Monday, 13 May 2013
DOHA THE Qatar Al Anabi Racing Top Fuel Team, the two-time World Championship team owned by His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al Thani, reached the semifinals and quarter-finals at the rain-delayed Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals near Atlanta, the sixth round of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.
Silver Al Anabi driver Shawn Langdon was the No. 1 qualifier for the second time in the last three races. He defeated his former teammate, Morgan Lucas and Brittany Force before losing to Brandon Bernstein in the semi-finals.
Langdon remains third in the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel point standings. He trails second- place Antron Brown, the eventual race winner, by 53 points and leads fourth-place Spencer Massey by 39 points.
He trails points leader Tony Schumacher by 58 points.
“We had a good-running car again today,” Langdon said.
“The last couple of races we’ve kind of beaten ourselves by overpowering the race track.
Today, we started off with the track record elapsed time in the first round and felt pretty confident in what we were doing. We just got a little too conservative in the semifinals; the Al Anabi car still ran a 3.80, but that wasn’t enough.
It was a good drag race; we just came out on the wrong end so we’ll head to Topeka and try again next weekend. We appreciate the confidence Sheikh Khalid has in our race team.” After suffering mechanical issues in the second of two qualifying sessions, secondyear driver Khalid al Balooshi was the No. 12 qualifier and faced No. 5 qualifier David Grubnic in the first round. No problem for the Dubai driver as Balooshi cruised to the firstround win light. In the second round, however, Balooshi lost a close drag race to Brandon Bernstein.
Despite the quarter-final loss, Balooshi moved from a tie for sixth place entering the weekend to sole possession of sixth place in the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel point standings.
He trails fifth-place Doug Kalitta by 25 points and leads seventh-place Brandon Bernstein by six points.
“Our team started the day perfectly with a very good first round, and we were excited about the second round,” Balooshi said. “But Brandon ran better than us in the second round and won the race. A part broke on our car in qualifying yesterday so it was not the best weekend for our Al Anabi team, but this is racing.
Everybody on our team is working his hardest, and I know our car and our team will be ready for next week in Topeka. Our team is still getting better and better, and we thank Sheikh Khalid for his support.” The Al Anabi Racing team will be back in action May 17- 19 at the 25th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals in Topeka, Kansas. For additional information, please visit www.nhra.com. For additional information on the Al Anabi Racing Team, please visit www.alanabiracing.com.
NEW DELHI SHANE WATSON blasted his way to 34-ball 70 to change the course of the tide as Rajasthan Royals came from early collapse to register comfortable five-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings in IPL match at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Stuart Binny also complemented the Aussie allrounder with an unbeaten 41 off 23 balls and smashed a six over extra cover off Ravindra Jadeja to help Royals chase down 141-run target with 17 balls to spare.
The 93-run partnership off 45 balls between Watson and Binny turned the match in Royals way after the hosts were tottering at 45/4 in 9.2 overs .The Watson-Binny duo raced to 50-run stand in just 23 balls to put CSK on backfoot.
With this stunning victory, Rajasthan almost secured their playoffs berth by getting back to the second place in points table.
Chasing 142-run target, Rajasthan Royals suffered a big blow when Chennai Super Kings pacer Chris Morris dismissed Rahul Dravid.
Jason Holder put Super Kings on top early in the innings with double struck in one over as he remove Ajinkya Rahane and James Faulkner to rock Rajasthan Royals chase.
Mohit Sharma also joined the party to increase Royals woes, dismissing Sanju Samson to leave Rajasthan tottering at 19/3 in 4.4 overs.
Earlier, Chennai Super Kings were nicely poised to post a big total before Rajasthan Royals bowlers put up stunning fightback to restrict the visitors to 141/4.
Dwayne Bravo played a nice cameo, hammering four boundaries in his 11-ball 23 to help Chennai post the competitive target for the hosts.
Super Kings suddenly lost the momentum as they were reduced to 89/3 in 12.5 overs from 83 for no loss.
Pacer Kevon Cooper led Royals terrific comeback as he dismissed Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni in one over.
Opener Murali Vijay held the one end after losing three quick wickets with 49- ball fifty to revive Chennai innings.
Rajasthan Royals finally got the first breakthrough when Stuart Binny struck to break the fine opening stand between Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay by removing the former.
The Aussie southpaw continued his dream run as he again snatched the orange cap from explosive Chris Gayle by scoring 41 runs.
MANCHESTER RIO FERDINAND’Sfirst league goal in five-and-a-half years ensured Alex Ferguson was given a winning sendoff, thanks to a 2-1 Premier League victory over Swansea at Old Trafford, in the veteran manager’s final home game in charge of the club.
Swansea’s Michu had equalised an opening goal from United forward Javier Hernandez and a day of celebration seemed destined to end in minor disappointment until Ferdinand, who signed for Ferguson in July 2002, appeared on the end of Robin van Persie’s 87th minute corner and shot home from six yards.
In an emotional post-match speech, Ferguson, who will be succeeded by Everton manager David Moyes, praised all at the club during his 26 years in charge.
“I had bad times here and the club stood by me, the players and fans did too. Your job now is to stand by our new manager,” said Ferguson.
As a typically torrential Manchester afternoon dampened proceedings, if not the mood, the fixture that marked Ferguson’s final home game was always to be largely irrelevant, with the manager having won his 13th English league title two weeks earlier.
But the significance of the occasion made for an electric atmosphere at Old Trafford as the teams came out and created a guard of honour for the retiring manager.
Ferguson made a low-key entrance in the circumstances, taking his place on the United bench for the 1,499th time as manager, as a club employee held up the electronic substitutes’ board to display the figures “26” and “38”, the number of years Ferguson has been in charge and the number of major trophies he has won, respectively.
The 75,000-plus crowd had also been issued with flags, red for United, white for the few thousand visiting supporters, while one side of the stadium displayed a mosaic which spelt out “Champions” during the pre-match festivities.
There was such an air of celebration and reminiscence around Old Trafford that one burning issue hardly registered, the fact that England striker Wayne Rooney was not even named among the substitutes by Ferguson.
News emerged this week that, for the second time in two years, Rooney had recently requested a transfer, one initially rejected by Ferguson who clearly made his feelings known in his penultimate ever United team selection.
Instead, all eyes on the pitch were cast towards Paul Scholes, the 38- year-old United midfielder, who had similarly announced he is to retire at season’s end and was handed a start by Ferguson.
Injuries have ravaged Scholes’ final season in the game, with the former England international not having appeared since late January, and there was an obvious willing among team mates and supporters alike for the popular midfielder to mark his farewell with a goal.
The closest he came was in the 25th minute when Hernandez slipped through a neat pass but Scholes failed to make decent contact with an 18-yard shot that was easily stopped by Gerhard Tremmel.
Indeed, Hernandez was influential in most of United’s best attacking moments before finally giving his team a 39th minute lead when Ashley Williams deflected a van Persie freekick into his path. The Mexican forward slid in with a well-timed shot that beat the dive of Tremmel.
Hernandez had struck the underside of the bar after just four minutes and volleyed just over later in the half while van Persie’s crisp 18-yard strike forced Tremmel into conceding a corner just before the break.