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Pakistan make watchful start after Australia’s 487

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Debutant Aamer Jamal's six-fer was the major highlight of the second day's play (Cricbuzz)

Pakistan have made a watchful start in response to Australia’s strong first innings total in Perth in the opening Test as they went into stumps at 132/2, still trailing by 355 runs. Pakistan’s openers started off in sedate fashion in the post lunch session with both Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique seeing off the tricky period before the Tea break. Only 43 runs were scored in the first 20 overs and the batters continued in the same vein in the final session as well.

Shafique broke the shackles with a straight drive off Hazlewood and survived a review against Nathan Lyon for a caught behind. Shafique’s luck eventually ran out when he stepped down the track but only got an inside edge to the leg slip to depart for a 121-ball 42. While Imam continued to fight it out, Shan Masood gave Pakistan some much needed impetus. He stepped down the track against Lyon to power one over mid on and then took on Hazlewood for two boundaries in a single over.

Masood got away when a thick edge off Hazlewood evaded the gully fielder but Australia managed to get rid of him eventually when the left-hander edged Starc behind to depart for 30. Pakistan ensured there was no further damage done before stumps but face a tall order on the third day.

Earlier, Australia finished with a huge total of 487 after Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey to an extent ruined Pakistan’s hopes of keeping the score below 400. Having already picked five wickets on the opening day, one early wicket on the second day would have given Pakistan a chance of having a go at the lower order. However, Marsh started off in aggressive fashion on the second day to put the visitors on the backfoot.

Marsh kept dealing in boundaries and even a change to bring Faheem Ashraf into the attack didn’t pay off as both the batters combined to fetch six boundaries off 12 deliveries. The two batters guided Australia past the 400-run mark before Aamer Jamal bowled a beauty to breach Carey’s defence that ended the 90-run stand. Marsh continued with his merry ways though as the score kept climbing with the hosts managing to add 130 runs in the morning session.

Pakistan then stormed back in the post lunch session by first ruining Marsh’s hopes of scoring a century in front of the home crowd. The allrounder, batting on 90, saw his stumps shattered first ball after resumption and that was the opening the visitors needed. The lower order was packed off pretty quick with the debutant Jamal finishing with a six-wicket haul.

Brief scores:
Pakistan
132/2 (Abdullah Shafique 42, Imam-ul-Haq 38; Mitchell Starc 1/24) trail Australia 487 (David Warner 164, Mitchell Marsh 90; Aamer Jamal 6/111) by 355 runs



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President orders probe into notification issued by Department of Immigration and Emigration

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It has been reported that President Wickremesinghe ordered an investigation into the notification issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration requesting all  Russian and Ukrainian tourists to leave the country within 14 days.

According to the President’s Media Division (PMD), the relevant notification was issued without prior approval from the Cabinet of Ministers.

The decision had reportedly been taken as certain foreign tourists are running illegal businesses in the country.

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United Republic Front presents ‘A united step for the country’ to the President

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Leader of the United Republic Front Member of Parliament Patali Champika Ranawaka, presented the proposal titled “A United Step for the Country” to President Ranil Wickremesinghe , at ‘Srikota’, the United National Party headquarters in Colombo this morning (24).

Speaking at the event President Ranil Wickremesinghe, highlighted the government’s concerted efforts over the past two years to stabilize the country’s economy, which had faced significant challenges. Stressing the government’s commitment to steering the economy towards recovery through strategic reforms, the President expressed his determination to continue these initiatives with the collective support of everyone.

Recalling his open invitation to all political parties to unite under a common agenda for the country, regardless of political differences, the President reiterated his willingness to embrace constructive proposals from all political parties as part of the nation-building efforts.

The President responded positively to the request made by Member of Parliament Patali Champika Ranawaka to allow other political parties to participate in the upcoming negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month concerning the restructuring of foreign debt.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, responding queries about the scheduling of elections, affirmed that the Presidential Election will proceed as scheduled, with the General Election anticipated to take place early next year.

 

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Spinners put England in command on Day 2

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Shoaib Bashir bagged four wickets on Day 2 (Cricbuzz)

England’s spin duo of Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley put India in trouble on the second day of the fourth Test in Ranchi by sharing six wickets between them. After getting bowled out for 353 in their first innings, England kept striking at regular intervals despite Yashasvi Jaiswal’s efforts at the other end.

England made a positive start to the day with Ollie Robinson opening up to hit a flurry of boundaries to catch India off guard. He ended up stretching the stand over 100 runs alongside overnight centurion Joe Root with the latter taking a backseat on the second morning. In the process, Robinson ended up registering his first-ever fifty in Test cricket with India desperately searching for a breakthrough. That breakthrough arrived in the form of Ravindra Jadeja as Robinson gloved one to the ‘keeper while attempting to reverse sweep.

Jadeja then made quick work of the tail as Bashir first miscued one hoick and James Anderson got trapped lbw, leaving Root stranded on 122. England would have still been fairly pleased with the score of 353 though given they were reeling at 112/5 at one stage on the opening day. They received a massive boost with the ball too as Rohit Sharma ended up nicking Anderson behind very early in his innings.

Jaiswal on the other hand though got off to a bright start yet again. Having already smashed two double tons in the series, the opener was in great touch prior to the lunch break. He carried on the same vein post resumption as well but ended up watching a procession from the non-striker’s end. Bashir hurt India big time in the second session as he first trapped the well-set Shubman Gill lbw before getting rid of Rajat Patidar and Jadeja, who had smashed successive sixes prior to that.

Those three wickets put India on the backfoot and the onus was on Jaiswal again to revive the innings. The opener did  continue to pile on the runs but England managed to keep Sarfaraz Khan quiet at the other end. The visitors then took full control of the game when Jaiswal dragged one back on to his stumps to fall for 73. With half the side back in the pavilion and almost 200 runs still behind England’s tally, India needed a massive contribution from the lower order. However, England cashed in on their advantage as Hartley drew the outside edge of Sarfaraz before trapping R Ashwin leg-before-wicket. Kuldeep Yadav and Dhruv Jurel put up a brave fight batting out almost 18 overs before stumps but India still need a huge effort from the duo on the third morning to bridge the gap.

Brief scores:
India
219/7 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 73, Shubman Gill 38; Shoaib Bashir 4/84) trail  England 353 in 104.5 overs (Joe Root 122*; Ravindra Jadeja 4/67) by 134 runs

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