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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Novak Djokovic won Australian Open Final 2012


Novak Djokovic won his third Australian Open title when he beat Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 in an epic encounter on Sunday in Melbourne that lasted almost six hours.
After trading breaks early in the final set, Djokovic got the decisive break of serve in the 11th game and came out at 6-5 to serve for the match.
He finally closed out the match at 1:40am Melbourne time, after the longest grand slam final in history.
FOURTH SET
Rafael Nadal saved three break points in the eighth game of the fourth set then waited out a 10-minute rain break before he levelled the Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic on Sunday by taking the fourth set 7-6.
Nadal had been facing the distinct possibility of defeat within five minutes when he was reduced to 0-40 while trailling 3-4 in the set but produced a fantastic backhand pass and three massive serves to claw his way back into the match, which prompted the crowd to break into tumultuous chants of "Rafa".
The players were then forced off the court as officials shut the roof on Rod Laver Arena after rain swept across central Melbourne and the ball boys and girls scrambled around on their knees with towels to dry the court.
Nadal then fed off the crowd that had swung behind him and, after seemingly being down and out, returned to his fist-pumping, competitive best and took the tiebreak 7-5 to send the match into a decider.
There will be no tie-breaker in the fifth set.
THIRD SET
Djokovic had raced through the third set 6-2 as he began to wear the Spaniard down.
Djokovic set the tone when he blasted through the first game and held serve to love and while he had no break points on Nadal's first service game of the set, the Spaniard was forced to battle as the Serb forced three deuce points.
The world No 1 continued the pressure on Nadal's serve in the fourth game when he sealed the important break and then consolidated for a 4-1 lead when he again held his own serve to love.
Djokovic, who was stepping inside the court and attacking Nadal's top-spin forehand while compelling the Spaniard to play from deep behind the baseline, again pressured Nadal on serve then held his own serve to love to take a 5-2 lead.
He sealed the set when he broke Nadal to love in the next game and the momentum had definitely swung towards the defending champion.
Djokovic only dropped two points on serve in the 45-minute third set.
SECOND SET
Djokovic's powerful forehand finally started to find its range as grabbed the second set 6-4 to level the match.
The Serb also put pressure on Nadal's serve at every opportunity and broke in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead.
Nadal, though, had won the point of the match when he produced a stunning running backhand top-spin drive down the line that brought the crowd to their feet after a 15-shot rally that swept back and forth across the court.
Djokovic was serving for the set but was broken when he held two set points before he seized back the initiative in the next game and broke Nadal again to level when the Spaniard served his second double fault.
FIRST SET
Nadal broke the world No 1 twice in an error-ridden first set before he won it 7-5 to take the early lead.
Djokovic suffered a slight scare in the fourth game when he went over on his right ankle after attempting a slide, and went down to his haunches before he began to flex and roll it in circles at the end of the game.
Both players failed to really settle or stamp their authority on the match, though Djokovic had more opportunities to break the Spaniard's serve.
After breaking in the fifth game Nadal had to fight off Djokovic twice before the Serb broke in the eighth game, though Nadal seized back the advantage in the 11th game and sealed the opener on his third set point when a backhand return floated long.

پاکستانی فتح،برطانوی و بھارتی میڈیاکی تعریف


لندن: ٹیسٹ کرکٹ کی سرفہرست انگلینڈ  اور ورلڈ کپ فاتح   بھارت  کی ٹیموں  کی پاکستان اور آسٹریلیا  کے ہاتھوں بدترین شکست  کھلاڑیوں کے لئے بدنامی کا سبب بن گئی برطانوی اور بھارتی میڈیا  نے  گرین شرٹ سے  سبق سیکھنے کی تلقین کردیں ۔
برطانوی اخباردی سن کا کہنا ہے کہ دنیا کی نمبر ون ٹیم انگلینڈ کے بلے باز عبدالرحمان کے سامنے بھیگی بلی بنے رہے، انہیں اس کی گھومتی ہوئی گیندوں کی بالکل سمجھ نہیں آ رہی تھی۔
بھارتی اخبار ٹائمز اف انڈیا کا کہنا ہے کہ انگلش کھلاڑیوں نے پاکستانی سپنرز کے سامنے گھٹنے ٹیک دیئے، اخبار کا کہنا ہے کہ مسلسل نو سریز جیت کر نمبر ون انگلینڈ کیلئے یہ ایک بھیانک شکست ہے۔
برطانوی اخبار ٹیلی گراف نے لکھا ہے کہ ٹیسٹ میچوں میں پاکستان کے خلاف انگلینڈ کا یہ ابتک کا سب سے کم ترین سکور ہے۔
اخبار گارڈین کا کہنا ہے کہ عام خیال تھا کہ انگلینڈ میچ جیت جائے گا لیکن جس طرح اس کی اخری پانچ وکٹیں صرف چار رنز پر گر گیئں وہ حیران کن ہے۔
بھارتی اخبارات  نے دھونی الیون کو مشورہ دیا کہ وہ  پاکستان کی  موجودہ کارکردگی سے سبق حاصل کرئے کہ اس نے کس طرح  انگلینڈ کی ٹیم کو شکست سے دوچار کیا ہے۔
یاد رہے کہ بھارت  کو آسٹریلیا  نے وائٹ واش  شکست سے دوچار کیا ہے جس کے باعث کئی سپر اسٹار کھلاڑیوں  کو تنقید کا سامنا کرنا پڑ رہاہے۔
Courtesy The News Tribe

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Impenitent Maya Khan fired !

Maya Khan, a morning show host who won the anger of people across the country when she approach ''immoral'' couples dating in Karachi's parks has been fired by her channel, Samaa TV. The channel took action against Maya Khan after she failed to give an unconditional apology for her show that was criticized by ordinary Pakistanis and media analysts. Scores of people signed petitions asking Samaa to take action against her for harassing dating couples on her show "Subha Savera Maya Khan Ke Saath".
In response to numerous complaints against Khan over the week, Samaa's chairman Zafar Siddiqi wrote in an email: "We asked Maya to apologise unconditionally which she did not. The CEO asked her to do that on Friday which she refused". Siddiqi, also the founder of CNBC Africa and CNBC Pakistan, said Khan and her team would "receive termination notices" on January 30 and her show would be stopped the same day. Khan initially refused to apologise for her show against dating, in which she was seen asking couples to prove they were married by showing their 'nikahnama' or marriage certificate. Samaa subsequently aired a formal apology for the show and beamed a short clip in which Khan said she had never intended to hurt anyone. Many noted that Khan had shown no remorse for her actions. She was also quoted by the media as saying that the "elite" who do not watch her show were the ones objecting to it. Media analysts said Khan's actions were probably driven by the race for ratings among Pakistan's dozens of TV channels. Some NGOs highlighted the lack of media regulations and said they intended to approach the courts to take action against Samaa TV. Khan invited the wrath of hundreds of Pakistanis when she and her team tried to drill moral sense into young couples dating in parks. She chased couples along with a posse of young and not-so-young women and two "analysts" who gave insight into the dating behaviour of couples and commented on their body language. While most couples made good their escape seeing a horde of women approach them, some countered them bravely. "Do your parents know that you are here?" Maya Khan asked a couple perched on a bench. "Do you know what people think of couples who date like this? Do you know how bad it is for the reputation of girls to be seen like this?" she charged. Samaa chairman Siddiqi said he hoped the action taken by his channel against Khan would settle the issue. But media analysts said the episode had only highlighted the need for self-regulation by Pakistan's news and entertainment channels.

