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The week in numbers: w/e 5/2/12

Angelo Dundee, 1921-2012. RIP (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

90 – Age of legendary boxing trainer Angelo Dundee, who reportedly had a heart attack after being taken to hospital with a blood clot. Dundee worked alongside former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali for 20 years.

2 – The New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI in the early hours of this morning. It was the second time in the past five seasons the Giants have beaten the Patriots in the NFL title game. On both occasions they have scored the winning touchdown inside the final minute. (You can find more statistically-related observations over on my Super Bowl in numbers post.)

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My sporting month: February 2012

February sees major sporting events all over the globe, from the NFL’s Super Bowl in Indianapolis to a glut of events in the Middle East: Test cricket in Dubai, and cycling in Qatar and Oman. Closer to home football’s Champions League enters its knockout phase, with eight first-leg matches including tricky assignments for the Premier League’s two survivors, Arsenal and Chelsea. And that is just the first of a series of challenging fixtures for the misfiring Gunners, who face a horrendous run of games in a short spell. But it will certainly be an exciting month, and here are five of the key events I will be following in February.

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My sporting month: January 2012

A new year brings with it the start of the season for many sports which have been in hibernation over the past couple of months. For winter sports, it sees the competition hotting up as their calendars pass the midway point or, in some cases, the road to the end-of-season playoffs.

With both the London Olympics and football’s European Championships upcoming this summer, 2012 looks set to be a bumper year for all sports fans. And January gets things off to a fast start with a post-Christmas cracker of a schedule. Here is a personal list of my top five events for the coming month.

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The courts have done their bit, now cricket’s authorities must too

Butt received a 2½-year sentence

Former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were all handed prison sentences in a British court today, ranging from six months to 2½ years. Many observers have expressed shock and dismay that the trio are to be jailed at all for their role in the apparently minor offence of deliberately bowling three no-balls at pre-arranged times in a Test match against England at Lord’s last summer.

For many, though – myself included – it was a necessarily strong stance against the growing spectre of corruption in sport which threatens to undermine not just Pakistani cricket or indeed cricket as a whole, but the most fundamental principles of honest competition on which all sport is supposedly based. But what is even more important now is what the sport’s authorities do going forward in order to combat a problem to which they have turned a blind eye for several years.

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The week in numbers: w/e 3/4/11

24Novak Djokovic defeated world number one Rafael Nadal 4-6 6-3 7-6 to claim the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, his fourth title of the year. His 2011 record is now 24-0, the best start to a year in men’s tennis since Ivan Lendl had 25 consecutive victories in 1986.

9 – Total points scored by Matthew Stevens in his 5-0 defeat by Stephen Hendry at the China Open. It was the lowest aggregate score ever in a televised best-of-nine match. Hendry scored 444 points.

Williams scored four centuries in his 5-4 defeat by Stephen Lee

4 – Centuries scored by Mark Williams (100, 113, 104 and 137) in his China Open match against Stephen Lee. He nonetheless lost 5-4.

17 – Despite Asamoah Gyan‘s 91st-minute equaliser for Ghana at Wembley, England remain unbeaten in all 17 games they have played against African opposition, winning 11 and drawing six.

9 – Goals scored by Holland against Hungary in the space of five days. They followed up a 4-0 win in Budapest with a 5-3 victory in Amsterdam.

1Germany were beaten 2-1 by Australia in a friendly in Mönchengladbach. It was the first time they have ever lost a match to a nation outside of Europe and South America.

150José Mourinho‘s record of 150 consecutive home games without defeat as a manager ended when Real Madrid were defeated 1-0 by Sporting Gijón. Before that, his previous home loss came in March 2002 (Porto 2 Beira 3).

3 – Defending Masters champion Phil Mickelson will go to Augusta in good form after winning the Houston Open by three shots.

The cricket World Cup in numbers

6New Zealand lost their semi-final to Sri Lanka by five wickets. It was the sixth time in ten World Cups they have reached the semi-finals, but have yet to win one.

4Sachin Tendulkar was dropped four times (on 27, 45, 70 and 81) before being finally dismissed for 85 as India beat Pakistan by 29 runs in their semi-final.

275 – Target set by Sri Lanka (who scored 274/6) in the final, which India successfully overhauled to make it the most successful run chase ever in a World Cup final.

Jayawardene scored an unbeaten century in the final

103 – In defeat, Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene scored an unbeaten 103 off just 88 balls.

500 – Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan finished as the tournament’s highest run-scorer, with 500 at an average of 62.50.

21 – Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi and India’s Zaheer Khan finished as the tournament’s leading bowlers with 21 each after Khan claimed the wickets of Upul Tharanga and Chamara Kapugedera in the final.

14 – New Zealand’s Ross Taylor hit 14 sixes, three more than any other player at the World Cup.

The Premier League in numbers

2 – Manchester United conceded two penalties in a Premier League match for the first time in their 4-2 win at West Ham. (Mark Noble converted both of them.)

Hernández has now scored five times as a sub

5 – United’s Javier Hernández scored his fifth league goal of the season as a substitute, more than any other player. (It was his 11th Premier League goal overall.)

4 Kevin Phillips hit Birmingham‘s joint-fastest goal of the season in the fourth minute, as they beat Bolton 2-1.  also scored in the fourth minute of the reverse fixture at Bolton back in August.

1 Everton were finally awarded their first penalty of the season (scored by Leighton Baines) in their 2-2 draw with Aston Villa. They were the last Premier League team to be given a penalty this season.

11 – Everton have now failed to win in their last 11 matches played on April 2nd. They last won on this date in 1938.

12 West Bromwich Albion‘s 2-1 win over Liverpool broke a run of 12 successive league defeats against the Anfield club.

8 Steven N’Zonzi was sent off during Blackburn‘s 0-0 draw at Arsenal. The Gunners have seen more opponents sent off (eight) in Premier League matches than any other club – and all have been straight reds.

5Manchester City had five different goalscorers (Adam Johnson, Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Patrick Vieira and Yaya Touré) as they thrashed Sunderland 5-0.

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

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