Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netHow sweep it is!Lyceum gutted out a thrilling 107-105 double overtime victory over San Beda to complete an 18-0 sweep and take the top seed in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.ADVERTISEMENT After their unprecedented run in the elimination round, the Pirates will now advance to the best-of-three Finals, where they will face the last team standing in the stepladder semis.“They just don’t wanna give up,” said coach Topex Robinson. “Credit goes to the coaches also, they are working extra hard. It’s really about being together, we always talk about together is better. It’s just a testament of really working together as a solid group, you can really change a lot. I’m so blessed I’m surrounded with the right people. These guys really get the credit, it’s not mine.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMike Nzeusseu towered over the competition with 27 points, 21 rebounds, and two blocks, but his contributions go farther than the stat sheets as his endgame heroics saved Lyceum in the clutch.The Cameroonian big man drilled the go-ahead freebies with 12.7 seconds to play, 106-105, in the second overtime period before getting the job done on the defensive end as he intimidated Robert Bolick’s attempt in the waning seconds. Leading MVP candidate CJ Perez fired 20 markers, six boards, six assists, and four steals, and nailed the game-sealing free throw with 1.9 ticks to go.Robinson, though, would like his wards to keep their feet on the ground as they now progress to the championship round.“It’s still a long way to go. There’s so much things that we have to work on, and we always have to stay humble and be grateful for everything that’s been given to us. It’s a testament to how the character of this team is, and hopefully we are inspiring others in the way we play,” he said.With the game tied at 85 in the closely contested fourth period, both Lyceum and San Beda traded misses in the last two minutes including Franz Abuda’s botched potential game-winning jumper.In the overtime period, Pirates were 3.4 seconds away from the win after Perez’ drive. But the referees called a head-shaking foul on Jaycee Marcelino as he defended Bolick’s desperation heave with 1.5 seconds remaining. Bolick split his freebies to send the game to double overtime at 97-all.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Read Next BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight However, Lyceum showed its poise in the second overtime period as they bucked the graduation of integral cogs Jayvee Marcelino and Reymar Caduyac and went to Nzeusseu and Perez to salvage the game.Jaycee Marcelino fired nine points, nine rebounds, three dimes, and three steals, while Caduyac also had nine markers, three boards, and two assists in the victory.Donald Tankoua fired a career-high 34 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks for San Beda, before fouling out late in the first overtime.Bolick also unloaded 16 markers, but shot 4-of-17 from the field, to go with his five assists and two boards.Javee Mocon flirted with a triple-double with his 14 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists, as the Red Lions saw their 15-game winning streak snapped. They remained in second place with their 16-2 card.The Scores:LYCEUM 107 – Nzeusseu 27, Perez 20, Jc. Marcelino 9, Caduyac 9, Pretta 8, Santos 8, Ayaay 7, Baltazar 6, Serrano 6, Jv. Marcelino 4, Ibanez 1.SAN BEDA 105 – Tankoua 34, Bolick 16, Mocon 14, Doliguez 13, Abuda 8, Presbitero 6, Soberano 5, Noah 4, Oftana 3, Cabanag 2, Potts 0, Bahio 0, Adamos 0.Quarters: 25-22, 56-46, 70-69, 85-85, 97-97, 107-105. San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 93 PLAY LIST 02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9301:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:00NCAA Season 93 Preview: Lyceum Pirates01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Harden, Houston spoil another opener, win 105-100 at Kings View comments MOST READ Kin of Misamis Oriental hero cop to get death benefits, award — PNP
QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kung magpapalusot man lang sana ginandahan niyo na ang rason. Hindi talaga eh. Bagsak kayo sigurado kung may lie detector. 💩— LA Revilla (@wilLAREVILLAme) October 27, 2017FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 New team manager Joe Lipa offered a feeble explanation on the trade during talk with the media before PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa announced the approval, which likely triggered Revilla’s post on social media.“One man cannot spell the difference from a team winning a championship. But for us to have three to four veteran players who we believe isn’t only talented but can also contribute to the development of the younger players, we believe that we can be very competitive,” Lipa told reporters.The 27-year-old Revilla has been the team’s star since his arrival in 2014 and is entering his fourth season for the Picanto, who wasted a golden opportunity to draft a sure-fire star in Christian Standhardinger.Lipa also said the Fil-German big man, who is not the typical rookie having played professionally in Germany and with the Philippine national team, “is a great player” and “has a big potential.”Standhardinger is the consensus top choice in the coming draft on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Revilla hasn’t taken down the tweet and also hasn’t made another statement. View comments The trade was also approved by PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa Friday night an hour before Game 7 of the 2017 Governors’ Cup, won by Barangay Ginebra, tipped off. Kia acquired Ronald Tubid, JayR Reyes, Rashawn McCarthy, and a 2019 first round pick.Trading away a high draft pick is nothing new to Kia.In 2015, the franchise also dealt its rights to No. 2 pick, which turned out to be Troy Rosario, to Talk ’N Text in a three-team trade and got veteran swingmen Aldrech Ramos and KG Canaleta in return.The Picanto followed it up with another head-scratching move a season later when they shipped Ramos and Canaleta despite having a promising campaign.Kia recorded a woeful 6-27 slate this season, including a 0-11 card in the Governors’ Cup. LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH It appears that even LA Revilla couldn’t hide his dismay over Kia’s controversial move that sent the No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 PBA Draft to San Miguel Beer.Revilla, the Picanto point guard, wrote a cryptic tweet on Friday night, the same day that after Kia management defended the team’s eyebrow-raising trade move and asked for patience from fans for their “unconventional” ways in the league.ADVERTISEMENT Black admits ‘not very happy’ with how Game 7 was governed John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games
