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Lanka need to use home advantage against Australia

first_imgFor all that the World Cup is billed to be, there are a few contests that carry their own baggage, irrespective of the forum and format. Sri Lanka and Australia contests are played on a tinder box ready to burst into action any moment.Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga during a training sessionThe two teams face off at the Premadasa Stadium on Saturday in a Group A match that will have a bearing on the quarter-final line-up and also prove how the teams have coped with recent off-field ‘incidents’. Players from both teams have been accused, directly or indirectly, of indulging in fixing in this World Cup. If Australian openers Brad Haddin and Shane Watson were reportedly under the lens of the ICC anti-corruption unit for unusually slow batting against Zimbabwe during a game in Ahmedabad, a local channel in Sri Lanka accused Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera of throwing a match against Pakistan. Both episodes have since died down but such accusations don’t leave the players’ mind so easily. These incidents have added spice to an already fiery encounter, given what happened in the 1996 World Cup.That time, Australia and West Indies refused to tour Sri Lanka following bomb blasts in Colombo and the hosts entered the quarter-finals even before playing a single game. The Sri Lankans then had a dream run to the final, where they, ironically, met the Aussie and beat them in the final at Lahore.But when the teams enter the ground on Saturday, the baggages will have to be left in the dressing rooms. Current form and team balance will matter and this is where the difference between the two teams has narrowed down. The Australian team of the previous World Cups were so far ahead of the competition, most teams lost a large part of the battle even before the toss. But the current Australian side has a few shortcomings which Krejza – and will rely on their pace attack.advertisementBut it’s not a bad attack to rely on. Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson form one of the fastest and most potent pace battery seen in recent times. A lot of sides have opened the bowling with spinners this World Cup but teams can expect a barrage of thunderbolts from the Aussies first up. On the batting front, the form of Watson and Clarke will be of comfort. Skipper Ponting is slowly returning to form and fitness and will be the backbone of the line-up. The Sri Lankans have a few niggling concerns in their batting. Their middle order was exposed by Pakistan last Saturday and with a lethal pace attack to contend with, any frailties will be out in the open.They, however, have a trump card up their sleeve in paceman Lasith Malinga. He played his first game of this World Cup against Kenya and picked up a hat-trick and will be expected to give the initial breakthroughs on Saturday.The wicket at the Premadasa isn’t the minefield it used to be under lights, so chasing won’t be disadvantage. But with the overcast conditions seen over the past few days, the pacers could have a say in the game. There is very little separating the two teams. The Aussies have a proud record in ICC tournaments and Sri Lanka make the best possible use of home conditions. It could well turn out to be a case of who blinks first. the Sri Lankans know can be exploited.With Michael Hussey out of their side, the ability of their batting lineup to handle the Lankan spin attack will be severely tested. Skipper Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson and Michael Clarke will be the best bet against an attack which might have three spinners in Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath.The defending champions have a spinner with modest abilities – Jason Krejza – and will rely on their pace attack. But it’s not a bad attack to rely on. Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson form one of the fastest and most potent pace battery seen in recent times. A lot of sides have opened the bowling with spinners this World Cup but teams can expect a barrage of thunderbolts from the Aussies first up. On the batting front, the form of Watson and Clarke will be of comfort. Skipper Ponting is slowly returning to form and fitness and will be the backbone of the line-up.The Sri Lankans have a few niggling concerns in their batting. Their middle order was exposed by Pakistan last Saturday and with a lethal pace attack to contend with, any frailties will be out in the open.advertisementThey, however, have a trump card up their sleeve in paceman Lasith Malinga. He played his first game of this World Cup against Kenya and picked up a hat-trick and will be expected to give the initial breakthroughs on Saturday.The wicket at the Premadasa isn’t the minefield it used to be under lights, so chasing won’t be disadvantage. But with the overcast conditions seen over the past few days, the pacers could have a say in the game. There is very little separating the two teams. The Aussies have a proud record in ICC tournaments and Sri Lanka make the best possible use of home conditions. It could well turn out to be a case of who blinks first.last_img read more

