first_img“Would you like to sit next to the window?” offered Mrs. Evans, minutes before the Air New Zealand flight took off for Queenstown. “You might be able to spot Mount Cook if you’re lucky!” she said, her eyes sparkling with a generosity uncommon to our century of the mythical rat, which is forever scrambling. We live in a world where people love to race. And count, among other things, their tally of friends and pokes on Facebook. Luckily, and much to my disbelief, the multi-national rat corporations have thus far turned a blind eye to a pair of islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, ‘the land of the long white cloud’ called Aotearoa. We’ve been searching for Shambala in the wrong continent after all. The land of the enlightened is closer to the South Pole than we think.NZ has some of the best wines. Stop at Villa Maria, the country’s most awarded winery. Photo: Anshuman SenOff to the winery Our group started on a bright winter morning in Auckland, at the Te Manukanuka O Hoturoa Marae, a community place held sacred by the Maoris. “The Powhiri is a traditional Maori welcome ceremony,” explained our host Mr Berryman, as we lined up outside the Marae in nervous anticipation. The proceedings began with the spectacularly intimidating ‘Wero’. A bare-chested spear-toting male warrior walked up to our leader and challenged him with threatening grimaces, before laying down a bunch of leaves on the ground. Quick to notice a sense of discreet panic in our camp’s leadership, Mr.Berryman concluded, “We are now satisfied you do not have hostile intentions. You may enter the Marae”. The walls inside were decorated with carved and woven panels representing the major clans. Our hosts greeted us with the hongi, gentle pressing of the nose.advertisementWith 100 gallery spaces in the region, Auckland Art Gallery remains a favourite for art lovers. Photo: Anshuman Sen Soon thereafter we drove up to the Villa Maria Winery (, to celebrate our trip’s beginning at the picturesque Vineyard Caf. Mischa, the lone wine aficionado in our group, chose a 2010 Chardonnay for the table that went very well with the pesto infused grilled chicken. “This is possibly New Zealand’s most awarded winery,” said Mischa as we sniffed and swirled our way out of imminent jet lag. The founder of Villa Maria, Sir George Fistonich, started with just an acre of vines in 1961 and business has expanded steadily ever since. Villa Maria was also the first major winery in New Zealand to move to screw caps from the traditional cork.Wellington, the southernmost capital city in the world, is home to the Basin Reserve Cricket Club, every Indian batsman’s short-pitched nightmare. “The last time India won a test against the Kiwis here was in 1968,” informed Shekar whose passion for cricket trivia was surpassed only by his sense of humour. Wellington is also home to the Weta Studio (, made famous by Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. We drove down to the lovely eastern suburb of Miramar next morning for a peep into the hi-tech world of prop production and cinematic special effects. “All the costumes, swords, miniature sets and creatures that one sees in the LOTR were conceptualised and fabricated here at the Weta,” said Anna Abernethy, the Weta cave manager. The guided tour inside the studio gave us a behind-the-scenes look at all the work that goes into the evolution of a movie prop, from a sketch to a highly detailed working model. If Weta is a ‘must do’ in Wellington so is the Boulcott Street Bistro and Winebar (, one of Wellington’s finest restaurants. Established by chef Rex Morgan in the historic Plimmer House, this restaurant is a great bistro with an old world charm. The Fillet Barnaise with Red Wine Jus was cooked to perfection.Also read: Actor Sidharth Malhotra talks about his leap of faith in New Zealand Next on our itinerary was the garden city of Christchurch, where we stayed at the Heritage Old Government Building, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. According to the general manager, Vicki Bretherton, the city of Christchurch has done well to recover from the February 2011 earthquake. “There is an air of optimism here and the innovative building and community projects reflect our vision for the future,” she said. The Red Bus Rebuild Tour, organised by the Canterbury museum, took us to the Transitional Cathedral, which has replaced the neo-Gothic structure destroyed in the 6.3 quake of 2011. Designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, this A-frame structure is made from cardboard tubes coated with waterproof polyurethane. Interestingly, the nearby Re:Start mall is made entirely out of shipping containers modified to house retail stores and cafes!advertisementHigh adventure in Queensland It’s not hard to understand why everyone raves about Queenstown, where we went next. The breathtaking scenery is intensified many times over by the plethora of adventure activities that are on offer. It’s safe to say that Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world. After saying goodbye to Mrs Evans at the airport, we sped off to the Rees Hotel in luxury SUVs. Named after the founder of Queenstown, William Gilbert Rees, whose larger than life portrait still dominates the lobby, the Rees Hotel is located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, with great views of the Remarkables mountain range.Half way through lunch in one of Eichardt’s private rooms (, I had no trouble accepting the hotel’s modest claim of being ‘New Zealand’s most exclusive lake front address’. Eichardt’s iconic status in Queenstown dates to the gold mining days when it gained popularity amongst prospecting miners and businessmen.The tasteful interiors were complimented well by the sourdough pumpkin bruschetta and Calamari in squid-ink tempura batter. Adam, our host, opened a bottle of Mount Edward Pinot Noir, made in Central Otago exclusively for Eichardt’s, by winemaker Duncan Forsyth.The Shotover Jet ( experience defies description. One only has to imagine a jet boat on steroids scurrying through a narrow gorge at break neck speed, grazing past rocks and boulders, to make sense of this crazy sport. I realised minutes into the ride that this was something truly special. Commandeered by Nick ‘Doofy’ Simpson, our ‘big red’ did a series of complete 360-degree spins on the spectacular Shotover River, spraying cold water onto our faces, in addition to the customary high-speed bends. Back in the office we were shown a video of the ride captured by a series of cameras both on and off the boat. “We have exclusive rights to operate in the Shotover river and we’ve been doing this for over 40 years now with an excellent safety record,” said Katherine Cahill who also presented us with a photo album and a DVD of us in the ‘world’s most exciting jet boat ride’.The beautiful spread of Queenstown. Photo: Anshuman Sen Even before we could dry ourselves, I found myself going up the Skyline Gondola for our 4-line Moa Ziptrek Ecotour ( Ready with our harnesses we zipped from one tree house to the other with a bird’s eye view of Wakatipu Lake. The more adventurous amongst us zipped upside down and handsfree, blurring the forest around us. “Ziptrek Ecotours are an exciting combination of education and adventure,” said our instructor-guide from Argentina who also talked about the company’s commitment towards sustainable development and ecological responsibility. “We have the world’s steepest tree-to-tree flying fox here, and you’ll be surprised at the number of 80 year olds who opt for it.” The minimum permissible age for a ziptrek is 6 years and the maximum weight allowed is 125 kg.advertisementDavid Gatward-Ferguson from Nomad Safaris ( picked us up from The Rees next morning, and we began scouring the Wakatipu basin in earnest for 4WD river crossings and The Lord of the Rings locations. “Our safaris can be customised to suit particular interests,” said David as we stopped by at the quaint and fashionable Arrow Town, famous for its bakery ( “Some people only want to visit film locations, while others are happy to just drive around and stop when something catches their fancy”. The river crossings were truly spectacular and the Toyota Land Cruisers proved their mettle both in and out of water. “We work really hard to keep the vehicles in top shape, given the rough treatment they get from us.” David gave us a lecture-demonstration on gold panning next to the river and we drove up to Queenstown airport with an average yield of 1.3 gold specks. Not bad for beginners we were told. It is important to mention here that it’s illegal to pan gold using commercial equipment in Queenstown. Gold panning is restricted only to hobbyists.The amazing Milford Sound The Helicopter Line ( based in Queenstown airport had organised a trip for us to catch the Milford Sound Scenic Cruise at one pm. After a quick ‘dos and don’ts’ briefing we took off around noon and flew right into the Fiordland National Park with its spectacular landscape of snow-capped peaks and alpine lakes. “We’ll try and land on a glacier, if weather permits,” crackled Brad Patterson’s voice on the headset as we skimmed over snowclad ridges and peaks. The highly trained pilots at Helicopter Line are experts at navigating through narrow gorges and landing on precarious terrain. Minutes later both our helicopters landed on a flat snowfield and we were given some time to look around and take in the views. Beyond the jagged outline of peaks and group photographs, one could see the flat blue silhouette of the Tasman Sea. If there is one thing you must do in Queenstown, it must be this.Nothing can be more thrilling than landing on a glacier in the middle of Fiorland National Park. Photo: Anshuman Sen We reached Milford Sound just in time to board our much-anticipated Lunch Cruise ( Anna Kerslake, from Real Journeys, had organised a special buffet for us, but I didn’t budge from the humongous seafood platter till it was impossible to scavenge the last bits of crayfish and calamari. It was a bright afternoon and the open-air deck was full of tourists and iPads. The fiord at Milford Sound is dotted with waterfalls on either side and we traversed its entire length under the watchful gaze of the magnificent Mitre Peak.On our way back from Milford Sound our helicopters climbed up the vertical length of Sutherland Falls to make a spectacular landing at Lake Quill. Even though we spent only a few minutes at the lake, I can play out the vision in my mind at will. The helicopters dropped us off at the Walter Peak High Country station where we got a touristy glimpse into the Kiwi farming lifestyle. The impressive ‘working sheep dogs’ demonstrated their skills at herding in sheep from the hillsides, which was followed by a rough and ready sheep shearing session. We stopped over for some lemonade and muffins at the lakeside Colonel’s Homestead before boarding the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw ( back to Queenstown. Affectionately called the ‘Lady of the Lake’, this is believed to be the oldest working coal-fired steamship in the southern hemisphere. “She turned hundred last year and it was a real honour for me to have steered it on its anniversary,” said Graham Moore-Carter who has been the Senior Launch master since 1980. “If she was a person she’d be a temperamental old lady.” he added with a wink, as we climbed down from the skipper’s wheelhouse to the engine deck below where stokers still shovel coal into the furnace the old fashioned way. “We receive instructions from the skipper through traditional telegraph bells.” There is absolutely no scope for miscommunication on board the TSS Earnslaw. There is a pianist onboard and a caf that also sells wine and beer.The Skyline Luge in Queenstown is a 800 metre gravity ride winding down through the trees atop Bob’s Peak. Photo: Anshuman Sen Our last evening in Queenstown was spent at the Matakauri Lodge ( To call it spectacular would be an understatement. Located on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, with fantastic views of snowcapped mountains, this 11-suite property is the benchmark for luxury hospitality in New Zealand. I settled down with a Lagavulin on the rocks, next to the fireplace in one of the drawing rooms and watched twilight fade into the stillness of the night. We had an early leisurely dinner at the dining hall. Chef Jonathan Rogers’s version of modern New Zealand cuisine showcased local seasonal produce, and we were not disappointed to say the least. After dinner we retired to the television room for the season’s first Rugby test match between the All Blacks and the Wallabies. Mischa was kind enough to explain to us the nuances of Rugby while the game was underway, and in a matter of minutes converted most of us into All Black fans. It wasn’t an unhappy coincidence that the All Blacks beat the Aussies quite comprehensively that night. All that cheering helped, I was told.High life in Auckland We took a morning flight back to Auckland the next day and took a ferry ( to Waiheke Island. Only 18 km from Auckland, Waiheke is New Zealand’s most densely populated island and is a popular holiday destination in summer. We drove straight to the Stonyridge Vineyard for a vegan meal with owner and winemaker Stephen White. “I’m really into Yoga, so I feel I have some sort of an emotional connection with India,” said Mr. White, also a former yachtsman, “I wanted to make a world class Bordeaux-style red wine in Waiheke. The Stonyridge Larose is just that.” The Larose is New Zealand’s most expensive wine and is listed amongst the top cabernet blends in the world.We made our way to Ecozip Adventures (www. after lunch for some more zip lining. Beautifully located, with great views of the bay and Auckland in the distance, the dual zip lines here allowed two persons to ride side by side. The three zip lines here were longer and way above the tree canopy, so the experience was totally different from the one we had in Queenstown. The walk up to the office through a native forest was equally exciting and all of us had worked up a healthy appetite by the time we reached the Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant. I ordered an old-fashioned beef steak and some Pinot Noir to go with it. It was quite late when we reached the Delamore Lodge and it was only until next morning that I could appreciate its wonderful bay view and Mediterranean inspired architecture.Back in Auckland I met Julia Cooke and Sharon Nightingale for lunch at The Sugar Club (www., Peter Gordon’s highly acclaimed fine dining restaurant in the Sky Tower. I’ve had some great food during my stay in New Zealand, but the grub at the Sugar Club was undoubtedly the best. The Bularangi Harley Davidson boys were waiting for us when we took a lift down 53 floors from the restaurant. I sat behind Peter ‘Donks’ High and we drove all over Auckland on his Harley Davidson. Talk about one for the road. And I’ll definitely be back for more.last_img read more

