Hughes century helps Australia to level series

Updated 23 January 2013
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Hughes century helps Australia to level series

HOBART: Phil Hughes returned to form with a century before Xavier Doherty and Moises Henriques took three wickets each to lead Australia to a series-levelling 32-run win over Sri Lanka in the final one-day cricket international yesterday.
Hughes struck 138 not out at Bellerive Oval but Sri Lanka were on course to overhaul Australia’s 247-5 until Doherty exploited spin-friendly conditions to dismiss three of the tourists’ top four batsmen.
Pressure from Doherty reduced Sri Lanka from 50-0 at the 10-over mark to 85-4 from 25 and the tourists never fully recovered, stumbling to 215 all out and a 2-2 draw in the five-match series.
Australia still have batting concerns despite Hughes’s second ton of the series, with David Hussey’s 34 the next highest score, but the team showed spirit in the absence of injured captain Michael Clarke.
Australia’s recent woes, which included a disappointing 170 all out in Adelaide and a shambolic 74 all out in Brisbane, looked set to continue when the home side crawled to 62-2 from 20 overs.
Hughes, however, overcame a slow start to rediscover the fluency he showed earlier in the series with an unbeaten 154-ball innings, hitting out with particular flair after he reached his century.
“Give yourself time early and you can always catch up later,” Hughes said. “It was one of those innings today.
“I had found it quite tough but luckily enough I got a few away at the end. We had wickets in hand and that was always in the back of our mind.”
Signalling his team’s preference to chase a target rather than set one, Sri Lanka captain Mahele Jayawardene opted to bowl first and handed the ball to Tillakaratne Dilshan for the first over.
Dilshan did not get to bowl in Sunday’s fourth match in Sydney — where Sri Lanka were on top until rain forced an abandonment — but he turned the new ball immediately.
He beat David Warner’s outside edge to bowl him for 10 and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, pushed up the order to open, was trapped lbw by man-of-the-series Nuwan Kulasekara soon after.
Australia failed even to equal their dismal series average of 71-4 at 20 overs but made the most of the wickets in hand.
Hughes had a let-off on 20 when an inside edge from Angelo Mathews rolled on to the foot of stumps but failed to dislodge the bails. He gathered momentum from that point, adding 60 from 96 balls for the third wicket with captain George Bailey (17) and 98 from 102 with Hussey.
Hussey was run out by a direct hit from Thisara Perera after softly serving the ball back to the bowler but Glenn Maxwell and Henriques each scored at a run a ball to help Hughes keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Hughes now has two centuries from five one-day innings.
“It’s nice to get a chance in one-day cricket,” said man-of-the-match Hughes, who played 20 tests before making his 50-over bow. “It feels like it was a long time coming.”
Sri Lanka were rolling nicely with Jayawardene driving and stroking the ball with ease but the opener, in his final match as captain, holed out to Mitchell Starc off Doherty for 38.

That started a rot from 57-0 to 77-4. Dilshan was caught behind off Henriques for a pedestrian 48-ball 19 and Doherty got rid of Lahiru Thirimanne for one before bowling the dangerous Dinesh Chandimal (6).
Mathews and Jeevan Mendis raised hopes of an unlikely win with 74 off 53 balls after Sri Lanka had hit a nadir of 113-5 from 35 overs but Henriques bowled Mendis for 26 and Mathews holed out off Mitchell Johnson for 67 in the next over.
The last five wickets fell for 28 runs as Sri Lanka were bowled out with nine balls remaining. Henriques finished with career-best figures of 3-32, while Doherty returned 3-21.
The teams now return to Sydney for Saturday’s first Twenty20.


