Chelsea downs Hull to go 6 points clear

Updated 22 March 2015
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Chelsea downs Hull to go 6 points clear

LONDON: Chelsea regained their six-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table and took a step closer to the title thanks to a hard-fought 3-2 victory at Hull City on Sunday.
Eden Hazard's thumping strike gave Chelsea the advantage inside the first two minutes and Diego Costa added a second before Hull responded in blistering fashion to score twice in 74 seconds through Ahmed Elmohamady and Abel Hernandez.
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made a fantastic treble-save to deny Hull in the second half and substitute Loic Remy restored the visitors' lead with a shot that squirmed under Hull stopper Allan McGregor.
Chelsea, who still boast a game in hand over Manchester City, have 67 points from 29 matches, while Hull are 15th with 28 points from 30 games.
Queens Park Rangers' hopes of Premier League survival were dealt a blow by 13th-placed Everton, who stole a 2-1 win at Loftus Road through on-loan Tottenham Hotspur winger Aaron Lennon. QPR remain 19th, four points adrift of fourth-bottom Sunderland.
Earlier, Juan Mata struck twice, including a sublime volley, for Manchester United in a 2-1 Premier League victory over Liverpool who had substitute Steven Gerrard sent off for a stamp 38 seconds after the break at Anfield.
Fourth-placed United have 59 points from 30 matches, five more than Liverpool in fifth.

Feyenoord upsets PSV as Ajax closes gap
Anass Achahbar scored two dream goals for Feyenoord as they beat runaway leaders PSV Eindhoven 2-1 on Sunday to delay their opponents' march to the Dutch league title.
PSV's slip enabled champions Ajax Amsterdam to cut Eindhoven's lead at the top to eight points when Davy Klaassen conjured up a late winner in their 1-0 home victory over ADO Den Haag.
The 21-year-old Achahbar, handed a place in the starting line-up for the first time this season after his match-winning performance as a substitute against FC Dordrecht last week, opened the scoring in front of his home fans with a beauty just before the hour mark.
Taking a long ball hit high into the PSV box onto his foot, he swivelled and struck it on the volley into the back of the net.
Achahbar then netted a second with similar aplomb just four minutes later.
In between, Memphis Depay missed a good chance to equalise for PSV but he did reduce the two-goal deficit in the 68th minute.
PSV stay top on 70 points as Ajax moved on to 62 points with their win. "We mustn't suffer any championship stress," warned PSV coach Phillip Cocu after his side's defeat.
"What is now important is that we impose ourselves (in the next game) against Twente. We mustn't panic because we lost a game. It is not dramatic, it is rather something to learn from."
Feyenoord consolidated third place as they advanced to 54 points, eight behind Ajax, who prevailed despite a laboured performance following their Europa League exit on Thursday.
The Dutch international Klaassen eventually earned them the points in the 80th minute when he headed home a free kick.
Earlier on Sunday, PEC Zwolle continued their slide down the table and dropped to seventh as they were held 1-1 at home by Excelsior Rotterdam while Groningen and Twente Enschede drew 2-2.


Sri Lanka Cricket suspends two caught in pitch-fixing sting

Updated 27 May 2018
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Sri Lanka Cricket suspends two caught in pitch-fixing sting

  • A player and a groundsman are suspended
  • Documentary claimed pitch was going to be tampered with ahead of England Test

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka Cricket on Sunday suspended a player and a groundsman who allegedly agreed to tamper with the pitch to alter the result of an upcoming Test against England, as police launched an investigation into the claims.
The Sri Lankan board (SLC) said it had suspended the curator of the Galle International Stadium as well as a professional player, who were featured in an Al Jazeera documentary on corruption in cricket.
The board also lodged a complaint with the local police, who launched a criminal investigation into the scandal exposed by the Doha-based television network.
"Sri Lanka Cricket decided to suspend with immediate effect the alleged individuals involved in the said incident against whom the ICC is carrying out investigations," the board said.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Saturday it was investigating allegations involving the two Sri Lankans and a former Indian player, urging "all evidence and supporting material" to be shared with the investigators.
Tharindu Mendis, a player from Colombo, and Tharanga Indika, the curator of the Galle International Stadium, were featured in the documentary broadcast on Sunday, which showed them talking about doctoring pitches during a meeting with an undercover reporter.
The men were reportedly discussing ways to prepare the pitch to ensure that the first Test at the Galle ground in November against England would not end in a draw and would yield a result in less than four days.
SLC said it has appointed a three-member panel to study the issue and make recommendations to prevent any corruption at future tournaments in Sri Lanka.
A former curator of the Galle International Stadium, Jayananda Warnaweera, is already under an ICC ban for three years until January 2019 for failing to cooperate with a previous anti-corruption investigation.
Warnaweera, a former Test player, had failed to attend interviews with the ICC's anti-corruption unit. He had been previously handed a two-year ban by the local board over the same allegations.
Sri Lankan players and umpires have been accused of match fixing in the past, but Warnaweera is the highest ranking official punished so far.
Although no big-name Sri Lankan player has ever been convicted of corruption, several former stars have made allegations of either match fixing or spot-fixing -- when players deliberately bowl or field badly to give away a set number of runs.