The Sports Archives – Can South Africa Erase The Ghosts Of 1999 In The 2019 World Cup?

1999 WC Semi- Image via BBC TMS Twitter

After a gap of two decades, the World Cup returns to British soil. In some ways, the 1999 World Cup was a pivotal point in cricket history- it began a period of unprecedented Australian domination of the sport. The Aussies would probably not have even reached the semi-finals of the tournament but for that dropped catch from Herschelle Gibbs in their Super Six clash against the Proteas. As fate would have it, they progressed, and have since gone on to win four of the last five World Cups.  While Australia seem able to win World Cups at will, South Africa appear to have become the ultimate chokers and are yet to win the tournament despite having one of the best overall records in the competition.

The Super Six game between Australia and South Africa has its place in history, although it’s often overshadowed by the semi-final contested between the same two teams- often considered as the best Cricket World Cup game ever.

That Edgbaston last-four fixture saw South Africa put the Australians in. The Proteas pace attack reduced their opponents to 68/4 in 17 overs before a partnership between skipper Steve Waugh and Mr.Fixit Michael Bevan- both scoring half centuries, helped Australia cross the 200 mark.

In reply, South Africa’s openers started well and added 48 runs before introduction of Shane Warne changed the game. The Proteas were 43/0 in 10 overs when Warne started, but by the time he had finished his first spell (8-4-12-3), they had only managed to crawl to 71/4 after 25 overs.

Like Waugh and Bevan had done for Australia, Jacques Kallis and Jonty Rhodes set about resurrecting the South African innings. The current Proteas side, as has oft been pointed out by the folks at The Cricket Blog, doesn’t quite have the batting depth that squad had. With Mark Boucher coming in at 9, South Africa had a formidable lower order, marshalled by the brilliant Lance Klusener, who had rescued them from many a sticky situation previously in the tournament.

The equation came to 16 off 8 balls with one wicket in hand, but Klusener first hit Glenn McGrath for a six, and then took a single off the final ball to keep strike. With 9 needed off six, he then proceeded to bludgeon Damian Fleming for consecutive boundaries, making it just one to win from four balls.

After having done all the hard work, Klusener however had failed to finish it off. Non-striker Allan Donald backed up too far on the third delivery, but Australia missed the run-out. With the pressure potentially getting to him, Klusener went for the single on the fourth ball, but Donald, perhaps affected by how he had just missed being run-out on the previous delivery, froze and failed to respond. Klusener continued to run, but by the time Donald started to run, it was too late, and Australia ran him out at the wicket-keeper’s end.

The match finished in a draw, but this is where it got more dramatic. South Africa could’ve put Australia out of the tournament in their Super Six clash, but that dropped Gibbs catch allowed Steve Waugh to mount a rearguard and send the Kangaroos though. As a result of that win, Australia had finished ahead of the Proteas in the league table, and therefore advanced to the final.

This South African team isn’t quite in the same mould as the class of 99, but they do have their strengths- notably a strong fast-bowling attack and the in-form Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis upfront. They were favourites in 99, but few expect them to win this year. Will the lowered expectations work in the Proteas’ favour? We’ll have to wait and find out.

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The Sports Archives – The Greatest Ever Cricket World Cup Stars

Greatest Cricket Stars

The 2019 Cricket World Cup is almost here as England & Wales host the 12th edition of the tournament, with holders Australia looking to retain their title from four years previous. Betfair have all the odds, whether you think you can predict the group-stage winners or outright victor, the tournament’s top run scorer or wicket taker.  But before you do, let’s take a look at some of the greatest ever World Cup stars to grace the field.

Batting

Sachin Tendulkar (India)

The former India captain competed in six Cricket World Cups between 1992 and 2011 and boasts countless records. Tendulkar lays claim to the all-time record of runs scored in the World Cup, with 2,278, as well as the most runs in a single tournament (673 in 11 innings during the 2003 World Cup). The former is a particularly enviable record, especially when you consider it’s some 500 runs more than Australia’s Ricky Ponting, who sits in second-place and managed 1,743 in five tournaments.

He reached a century of runs on six occasions, but also holds the record for the most half-century scores (21 in total and 7 in one tournament) – with the 2003 World Cup proving fruitful. Despite winning Man of the Tournament that year, Tendulkar was on the losing side as Australia were victorious, winning their third title. He recorded 152 against Namibia in the group stages and racked up 83 runs in the semi-final against Kenya.