LATEST STORIES Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd PLAY LIST 02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City After that little spurt, UST would then give up three straight points due to errors for a 13-8 La Salle lead.Tin Tiamzon then, put the Lady Spikers on match point, 14-8, before a team block against Rondina sealed the win.READ: ‘Before there was Alyssa, now there’s Rondina’Rondina scored a game-high 28 points and the energetic Cebuana said all her efforts, despite going down the drain following the loss, were for UST.“What I did, I did it for UST,” said Rondina who is in her fourth year in the league. “I wanted to prove this since my first year because when I got to UST I said that I won’t ever let the school down.”ADVERTISEMENT And she’s just getting started. View comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER/netFor all the guts and determination University of Santo Tomas showed in its five-set match against De La Salle, it still wasn’t enough as the defending champion still walked out of Mall of Asia Arena with the victory.The Golden Tigresses managed to push the Lady Spikers to their limits in their epic five-setter in the opening day of the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament but La Salle ultimately held on for a 25-20, 17-25, 25-22, 15-25, 15-8 victory.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC READ: La Salle outlasts UST in thrillerCherry Rondina said UST failed to display the composure needed to take the win in such a closely-contested game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We need that attitude where we would really want to win the game especially if it was that close,” said Rondina in Filipino.When La Salle raced to a 10-5 lead in the fifth set, UST answered with three straight points to cut the lead to 10-8 but that proved to be the Golden Tigresses’ last hoorah. Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gassiev knocks out Dorticos in cruiserweight unification bout
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOBIÑAN, Laguna—The Philippines launched an offensive masterpiece and dismantled Hong Kong, 25-21, 25-16, 25-17, to open its group stage campaign in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship Wednesday at Alonte Sports Arena here.The hosts took the top spot in the three-team Pool A with a 1-0 record and another win for the Filipinos will put them in the quarterfinals.ADVERTISEMENT Maika Ortiz finished things off for the Philippines with a down-the-line kill in a game that head coach Francis Vicente foresaw as a victory.“Not that I’m bragging but I expected to win today,” said Vicente in Filipino. “But I want to see more from my players. I want to push them so they exceed expectations.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe Philippines did outscore Hong Kong in spikes, 50-25, but the hosts also gave away 23 free points due to errors.Vicente added some of his players did experience jitters like Kianna Dy and Gen Casugod, but the head coach was still pleased with how the two helped the team in the bigger picture. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo MOST READ View comments Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo “That’s normal, we can’t do anything about it even if we’re put in that situation we would feel nervous also,” said Vicente. “We’re all humans, but the important thing is that they delivered and all those nerves will disappear in the long run.”Alyssa Valdez and Jaja Santiago were the Philippines’ two-headed monster as the duo put up 14 and 13 points, respectively.Kim Fajardo also did some dirty work with seven points to go along her 39 excellent sets.Chim Wing Lam led Hong Kong with seven.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Flying V shrugs off elims sweep with bigger task at hand in semis
The Filipino duo of Jemyca Aribado and Yvone Alyssa Dalida entered the women’s doubles semifinals in squash after beating the Thai tandem of Suviva Kitvijarn and Tuddaw Thamronglarp, 11-4, in the 29th Southeast Asian Games Tuesday.Aribado and Dalida, who drew a bye in the round of 16, arranged a duel with Malaysia’s Chan Yiwen and Nazihah Haris in the semis.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul SEA Games: PH fencers add 1 gold, 2 silvers, 1 bronze to medal haul Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ The two easily ousted the Thais despite Dalida’s health issues. Dalida played with a strained right hand.The semis matchup against the hometown bets is on Tuesday, 8 p.m.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe men’s team, however, wasn’t so fortunate as Reymark Begornia and Robert Garcia were ousted by Ong Sai Hung and Mohd Farez Izwan of Malaysia, 11-2, 11-6. Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony MOST READ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View comments
