Tag Archives: balls

Chris Gayle hits fastest ever T20 hundred

VIDEO: Fuelled by eggs 'n' pancakes, Gayle smashes fastest ton EVER… in just 30 balls!

By
Andrew Magee and Sunni Upal

PUBLISHED:

12:05 GMT, 23 April 2013

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UPDATED:

18:49 GMT, 23 April 2013

Chris Gayle smashed his way into the record books on Tuesday as he hit the fastest-ever century in professional cricket.

The West Indian opener reached triple figures after just 30 balls and clubbed a brutal 175 not out, including 13 fours and 17 sixes, for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL — which is a new T20 record.

Gayle also propelled Bangalore to the highest-ever T20 score of 263 as they crushed the Pune Warriors by 130 runs. Gayle alone scored 42 more runs than the entire opposition.

Scroll down to watch Gayle's innings

World record: Gayle (right) took just 30 balls to reach his hundred

World record: Gayle (right) took just 30 balls to reach his hundred

Centre stage: Gayle hit 11 sixes on his way to his hundred

Centre stage: Gayle hit 11 sixes on his way to his hundred

Centre stage: Gayle hit 11 sixes on his way to his hundred

GAYLE IN NUMBERS

175* Gayle's innings for the Royal Challengers Bangalore is the new record individual score in T20 cricket.

30 Number of balls Gayle took to reach 100 — the fastest-ever century in cricket history.

17 Sixes hit by Gayle in his innings — a new T20 record. The West Indian also smashed 13 fours, just for good measure.

263 The total reached by Bangalore after 20 overs — another T20 record for most runs in an innings.

42 The runs by which Gayle outscored the opposition, the Pune Warriors.

The Jamaican has earned a reputation
as one of the most destructive players in the star-studded tournament
and he showed why with a sublime powerful hitting display on Tuesday.

Gayle said: 'I'm lost for words. It
was just one of those days when I was hitting it really well and the
ball was coming out of the middle of the bat.

'We got a pretty good total
and I'm really happy with the performance.

‘All I had for breakfast this morning was a plain omelette, two pancakes and a hot chocolate.’

India captain MS Dhoni tweeted: ‘Life
is all about taking the right decision. Seeing Gayle bat today, I think I
took the right decision being a wicketkeeper.’

Andrew Symonds previously held the
record for the fastest-ever century after hitting a 34-ball ton in an
English domestic match between Kent and Middlesex in 2004.

Previous best: Andrew Symonds took just 34 balls to score a hundred against Middlesex in 2004

Previous best: Andrew Symonds took just 34 balls to score a hundred against Middlesex in 2004

Gayle’s 17 sixes was also a new record, beating the 16 hit by Graham Napier for Essex against Sussex in 2008.

A boundary at the start of the 18th
over on Tuesday took Gayle onto 160, ahead of the previous highest T20
score of 158 set by Brendon McCullum in the first ever IPL match in
2008.

As if all those runs weren’t enough,
Gayle also chipped in with two late wickets. If only there was an
outstanding candidate for the man of the match award…

Gayle force: The West Indian is widely regarded as the best T20 batsman in the world

Gayle force: The West Indian is widely regarded as the best T20 batsman in the world

Gayle force: The West Indian is widely regarded as the best T20 batsman in the world

VIDEO: Watch Chris Gayle's record innings

Steven Finn takes six wickets but hails Matt Prior"s contribution

Prior's flying high: Finn takes six wickets but hails the contribution of England's renaissance man

By
Peter Hayter

PUBLISHED:

18:48 GMT, 23 March 2013

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UPDATED:

18:50 GMT, 23 March 2013

Steven Finn celebrated his second six-wicket haul for England by thanking the man who pulled one of them out of the clear blue Auckland sky.

Finn bowled his side back into contention on day two of the third and deciding Test against New Zealand with 6-125 as England responded to conceding 250-1 on the first day after inviting the hosts to bat by bowling them out for 443.

Struggling in the first two Tests to groove a new action necessitated by his habit of kicking the stumps in delivery, Finn produced his fourth five-for in Test cricket and the first since he recorded exactly the same figures against Australia in the opening Test of the 2010-11 Ashes series in Brisbane.