first_imgEvery phone buyer is looking for something special in his or her phone. Some look for great camera, some want great performance, and there are some who fall for sleek design. However, for a phone to give you all that you demand from it, it also needs to have a big battery.While a great picture may tell a thousand words, a phone without a good battery is nothing more than a toy. Battery ultimately comes to the rescue, especially for those who travel long distances are often the victim of depressing and heavy traffic jam at nights.While the phone market is flooded with phones claiming great battery lives, here are some that we recommend to those who want to do their daily travels without carrying a charger.Redmi Note 3In our review we had called this phone as Mr dependable and it’s undoubtedly the one. Redmi Note 3 costs Rs 9,999 for the 16GB version and Rs 11,999 for the 32GB version. The phone packs in a big non-removable battery of 4,050 mAh and can last for up to 30 hours.Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review: Mr dependable like Rahul Dravid Xiaomi Mi MaxLaunched in May 2016, Xiaomi’s Mi Max is a 6.44 inch phablet with a massive 4,850mAh non-removable battery inside.  While the heavy use of the phone can make it last for a day, users can enjoy seamless battery life for almost one and a half days or even two days if used moderately.This is what we wrote in our review:”Most users, with more generalised usage will easily be able to squeeze out at least two day out of the phone.”advertisementThe phone costs Rs 14,999 for the 32 GB variant. To know more about the phone read our review .Asus Zenfone Max 2016Launched in May 2016, ZenFone Max 2.0 is a big battery beast by Asus. The phone comes with a massive battery of 5,000mAh capacity. The battery is non-removable and it is the main USP of the phone.This is what we wrote in our review about the phone’s battery:”The ZenFone Max 2.0 uses a 5,000mAh battery which is non-removable. Battery life in a word is fantastic.”The phone has a price tag of Rs 9,999 for the 2GB version while the 3GB RAM version costs Rs 12,999.To know more about the phone read our review .Gionee M5 Marathon PlusLaunched in December 2015, Gionee Marathon M5 Plus is a 6-inch touchscreen display phone with a non-removable Li-Po 5,020 mAh battery. The phone offers a talk-time of up to 20 hours and a standby time of nearly 620 hours. Now that’s what we call a jumbo battery.The phone runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop and is powered by a Mediatek MT6753 processor. The phone has a price tag of Rs 26,999 but is totally worth the money if buying from the battery perspective.Redmi 3S PrimeThere’s a reason why we called this phone as the Xiaomi’s greatest hit in our review.  With only a price tag of Rs 6,999 this phone houses a 4,100 mAh battery inside.  Along with this, the phone also sports some decent looks and has a full-metal body.Even if you use this phone all the time, which means its screen is on almost all the time, the battery in this phone lasts around 12-15 hours, which is phenomenal.This is what we had said in our review:”It looks good, feels good, has a neat display, dependable performance, good-enough cameras and killer battery life. More importantly, it’s super cheap.”Also Read: Redmi 3S Prime review: Xiaomi’s greatest hitlast_img read more

