CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (CMC):Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes has defended the turning pitch in last week’s opening Test against the Windies, contending that the varying types of tracks around the world helped maintain the “intrigue” of Test cricket.Spinners grabbed 34 of the 40 wickets to fall at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium as the Windies plunged to a shock 64-run defeat inside three days – their first-ever loss on Bangladeshi soil.Set 204 to win, the Windies were bundled out for 139 in 35.2 overs, with left-arm spinner Taijul Islam snapping up six wickets.Rhodes said the first Test scenario was no different from the conditions Bangladesh faced on their tour of the Caribbean earlier this year, when they were bundled out for a record low 43 on the first day in seam-friendly conditions.”I think in the subcontinent, you come to expect turning wickets, so it is no surprise. It is a turning wicket in Colombo where a Test match is going on between England and Sri Lanka,” Rhodes pointed out, in reference to the third Test which ended Monday.”It is just a different type of wicket. I take you back to the Antigua Test, where we played on very alien conditions: green and bouncy, a swinging Duke ball, which nipped around a lot. It was very different.He added: “I think that’s the beauty of playing around the world. There’s lots of different ways of playing this wonderful game. Coming to Bangladesh and playing on different wickets did make [for] some intriguing cricket.”When you feel a little bit worried about getting out [on a turning pitch] , you tend to play in a manner that is a little bit counter-attacking.Pressure factor”Sometimes that looks like rash batting for Test cricket. But it is the pressure that you are being put under and you’re trying to make that bowler not bowl as well. You counterattack a little bit.”To further underscore his point, Rhodes was quick to praise 21-year-old Shimron Hetmyer, who was perhaps the best Windies batsman on show.The aggressive left-hander counter-attacked the Bangladesh spinners in both innings, smashing 63 from 47 balls in the first innings and 27 from 19 deliveries in the second.”I thought Hetmyer’s innings was very interesting. He counter-attacked us,” Rhodes noted. “I was so glad to see him gone in the second innings. He could have caused danger if he lasted an hour.”The Windies face Bangladesh in the second and final Test starting Friday in Dhaka with the prospect of another turner being prepared for the contest.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side are 15 points ahead of nearest challengers Manchester United 1 Pep Guardiola disagrees with rival manager Jose Mourinho that the Premier League title race is as good as over.Guardiola’s Manchester City hold a 15-point lead over Mourinho’s Manchester United, who are their nearest challengers after 25 games.Mourinho said at a news conference on Friday that United “have to try to finish second” but Guardiola immediately responded by saying all was still to play for.Speaking at his own press conference to preview Saturday’s trip to Burnley, Guardiola said: “There are 13 games, 39 points to play (for). We have (a lead of) 15. It’s not over.“We have amazing, tough games to play, for example tomorrow. We cannot deny how complicated it is playing at Burnley.“After that we have to go to Stoke City, Goodison Park, we have games against Arsenal, Tottenham, United, Chelsea. Definitely it’s not over.”City have already beaten Burnley twice at the Etihad Stadium this season – 3-0 in the league and 4-1 in the FA Cup – but neither were as straightforward as the final scorelines suggest.The Clarets are enjoying an outstanding campaign and will go into the game seventh in the table.Guardiola said: “Last season we won there but it was one of the toughest games we played. It will be tough.“We have to avoid fouls, we have to control the second balls and long balls to (Ashley) Barnes in the box.“They are masters, they are one of the best in the Premier League in this style. In this system they create a lot of pressure.“In free-kicks and corners they are so good. We have to avoid it this kind of game as much as possible and do our game to make another step to the title race.”Playmaker David Silva is doubtful for the game after leaving the field with a side injury in the midweek victory over West Brom.“On Thursday he could not train,” Guardiola said. “He was recovering. He had a painful kick in the side. We are going to see today how he feels.”Guardiola delivered a positive update on long-term knee injury victim Benjamin Mendy, saying he was on course to return to training some time in March. Striker Gabriel Jesus still requires “four or five weeks of rest” after a knee injury.A number of City players have been on the receiving end of some bad tackles in recent weeks, prompting Guardiola to call for for better protection from referees, but he did not want to discuss that matter further.He said: “I’ve said enough. I think we were clear. Playing football again – tomorrow at 1230 – that’s what I’m thinking about.”
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possibleHe said it was unlikely any of the spinach growers would plant more this year, and that they would probably shift their fields to other vegetables. “They are going to lose this planting, but it is not going to put them out of business,” he said, adding that if the crop is not harvested this week, it probably will be lost. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! OXNARD – Although there is no evidence of E. coli contamination in Ventura County spinach, a handful of farmers growing in the Oxnard area stopped harvesting the crop when demand dropped because of the scare, officials said Monday. “None of it is being harvested,” said Earl McPhail, Ventura County’s agricultural commissioner. “We probably have about 200 acres in the ground right now. We don’t know if they will be able to pick any of it. “What people need to understand, our spinach is fine,” he said. “But nobody is ordering any. We are all getting painted by the same paint brush.” McPhail said he could not estimate the current Ventura County spinach crop. In 2005, spinach represented about $8 million, less than 1 percent of the county’s $1.23 billion overall agricultural production.