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02/12/2018

metimes that helps, not thinking about it." Upcoming U.S. O

India 241 and 387 for 4 (Tendulkar 103*, Yuvraj 85*, Sehwag 83, Gambhir 66) beat England 316 and 311 for 9 dec by six wicketsScorecard and ball-by-ball detailsId flown to India a mere seven hours before play began on the final day of the Chennai Test, so I was late getting to the ground. Cheap Basketball Jerseys Free Shipping . It didnt help that my ride dropped me on Bells Road, diametrically opposite to the entrance of my stand on Victoria Hostel Road. I told security I could run from third man to long-on faster than Monty Panesar could get from third man to deep point, but they didnt let me through.So I ran around via Wallajah Road, pausing once to take in the fact that hundreds, if not thousands, were being turned away from the cheap seats (F, G stands) because they were full. Young people, perhaps school and college students, who had taken the Monday off, but couldnt afford the more expensive seats; fathers with young kids, perhaps going to their first Test day. And then I got to my stand: the TNCA pavilion, the most expensive seats in the house, tickets either complimentary, or given to season-pass holders, or to corporates.The stand was less than half full when I got in, and I even passed an empty seat with the name AC Muthaiah scrawled on it. I had an entire row to myself, although the stand was rapidly filling up, and by the end of the day would be about 60% full. The sight of young fans being turned away from what promised to be an exciting day of cricket was disappointing.Rahul Dravid fell in the third over of the day. In his defence, the delivery, from Andrew Flintoff, was one of very few that day that did something in the air.Then Sachin Tendulkar entered to warm applause. The crowd was still growing at this point, and the batsmen who walked in later got more raucous welcomes, actually. The welcome Yuvraj Singh got, given his fickle Test career and the nervous situation he was walking into, made me think, Oh, the ODI and T20 fans are in the house now.Tendulkar was off the mark immediately, and middling it well. A fellow chatting on his mobile took a spot in the row Id owned up to that point. Thalaivar [leader in Tamil] seems solid, although Ive just gotten in, he said. He was evidently trying to convince someone to abandon their Monday plans and come to the cricket. Tendulkar was often accused of not coming through when the chips were down, but its amazing that over and over again, when they were down, there was always great expectations from him. Its almost as if people were expecting lightning to strike them every time there was a storm.At this stage Flintoff was bowling superbly, making the ball move subtly off the seam in both directions. Graeme Swann was spot on. Panesar started with a five-run over, followed by some very quiet ones. He was bowling flat, but I thought it was part of the plan. England wanted to stopper India while probing for a breakthrough. That had been their successful game plan on day five in Mumbai in March 2006. At this point, England were doing everything right and India already faced a stiff ask.The plan began to unravel when James Anderson replaced Flintoff, and Panesar went over the wicket. Andersons modus operandi all day was to mix up very short and very full deliveries. He hardly bowled the three-quarter length. He was also the slowest of the three England pacers. Perhaps that was his interpretation of the teams tactics: bowl short to restrict the batsman, and throw in the occasional full delivery looking for a wicket.Just when the pressure was beginning to ease on India, Gautam Gambhir fell while chasing a wider delivery from Anderson.Panesars strategy of going over the wicket was hard to understand - was he trying to attack by ripping the ball out of the rough, or stifle the scoring through a negative line? As it turned out, he was very inaccurate. In trying to hit the rough, he overpitched once or twice every over, bringing the paddle sweep into play. For much of his spell, the fielder at short fine leg was Steve Harmison, and India could get a run even if they hit it straight to him at normal pace.A couple of times, Panesar pitched it too short and got punished for it. His bowling was, for me, the second biggest disappointment of the day since he was the only bowler who was welcomed to the bowling crease with a cheer from the crowd. Even Flintoffs spells were only getting excited murmurs.Tendulkar paddle-swept Swann and Panesar for fours, and upper-cut Anderson over slips to the boundary in a fine and dandy exhibition of improvisation, but if I ranked the top six rousing shots of the day, not a single one of Tendulkars would make the list.VVS Laxman got off the mark in the first over he faced, but then appeared to have retreated into a shell. I remember Tendulkar walking up to him mid-over and motioning with his arms, perhaps exhorting him to play freely. Laxman responded in the most scintillating manner. First, he stood tall and, without much foot movement, freed his arms to send an Anderson delivery racing through the covers. Then he drove Panesar inside out past mid-off. Shortly before lunch, Laxman drove Flintoff just to the leg side of the bowlers end stumps for another boundary that brought the crowd to its feet. Each of those strokes, along with a couple of punches down the ground by Yuvraj off the back foot, would make my list of top shots.Laxman was looking