شاندار کامیابی پر آفریدی کی ٹیم کو مبارکباد


 پاکستانی کرکٹ ٹیم کے سابق کپتان شاہد آفریدی نے انگلینڈ کے خلاف شاندار کامیابی پر قومی کرکٹ کو مبارکباد پیش کی ہے۔
پاکستان کے نجی ٹیلی ویژن چینل کے اینکر نے شاہد آفریدی کو بوم بوم آفریدی کہہ کر ثاثرات جانے کی کوشش کی تو انہوں کہاکہ یہ وقت بوم بوم آفریدی نہیں بلکہ بوم بوم پاکستان کا ہے۔
شابق کپتان نے کہاکہ ٹیم کی کامیابی کے لئے تمام کھلاڑیوں نے محنت کی تاہم سیریز کی جیت کا سحرا اسپن بالرز کے سر جاتا ہے جنہوں نے ٹیم کو تاریخی فتح سے ہمکنار کیا۔
آفریدی نے مزید کہاکہ وہ امید کرتے ہیں کہ پاکستانی ٹیم اپنی کامیابی کا تسلسل آنے میچوں میں بھی برقرار رکھی گی، اور کھلاڑی بہترین  کارکرگی دکھائیں گے۔

Saeed Ajmal mark his 100 test wickets and in 2nd test against England

Saeed Ajmal has taken his 100th test wickets and has achieved the great milestone in the 2nd test against ICC ranked top team England. He played only 19 matches while achieving this landmark in 37 innings.He took his 100th test wicket of Matt Prior who was caught by Asad Shafiq. Saeed Ajmal is feeling very blessed after driving Pakistan to victory against no. 1 test side England . He hopes for to continue this performance in future and dedicated this performance to his nation.

Pakistan beat England in 2nd test by 72 runs in Dubai


Pakistan beat England with a sensational second innings bowling performance at Abu Dhabi.Pakistan defeated England by 72 runs.Pakistan has now undefeated lead 2-0 over England. Pakistan win by 72 runs You can criticise England, and that certainly has its part to play, but what a fantastic bowling effort by Pakistan. Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal were brilliant. With some turn in the pitch, superb control and variation, and the DRS, that was an incredibly tough examination for any side. England failed it miserably. A lot of English batsmen played back when they should be going forward, and again they look unsure of the length - let alone picking the dreaded doosra.

It was a superb Test match, England were on top for large parts of it, but it only takes a few minutes of mayhem. England are still no closer to solving their woes against spin in subcontinental-style conditions, but let's not dwell too much on that. It was a real treat to watch two spinners of that quality doing their thang. Honourable mention goes to the two onfield umpires, who were both magnificent, and hardly put a foot wrong all match.
Crazy presentation ceremony, by the way: there's an award for most sixes, most boundaries, one for performance of the match and one for man of the match. Baffling. All the winners of these mini awards get a 500 dollar cheque. Woop. Don't spend it all at once.
Strauss pays tribute to Pakistan, but doesn't say much of note. He admits that maybe they should have tried to get going a bit quicker.
England were beaten fair and square by a well-led side who batted quite attritionally and backed their spinners to get it done in the second innings. Congratulations to Misbah and his boys, they are 2-0 up in the series with one to play. That kicks off on February 3, please do join us for it. Thanks for following this one with us, have a great weekend of sport. Cheers.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Amir Khan to wed 20yr old girl he's only met 4 times in his life



BOXING champ Amir Khan is planning to marry a student who he has met only four times in a six-month whirlwind romance.

Amir, 24, plans to pop the question to 20-year-old Faryal Makhdoom next year.

He then wants to get hitched in 2013. Faryal — who studies political science and journalism in New York — recently posted a picture of Amir on Facebook and wrote: "My soon 2b fiancé!"

Last night a source close to the couple said: "Amir has always kept his love life quiet, but he wants to get engaged next year and they'd probably marry the following year.

"We knew it was serious when he suddenly changed his Facebook status to 'in a relationship'."

Amir — the WBA Super and IBF Light Welterweight Champion — was introduced to Faryal by pals in London.The boxer, from Bolton, arranged for both sets of parents to meet in Washington DC last month.

Amir Khan's engagement set with US-Pakistani beauty

Amir's Fiancee

LONDON: British Pakistani boxing star Amir Khan is all set to get engaged with the American Pakistani student Faryal Makhdoom when he gives her the £100,000 three diamond rings on 29th January.

According to The Sun newspaper, the second generation Pakistanis will be swapping the rings in front of 1,000 people at a lavish £150,000 engagement party at Bolton Wanderers' Reebok Stadium where rich footballers such as Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Ricky Hatton, David Haye are just some of people on the guest list.

The love struck couple have strong traditional values, as Faryal, 20, said:" I'm very family oriented even though I was born and raised in New York but my grandparents are in Pakistan - and a lot of my dad's family are there."

"My parents are already treating Amir like a son," she added and that was quite apparent when the bride-to-be's father, Shaukat, and mum Zia gave the couple a BMW 750Li as a gift when the engagement was announced.

The pretty and petite Faryal - just 5ft 3in - has been bowled over by messages of support from Amir's army of fans. "I get a lot of messages from Amir's fans and quite a few say I look like Kate Middleton. That's so nice because so many people admire her and I think she's very stylish - so the comparison is really very flattering for me."

Husband-to-be Amir rushed to praise her too, in an interview with The Sun newspaper, adding: "A lot of girls have said to me, 'Your girl is beautiful' - and that's great because people can be so jealous. But Faryal is so humble. Anybody who meets her is going to fall in love with her. She's got no edge, she's just a terrific person."

Faryal will be flying to England on Friday for their engagement party and spend a week here where Amir will be taking her out to show her around Bolton.

"I'm going to introduce her to a pasty barm, fish and chips - maybe even an ice cream if she's lucky!" Amir said jokingly. "I might also try to squeeze in a Bolton match just so that she cans see the venue before the big day - and make sure she likes it."

Faryal revealed how their relationship was almost teetering on the edges initially as she had a lot of trouble understanding Amir's broad Bolton accent.

"In the beginning I really couldn't understand him. I was used to London accents and thought that's how everyone spoke in Britain. But when Amir opened his mouth it was as if he was speaking a foreign tongue - so I just used to nod, agree with whatever he was talking about and say, 'Yeah'.

"He'd say things like 'daft' and 'innit' and I had no idea what they meant. He'd say, 'Don't be daft!' - and I'd be wondering what 'daft' was supposed to be!" But she broke down the language barrier when she visited Amir's family at their home in Bolton and spent five days meeting his nieces, nephews and cousins. Speaking of the future Amir said: "I know New York is an amazing city but our future lies in Bolton - she can't wait to live there!"

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Indian Media: Indian team should learn from Pakistan

The Indian media has lashed out at the national cricket team for their dismal show on their tour to Australia following Pakistan’s emphatic win over the No. 1 test side, England. Several news channels have added extra burden on the weak and ageing shoulders
of top players such as Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Virendar Sehwag.
This Indian team suffered a 4-0 whitewash on their tour to England last year in June, and the pattern has been followed by the ruthless Aussies. The Kangaroos have been all over Mahinder Singh Dhoni’s men since the start of their tour which also includes
two successive innings defeat.
Having recently suffered an embarrassing loss at Perth, the Indian media is continuously targeting its World Cup winners, and especially the senior pros’. Some of the former players have already called for the induction of youth cricketers into the Indian
test side which hints at the dropping out of senior players including Tendulkar.
On the other hand, India’s fierce rivals and neighbours, Pakistan, are hosting England in the Emirates for a complete tour which include three tests, four ODI’s and three T20’s. Pakistan have already gone one up in the test series with a comprehensive win
over the English side inside three days. This is the same English team which humiliated India, and this is probably why the Indian media is continuously criticizing its national side.
 One of the Indian news channels have urged Dhoni’s men to learn a few lessons from the youthful Pakistan side, who embarrassed England in the first test at the Dubai Cricket Stadium. According to the media report, a team which has the hands on experience
should learn from a team which only has Younis Khan as the most experienced test cricketer with 74 tests, where as the rest have not even crossed the 40 mark.
The Indian team are to play one more test match against the Kangaroos, while the Green Shirts have to play two more before both countries bring the test series to an end. The Indian team can at least survive their second consecutive whitewash by drawing
or winning the last test in Adelaide to have some sort of consolation under their belt. Pakistan, though, can rejoice by drawing the remaining two tests in order to invite some more criticism of the Men in Blue by their own media.