Chris Gayle (West Indies)

Windies batsman Chris Gayle is set to participate in this year’s World Cup, his fifth and final one after announcing he will retire from One Day Internationals. The former captain will act as vice-captain to Jason Holder this year.

Individually, Gayle holds the record for the most sixes in one tournament (26 from 6 innings at the 2015 World Cup), as well as overall (37). He also recorded 16 sixes against Zimbabwe, which saw the Windies victorious by 73 runs in their Pool B game at the same tournament. In the same game, Gayle recorded 215 runs from 138 balls to take the record for the fastest double century.

As a pairing, Gayle and teammate Marlon Samuels hold the record for the highest partnership – with the duo scoring 372 runs in that demolition of Zimbabwe in the 2015 World Cup.

There’s no doubt his experience will help a young West Indies side this year and it would be great to see him add to his records.

Bowling

Glenn McGrath (Australia)

Glenn McGrath won Man of the Tournament at the 2007 World Cup, when he contributed to Australia’s success, taking 26 wickets to aid the Aussies to their fourth title.

He’s rightly considered one of the greatest bowlers in cricketing history and the records don’t lie. Participating in four World Cups during 1996 and 2007, he took a record 71 wickets and also boasts the lowest average of just 18.19 runs for every wicket taken.

In the 2003 World Cup, he famously took 7 wickets when a poor Namibia side could only amass 45 runs all-out and Australia were victorious by 256 runs. During those 7 wickets, McGrath only conceded 15 runs, setting a record that doesn’t look likely to ever be beaten.

Team

Australia

As a nation, there’s little doubting Australia’s ability as a cricketing force – they’ve won the most titles, with five. But they are the one and only nation to date to win three successive tournaments (achieving the feat between 1999 and 2007).

At the last World Cup, their score against Afghanistan, 417-for-6 was the highest there’s ever been. While it’s quite clear they lead the way as a nation, with the highest win percentage (75%, with 62 wins from 84 matches), they’ve played in every World Cup since its inauguration in 1975 and further to their successes, the Aussies have been runners-up twice and made one quarter-final.

Can they add to their tally, or even go all the way and win the World Cup for a record

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The Sports Archives – How to Introduce Exercise into Your Weekly Schedule

Exercise is key to a long, happy, and healthy life. However, if you’re just starting to create an exercise routine, it can be overwhelming especially if you already have a full and busy schedule. You may be wondering if it’s even possible for exercise to fit into the mix? The short answer is yes. Here are five ways to introduce exercise into your weekly schedule.

1. Have Fun with It

One of the biggest mistakes that new exercisers make is taking their workout routine too seriously. Of course, you want to improve your wellbeing, lose weight, feel more confident, and so forth. But if you’re just focused on the end result, you may lose sight of the enjoyment aspect. If your exercise is going to be sustainable, it has to be something you like doing. Instead of treating your exercise like a “must-do,” approach it as a “want.” You might decide to exercise with a friend to help keep things light or opt for a dance or yoga class, instead of a more intense session in the gym.

2. Just Do It… First

Another potential obstacle is time. Many people who want to exercise worry that they don’t have enough time in the day to fit in their workouts. The truth is, everyone has time, if they decide that exercising is what they want to do. If you fear you’ll skip a workout later in the day, be sure to exercise first thing in the morning. Early in the day, there are fewer excuses, so you’ll be less likely to bail on your health.

After your morning workout, don’t be afraid to reward yourself. After all, you got yourself out of bed and into your workout gear! Whether that reward is a few more minutes on social media or your favorite cup of coffee, allow yourself a little celebration for each exercise milestone.

3. Focus on Your Chores

Despite what you may have heard, there’s no need to even put on your workout clothes to increase your heart rate. According to House Method, you can get your heart rate up by doing certain chores around the house such as gardening, vacuuming, and even washing dishes. You’ll be taking care of your health and your home in one fell swoop.

4. Set Realistic Goals

Many new exercisers want to jump into the most intense and results-oriented plan possible. While their ambition is commendable, it’s likely just going to lead to burnout. Instead, set realistic goals for each week, month, and quarter. If you’ve never run before, don’t try to run a mile in your first month. Begin with simple changes like taking the stairs at work or opting for a longer route when going to the bathroom. It may feel pointless, but it’s these incremental changes that will support you in developing a fitness routine you love.

5. Establish a Wellness Mindset

If exercise is going to be part of your weekly schedule, one of the most important things you can do is shift your mindset. Instead of looking at exercise as something you do to fix a current problem, think about it as helping you prevent health concerns in the future. When you consider how a simple exercise routine could exponentially improve your quality of life down the road, it becomes a lot easier to find even a few minutes each day to put toward your wellbeing.