But a measure of the contribution to his success of Matt Prior was that Finn nominated his catch to dismiss Peter Fulton as the highlight of his day, a superb effort down the legside that underlined the England wicketkeeper’s status as the best gloveman in world cricket.

In full flight: Peter Fulton flicks Steven Finn's delivery down the legside, Matt Prior takes off and holds a remarkable catch

In full flight: Peter Fulton flicks Steven Finn's delivery down the legside, Matt Prior takes off and holds a remarkable catch

Finn had called for England to have a crazy hour in the field after their failure to make inroads on day one. But all they got at first was Fulton grinding on where he left off the previous evening, blocking the living daylights out of it from his overnight 124 with 12 runs in 69 balls spanning a seemingly endless hour and three-quarters.

Yet ‘Two-metre Peter’ probably thought he had collected four more when he glanced an innocuous legside delivery from Finn towards the fine leg boundary, only for its passage to the rope to be breathtakingly interrupted.

Diving full length to his left, Prior threw out a glove and caught the ball one-handed after it had already passed him, then twisted in mid-air to ensure he avoided spilling the ball when he landed.

Even Fulton seemed suitably impressed, pausing momentarily to admire a catch which, for sheer impact, was on a par with Andrew Strauss’s effort to dismiss Adam Gilchrist in the Trent Bridge Test of the 2005 Ashes and Paul Collingwood’s amazing take at slip to get rid of Ricky Ponting on England’s last trip Down Under.

Prior went on to complete his own ‘five-for’ in the innings, three off Finn, one of the two wickets James Anderson took to draw level with Derek Underwood on 297 Test dismissals and a second outstanding catch, standing up to the stumps, to snaffle a thin outside edge to do for the dangerous Brendon McCullum off Jonathan Trott, an example of Alastair Cook’s inspired captaincy or a fluke, depending on your preference.

All smiles: Steven Finn celebrates with teammates Stuart Broad, Jonathan Trott and Prior after dismissing Trent Boult

All smiles: Steven Finn celebrates with teammates Stuart Broad, Jonathan Trott and Prior after dismissing Trent Boult

As Finn said: ‘It’s nice to know he can leap like a salmon down the legside and catch a couple of those. To have him behind the stumps is fantastic.’

It is all a far cry from where Prior found himself the last time England toured here dropped after a controversial start to his Test career in 2007 as the successor to Geraint Jones.

Despite becoming the first England keeper to score a century on Test debut, against West Indies at Lord’s, the Sussex man won more critics than admirers for clumsy glovework and a perception grew he put his mouth where his mitts should be too often. It was no surprise when he lost his place to Tim Ambrose after a terrible tour to Sri Lanka, in which at times he looked no better than a part-timer behind the stumps.

Anderson is no doubt, however, of how good the keeper who reinvented himself has become.

‘The legside take off Finny was one of the best wicketkeeping catches you will see,’ he said. ‘It had been a long couple of days and the legs start to get tired, so to see someone do that gives everyone a rush.

‘Matt is the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the world. I can’t honestly think of anyone who comes close but the fact is he wasn’t in the side when we were here last and that made him change his whole approach to the job.

Prize wicket: Prior holds on to dismiss Brendon McCullum

Prize wicket: Prior holds on to dismiss Brendon McCullum

‘At first he thought of himself as a batsman who could get by with the gloves on athleticism and eye, but he realised there was more to it. He worked tirelessly with Bruce French [the former England keeper and now their wicketkeeping coach] and is reaping the rewards.

‘He is the first out on the field doing his drills every day, will practise taking all sorts of catches one-handed, like this one he took, for hours and hours, and the way he manages to maintain his concentration hour after hour when one slip can make all the difference is impressive.

‘And he fulfils all the criteria for a genuine all-rounder because, not only is he clearly worth his place as a keeper, he could easily bat at No 6 on merit as well.’

The best wicketkeepers, they say, are the ones whose work you hardly notice. In Auckland Prior disproved the rule.