Liverpool and Alan Kennedy look to rerun history against Real Madrid in Kiev

Updated 21 min 40 sec ago
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Liverpool and Alan Kennedy look to rerun history against Real Madrid in Kiev

LIVERPOOL: With eight minutes of the 1981 European Cup final remaining, Liverpool left-back Alan Kennedy made one of his trademark bursts forward, broke into the Real Madrid penalty area and drove home a left-footed finish to settle a tense, tactical battle.
Unlikely, unforgettable, he had the historic distinction of being the matchwinner in two finals, having also netted the decisive penalty in the shoot-out victory over AS Roma three years later.
“So proud,” reflected Kennedy. “It was a wonderful time to be a Liverpool player.”
On Saturday, the Reds meet Real again in Kiev to contest European club football’s most prized trophy.And the memories of that Paris triumph will never fade for the 63-year-old, nor will being part of a lauded Liverpool team.
“That was their mentality and Liverpool were rightly the top team in Europe,” Kennedy, who also lifted five League titles for the Reds during his eight-year stay at Anfield, said. “It was a great era, great times, but the be-all and end-all for any footballer, should be about winning trophies.”
Liverpool’s strength and focus was emphasized in that Parc des Princes showpiece. Before kick-off they had to cover up sponsor’s logos on their shirts to appease UEFA and TV broadcasters. They had concerns about the fitness of influential striker Kenny Dalglish and Kennedy himself after a broken wrist had sidelined him six weeks earlier.
“I think when you put obstacles in the way of that Liverpool team, the better they played,” he told Arab News. “We had issues with TV rights, about the state of the pitch, issues about the fitness of players, me included, but we went out to play the game and win.”
Formidable foes, Bob Paisley’s side dominated Europe in much the same way Zinedine Zidane’s side are doing at the moment. On Saturday they will seek to become the first side to win three European Cups on the bounce since Bayern Munich in 1976.
“Real Madrid are the champions and fantastic in the competition with their history,” said Kennedy. “You have to respect what they have done.
“Everyone expected Liverpool to be in contention for all the trophies too and that’s what we wanted, to push ourselves to as many finals. We wanted to win everything. Maybe we were a bit greedy, but we felt we could do it.
“I don’t think we were arrogant, although our play suggested we were good at what we did. We played a system that was attack all the time no matter if we were under the cosh or defending.
“It was a great team, everyone knew their jobs, we didn’t change for anyone. We were single-minded about winning. We had set the standards and were under pressure to win every game.”
As favorites, Real will be under similar pressure as they seek a 13th title. And Kennedy believes that his former club can claim a sixth European Cup and their first since the famous 2005 triumph over AC Milan in Istanbul when they came back from 3-0 down.
“I know it will be a great game, difficult to call,” he said.
“But I would be saying to the Liverpool players that you can win it, you are good enough to win it. Go out and play the same way you
have all season. If they do, I think they will win it.
“They may concede, but they should not change their style.”
And nor should they, as attack has been the best form of defense for Liverpool this season. In Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, there is a frontline blessed with pace, panache and potency.
Salah, rightly, has received accolades — including the PFA and Football Writers Player of the Year awards — after a stunning debut season following his £36.9 million ($49 million) arrival from Roma.
A landmark 42 goals — a record 32 in the Premier League — and ability to create chances have seen the Egyptian ranked alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
But, for Kennedy, there can be no comparison to Dalglish, arguably the greatest Kop king.
“Kenny was special, a different type of player, always on the shoulder of the defender,” he added. “Salah comes in from the wing and scores spectacular goals. Liverpool play to his strengths as he is forever getting into the box and the right position.
“For me, Kenny, over 10 seasons, was Liverpool’s top player at that time, fantastic, and it’s difficult to put them side by side. Salah’s been wonderful, but never had a season like this before.”
Madrid’s talisman Ronaldo has. Another 43 goals for the five-time Ballon D’Or winner shows he remains a force at 33.
“I’ve always had utmost admiration for Ronaldo,” said Kennedy. “He has this ability to score in finals and show how good he is. One chance, he takes it.
“But that’s been the same with Salah too. The goals he has scored, he seems to see what comes ahead. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top.”