QPR must produce a second-half comeback to keep their promotion dream alive after James Perch put Wigan ahead in the play-off clash at Loftus Road.Level at 0-0 from first leg and with the home crowd hoping for a repeat of the famous play-off triumph against Oldham 11 years ago, the scene was set for an early barrage from Harry Redknapp’s side.Instead they found themselves behind after only nine minutes after a defensive lapse involving two of their most consistent performers.Nedum Onuoha was slow to close down James McClean and the Irishman’s left-wing cross was snapped up by Perch, who got in front of Clint Hill to score from close range.Rangers continued to look shaky at the back but began to create openings at the other end, with Niko Kranjcar forcing a save from keeper Scott Carson and Gary O’Neil shooting wide before a Joey Barton corner almost led to an equaliser.Charlie Austin’s header from Barton’s delivery was cleared off the line by McClean, with the ball then striking Onuoha and bouncing wide.Redknapp opted not to start with Ravel Morrison, who is among the QPR substitutes. QPR (4-4-1-1): Green; Simpson, Onuoha, Dunne, Hill; Doyle; Barton, O’Neil, Hoilett; Kranjcar; Austin. Subs: Murphy, Henry, Yun, Benayoun, Zamora, Hughes, Morrison. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
But summer has hardly started!As we fire up the grill and hope that the rain will let up enough for us to enjoy summer, we should also remember that the days are now getting shorter, and in just a few months we’ll be firing up our heating systems again.Now’s the time to think about how we can keep our heating costs down next winter. Here I’ll present a few of my top priorities in preparing for winter:Get an energy audit. You might be wasting a lot of energy that you don’t even know about—due to inadequate insulation, leaky windows, hidden air leakage pathways, and other problems. An energy auditor will likely use a “blower door” to measure how tight your house is. He or she may also peer into wall cavities, inspect your attic, and test your heating system’s efficiency. For a typical house, expect to spend about $500 for a good, independent energy audit. You’ll end up with detailed information on how your house measures up and a list of recommended actions you can take. For low-income homeowners, subsidized energy auditing and weatherization services are available; in the Brattleboro area, contact SEVCA (Southeastern Vermont Community Action) in Westminster (800-464-9951 or 802-722-4575; www.sevca.org). More on energy audits.Weatherize your house. Among the outcomes of an energy audit are recommendations for weatherization. These are relatively easy improvements to reduce air leakage through the house envelope. Common measures include sealing off any large gaps or holes using foam sealant or construction materials (start with big holes that cats can squeeze through—you’d be surprised!), caulking cracks (the weatherization contractor usually has to have the blower door operating to identify these leakage sites), fixing old windows, and adding insulation in places where it was inadvertently left out. Not only will weatherization save money, it will make your house a lot more comfortable by reducing cold drafts.Get your heating system tuned up. An oil-fired boiler or furnace should be thoroughly cleaned and tuned up at least once a year. Gas-fired equipment is cleaner-burning, so the burner can go a little longer before servicing, but an annual inspection is still a good idea for safety reasons. If you have an oil or gas furnace, which heats air for distribution through warm-air ducts, replacing filters should be done at least twice a year—more often if you’re in a dusty area and they become clogged. When your heating system is being serviced, ask if it would make sense to downsize the nozzle on the burner—that’s often an easy way to improve the performance and reduce fuel use.Install a programmable thermostat. This can reduce your heating costs 10% or more. Proper use of a programmable thermostat saves energy by helping you set back the temperature at night and during periods of time when you’re not home. A general rule of thumb is that for every degree Fahrenheit you set back the house temperature you save 2% on your energy consumption for heating. So, for example, if you decrease your house temperature 15°F for a third of each 24-hour period (eight hours at night), you could save about 10% of your heating costs (15 x 2 ÷ 3). If you set back the temperature farther, or do so for a longer period of time each day (such as during the daytime when you’re at work as well as at night), your savings can be greater. A programmable thermostat helps you do that easily and conveniently. More on programmable thermostats.Install storm windows. If your prime windows are in pretty good shape and don’t need to be replaced, consider installing storm windows. These will add another insulating layer and can significantly reduce heat loss and drafts. Look for storm windows with low-emissivity (low-e) glass; these aren’t common yet, but they should be. Indeed, the standard “triple-track” storm window is in desperate need of reinvention, with not only the addition of low-e glass, but also tighter construction and a frame material such as fiberglass rather than aluminum to reduce “thermal bridging.” There are also some interior storm panels that do a pretty good job.
