Proteas plan short balls to stop in-form Michael Clarke

Updated 20 November 2012
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Proteas plan short balls to stop in-form Michael Clarke

ADELAIDE: South African paceman Morne Morkel said yesterday he expected a short ball barrage aimed at Michael Clarke in this week’s second Test at Adelaide in a bid to stop the Australian captain’s run spree.
The tall Morkel said better use of the rising ball, and denying Clarke scoring singles, were part of South Africa’s planning for Australia’s in-form leader ahead of Thursday’s Test.
Morkel says the Proteas had to be smarter in their approach to Clarke after his unbeaten double-century in last week’s drawn first Brisbane Test.
Clarke was named the man-of-the-match in Brisbane for his third double-century of the year, his unbeaten 259 which turned the match away from the Proteas over the closing two days after coming with his team wobbling at 40 for three on Sunday’s third day.
The Australian skipper is the highest scorer in Tests this year with 1,041 runs and averaging 115.66.
“Any batsmen struggles a bit at first with the short ball so we will probably come up with game plans and start working on those sort of things,” Morkel told reporters on Monday.
“Definitely that is a plan to always use a short ball — you have got two short balls an over so why not use it.
“We just need to use it in a clever way and see how we go from there.”
Morkel said the South Africans had to put Clarke under greater pressure in Adelaide.
“He played very, very well,” Morkel said. “If we can create more pressure and try and stop him from rotating strike that will be key.”
Morkel said the South Africans would also address their costly spate of no balls in the Brisbane Test, where Proteas bowlers over-stepped 23 times.
Morkel was denied Ed Cowan’s wicket because of a no ball while Australian quicks Peter Siddle and James Pattinson also lost wickets due to no balls.
“It’s a controllable,” Morkel said.
“It is something I personally have been working hard on ... the stats show we have been bowling quite a lot (of no balls) over the past few Test matches and Test series so it’s definitely a thing that we are targeting at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Australian vice-captain Shane Watson said he was hopeful of proving himself fit for the second Test, but he has ruled out any possibility he might bowl in the match.
All-rounder Watson, troubled by a calf injury, batted and did some light fielding at training on Monday and will need to intensify his workload before Thursday’s start of play.
“So far so good. I jogged around the field and got a bat as well — got through fine,” Watson said.

“At this point in time, the most important thing is to be able to run consistently without really hurting it so bowling at this point of time is out.
“For me, it’s just getting out to run around and do the skills I need to do to be fit to play as a batsman to start with.”


Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win Champions League

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates scoring their third goal. (REUTERS/Andrew Boyers)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win Champions League

  • adrid is the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall.
  • Jurgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder.

KIEV, Ukraine: Gareth Bale’s eye-catching scissor-kick helped Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League title on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over a Liverpool side thwarted by a pair of goalkeeping blunders and Mohamed Salah being forced off injured.

Bale’s jaw-dropping overhead kick put Real 2-1 up moments after his introduction, following a dramatic start to the second half in which Karim Benzema gave Real the lead as a result of a Loris Karius howler.

Sadio Mane had briefly restored parity, but Bale put Real in front again and then made it 3-1 late on with a long-range strike that the unfortunate Karius could only punch into the net.

Jurgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder.

This was not to be Salah’s night, with Real allowing Zinedine Zidane to become the first coach ever to win the Champions League three years in a row.

Madrid is the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall.

Cristiano Ronaldo has now won five in his great career, but even he could not argue that this was Bale’s evening.

The Welshman had been tipped to feature in the Real starting line-up but in the end was left out for Isco — just as he had been in the final win over Juventus last year — before making an emphatic impact as a substitute.

For Liverpool, this game will be remembered for the disaster that befell goalkeeper Karius in the second half, and for Salah’s tears as he departed the pitch at the NSC Olympiyskyi.

The Egyptian hurt his left shoulder as he went down in a challenge with Sergio Ramos in the 25th minute. Five minutes later he made way for Adam Lallana.

His presence at the World Cup could now be in doubt, as could that of Dani Carvajal — the Real right-back came off with a hamstring injury before the interval.

Those injuries temporarily took the sting out of the game after an enthralling start, with Liverpool on top.

It had been uncomfortable for Real, but after Salah departed, they sensed their chance. They even had the ball in the net in the 43rd minute, only to be denied by a marginal offside call.

Ronaldo’s header from Isco’s cross was parried by Karius, and Benzema turned in the loose ball, but the Frenchman had come from a fraction ahead of the last defender and the flag came up.

If that was a let-off for Liverpool, they were their own worst enemies at the start of the second half.

Isco struck the bar after Lallana diverted the ball into his path, before Benzema opened the scoring in the 51st minute.

It was a moment of unbelievable carelessness from Karius, who attempted to roll the ball out to the nearest red shirt only for Benzema to stick out a leg and send it trickling into the net.

Klopp’s side really could have let their heads drop, and yet they were soon back level, Mane turning the ball in after Dejan Lovren headed down James Milner’s corner.

But their renewed hope was crushed upon the introduction of Bale.

The Welshman had been on the field barely two minutes when he met Marcelo’s cross from the left with an improbable leap, back to goal, 15 yards out, to send an overhead kick on his left foot arcing over Karius and in.

Such a strike deserved to be the winner, although it was his long-range shot that beat the embarrassed Karius in the 83rd minute that made sure of the victory.

Mane hit the post for Liverpool in between Bale’s strikes, but they will have to wait a while yet before winning their sixth European Cup.