Introducing exercise into your weekly schedule may seem daunting at first, but by breaking it down into manageable goals, keeping it fun, and making it a priority, you’ll be on your way to full-body wellness in no time.

 

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The Sports Archives – Awesome Tips For Amateur Footballers

Youth Soccer (Football)

Image

Football is one of those sports which most of us grow up with at one point in our lives. Whether we join a small school team in our youth or head out to the nearest park and play with our friends at the weekend. Football is the most popular sport in the world and many people play it every single week even into adulthood.

If you are looking at joining a 5 a side club and trying your hand at football this year, but you’ve gotten a little rusty after the long gap, here are some quick tips for playing a great game.

Buy good boots

One of the things which is important when playing football is the grip and movement you are able to achieve on the pitch. If you are looking to make things easier for yourself this year it is a great idea to get yourself some Custom Designed Sportswear and boots. Football boots come in many different shapes and styles so be sure you buy ones which are either suited for playing on turf or grass.

Observe the goalkeeper

When you play in a forward position there will always be the aim to get the ball into the back of the net. When playing in a position like this it is always good to keep an eye on the position of the goalkeeper. This will affect how you make passes to the other players in the team and eventually manage to make that great goal.

Keep eyes on the ball when striking

Although you might think that the best thing to do when striking into the goal is to have your eyes on the prize and look straight into the back of the net, this isn’t the case. You are actually much better off keeping your eyes fixed on the ball because this will allow you to make an accurate strike at the right angle, and you’ll be much more likely to score a goal.

Mark a player

When playing football it is always important for every player to pair up with another player. From the start of the game you will want to make sure that you mark one player and stay with them throughout the game. This is a why of forcing some constant pressure on the other team and it will ensure that if the ball comes towards the other player, that you are close enough to be able to intercept.

Don’t stress

When playing football it can be easy to be caught up in the moment and get angry or upset about something which didn’t go your way. However it is crucial for you as a player not to lose your cool in this situation. Take the time to breathe for a moment if you are strung worked up and remember to stay focussed on the prize. The less stressed you are the easier you will be able to concentrate and this will do wonders for you and the game you play.

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The Sports Archives – Motorcycle Helmet Cleaning Basics

motorcycle helmets
By Jérôme Greco from la louviere, Belgique – Valè, CC BY 2.0, Link

Nobody likes to clean, but a regular cleansing of your helmet can keep it fresh and functional for many rides to come. Not only can a dirty helmet be unsafe, but it can be downright miserable to drive with if the smell has gotten especially ripe. Keep in mind, it’s not enough just to clean your motorcycle gear; you’ve got to do it properly. Here are the basics to make sure you do right by your helmet.

What Parts To Clean 

The gook may be the worst on the outside, but the odor is going to be maxed out on the inside. To do the most thorough job, you’ve got to clean both. In addition to the shell and the lining, you’ll want to give the visor a good rinse and clear any gunk from the vents.

What Supplies To Use

No matter how dirty motorcycle helmets get, you want to avoid strong chemical cleaners during this process. Only use gentle formulas and soft materials for wiping:

  • Mild soap
  • Baby shampoo
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Cotton swaps

The problem with using harsher chemicals, particularly on the shell, is that they can destroy the finish or even break down the material’s durability. If you’re going to use any cleaner, make sure it’s designed specifically for the use of cleansing helmets.

How To Do It Right

In most areas of life, scrubbing is a great way to remove stuck-on dirt. With a motorcycle helmet, it’s a terrible approach. When you really apply the elbow grease, you run the risk of scratching the surface. When it’s your visor, you may even compromise your ability to see while riding. Instead of scrubbing, let wet cloths soak into the surface to loosen dirt and then wipe gently to clear it away.

If your helmet has met its end because of poor maintenance, it may be time to replace it. With a lesson learned, you can apply these techniques to the new helmet once you find it. Search for your perfect replacement now.

 

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The Sports Archives – England’s Best Cricket Captains

Credit – Shutterstock.com

The cricket World Cup is just around the corner and England have been named as the favourites according to Paddy Power. England have finished as the runner-up on three occasions, but are yet to win cricket’s biggest prize.

This year’s tournament provides England with the perfect opportunity to end their drought of World Cup wins, especially as they are hosting the competition. Eoin Morgan is England’s captain and will be hoping to achieve what no other England captain has ever achieved before – winning the cricket World Cup.