With the Twenty20 title already in his kitty, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday said he wants to lift the upcoming ICC World Cup in the sub-continent as the coveted trophy is the ultimate dream of every cricketer.India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. APDhoni, under whose leadership India won the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in 2008, said his burning desire is to see India capture the trophy for its fans.”Every one of us in the India dressing room wants to lift that cup, not only for ourselves, but also for the billions of fans we have around the globe. It is not a surprise to me as it doesn’t get any bigger than the World Cup.”It is the ultimate dream of every cricketer to represent his country in this competition and win the trophy at least once in his career. It will require a lot of hard work, self belief and also a positive approach which Team India is capable of displaying at the highest level,” Dhoni said during a promotional ICC event in Cape Town to mark the 50-day countdown celebrations of the mega-event starting next month.With little more than a month to go for the tournament, Dhoni said he can feel the buzz around him.”With just 50 days remaining before we launch our campaign to win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, I can clearly feel and sense the tremendous excitement which is gripping the cricket fraternity,” he said.Commenting on his side’s preparations for the World Cup, the wicket-keeper batsman said: “I’m happy with our preparations so far as we have gelled well, we have backed each other all the way and have played some excellent cricket lately.advertisement”But we are also aware that we need to peak at the right time and maintain a winning momentum as the competition will be tough and every team will enter the event fancying its chances.””Each team and match will bring a fresh challenge and we will have to play to our potential every time we take the field,” he added.The charismatic India captain urged the spectators to play their part in making the event the most successful ever.”I also take this opportunity to urge the India public and spectators to support the tournament and all the teams taking part in it. I would love to see every stadium packed to capacity even when we are not playing,” Dhoni said.”With billions of eyes following the World Cup on television, this would be another great opportunity for us to showcase our love and passion for this great sport. Let us all unite and make the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in the subcontinent the best ever,” he added.The tournament begins in Mirpur, Dhaka, on February 19 with the India taking on co-hosts Bangladesh in the opener.During the event at the picturesque and world famous V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on Saturday evening, the World Cup trophy was put on display and an official promotional film was revealed to celebrate the arrival of the game’s flagship event.Among others present at the occassion were ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat, South Africa captain Graeme Smith and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille.South Africa captain Graeme Smith, whose side opens its campaign against two-time champions West Indies in New Delhi on February 24, said: “I can’t believe that the World Cup is only 50 days away! The spectacular way that 50 days to the World Cup was marked is a pointer to the magnitude of the event.””As a unit, we are looking to make sure we head into the showpiece with the best preparation possible. The five-match ODI series against India starting on January 12 will be our last chance to make sure we are fully prepared and we hope to bring home the silverware,” Smith said.ICC chief Lorgat said he was delighted to see the interest and excitement amongst the players and followers of the game for the tournament.”With 50 days to go before cricket’s flagship event starts, key players are starting to think and talk a lot more about the World Cup. The players will soon start with their World Cup focus and preparation and the related anticipation across the world will escalate with each passing day,” Lorgat said.Lorgat also urged all the three host countries — India, Sri Lanka Bangladesh — to step up their preparations and complete all the infrastructure work in time to successfully stage a world-class event.”We must do our utmost to complete all the necessary work to deliver another memorable event,” he added.advertisementLorgat also thanked the host countries and ICC’s commercial partners for their excellent work to date.With inputs from PTI
A. Salam Qureishi grew up in India and knew nothing about football — or America. And yet in the early 1960s, Qureishi, a computer programmer and statistician, helped the Dallas Cowboys overhaul their scouting system, replacing hunches with hard numbers.The result: five Super Bowl appearances and two titles. FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films present “The Cowboys and the Indian,” directed by Mark Polish. It’s the second film in our short series “Signals.” (Watch our first “Signals” film, “The Man vs. the Machine,” here.)