Good Week/Bad Week

Aussie cricket shines, NFL big guns lose and Keothavong qualifies

By Paul Higham   Last updated: 17th January 2011  

Tony Hanks Wasps v Glasgow

Tony Hanks watched his Wasps team lose

BJ Raji Green Bay Packers

The Falcons suffered huge defeat by Packers

 Kenny Dalglish

Dalglish watches on as Reds lose at Blackpool

 Anne Keothavong

Keothavong joins Baltacha in Aussie Open second round

Ding Junhui Masters

Ding picks up Masters title

Also see

A wide and varied edition of Good Week/Bad Week sees action from right across the globe, with winners and losers in action from as far and wide as Melbourne, Atlanta and Glasgow...

England made a losing start to their one-day series in Melbourne, but only after a herculean effort from Australia's big-hitting opener Shane Watson, but there was better news for the country with some early joy for one of Britain's female tennis stars.

Over in America, the two top seeds in the NFL came unstuck in their first play-offs games, both at home, while back in blighty there was a distinctly Far Eastern flavour to the Masters snooker final.

Here's our picks of the week's action, have your say on our choices and include your own in the feedback form below.

Good Week

Shane Watson

Shane Watson was in devastating form as he finished unbeaten on 161 to steer Australia to a six-wicket win in the first ODI of the series against England in Melbourne.

Australia chased down a target of 295 at the MCG, with opener Watson hammering some monster hits at one of the biggest grounds in the world, including an apt six in the final over to seal the victory.

The Queenslander's 150-ball contribution featured 12 fours and four sixes and was the fifth highest score by an Australian in the format, which was celebrating its 40th anniversary at the same ground where it all began.

Ding Junhui

China's Ding Junhui emerged victorious in the first all-Asian major snooker final as he swept past Marco Fu to claim the Ladbrokes Mobile Masters title at Wembley Arena.

In the historic final, watched back in China by millions of snooker fans, Ding claimed the prize at the prestigious invitational event with a convincing 10-4 victory.

After beating former world champions Graeme Dott and Mark Williams on his way to the final, Ding headed into the contest as odds-on favourite and his price soon looked justified as he showed some of his best form in London.

Anne Keothavong

British women's number two Keothavong has tumbled down the rankings to world number 118 after a bad spell with injuries, but she made a great start to the year by qualifying for the Australian Open.

The Londoner came through a tough qualifying competition to make it into the first round proper, sealing her progress with a win over Romania's Irina-Camelia Begu on Sunday.

Just 24 hours later, Keothavong was in action again as she faced Arina Rodionova, and despite already playing some hard matches she beat the Russian 7-5 6-4 to make the second round in Melbourne.

Bad Week

Kenny Dalglish

A tough start for Dalglish's return to Liverpool, following a promising display in defeat at Manchester United he saw his team lose at Blackpool as Ian Holloway's men completed a league double over the Reds.

Surely a return to Anfield would bring about a glorious homecoming for King Kenny? So it seemed as Liverpool dominated Everton and led 1-0 at half-time in the Derby on Sunday, but it would soon turn sour.

After missing chances in the first 45 minutes, Liverpool were punished as Everton scored twice after the break to lead 2-1, and despite Dirk Kuyt's penalty salvaging at least a 2-2 draw, it extended Dalglish's winless start to his second spell as Liverpool boss.

NFL Top Seeds

Atlanta and New England marched into the NFL play-offs as NFC and AFC top seeds, meaning they had a week off before enjoying home advantage for the two games they would need to win to get to the Super Bowl.

The Falcons had an impressive home record at the Georgia Dome, but the Green Bay Packers came in and smashed that to pieces with an emphatic 48-21 victory putting out Atlanta.

Tom Brady and the Patriots were regarded as the best team in the NFL, as top scorers and with the best regular season record, but they got shut down completely by the New York Jets as both the big guns saw their Super Bowl dreams ended early.

Wasps

Wasps suffered a huge Heineken Cup blow on Sunday as they were beaten 20-10 by already-eliminated Glasgow at Firhill to seriously jeopardise their quarter-final chances.

The Aviva Premiership side looked comfortable at 10-3 ahead after just 12 minutes, with their Heineken Cup destiny entirely in their own hands, especially since the hosts had no chance of making it through.

However, Wasps faltered badly and their defeat meant Toulouse sealed their progression as Pool Six winners and Wasps will now be relying on other results next week as they look to scrape through as one of the two best runners-up.

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