Girls Basketball: Anna Bell Lansdowne’s career-high lifts York

Story Image Elmhurst, 01/21/12--Oak Park-River Forest's Stekara Hall drives toward the basket around York's Alex Harrell during Saturday's game. | Jeff Krage~for Sun-Times Media
Lansdowne scored the first 12 points of the second half for York on the way to a career-high 24-points Saturday in a 66-52 West Suburban Silver victory over the visiting Huskies.
York swept both games in the season series and ended OPRF’s four-game win streak. Lansdowne’s run in the third quarter gave the Dukes (10-10, 5-2) a 43-26 lead.
Lansdowne, a junior guard, shot 6-for-15 from the floor and 11-for-12 at the free-throw line. York shot 23-for-27 at the line compared to OPRF’s 14-for-24.
“With free throws, I’ve been working hard in practice,” Lansdowne said. “It does not always go for me, but this year it has paid off.”
Kelty (11 points, seven rebounds) pulled off a shocker to the end the second quarter with a half-court basket at the buzzer. York led 31-17 at the break after limiting the Huskies (9-15, 4-5) to 5-for-23 shooting in the first half, 2-for-12 in the second quarter. Until Kelty’s miracle shot, the Huskies had shot 1-for-11 in the quarter. Kelty made the first basket of the third quarter with another three in just nine seconds.
Illinois State-bound Stekara Hall (14 rebounds) led OPRF with 19 points — 12 in the first half. Hall scored 12 of OPRF’s first 14 points in the game. Jasmin Walker made a layup in the first quarter. Cuyla Hall, who is not related to Stekara, had 13 points off the bench for OPRF.
York outscored the Huskies 23-9 in the second quarter. Until Kelty’s half-court shot, Stekara Hall’s alley-oop layup was OPRF’s only basket in the second quarter. The Dukes answered with a 16-2 run to open a 27-12 lead.
“In the second quarter, I think we could have played harder, but we didn’t,” Hall said. “That’s what happens.”
Lansdowne’s previous career high was 23 points in a 72-51 victory over Hinsdale Central Dec. 10.
“We relied on our bench players coming in,” Lansdowne said. “They set the bar high and kept our energy up.”
Tawny Tucci added 19 points and eight rebounds for the Dukes. Megan Holmes scored five points in her first game since suffering a broken hand during York’s Naperville North-Benet Christmas tournament. Holmes’ sister, Molly, remains out with a broken collarbone.
“[The second quarter] was the difference in the game,” York coach Jason Reinecke said. “It was the feeling we had watching the team from the beginning of the season. We pushed the ball up the floor, shared it and get easy layups.”
York started the season with a 7-2 record, but lost six consecutive games in December.

UCLA basketball: Ducks chase down Bruins for 75-68 victory

Ucla-oregon1_600
UCLA continued down the slippery slope in Oregon, blowing a 15-point lead in the first half during a 75-68 loss to the Ducks on Saturday.
The Bruins led, 37-24, at halftime, but Oregon scored the first nine points of the second half and methodically wore down UCLA.
E.J. Singler scored a career-high 26 points, with 23 in the second half. His rebound and layup with 7 minutes 46 seconds left gave the Ducks a 52-50 lead. They never trailed again.
UCLA falls to 10-9 overall and 3-4 in Pac-12 Conference play. Oregon is 15-5 and 6-2.

Missouri men's basketball chalks up road win against Baylor


Missouri 's Kim English, 24, looks on as teammates Phil Pressey, 1, and Ricardo Ratliffe, 10, celebrate after Baylor's Pierre Jackson, 55, fouled Pressey in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday in Waco, Texas. Missouri won 89-88.
COLUMBIA – In front of Baylor’s first ever advanced sell-out crowd of 10,617 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, on Saturday, No. 5 Missouri handed No. 3 Baylor its second consecutive loss of the season, beating the Bears 89-88.
Ricardo Ratliffe broke his previous career high of 22 points, scoring 27, grabbing eight rebounds and adding two blocks for the Tigers.
Wednesday's game

Missouri (18-1, 5-1 Big 12) 
at Oklahoma State (9-10, 2-4 Big 12)
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday
WHERE: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Okla.
RADIO: KTGR/ 1580 AM, 100.5 FM; KCMQ 96.7 FM
TV: ESPN2



Related Articles
“He was outstanding,” Missouri head coach Frank Haith said of Ratliffe in a radio interview. “He finished, he made his free throws, he rebounded. He had a tremendous game.”
With 10 minutes left in the second half, Missouri went on a 11-2 run to stretch its lead to 71-60, and Ratliffe was responsible for eight of those points.
With less than 30 seconds left in the game, Kim English fouled Baylor's Quincy Miller on a layup that made it 85-81. Miller made his free throw to complete the 3-point play to pull Baylor within three.
On the ensuing inbound, senior guard Marcus Denmon launched the ball over the half-court line, and, for a moment, the ball looked as if it were going to trickle out of bounds, which could have given Baylor one last chance at a comeback. But the speedy Phil Pressey sprinted after the ball and caught it with two Baylor players on his heels. A.J. Waltonfouled Pressey intentionally with 22 seconds left. Pressey, who finished with 18 points, missed his first shot but drained his second attempt to give Missouri a two-possession lead. Pressey shot only 50 percent from the line.
“From folks looking at our ball club, our basketball IQ has gotten better and better," Haith said. "We talk about it all the time. We get to that one-and-one, it’s now time to be aggressive, not to settle and put the ball on people, and we did that.”
Pressey had a game-high seven assists and six steals for the Tigers who were able to convert those steals into six points. Denmon added 15 points and three rebounds, helping Missouri outrebound Baylor 32-26.
“I thought we did a great job on the backboard against a team that’s very athletic and very lengthy,” Haith said.
With the win, Missouri improves to 18-1 on the season and 5-1 in conference play and will move to second in the Big 12, just behind Kansas, which has a 6-0 conference record.
“I thought our guys showed tremendous, tremendous toughness throughout that ball game,” Haith said. “We executed very well offensively, and defensively, we were good enough.”

BASKETBALL / NBA: Howard leads Magic over struggling Lakers

ORLANDO: Orlando star Dwight Howard scored 21 points with 23 rebounds on Friday to lead the Magic to a 92-80 NBA victory over the struggling Los Angeles Lakers.

Orlando star Dwight Howard  (right).
Orlando star Dwight Howard (right).
   Howard, who early in this lockout-shortened season made it clear he wanted to be traded, with the Lakers one of his possible destinations, delivered a solid performance to drop the Lakers to 1-6 on the road.

   "We're a little raggedy right now," Lakers coach Mike Brown said. "We're a little tired."

    Just as they did in a defeat in Miami on Thursday, the Lakers endured a miserable shooting night, missing 23 of their first 28 shots.

   They scored just 10 points in the first quarter and shot 38.2 per cent overall.

   It marked their ninth straight game of less than 100 points, the third-longest such streak in club history since the shot-clock was introduced in 1954.

   RESULTS: Philadelphia 90 Atlanta 76, Portland 94 Toronto  84, Denver 108 Washington 104, Chicago 114 Cleveland 75,      Milwaukee 100 NY Knicks 86, Memphis 98 Detroit 81,      Phoenix 79 Boston 71, Orlando 92 LA Lakers 80, Sacramento    88 San Antonio 86, Indiana 94 Golden State 91, Minnesota    101 LA Clippers 98. AFP

Aisam Ul Haq First Time In The Third Round of Australian Open Grand Slam

Aisam Ul Haq First Time In The Third Round of Australian Open Grand Slam
Aisam Ul Haq First Time In The Third Round of Australian Open Grand Slam
Aisam Ul Haq First Time In The Third Round of Australian Open Grand Slam: He achieved it once again after his marriage back in December 2012 (Aisam Ul Haq Wedding Pictures & Video). This marriage proved to be lucky for Aisam as Aisam Ul Haq First Time In The Third Round of Australian Open Grand Slam. Achieving the new heights of success Aisam is very happy for entering into the third round of Australian Open Grand Slam and is very proud of himself.

