Schroff products, the off-the-shelf component options ensure flexibility and cost-efficient adaptation of numerous customer or application requirements.PXI Express offers a modular architecture, combining the PCI Express bus with the CompactPCI Express form factor for a wide range of PC-based testing and measurement applications. After a period of initial hesitation, the number of users who have switched over from PXI to PXI Express has grown steadily over the last few years. A reason for this includes the demand for higher data transmission rates, and in comparison to PXI, PXI Express clearly comes out on top.One of the challenges for the development of a PXI Express backplane, the heart of the system, becomes apparent in the combination of PXI Express, PCI Express, CompactPCI or PXI cards in a single system. In order to combine the classic CPCI and PXI cards with the new CPCI Express and PXIe cards, and to address the slots, a PCIe-to-PCI bridge is required. An additional issue is the necessity for a system slot with only a small number of PCIe lanes. In order to establish a larger system with more than four system slots, a PCIe switch is required which can address the additional slots. The third challenge is what is referred to as clock generation with PXI Express. In comparison to PXI, the trigger and clock signals are faster by a factor of 10, from a 10 MHz clock to a 100 MHz clock. This fast clock must either be generated on the backplane or come from a board or from an external source. During operation, shifting between these sources must be possible within the speed of the clock.These requirements result in relatively elaborate wiring, which is directly integrated with many active backplanes that are currently available on the market. Thus, changes and modifications can be very expensive. For its PXI Express backplane, Pentair has chosen to go down a different path. The backplane is designed to be as passive as possible, and the PCI bridge, PCIe switch and clock functions are executed as separate modules and arranged on the rear side of the backplane between or above the slots. As a result, a more compact structure is possible in comparison to an active backplane. Thanks to the modular concept, standard components can be used and any PXI Express backplane configuration can be easily implemented. Only the passive part of the backplane must be adapted, so that costs are held to a minimum—even in the case of low quantities. The PCI bridge module, PCIe switch module and clock module developed by Pentair are tested and verified. The PCIe Switch module is already equipped with a PCI Express Gen3 switch, relieving the need for any updates that would otherwise be necessary at a later point in time.The complete Schroff PXI Express system is based on the modular 44 HP wide and 4 U high Schroff RatiopacPRO Air case with integrated ventilation concept and fan control. An industrial-capable power supply unit with the conventional PC-voltages (3.3 V, 5 V, ±12 V and 5 V standby) are used as a power supply unit. If the main switch is enabled, the system can be started or shut down by means of the push button. More powerful fans or a different power supply can be used should they be necessary in certain applications—since the modularity refers not only to the backplane, but to the entire system.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules
Continue Reading Previous Infineon launches highly accurate digital Turbo MAP sensorNext Parasoft: software security and compliance testing for DevSecOps On the occasion of the Sensor+Test trade fair, Infineon Technologies is expanding its sensor portfolio by a new family of AMR-based angle sensors. XENSIV TLE5109A16 products address the need for very precise, fast and yet cost-efficient angle measurement at the highest functional safety levels in automotive and industrial applications. These include position measurement in brushless DC motors for pumps, wipers or brakes, position measurements of valves, flaps or pedals and steering angle measurement.The new devices are designed for 180° angle measurement but are also applicable for 360° measurement in motors with an even number of pole pairs. They are suitable for a broad range of magnetic fields, starting at 10 mT reaching up to more than 500 mT.One specific benefit of the Infineon AMR technology is its high accuracy, typically reaching angle error values of only 0.1°. Especially at low magnetic fields between 10 and 20 mT, where usually the angle error significantly increases, XENSIV TLE5109A16 products outperform current solutions on the market by achieving angle errors as low as 0.2°. This enables cost-efficient system solutions as it allows customers to use less powerful and thus cheaper magnets.XENSIV TLE5109A16 products are available as single and dual die versions, the latter suitable for ASIL D level safety applications. Infineon is offering the devices with two different supply voltage options: 3.3 V and 5 V. The sensors’ short start-up time of 40 to 70 µs outperforms the timings of comparable solutions available today. Furthermore, the sensors are suitable for high-speed applications with more than 30,000 rotations per minute.The AMR-based TLE5109A16 family is complementing the already existing GMR-based TLE5009A16 and diverse TLE5309D products from Infineon. Identical pin-configuration and interfaces of all XENSIV TLE5x09 sensors inside a TDSO-16 package enable customers to switch from one to another product or product version very quickly and at low design-in efforts.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components
