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Monthly Archives: May 2019

Strikers-Thunder BBL clash rained off

The Big Bash League match between Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Thunder at Adelaide Oval has been abandoned because of heavy rain.

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Alex Ross’s impressive 30 not out from 11 balls had guided the strikers to 5-119 from their rain-reduced 10 overs, and Sydney were 18 without loss from just one over when play was finally stopped for good.

Both sides collect a point from the match, which guarantees Adelaide a finals berth. The Thunder’s hopes of finals action remain slim.

“It’s disappointing for both teams,” Strikers coach Darren Berry said.

“I’m sure the Thunder will be disappointed: they would’ve wanted a short game tonight with the rain.”

Ross starred for the Strikers with a knock that included four sixes, combining with skipper Johan Botha to put on 22 runs in the final over.

Adelaide opener Craig Simmons survived a dropped catch on his way to 21 runs before he was eventually was caught by Daniel Hughes off Chris Tremain’s delivery as the visitors slowed the Strikers’ run rate.

Ryan Ten den Doeschate entered the fray and belted Tremain for two sixes in the same over to kick-start a mid-innings revival for the Strikers, including sending one into the Chappell Stand.

Jono Dean chipped in with seven runs while Travis Head smashed a four and two sixes to finish with 18 runs from his spell in the middle.

But the star of the innings was Ross, who smashed Ian Moran for two sixes with his opening two deliveries.

Ross helped the Strikers hit three more sixes in the final over of the shortened innings, while Johan Botha was not out for 12.

Sydney’s best with the ball was Gurinder Sandhu, who collected 1-7 from his two overs, while Tremain collected two wickets and Moran and Josh Lalor one each.

For Sydney, Jason Roy looked like he was going to help steer the visitors and give Adelaide’s total a nudge with 14 runs from the first over.

He smashed Kane Richardson for a six from the opening delivery, before consecutive fours helped push their tally to 0-18 before the match was abandoned.

We need to start scoring again, says Allardyce

The teams drew 1-1 at Goodison Park last week and Allardyce is looking to guide his team to a first win in six matches.

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West Ham took the lead in their last three games against West Bromwich Albion, Everton and Swansea City but were pegged back to 1-1 on each occasion.

“It’s a concern, we are not as free scoring as we were,” Allardyce told a news conference. “The results have dipped a bit but the performances haven’t.

“One thing that has to happen is we get to more resilient defensively. We’re becoming a much more creative side but our defensive weaknesses have been exploited too much.

“In order to win football games you need to make sure you’re strong enough in both departments.

“We’ve only had four clean sheets so far and that’s not good enough to keep you in the top six.”

West Ham have slipped back to seventh in the Premier League but Everton are on an even worse run having lost four and drawn two of their last six matches.

They needed a last-minute equaliser from Romelu Lukaku to rescue a 1-1 draw against the Hammers at Goodison last week but gave an improved performance to draw 1-1 with Manchester City on Saturday.

Everton are 12th in the table but will take heart from a good recent record at Upton Park where they have lost just once in their last nine league and Cup games since 2002-03.

Allardyce missed Saturday’s draw at Swansea with a chest infection but said he felt better after seeing Andy Carroll’s stunning goal from the edge of the box.

“I had it live on a stream,” he said. “It was a fantastic piece of skill and a brilliant finish from the time he first touched it to the shot.”

(Reporting by Mike Collett, editing by Ed Osmond)

Low $A to lure more foreign stores to Aust

More major foreign retailers are expected to set up shop in Australia in 2015 thanks to the dollar’s recent plunge.

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The Aussie dollar has dropped about 12 US cents to around 82 US cents in the past four months, pushing up the cost of imported goods as a result.

But the recent falls have also made it cheaper for foreign retailers thinking about opening their doors in Australia.

A raft of foreign companies have flocked to Australia’s shores in recent years, including Swedish clothing giant H&M and the world’s biggest cosmetic chain Sephora.

A major report on the international retail industry by accounting giant Deloitte says more are likely to follow, meaning greater choice for Aussie shoppers, but also more competition for home-grown retailers.

Deloitte says underperforming Australian retailers could find themselves takeover targets by foreign predators, similar to David Jones and Country Road being swallowed by South Africa’s Woolworths in 2014.

It warns local retailers that 85 per cent of the world’s biggest retailers are not yet operating in Australia, meaning competition is only likely to increase.

“With a weakening Australian dollar and ever-increasing competitive pressures, we expect to see further interest by overseas retailers in the Australian retail market,” Deloitte Australia partner David White said on Tuesday.

“The ability to innovate, drive improved processes and to connect with the consumer will be critical in order to remain competitive.”

British retail giant Marks & Spencer, the US-based Ashley Furniture, and Germany’s Schwarz Unternehmens Treuhand KG, which owns the discount supermarket chain Lidl, are all tipped to be interested in a move Down Under.

