The week in numbers: w/e 11/3/12

Wiggins' win on the final stage clinched overall victory (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

2 – Bradley Wiggins became only the second British cyclist (after Tom Simpson in 1967) to claim victory in the Paris-Nice stage race, as he won the final stage individual time trial to beat Lieuwe Westra by eight seconds overall. It was also Wiggins’ second major stage race win after the Criterium du Dauphine last year.

4 – Scotland were condemned to their fourth loss in as many matches in this year’s Six Nations as they lost 32-14 to Ireland. Similarly, Italy joined them with an identical record as they lost 24-3 in Wales, who can clinch a Grand Slam if they can beat France in Cardiff on Saturday.

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The week in numbers: w/e 13/3/11

Puncheon scored a late consolation against Chelsea

14Jason Puncheon‘s late consolation goal in Blackpool‘s 3-1 home defeat to Chelsea maintained their record of having both scored and conceded in every home game this season – 14 games in all. With five home games remaining, they have already tied the Premier League record in this category.

3 – Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington won the 200m, 400m, and 800m freestyle events at last week’s British Championships.

24Brian O’Driscoll scored a record-equalling 24th Six/Five Nations championship try, but Ireland still lost to Wales 19-13 in Cardiff.

1 – Italy secured arguably their biggest ever win as they came from behind to beat France for the first time in the Six Nations, 22-21.

0 – Arsenal became the only team to record zero shots in a Champions League match since at least August 2003 in their 3-1 defeat at Barcelona. (Their goal came courtesy of a Sergio Busquets own goal.)

21Shakhtar Donetsk‘s 3-0 win over Roma was their 21st consecutive home win in all competitions. They are unbeaten in 57 home games since October 2008.

Huth scored his eighth goal of the season

8 – Defender Robert Huth scored his eighth goal of the season (in just 35 games) as Stoke beat West Ham 2-1 in their FA Cup quarter-final.

20 – Arsenal had 20 shots against Manchester United at Old Trafford, but were unable to beat Edwin van der Sar as United ran out 2-0 winners in their quarter-final.

3 – None of the four FA Cup semi-finalists are south of Stoke, for only the third time in the competition’s history.

3 – Cyclist Bradley Wiggins finished third at Paris-Nice, 41 seconds behind overall winner Tony Martin. He was the first Briton to finish on the podium since Chris Boardman in 1996.

The cricket World Cup in numbers

114 – Runs scored by New Zealand in the final four overs of their innings against Pakistan. On his 27th birthday, Ross Taylor scored an unbeaten 131, 63 of which came off just 19 balls in the last six overs. The Kiwis won by 110 runs.

28 – Runs off the 47th over of the New Zealand innings, bowled by Shoaib Akhtar – a new World Cup record.

Razzaq conceded more runs than any other bowler in a World Cup over

30 – Runs off the 49th over of the New Zealand innings, bowled by Abdul Razzaq – breaking the World Cup record set two overs previously.

282Upul Tharanga‘s partnership of 282 with Tillakaratne Dilshan in Sri Lanka‘s 139-run win over Zimbabwe means he has been involved in both the two highest first wicket partnerships in ODIs (also 286 with Sanath Jayasuriya versus England in 2006).

2Bangladesh‘s two-wicket win over England was only their second in 15 ODIs against England.

99 Sachin Tendulkar scored 111 in India’s nail-biting three-wicket defeat by South Africa. It was his 99th international century (51 in Tests, 48 in ODIs).

Sehwag is a consistently fast starter

5 – In each of his five matches in this World Cup, India’s Virender Sehwag has hit the first delivery he has faced for four.

29 – India lost their last nine wickets for just 29 runs as they collapsed from 267/1 to 296 all out against South Africa.

358 – New Zealand’s total of 358/6 in their 97-run win over Canada was their second highest in World Cup matches, behind the 363 they made against the same opponents in 2007.

33 – With a 60-run win over Kenya, Australia extended their unbeaten run in World Cups to 33 consecutive matches since their loss to Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup.

(Some statistics courtesy of Opta Sports, The Times@InfostradaLiveCricinfo and @StatManJon.)

World Cup preview in numbers

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last few months, you will be aware that the football World Cup kicks off tomorrow in South Africa. Everywhere you look – newspapers, magazines, websites – there is a multitude of preview information out there. Being something of a statto, here is my view of the forthcoming tournament in numbers.

The road to South Africa

19 – This is the 19th World Cup tournament, the first having taken place in 1930. History.

849 – Total number of qualifying matches played by 200 national teams to determine the 32 participants in the World Cup. Marathon.

2,337 – In those 849 games, a total of 2,337 goals were scored. Abacus.

53 – Number of teams who entered the qualifying competitions in both Africa and Europe, the joint-highest among FIFA‘s six continental regions. Europe has 13 places at the finals; Africa just 5, including the hosts South Africa. Unbalanced?

10 – The FIFA ranking of Croatia, the highest-ranked nation not present at these finals. Unlucky.

2,063 – The total number of goals scored in the 18 World Cup finals tournaments to date, the last being scored byItaly’s Marco Materazzi, who is perhaps better remembered for his altercation with Zinedine Zidane. Head-butt.

About the tournament

10 – Ten stadia in nine different cities will host games during the World Cup. Soccer City in Johannesburg will host both the opening game and the final of the tournament. Prestigious.

5,750 – Seven of the ten stadia are above sea level, with five being above 4,000 feet. The two Johannesburg venues, Soccer City and Ellis Park, are the highest of all at 5,750 feet – more than a mile above sea level. Vertigo.

64 – The tournament consists of 64 separate matches, three-quarters of them in the initial group stage. Up-front.

87 – The total number of referees and assistant referees who will officiate during the tournament. Choice.

1 – The number of countries to have competed at all 19 World Cups – Brazil, winners on five occasions. Ever-present.

Who’s going to win?

0 – The number of times a European team has won a World Cup hosted outside Europe. (There have been eight previous tournaments held outside Europe.) Homesick.

2 – The number of times England have defeated a previous champion during the World Cup (West Germany in the 1966 final, Argentina in the 2002 group phase). Overrated?

28.7 – The average age of England’s squad, the oldest in the tournament. The two finalists in 2006, Italy and France, had the oldest squads in that tournament. Experience.

85 – North Korea‘s FIFA ranking, making them quantitatively the worst nation at the World Cup. Underdogs.

1-1 – On the last two occasions Italy have won the World Cup (1982 and 2006), they have drawn 1-1 with Switzerland in a pre-tournament friendly. Italy played Switzerland in a warm-up game last Saturday … and drew 1-1. Hat-trick?

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