Matthew Stevens beats Neil Robertson in Kaikou Open semi-final

Stevens nicks final two frames to squeeze past Robertson into first final for five years

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

14:08 GMT, 2 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:08 GMT, 2 March 2013

Matthew Stevens reached his first ranking final in five years after winning the last two frames to secure a 6-5 win over Neil Robertson in the Haikou Open in China.

The Carmarthen 35-year-old finished with breaks of 60 and 51 respectively to overhaul his Australian opponent and book his place in his first final since the 2008 Bahrain Championship.

The match was not without controversy after referee Eirian Williams incorrectly replaced the balls following a Stevens foul in frame four, with Robertson winning the frame and levelling at 2-2.

Held his nerve: Matthew Stevens beat Neil Robertson in a final-frame shootout

Held his nerve: Matthew Stevens beat Neil Robertson in a final-frame shootout

Ronnie O"Sullivan will return to defend his World Snooker Championship at The Crucible in April

Ronnie's return! O'Sullivan confirms he will defend World Championship in April

: 18-11 – Ali Carter

He has until the end of tomorrow to
submit paperwork to World Snooker to register for the tournament and,
although he has dropped out of the top 16, will be a top seed as
reigning champion and will not have to qualify.

O'Sullivan said: 'I was a bit bored.
It was nice to have a year out, I had a lot of fun and needed the rest.
But I thought it was time to get back to doing what I've done for a lot
of my life.

'I have a different perspective now and thought it was worth giving it another whirl.

Favourites: O'Sullivan with Jimmy White at his press conference

Favourites: O'Sullivan with Jimmy White at his press conference

Decorated: O'Sullivan won his fourth world title in 2012 when he beat Ali Carter in the final

Decorated: O'Sullivan won his fourth world title in 2012 when he beat Ali Carter in the final

CAN RONNIE WIN IT YOU BET!

Ronnie O'Sullivan is now priced by at 8/1 to successfully defend his World Championship:

Judd Trump 11/2Mark Selby 11/2John Higgins 11/2Neil Robertson 11/2Ronnie O'Sullivan 8/1Ding Junhui 12/1Shaun Murphy 12/1

Odds supplied by Ladbrokes

'I certainly feel refreshed. I was never out of juice anyway. I could've kept going in snooker.

'I wasn't mentally exhausted I just needed to take time out.'

O'Sullivan hopes to play on for at
least two or three years, but did not rule out continuing beyond that
for another seven or eight. He said it depends on how he copes mentally
with the demands of the game.

He added: 'Even in my darkest moments of snooker, I'd probably take them back now.

'I just need to get back to potting some balls and getting back to winning.

'Snooker is a means to an end. You only get one life, want to make the most of it.'

O'SULLIVAN FACTFILE

1975: Born Wordsley, West Midlands, December 5.

1987: Wins his first pro-am tournament at the age of 12.

1991: Scores his first 147 aged 15.

1992: Turns professional.

1993: Becomes youngest winner of ranking tournament at 17, beating Stephen Hendry to win UK Championship.

1994: Wins British Open.

1995: Wins the Masters.

1996: Wins
Asian Classic and German Open. Found guilty by snooker's governing body
of assaulting an official at the World Championship and handed a
two-year suspended sentence, a 20,000 fine and advised to donate
10,000 to charity.

1997:
Wins UK Championship for second time. Compiles the fastest 147 on
record in just five minutes 20 seconds during World Championship win
over Mick Price.

1998: Wins Scottish Masters. Tests positive for marijuana after winning the Irish Masters and is later stripped of the title.

2001:
Wins Champions Cup, Masters, China Open, Irish Masters and his first
World Championship – beating John Higgins 18-14 – before crushing Ken
Doherty 10-1 in UK Championship final in York.

2004: May – Beats Graeme Dott 18-8 at the Crucible to take second World Championship.

2005:
After winning the Masters, Welsh Open and Irish Masters, fails to
defend his World Championship title when losing to Peter Ebdon in
quarter-finals after being 8-2 ahead. Claims in his post-match press
conference that he will take a year off from the sport. But he plays in
every tournament of the 2005-06 campaign except the Malta Cup.

December – Loses 9-8 to Mark King
in first round of the UK Championship, sitting with a towel on his head
while his opponent is at the table.