first_imgStrauss, speaking at Old Trafford before the T20, Strauss, speaking at Old Trafford before the T20, Englands final home international of the season, told reporters: “Would I like both our captains to be on that tour? Absolutely, definitely.”However, Strauss added: “We have to recognise that, although we have two captains who have wider responsibilities than just themselves, they are still human beings at the end of the day and still subject to all the same thoughts and concerns as anyone else. – Safe to go -================= “The persuasion is that we feel its safe to go.”I genuinely believe that and that is why Im encouraging every player to use that incredibly detailed and experienced viewpoint from Reg to make a judgement.”If he says its safe to go somewhere its safe, and if (he says) it isnt, it isnt.”Nevertheless, Strauss stressed: “I cannot literally force people up the steps and say you have to go to Bangladesh.”Strauss said players would have to weigh up the pros and cons for themselves.”I think, at its most simple (level), the big consequence for not going is you are giving someone else an opportunity to step into your shoes and stake a claim for themselves.”Thats just the same as if someone gets injured…If someone does really well, then you cant give any guarantees (over selection).”Strauss, however, said he had no great concerns over players ongoing uncertainty following his own experience of being a member of the England squad that continued with the 2008 tour of India following the deadly Mumbai terror attacks.advertisement”It doesnt actually (concern me), having been through this myself, after the Mumbai bombings.”In my own mind, intellectually coming to the decision — if Reg says its safe to go somewhere, who am I to say otherwise — in hindsight, it looks like a very simple and obvious one.”But it still took me some time to get there at that point, and theres no reason to expect a lot of these young guys, who are going through this for the first time, to make an on-the-spot decision.” AFP SSC SSClast_img read more

