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Pit your wits against our question-master Jack Pitt-Brooke and try to figure out our fiendishly difficult festive teasers...

Who am I?

1. Which West Indian batsman has scored 949 Test runs in 2011, currently fewer only than Rahul Dravid and Ian Bell?

2. Who was the only player in world snooker to record two maximum 147 breaks this year?

3. Robin van Persie has the most Premier League goals in 2011, with 34, two short of Alan Shearer's record, but who has the next most, with 23?

4. Who, before the ongoing World Championship, was second in darts' Order of Merit behind the legendary Phil Taylor?

5. Which Kenyan runner broke the world records for both the 25,000m and the 30,000m on 3 June in the US?

6. Who scored England's first goal of 2011, in a 2-1 friendly victory in Copenhagen?

7. Whose tenure as manager of Barnet lasted only three matches in the spring?

8. Which player broke the record for the most tries scored in Five or Six Nations championship rugby in March?

9. Who scored 219 in a one-day international in December, breaking the previous record of 200 not out?

10. Which Test-match opening batsman has hit the most sixes in both one-day international (42) and Twenty20 international (13) cricket this year?

What did they say? the quotes round

1. "The analogy I use is if a man takes out a woman 85 times and then she's not your girlfriend at the end of it, you've wasted a lot of time." To what was the recently retired Gary Neville referring?

2. "I wish I was 50 years younger and I would kick your ass." Who had so upset 80-year-old legendary American sports journalist Larry Merchant?

3. "I called him a little sewer rat but that might be harsh on the sewer rats." Who did not exactly impress Queen's Park Rangers manager Neil Warnock with his behaviour in January?

4. "We've been sending texts and even in them you can tell he's had too much to drink. He can't spell!" Whose famous celebrations were thus described by Lee Westwood?

5. "He is one bad apple. He's a disgrace to football. He epitomises what most people think is wrong with modern football." Graeme Souness is as damning as Neil Warnock: but with whom?

6. "The cat is in the sack, but the sack is not closed. The cat is in it, but it's open – and it's a wild cat" What on earth had just happened to veteran Republic of Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni?

7. "Only a real man can keep his fists by his side when he is attacked. Only a real man refuses to get dragged down, despite being grabbed, pushed and head-butted" Whose grace under pressure was Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp complimenting?

8. "I'd love him to be in the team." For which opponent's inclusion was New Zealand Test captain Ross Taylor clamouring?

9. "If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift they can go to hell" Fulham chairman Moham ed al-Fayed was angry at his fans' ingratitude over what exactly?

10. "He is the Obama of cricket." Who had so impressed Indian seamer Praveen Kumar?

Mario Balotelli's crazy year

1. Who is Goran Popov, a participant in perhaps Balotelli's lowest point of 2011?

2. Which Premier League player had accompanied Balotelli to a Manchester casino, on the night Balotelli gave £1,000 of his winnings to a tramp?

3. How did Balotelli describe his season to a TV interviewer immediately after winning the FA Cup in May?

4. What was Balotelli doing on the bench, to some disapproval, during Italy's Euro 2012 qualifier against the Faroe Islands?

5. With which part of Balotelli's body did he score in the 5-1 defeat of Norwich City at the Etihad Stadium in December?

6. How did Balotelli celebrate the first Premier League goal of team-mate Edin Dzeko, in the 1-0 win at Blackburn Rovers in April?

7. Which motif adorns Balotelli's favoured woollen hat and gloves?

8. What was the bill for the damage Balotelli did to his house in Mottram with fireworks in October?

9. How did he respond to the embarrassment of the firework incident?

10. What did Balotelli do in a pre-season friendly against Los Angeles Galaxy in July that so angered Roberto Mancini?

Year of the upsets

1. Which then League Two side knocked Newcastle United out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage in January?

2. Who became the first Australian woman to win a tennis Grand Slam since 1980, beating Serena Williams in the US Open final?

3. Which team shocked the world, beating France 19-14 in a Rugby World Cup Pool A match in Wellington on 1 October?

4. Who scored Basle's winner against Manchester United to knock them out of the Champions League group stage in December?

5. Why did Usain Bolt fail to defend his World Championship 100m title in Daegu in August?

6. Who stormed to 113 from 63 balls, with 13 fours and six sixes as Ireland chased 328 to beat England by three wickets in a World Cup group game in Bangalore?

7. Which big-spending side lost the League One play-off final?

8. Which young snooker player lost the World Championship final but won the UK Championship?

9. Which Test cricket side beat their fierce rivals for the first time in 18 years earlier this month?

10. Who scored the goals in Crystal Palace's famous 2-1 Carling Cup quarter-final victory at Old Trafford in November?

The year in numbers

6 Which two players finished joint top of the autumn's Rugby World Cup try-scoring table with six tries each?

14 Harlequins made rugby union take note with a surprising 14-game winning streak at the start of the season. But how did it end?

37.04 This was the world record-setting, gold medal-winning time in the men's 4x100m at the World Championship in Daegu? Which team set it?

41 The length of Novak Djokovic's seemingly unstoppable unbeaten run at the start of 2011. But who stopped it, and at which stage of which tournament?

50 Which bowler has so far taken the most Test wickets in 2011, in just eight Tests, surpassing his career total before the start of the year?

55 Lionel Messi scored 55 goals in 2011, as he won the Spanish title, European Cup and Club World Cup with Barcelona. But how many hat-tricks does this total include?

60 Lee Westwood shot his lowest ever round on his way to winning which tournament this month?

79.42 The new world record set by Germany's Betty Heidler in May, but in which unit of time, height or length, and in which athletic discipline?

350 The highest Test partnership of the year, 91 ahead of the next best, was scored by which batsmen, against whom and when?

392 The impressive points total accumulated by Sebastian Vettel, who retained his Formula One world title. How many grands prix did he win?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers

Who am I?

1 Darren Bravo
2 Ding Junhui
3 Wayne Rooney
4 Adrian "Jackpot" Lewis
5 Moses Mosop
6 Darren Bent
7 Martin Allen
8 Brian O'Driscoll
9 Virender Sehwag
10 Shane Watson

What did he say?

1 Playing for the England team
2 Floyd Mayweather Jnr
3 El Hadji Diouf
4 Darren Clarke, after he won the Open
5 Carlos Tevez
6 Ireland's first leg play-off win in Estonia
7 Tottenham coach Joe Jordan's confrontation with Milan's Gennaro Gatusso
8 Struggling Australian opener Phil Hughes
9 The statue of Michael Jackson that Fayed put up at Craven Cottage
10 Indian captain and wicket-keeper M S Dhoni

Balotelli

1 Dynamo Kiev player whom Balotelli was sent off for kicking
2 Christopher Samba
3 "Shit"
4 Playing on his iPad
5 Shoulder
6 Tripped him up from behind
7 Skull and crossbones
8 £400,000
9 By leading City's firework safety campaign
10 Tried to score with a spinning backheel

Upsets

1 Stevenage
2 Samantha Stosur
3 Tonga
4 Alexander Frei
5 He false-started
6 Kevin O'Brien
7 Huddersfield Town
8 Judd Trump
9 New Zealand
10 Darren Ambrose and Glenn Murray

Numbers

1 Chris Ashton and Vincent Clerc
2 Lost 21-10 to Toulouse
3 Jamaica
4 He lost to Roger Federer in the French Open semi-final
5 Saeed Ajmal
6 Six
7 Thailand Open
8 Metres, hammer throw
9 Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell in the fourth Test against India at The Oval
10 11 grands prix
 

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