Roger Federer didn’t waste any time on Monday at the Australian Open, winning his opening match by playing like a man who doesn’t want his remarkable 7 1/2-year run of success in Grand Slams to end.Roger Federer celebrates his win over Lukas Lacko in Melbourne. APFederer was rarely troubled in beating Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 in 84 minutes on the first day at Melbourne Park, barely waiting for ballboys and ballgirls to get back to their positions before serving. The win came at Rod Laver Arena, a stadium named after the player who Federer’s main rival here – Rafael Nadal – is trying to emulate.Nadal has won three majors in a row – last year’s French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open. So unless Federer can win the final on Jan. 30, it will be the first time since winning Wimbledon in 2003 that the Swiss star hasn’t held at least one major title.His 24-year-old Spanish rival is trying to make it four in a row and complete his “Rafa Slam.” Laver won all four in 1969, a true calendar year Grand Slam.”I tried to play offensive from the start and see where it takes me,” Federer said after his easy victory over Lacko. “I was able to keep on pressing, put him on the back foot. I was really happy I chose that tactic early on to pressure him.”Third-seeded Novak Djokovic, the 2008 champion, was rarely under pressure as he beat Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 with a relentess display of all-court tennis in the night match, smashing winners from the baseline just a point after coming to the net for a backhand slice drop shot.advertisementAndy Roddick had a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic. The eighth-seeded American is trying to end a Grand Slam drought – his one and only major came at the 2003 U.S. Open.”I had a good off season,” Roddick said. “I feel healthy and strong for the first time in a while. I certainly feel like I’m prepared.”Two other American men had contrasting fortunes in five-setters – No. 18 Sam Querrey lost to Lukasz Kubot of Poland 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 8-6, while 16th-seeded Mardy Fish came back from two sets down to beat Victor Hanescu of Romania 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.”I’ve never come back from two sets to love before (and) I’ve had a long career,” Fish said. “I’ve played a lot of five-set matches, it certainly was on my mind.”No. 23 Nikolay Davydenko, a quarterfinalist last year, lost 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 to Florian Mayer. Former world junior champion Thiemo De Bakker served for the match at 5-3 in the third against 12th-seeded Gael Monfils but lost 6-7 (5), 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1.In other men’s results, sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych, who lost the last Wimbledon final to Nadal, beat Marco Crugnola of Italy 6-4, 6-0, 6-2, and 28th-seeded Richard Gasquet of France defeated Canadian qualifier Frank Dancevic 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.Gilles Simon of France beat Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 and will next face Federer. Simon is one of the few players on tour to hold a winning record against Federer, winning both previous meetings on hard courts in 2008.”Maybe I will look just a bit more into what has worked and what has not worked against him (Simon) in the past,” Federer said.Ninth-seeded Fernando Verdasco, who made an impressive run to the semifinals in Melbourne two years ago, beat Rainer Schuettler of Germany 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 and No. 17 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia defeated Australian wild card entry Peter Luczak 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (2).Caroline Wozniacki started her first major as the No. 1-ranked woman with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Argentina’s Gisela Dulko. It was 20-year-old Wozniacki’s first official tournament win of the year, following a straight-sets loss to Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova last week at the Sydney International and exhibition losses to No. 2 Vera Zvonareva and Kim Clijsters.Wozniacki won six tournaments in 2010, including four of her last six.Fifth-seeded Venus Williams advanced after beating Sara Errani of Italy 6-3, 6-2. The American star is the only Williams sister in the draw this year after defending champion Serena withdrew because of a foot injury.Justine Henin overcame a slow start to beat Indian qualifier Sania Mirza 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. Henin, who lost the 2010 Australian final to Serena Williams just weeks into a comeback to the tour from retirement, had one set point in the first, but allowed Mirza to break her service, then win the next two games to take the set.advertisementThe seven-time Grand Slam winner said it was a difficult match – “even if I wasn’t at my best, I was fighting at every point.”Maria Sharapova won for the first time at Melbourne Park since taking the 2008 title, beating Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-1, 6-3 in the opening match on Rod Laver Arena.Sharapova, who missed the 2009 tournament because of a shoulder injury and was ousted in the first round last year by fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko, struggled with her serve and was inconsistent in the second set. She finished with 10 double-faults and five aces. After losing the opening service game at love, Sharapova won seven straight games to take a 6-1, 1-0 lead.”I was definitely a little bit nervous in the beginning. Last year, I played first match on center and I lost,” she said. “Kind of was like, ‘I don’t want this to happen again this year.’French Open champion Francesca Schiavone had difficulty in her first match, beating Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4. In other women’s matches, last year’s semifinalist Li Na of China had a 6-1, 7-5 win over Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson and No. 15 Marion Bartoli of France shut out Italy’s Tathiana Garbin 6-0, 6-0.No. 20 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia and No. 29 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia advanced, along with No. 30 Andrea Petkovic, who beat American Jill Craybas 6-1, 6-2.