Aisam Ul Haq First Time In The Third Round of Australian Open Grand Slam

Aisam ul Haq of Pakistan and his new partner Julian Roger have reached the third round of Australian Open Grand Slam. In Saturday’s match in Melbourne Aisam and Julian beat the pair of German Philips Marks and Canadian Adil Shams by seven – six and six – four in street sets.
This is the first time that Aisam ul Haq has reached in the third round of Australian Open Last year he could not even reach in the second round. Pair of Aisam and Julian has been ranked at number eight in this tournament aur they have won the matches against Coatia’s Evan Lotch and German Sedrick Stab in the street sets in first round.
Aisam is also participating in the mixed doubles in this tournament and has also reached in the second round of mixed doubles. This is the first time that Aisam is playing Grand Slam with the Julian Rodger.
Since 2007, he has been played with the Indian partner Rohan Bopanna and have recently separated. The reason of separation was Bopana’s pair with another Indian tennis player and husband of Lara Dutta Mahesh Bhupathi who has recently became father of a baby girl. You can see Lara Dutta Gives Birth To Baby Girl here.

Voskoboyeva eliminated in Australian Open

 MELBOURNE, Australia – Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboyeva January 20 lost to Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 2-6, 2-6 in third-round women’s singles.
In second-round women’s doubles, her compatriot Yaroslava Shvedova and Vania King of the United States, swept Australia’s Bojana Bobusic and Sacha Jones 6-1, 6-0.
In first-round mixed doubles, Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and the Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova swept Australia’s Jelena Dokic and Paul Hanley 6-3, 6-1.
In second-round men’s doubles, Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin and Italy’s Flavio Cipolla lost to the United States’ Eric Butorac and Brazil’s Bruno Soares 2-6, 3-6.

Aisam makes winning start with new partner


KARACHI: Pakistan’s tennis ace Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi has made a winning start to the year’s first grand slam tournament with his new partner — Jean-Julien Rojer of Dutch Antilles — in Melbourne.

The Aisam-Rojer partnership proved too good for the pairing of Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic and Germany’s Cedrik Marcel Stebe as they won the Australian Open first round men’s doubles match in straight sets.

Aisam and Rojer cruised to a 6-3 win in the first set but their opponents came back strongly in the second set which went into an exhaustive tie-breaker. Aisam-Rojer finally won the set 7-6 (13-11) to enter the second round of the Australian Open. Their match lasted for about 90 minutes. Aisam received a blow last month when his long-time partner – India’s Rohan Bopanna – announced that he was breaking the partnership to pursue his Olympic dream. Bopanna has now paired up with his compatriot Mahesh Bhupati.

Shahid Afridi needs 5 more sixes to complete his 300 6s in ODI's

Karachi-Sports Desk, Master Blaster Shahid Khan Afridi required only 5 more sixes to complete his triumph of 300 6 sixes in ODIs.Afridi is too much confident to accompalish this record in upcoming ODI series against England.
Afridi also has a current record holder in most number of sixes in ODIs.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Australian Open 2012: Day 5

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are taking similar paths to a potential semifinal matchup at the Australian Open.
Meanwhile, the last U.S. man fell out of the tournament when No. 16 John Isner lost to Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-7 (0), 6-1. It marks the first time since the start of the Open Era in 1968 that no American men have reached the fourth round at the Australian Open.
Neither the four-time Australian champion Federer nor 2009 titleholder Nadal have dropped a set, although Federer's path was made easier by a walkover win in the second round. They are in the same half of a Grand Slam singles draw for the first time since 2005.
Nadal, his right knee still taped from a recent injury, showed no problems while moving briskly around the court in a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 win over qualifier Lukas Lacko.
Federer then edged Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (6), 7-5, 6-3, saving a set point in the tiebreaker with a scrambling lob over the 6-foot-10 Croatian. Nadal will face Lopez, and Federer will play Australian teenager Bernard Tomic on Sunday.
No. 7 Tomas Berdych beat No. 30 Kevin Anderson of South Africa 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1), 6-1 and will play No. 10 Nicolas Almagro of Spain, who beat 21st-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 7-6 (2), 6-2, 6-4.
Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany defeated Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (3), 11th-seeded Juan Martin del Potro beat Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-2, 6-3, 6-0 and Tomic defeated 13th-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 4-6, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-3. Del Potro plays Kohlschreiber in the fourth round.
Australian teenager Bernard Tomic will face Roger Federer in the fourth round of the Australian Open after a 4-6, 7-6 (0), 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-3 win over Alexandr Dolgopolov on Friday.
Tomic reached the last 16 at his home Grand Slam for the first time in his career after a cat-and-mouse match against the 13th-seeded Ukrainian.
The 3-hour, 49-minute match featured a number of lengthy rallies, with each player trying to outmaneuver the other by using an unusual variety of shots.

Following are the Key Matches to be held on Day 6 (21st January) at the Australian Open 2012 :



Singles - Third Round
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs N Mahut (FRA)
[4] A Murray (GBR) vs M Llodra (FRA)
[27] J Chela (ARG) vs [5] D Ferrer (ESP)
F Gil (POR) vs [6] J Tsonga (FRA)
M Kukushkin (KAZ) vs [14] G Monfils (FRA)
[9] J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs [17] R Gasquet (FRA)
J Benneteau(FRA) vs [24] K Nishikori (JPN)
[23] M Raonic (CAN) vs L Hewitt (AUS

India Tv report on Pakistan Victory against no.1 test Team England

Karachi-Routers, India Tv a famous Indian channel rapes their team after watching Pakistani team performance against no.1 test side England in 1st test match. On other hand Indian team has recently white washed by Aussies.Indian team fans and media are very angry with the performance of their team.Indian media is appreciating the performance of Pakistan team against England in 1st test. Pakistan concluded the 1st test macth against England in just 3 days.Pakistan beats England by 10 wickets at Dubai.


India Tv is totally raping team India.Here we should remember the fact that Indian team and England Cricket Team performs well only in their homeland.But Pakistan beats England on a neutral venue.So no one can criticize Pakistan as a home tiger.

A glorious win to cherish for ever

By Abdul Majid Bhatti (Geo Super)
The win in Dubai against England has turned a new page in Pakistan cricket

I am sure I am not the only one who never writes Pakistan off, even when they are on the edges of extinction. The most unpredictable yet most dangerous cricket team never fails to surprise. After a tumultuous 2010 and a dreadful time since the attack on Sri Lankan team bus when Pakistan was declared zona non grata, few would have thought they would put world’s best Test side on the mat.
England had never lost a match in almost two years, yet they capitulated against a spirited Pakistan side inside three days. Yes three days on a flat deck! Although Pakistan was on the rise ever since Misbah-ul-Haq took over, this win was almost unthinkable before the tour started. At best they were given good odds to surprise the world’s best side.
This is a very delicate time for Pakistan cricket. I am still not convinced that Pakistan cricket is in safe hands, but a quick flash back to Ijaz Butt’s era gives immense consolation. So far the new PCB management under Zaka Ashraf has shown signs of maturity. They are not jumping on things like their predecessors. Their decision making has been sensible. Their choice of appointing Dav Whatmore despite Mohsin Khan’s apparently good performance is praiseworthy.
The role played by Waqar Younis and Misbah-ul-Haq cannot be overestimated. The good work done by Waqar is still paying off but we need to take off from here. And a qualified foreign coach is what the team needs now. Misbah has transformed this team from an incoherent bunch of cricketers to a well-gelled unit of professional sportsmen. Can he take the team to next level is another big question which only time will tell.
The most satisfying thing about Dubai win is that it came against England, the team with which we had unmemorable rapport of late. Bitter memories from the infamous 2010 tour must have been felt by players on both sides as this tour began. But this win should erase those because both teams now have immediate other issues – cricketing issues – to sort out. The attention should now divert to cricket not credibility.
The spot-fixing saga had shaken our cricket set up as well as the players, but over time they had become battle hardened. The victory in Dubai has sealed that fact. This win is at par with many of our glorious Test victories. It will be cherished much like Delhi 1952, Oval 1954, Sydney 1976, Lords 1982, Faisalabad 1986, Bangalore 1987, Leads 1987, Georgetown 1988, Lords 1992, Lords 1996, Durban 1998, Chennai 1999, Multan 2005, Bangalore 2005 and Oval 2010.
At one point on the second evening, the pitch was being criticized for not being ideal for Test cricket and Nasser Hossain and Waqar Younis were talking about possibility of a tame draw, but quite remarkably the match ended on the third day. Saeed Ajmal’s performance and the way Pakistan batting contributed as a unit signal an exciting new era for Pakistan.
Pakistan should absorb this moment and grab the opportunity. We should make this win a turning point from where we should aim for a new beginning – a beginning of a journey to become best in the world once again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu

 
FULL-TIME! Barcelona defeat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu. The home team went into half-time a goal to the good courtesy of Ronaldo's early strike yet second-half finishes from Puyol and Abidal give Barca the advantage heading into the second-leg. All still to play for though after what was another brilliant Clasico meeting.
 