first_imgSix months back India was in a cricket frenzy being the World T20 host nation. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team India were favourites and New Zealand, the perennial underdogs of cricket, their first opponents. (Four-day net session for Team India ahead of first Test in Kanpur) Tragedy struck when the perceived easy opener didn’t go to plan with the hosts undone by two light weight Kiwi spinners, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner. The spin duo took seven wickets between them and fancied India was dismissed for 79 to hand them an early loss in the competition. India’s campaign, since, was a rollercoaster ride which ended with a semi-final exit. (WATCH: Virat Kohli gears up for New Zealand series) Ajinkya Rahane saw that game as a reserve from the dressing room. One which was shell shocked on being outfoxed at its own game by their opponents. India’s opportunity to get their own back comes with the Test series against New Zealand starting next week. Vice-captain Rahane says the World Cup loss is history. “You don’t want to look into the past. You want to do well in the future, dominate in the next game,” he tells India Today television in an interview. (Rahul credits Kohli for his success at international level) But that show in a big match competition has earned New Zealand’s spinners some respect in India. “We are aware New Zealand is a decent team. It’s important to respect your opponents,” says Rahane. Rahane was the only batsmen other than captain Virat Kohli who played in all the four Tests in West Indies. His rising stature in Indian cricket reflects in growing confidence from being a shy batting star of Mumbai. “I don’t know how the wickets will be. But it will help the spinners. We have some quality spinners and we know our conditions well,” he lets the opposition know. (Competition for opening slot good for Indian cricket, says Shikhar Dhawan) Rahane unlike every other India regular is not dismissive of the notion that modern Indian batsmen don’t play spin as well but thinks some hard work will do the trick. “We are all practising against spin. We played South Africa and West Indies. We are batting a lot better against spin,” he says. (New Zealand get down to business: Low bounce and spin on their mind)advertisementPREPARED FOR ANY CHALLENGE For someone who has scored a hundred or at least a 90 in seven Test playing countries in a three-year-old Test career, Rahane thinks ‘preparations to match conditions’ are key to his success. Having skipped playing the Duleep trophy as well as the tour game against New Zealand, Rahane chooses to work on specifics in private nets in Mumbai. “I am focusing on defence. Rather than looking at more shots for the upcoming season, defence will be the key for the home season,” he opines. Adaptability explains Rahane’s consistency and popularity in the dressing room. He explains, “I am a good batsman at any position. I batted at 3 in domestic cricket but have been at 5 mostly in Tests. Only in Sri Lanka I batted at 3. Frankly I am comfortable at any position. At the highest level, batting position does not matter. It’s about how well you can read the situation and adapt. At any number, the technique remains the same, just adjustments need to be made. I can bat at any number or position.” But with No. 5 being his calling in international cricket, his mental preparations have changed accordingly. “Conditions have to be read and the match situation. Batting at 5, that becomes most important because the top four have batted with a certain momentum. At 5, you have to bat sometimes after 50-55 overs or you also have to face the new ball. So it’s important to be flexible in your mind,” he says.The extended home season presents an opportunity for the Indian side to reaffirm their home dominance. The start against New Zealand will be the key to the series and the season ahead. We have England and Australia to follow. Kanpur test can set the tone,?? he hopes.last_img read more

first_imgNico Rosberg claimed his eighth victory of the season at the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday but his heart would have been in his mouth in the closing stages after second placed Daniel Ricciardo had threatened to gatecrash his party.Rosberg started on pole in his 200th race and was keeping the Red Bull driver at arms length until the Australian pitted for fresh tyres with 16 laps to go and set about reining in the leader, taking three-second chucks out of the deficit per lap.The Red Bull ran out of road by the end of the 61-lap marathon, however, as Rosberg held on for a 0.488 second victory, nursing his final set of soft compound tyres through 28 gruelling laps to the finish for the narrowest of victories.”I had to be on it in that last stint and make sure I did everything right,” Rosberg told reporters after topping the podium ahead of Ricciardo and team mate Lewis Hamilton.”The tyre lasted just right so I am very happy and when we started the last lap, I knew the lead was going to be enough and his tyres weren’t as fresh anymore anyway,” added the German, who moved eight points above Hamilton with six races remaining. (Also read: Nico Rosberg holds on to win Singapore GP, reclaim F1 lead)”I pushed as hard as I could and it worked out. It’s never easy in Singapore, hats off to Red Bull for such an awesome attempt to try and get us.”advertisementThe previous eight races in Singapore have only ever been won by world champions but Rosberg insists he is treating his challenge for a maiden title on a race-by-race basis and not thinking too far ahead.”A statistic like that is not something I focus on, it doesn’t have any importance to me,” the 31-year-old said after winning his third race in a row.”Today I was happy to win the race as that’s what I came here to do, so I will celebrate after this, go home and then the next stop is Malaysia where I will be trying to repeat that as I am on a good roll right now. (Also read: Nico Rosberg takes Singapore GP pole ahead of Daniel Ricciardo)”I am excited about winning the race today and not thinking about the points total. I’ve not had the best of memories here and the track hasn’t treated me well in the past,” he added.”The whole weekend went perfectly so today it’s a big deal but tomorrow not so much.”last_img read more

