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Sun directly overhead Mannar, Periyamadu, Puliyankulam and Kokkilai at about 12:11 noon today (13)

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On the apparent northward relative motion of the sun, it is going to be directly over the latitudes of Sri Lanka during 05th to 15th of April in this year. The nearest areas of Sri Lanka over which the sun is overhead today (13th) are Mannar, Periyamadu, Puliyankulam and Kokkilai at about 12:11 noon.

(Department of Meteorology)



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Jaffna Kings beat Kandy Falcons in seven over game

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Jaffna Kings defeated Kandy Falcons by four wickets in a  seven overs per side match played at the RPICS in Colombo.

Brief scores:
Kandy Falcons 78/5 in 7 overs [Dinesh Chandimal 21, Nohammad Harris 30, Angelo Mathews 11; Jason Behrendorff  3-10, Asitha Fernando 1-19, Azmatullah Omarzai 1-20] lost to Jafffna Kings 79/6 in 5.5 overs [Avishka Fernando 16, Charith Asalanka 26, Azmatullah Omarzai 24* ; Angelo Mathews 2-22, Dasun Shanaka 1-26, Wanidu Hasaranga 2-18] by four wickets

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Jaiswal and Gill wrap up series in style for India

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India had plenty to cheer about in Harare [Cricinfo]

Zimbabwe’s most-assured batting effort wasn’t enough to mount a challenge against India’s young IPL stars. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill made light work of a 153-run target, sauntering home in just 15.2 overs in a sensational exhibition of intent-laden batting of the kind we hadn’t seen in the series so far.

Where Zimbabwe hit all of 10 fours in their 20 overs, Jaiswal and Gill smashed as many in their first four overs en route a ten-wicket thumping that delivered an unassailable 3-1 lead for India with one more game to play on on Sunday.

Zimbabwe had lost at least two wickets in the powerplay in each of the three T20Is in the series before this game. Today, though, Wesley Madhevere and Tadiwansabe Marumani rode their luck to add 63 in 8.4 overs to give them a platform.

In the third over, Marumani was dropped by Shivam Dube at mid-on while on 3. He also benefited from an overthrow that went to the boundary in the same over, and Marumani appeared to change gears after the reprieve by going after debutant Tushar Deshpande, who conceded 21 off his first two overs. Gill quickly turned to spin inside the powerplay and they managed to rein in the scoring; eventually an effort to up the ante against India’s part-time bowlers, who needed to fill the fifth-bowler’s quota, got Marumani.

Off Abhishek Sharma’s fourth ball, he looked to pull and ended up hitting it towards the longest part of the boundary where Rinku Singh was waiting at deep midwicket. This allowed Gill to bring on Dube from the other end in a bid to get the fifth-bowler’s quota out of the way, but he too struck – in his first over, he had the other set batter, Madhevere, pulling a short ball to Rinku at deep square leg.

Abhishek could have had a second wicket in T20Is, but for Ruturaj Gaikwad shelving a dolly at extra cover to reprieve Brian Bennett. The missed opportunity didn’t cost India much though.

Raza needed to rescue Zimbabwe as they had suddenly lost 4 for 33 after the solid opening. Having been guilty of running out Jonathan Campbell, Raza’s industry kept the runs ticking until he flicked the switch with five overs remaining.

On 21 off 17 at that point, he launched Washington Sundar over deep midwicket for a 90-metre six, and then went after Khaleel Ahmed in his next over, hitting a four and a six. Overs 16 and 17 produced 31 as Zimbabwe charged towards 160. That they fell eight short was thanks to two excellent overs from Deshpande, who dismissed Raza for his maiden international wicket, and Khaleel. Zimbabwe had a competitive, if not match-winning, total.

India’s chase was kickstarted with Jaiswal hitting three fours off left-arm seamer Richard Ngavara in the first over. Jaiswal was in no mood to stop there, hitting Tendai Chatara for four more fours off his first over, the third of the innings. The seamers kept giving him width and he kept crashing them away through point, alternating between hitting them along the ground and playing the full-blooded cuts. India raised their fifty in just 3.5 overs with Jaiswal contributing 39.

Jaiswal got to his half-century off 29 balls, and then unfurled one of the shots of the day when he sent Raza inside-out over extra cover. Having been beaten in flight, he quickly adjusted to loft him through the line and bisect the tiny gap between deep cover and wide long-off.

Gill then took over, helping himself against Faraz Akram’s gentle seam-ups in a exquisite display of hitting-on-the-up. Gill’s second straight half-century, off 35 balls, was mellow in comparison to Jaiswal but effective nonetheless.