comfortable when, in the fourth over after lunch, he was caught at forward short leg by Ian Bell off Swann. The ball had turned and bounced more than he had expected it to, just minutes after Tendulkar had found it keeping perilously low at the other end. The ghosts of Mumbai 2006 were resurfacing. In that match as well, the wicket had appeared very negotiable before lunch on day five, only to seem unplayable later on.Yuvraj struggled right from the start. I saw Cook hand his box to Flintoff (yeah!), who then replaced him at silly point in order to give Yuvraj some verbals. There was one beauty from Swann that turned past Yuvrajs outside edge, with the batsman groping down the wrong line.A more frightening delivery, from the crowds perspective, was one from Swann that popped up off the same length and was taken by a leaping Matt Prior over his shoulder. The thing about that delivery was that Yuvraj, not yet in double figures, had attempted to violently sweep it across from off stump and ended up misjudging the bounce by a foot. Although I was generally apprehensive all day, at that point I felt like India were standing on the precipice of defeat.Meanwhile, Harmison got his first bowl of the day, and thought he had Tendulkar lbw on 49, but umpire Daryl Harper didnt agree. That was Tendulkars last mistake of the day. He spent eight nervous deliveries on 49, and when he finally reached his 50, there was a mass exodus from my stand towards the restrooms.Yuvraj gained a semblance of confidence, beginning with successive boundaries off Swann: a mere push through cover off the back foot followed by another violent sweep, this time making perfect contact.The first shot was one of the best shots of the day in my book, and the latter perhaps the hardest hit boundary of the day.Yuvraj continued to pepper the extra-cover/mid-off boundary off either foot against the spinners and the pacers. I think some of those boundaries could have been saved if someone other than Pietersen had been at mid-off. I assumed his injury was troubling him, because, at the time, he seemed to be in the Panesar-Harmison league of fielding.England were really hampered by the fact that they were carrying at least three very weak fielders, two of whom were, at various times, stationed at very important positions. Their best two fielders were Flintoff and Anderson, who drew applause virtually every time they fielded the ball.Tea came with Yuvraj looking comfortable and Tendulkar solid. I walked to the front of the stand, tried to lean over the balcony and peer into the dressing room, only to be motioned away by a commando with the butt of his automatic rifle.After tea, Yuvraj went from strength to strength. Tendulkar later said he tried to keep Yuvraj focused, even alluding to the chase against Pakistan in 1999. But it actually looked like it was Tendulkar who lost concentration or was overcome by fatigue once or twice.The new ball arrived with India needing 67 to win.I had seen a lot of Tendulkars batting for about 19 years at that point, and, to me, the biggest contrast from his heyday was the relative lack of dominance. I wondered what percentage of century partnerships he had dominated in the last five years. In his peak, if he timed it well, the ball went for four runs. That was not a given anymore. This was evident in his partnership with Yuvraj and Laxman. If those two middled it, the ball went for four. When Yuvraj lay back and nonchalantly swished a pull off Monty, the ball disappeared miles into the stands. When Tendulkar pulled Panesar with all his might (so hard he nearly lost his balance), the ball dropped ten yards short of the fence. Shortly before tea, he wound up a big back swing and slog-swept Swann over mid-on. The ball dropped to the ground and gently bobbled over the ropes.Perhaps he didnt time it well, but the point Im making is that a batsman who can reach the boundary at will draws a certain awe from the bowler. Think Viv Richards, who could mistime the ball and send it soaring over the ropes. At that point, Tendulkar couldnt hit boundaries at will. He didnt have that physical ability anymore. His best-executed, best-timed shots were not guaranteed to reach the boundary. I think he realised he could not dominate the bowling because of this and completely changed his approach to batting, becoming instead an accumulator.As Indias target fell to less than 50 runs away, with six wickets in hand, victory appeared a foregone conclusion, and in fact, so too did Tendulkars century.But we knew that if India lost two quick wickets, England would have the upper hand. And we knew that Yuvraj was outscoring Tendulkar by a long way and could well deny him his hundred.But once Tendulkar emerged from his post-tea loss of concentration, the entire crowd realised that it was his moment of destiny. India would win and Tendulkar would get his hundred.True enough, he raced to 96 with a couple of boundaries off Panesar: the inevitable paddle sweep, and, finally, an orthodox cover drive. The atmosphere in the ground was more charged than it had been all day. The cheers, chants, and bugles were making such a din, you couldnt hear yourself think. In my stand, a couple of middle-aged gentlemen were standing, swaying, bobbing, and leading the cheering with whistles and hoots, while three rows of youngsters provided the chorus. Yuvraj backed off. He patted a couple of harmless deliveries back down the pitch. The moment finally arrived off Swanns bowling. The moment some were too afraid to