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Broad, England rattle South Africa

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first_imgDURBAN, South Africa (AP):Stuart Broad rattled South Africa with three wickets as England had the world’s top-ranked team 137-4 in the first Test at stumps yesterday.After England posted 303 all out in its first innings at Kingsmead, Broad removed opener Stiaan van Zyl and South Africa captain Hashim Amla early in the home team’s reply. He returned to claim the prize wicket of AB de Villiers for 49 late on the second day.England led by 166 at stumps and had South Africa in a vulnerable position in Durban with its two best batsmen, Amla and De Villiers, out.”It was nice to hit that rhythm, but I’ll have to do it again tomorrow,” Broad said.Opener Dean Elgar was 67 not out and the key for South Africa on the third day with England eyeing a first-innings lead and a significant advantage at the start of the four-Test series.De Villiers hit seven fours and a six and was driving South Africa’s recovery from 14-2 and Broad’s first two strikes. But Broad forced an edge behind to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow with a superb seaming-away delivery and England edged ahead.When offspinner Moeen Ali bowled Faf du Plessis, England was clearly in control at 113-4.Broad finished the day with 3-16. Elgar and the inexperienced Temba Bavuma, who was 10 not out, took South Africa carefully to the close.”I think we forget about the scoreboard,” South Africa’s Morne Morkel said. “That’s the best thing for us to do, and just play the best batting cricket we can.”It could have been even better for England after the dismissal of Van Zyl with the second ball of the innings, when he chose to leave a delivery from Broad that clipped his off stump.Amla was dropped by Bairstow on two, although that mistake didn’t cost England much. South Africa’s No. 3 fell to a nick off Broad and a catch by Bairstow after adding just five more runs.CONTROVERSIALCALLDe Villiers also had a second chance when on 11. He sent a low catch to Ben Stokes in the gully, who claimed the dismissal after diving forward and cupping his hands under the ball. Australian TV umpire Bruce Oxenford ruled the ball hadn’t carried. England’s fielders didn’t agree, and Broad said the England management thought it was “100 per cent out”.De Villiers threatened to make England pay, gathering momentum in an 86-run partnership with Elgar in the late afternoon before Broad’s third wicket – and his most important – halted South Africa again. Broad celebrated exuberantly as De Villiers trudged off.Earlier, England lost its last six wickets for 129 at the start of the day after being 179-4 overnight. The tourists expected to make much better progress with their deep batting line-up.SCOREBOARDEngland 1st Innings(Overnight: 179-4)Alastair Cook c Elgar b Steyn 0Alex Hales c De Villiers b Steyn 10Nick Compton c De Villiers b Morkel 85Joe Root lbw b Piedt 24James Taylor c De Villiers b Steyn 70Ben Stokes c Duminy b Morkel 21Jonny Bairstow c Elgar b Abbott 41Moeen Ali c De Villiers b Morkel 0Chris Woakes lbw b Morkel 0Stuart Broad not out 32Steven Finn lbw b Steyn 12Extras: (1b, 3lb, 1w, 3nb) 8TOTAL: (all out) 303Overs: 100.1Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-12, 3-49, 4-174, 5-196, 6-247, 7-253, 8-253, 9-267, 10-303.Bowling: Dale Steyn 25.1-5-70-4, Kyle Abbott 24-4-66-1 (1nb), Morne Morkel 26-5-76-4 (2nb, 1w), Dane Piedt 16-2-63-1, Stiaan van Zyl 2-1-2-0, Dean Elgar 7-2-22-0.South Africa 1st InningsStiaan van Zyl b Broad 0Dean Elgar not out 67Hashim Amla c Bairstow b Broad 7A.B. de Villiers c Bairstow b Broad 49Faf du Plessis b Ali 2Temba Bavuma not out 10Extras (1lb, 1w) 2TOTAL: (for 4 wickets) 137Overs: 52Still to bat: J.P. Duminy, Kyle Abbott, Morne Morkel, Dane Piedt, Dale Steyn.Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-14, 3-100, 4-113.Bowling: Stuart Broad 10-5-16-3, Chris Woakes 11-1-22-0, Moeen Ali 13-0-45-1, Steven Finn 10-1-34-0, Ben Stokes 7-1-19-0, Joe Root 1-1-0-0.Umpires: Aleem Dar, Pakistan, and Rod Tucker, Australia.Television umpire: Bruce Oxenford, Australia.Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle, Sri Lanka.Toss: Won by South Africa.last_img read more

