Press Association Rory McIlroy has played himself into title contention at the Valero Texas Open and is relishing the opportunity to push for victory this weekend. The world number two’s mission this week was to play himself into form ahead of the Masters, and Friday’s five-under-par 67 indicated he is back in the old groove. Billy Horschel, eight under after 36 holes, leads the way but McIlroy is only three shots back. “I’m looking forward to getting into contention. I haven’t really been in contention this year and it’ll be nice to get in the mix,” the Northern Irishman said. “I want to play well and know if I play well I’ll have a great chance to win.” He said of his third round: “I knew the conditions were good and you had to take advantage of it. I played solid, I drove the ball well, hit quite a lot of greens, and made some nice putts coming in. It gets me in a good position going into the weekend. I turned in one under par and felt I was playing better than that.” A run of three birdies from 16 to 18 reassured McIlroy, and the challenge will be to shoot another low round today. “I think I was rewarded for my patience out there,” he said. “It was a great way to finish and it’ll make dinner taste nicer and give me a few more hours in bed. I’m feeling comfortable with my game. I definitely feel like I made the right decision to come here, and even if I hadn’t been in this position and have been a few shots back I’d still feel the same way.” American Horschel leads from compatriots Charley Hoffman and Daniel Summerhays and Australian Steven Bowditch, all on six under. Dubliner Padraig Harrington had been four under after the opening round, but at one stage in his second 18 holes he slipped back to one under. Starting on the back nine, he dropped shots at 11, 13 and 17 before repairing much of the damage with birdies at the sixth and ninth lifting him to a 73 and a healthier three under. Scotland’s Martin Laird was also three under after a 71, with Englishmen Brian Davis and David Lynn steady on two under after their respective rounds of 72 and 70. Ireland’s Shane Lowry also carded a 72 to be two under through 36 holes. Ian Poulter and Charl Schwartzel just made the cut at one over after shooting rounds of 75 and 73 respectively.
New Delhi: Shane Watson had blasted three consecutive sixes off Krunal Pandya to get the equation down to 18 of 12. Quinton de Kock missed a simple wicketkeeping chance and conceded four byes as Chennai Super Kings needed nine off the last over. Lasith Malinga, who had dropped Watson earlier and had a miserable day with the ball so far, was given the task of bowling the last over. Watson was run-out thanks to a superb throw from Krunal Pandya for 80. Chennai Super Kings needed two runs off the last ball and Shardul Thakur was on strike. Malinga, who had a poor IPL till now, produced a slow, dipping yorker which trapped Thakur in front. The celebrations started. Like in 2017, Mumbai Indians held their nerve in the last over and won by one run to clinch the IPL title for a record fourth time in a nerve-tingling IPL final at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal on Sunday.With this win, Mumbai Indians became the first team to win the title for the fourth time while they inflicted a fourth consecutive loss to Chennai Super Kings in this edition. For MS Dhoni, it was his sixth loss in the final having lost in 2017 at the same venue to the same team while playing for Rising Pune Supergiant. For Chennai Super Kings, this was their fifth loss in the final while Mumbai Indians’ odd run in the IPL continued, having won it in all odd years starting from 2013. highlights It was Watson who had kept Chennai Super Kings in the hunt. At the start, he played the sheet anchor to Faf du Plessis who blasted two fours and a six off Krunal Pandya before he was stumped for 26. The wicket of du Plessis resulted in a period when Watson was scoring freely but Suresh Raina struggled. The left-hander was troubled by the short ball and was given out to a bouncer from Mitchell McClenaghan but was overturned on review. However, after scratching around for 13 balls, Rahul Chahar got his wicket with a sharp leg break for 8.Ambati Rayudu was also undone by a short ball from Jasprit Bumrah but it was the run-out of MS Dhoni that turned the match around. The third umpire took five minutes to make the decision after Ishan Kishan had scored a direct hit at the bowler’s end. Dhoni’s bat was on the line and the third umpire had a close look and after a long interval, giving the skipper the marching orders. Dwayne Bravo scratched around and with the asking rate reaching 12, the game was in Mumbai Indians’ grasp.Bravo broke the shackles by whipping a six off Malinga while Watson responded with three consecutive fours to get the equation down to 38 of 18. Mumbai Indians’ fielding worsened as they missed chances with Rahul Chahar dropping a catch. Like he had done in the 2018 final against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Watson threatened to take the game away from Mumbai Indians but Mumbai Indians showed that they could still hold their nerve in a crucial situation after a rather inconsistent performance with the bat.Rohit Sharma chose to bat and Quinton de Kock took charge by hammering three sixes off Deepak Chahar. However, towards the end of the powerplay, Mumbai Indians lost both de Kock and Rohit and they struggled to build momentum. Chennai Super Kings struck at regular intervals and in the middle overs, Imran Tahir was simply brilliant. With the wicket of Ishan Kishan, Tahir became the leading wicket-taker in the 2019 edition going past Kagiso Rabada.Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya slammed a couple of sixes and in the last over, Mumbai Indians needed Pollard to come up with something special. There was a slight moment of controversy when the umpire refused to give a wide on the third ball bowled by Dwayne Bravo. Pollard, in a moment of anger, stepped right up to the tramline to take the strike and he was warned by the umpires. The warning only fired up Pollard who blasted two fours in the last two balls to boost them to 149/8.The assault by Pollard gave Mumbai Indians something to bowl at and the total proved to be just enough. Just enough for Mumbai Indians to clinch their fourth IPL title. This was the fifth time Chennai Super Kings had lost in the final of IPL.This was the fourth IPL title for Mumbai Indians in five titles.Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings for the fourth time. For all the Latest Sports News News, Indian Premier League News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