2006:
April – Loses 17-11 to eventual champion Graeme Dott in World
Championship semi-finals and hands his cue to a member of the audience
straight afterwards.

December 14 – Walks out of his UK
Championship quarter-final with Hendry in York mid-frame when 4-1 down.
He is later fined 20,000 and docked 900 ranking points.

2008:
March – In a China Open press conference, O'Sullivan makes lewd
comments and brandishes a microphone suggestively. He later apologises
for his behaviour but is fined and docked ranking points.

May 5 – Beats Ali Carter 18-8 to win his third World Championship.

2009:
January 12 – Accuses snooker of being on a downward spiral, but wins
the Masters despite smashing up his cue the day before the tournament.

September 20 – Pots red against
Mark King at the World Open and then asks referee Jan Verhaas what the
maximum break prize is. The answer is nothing and O`Sullivan duly clears
to 140 before having to be persuaded to pot the final black.

2011: August – Records the 11th 147 of his career – a snooker record – at the Paul Hunter classic.

October: Courts controversy by
claiming he is being 'raped' and 'blackmailed' by the sport, comments
which he later apologises for.

2012:
May 7 – Wins his fourth World Championship title with an 18-11 win over
Ali Carter at Sheffield's Crucible. Announces he is to take a break
from the sport.

November 6 – Reveals he has
abandoned plans to return to the snooker tour and will miss the rest of
the season because of 'personal issues which he needs to resolve'.

2013: February 26 – Announces at a press conference that he will defend his world title in April after all.

FIVE MEMORABLE O'SULLIVAN MOMENTS

1997: Fastest-ever 147

O'Sullivan's promise had already been brought to the nation's attention by a 147 break at the age of 15 and a UK Championship title success at 17. It was at the Crucible that he really won the nation's hearts, though, effortlessly posting a maximum break in his first-round clash with Mick Price in the astonishing time of five minutes and 20 seconds.

2001: First world title win

O'Sullivan finally cashed in his potential to win the game's biggest prize by beating John Higgins 18-14. A number of near misses left some wondering if the crowd favourite would ever win in Sheffield, but he dispelled all those doubts before dedicating the win to his father, Ronnie Sr, who was then serving a life sentence for murder.

2007: Semi-final maximum

O'Sullivan's UK Championship semi-final with Mark Selby was not high on quality but nonetheless went to a 17th-frame decider. Rather than playing cagey snooker, though, O'Sullivan thumped in a breathtaking 147 and then admitted: 'I cheated a bit really. I had been counting the dots on a spoon to keep focused.' He beat Stephen Maguire in the final.

2009: New cue, same result.

Forever trying to set himself new challenges to recover his old self, O'Sullivan resorted to smashing up his cue on the eve of the 2009 Masters and set about trying to win the tournament – one of his favourite events – with a brand new cue. 'It was fun, I really went to town on it. I wanted an excuse not to play,' he said. He achieved his mission, though, beating Selby in the final.

2012: Fourth world title

O'Sullivan entered the year under something of a cloud, with further talk of retirement combined with his ever-sliding ranking. Needing a positive result at the German Masters to avoid having to qualify for the World Championship, he came back from the brink in his first-round clash with Andrew Higginson before going on to win the title with a final win over Maguire. He then maintained his form through to the Worlds, making light work of stellar names such as Mark Williams and Neil Robertson before dismantling Ali Carter in the final.

India wrap up comfortable win over Australia in first Test in Chennai

India wrap up comfortable first Test win over abject Australia in Chennai

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

08:02 GMT, 26 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:06 GMT, 26 February 2013

Australia were comfortably beaten by India on the fifth morning of the first Test in Chennai.

Aussie debutant Moises Henriques was left stranded on 81 as his side were bowled out for 241 this morning, leaving India chasing just 50 to win, which they did for the loss of two wickets.

That simply was not enough to cause any jitters for India, even when the wickets of Murali Vijay and Virender Sehwag fell to Nathan Lyon, and there was time for Sachin Tendulkar to delight the home crowd with maximums off his first two deliveries.