first_imgBabar Azam hit his second successive century as Pakistan beat the West Indies by 59 runs on Sunday in the second one-day international for an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. (Scorecard)Azam followed his hundred in the first ODI with 123 off 126 balls in Pakistan’s highest ODI total of 337/5 against the West Indies.Darren Bravo (61) and Marlon Samuels (57) were the main beneficiaries of Pakistan’s dismal fielding – with six dropped catches – as West Indies fell short on 278/7. (1st ODI: Babar Azam’s maiden ton sets up Pakistan’s big win over West Indies)Azam and Shoaib Malik, who scored 90 off 84 balls with five sixes off Sulieman Benn, powered Pakistan with a record third-wicket stand of 169.”It was a wonderful team effort,” Pakistan captain Azhar Ali said. “We needed a partnership after losing two wickets in three balls and both Babar and Shoaib set the base with intelligent batting.”Sarfraz Ahmed hit an undefeated 60 off 47 balls to give Pakistan’s innings a perfect finish with Carlos Brathwaite and debutant Alzarri Joseph claiming two wickets each.Bravo and Kraigg Brathwaite (39) shared the innings’ best partnership of 89 in West Indies’ chase after losing opening batsman Johnson Charles in Mohammad Amir’s first over.But West Indies never looked like reaching the target despite Azhar Ali dropping Bravo on 43 and then Samuels being twice let off the hook before he had completed his half century.Hasan Ali brilliantly ran out Bravo off a direct throw at the non-striker’s end.Wahab Riaz (2/48) clean bowled Samuels off a delivery which kept low.advertisementBig-hitter Kieron Pollard (22) looked troubled with the asking rate going beyond 12 an over before he holed out in the deep as Pakistan kept the pressure on through their seamers.”It’s obviously an improved performance, but we would have been better off perhaps chasing a smaller total had we avoided giving away boundary balls,” West Indies captain Jason Holder said. “It was difficult to come in and hit from ball one.”Earlier, Azam and Malik made an impressive recovery after Pakistan lost both openers with the total on 40 in the space of three deliveries.Malik used his feet well against the spinners and hit Benn for three successive sixes in one over before he was caught at backward point against the run of play.Azam completed his century off 111 balls but perished while looking for quick runs and holed out in the deep in the 46th over.Pakistan, who routed the West Indies 3-0 in the Twenty20 series, won the first match by 111 runs.The third and final ODI will be played at Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.last_img read more

first_imgIndore, Nov 27 (PTI) Madhya Pradesh government, which is developing water-based tourism near big dams in the state, is targeting to attract private investment of Rs 100 crore in this segment in the the next four years.”We are working to attract nearly Rs 100 crore private investment in the water tourism segment during the next four years,” Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Minister Surendra Patwa today told reporters here.The investment is being sought for tourism-related activities near Punasa dam (Narmada river) of Indira Sagar Project in Khandwa, reservoir of Chambal river in Mandsaur, Son river in Shahdol district and Bargi dam (Narmada river) in Jabalpur, he said.The government is organising a month-long “Jal Mahotsava” (water festival) on Hanuwantiya Island in the backwaters of Punasa Dam from December 15, Patwa added.He said some private companies have evinced interest to open hotels and resorts near Hanuwantiya Island.In the past, MP Tourism Development Corporation has said it plans to introduce tourism activities like water sports, mini-cruise liner, boat rides and houseboats in the state. PTI HWP LAL RSY SUA SDMlast_img read more

first_imgAt the moment when they were set to take the field as foes, two soccer teams a continent apart raised their voices in unison on Wednesday, paying tribute to the 71 lives lost in a plane crash that cancelled the final of the Copa Sudamericana.Colombia’s Atletico Nacional, which was ready to host the first leg of the final on Wednesday night, instead held a ceremony in honor of their fallen rivals Chapecoense, whose plane crashed into a hillside outside of Medellin. (Also read: Colombia crash: Plane carrying Chapecoense players was running out of fuel)Rowdy fans scaled walls into the stadium after the 46,000-person arena filled up an hour before the ceremony began. Others brought flowers and teared up during a minute of silence at the scheduled kickoff time.”We expected an excellent match. They aren’t as big as Nacional but they were coming to give it their all, so tonight we’re Chapecoense fans,” said Lidia Alzate, 41, who came dressed in white along with her two children.Nearly 3,000 miles (4,800 km) away, Chapacoense fans also filled their stadium in a remote corner of southern Brazil, holding a second night of vigil for their team whose stunning rise from the fourth division in Brazil to the continent’s top tier had captured the country’s imagination. (Also read: From Wayne Rooney to Neymar, soccer world sends condolences to Brazil’s Chapecoense after air crash)With illuminated cell phones aloft, they packed the stadium to its capacity of 20,000 – a tenth of the city’s population – and cheered as their youth players and reserves from the first team did laps around the field.advertisement”There’s so much emotion in this stadium. It feels like a game night,” said Francis Fabio, 25, with tears in his eyes.A brief video of Colombian fans singing an homage to Chapacoense appeared on the big screen, electrifying the Brazilian stadium as the crowd sang along.”Let them listen around the continent. We will always remember the champions Chapecoense,” they sang in unison.Atletico Nacional has offered the title to Chapecoense, although directors of the Brazilian club said they liked the idea of sharing the honor.last_img read more

first_imgReal Madrid Football Club forward Cristiano Ronaldo will be awarded this year’s Ballon d’Or if reports in the Spanish press are to be trusted.Barcelona-based newspaper Mundo Deportivo claimed that the Portugal superstar will win football’s top individual award for the fourth time.Though the former Manchester United player, who besides winning the Champions League, clinched the European Championships this year as well, is tipped to win the coveted prize, there is Argentina and FC Barcelona player Lionel Messi, France and Atletico de Madrid striker Antoinne Griezmann and Uruguayan and Barca player Luis Suarez in the race too.Mundo Deportivo claimed that the winner has already been chosen.last_img