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Kylie Minogue To Perform At amfAR Inspiration Gala Sao Paulo

first_imgamfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, will return to Brazil for its fifth annual Inspiration Gala São Paulo presented by Harry Winston.The gala will again be held at the home of Dinho Diniz, hosted by Naomi Campbell and will feature tributes to Felipe Diniz and Jean Paul Gaultier. Diniz, who will receive the amfAR Inspiration Award, has been vital to the success of amfAR’s Inspiration series in Brazil since its inception. Jean Paul Gaultier, who will receive the amfAR Lifetime Achievement Award, has been an amfAR supporter and a leader in the fight against AIDS for decades.An amfAR Award of Inspiration will also be presented to the one and only Cher, the Academy Award-winning actress, singer, entertainer, humanitarian and longtime LGBT rights advocate.Co-Chairs of the event are Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole and designer Ricardo Tisci from Givenchy. Dinho Diniz will serve as Honorary Chair.The event will include cocktails, a gala dinner, a live auction, and a special rare performance by Australian pop superstar, songwriter and actress Kylie Minogue. Revered Brazilian samba singer Alcione will also perform at the event. In previous years, the Inspiration Gala São Paulo has featured performances by artists such as Mary J. Blige, Gilberto Gil, Dita Von Teese, Seu Jorge, Fergie, Bebel Gilberto, Grace Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Debbie Harry, and Preta Gil.The Inspiration Gala São Paulo’s Platinum Sponsors include Iguatemi São Paulo, Karavelle and Moët Hennessy. Sky is a Silver Sponsor. Fasano is a Bronze Sponsor. Microsoft is amfAR’s official technology partner. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of amfAR. Harry Winston is the official jewelry and timepiece partner of amfAR. Moët Hennessy is the official wine and spirits partner of amfAR.The Inspiration series was launched in 2010 by amfAR and Josh Wood Productions to celebrate men’s style and fashion while raising funds for the Foundation’s lifesaving AIDS research programs. Inspiration galas have taken place in New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, Miami, and Rio de Janeiro, raising more than $20 million to date.Tickets and tables for the event are still available; click here or email inspirationsaopaulo@amfar.org for more information.last_img read more

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Goo Goo Dolls Select St Jude Childrens Research Hospital As Charity Of

first_imgGoo Goo Dolls, the Buffalo-based rock band that has sold millions of albums for more than 20 years, named St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as its charity of choice with donations totaling $422,800 and a new fundraising campaign to support Music Gives to St. Jude Kids Day.John Rzeznik and Robby Takac share a special moment with a patient family during their visit to St. Jude Children’s Research HospitalThe band’s gift will benefit Music Gives to St. Jude Kids, a program led by Jason Thomas Gordon, musician and grandson of St. Jude founder, Danny Thomas. Gordon created this year-round initiative which informs, inspires and engages artists, their fans and the entertainment industry to support the mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: Finding Cures. Saving children.On August 4, 2017, St. Jude will present Music Gives to St. Jude Kids Day, an inaugural event that will allow bands, fans and venues all across the United States to show their support and raise funds and awareness for the patients and families of St. Jude.“We absolutely love St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, its awe-inspiring mission, and look forward to helping Music Gives to St. Jude Kids Day in August,” said John Rzeznik, Goo Goo Dolls lead singer. “It’s an honor for us to play a role, however small, in helping St. Jude find cures and save children’s lives.”John Rzeznik and bandmate Robby Takac have both visited the St. Jude campus, meeting with patients and their families. The group has also involved fans in their support of St. Jude by selling autographed guitars and drumheads during their 2016 tour in support of their most recent album, Boxes. Proceeds from those sales were donated directly to St. Jude.“I want to extend our sincerest thanks to the Goo Goo Dolls for their generous and ongoing support of the Music Gives to St. Jude Kids campaign,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “We are honored to be the band’s charity of choice and look forward to working with them and their fans for many years to come.”last_img read more

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