Joy of six: Tendulkar hit his first two balls over the rope

Joy of six: Tendulkar hit his first two balls over the rope

Vijay perished for six as he picked out Henriques at short mid-off when he mistimed a drive off James Pattinson.

Sehwag followed in unusually tame fashion, edging to Michael Clarke at first slip as he defended the spinner.

Few in the Chennai crowd were disappointed, though, as that brought Tendulkar to the crease – and he gave them what they wanted by heaving his first two balls off Lyon for six.

End game: Cheteshwar Pujara hit the winning runs for India

End game: Cheteshwar Pujara hit the winning runs for India

He could not make it a hat-trick to win the game, but an edge for a single from Cheteshwar Pujara did the job just as well.

Earlier, Lyon could not help Henriques reach a debut century as Australia could only add nine to their overnight score.

Lyon's stout defence helped to repel the Indian bowlers for around 20 minutes this morning before he was finally caught by Vijay at short-leg off Ravindra Jadeja.

The second of four Tests begins on Saturday in Hyderabad.

England hit record breaking score against New Zealand

England on song as they hit record breaking score against New Zealand

By
David Clough, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

08:02 GMT, 9 February 2013

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UPDATED:

08:03 GMT, 9 February 2013

England cashed in on the curious dimensions of Eden Park to pile up a record-breaking 214 for seven in the first Twenty20 against New Zealand.

At a ground with little more than a 60-yard carry at either end, England targeted the straight boundaries in particular but thrashed plenty of other maximums to all parts, clearing the ropes 15 times – four more than they ever have before – and easily surpassing their previous highest Twenty20 score of 202 for six.

Luke Wright topped the sixes charts with four, and Eoin Morgan came closest to a half-century with 46 in an innings which saw everyone bar number seven Samit Patel achieve better than a run-a-ball.

On song: Luke Wright hit four sixes as England set an impressive total

On song: Luke Wright hit four sixes as England set an impressive total

Alex Hales soon announced England's intent, after being put into bat in this opening match of three, with their first six high over deep midwicket off Trent Boult in the second over.

Boult and his fellow left-armer Mitchell McClenaghan found some early swing, but it was still hard work to contain the batsmen.

Hales greeted the introduction of Ronnie Hira's left-arm spin with a brutal four crunched past mid-on.

But up the wicket to try to repeat the dose next ball, the opener missed one that drifted into him and was easily stumped.

It did not take long for number three Wright to upstage Hales' strike rate – and after finding his range against McClenaghan, he set the tone with a six over extra-cover for a second over from Hira which cost 21 runs.

Michael Lumb had only three, from just six balls faced, in England's first 50 runs. But he joined in with a swept four and straight six off Hira.

Form: Alex Hales did well befoe Ronnie Hira put an end to his innings

Form: Alex Hales did well befoe Ronnie Hira put an end to his innings

Gotcha: New Zealand celebrate after taking Hales' wicket

Ross Taylor, back for his first international match since being relieved of the New Zealand captaincy and then sitting out the tour of South Africa, was the darling of a crowd who had cheered wildly at the announcement of his name after the toss.

But he did nothing to endear himself further when he dropped Wright at cover off Nathan McCullum and then Lumb when he skied Andrew Ellis to deep midwicket.

Fortunately for Taylor, neither miss was costly – an aggregate 17 runs, before Wright was caught in the leg-side deep off Ellis and then Lumb miscued an attempted hook at McClenaghan to short fine-leg.

New Zealand were not helping themselves in the field, though.

Hira dropped Jonny Bairstow on 22 off Ellis, but the most obvious chance fell to McClenaghan who appeared not to sight one properly at short third-man when he put down Morgan on 33 off McCullum.

The combined cost for the Kiwis' third and fourth drops was 29 runs, Morgan miscuing Hira into the off-side to give Taylor an unmissable opportunity and Bairstow unable to clear Martin Guptill at long-on off Boult.

Jos Buttler nonetheless ensured England surged past 200 and beyond.

Hugo Lloris adapting to Premier League with Tottenam

Lloris reveals he's settling in at Spurs… now that he's AVB's No 1!

