Aussies off to solid start vs. Sri Lanka in Hobart Test

Updated 14 December 2012
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Aussies off to solid start vs. Sri Lanka in Hobart Test

HOBART, Australia: Australia took the upper hand against Sri Lanka following half centuries by Phil Hughes, David Warner and Michael Clarke on the opening day of first Hobart Test yesterday.
The Australians always had the measure of the unthreatening Sri Lankan bowling attack, but Mahela Jayawardene’s team kept a lid on the scoring rate to just above three runs an over with alert ground fielding.
Hughes hit 86 on his Test comeback a year after being sacked for a second time, while Warner ran himself out for 57 just before lunch.
At the close, Australia were 299 for four after winning the toss with in-form skipper Clarke unbeaten on 70 and veteran Mike Hussey not out on 37 in an unbroken 101-run stand.
Clarke in the process raised 1,400 runs for the calendar year, averaging over 116.
“Overall at four for 299 the ball’s in our court,” Hughes said.
“I thought we were outstanding today with Pup (Michael Clarke) and Huss (Mike Hussey) putting on a 100 at the end, so that really gives us momentum going into tomorrow.” The Australians are coming off a crushing 309-run loss to world number one South Africa in Perth and found the sixth-ranked Sri Lankans — without a win in 10 Tests in Australia — less menacing opposition.
Hughes, batting at No. 3, was out shortly after tea when he was bowled by Chanaka Welegedara, ending the comeback batsman’s bid for a fourth Test century.
The compact left hander showed more patience and improved shot selection at his latest and third Test recall, batting for 221 minutes and hitting eight fours and an unorthodox slog-sweep six over deep mid-wicket.
On the way, Hughes had a big let-off on 77 when he was caught behind off a Welegedara no-ball.
Shane Watson, batting in Ricky Ponting’s No. 4 spot, made a start before he fell to a spectacular flying catch by Sri Lankan skipper Jayawardene.
The Sri Lankans were up against it when the captain latched on to a magnificent one-handed catch to dismiss Watson for 30 nearing tea.
Australia had been sailing along before Jayawardene’s screamer off Welegedara, which left the home side at 183 for three in the 51st over.
Watson had shared in an 86-run stand with Hughes as Australia were looking in command.
Warner was run out in the final over before lunch to take some of the gloss off Australia’s solid first morning.
Looking set for a big score, a communication breakdown with Hughes saw him sacrifice his wicket four balls before lunch.
Warner, who carried his bat in his first of three Test centuries with an unbeaten 123 in last year’s Hobart loss to New Zealand, played part time spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan toward short cover and set off for a single.
But batting partner Hughes was well down the pitch and Angelo Mathews had time to lob the ball toward the non-striker’s end with Warner well out of his crease.
Ed Cowan was out to a poor shot in the sixth over when he attempted to pull Welegedara, only to hand an easy catch to Eranga at mid-on for four.
Welegedara finished with three wickets for 99 off 20 overs.
“I think we did well today. We are very confident that we can put pressure on the Australian batsmen in the future,” Welegedara said.
“Hopefully the bowlers will be fresh in the morning and if we get either Clarke or Hussey out we hope to get the Australians out for an additional 100 runs.” It was the first Test for Australia since Ricky Ponting’s retirement after a record-equaling 168 Tests.
The former skipper was given a lap of honor around Bellerive Oval during the lunch interval to give his home Tasmanian crowd an opportunity to pay tribute to his career.


Sublime Mohamed Salah leads Liverpool to stunning 5-2 win over Roma

Updated 25 April 2018
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Sublime Mohamed Salah leads Liverpool to stunning 5-2 win over Roma

  • Liverpool move onto 38 goals for this season’s competition — 11 more than any other team
  • Salah is now on 43 goals for the season in all competitions

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah put his former side Roma to the sword on Tuesday night with a scintillating performance as the Reds ran riot at Anfield, taking a commading 5-2 lead into next week’s second leg in Rome.
The Italian side had no answer to the Egyptian superstar’s sublime skill as he scored two world-class goals and set up another two for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Firmino added the fifth as the Merseyside club romped into a 5-0 lead to put the English side within touching distance of the Champions League final.
Salah’s display was as exquisite as Roma’s defending was naive, with Liverpool scoring all of their goals in a breathtaking 33-minute spell either side of halftime amid a cauldron of noise at Anfield.
But two consolation goals in the final nine minutes from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti has given Roma hope of recreating their heroics from the previous leg against Barcelona.
In the latest virtuoso performance of his stunning first season at Liverpool, Salah curled a shot into the top corner in the 36th minute and doubled the lead in the 45th with a dinked finish that is fast becoming his trademark. He is now on 43 goals for the season in all competitions with potentially five games left.
The Egypt forward was not finished there, taking advantage of Roma’s high defensive line to provide crosses for Mane and Firmino to score almost identical goals in the 56th and 61st minutes, respectively.
Firmino glanced home a header from James Millner’s corner in the 69th to leave Roma’s players on the floor — literally in the case of their distressed goalkeeper, Alisson.
Liverpool moved onto 38 goals for this season’s competition — 11 more than any other team — but cannot begin preparing for the final in Kiev on May 26 quite yet.
Dzeko chested down a long pass to make it 5-1 in the 81st and when Milner handled a shot from Radja Nainggolan, Perotti converted the penalty in the 89th.
Bayern Munich play Real Madrid in the other semifinal, with the first leg in Germany on Wednesday.
Roma knows all about Salah, who scored 15 goals and set up 11 more in the second of his two seasons at the Italian club before joining Liverpool for 42 million euros (then $47 million) in June.
He’s obliterating those figures at Anfield this season. His double saw him surge past Cristiano Ronaldo’s 42 goals for Manchester United in the 2007-08 season, for example.
Salah won English soccer’s Player of the Year award on Sunday. At this rate, the Ballon D’Or could be his next year.