Real Madrid v Barcelona

Full time: Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona. And there is the final whistle. That all turned rather nasty in the end, with Real reacting to the Barcelona goals by kicking anything that dared to move.
90 min+2: Carvalho, already on a booking, should be off. He's just scythed through Adriano on the edge of the area, bringing him down, but the referee played the advantage. Madrid have become an abject rabble in the second half.
90 min: There will be three more minutes of this. Real have run out of ideas, not that they had too many to begin with. "In your early team news you describe Pepe as 'moving into his old stomping ground in midfield'," says Gilad McAteer. "Pity you misspelled 'on Messi's limbs' as 'in midfield'."
89 min: Cesc Fabregas goes off, Isaac Cuenca comes on.
87 min: This game is descending into filth now. Messi speeds away from Carvalho, who just boots him in the side of the leg. What a clown. He's booked too. This is why some people can't stand Mourinho.
86 min: The exciting Thiago comes on for Xavi, who was as stately as ever.
85 min: "For at least a few more minutes, there's a video on YouTube of Pepe standing on Messi's hands," says David Price. "You can see at about 5sec Pepe clearly looks down to see where his feet are and then plants one of them down sharpish onto Leo's hand."
83 min: Paulo Padilha points me to Wayne Rooney criticising Pepe on Twitter. Then again, he's one to talk.
82 min: Alexis Sanchez is replaced by Adriano. Moments later, Benzema cuts in from the left and slashes well wide from long range. He's not done much tonight, though he's been marginally more involved than Higuain. "Is Pepe the player Mourinho might have been?" ponders Steve Peake.
80 min: At last, Pepe is withdrawn and replaced by Esteban Granero. About time.
79 min: Puyol is booked for dissent, claiming he should have had a foul after being outdone by Ronaldo. Possibly, but the referee, who's had an excellent game, waved play on. Nothing came from it ultimately, despite a bit of panic in the Barcelona area.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona (Abidal, 77 min): Puyol scoring was strange enough, but this one is a real collector's item. Messi, who has done bugger all for the most part, shifts the ball on to his left foot and curls a magnificent pass through to Abidal, who's tiptoed forward from full-back. Forgive Real for not noticing him. The flag stays down despite their protestations, Abidal chests it down and then, with the outside of his left foot, he strokes an absurdly cool finish low past Casillas and into the bottom-right corner as if he's been doing it all his life.
76 min: Altintop has - eventually - had a very good game against Iniesta, standing up well to him whenever the Barcelona genius tries to take him on. "To deal with the likes of Pepe, UEFA should introduce an additional official whose job would be to judge the quality of acting by the players," says Mark Elliott. "The official would be from the local equivalent of RADA and would be allowed to issue yellow or red cards based on the quality of the performance."
74 min: The more I see it, the more it looks like Pepe intentionally stepped on Messi's hand. Aside from how cowardly it is, it's so dangerous - wearing studs, he could have done some genuine damage.
71 min: Sanchez hares through on goal and goes round Casillas, but a really tight offside decision goes in Real's favour. It was the right call. "Ok, that's it," says J.R. "Pepe is the worst."
71 min: Iniesta glides past four Real players - he is the best player on the pitch tonight by some distance - and then rolls it into the path of Messi, whose touch is uncharacteristically heavy, allowing Coentrao to stem the danger.
69 min: What a terrible miss from Busquets. Another Xavi set-piece, this time a free-kick from the left, causes havoc in the Real area, but Busquets heads just over when it was easier to score. Guardiola puffs out his cheeks. He can hardly believe it.
68 min: Callejon's first act on the pitch is to stop Messi on full flight and gets booked. With Messi on the floor, Pepe stands on his hands. He may well have done that on purpose. Pepe does not belong on a football pitch.
67 min: Hands up - did anyone see Higuain touch the ball?
66 min: I've just realised Higuain was playing. I genuinely don't think he touched the ball once. The only reason I mention him now is because he's been replaced by Callejon. Mesut Ozil is also on for Diarra. Real are going for it now.
64 min: Pepe is an embarrassment. A total disgrace. Fabregas muscles him off the ball on the right, brushing his arm into his chest. Pepe goes down like he's been punched in the face by Manny Pacquiao. Barcelona attack, but with Pepe rolling about, they eventually knock it out of play.
60 min: Sanchez teases his way past Coentrao on the right side of the area and then coaxes a low cross across the face of the Real goal. No one's there. It comes to Iniesta, but on the stretch, his tame volley loops away from goal and Casillas claims it easily.
59 min: Coentrao is booked for clattering into the back of the rather quiet Messi on the right. "Ray Hudson has always been a polarizing character in the commentator's booth," says Jonathan Nebel. "Personally, I absolutely love him. Him and Phil Schoen are by far my favorite commentary crew. To each his own, I guess."
58 min: Now Real hit the post. This is probably the first piece of sustained pressure they have managed throughout the game, as the ball is worked out to Altintop on the right. He twists and turns, befuddling Abidal enough to hang up a cross to the far post where the unmarked Benzema heads against the outside of the post from eight yards out.
55 min: Bingo II! Busquets is booked for stopping a free-kick being taken quickly. Peek-a-boo just can't help himself.
54 min: Great defending from Ramos stops Iniesta from giving Barcelona the lead. Fabregas scoops a glorious pass over the Real defence - think Scholes v Milan in 2007 - and Iniesta runs on to it, volleys towards the far corner, only for Ramos to somehow get back and deflect it on to the near post with an outstretched leg. Casillas was a mere spectator as that all unfolded.
53 min: The problem that Real are presented with is that they basically only have one way of scoring: on the break. That's a very random method, seeing as it essentially needs a perfect situation for it to be achieved - Barcelona losing the ball in the first place and there being enough space.
50 min: Ramos is booked for a nasty little swipe at Sanchez, who had completely left him for dead with a slick turn on the halfway line. It's hotting up a bit here. "In the history of over the top, say the first thing that comes into your outbox commentators who know absolutely nothing, Ray Hudson is all that and a bag of chips WITH a Geordie accent," says Gareth Holden. "I know he probably makes good money but I bet he'd make billions as a darts commentator. My only consolation is that he isn't Tommy "Bulging Onion Bag" Smyth. RMA to win 5-2 YAHOOOOO!" I don't know, I quite like him, he pushes boundaries.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona (Puyol, 49 min): Forget tiki-taka, sometimes you just need a bit of bish and a bit of bosh. Iniesta wins a corner off Altintop on the left. Xavi takes it, curling it into the area and Puyol gets the run on Pepe and powers a stunning diving header low past Casillas, much like his winner for Spain in the 2010 World Cup semi-final against Germany. Stoke themselves would have been proud of that.
47 min: A one-two. Messi. Fabregas. The former Arsenal man gets to the left byline and wheeches a cross back into the area, but Ramos is on hand to deal with it. If only Barcelona had Michael Owen.
46 min: We're off again, Real getting the second half underway. There's the kick-off. Will they see the ball again? No, they keep it for all of three seconds before Benzema kicks it out for a throw. Dear me. It's almost as if Mourinho is trying to mimic his tactics with Inter in 2010.

Copa del Rey, quarter-final first leg, Santiago Bernabéu, 9pm GMT kick-off

Real Madrid v Barcelona – live!