first_imgJamie Vardy and Leicester embarrassed Manchester City to rediscover the look of champions.City’s defense disintegrated as Vardy’s hattrick powered Leicester to a 4-2 win that delivered an emphatic response to the team’s critics on Saturday in the English Premier League.With his first treble since his days playing for Fleetwood in the fifth tier in 2012, Vardy ended a 16-game goal drought in all club competitions.”We just wanted to make sure you saw the team fight for the cause,” Vardy saw. “We have definitely done that.”The striker took only three minutes to rediscover his scoring touch against Pep Guardiola’s side and City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was beaten again inside two minutes by Andy King. Both of City’s goals only came once Vardy eased Leicester into a four-goal lead, with Aleksandar Kolarov and Nolito scoring in the last eight minutes.On a weekend when Leicester faced the possibility of dropping into the relegation zone of the league they won in May, Claudio Ranieri’s team halted a five-game winless run and moved four points clear of danger.City remain four points behind leader Arsenal in fourth place but have collected only 12 points from a possible 27 in their last nine games.”It’s not about the system,” City defender Pablo Zabaleta said. “We played with four at the back today, sometimes we play with three, and we know exactly what we have to do on the pitch. It is more about concentration.”We know the risk we take every game because we are a very attacking team, and we want to attack all the time and create chances … but of course at the back when you give space you have to concentrate on the players that you can’t let run easily.”advertisementGuardiola isn’t complaining about his players.”I have to look inside myself – what I have to do – and they have to follow me,” the City manager said. “We have missed points in the last games. We have to change as quickly as possible.”There wasn’t only a feast of goals at King Power Stadium. It was the first time in 23 years that six home teams scored three goals each on a single day in the league, according to stats company Opta.ARSENAL 3, STOKE 1Arsenal nudged ahead of Chelsea into top spot on goal difference, ahead of their London rival’s game against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.Arsenal kept their nerve after conceding Charlie Adam’s 29th-minute penalty. Theo Walcott leveled before halftime, Mesut Ozil’s looping header put Arsene Wenger’s side in front, and Alex Iwobi slotted in a third.SWANSEA 3, SUNDERLAND 0Swansea are out of the relegation zone after Bob Bradley won for only the second time in eight matches in charge. All the goals came in the second half, with Gylfi Sigurdsson netting from a penalty before a double from Fernando Llorente. Although Sunderland are bottom, Swansea are only a point ahead in 17th place.HULL 3, CRYSTAL PALACE 3Unlike their previous away game at Swansea, Palace profited from a late goal this time. Substitute Fraizer Campbell scored the last of five second-half goals in the 89th minute to grab a point for Alan Pardew’s side.Hull led through a penalty in the first half from Robert Snodgrass that was canceled out by another spot kick from Christian Benteke before Wilfried Zaha put Palace in front. The game swung back in Hull’s favor when Adama Diomande and Jake Livermore scored but former Hull striker Campbell had the final say.BURNLEY 3, BOURNEMOUTH 2As Hull’s Mike Phelan and Palace’s Alan Pardew saw their sides produce a thriller, the league’s other two English managers also faced off. Sean Dyche got the better of Eddie Howe, who managed Burnley during a spell away from the Bournemouth dugout in 2011 and 2012.Jeff Hendrick’s dipping volley and Stephen Ward’s strike saw Burnley race in front in the opening 16 minutes. George Boyd netted Burnley’s third in the second half either side of goals from Benik Afobe and Charlie Daniels.Bournemouth are a point ahead of Burnley in 11th place.WATFORD 3, EVERTON 2With one win in 10 league games, Everton manager Ronald Koeman’s problems are mounting. Watford leapfrogged Everton into seventh place thanks to Stefano Okaka’s double and Sebastian Prodl’s header. Watford held on after Romelu Lukaku, who opened the scoring, netted a late second.last_img read more

first_imgWillian claims to have “never said that I want to leave Chelsea”, with the Brazilian having been heavily linked with Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.The 30-year-old forward established himself as a key figure at Stamford Bridge during the 2017-18 campaign, with regular game time allowing him to find consistency in his game.A personal best return of 13 goals was recorded as a result, along with eight assists across Premier League and Champions League competition. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! That fine form sparked talk of a possible reunion with former Blues boss Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, while La Liga heavyweights Real and Barca were also said to be keen as they scoured the market for attacking reinforcements.No deal was done and Willian, who has now spent five years on the books at Chelsea, is delighted to have stayed put.He told the club’s official website:  “A lot of people they say a lot of things in the press, but I never said that I want to leave Chelsea, never.“Always I say that I want to stay at Chelsea as long as possible, and I am happy to stay here.”Willian, who was snapped up for £30 million ($39m) from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, is fast closing in on 250 appearances for Chelsea.He hopes there will be many more to come, with his current deal set to keep him in west London until at least 2020.“When I arrived here my plan was to stay here as long as possible and now I am here five years I hope to stay five more!” Willian added.“I know I have two years of contract left but I hope to stay more years in the Premier League.“I am very happy to be here five years. I have won titles and played a lot of games with a lot of happy moments, and a few sad moments as well but that is part of football, but these five years have been very good for me and I am proud to be a Chelsea player.”Willian has helped Maurizio Sarri’s side to make a faultless start to their 2018-19 campaign, with four successive victories secured heading into the first international break.The Blues will return to action on Saturday with a home date against Cardiff.Chelsea 2last_img read more

first_imgA Thomas Lemar-inspired Atletico Madrid got their LaLiga campaign back on track with a hard-fought 2-0 win over 10-man Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on Saturday.Diego Simeone’s side had won just one of their opening four games – leaving them seven points behind early pacesetters Barcelona – but bounced back to winning ways against their city rivals. Lemar was denied a first goal for the club following his move from Monaco in July when his stunning 30-yard drive thumped against the crossbar, but it resulted in the opening goal regardless after bouncing in off goalkeeper David Soria’s back. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! He did get the maiden goal his bright display deserved after 60 minutes, applying the finishing touch to a sweeping counter-attack that carved open the Getafe defence.Substitute Ivan Alejo was given a straight red card just four minutes after being introduced for a rash challenge on Saul Niguez as Getafe’s hopes of getting back into the game fizzled out.The game burst into life after 14 minutes as Atletico took a fortuitous lead when Soria unwittingly diverted Lemar’s rebounding effort into his own net.Getafe were reduced to efforts from distance during the first half, with Vitorino Antunes looking most likely to restore parity, but his two free-kicks were comfortably dealt with by Jan Oblak.Atletico offered little threat at the start of the second period, but a superb move on the hour mark killed off the game. Koke played the decisive pass into the path of Lemar, who rounded Soria to slot into an empty net.Oblak kept out an Angel Rodriguez drive soon after, but any hopes the hosts had of setting up a tense finale were extinguished in the 65th minute when Alejo received his marching orders for a stamp on Saul.Antoine Griezmann saw two shots saved late on as the visitors sought to make their numerical advantage count, with Getafe ultimately avoiding further punishment. Un 22 de septiembre de 2018,un extremo rojiblanco se presentó en sociedad.Campeón del mundo, francés y rápido como el viento.Marcó su primer gol con el @Atleti en el Coliseum.Su nombre era THOMAS LEMAR. :heart_eyes:#GetafeAtleti— LaLiga (@LaLiga) September 22, 2018 What it means: Atletico kick-start their season It was not pretty, but Atletico will hardly care. A midweek win over Monaco in the Champions League lifted the early season gloom surrounding the club and a second league win of the campaign suggests Simeone has belatedly got his side moving in the right direction.Lemar makes his markHe did not quite grab the opener, but there was no doubt Atletico’s second was the impressive Frenchman’s. Lemar was a threat all game and proved exactly why Simeone was prepared to spend big on him during pre-season.Costa a shadow of his former self Diego Costa scored his first of the season against Monaco, but he has now gone a whopping 14 games without a goal in LaLiga. He was denied by Soria in the second half, but an in-form Costa would not have given the Getafe goalkeeper a chance.What’s next? Atletico host Huesca on Tuesday before a mouth-watering derby at Real Madrid next Saturday. Getafe, meanwhile, travel to Alaves on Thursday. read morelast_img read more

