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Babar, Rizwan power Pakistan to a thumping win

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Babar Azam’s second T20I hundred (110* off 66, 11 fours and 5 sixes) came in a record stand with Mohammad Rizwan (88* off 51, 5 fours and 4 sixes) as Pakistan prevailed in a high-scoring encounter at the National Stadium in Karachi on Thursday (September 22) in the second T20I to square the series against England. Moeen Ali’s 23-ball fifty headlined a collective batting show from England as they posted an imposing 199 for 5. But the hosts sprinted to the target, winning with three deliveries to spare thanks to the Babar-Rizwan stand, which was the first double century partnership for Pakistan who became the first team to achieve success in a 200-run chase with all wickets intact.

Pakistan got off to a good start in the chase as the openers raised a half-century stand inside the powerplay. Rizwan set the tone with two fours in the opening over off David Willey while Babar struck two fours off Curran and a boundary off Luke Wood after a slow start. Liam Dawson, coming in for Richard Gleeson, started with an economical over and should have also picked up the wicket of Rizwan but for a back-pedalling Hales to put down the catch in the sixth over. Rizwan went on to hit a six off the spinner, clearing the fence for the second time inside the first six having played a pick-up shot off Willey earlier for a maximum. By the time the powerplay ended, Babar had struck five fours while Rizwan had scored two fours apart from the sixes as Pakistan raced to 59/0.

In comparison to England at the halfway stage of the innings, Pakistan were seven ahead and had all their wickets intact. Rizwan was also reprieved by a stumping chance gone a begging as Salt failed to grab the ball when Adil Rashid went past the outside edge. Rizwan went on to bring up a 30-ball fifty – his 18th T20I half-century – while Babar, who was on 38 off 31 at that stage, got to fifty off 39 deliveries. Both batters then dealt in sixes, making most of the conditions that had improved for the batters in the second innings, as they took Pakistan to 151/0 after 15 overs, bringing down the equation to 48 off 30.

When Babar had reached his fifty in the 12th over, Rizwan had scored three more runs than the Pakistan skipper. But it was a Babar show after that as he raced past his opening partner. Babar took only 22 deliveries from 50-100, blasting four sixes and three fours in his second fifty as he became the first Pakistan player to score two centuries in T20Is. Pakistan needed 20 off the last two overs and they coasted to the target, with Babar adding two more fours to his tally, including the winning four, while Rizwan also struck a boundary.

Alex Hales powered England’s positive start while Phil Salt also managed a couple of boundaries. Barring a three-run opening over from Mohammad Hasnain – who replaced Naseem Shah – England found the fence in every other over in the powerplay. There were a couple of sixes too – with Salt just about clearing the long-off boundary in a Mohammad Nawaz over while Hales edged a Hasnain delivery over the third-man fence. Hales and Salt weren’t always in control of their shots but they managed four fours between them in a quick-fire 42-run stand. Pakistan, however, came back well in the final over of the powerplay as Hales was bowled by Shahnawaz Dahani attempting a pull while Dawid Malan was bowled around his legs. Ben Duckett ended the over with a four as England managed 48/2 in the first six overs.

On a wicket that was on the slower side, with balls keeping low, Pakistan tried to strangle the England batters with spin at both ends. But Duckett was well-equipped to handle them, bringing out the sweeps, reverse-sweep and scoop to ensure regular boundaries. Salt, at the other end, slowed down, not adding to his boundary count after the powerplay. He eventually fell to Haris Rauf, cleaned up for a 27-ball 30. Duckett extended his tally of fours to seven before becoming Nawaz’s only wicket as he deflected a sweep onto the stumps ending a fine 22-ball knock for 43 runs. Harry Brook hit a six off Dahani while Moeen took the attack to Usman Qadir, scoring a four and two sixes in the 15th as England collected 85 runs at a scoring rate of more than 9 in the middle overs.