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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo
Easy tiger. Photograph: Stringer/Spain/Reuters
Full time: Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona. And there is the final whistle. That all turned rather nasty in the end, with Real reacting to the Barcelona goals by kicking anything that dared to move.
90 min+2: Carvalho, already on a booking, should be off. He's just scythed through Adriano on the edge of the area, bringing him down, but the referee played the advantage. Madrid have become an abject rabble in the second half.
90 min: There will be three more minutes of this. Real have run out of ideas, not that they had too many to begin with. "In your early team news you describe Pepe as 'moving into his old stomping ground in midfield'," says Gilad McAteer. "Pity you misspelled 'on Messi's limbs' as 'in midfield'."
89 min: Cesc Fabregas goes off, Isaac Cuenca comes on.
87 min: This game is descending into filth now. Messi speeds away from Carvalho, who just boots him in the side of the leg. What a clown. He's booked too. This is why some people can't stand Mourinho.
86 min: The exciting Thiago comes on for Xavi, who was as stately as ever.
85 min: "For at least a few more minutes, there's a video on YouTube of Pepe standing on Messi's hands," says David Price. "You can see at about 5sec Pepe clearly looks down to see where his feet are and then plants one of them down sharpish onto Leo's hand."
83 min: Paulo Padilha points me to Wayne Rooney criticising Pepe on Twitter. Then again, he's one to talk.
82 min: Alexis Sanchez is replaced by Adriano. Moments later, Benzema cuts in from the left and slashes well wide from long range. He's not done much tonight, though he's been marginally more involved than Higuain. "Is Pepe the player Mourinho might have been?" ponders Steve Peake.
80 min: At last, Pepe is withdrawn and replaced by Esteban Granero. About time.
79 min: Puyol is booked for dissent, claiming he should have had a foul after being outdone by Ronaldo. Possibly, but the referee, who's had an excellent game, waved play on. Nothing came from it ultimately, despite a bit of panic in the Barcelona area.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona (Abidal, 77 min): Puyol scoring was strange enough, but this one is a real collector's item. Messi, who has done bugger all for the most part, shifts the ball on to his left foot and curls a magnificent pass through to Abidal, who's tiptoed forward from full-back. Forgive Real for not noticing him. The flag stays down despite their protestations, Abidal chests it down and then, with the outside of his left foot, he strokes an absurdly cool finish low past Casillas and into the bottom-right corner as if he's been doing it all his life.
76 min: Altintop has - eventually - had a very good game against Iniesta, standing up well to him whenever the Barcelona genius tries to take him on. "To deal with the likes of Pepe, UEFA should introduce an additional official whose job would be to judge the quality of acting by the players," says Mark Elliott. "The official would be from the local equivalent of RADA and would be allowed to issue yellow or red cards based on the quality of the performance."
74 min: The more I see it, the more it looks like Pepe intentionally stepped on Messi's hand. Aside from how cowardly it is, it's so dangerous - wearing studs, he could have done some genuine damage.
71 min: Sanchez hares through on goal and goes round Casillas, but a really tight offside decision goes in Real's favour. It was the right call. "Ok, that's it," says J.R. "Pepe is the worst."
71 min: Iniesta glides past four Real players - he is the best player on the pitch tonight by some distance - and then rolls it into the path of Messi, whose touch is uncharacteristically heavy, allowing Coentrao to stem the danger.
69 min: What a terrible miss from Busquets. Another Xavi set-piece, this time a free-kick from the left, causes havoc in the Real area, but Busquets heads just over when it was easier to score. Guardiola puffs out his cheeks. He can hardly believe it.
68 min: Callejon's first act on the pitch is to stop Messi on full flight and gets booked. With Messi on the floor, Pepe stands on his hands. He may well have done that on purpose. Pepe does not belong on a football pitch.
67 min: Hands up - did anyone see Higuain touch the ball?
66 min: I've just realised Higuain was playing. I genuinely don't think he touched the ball once. The only reason I mention him now is because he's been replaced by Callejon. Mesut Ozil is also on for Diarra. Real are going for it now.
64 min: Pepe is an embarrassment. A total disgrace. Fabregas muscles him off the ball on the right, brushing his arm into his chest. Pepe goes down like he's been punched in the face by Manny Pacquiao. Barcelona attack, but with Pepe rolling about, they eventually knock it out of play.
60 min: Sanchez teases his way past Coentrao on the right side of the area and then coaxes a low cross across the face of the Real goal. No one's there. It comes to Iniesta, but on the stretch, his tame volley loops away from goal and Casillas claims it easily.
59 min: Coentrao is booked for clattering into the back of the rather quiet Messi on the right. "Ray Hudson has always been a polarizing character in the commentator's booth," says Jonathan Nebel. "Personally, I absolutely love him. Him and Phil Schoen are by far my favorite commentary crew. To each his own, I guess."
58 min: Now Real hit the post. This is probably the first piece of sustained pressure they have managed throughout the game, as the ball is worked out to Altintop on the right. He twists and turns, befuddling Abidal enough to hang up a cross to the far post where the unmarked Benzema heads against the outside of the post from eight yards out.
55 min: Bingo II! Busquets is booked for stopping a free-kick being taken quickly. Peek-a-boo just can't help himself.
54 min: Great defending from Ramos stops Iniesta from giving Barcelona the lead. Fabregas scoops a glorious pass over the Real defence - think Scholes v Milan in 2007 - and Iniesta runs on to it, volleys towards the far corner, only for Ramos to somehow get back and deflect it on to the near post with an outstretched leg. Casillas was a mere spectator as that all unfolded.
53 min: The problem that Real are presented with is that they basically only have one way of scoring: on the break. That's a very random method, seeing as it essentially needs a perfect situation for it to be achieved - Barcelona losing the ball in the first place and there being enough space.
50 min: Ramos is booked for a nasty little swipe at Sanchez, who had completely left him for dead with a slick turn on the halfway line. It's hotting up a bit here. "In the history of over the top, say the first thing that comes into your outbox commentators who know absolutely nothing, Ray Hudson is all that and a bag of chips WITH a Geordie accent," says Gareth Holden. "I know he probably makes good money but I bet he'd make billions as a darts commentator. My only consolation is that he isn't Tommy "Bulging Onion Bag" Smyth. RMA to win 5-2 YAHOOOOO!" I don't know, I quite like him, he pushes boundaries.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona (Puyol, 49 min): Forget tiki-taka, sometimes you just need a bit of bish and a bit of bosh. Iniesta wins a corner off Altintop on the left. Xavi takes it, curling it into the area and Puyol gets the run on Pepe and powers a stunning diving header low past Casillas, much like his winner for Spain in the 2010 World Cup semi-final against Germany. Stoke themselves would have been proud of that.
47 min: A one-two. Messi. Fabregas. The former Arsenal man gets to the left byline and wheeches a cross back into the area, but Ramos is on hand to deal with it. If only Barcelona had Michael Owen.
46 min: We're off again, Real getting the second half underway. There's the kick-off. Will they see the ball again? No, they keep it for all of three seconds before Benzema kicks it out for a throw. Dear me. It's almost as if Mourinho is trying to mimic his tactics with Inter in 2010.
Half-time emails.
"I'm watching the game via a dubious (but completely legal) source that has led me to something called 'GolTV'," says Matt Wilde. "The commentary team is comprised of a half-drunk Georgie and his overly enthusiastic American counterpart. According to the Geordie, Barca are playing "impressively well", whilst the American has put forth such gems as, "Iniesta, checking the mirror", "Barca putting the rubik's cube together" and "Real moving within 35 yards of Barca". Does anyone know who these post-ironic geniuses are? And can anyone tell me what a "little dagger ball" is?" I've heard about him, though I've never followed a game with him obviously.
"I agree with earlier comment concerning Ray Hudson: over the course of this game he has referred to Iker Casillas as a "junglecat" and a Busquets tackle as "peanut butter on a meatbone." Dubious," says Hamish Ballantyne. The man's a maverick, let him be.
Half time: George Graham's Arsenal 1-0 Barcelona.
Peep! Peep! The half-time whistle blows. The last time Real Madrid led Barcelona at half time was 7 May 2008.
45 min: Fabregas slices a dreadful shot miles over from 30 yards out. This Barcelona front three is still not entirely convincing. For me, they miss the width that Pedro and David Villa - who is admittedly injured - gave them last season. At the moment, too much is going through the middle and with Dani Alves below-par, Real can squeeze them.
42 min: The linesman is having a bit of a shocker, now wrongly deciding Messi was offside.
41 min: It tends to get forgotten these days, but Ricardo Carvalho is an awesome defender. With Messi bursting into the area on the left after a one-two with Xavi, the Portuguese defender times his tackle to absolute perfection to prevent what was in all probability a certain equaliser.
40 min: Xavi plays a slide-rule pass through the middle for Sanchez. Coentrao is playing him onside, but the flag goes up. A bad decision, the linesman tricked by Ramos's arm going up.
39 min: It's become a little bit scrappy these last few minutes. I wonder what's going on at Molineux.
36 min: Every time Real win it back, Ronaldo has so much room on the left and they're finding him with regularity. With Dani Alves romping off down the other end, don't be surprised if Ronaldo creates another goal on the counter.
33 min: Casillas is quick off his line and out of his area, leaping through the air like an ersatz John Terry to clear with a diving header as Fabregas tried to reach yet another through-ball. Moments later, Fabregas is away again, but his curved beauty of a cross is a waste, with Messi flagged offside in the middle.
32 min: Sanchez catches Pepe's standing leg, so the midfielder throws himself to the ground. What a piece of work. The whistles grow louder, but there's no card. "My guess is that Madrid will win," says Cecilia Marjakangas. "No matter. Champions League is the only one I care about as a Culé and I love all the different, weird formations and the B team players fielded for Barcelona so the trophies don't matter half as much. I'm disappointed though that Masche's not playing. He's an awesome defender and while he's not a natural centre-back, he's still faster than either Puyol or Pique and reads the game well. Oh well."
29 min: Barcelona miss another chance. It surely can't stay 1-0 for long, because they are tearing Real to shreds at the moment. A pass straight through the middle finds Sanchez in the area. He could turn and shoot, but instead lays it off perfectly to Iniesta. Astonishingly for him, his first touch takes him wide, but he should still score, only to blast high and wide from six yards out as Casillas closes him down. That is a woeful miss. On the touchline, birthday boy Pep holds his head in his hands.