first_imgLeicester City have shown a remarkable ability to defy the odds but face their sternest test yet in the Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid, the team they have replaced as European football’s most fashionable underdogs. (Latest Football stories)Before Leicester enchanted the sporting world last year with their miraculous Premier League title win, Atletico had worked similar wonders in 2014 by breaking the stranglehold of Real Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga.Now the two sides who have punched delightfully above their weight meet in the first leg in Madrid on Wednesday — but it is Leicester who remain the European novices while Atletico have grown into true continental heavyweights under Diego Simeone.Unlike Leicester, who after their barely believable title win experienced an emphatic downturn in results which ultimately cost coach Claudio Ranieri his job in February, there was no difficult follow-up campaign for Atletico.Charismatic coach Simeone has gone on to turn Madrid’s ‘other’ team into perennially formidable opponents in his five-year tenure, taking them to two Champions League finals in the last three years and four successive quarter-finals.Atletico have also hit form just at the right time as they aim to land a first European Cup after losing in three finals (to Real in 2014 and 2016 and to Bayern Munich in 1974), winning five of their last seven games and conceding just two goals.They held La Liga leaders Real to a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu on Saturday.”The Champions League is the best competition in the world and it always motivates you,” Atletico defender Filipe Luis told reporters on Monday.advertisement”You can really feel the good atmosphere in the team at the moment and we’re feeling very confident after what we have done in our last few games. It’s going to be difficult, but we’re in our best form.”Yet Leicester are on a similarly hot streak under Craig Shakespeare, who became the only manager alongside Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti to win his first five games in the Premier League after succeeding Ranieri.The club’s long-time assistant coach also oversaw the team’s elimination of another La Liga side Sevilla in the last 16, the latest of Leicester’s incredible feats in the last 18 months.Shakespeare’s perfect start ended with Sunday’s 4-2 defeat at Everton when he fielded a heavily-rotated team with one eye clearly on Wednesday’s game, in which they will be without injured captain Wes Morgan.To keep the fairytale going, Leicester must become the only other team than Real Madrid to beat Atletico in a European knockout tie since 2013 but Simeone’s side have not conceded in their last eight Champions League games at the Vicente Calderon.”They have incredible fighting spirit, a real team ethic, they work hard work and they have a great counter-attack,” Leicester forward Leonardo Ulloa said in an interview with Spanish daily Marca.”They have many strong points and are difficult to overcome, which makes them the type of team no-one wants to face.”ALSO WATCH:last_img read more

first_imgAccording to our sources, the official bookings for the upcoming Dzire will commence from the 1st week of May. Maruti Suzuki will look to revive the growth in compact sedan segment in the country with the launch of its third generation Dzire next month.Maruti Suzuki has till date sold 13.81 lakh units of the model in India since its launch in March 2008, will roll out an all-new version of Dzire on May 16. Last full model change of the Dzire happened in February 2012. Last year, the company launched the compact sedan with auto gear shift (AGS) technology.2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire. (Photo: Rahul Ghosh)Price:We expect the new generation Dzire to come for a base price of Rs 6 lakh (ex showroom, New Delhi)- Rs 9 lakh (ex showroom, New Delhi) for the top end variant.Engine:The new generation Maruti Suzuki Dzire will come with the same 1.2-litre petrol engine that produces 83 bhp of maximum power and 115 Nm of maximum torque, while the Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre multi-jet diesel engine churns out peak power of 74 bhp and peak torque of 190 Nm.2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire. (Photo: Rahul Ghosh)Transmission:Both the engines will come mated to a AGS unit. The petrol engine will also come mated to a five-speed manual transmission.Design:The new generation Dzire will come with a completely new and fresh look. Maruti Suzuki Dzire has been redesigned with a hexagonal grille with a chrome strip around it. The front bumper  and the headlamp cluster gets an appealing makeover. At the rear, the new generation Dzire gets minor cosmetic change as the tail lamps has a revised design. The new Dzire will also sport new projector headlamps, LED DRLs and redesigned alloy wheels.advertisement2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire. (Photo: Rahul Ghosh)Features:The new generation Maruti Suzuki Dzire will come with an upgraded list of features to compete with its competition in the segment. The list includes touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Bluetooth, USB and Aux-in among others.Dimensions:The new generation Dzire will be 3995 mm in length, 1735 mm in width, 1515mm in height and 163 mm of ground clearance.2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire. (Photo: Rahul Ghosh)Competition:The new generation Maruti Suzuki Dzire will compete against the recently launched Hyundai Xcent facelift, new Tata Tigor, Honda Amaze, Ford Aspire and Volkswagen Ameo.ALSO READ:Maruti Suzuki unveils new generation Dzire in India; launch on May 16ALSO READ:New generation Maruti Suzuki Dzire: Everything you need to knowALSO READ:This is what the new Maruti Suzuki Dzire will look like. We think it’s neatlast_img read more