Morgan is just the latest of a long line of great England cricket captains, and we’ve taken a look at some of the best.

Nasser Hussain

The Essex cricket club legend made his mark on the England national team when he was named as the test captain in 1999. England won 17 test matches with Hussain as captain, putting him in fourth place on the list of England captains with the most test match victories.

Nasser Hussain was part of the 1999 England cricket World Cup squad, although it wasn’t until after the tournament that he became captain. His only World Cup as captain saw England eliminated in the group stage of the tournament, primarily due to the fact that England refused to play Zimbabwe due to safety concerns.

By refusing to play Zimbabwe, England lost by walkover and it was Zimbabwe who finished above them in the table, knocking them out.

Although Hussain may have been the captain during a disappointing World Cup campaign, he is no doubt one of the best England had and the team certainly saw a boost when he took over the role.

Graham Gooch

In 1989, England lost the Ashes series 4-0, resulting in the resignation of David Gower as full-time captain. In stepped Graham Gooch to take over and make the role his own. He had previously been captain, but had not been named as the full-time captain.

Although England weren’t at their most dominant during Gooch’s tenure, they did pick up some impressive test wins against India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

A true leader, Gooch set an example to his teammates, often having a batting average that was almost double that of the rest of the team. It was his leadership that secured England a runner-up place in the 1992 World Cup, and the third one in England’s history. Close to success, but not quite close enough.

Michael Vaughan

As captain of the England team, Michael Vaughan led the team to a historic Ashes victory in 2005. It was the first time in 18 years that England had won the Ashes and it was arguably the biggest moment in his career.

He was first named captain in 2003, a year in which he was statiscially one of the best batsmen in the world. During his time as captain, Vaughan suffered a huge dip in form, which fortunately didn’t affect the 2005 Ashes result.

One of his best traits was his calmness, even when the match looked to be lost. His refusal to panic helped reassure the team and ensured that they were able to rescue results which looked impossible to achieve.

Vaughan has even given his backing to the current England squad and believes that it is “the best opportunity in my time” to see England win the cricket World Cup.

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The Sports Archives – 7 Summer Workouts Worth Trying

Summer comes with all sorts of good things: sunshine, vacations, freedom from working around your kids’ school schedules, and more opportunities for exercising outdoors. This means breaking up the monotony of going to the gym or having to make it to an indoor strength training class at a certain time. If your spring exercise routine is leaving you feeling a little uninspired, here are seven workouts worth trying this summer that can help you mix things up and have tons of fun in the process.

  1. Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Also known as SUP, stand-up paddleboarding is a fun way to enjoy a lake, river, or the ocean while getting a full-body workout (and a nice tan). Simply standing on the board is a workout in itself, but SUP is one of the best workouts for toning your abs, strengthening your core, and improving balance.

  1. Boga

Boga takes SUP up a notch by combining yoga with balancing on the board. You don’t move through the water to work your core in boga, but you do engage your core muscles by holding yoga poses, all while working with the movement of water.

  1. Yoga on the Lawn

According to House Method, there are a variety of ways you can switch up your workout this summer to break up the monotony of riding on your at-home cycling machine or taking a walk around the neighborhood. Bring your yoga mat to the front lawn or backyard and invite a few friends or neighbors to join you for a 30-minute session.

  1. Hiking

It’s time to part ways with the treadmill for a few months and hit the ground running (or hiking or cycling). Take advantage of any parks, mountains, and nature trails near you to breathe in some fresh air while you get your exercise. Not only will you be able to get some fresh air, but you’ll also be able to experience lower stress levels, improve bone density, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

  1. League Sports

Joining a sports league is a great way to get exercise and social interaction at the same time. You’ll get a lesson in how to be a team player, which can carry into both your work and family life, and be able to improve hand-eye coordination that gym workouts sometimes don’t provide.

  1. Outdoor Court Sports

If you’ve never tried court sports, summer is the best time to do it. Lots of parks provide tennis, basketball, or sand volleyball courts. These activities move you away from a singular plane of motion that treadmills and ellipticals offer. Court sports require directional changes, vertical movements, and bursts of speed.

  1. Swimming

Another great thing about summer is getting more quality time with your kids. Every one of the previous workouts offer the opportunity to get them involved. Since many leagues or boga classes won’t allow kids, invest in a local pool membership for the summer where you can swim laps and splash around with your kids. Swimming is a great way to build endurance, strengthen your muscles, and maintain a healthy weight.

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