Russell Westbrook For MVP Whatever That Means

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The NBA MVP derby was once a two-man race between James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.Not anymore.After recording his fourth straight triple-double on Wednesday night with a ridiculous stat line of 49 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is undeniably an MVP contender.Westbrook’s recent output has been mind-blowing: He’s averaging 37 points, 13.5 rebounds and 10.5 assists per game during his triple-double streak, which began as he was closing out one of the best statistical months in NBA history. As ESPN’s Stats and Info group noted, Westbrook’s performance in February (31.2 PPG/10.3 APG/9.1 RPG) was just the second time an NBA player ever averaged 30 points, 9 rebounds and 10 assists per game over a calendar month.1Minimum 10 games played in the month. (The first — and, until recently, only — player to do it was inner-circle Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson.)But there are barriers to Westbrook’s MVP candidacy. Algorithms based on previous MVP voting trends still consider him a long shot for the award, with Basketball-Reference.com’s MVP tracker assigning Westbrook a mere 6.6 percent probability of winning. By contrast, the tracker says it’s about 66 percent likely that either Curry or Harden takes home the hardware.The key determinant there: Oklahoma City’s record. Both Curry’s and Harden’s teams have won in excess of two-thirds of their games — good for the first- and fourth-ranked records in the Western Conference, respectively — while Westbrook’s Thunder have a winning percentage of 55.7 percent and are clinging to the eighth (and final) playoff spot in the West. Fair or not, team performance has historically mattered to MVP voters. (Although Westbrook will likely get bonus points for keeping the Thunder afloat in the playoff race during spells in which defending MVP Kevin Durant was injured.)Plus there’s the question of where Westbrook ranks statistically, even after his recent streak of brilliance. Single-season Real Plus-Minus (RPM), Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) and Win Shares all have Harden and Curry ranked No. 1 and 2 in terms of value produced this season. So if things hold steady over the next six weeks, Westbrook will have to overcome both the stats and historical patterns of MVP voting if he is to win the award. It’s been done before, but not all that often.Then again, what does “Most Valuable” even mean? It’s a debate that comes up every year, in every sport, and it never ends with a satisfactory answer. The great sportswriter Joe Posnanski put it best in a podcast last fall:I love [the MVP] because it makes us argue about the word ‘valuable.’ … When somebody named the MVP award, you know in their mind they just had: ‘Best Player.’ The best player ought to get an award, and what are you going to call it? Just call it the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award. OK, great.And ever since then, we have been parsing that word to absolute death. I think my favorite argument against somebody winning the MVP award is when they say, ‘Look, it’s not the Player of the Year Award or the Most Outstanding Player — it’s the Most Valuable Player.’ Like there is any difference between any of those things. You’re just pulling synonyms out.I love that, and in a way, I would never want that to change because it brings up such extraordinarily stupid arguments that just rage on and on every year.And this year’s NBA race brings a particularly interesting twist. According to long-term predictive RPM, which is the best single-number assessment of a player’s current talent level,2In the sense that it best predicts out-of-sample lineup results. the best player in the league is still probably Cleveland’s LeBron James — as he has been for the past three seasons running.James was so far out in front of his peers a few seasons ago that he could afford a relative down year (by his standards). But therein lies the problem — the game’s best player hasn’t quite played like it this season. By just about any metric, Harden, Curry and Westbrook have been better than James in 2014-15.This kind of thing happens all the time in baseball, where performance fluctuates wildly around true talent. (Or did anyone really think Ken Caminiti was the best player in a league that featured Barry Bonds in his prime?) But basketball is supposed to be different — in the absence of voter fatigue, there’s a lot of crossover between MVP and “best player” in the NBA, to the point that the former can circle back to become a referendum on the latter.So do you still give the 2014-15 MVP to the best player? OK, then give it to James. Or do you honor the player who has had the best season? Then you have to decide between Harden and Curry. Or maybe you just eschew the whole process and give it to Westbrook — if not the Most Valuable, possibly the Most Electrifying Player in the NBA right now. read more

