The week in numbers: w/e 18/3/12

Tendulkar finally completed his century of centuries after waiting for more than a year

100Sachin Tendulkar finally ended a run of 33 innings – over the space of 370 days – without a hundred to become the first batsman ever to hit 100 international centuries, scoring 114 in a one-day international against Bangladesh in Dhaka. However, Bangladesh won the match by five wickets.

3Wales completed their Six Nations campaign with a third Grand Slam in eight years after their 16-9 victory over France.

5 – Italy’s 13-6 victory over Scotland left them bottom of the Six Nations table having lost all five games.

16 – Big Buck’s tied Sir Ken’s record of 16 consecutive jumps victories by winning the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for a record fourth time.

23 – World number one Victoria Azarenka recorded her 23rd consecutive victory of 2012 as she defeated Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-3 to win the Indian Wells tournament.

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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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My sporting month: March 2012

The football season will be gearing up for its home stretch in March, as the Premier League season enters its final third and we have the quarter-finals of both the FA Cup and the Champions League to look forward to. Similarly the Six Nations reaches its climax this month with a potential Grand Slam showdown to look forward to. And the England cricket team embark on the final leg of their winter tours.

But for many other sports their year is only just beginning, or at least getting into their stride. As winter turns to spring, here are five of the key sporting events I’ll be watching this month.

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The week in numbers: w/e 26/2/12

Pietersen bagged a brace of centuries in the one-dayers against Pakistan

4Kevin Pietersen hit 130 as England won the fourth one-day international against Pakistan by four wickets to complete a series whitewash. England batsmen scored centuries in each match, with Pietersen and captain Alastair Cook registering two each.

2Liverpool won the Carling Cup 3-2 on penalties after the game finished 2-2 in extra time (1-1 after 90 minutes). But it wasn’t a good day for the Gerrard family. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard saw the opening spot-kick of the shootout saved, while cousin Anthony missed the target with the final penalty.

45 – Including extra time, Liverpool had 45 shots in the game, an average of one every 160 seconds.

20Wales secured their 20th Triple Crown with a dramatic 19-12 Six Nations win at Twickenham to follow their previous wins over Ireland and Scotland. Scott Williams scored the only try of the game with five minutes left, but England’s David Strettle had a last-gasp try controversially ruled out as officials decided he had not grounded the ball.

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The week in numbers: w/e 27/3/11

Bonds faces the possibility of being expunged from the MLB record books (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

762 – Career home runs struck by Barry Bonds, a Major League Baseball record. Bonds is now facing trial for perjury, having previously told a grand jury that he had never knowingly taken performance enhancing drugs. He is alleged to have doped as part of the Balco conspiracy.

4Oxford won the 157th University Boat Race by a surprisingly easy four lengths over favourites Cambridge on Saturday.

19 – Age of Oxford’s Constantine Louloudis, the youngest rower on either crew. The Londoner is considered to have a chance of representing Great Britain at next year’s Olympics.

1 – Rowers named Redgrave racing on Boat Race weekend. Natalie, 19-year old daughter of Sir Steve Redgrave, was part of the winning Oxford crew in the women’s race in Henley on Sunday.

3Sebastian Vettel secured a dominant victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne. It was his third consecutive win dating back to last season, and his 11th overall in F1.

New Wales captain Ramsey got off to a losing start

20 – At the age of 20, Aaron Ramsey became Wales‘s youngest captain ever, but England nevertheless won 2-0 at the Millennium Stadium thanks to early goals by Frank Lampard and Darren Bent.

49 Spain came from 1-0 down to beat the Czech Republic 2-1 courtesy of two second half goals by David Villa. They have now have lost just one of their 49 competitive home matches since 1991 (1-0 vs Greece, June 2003).

118 – World ranking of Alex Bogomolov Jr, who defeated Andy Murray in straight sets at the Sony Ericsson Open. It is the second consecutive tournament in which Murray has lost to a qualifier, having been eliminated from BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells by Donald Young.

1 – Number of gold medals won by the Great Britain team at cycling’s World Track Championships at Apeldoorn in Holland. Only the women’s team pursuit won their event, although Britain did win three silver and five bronze medals. Australia topped the medal table with eight golds.

The cricket World Cup in numbers

8Pakistan’s slow bowlers took eight of the ten West Indies wickets in bowling their opponents out for a miserly 112 in their quarter-final victory.

Ponting produced a brave century in defeat

104 – Australia captain Ricky Ponting scored 104 against India – two more runs than he had managed in total in his five previous innings in the tournament – but it was not enough to prevent the three-time defending champions from sliding to defeat.

1996 – India’s quarter-final win means someone other than Australia will win the World Cup for the first time since 1996. It will also be the first final not to feature the Aussies since 1992.

51South Africa lost their last seven wickets for just 51 runs, throwing away a seemingly dominant position as New Zealand won a thrilling match by 49 runs.

3Eoin Morgan was dropped three times by Sri Lanka en route to making 50 during England’s ten-wicket quarter-final defeat.

2Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Thuranga are the only opening pair to both make centuries in a World Cup match. Their unbeaten stand of 231 against England marked the second time they have achieved this feat.

3 – England have now lost on all three occasions after winning the toss and choosing to bat in a World Cup knockout match (also against India in 1983 and Sri Lanka in 1996).

2 – Two of the four quarter-finals were won without losing a wicket by the team batting second – Pakistan against the West Indies, and Sri Lanka against England.

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

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