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Aliya Riaz and Fatima Sana star as Pakistan wrap up historic series win

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Fatima Sana picked up her second successive three-wicket haul (pic Cricinfo)

Having beaten New Zealand for the first time in a T20I to start the series,  Pakistan went one better in the second game in Dunedin, where Fatima Sana picked up her second successive three-wicket haul to lead her side to a series-clinching victory. The 10-run win brought up Pakistan’s first T20I series win away from home since October 2018, and their first T20I series victory outside Asia and Ireland.

Sana followed up her 3 for 18 in the first T20I with figures of 3 for 22, her wickets those of Suzie Bates (for the second time in the series), Sophie Devine and Hannah Rowe – all three bowled. Rowe’s wicket effectively clinched the match: Sana dismissed the No. 7 for 33 off 24 balls when New Zealand needed 12 off three balls. Molly Penfold, who came in next, only managed a dot and a single off the last two balls of the match.

Rowe had walked in when New Zealand were 62 for 5 in the 13th over, needing 76 off 45 balls to draw level in the series. It came down to 50 off 23 when Georgia Plimmer fell in the 17th over for 28, but Rowe and Lea Tahuhu found the big hits at just the right time to keep New Zealand in it with a last-over requirement of 18 runs. Sana, however, came back at the finish to complete her star turn.

Sent in to bat, Pakistan made a strong start courtesy Muneeba Ali’s 28-ball 35 at the top of the order. They suffered a setback, however, when Penfold dismissed Nida Dar and Bismah Maroof in the space of three deliveries to leave Pakistan on 86 for 4 after 13 overs. Aliya Riaz,  however, ensured they finished with a defendable total, scoring her second unbeaten cameo in a row. There wasn’t much support from the batters at the other end, who scored 10 off 21 between them in the last seven overs, but Riaz hit three fours and a six in a 22-ball 32 to set New Zealand a target that proved just beyond their reach.

The third and final T20I will be played in Queenstown on Saturday, following which the tour moves into its ODI leg.

Brief scores:
Pakistan Women 137 for 6 in 20 overs (Muneeba Ali 35, Aliya Riaz 32*, Bismah Maroof 21; Hannah Rowe 1-25, Mollie Penfold 2-17, Fran Jonas 2-21, Sophie Devine 1-08) beat New Zealand Women 127 for 7 in 20 overs  (Hannah Rowe 33, Georgia Plimmer 28; Fatima Sana 3-22, Sadia Iqbal 2-29, Nida Dar 1-20) by 10 runs



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Haiti establishes council to choose new leaders as gang violence rages

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[File pic] People take cover from gunfire near the National Palace, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Aljazeera)

Haiti has formally established a transitional council to fill a leadership vacuum by choosing a new prime minister, and to restore order in the Caribbean country ravaged by gang violence.

A decree published in the official gazette announced the formation of the Presidential Transitional Council on Friday, a month after Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he would step down amid a wave of attacks by armed gangs in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

There was no immediate comment from Henry following the publication of the decree and questions remain about the nine-member council’s viability with no details on a time frame to install the body and select a new prime minister and cabinet.

The decree also did not name the members of the council, the Reuters news agency reported.  It said Henry and the council will govern the country until the new body names his replacement.

The Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), a regional bloc, said in a statement that the council’s mission “is to put Haiti back on the road to dignity, democratic legitimacy, stability and sovereignty and to ensure the proper functioning of the State’s institutions”.

The decree also said the council would help speed the deployment of international troops that Henry requested in 2022 to aid police in their battles with armed and increasingly powerful gangs.

It stipulates that the council be based in the National Palace in central Port-au-Prince, which has come under fire several times in the past weeks.

(Aljazeera)

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Man shot in Westfield Bondi Junction mall after ‘stabbings’: Sydney police

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Hundreds of people were evacuated from a Sydney shopping centre after suspected stabbings, media reports say (Aljazeera)

Police in Sydney say a man has been shot at a shopping centre in the Australian city after reports of multiple people being stabbed.

New South Wales Police said in a statement that emergency services were called to the Westfield Bondi Junction mall complex just before 4pm (06:00 GMT) on Saturday following the reports.

“People are urged to avoid the area,” the statement said. “Inquiries are continuing in relation to the incident and there are no further details.”

The sprawling shopping centre was packed with shoppers when the incidents occurred.

(Aljazeera)

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Nigeria first country to introduce ‘revolutionary’ meningitis vaccine

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WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Nigeria has become the first country to roll out a “revolutionary” five-in-one vaccine against meningitis, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement on Friday.  

The Men5CV vaccine offers a powerful shield against the five major strains of the meningococcal bacteria – A, C, W, Y and X – which cause the disease.

Known by the brand name MenFive, it provides broader protection than the vaccine currently used in much of Africa, which is only effective against the A strain.

Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General.

The rollout in Nigeria represents one step closer towards the goal of total elimination by 2030, he added.

Meningitis is the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord and can be fatal. Symptoms often include headache, fever and stiff neck.

There are multiple causes, including viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic pathogens. The most serious – bacterial meningitis – can also result in blood poisoning and can seriously disable or kill within 24 hours after being contracted.

Vaccination campaign

Nigeria is among the 26 meningitis hyper-endemic countries of Africa, an area known as the African Meningitis Belt.

WHO said 153 people died in an outbreak in Nigeria between 1 October 2023 and 11 March of this year. A vaccination campaign was launched in late March to reach more than a million people aged 29 and under.

“Northern Nigeria, particularly the states of Jigawa, Bauchi and Yobe were badly hit by the deadly outbreak of meningitis, and this vaccine provides health workers with a new tool to both stop this outbreak but also put the country on a path to elimination,” said Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate of the Nigerian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

WHO said the new vaccine has the potential to significantly reduce meningitis cases and advance progress in defeating the disease, which is especially important for countries like Nigeria where multiple serogroups are prevalent.

(UN News)

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