27 min: Messi threads an eye-of-the-needle pass from the middle through to Iniesta on the left, where Barcelona are getting some real joy. Altintop is no right-back. Real cry for offside but it's not even close, but with Fabregas all alone in the middle, Iniesta can't find him. Still, this is starting to look ominous for the hosts.
26 min: The first sight of goal for Messi. He's sprung clear down the inside-left channel, Altintop nowhere to be seen. With Madrid all over the shop, Messi slams a low left-footer towards the near post from an angle, bring the best out of Casillas again. Real lead, but only thanks to the woodwork and some fine goalkeeping.
25 min: What an escape for Barcelona. Ronaldo really has the bit between his teeth tonight. He looks like he's trying to win over the Madrid public tonight with all his chasing and harrying, which this time leads to him racing clear down the left again. Instead of just going in a straight line, he tries to slide it to the right for Benzema, but Abidal just gets in the way.
24 min: Coentrao has to be alert to stop Fabregas breaking through after a snappy one-two with Sanchez on the edge of the area.
22 min: Ronaldo is now getting some spray on his leg after getting a knock to the back of his knee. He'll be fine. Say what you like about Ronaldo, but he is a remarkably tough player. "Despite our differences I am sure that we can all agree that history has brought us, in a culmination of evolution and myriad transformations through recorded time, to a place where we can say, together in common humanity, that Pepe is the worst," says Jonathan Shaw.
20 min: It's starting. Both sets of players are crowding the referee after Pepe goes down after being caught by a flailing arm from Pique. There really wasn't much in that, though it was probably painful. Pique is booked to both Real's and Barcelona's fury.
17 min: Bingo! Pepe has been booked inside 20 minutes for trodding Busquets' foot. For once, Busquets has an excuse to roll around. "For those of us in the US "eating at the Hawksmoor" these days, Ray Hudson doing the commentary on Gol TV is like having Benny Hill as your ever-excitable waiter," parps Justin Kavanagh. "With a Geordie accent."
16 min: Sanchez hits the bar with a wonderful header. From 40 yards out, Xavi spotted his run and clipped a sublime pass over the top. It looked like there was nothing he could do with it, but he gets in between Ramos and Coentrao and loops a header over the statuesque Casillas and on to the face of the bar.
14 min: Barcelona come back looking for an equaliser straight away. Iniesta diddles past Altintop on the left side of the area, cuts inside and brings a save out of Casillas at his near post. The corner comes to nothing, as you knew it would.
13 min: It's worth pointing out that Barcelona have gone behind in their last two visits to the Bernabeu and have come back to draw 2-2 and win 3-1. "We're baby sitting the next door neighbours daughter tonight which means I'm having to watch the FA Cup game in the kitchen while they monopolise the Sky box," says Ian Burch. "While it may not have the allure of the cup game in Spain, it does have comedy World Cup referee Howard Webb who has denied the Blues a blatant penalty. It also has Mick McCarthy looking bewildered at Ebanks-Blake inability to score from 2 yards, but that's all it has going for it mind."
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Barcelona (Ronaldo, 11 min): Here, Mourinho's gameplan is working. Barcelona lose the ball deep in Real's half and Benzema picks up possession near the centre circle. He immediately slides Ronaldo away down the left with a great pass, the forward one-on-one with Pique. He - of course - pulls out a couple of stepovers, advances into the area, shifts it on to his left foot and then hammers a low drive through Pinto's legs. Valdes would have saved that.
9 min: "I still like the Stoke line," pleads Andy Waddington. "Its not so much whether they can win at Stoke - I'm sure they would win 9 out of 10. It's a question of Stoke away in mid-week and then El Clasico on Saturday lunchtime. We'd soon hear Pep asking who decides the fixtures and moaning about big-spending broadcasters. Related question, where would Wigan finish in La Liga? I doubt they'd be relegated." I'd love to see Connor Sammon playing at the Camp Nou.
8 min: It's noticeable that Real are working as hard as possible to stop Barcelona having it all their own way at the back. Ronaldo has twice closed them down deep in their own half, and Benzema has been an irritant to Pique as well.
6 min: A high cross-field pass from left to right goes over Iniesta, who just turns and plucks it out of the sky before it goes out for a goal-kick. He is brilliant. He then tries to play Fabregas in. He's onside, but the pass is too heavy and Casillas collects. He glares at his defenders, they glare at the linesman.
5 min: Congratulations to Barcelona, by the way, for not conceding after 21 seconds this time. "Surely putting out the message not to delete a recorded programme is akin to the cartoon favourite "I'm just putting this pie on the window ledge to cool" when there is a hungry dog in the room," muses Phil Withall.
4 min: Sanchez turns and looks to release Alves down the right. But look at this, there's Ronaldo haring back behind the full-back to make a superb sliding challenge. Mourinho spoke about him working like an animal yesterday; here's more proof of it.
3 min: I'd wager that Casillas is the only Real player who's touched the ball so far. There's no doubt about it, they are parking the bus and looking to hit Barcelona on the counter.
2 min: The ball is pinged over the top of the Real defence for Fabregas to chase, but it trundles out for a goal-kick. Moments later, Barcelona try the same tactic again, this time looking for Sanchez. Casillas is quick off his line to boot clear into the stands. Real have barely had a kick yet. "The problem with your 'Eating at the Hawksmoor every night' analogy is that El Clasico is like eating at the Hawksmoor while Raymond Blanc wanders in, harasses your waiter and spits in your food occasionally," says Stephen Bush. "Barcelona's best performance against Madrid in recent years, for my money, was the 6-2 in Pep's first year."
1 min:
The second half restarts at Molineux. Richard Stearman gets it and pumps the ball up field.
Barcelona start us off, kicking from left to right. The ball is immediately played back to Puyol and Pique, who stroke it about without a care in the world. "Just watching the players line up in the tunnel here on Spanish TV and I have to say that close up Xabi Alonso is one handsome fella - the side-parting; the stubble; the strong jaw line," swoons Peter Ferry. Plus he is the brains of the operation in the Madrid team. If I could be any footballer in the world it would be Alonso."
The teams are out on the pitch. Real Madrid's players applaud all four corners of the Bernabeu. So do Barcelona's. What delightful guests, Real will definitely be having them back.
There's just been a very entertaining row between Michel Salgado and Guillem Balague on Sky - watch and learn, Alan Shearer. To precis, Salgado believes that Pepe is the wrong choice in midfield, especially with Ozil and Granero on the bench. "You're playing against history," blasts Balague.
Real Madrid are in the tunnel, waiting for Barcelona.
Classic mind games from Pep Guardiola.
The park the bus dilemma is settled. "In response to your desperate cry for assistance ("How do you say park the bus in Spanish"), I sought out a linguist friend, bored of revision and eager to learn about the intricacies of el clasico," says Stephen Harrison. "She assures me that "aparcar el autobus" would suffice [tran. Hannah Wood]."
It's finished Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Mallorca. Cue a Real-Barca montage on Sky. Everyone needs a montage.
The Sopranos is on Sky Atlantic at 9pm by the way, just in case Mourinho is putting the choke-hold on this game. I've recorded it, there'll be hell to pay if anyone in my house deletes it.
"When you win easily most weeks, you don't have to play at full pelt all game?" says Paul Chandler.
"Surely not the same Barça XI quite *all* the time?" says Charles Antaki. "They put out effectively a reserve side when playing the return leg of the Osasuna game (in the round before this one) - they still won 1-2, mind." Well yes, but they were 4-0 up already.
"So this year Barca will try to beat Real with Pinto in goal and win Champions League with three defenders & no strikers," says Roman Hosoff. "If they succeed, next year we might even see slightly bored Guardiola joining Busquets and Fabregas in midfield." And with Messi blindfolded.
"Maybe we should revise our thinking and agree that its possible to simply have too much of a thing," suggests David Flynn. "Since Jose has decided to merely kick barca off the field, the majority of recent classicos have been anything but good." Indeed - last spring's mini-series suffered because of the suffocating nature of four games in 16 days.
Although Chris Brock wouldn't mind that. "Huh," he says. "Give me a diet of sprouts over that fiddly foreign muck with garlic and eyeballs and such like any day. It's the third round of the FA Cup! In England. And a local Derby. And you're following some game in Spain. Where's your sense of patriotism? Regards (tongue firmly in cheek)." The magic of the cup reigns in Spain tonight.
"Usual Mourinho setting his stall out for a 0-0 draw at home," says Steve Waine, and seeing as I'm under no contractual obligation to make this stuff interesting, he may well be right. "Boring," he concludes.
Here's another stat courtesy of Infostrada. "Lionel Messi will play his 300th match for Barcelona in all competitions," writes Ernst Wark. "He has scored 213 goals including 13 in 16 El Clásicos in all competitions." The Stoke line is now banned, isn't it? You can't use it. If you do, you have to watch Wolves v Birmingham.
On the Real Madrid bench: Mesut Ozil, Kaka, Callejon, Esteban Granero.
In the Real Madrid team: Lassana Diarra, Pepe and Hamit Altintop.
Conclusion: This may not be pretty. How do you say park the bus in Spanish?
Pre-match emails:
"Why is it that Barcelona can field substantially the same XI time after time ('Barcelona are as expected'), while EPL teams are constantly changing squads from one match to the next?" says Paul Szabo. "Is it injury-related? The need (or not) to change strategy for different opponents?" Would you bother changing this team too much?
"I knew you were Steinberg without even looking because "playstation" is your frame of reference for toys that need to be put away," says Adam Nelson. "Such a young rapscallion." I don't know why I said that actually, I've never owned one. I'm using my imagination. Look at me, like a real writer!
The first email. "I wouldn't worry about getting too much of a good thing," says Robin Hazlehurst. "Wolves are playing Birmingham in the cup replay at the same time. Five minutes of that during the half time break here is like a three-week diet of sprouts and can justify you gorging on liquid chocolate football for the second half of this game." That tie has been on television twice now. I've switched over to the first Copa del Rey game, in which it is Athletic Bilbao 2-0 Mallorca.
A frightening statistic: Carlos Puyol has not lost any of his last 50 games for Barcelona. That's 42 wins and eight draws. He's bettered Arsenal's Invincibles all on his own.


