MELBOURNE, Australia, (CMC):West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine starred in an unusual role for Melbourne Renegades as they beat city rivals Melbourne Stars by seven runs under Duckworth-Lewis in the Big Bash League on New Year’s Day.Better known for his clever slow bowling, Narine was elevated to the role of opener and slammed a quick-fire 21 from 13 deliveries to get the Renegades’ innings off to a flying start at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.Sent in, Renegades stormed to 171 for four off their 20 overs, with the left-handed Narine striking two fours and six in posting 38 off 22 balls for the first wicket with captain Aaron Finch, who made 30 from 24 balls.Narine, whose knock included a commanding whip over backward square for six, finally perished in the fourth over to an excellent catch at mid on by former England star Kevin Pietersen off fast bowler Scott Boland.Cameron White then controlled the innings with an unbeaten 64 off 43 balls, in a 72-run fourth-wicket stand with Tom Cooper, who made 36.Set a revised target of 159, Stars got a top score of 45 from English opener Luke Wright, but could only muster 151 for nine.Narine was once again at the forefront, producing a stingy four-over spell, which cost just 26 runs and served up just one boundary.Left-arm spinner Brad Hogg was the leading bowler with three for 22 from his four overs.Renegades were playing without Narine’s West Indies teammate, Dwayne Bravo, who was forced out of the tournament last week with a serious hamstring injury.
PHOTOS AND BLOG: Get the latest photos and updates from Coachella at Vinyl Word, our music blog. PHOTO GALLERY: Coachella Music Festival in Indio INDIO – Tens of thousands of music-seeking nomads tramped along dusty paths, heads down and faces turned away from the blazing sun. The lines of cars to get into the parking lot of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival stretched miles down the road Friday and Saturday. And once parked, the lines started again – for food, for port-a-potties – and even just to get into the festival. But the crowd – which officials said was capped at 60,000 per day – seemed tireless as stage areas remained packed and bouncing with head-bobbing fans through the day and night. Horses, stables and the spotless green lawn that thousands of cars parked on were the only signs that the Empire Polo Field ever hosted anything but the three-day gathering of Coachella fans. “We managed to make it through without throwing up,” he said. “Now I think we’ll relax … in the air conditioning.” Throughout the day, a field of metallic sunflowers collected energy from the sun, and then lit up at night, powered by solar panels in the middle of each flower. As the hours passed, the heat didn’t diminish much. The sun lost some intensity, but the temperature remained between 80 and 100 degrees, even as the fiery ball dropped lower in the sky. Dancers in a 90-foot open structure called the Geodesic Dome seemed oblivious to the temperature even as sweat poured off them as they grooved to the beats being spun by DJs. A few tents away, Chris Bockenhauer, 39, threw a Frisbee with his 4-year-old son, Jackson. Only moments earlier, Jackson was rocking out to Tilly and the Wall in the Mojave Tent. The little dark-haired boy looked up from underneath his broad-brimmed cowboy hat. “This is fun,” he said succinctly. The young boy is not a Coachella rookie. His father brought him last year in the afternoon to see if it was children-friendly. They found that, in the daytime, it is, Bockenhauer said. Still, he keeps little Jackson close to his side. Adults get lost as well in the sea of flesh that constantly flows through the Empire Polo Field grounds. Taylor Martyr of Los Angeles and his friends used shortwave radios to keep tabs on each other. “Cell phones do not work here,” Martyr said. “We’ve got to keep in touch with each other so we use the radios. This way we don’t lose each other.” In the camping area, the tents are so close together they’re almost touching. Canadian roommates Judah Fleising, 23, and Calvin Locke, 25, drove down from Calgary to camp out here. They started at 5 a.m. Wednesday and drove 16 hours, stopping to pitch a tent at a KOA Kampground in Utah late that night. Their trip took two days. “It’s already been worth it,” Fleising said Friday evening. “There are so many amazing bands.” Their story is not unusual; they are camping next to fans who came from even farther – Londoners who spent $1,500 apiece to fly to the event. Both Canadians said they were most excited to see Rage Against the Machine – today’s headlining band. “They’re pretty much why I came here,” Locke said. Rage Against the Machine’s reunion today is one of the most highly anticipated performances, but other acts are drawing large crowds, too. Even with two stages, three tents and other points of interest around the grounds to divide the masses, the crowds fill the tents and spill out the sides. There are so many bands that some people literally run from one to another to catch snippets of each of their favorites. On Friday, the Arctic Monkeys ushered in the dusk with their blend of British rock that has made waves here and across the pond in England. The dark provided some relief to sun-weary revelers, and the energy picked up again for bands like Sonic Youth, Interpol and Bjork. On Saturday, the sun blazed again, lines were long and parking was far from expeditious, but the fans appeared ready for another long day. “Day Two, Day Two, Day Two,” yelled a slender girl with long flowing hair. Streamers flew behind her as she darted through the people walking up to the entry gate. Regina Spektor captivated a large audience early in the day on the Coachella stage, while others waited patiently for the electronica group MSTRKRFT, which came on later in the Sahara Tent. Fans can expect twice as many delays today as the much-hyped reunion of Rage Against the Machine prompts people to come early and stay late. “It’ll be at least double the fun, though,” said self-proclaimed “Rage-head” Keith Garrison of Minnesota. “Lines are nothing. Rage is everything.