Two actresses can clearly not be friends in Bollywood. Never mind that they belong to different age groups. We hear that all is not well between Sonakshi Sinha and Malaika Arora Khan, both of whom worked in the film Dabangg. At the recently held Sahara India Sports Awards, Sonakshi marked her stage debut with a performance of the Munni badnaam hui track from the film, originally picturised on Malaika.Everyone applauded Sonakshi for her first stage act, which she performed with much grace and aplomb. However, sources confirm that Malaika was disturbed that Sonakshi performed on Munni when she could have chosen any other number.”Malaika is using Munni as her big ticket song, to be performed at various stage shows. She doesn’t want anyone else to perform to it,” said a source.While Salman Khan launched Shatrughan Sinha’s daughter, Sonakshi, Malaika is his bhabhi. Malaika is miffed because she wants the song to remain exclusively associated with her.Ever since the movie was released, Malaika has been spotted at various events performing to the popular track. However, she was not approached for the Sahara awards. The show was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan and the Munni number was one of the highlights of the event.
Still smarting from their defeat at the hands of Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Kolkata Knight Riders will have to get their act together soon and come out all guns blazing against defending champions Chennai Super Kings in their IPL return-leg match in Kolkata on Saturday.Kolkata’s three-match winning run came to a halt on Thursday, when Kochi defeated the Shah Rukh Khan-owned side by 17 runs.And with just four more matches left in the round robin stage, there is little room for error for the hosts who will be hoping to return to winning ways.Going into Saturday’s clash at the historic Eden Gardens, there is little difference between the two teams on the points table with both on 12 each. However, Chennai have played nine matches, compared to Kolkata’s 10.Kolkata can take heart from the fact that in this edition of the Twenty20 league, unlike the first three seasons, they have been a picture of consistency so far.Both their batting as well as bowling departments have clicked from the onset, even though there was a glitch on Thursday against the Tuskers where their middle order choked from a winning position.Even in their loss against Kochi, the Knight Riders found a bright spot in Eoin Morgan, who returned to form with a 51-ball 66.It will surely give a lot of confidence to skipper Gautam Gambhir, who promoted Morgan to the opening position along with an in-form Jacques Kallis after the English lefthander was lacklustre in the first half of the tournament.advertisementMorgan finally came good during the opening partnership with Kallis to keep Kolkata in the hunt before the middle-order collapsed to record their second loss at the hands of Kochi.On the bowling front, pace spearhead Brett Lee would hope to get his act together after conceding 22 runs against Kochi in the last over of the previous match that proved to be the difference in their 17-run loss.Gambhir’s men will have to put in a big effort against Chennai, who are on a fourmatch winning streak.In skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Super Kings have a cool and crafty tactician who has the ability to come up with matchchanging surprises when the chips are down.Like Kolkata, Chennai too possess a strong batting line-up with Australian Michael Hussey in prime form.Suresh Raina, who has 1,500-plus IPL runs, scored a half-century against Rajasthan Royals and it will give Dhoni more options.However, Chennai’s bowling department continues to be a headache for Dhoni. In Ravichandran Ashwin, Suraj Randiv and Shadab Jakati, the Chennai outfit has a three-pronged spin attack but the trio has not been that impressive as compared to their Kolkata counterparts.Off-spinner Randiv has only managed six wickets in seven games and has gone for more than 7.5 runs an over while left-arm spinner Jakati has been lacklustre but has improved in last four games.Chennai’s pace attack also lacks sting with Australian Doug Bollinger and South African Albie Morkel sharing the new ball.To add to it, in sharp contrast to their invincible status at home where they have an all-win record, Dhoni’s men have been unimpressive as visitors with all their three losses coming in away matches.- With PTI inputs
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