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The week in numbers: w/e 15/1/12

Yet another hat-trick for Messi (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

3Lionel Messi was awarded his third Ballon d’Or, becoming the fourth player (after Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco Van Basten) to win three times. He is only the second man after Platini to do so in three consecutive years.

23Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed for 15 and 8 as Australia defeated India by an innings and 37 runs in the third Test in Perth to take a 3-0 lead in the four-match series. Tendulkar remains stuck on 99 international centuries and has now gone 23 innings without registering a ton.

69 – Australia’s David Warner needed just 69 balls to score his century in Perth, the fourth-fastest ton in Test history. Four of the seven fastest centuries have been scored at the WACA. He finished with a total of 180 off 159 deliveries.

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The week in numbers: w/e 1/1/12

A shock early exit for 15-time champion Taylor (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

2 – 15-time world champion Phil Taylor was defeated by Dave Chisnall in the second round of the PDC Darts World Championship, only the second time in his career he has failed to reach at least the quarter-finals at the tournament. (He also lost in the second round in 1993.)

10 – Defending PDC champion Adrian Lewis won ten straight legs as he overturned a five sets to one deficit to beat James Wade 6-5 in their semi-final.

5 – Kauto Star won the King George VI Chase at Kempton by 1½ legs. It was his fifth win, eclipsing the record of Desert Orchid.

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The week in numbers: w/e 18/12/11

Wilkinson retired as the second-highest scorer in rugby internationals (image courtesy of rugbyworldcup.com)

1,246 – Points scored by England’s Jonny Wilkinson, who announced his retirement from international rugby last week. Only New Zealand’s Dan Carter (1250) has more international points. Wilkinson’s 36 drop goals is more than any other international player.

15 – South Africa crushed Sri Lanka by an innings and 81 runs in the first Test of a three-match series at Centurion. Sri Lanka have now failed to win any of their 15 matches since Muttiah Muralitharan retired from Test cricket in July 2010.

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My sporting month: December 2011

December is traditionally a quiet month in the sporting calendar, with many sportspeople enjoying a well-deserved rest before their 2012 seasons kick off with a vengeance. But there is nonetheless plenty of sports-related action taking place this month, with drama assured in both the Premier League and the NFL, and the draw for Euro 2012 taking place this week (Friday).

Here are the top five events I will be looking towards to help while away the cold, dark nights in the run up to Christmas and the New Year.

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The week in numbers: w/e 27/11/11

Gary Speed, 1969-2011. RIP (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

42 – Age of Gary Speed, the Wales manager and former Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton and Sheffield United midfielder, who hanged himself at his own home at the weekend. Speed made nearly 700 appearances for his various clubs, was the first man to play in 500 Premier League games and was capped 85 times for Wales, more than any other outfield player. Appointed manager of his country in December last year, he won five of his ten games in charge, including four of the last five. He is survived by a wife and two sons.

2 – In the third Test in Mumbai, India and the West Indies played out only the second ever match (in 2,019 completed Tests) to finish as a draw with the scores level (also Zimbabwe vs England, 1996). Ravichandran Ashwin, who had scored 103 in India’s first innings, was run out attempting what would have been a winning second run on the final ball of the match as India finished on 242/9 after being set 243 for victory. (There have also been two tied Tests, where both teams completed both their innings with their total scores equal.)

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