OPED Why Wilmington Residents Should Care About A Woburn 40B Project

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first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below is information from Mike Raymond, Chairman of the Woburn Neighborhood Association, on why Wilmington residents should care about what’s happening with the 40B Ledges Project, located on the Woburn/Wilmington line:Why Wilmington Residents Should CareWilmington residents should care about the 40B Ledges Project for the same reasons that Woburn residents care. The Ledges project is on the Woburn/Wilmington line. The Wilmington residents will be subjected to the same noise level and silica dust generated by the drilling, blasting, and rock crushing of the quarry operation over the next 2 years.Where are the approximate 120 per day truck trips traveling in and out of the site going to be staged? The Ledges site at the base of the mountain is several hundred feet wide with only enough space for half the trucks needed for the removal schedule. The approximate 120 truck trips per day equates to 15 truck trips per hour in a residential neighborhood. This alone will generate an excessive amount of diesel fumes in the Woburn/Wilmington area. Even if the contractor uses low sulfur fuel in the construction equipment there is no mention in the proposed plan of using more expensive fuel in the tucks.Over the past 12 years, Wilmington Town officials and representatives from several Wilmington Environmental groups have been invited and attended the Woburn Zoning Board of Appeals and Neighborhood Meetings that were held to discuss the Ledges project. The fact that Wilmington does not have a daily newspaper might be a reason why there is not an awareness of the project on the local level.This nightmare began in 2006 when a 40B permit was approved by the State for the 9 -acre site located at 1042 Main Street in North Woburn. In 2012 the 40B permit was sold to an out of state developer, Woburn 38 Development LLC. Over the next four years, and after hundreds of hours of meetings packed with residents who stated their concerns to the Woburn Board of Appeals (BOA), the Board denied the permit. One of the main reasons for the denial was the court was not convinced about the disruption of the health, safety and welfare of the residents from the process to remove over approximate 420,000 cy of crushed rock and fill from the mountain. The developer appealed the decision through the legal process and in November of 2017 the MA Appeals Court ruled in favor of the developer. In a last-ditch effort, the City of Woburn petitioned the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) to reverse the decision. In February of 2018 the SJC denied the request thereby ending the legal process.Our latest Neighborhood Meeting was held on January 7, 2019. The focus of the Neighborhood Meeting was to listen to and list the concerns and questions regarding the health, safety and welfare of residents and presented this list to the City of Woburn Department heads prior to issuing the Building permit for the project. After the Department Head meeting, and prior to the issuing of the Building Permit, we issued complaint guidelines and a list of contacts that the residents can use to report complaints.The two-part nightmare is estimated to continue for at least the next 4 years; the first two years will be blasting, crushed rock and fill removal of up to 420,000 cy and the remainder of the time will be the construction portion of the project.We have created a Facebook group. We have over 250 members. We also post updates and documents as they happen to our website.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLETTER TO THE EDITOR: State Legislators Concerned About 40B Ledges Project Near Woburn-Wilmington LineIn “Letter To The Editor”WILMINGTON AROUND THE WEB: The Best Stories From Wilmington’s NewspapersIn “Community”HOT BUTTON ISSUE: Should The Town Prevent New Condos & Apartments From Being Built? Could It Backfire? (Article 1)In “Government”last_img read more