contemplate that morning for fear of another disappointment.Tendulkar was on 99, India a mere four runs away from a memorable win. The instrument had to be the paddle sweep. Everyone around me stood up, raised their hands and applauded.Yuvraj was the first to anticipate the boundary and the first to comprehend the moment, leaping in the air halfway through the run. Tendulkar leapt in joy after turning around for the second. They met mid-pitch and Yuvraj lifted Tendulkar in the air.We all moved towards the front of the stand for the presentation. Pietersen was the only English player at the ceremony, accompanied by a few commandos. Curiously, a couple of the lesser-known English players were, at the time, wandering about the outfield without any security. But our focus was on the podium. Since I couldnt hear the player interviews, the only point of interest for me was the Man-of-the-Match award.I thought Strauss would get it for his two centuries, but Virender Sehwag was probably also a good choice. I hadnt watched any play on day four but those in the crowd who had were in no doubt whatsoever that Sehwag was the one who had completely turned the game around. There was one fellow who said a little after tea that he had the greatest regard for Tendulkar, that he was batting brilliantly, but irrespective of how much he scored on the final day, his knock would only be the second-best of the innings. Their thoughts were reflected during the presentation. Wholesale NBA Stitched Jerseys . On Tuesday, Ottawa placed forward Cory Conacher and defenceman Joe Corvo on waivers as trade rumours swirl around the Senators. Wholesale Basketball .In my heart and mind Im competing for India, luge competitor Shiva Keshavan told The Associated Press in an email interview. Every day Im flooded with messages from Indians all over the world telling me they are supporting me. http://www.cheapjerseysnbaoutlet.com/ . After a first half in which he thought "the lid was on the basket," the Toronto Raptors coach watched his squad mount a second half surge to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-91.ARDMORE, Pa. -- Even for Phil Mickelson, his path to the top of the leaderboard Thursday in the U.S. Open was unconventional. He travelled about 2,400 miles in the air and 7,000 yards on the ground. He took a short nap on his private jet from San Diego and another one during a rain delay when he found a secluded corner of the library room in the Merion clubhouse. He carried five wedges but no driver. Some 17 hours later, Mickelson had a 3-under 67 to take the clubhouse lead and match his best opening round in the U.S. Open. Luke Donald is actually ahead of Mickelson at 4-under but he only managed to finish13 holes on Thursday before play was suspended for the day due to darkness, making one last birdie before leaving the course. If you missed the days action you can catch the highlight show tonight on TSN2 at Midnight et/9pm pt. First round coverage will resume Friday morning on TSN at 8:30 am et/5:30 am pt. TSN.ca will deliver live streaming of the 11th and 18th holes, along with a daily marquee group. TSN Digital platforms will also feature up-to-the-minute news, daily highlights, as well as Bob Weeks popular golf blog. Weeks will also answer fan questions on Twitter through @bobatscoregolf, while TSN.ca will feature tweets from Weeks, Jim Nelford, the USGA, and the official Twitter feed of the U.S. Open. Every round is also available on TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto and TEAM 1410 in Vancouver, and the third and final rounds can be heard on TSN Radio 690 in Montreal and TEAM 1200 in Ottawa. Mickelson returned from his daughters eighth-grade graduation about 3 1/2 hours before his tee time. He three-putted his first hole for a bogey and didnt give back a shot the rest of the day at Merion, which proved plenty tough by yielding only one other round under par to the 78 players who completed the first round. Because of two rain delays, the first round wont be completed until Friday morning. Mickelson wont have to tee it up again for another 24 hours. Enough time to fly back to San Diego? "I dont want to push it, no," Mickelson said with a tired smile. Tiger Woods faced a tougher road. He appeared to hurt his left hand after trying to gouge out of the deep rough on the opening hole. He grimaced and shook his left wrist again after hitting a 5-wood out of the rough on the fifth hole. He already had three bogeys though five holes before starting to make up ground with a 50-foot birdie putt on the par-4 sixth hole. Woods, however, failed to take advantage on the short stretch of holes in the middle of the round, and he was shaking his hand again after shots out of the rough on the 10th and twice on the 11th. He was 2-over for his round and had a 4-foot par putt on the 11th when play was stopped for the day. "Ive got a lot of holes to play tomorrow," Woods said. "And, hopefully, I can play a little better than I did today." The first round was to resume at 7:15 a.m. Friday, and the forecast called for drier weather for the rest of the week. Masters champion Adam Scott, playing with Woods and Rory McIlroy, was 3-under through 11 holes, while defending U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson was 2-under through eight holes. McIlroy shot even par. Mike Weir of Brights Grove, Ont., shot a 2-over 72. Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., shot a 75. Calgarys Ryan Yip is another shot back. David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., finished his round with a 78. Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., never even got to tee off. Lee Westwood got the full Merion experience. He was 3-under when his approach on the 12th hit the wicker basket -- the signature at Merion, replacing traditional flags -- and bounced off the green, leading to a double bogey. For Mickelson, this could be the start of yet another chance to win the major championship he wants so dearly. Or maybe hes setting himself up for more heartache. He already has been a runner-up a record five times in the U.S. Open. "If Im able -- and I believe I will -- if Im able to ultimately win a U.S. Open, I would say that its great," Mickelson said. "Because I will have had ... a win and five seconds. But if I never get that win, then it would be a bit heart-breaking." Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium, the only other player from the morning wave to break par, picked up birdies on the short seventh and eighth holes for a 69. Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, Tim Clark, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Jerry Kelly were the only others who at least matched par at 70. Clark and Kelly were at 2 under deep in their rounds until running into trouble, which isnt hard to do in the U.S. Open, especially at Merion. Clark took a doouble bogey-bogey stretch in the middle of his back nine. Disocunt NBA Jerseys. Kelly was one shot behind Mickelson until a double bogey on the 18th hole. "Its a lot tougher than they say it is," Schwartzel said. It doesnt take much -- just two holes for Sergio Garcia, who found Merion far more daunting than the few wisecracks from the gallery. Garcia received mostly warm applause, with some barely audible boos from the grandstand when he started his round on No. 11. It was his first time competing in America since his public spat with Woods took a bad turn when he jokingly said he would have Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open and serve fried chicken. "There were a couple here and there," Garcia said about some jeers. "But I felt the people were very nice for the whole day. I think that almost all of them were behind me and that was nice to see." They saw him hit his tee shot out of bounds on No. 14 right before the first rain delay, leading to double bogey. Then, he hooked his next shot out of bounds and hit a bunker shot over the green on his way to a quadruple-bogey 8 at No. 15. Despite being 6-over on those two holes, he rallied for a 73. Mickelson, meanwhile, looked as though he could play this golf course in his sleep. And he nearly did. With two holes remaining, he hit 5-iron into 30 feet on the 237-yard ninth hole and told caddie Jim "Bones" Mackay that he was starting to hit the ball. Despite the constant smiling, Mickelson is intense inside the ropes, and Mackay told him to stop thinking about his swing, his next shot, the course or anything else related to golf during the walk to the green. Lefty rolled in the right-to-left breaking putt for another birdie. "Being able to tune in and tune out was kind of nice the last hole or two," Mickelson said. "Its been a long day." The only other time Mickelson opened with a 67 in the U.S. Open was in 1999 at Pinehurst No. 2, and his oldest daughter was part of that story, too. Mickelson carried a pager with him that week because his wife was due with their first child. He finished one shot behind when the late Payne Stewart holed a 15-foot par putt on the last hole, and Amanda was born the next day. Mickelson was always going to be home before the U.S. Open because Amanda, who turns 14 next week, was chosen to be a featured speaker at her graduation. He left Merion on Monday, a day earlier than planned, when more heavy rain washed out most of the practice round. Besides, Mickelson felt like he knew the course well enough from his scouting trip last week. "She told me that its fine. Stay, its the U.S. Open. I know how much you care about it. And I told her that I want to be there," Mickelson said. "I dont want to miss her speech. I dont want to miss her graduation. She spent nine years at that school. And shes worked very hard and Im very proud of her." The ceremony was at 6 p.m. PDT. Mickelson was on the plane two hours later, landing in Philadelphia about 3:30 a.m. He had a few hours of sleep on the plane, and then played five holes before the rain delay. He found a few cushions for a makeshift bed in the clubhouse library. Despite his four birdies, including a 25-foot putt that fell on its last turn at No. 1, Mickelson saved his round with some crucial pars. He missed the par-3 third green to the right, in fluffy grass down the hill, and hit a flop shot that landed on the collar and stopped 5 feet from the cup. He caught a break when his tee shot went into the hazard left of the fifth fairway, about a foot away from dropping into the small stream. He got that out, hit wedge to 8 feet and made a difficult right-to-left putt. And on the next hole, he swung hard to generate height and spin out of the bunker, the only way to get the ball close. He made an 8-footer for par. Mickelson hit 9-iron to 2 feet on the seventh hole for birdie, and holed that 30-foot putt on the ninth. And then, it was time to rest. "He had a crazy 24 hours," said Keegan Bradley, playing alongside Mickelson and Steve Stricker. "Sometimes that helps, not thinking about it." Upcoming U.S. Open coverage on TSN. 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