Pakistan ended up conceding 66 runs in the last five overs. Hasnain was taken for 18 runs in the 16th over which included a four apiece for Moeen and Brook, with the latter also going inside out over extra cover for a six. Brook also top-edged a Rauf delivery over fine leg for another maximum before an attempted reverse scoop led to his downfall. Moeen struck two fours off Dahani on either side of a catch put down by Kushdil Shah in the 18th over while Sam Curran showcased some cheeky shot-making walking across to a Rauf delivery and lapping it over short fine leg for a four. Rauf, though, gave away only 30 runs off his four overs to finish as the most economical of the Pakistan bowlers but the rest weren’t as effective. Hasnain was the most expensive of the lot, conceding 51 runs – including 19 in the final over – as Moeen finished off the innings with two sixes to get to his sixth T20I fifty, which ended up in a losing cause.

Brief scores:

England 199/5 in 20 overs (Moeen Ali 55*, Ben Duckett 43; Haris Rauf 2-30) lost to Pakistan 203/0 in 19.3 overs (Babar Azam 110*, Mohammad Rizwan 88*) by 10 wickets.

(Cricbuzz)



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St. Joseph’s have a slight edge over Trinity 

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Under 17 Division 1 Cricket Final 

by Reemus Fernando   

Two unbeaten teams, St. Joseph’s and Trinity will bank on some of the leading performers of the tournament for success when they clash for the title of the Under 17 Division I cricket tournament at Surrey Village ground, Maggona today. The two teams have in their ranks a number of players who are among the leading batsmen and bowlers of this tournament. Their performances have helped the two teams remain unbeaten.

St. Joseph’s, who have a slight edge over their rivals, are equipped with a formidable bowling unit. They have the leading spinner of the tournament in left-arm spinner Yenula Dewthusa, who has captured 19 wickets. Offie Kaven Pathirana is also among the tournament’s leading bowlers.

The Joes pace attack is led by Dunick Perera, who too is among the top ten bowlers of the tourney. He will spearhead the pace attack with Manasa Madubashana.  In the batting department the Joes were depending on shared responsibilities. Sahan Dabare, Rishma Amarasinghe, Abhishek Jayaweera, Kenath Liyanage and Dewthusa are the batsmen to watch.

Trinity too have relied heavily on a left arm spinner for wickets during the tournament. Malith Rathnayake, who is the joint third highest wicket taker of the tournament will lead their bowling unit. Trinity did not have the service of Kaveen Gamage this season due to injury. Lakwin Abeysinghe, Wathila Udara and Oshana Lokuge who shared the responsibilities in the spin department will look forward to back Rathnayake today.  Their pace attack will be led by Kavindu Jayarathna and Thisal Yapa.  In the batting department Dimantha Mahavithana, Lakvin Abeysinghe, Pulisha Tilakaratna, Aadham Hilmy and Jayavi Liyanagama have scored the bulk of runs for them.

How they reached the final  

The Joes reach the final after ousting one of the favourities, Gurukula in the semi –final. Their quarter-final against St. Sebastian’s was washed off and they reached the semi-final on merit of the bonus points they had.  They were the champions in their group in the first round and during the first two knockout games in the second round they beat Holy Cross College, Kalutara and Mahanama College, Colombo.

Trinity too were the champions in their group in the first round. During the knockout stage they beat D.S. Senanayake College and St. Anthony’s College, Wattala. In the quarter-final against Mahinda, no play was possible due to rain and they advanced to the semi-final as they had more bonus points.  In the semi-final they beat S. Thomas’.