Team news: Who remembers what Hamit Altintop looks like? He's lining up at right-back, while Ricardo Carvalho is back after injury, meaning Pepe moves into his old stomping ground in midfield. Barcelona are as expected, with Pinto in goal instead of Victor Valdes.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Altintop, Ramos, Carvalho, Coentrao; Lassana Diarra, Xabi, Pepe; Ronaldo, Higuaín, Benzema. Subs: Adan, Marcelo, Albiol, Kaka, Ozil, Granero, Callejon.
Barcelona: Pinto; Dani Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Abidal; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Alexis, Fábregas, Messi. Subs: Valdes, Mascherano, Thiago, Adriano, Sergi Roberto, Dos Santos, Cuenca.
Kick-off: 9pm.
Evening. The idea that it's possible to have too much of a good thing was surely agreed upon and created by parents in order to get their children ready for all of life's many and varied disappointments; can't have ice-cream every day of the week, put the Playstation away, because you've got homework to do and greens to eat. Of course, some of the best childhood memories stem from the random treats life throws at you, the rare occasion you stayed up late to watch a football match or when your teacher couldn't be bothered on a rainy afternoon and put a film on instead. Here are moments to cherish; special because they don't come along very often and if they did, well, it would just be another of those things you could shrug your shoulders at with tired insouciance.
The latest instalment in the Clasico series has drawn a similar reaction. Real Madrid? Barcelona? Them? Again? Two legs?! Didn't we only do this last week? Turning your nose up at this is a bit like being offered free entry to the Hawksmoor for a year and deciding to go to Wimpys instead, yet any yawns are, if not totally forgivable, understandable. Spanish football is getting dangerously close to Rangers and Celtic levels now, with Barcelona and Real Madrid totally dominant – for them, as Sid Lowe has pointed out, draws are the new defeats and for the rest, draws are the new victories. Last season, during that preposterous and ill-tempered let-down of a mini-series they met in the final – which Madrid won – and this quarter-final could effectively be seen as this year's edition. They might stand in each other's way, but no one else in Spain does. Possibly no one in Europe does, but that's an argument for another day.
This is already the fourth time Barcelona and Real Madrid have met this season (twice in the Super Cup and once in the league) and they are guaranteed to play at least two more games (the second leg of this tie and the return game in the league, both at the Camp Nou). Then there remains the possibility of them meeting in the Champions League, either in the final or over two legs. You wouldn't bet against it. Full yet?
Real have won just one of their last 12 games against Barcelona – last season's Copa del Rey final, when Cristiano Ronaldo settled it in extra-time with a thumping header. In the celebrations afterwards, Sergio Ramos dropped the trophy off the top of a double-decker bus, which then rolled over it; faced against Barcelona, their grip on the trophy looks even less secure now. Save for that match, in which Barcelona were still the better side, Jose Mourinho has not been able to get the better of Pep Guardiola. The only in the eye for Barcelona has been physical.
And yet, Real are currently five points clear at the top of La Liga. It is quite possible that Mourinho, having tried nearly every approach in his time at the Bernabeu, has realised he cannot beat this Barcelona face-to-face, so has instead opted to better them in a long-distance race, picking and choosing his battles. The evidence is clear: last season, Real played an open game against Barcelona and were beaten 5-0. They went defensive and dirty in the Champions League. They lost. In the Super Cup, they were physically superior. Leo Messi won it for Barcelona. In the league last month, Real attacked Barcelona from the off, were 1-0 up faster than you can say tiki-taka and were eventually beaten 3-1.
A fascinating consequence of this could be that Barcelona beat Real Madrid in four competitions, over the course of seven or eight games, and Real Madrid win the league, pouncing on little slips here and there from Guardiola's men. As good as Real have been this season, at no point have they even threatened to reach the heights Barcelona have scaled and Mourinho is not stupid. He knows that if Barcelona play to their potential, you could put two sides out there at once and they'd still win 99 times out of 100, because they really are too much of a good thing.

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