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The grounds resembled a little community composed of a tent city for the camping crowd and a series of fun little villages with art displays and live music soundtracks of their own. Several of the art installations threw shadows on the ground, doubling as shelter from the sun. Clusters of people moved to different spots as if in a game of musical chairs, keeping in the shade as it moved about elusively. Rock act The Fratellis, whose song “Flathead” is featured on iPod commercials, said after their show that the heat was almost unbearable while onstage at the Mojave Tent. “It’s almost like this was an experiment on us,” said Jon Fratelli. “You take a couple guys from Scotland who only see a couple days of sunshine a year and throw them into the desert and see how they do.” Barry Fratelli said he loved the festival, but the heat was a total shock.
Gonzalo Higuain in action for Napoli 1 Football stats experts WhoScored.com take a look at a rumoured Chelsea transfer target. For more Chelsea stats, check out WhoScored’s Blues page.One of the worst kept secrets in football was finally announced on Monday afternoon as Chelsea confirmed that Antonio Conte would take over the Stamford Bridge reins upon the culmination of Euro 2016. The Italian had been heavily linked with a switch to London in recent weeks, with it more a matter of when, not if, the Blues would appoint Conte as their new manager. As one might expect, gossip columns have been quick to point out a list of potential transfer targets in Serie A that Chelsea’s incoming boss could move for in the summer.One of those recently linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge is Napoli frontman Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentine’s 30 league goals this season – more than any other player in Italy’s top flight – has helped return a WhoScored.com rating of 7.69, the joint-best in Serie A. While Napoli will be keen to retain the services of their star striker, Higuain has long been linked with a move to England and at 28 years of age, there may not be as good a chance as now to ply his trade in the Premier League.It comes at a time when Chelsea are expected to overhaul their attack this coming transfer window. Diego Costa, despite a clear upturn in form, is rumoured to have his heart set on a return to Spain, while Loic Remy, Alexandre Pato and Falcao are all set to depart the Blues at the end of the season. Indeed, their respective departures would leave Chelsea short of offensive options, with Higuain now supposedly topping the club’s most wanted list.The Argentina international has been attracting interest from across the continent this season and should Napoli reluctantly agree to sell, he would have his fair share of potential suitors. An average of 5.4 shots per game is the most of all players in Serie A this season and highlights an unwavering confidence to continuously try his luck against the opposition. It’s clearly a tack that works as his goal return suggests and is a facet of his game that would certainly appeal to Conte.With the creative personnel operating in the final third for Chelsea, it’s fair to say the chances would be readily created for Higuain, who would gobble them up. The Napoli striker has scored more clear-cut goalscoring chances (17) than any other player in Serie A this season, accentuating his statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘finishing’. Yet, Higuain is hardly a striker who will simply wait for the opportunities to be presented to him, but rather work hard off the ball in order to bring others into play and work the channels as his number of key passes (1.4) and successful dribbles per game (1.5) highlights.Conte is rumoured to be prepared to set his side up in a 3-5-2 formation when he does take charge of Chelsea, meaning Higuain will need to maximise his off the ball form in order to help create space and chances for his teammates. However, if his performances for Napoli are anything to go by, he will be capable of performing the duties needed of him should Conte indeed opt for a three-man backline or a more familiar 4-2-3-1 formation.With the striker now set for a four-match ban following his red card in the 3-1 defeat Udinese at the weekend, it’s possible to think he may well have played his last game for the club. If Chelsea indeed firm up their reported interest in Higuain, even if he does cost a fair bit to sign, they will have themselves a striker more than capable of firing the club back to domestic glory.For more stats on Gonzalo Higuain, click here to view his WhoScored.com player page