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Fabulous Fakhar pulls off stunning chase to keep Pakistan alive

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Fakhar Zaman brought up his fourth ODI hundred against New Zealand in 2023 (Cricinfo)
Against all odds, Pakistan somehow remain alive in this World Cup. In a game where they turned in one of their most ordinary bowling displays in World Cup history, a century from Rachin Ravindra and 95 from the returning Kane Williamson saw New Zealand amass 401 – their highest World Cup total – to leave Pakistan on the ropes. But an astonishing counterattack from Fakhar Zaman saw him smash an unbeaten 126 in 81 balls to keep Pakistan up with the DLS asking rate with the threat of rain looming for much of the second innings. And when the rain did arrive, Pakistan were comfortably ahead of the rate they needed to be, pulling off a win that levels them on points with New Zealand and puts a semi-final berth within realistic grasp.

Pakistan’s decision to field first after winning the toss raised eyebrows on a flat wicket, suggesting they had as much of an eye on improving their net run rate as they did putting points on the board. But as soon as New Zealand’s innings started, both prospects began to look like distant improbabilities. Devon Conway and Ravindra had started brightly, and Pakistan, who had somewhat curiously gone without either of their two legspinners or Mohammad Nawaz, found themselves turning to Iftikhar Ahmed’s spin in the sixth over.

New Zealand went after him too, and it was Haris Rauf who drew first blood with a short delivery that kissed Conway’s bat on the way through to Mohammad Rizwan. It brought Williamson out for just his second game this tournament, but he started like he’d never been away. The duo, on opposite ends of the spectrum in experience, were united in the comfort with which they negotiated a Pakistan attack that looked desperately toothless, with Babar Azam ringing the changes and struggling for respite from any corner.

They had long brought up their half-centuries, and were speeding towards three figures, turbocharged by a Hasan Ali over that saw 18 come off it as both approached the 90s. But there was to be no slowdown from either; with New Zealand hovering around 240 for 1, there was little need to stall momentum in pursuit of a milestone. If anything Williamson’s risk-taking increased to reckless levels; he nearly ran himself out three times while within touch of his century. Ravindra, meanwhile, smeared Wasim through the onside to get to 99, before a single brought up his third World Cup hundred in the city of his parents’ birth.

Brief Scores:
New Zealand 401/6 in 50 overs (Devon Conway 35, Rachin Ravindra 108, Kane Williamson 95, Daryl Mitchelle 29, Mark Chapman 39, Glenn Phillips 41, Mitchelle Santner 26*; Mohammed Wasim Jnr 3-60) lost to Pakistan 200/1 in 25.3 overs (Fakhar Zaman 126*, Babar Azam 66*; Tim Southee 1-27) by 21 runs (DLS method)

(Cricinfo)



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Navy intercept multi-day fishing trawler carrying 200kg of narcotics

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It has been reported that the Sri Lanka Navy has intercepted a multi-day fishing trawler carrying around 200kg of narcotics suspected to be heroin and crystal methamphetamine (‘Ice’) off the southern coast of the island.

The boat and crew  were to be brought to the Galle Harbour,

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued to Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district today (12)

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Advisory for Severe Lightning issued by the natural hazards early warning center at 01.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. on 12 April 2024

Thundershowers accompanied by severe lightning are likely to occur at several places in Western, Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Northern and North-western provinces and in Monaragala district.

There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers.

General public is kindly requested to take adequate precautions to minimize damages caused by lightning activity.

ACTION REQUIRED:

The Department of Meteorology advises that people should:
• Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.

• Avoid open areas such as paddy fields, tea plantations and open water bodies during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using wired telephones and connected electric appliances during thunderstorms.

• Avoid using open vehicles, such as bicycles, tractors and boats etc.

• Beware of fallen trees and power lines.

• For emergency assistance contact the local disaster management authorities.
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US restricts travel for employees in Israel amid fears of Iran attack

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A view of the Tel Aviv skyline (BBC)

The United States has restricted travel for its employees in Israel amid fears of an attack by Iran.

The US embassy said staff had been told not to travel outside the greater Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or Beersheba areas “out of an abundance of caution”.

Iran has vowed to retaliate, blaming Israel for a strike on its consulate in Syria 11 days ago, killing 13 people.

UK Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has phoned his Iranian counterpart to urge against further escalation.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the consulate attack but is widely considered to have been behind it.

(BBC)

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