As the match raced towards the finish line, the only point of interest was if Jaiswal could get the 17 of the 18 remaining runs needed to get to a hundred. He couldn’t; ended up 93 not out, having displayed his full range in an exhilarating display reflecting the type of intent that won India the T20 World Cup last month after 17 years.

Brief scores:
India 156 for 0 in 15.2 overs (Yashaswi Jaiswal 93*, Shubman  Gill 58*) beat Zimbabwe 152 for 7 in 20 overs (Wessley Madhevere 25, Sikanda Raza 46, Tadiwanashe Marumani 32, Khaleel Ahmed 2-32, Tushar Deshpande 1-30, Washington Sundar 1-32, Abhishek Sharma 1-20, Shivam Dube 1-11) by ten wickets

[Cricinfo]

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Pakistan court acquits former PM Imran Khan, wife in unlawful marriage case

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[File pic] Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan, right, and his wife, Bushra Bibi, talk to the media at an office of the Lahore High Court [ [Aljazeera]

A court in Pakistan has acquitted former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife on charges of unlawful marriage, according to his party and lawyer.

Khan and his wife Bushra Khan, also known as Bushra Bibi, were sentenced to seven years in prison, days before Pakistan’s election in February, a court ruling at the time that their marriage in 2018 violated Islamic law.

In June a court rejected their plea to have the February ruling suspended.

But on Saturday, an Islamabad court said the “appeals of both Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi are accepted”.

Zulfi Bukhari, a senior official in Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party told Al Jazeera that the charges had been “dismissed”, while Khan’s lawyer, Naeem Panjutha, posted on X, that the couple “are acquitted”.

Khan remains behind bars as a court this week cancelled his bail over accusations he incited riots by his supporters in May 2023.

Lawyer Intazar Hussain Panjutha told Al Jazeera that Khan “will not be released despite acquittal today [Saturday]”.

An anti-terrorism court in Lahore this week approved Khan’s arrest in a case related to last year’s riots, his party’s legal team said.

The court refused to grant him bail on Tuesday as the investigation into his alleged role in the unrest continues, despite the fact he was behind bars at the time.

Bukhari told Al Jazeera that “at this moment, there is not one case on which Khan can be kept in jail any more”.

The marriage case was filed last year by Bibi’s former husband, Khawar Maneka, who alleged that his divorced wife did not observe the necessary three-month break required under Islamic law before marrying Khan. Maneka claims he divorced his wife in November 2017. Khan announced his third marriage, to Bibi, in February 2018, months before he became the prime minister.

And as for Bibi, Bukhari said “this unlawful marriage case was the only one keeping her behind bars and with this acquittal, she should be immediately released today, not tomorrow”.

Earlier this month a United Nations panel of experts found Khan’s detention arbitrary and said it “had no legal basis and appears to have been intended to disqualify him from running for political office”.

“Thus, from the outset, that prosecution was not grounded in law and was reportedly instrumentalised for a political purpose,” it said, calling for his immediate release after nearly a year in jail.

Candidates loyal to Khan won the most seats in the general election, but were kept from government by an alliance of military-backed rival parties.

The PTI secured a major legal victory on Friday when the Supreme Court declared it eligible for a share of reserved seats in national and provincial assemblies, a significant setback to the coalition government.

Khan served as prime minister from 2018 to 2022, when he was removed by a no-confidence vote after falling out with the military establishment, which wields huge influence over civilian politics.

In opposition, he waged a campaign of defiance against the top generals, even accusing them of an assassination attempt that wounded him.

But the former cricket star’s comeback campaign was hobbled by scores of legal cases, which analysts say were likely brought at the behest of the military establishment.

Khan was first briefly arrested in May 2023,  sparking nationwide unrest from PTI supporters, some of which targeted military facilities.

The government and military cited the attacks as justification for a sweeping crackdown on the PTI, which saw its senior leadership decimated by arrests and defections.

PTI candidates were forced to stand as independents in the February 8 elections, which had been repeatedly delayed amid political chaos.

Khan’s arrest and conviction for corruption back in August 2023 – on charges that he denies – meant he was barred from standing for office himself, confined to a cell in Adiala Jail south of the capital, Islamabad.

Despite that, candidates loyal to PTI secured more seats than any other party. They were blocked from power by a broad coalition of parties considered more pliable to the influence of the military.

Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan's supporters protest outside the court in Islamabad on June 27, 2024, to demand the release of Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi. An Islamabad court rejected on June 27 a plea to suspend the jail terms of former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and his wife, whose marriage was ruled illegal under Islamic law. (Photo by Farooq NAEEM / AFP)
Supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan protest outside the court in Islamabad in June to demand his release and that of his wife, Bushra Bibi [Aljazeera]

[Aljazeera]

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