Luis Suarez marked his 100th international cap by sending Uruguay into the last 16 of the World Cup as the striker benefited from some poor goalkeeping to eliminate Saudi Arabia with a 1-0 win on Wednesday.Suarez tapped in midway through the first half after keeper Mohammed Al-Owais failed to grab the ball on a corner. The goal put Uruguay second in Group A with a maximum six points behind hosts Russia.Saudi Arabia, who have not won a World Cup game since their debut in 1994, have zero points, just like Egypt, who lost 3-1 to Russia on Tuesday.Depending on the result of their last group game against Russia, Uruguay will take on either Spain, Portugal or Iran, who are still on course in Group B for a place in the quarter-finals.World Cup 2018, Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia: Match HighlightsSuarez’s goal was by no means pretty, but it did the trick.”All we wanted to do was to win and qualify for the next round. Today was another demonstration that it is so difficult to win a game in a World Cup,” said man-of-the-match Suarez.”This World Cup is proving that what matters most is the result, and were very proud to have reached the last 16 for the third time in a row.”At least Suarez, who missed three sitters in Uruguay’s 1-0 opening win against Egypt, was his vintage efficient self with his 52nd international goal although he will not have dismissed fears he was not 100 percent fit.advertisementSaudi Arabia, who suffered a minor scare when an engine on their plane caught fire before landing on Rostov-on-Don on Monday, instead have not found the back of the net in their last four World Cup outings.After a 5-0 drubbing by Russia in the tournament’s opening game, they were more playful but ultimately comparatively toothless at the Rostov Arena before 42,678 fans.With temperatures reaching 33 degrees Celsius, two-time world champions Uruguay and Saudi Arabia got off to a cautious start.Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani wasted numerous chances, including one in the 14th minute when he skied a half volley over the bar.The Russian fans were the loudest, chanting “Russia, Russia” as the rest of the arena appeared to doze off.The stadium burst into life in the 23rd minute however, when an unmarked Suarez coolly tapped into an empty net from a corner kick after keeper Al-Owais came out but misjudged his jump and couldn’t reach the ball.Suarez has now scored in three consecutive World Cups.The Saudis continued to move the ball around but barely threatened the typically gritty Uruguay defence.They suffered a setback shortly before the interval as veteran Taisir Al-Jassim was replaced by Housain Al-Mogahwi with an apparent thigh injury.The second half was even scrappier, with Saudi Arabia too limited to run riot as Uruguay were happy with a narrow advantage.They did come close to doubling the tally in the closing stages, however, when Lucas Torreira’s wild shot took a deflection off of Cavani and almost beat Al-Owais.(With Reuters inputs)
India’s only practice match scheduled ahead of the five-Test series against England has been reduced from a four-day to a three-day affair. India were scheduled to take on Essex at Chelmsford from July 25 to 28 but the match will instead conclude on June 27.The first Test against England gets underway on August 1 in Birmingham and it is understood the Indian team wanted to spend an extra day at the venue for preparations.On their tour of South Africa earlier in the year, India scrapped their warm up match because the team management thought it would be a better idea to spend more time preparing at the nets. However, India lost the first two Tests in Cape Town and Centurion before winning the third Test on a dodgy pitch in Johannesburg.India in England: Wriddhiman Saha’s absence a big blow for visitorsIndia’s performances in overseas Test series have been far from impressive. Over the last seven years, India have toured and lost Test series in England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Their only success away from home has come against Sri Lanka and West Indies.Also read – Can India repeat history in England after 47 years with new-age spin trio?For the tour of England, BCCI decided the team would play the shorter formats before the Test matches so players could get used to conditions.India played three T20Is and three ODIs against England in July while a few of the Test specialists played an unofficial Test for India A against England A at Worcester.advertisementAlso read – India in England: Brief history of 6 Test wins in 43 yearsIt remains to be seen whether six limited-overs matches and one unofficial Test is enough practice for a five-Test series in a country where India have won only six Test matches.In 2011, India were hammered 0-4 before going down 1-3 in a five-match series three years later. The upcoming five-Test series from August is expected to be skipper Virat Kohli’s biggest test yet.Besides, news agency PTI reported that the Indian team management took this decision after the a nets session on Tuesday afternoon. According to the report, “Indian coach Ravi Shastri was seen having an animated discussion with the local officials after getting a glimpse of the grassy pitch and a barren outfield that can cause injury while fielding.”Assistant coach Sanjay Bangar and bowling coach Bharat Arun also took stock of the conditions and were seen having discussions with the ground staff.The Indian camp was worried after taking a look at the grassy pitch and barren outfield and feared they might cause injury to players while fielding.But Essex ground officials said they had done everything they could do to accommodate the Indian team’s requests.”We have bent over backwards to accommodate the Indian team management’s demands. It is disappointing though because we had sold a lot of tickets for the fourth day (Saturday),” PTI quoted a ‘senior member of the ground staff.’The Indian team trained for four hours on Tuesday. There were rigorous workouts scheduled for the batsmen and bowlers. Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli also concentrated on slip catching, an area which has been a cause for concern for India on recent tours.LATEST UPDATE:The most recent update that’s coming from England is that the India team have cited prevalent “heatwave” in the country for shortening the practice match.The Indian team have said that they reduced the warm-up match to a three-day affair to give themselves an extra day to rest and recover.An Essex county representative maintained that the Indian team “was happy with practice facilities”.When asked about the rugged outfield, and whether that could have been a reason to reduce the game, the representative declined to comment any further.”Essex Cricket and the England & Wales Cricket Board have today agreed, at the request of the BCCI Management Team, that the scheduled Tourist match between Essex and India will now be played over three days,” the county said in a statement.Given that it is not a classified first-class match, it is confirmed that the Indian team will be using all 18 members of their Test squad.Essex made it clear that spectators who had purchased tickets for the final day’s play on Saturday will be refunded in full.(With inputs from Rahul Rawat and PTI)