Thirty seven of the world’s top 250 retailers already operate in Australia, with clothing/footwear companies and supermarkets the dominant players.

Nearly half of those foreign players operating in Australia have their headquarters the US.

Among them is supermarket chain Costco, which comes second behind Wal-Mart in Deloitte’s list of the top 250 retailers.

Much further down the list, which is based on revenue, are Australia’s Woolworths and Wesfarmers, at numbers 18 and 22 respectively.

The Deloitte report said retail sales growth in Australia during 2014 was the best for several years, thanks to low interest rates encouraging consumers to spend more.

However growth in 2015 could be affected by shaky consumer confidence and the federal government’s planned budget savings, it said.

THE WORLD’S TOP RETAILERS (BY REVENUE)

1. Wal-Mart, US, $US476.3m

2. Costco, US, $US105.15m

3. Carrefour, France, $US98.7m

4. Schwarz Unternehmens Treuhand, Germany, $US98.7m

5. Tesco, UK, $US98.6m

6. The Kroger, US, $US98.4m

7. Metro, Germany, $US86.4m

8. Aldi, Germany, $US81.1m

9. The Home Depot, US, $US78.8m

10. Target Corporation, US, $US72.6m

18. Woolworths, Australia, $US54.5m

22. Wesfarmers, Australia, $US50.7m

(Source: Deloitte)

Magical goal sees Iraq beat Jordan 1-0 at Asian Cup

Kasim, who plays for Swindon Town in the third tier of English football, scored the winner in the 77th minute with a touch of Messi magic and a little slice of luck.

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Taking the ball from outside the Jordan box, the 23-year-old dribbled his way past three defenders, then unleashed his shot at goal.

The ball took a deflection off the outstretched boot of Tareq Khattab, leaving Jordan captain and goalkeeper Amer Shafi with no chance of making the save.

Kasim’s spectacular strike ended what had been a relatively dour contest with teams adopting a cautious approach to the Group D clash at Lang Park.

Although it was their first match of the tournament, the stakes could not have been higher for both teams, with defending champions Japan having launched their Group D campaign with a 4-0 rout of Palestine earlier in the evening.

“The first match in the competition is very important,” said Iraq coach Radhi Shenaishil.

“The Jordanian team was very strong but our players did their job today and we have three points in the group stage.”

Iraq are now in the box seat to reach the quarter-finals and perhaps start another fairytale run reminiscent of their 2007 Asian Cup triumph, which became a rare moment for celebration in the war-torn country.

Few people had given Iraq any chance of going far this time after a haphazard preparation brought about by the troubles at home, forced to train and play qualifiers in other neighbouring countries, including Jordan.

Neither Iraq nor Jordan had won a match since March last year and Jordan’s defeat was compounded by the sending off of Anas Bani-Yaseen, who picked up a second yellow card in a fiery match during which the referee made seven bookings.

Although Iraq had the lion’s share of possession, they still had to survive some anxious moments from a Jordan team coached by former English international Ray Wilkins.

Jordan’s best chance came in the second half when a cross fell at the feet of Mohammad Mustafa who instinctively fired at the target but straight at the Iraqi goalkeeper Jalal Hassan.

“Obviously we’re disappointed. I felt we were more than equal and worthy of a point,” said Wilkins.

“We’ve gone a long period now without any luck and Iraq’s lucky goal today was very disappointing from my point of view. But this is football.”

(Editing by Justin Palmer)

Update due on Mars probe mystery

A media briefing is expected to shed light on the mystery of what happened to Beagle 2, the British Mars probe that vanished while attempting a Christmas Day landing on the planet in 2003.

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The UK Space Agency is refusing to discuss in advance what will be revealed at the briefing on January 16, which it describes as an “update” on the ill-fated mission.

A spokesman said: “Obviously there will be a lot of speculation but we can’t say anything at present. It will definitely be of interest.”

Beagle 2 hitched a ride with the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter and was designed to search for signs of past or present life on the Red Planet.

The lander was successfully released from the orbiter on December 19 but the expected signal confirming touch down on Christmas Day was never received. Eventually the probe was presumed lost.

A subsequent report on the failure was unable to come to a definite conclusion about the craft’s fate. It was thought unlikely that it “missed” the planet or burned up in the atmosphere. Other possible scenarios involved malfunctions of Beagle 2’s parachutes or cushioning airbags.

In 2005 Professor Colin Pillinger, the late Open University scientist who was the driving force behind Beagle 2, claimed images of the Martian surface may have revealed a fuzzy glimpse of Beagle 2.

He thought the probe might have hit the ground too hard, due to the atmosphere being thinner than usual because of dust storms.

According to Prof Pillinger, who died in May last year, the images captured by the US space agency Nasa’s Mars Global Surveyor orbiter suggested that Beagle 2 came down in a crater closed to the planned landing site.

Beagle 2 was a unique space mission in that it was largely funded by private donations and money raised by promotional campaigns led by Prof Pillinger.