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UPDATED:

09:14 GMT, 21 December 2012

Main man: Hugo Lloris

Main man: Hugo Lloris

Hugo Lloris has admitted he has had to adapt to the English game after joining Tottenham from Lyon in August.

The Frenchman, who will face his former side in the last 32 of the Europa League, signed for 12million but initially struggled to displace Brad Friedel as Andre Villas-Boas’ No 1.

But Lloris is confident he is now up to speed with the Premier League.

‘Football is universal,’ he told the Times. ‘There are certain characteristics, such as crosses, high balls, duels on the pitch and fighting spirit which are part of the English football. Here it is faster, with higher intensity.

‘Being a keeper isn’t just about being a player,’ he said. ‘It’s about a mindset, being rigorous in your work, brave. I don’t like to wait for the game to come to me, to have it imposed on me. I like to attack the ball, to play quite high up the pitch and to close the attacking players down where possible.’

Lloris credited Lyon with developing his career but admitted he was ready to leave for a new challenge.

‘I needed to move on to the next stage in my career,’ he added. ‘Coming to Tottenham was a great opportunity for me. During my time at Lyons I developed as a man and a sportsman into what I am today.’

If you thought England"s first innings against India in Nagpur was slow… remember Graham Thorpe in Lahore?

And you thought that was a slow day for batting… remember Thorpe in Lahore

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UPDATED:

21:33 GMT, 13 December 2012

When Joe Root and Matt Prior left the field with the scoreboard reading 199 for five, it was England’s lowest first-day total in a Test match since they finished on 195 for four against Pakistan at Lahore in 2000-01.

That, however, was off only 84 overs, compared with the 97 they faced on the opening day at Nagpur.

The Lahore Test, which ended in a bore draw, was most famous for an innings of incredible skill and patience from Graham Thorpe, who is now the ECB’s batting coach.

Nuggety: Graham Thorpe hit 118 runs off 301 balls in Lahore

Nuggety: Graham Thorpe hit 118 runs off 301 balls in Lahore

Thorpe hit only one boundary in reaching three figures, and by the time he was out for 118 from 301 deliveries, he had hit all of two fours.

If you thought that was slow scoring, how about the Test between Pakistan and Australia at Karachi in 1956-57.

On the opening day of a game played on matting wickets, only 95 runs were scored as Pakistan reached 15 for two in reply to Australia’s 80 all out. At least there were plenty of wickets.

The fewest runs scored in a day in a Test in England was the 151 managed on the third day of the Lord’s Test against New Zealand in 1978.

Nick Faldo says Tiger Woods" issues have stopped him being best ever golfer

Woods' indiscretions have stopped him being the best ever golfer, says Faldo

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UPDATED:

14:31 GMT, 11 November 2012

Tiger Woods' extra-marital affairs have ruined his chances of becoming the best golfer in history, Nick Faldo has claimed.

The American was widely tipped to beat Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships after making a stunning start to his career, but is still to win a major title after revelations about his private life emerged almost three years ago.

Woods took a four-month break from golf after admitting cheating on his wife, and he has struggled to impress since returning to action.

At risk: Tiger Woods chances of being the best golfer ever have been damaged, according to Nick Faldo

At risk: Tiger Woods chances of being the best golfer ever have been damaged, according to Nick Faldo

He has not added to the 14 majors he won before the sex scandal erupted and Faldo, himself a six-time major winner, thinks Woods stands next to no chance of eclipsing Nicklaus' record, which has stood since 1986.

When asked about Woods' chances of winning 18 majors or more, Faldo told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: 'I think it's slim. I would lean towards no.

'It has been four years since he last won at the US Open.'

Faldo thinks the psychological strife caused by the news of his affairs continue to haunt Woods three years on and he believes they will continue to do so for the rest of his life.

'(The revelations) have done more damage than people would give them credit for,' Faldo said.

Strong views: Faldo is a golf pundit and player

Strong views: Faldo is a golf pundit and player

'People thought he would deal with it and then get back on the golf course.

'It's wrecked that wonderful tranquility you get of going to a golf course, tipping out a bag of balls and hitting them from 9-5 and just thinking of golf.