Teams  

St. Joseph’s (from): Kenath Liyanage (Captain), Abishek Jayaweera, Naren Muralidaran, Yenula Dewthusa, Sahan Dabare, Hiran Ranaweera, Kaven Pathirana, Senodh Soysa, Oshada Gunasinghe, Dihen De Silva, Manasa Madubashana, Dunick Perera, Rishma Amarasinghe, Shenal Anuradha. Officials: Asiri Caldera (Master in Charge), Dylan Ramanayake (Head Coach), Torin Pitigala (Asst. Coach)

Trinity (from): Malith Rathnayake (Captain), Jayavi Liyanagama, Thisal Yapa, Oshana Lokuge, Kavindu Jayaratna, Aadham Hilmy, Sweath Anurajeewa, Dimantha Mahavithana, Pulisha Tilakaratna, Lakvin Abeysinghe, Wathila Udara, Thisum Rajaratna, Kadesh Anton. Officials: V. Raveendran (Master in Charge), Brain Senarathne (Master in Charge), Naveen Ekanayake (Head Coach).

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Spain women’s players call for coach to be sacked

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Spain’s football federation says 15 players have said they will resign from the women’s national team unless head coach Jorge Vilda is sacked.The RFEF said the players claim his tenure is affecting their emotional state and health.

However, the RFEF said it “is not going to allow the players to question the continuity of the national coach”.

“These types of manoeuvres are far from exemplary and outside the values ??of football and sport,” they said.

“Making those decisions does not fall within their powers.”

It warned refusing to play for the national team was “a very serious infraction and can carry sanctions of between two and five years of disqualification” and went on to say it would not call up the 15.

“The Federation will only have committed footballers even if they have to play with youth,” it added.

“This fact has gone from being a sporting issue to a dignity issue. The selection is non-negotiable. It is an unprecedented situation in the history of football, both male and female, in Spain and worldwide.

“The national team needs players committed to the project, defending our colours and proud to wear the Spain shirt.”

It ended by saying the players – who have not been named – would only be called up again in the future “if they accept their mistake and ask for forgiveness”.

Vilda, 41, has been the national team coach since 2015 and led his side to the quarter-finals of Euro 22, where the pre-tournament favourites lost in extra time to eventual winners England. In 2015 Vilda’s predecessor Ignacio Quereda resigned after Spain’s players called for him to be sacked. The move came after Spain finished bottom of their World Cup group.

(BBC Sports)

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New Zealand survive scare to complete series win

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New Zealand women survived a major collapse to down West Indies by two wickets and with almost 10 overs to spare in a hard-fought encounter in Antigua. With this victory, New Zealand also took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series.

The bowlers had laid down the foundation for New Zealand’s win. Eden Carson returned figures of 3 for 31 while Hayley Jensen bagged a two-for. Fran Jonas, Sophie Devine, Amelia Kerr and Lea Tahuhu also took a wicket each as the West Indies could muster only a modest total of 169 for 9 in their allotted 50 overs. Hayley Matthews, batting at No. 5, top scored with 46 while Chinelle Henry accumulated a brisk 35-ball 30. No other batter crossed the 20-run mark for the home side.

In the chase, New Zealand lost their skipper Devine, alongside Suzie Bates and Kerr within the first 10 overs. Green and Lauren Down then strung together an alliance of 66 to put New Zealand on course for a rather comfortable win. Even after Down was dislodged by Stafanie Taylor, Green and Brooke Hallday put on a stand of 47 to take the visitors within just six runs of victory. However, at that stage, New Zealand lost wickets in a heap to suddenly find themselves in some trouble.

Green fell in the 37th over to Afy Fletcher. Her batting partner, Halliday and Tahuhu were dismissed in the very next over by the off-spinner Karishma Ramharack. Ramharack wasn’t done yet as she also castled Isabella Gaze for no score. Eventually, Jensen calmed down the nerves in the New Zealand camp by cracking a boundary off Fletcher in the 41st over to take New Zealand past the finishing line.

Brief scores:

West Indies 169/9 in 50 overs (Hayley Matthews 46; Hayley Jensen 2-27) lost to New Zealand 171/8 in 40.1 overs (Maddy Green 48; Karishma Ramharack 3-22) by two wickets

(Cricbuzz)

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