…thousands of acres of prime land earmarked to be sold to cover bondBy Michael YoungeGuyana will have to pay approximately 4.75 per cent interest on the whopping $30 billion bond it secured recently to revitalise the operations of the three estates which fall under the management of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) or all of the assets and companies owned by the National Industrial, Commercial and Investment Limited (NICIL) could be lost.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoA source close to the Finance Ministry told Guyana Times on Sunday that while the interest rates secured would appear to be very favourable, the implications of failing to consistently repay the bond and related interest rates would be dire.“This is a very serious undertaking and Guyanese must watch closely at the consequences for [Special Purpose Unit] SPU/NICIL, GuySuCo and the country if Guyana defaults on its payments to those local and regional commercial entities that granted the $30 billion bond,” the source emphasised.When questioned during an exclusive interview on the repayment of the bond by GuySuCo, Board Chairman Colvis Heath-London insisted that the SPU and GuySuCo were committed to ensuring that all the necessary repayments were made and strict adherence to financial best practices were followed within GuySuCo to ensure that there was no wastage of revenues secured by the sugar company from its ongoing operations.GuySuCo Board Chairman Colvis Heath-LondonHeath-London declined to reveal the actual rate at which the bond was given to Guyana, but reassured stakeholders that a plan was in place for repaying the monies.But the source close to the SPU revealed that GuySuCo, with the financial advice of NICIL and the SPU, would embark on a process that could see the company selling some $3 billion worth of spare parts that were currently lying in its storage bond.Also, a proposal has been made to secure another $10 million by selling scrap metal sourced from around the company’s East Demerara Estates.This publication was told that over the next few months, GuySuCo would embark on the process of selling prime real estate which were not being utilised. Some 4600 acres would be up for grabs. From that alone, the SPU and GuySuCo hoped to garner a whopping $50 billion if sold at different intervals.Further, the Unit could seek to secure some $265 million by selling the lands in and around the Wales Estate owned by GuySuCo.Efforts by this newspaper on Sunday to confirm whether or not, GuySuCo and the SPU were seriously considering taking the aforementioned measures in order to pay back the bond were futile, as calls and texts to the GuySuCo Chairman’s mobile phone went unanswered.TransformationHeath-London had recently confirmed that over the next few months, special emphasis would be placed on transforming GuySuCo’s economic misfortune into a situation where it was a fully self-sufficient, viable and competitive enterprise.He had disclosed that the Ministries of Finance and Agriculture and all of the related industry partners were fully on board with the new Board of Directors’ vision for a new value-added industry and modernised company.GuySuCo Rose Hall EstateHeath-London, who is also NICIL’s Chief Executive Officer, explained that when the restructuring plans were at a mature stage, then the real benefits would be realised to ensure GuySuCo’s modernisation and return to profitability.He spoke about the sale of prime GuySuCo lands around the country and the new approaches that were being employed by his technical officers.Since his announcement of the bond, concerns have been raised about Government’s vision for the industry and the genuineness of its actions thus far since that very $30 billion could have gone into restructuring the industry while keeping all of the estates open and GuySuCo’s workforce employed and engaged.On Saturday, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo expressed much concern over this development and the decision by the Government to borrow some US$900 million from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).The trained economist and former President referred to the plan as a failed approach to national economic management, and pointed out that the sum was almost equivalent to Guyana’s total external debt of $236 billion by 2015.“The shocking revelation … is serious cause for concern,” he stated. “We had, however, predicted this. The massive growth in the size of the national budgets, primarily on consumption, could not be financed by the hefty increase in taxation; so this hopelessly misguided [A Partnership for National Unity] APNU Government had to resort to large-scale borrowing.”He added that this failed approach to national economic management was tried in the past and it led to a bankrupt country and resulted in devastating consequences for Guyanese.“I am sure everyone would recall that the external debt was over 900 per cent of [Gross Domestic Product] GDP in 1992, which was reduced to 36 per cent of GDP in 2015. They plan to double it again within five years.”According to Jagdeo, borrowing monies without feasibility studies, vision or plans will not solve Guyana’s economic woes. He expressed fears that this would have a long-term effect on the wellbeing of current and future generations of Guyanese.It was announced that the IsDB has, for the period 2018 to 2020, committed to providing Guyana with financial and technical assistance to the tune of US$900 million. This, it was made known, would be directed into the country’s key development areas to assist with its plans for continued social and economic development.This disclosure was made by Finance Minister Winston Jordan during his address at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the IsDB Group in Tunisia. According to the Minister, this money will aid Government’s plans in a meaningful way, as it would give direct support to several Government programmes in many developmental areas.