'When you're a golfer that is great. But now… He has shattered that peace. He won't get that back. Once you lose that concentration and that ability to become completely engrossed in your golf… then slowly things have changed for him.

'His swing… physically, technically, mentally, karma… it's a harder climb right now. Sure, he could come back and do things, but he won't be dominant like he was.'

And with Woods turning 37 next month, Faldo thinks age is also catching up with the American.

'As you get older in this game, the little demons start to sit on your shoulders because you have seen one too many bad shots at the wrong time and it starts to eat away at you and I think he has a little bit of that going on,' Faldo added.

Feeling it: Woods turns 37 next month and Faldo says his age is catching up with him

Feeling it: Woods turns 37 next month and Faldo says his age is catching up with him

One man who has stepped in to the limelight as Woods has faded is Rory McIlroy.

Despite being 23, McIlroy has already won two majors and Faldo thinks the Northern Irishman is set for even bigger things, providing he resists the temptation to play in every lucrative tournament on the tour.

'I have been very impressed with Rory. He is a special kid,' Faldo said.

'There has only been Jack (Nicklaus), Seve (Ballesteros) and Tiger who have won two majors before they were 25, and now there's Rory.

'It puts him in a very special category. There always will be pitfalls for him. He is already feeling it. He is in demand. You can't please everyone.

'You have to be your own boss. He has to pace himself and do all the right things himself. He has 20-odd years left in the game.'

Andy Murray beats Alexandr Dolgopolov at Shanghai Masters

Murray eases into last eight of Shanghai Masters with straight sets win over Dolgopolov

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UPDATED:

12:08 GMT, 11 October 2012

Andy Murray cruised into the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.

The US Open champion required just 57 minutes to see off his opponent and set up a last eight match with Radek Stepanek.

It means Murray, who reached this stage thanks to a bye and a walkover, is on course to face Roger Federer in the semi-finals this weekend.

Stepanek beat American John Isner 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 earlier in the day.

Straightforward: Andy Murray cruised into the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov on Thursday

Straightforward: Andy Murray cruised into the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov on Thursday

Easy street: The Scot, who reached this stage thanks to a bye and a walkover, beat Dolgopolov in just 57 minutes at the Qi Zhong Tennis Center

Easy street: The Scot, who reached this stage thanks to a bye and a walkover, beat Dolgopolov in just 57 minutes at the Qi Zhong Tennis Center

Murray broke his opponent twice in the first set and three times in the second. In return, Dolgopolov only managed to break the Scot's serve once, to make it 2-2 in the second, but he went on to drop the next four games.

Tougher challenges: Murray will now face Radek Stepanek in the last eight and could play Roger Federer in the semi-finals

Tougher challenges: Murray will now face Radek Stepanek in the last eight and could play Roger Federer in the semi-finals

Job done: Murray broke his opponent twice in the first set and three times in the second en route to victory

Job done: Murray broke his opponent twice in the first set and three times in the second en route to victory

Murray
had a straightforward passage to round three with a first-round bye and
his scheduled second-round opponent Florian Mayer withdrawing through
injury.

Murray told Sky Sports One: 'When you play against him it is very
important to play a solid match but also important to play with variety.

'Normally his game gives guys problems if you play the same ball over
and over, when he is the one chipping balls, hitting some flat balls,
coming to the net using the drop shot.

'I tried to use the slice a bit, some higher balls and some off-pace
balls so he couldn't have the rhythm to play his normal game.'

Bit of a stretch: Murray goes for a return against Dolgopolov

Bit of a stretch: Murray goes for a return against Dolgopolov

Dolgopolov is one of the better returners on the tour but Murray was broken just once in the contest.

He added: 'I think I have started to use my serve a little bit better.

'In the past I have had a tendency to go for the big serve all the time to try to get some free points.

'I have started trusting my baseline game more and using slower serves and more variety and that has paid off.

Smash point: There was one moment of frustration when Murray slammed his racket to the floor after losing a point

Smash point: There was one moment of frustration when Murray slammed his racket to the floor after losing a point

'My fist serve percentage has gone up and I have been able to dictate more of the points.

'Also, I have worked a lot on my second serve and when you trust your
second serve it allows you to be a bit freer on your first.'