first_imgPakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq created a unique record when he was dismissed for 99 against the West Indies on the third day of the second Test.Misbah, who was eyeing his 11th Test century, gloved a rising delivery from the home captain Jason Holder for an easy catch to Shai Hope at second slip, thus making him the first batsman in the rich history of Test cricket to score 99 on three occasions. Nine other players have two scores off 99, a list which also has his countryman Salim Malik.The 42-year-old right-handed batsman also became the first player to score 99 in two consecutive Tests.Last week, Misbah became the sixth player to finish a Test on 99 not out and the first since South African Andrew Hall in 2003.Misbah had the dubious honour of becoming the first player from his country to finish on 99 not out during their first innings of last week’s seven-wicket first Test victory in Jamaica.FASTEST FIFTYMisbah, who is retiring from Test cricket at the end of the series, also holds the record for quickest half-century in the longest format when he powered his way to a 21-ball fifty against Australia in Abu Dhabi in 2014-15 series.The Pakistan skipper went onto slam the joint fastest century in the same match to equal Sir Vivian Richards’ record. However, the record was later broken by now-retired New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum a year later when he slammed his century off just 54 balls, two less than Misban and Richards, against Australia at Christchurch.advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgKolkata, May 11 (PTI) Leading Indian golfer SSP Chawrasia will be sponsoring four promising children all in the 5-12 year age-group if they manage to qualify for the US Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst from August 3-5. For this, the SSP Chawrasia Foundation launched recently will conduct a golf trial of 120 kids at the RCGC tomorrow to select four kids to compete in the finale of the Milkha Junior Golf Championship in the fourth week of May. The winners of the season ending finale get an opportunity to represent the nation in the US Kids World & Teen World Championship at Pinehurst, NC, USA and if the Kolkata kids make the cut, SSP will sponsor them. “Its about giving something back to the sport, especially the underprivileged ones through coaching and sponsorship. I want to take the sport to the grassroots, theres immense talent,” the two-time Indian Open champion told PTI at RCGC. At the same time, Chawrasia will be busy in action in the European tour where he next competes at the BMW PGA Championship 2017 at Virginia Water in Surrey from May 25-28 as he will be eyeing to make the cut for US Open Championship. There will be 10-12 spots up for grabs as Chawrasia is eyeing to finish in top-10. I am working hard towards it, I will give my best shot,” he said. Meanwhile, Chawrasia said hes still waiting to get the Rs 30 lakh preparation money as promised by the government towards preparation for the Rio Olympics. “I was asked to submit documents again, which Ive complied. Ive got an acknowledgement as well. But its a lengthy process. Ive no idea when I will get this,” Chawrasia said. PTI TAP KHS KHSadvertisementlast_img read more

first_imgWorld number one Andy Murray’s struggles this season on clay came back to plague him at the French Open on Thursday as he ground out an unconvincing 6-7(3) 6-2 6-2 7-6(3) win against Slovakian power-hitter Martin Klizan.Out-hit and more surprisingly often out-thought in the first set by a player he had described as unpredictable, the Scot conceded it on a tiebreask.Looking faster and keener, Murray pushed through the second set in 37 minutes and the third in one minute less.The Slovakian, ranked 50, then began to chance his arm and, as Murray’s level dipped, raced to a 5-2 lead before, with yet another momentum shift, the Scot broke back and took the fourth set to a tiebreak, closing out the match with a scrambled volley.last_img

first_imgCombined efforts helped India beat West Indies by 93 runs in the third One Day International cricket match here.Chasing 252 on a slow track on Friday, the West Indies never looked in the contention as the hosts were bowled out for 158 in the 38.1 overs.Jason Mohammed (40) and Rovman Powell (30) were the highest contributors to the cause. Shai Hope (24) also played sensibly but failed to display a match winning knock.For India, off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left arm leg spinner Kuldeep Yadav scalped three wickets each and medium pacer Hardik Pandya took two wickets.Earlier, put in to bat, Ajinkya Rahane and Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit half-centuries as India posted 251/4.Rahane posted a steady innings of 72 runs off 112 balls to help the visitors recover from a rocky start.Dhoni remained unbeaten on a quick 78 runs off 79 balls. His trademark big hitting towards the end helped the Indians go past the 250-run mark.The duo put on a partnership of 70 runs off 96 balls to help the visitors recover.Pacer Miguel Cummins was the most successful among the West Indies bowlers with figures of 2/56 in his ten overs.Asked to bat first, the Indians were off to a poor start with opener Shikhar Dhawan falling early.The Delhi left-hander showed poor application when he tried to lift a Cummins delivery over third man, only to offer an easy catch to Roston Chase on the boundary.India skipper Virat Kohli also fell to a poor shot when a Jason Holder delivery cramped him for space and Kyle Hope pulled off an athletic attempt, diving to his left at gully.advertisementRahane and Yuvraj Singh then got together to steady the ship with a slow but steady partnership of 66 runs off 101 deliveries.Yuvraj, who was not exactly in the best form of his life, managed to score 39 runs off 55 deliveries before he misjudged the line of a delivery from Devendra Bishoo that spun into him after pitching.Although the on-field umpire was indifferent to appeals of the bowler, the hosts decided to contest that decision and were rewarded when the television umpire sent the veteran southpaw back to the pavilion.That saw Dhoni and Rahane get together for another long partnership before Cummins put and end to the latter’s patient innings. Rahane hit four boundaries and a six during his 112-ball vigil in the middle.Towards the closing stages, Dhoni loosened up his arms and showed flashes of his old self with some big shots to perk up the visitors’ run rate.The former India captain had four hits to the fence and two well hit sixes to his credit.Kedar Jadhav gave him excellent support from the other end with a quick-fire unbeaten 40 runs off just 26 balls which included four boundaries and a six.Brief scores:India: 251/4 in 50 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 72, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 78 not out; Miguel Cummins 2/56) beat West Indies (Jason Mohammed 40, Rovman Powell 30; Ravichandran Ashwin 3/28 ) by 93 runslast_img read more