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Tanzim’s four, Mustafizur’s three take Bangladesh into Super Eight

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Tanzim Hasan Sakib bowled a fiery opening spell [ICC]

A fiery opening spell from Tanzim Hasan Sakib powered Bangladesh to a slightly tense win over Nepal, sealing their progress to the Super Eight stage. For the second game in a row Nepal had a Full Member side on the ropes with their bowling performance in Kingstown, but their batting order was blown away by Bangladesh’s fast bowlers.

A win, let alone a comfortable one, looked like a tricky prospect for Bangladesh after they were bundled for 106. Having come within two runs of chasing down a slightly bigger target against South Africa, Nepal would have fancied their chances of bagging their first win against a Full Member team, but Tanzim scythed through their top order with stunning figures of 4-2-7-4 that reduced Nepal to 26 for 5.

While the low asking rate meant Nepal could still keep their chances alive, Mustafizur Rahman put on a death bowling masterclass when Nepal needed 30 off 24 to help Bangladesh pull off the lowest successful defence in a men’s T20 World Cup.

Nepal found themselves in big trouble early when Tanzim struck twice in his second over – the third of the innings. Kushal Bhurtel missed a low full toss that swung away late to clip the off stump before Anil Sah toe-ended his effort to mid-off.

Taskin Ahmed created a couple of chances in the next over, and Tanzim reaped the rewards of the pressure built, with Rohit Paudel slapping a short and wide delivery straight to backward point. Tanzim nearly struck again in the over, but a leading edge from Sundeep Jora fell short of the bowler.

Mustafizur then had Aasif Sheikh caught at cover to complete an excellent powerplay for Bangladesh.

Tanzim bowled out in the seventh over, and picked up his fourth wicket when he had Jora caught at gully. He bowled a double-wicket maiden and a wicket maiden, and his 21 dot balls were the most by a bowler in a men’s T20 World Cup match.

From the start of the eighth over, there was a 23-ball boundary drought, with legspinner Rishad Hossain especially getting sharp turn. Dipendra Singh Airee finally swept Rishad for four off the last ball of the 11th over that helped Nepal reach 50 in the next over.

Malla and Airee consolidated for Nepal, shifting gears in the 16th over when Malla slog-swept Mahmudullah for Nepal’s first six of the innings. One ball later, he nudged him fine on the leg side for a four to bring up the fifty partnership. They were left with 30 to win off the last four.

Two of those four overs were to be bowled by Mustafizur, and he broke the burgeoning stand with a back-of-length cutter that was skied over mid-off. Najmul Hossain Shanto did well to settle under it running back and holding on to a tricky chance. Just the one run came off the over.

Nepal attacked Taskin when Airee slapped a six over point but the bowler gave away only one more run in the next five balls and also sent Gulsan Jha back. Mustafizur then bowled five dots on the trot as Airee kept swinging and failing to make contact. Airee looked to knock the last ball of the over for a single, but ended up edging behind to make the penultimate over a wicket maiden.

Shakib Al Hasan, wicketless in the tournament before the game, picked the last two wickets to complete a team hat-trick. This also made it the first time Bangladesh won three games in a T20 World Cup.

Sompal Kami struck first ball for Nepal, who opted to bowl, as Tanzid Hasan top-edged a short ball for a return catch to the fast bowler. Shanto was next to go, as Airee went through the Bangladesh captain’s defence in the next over.

Given a third over on the trot, Kami then got Litton top-edging a pull off a short ball that wicketkeeper Aasif Sheikh settled under. It meant a poor run of form for Bangladesh’s top order, who have only contributed 122 runs in their four group stage matches.

Towhid Hridoy, Bangladesh’s best batter in the competition, hit two fours but top-edged an attempted slog sweep off Paudel to leave Bangladesh stuttering at 31 for 4 at the end of the powerplay.

Mahmudullah looked to regroup for Bangladesh along with Shakib, hitting two crisp boundaries off Sandeep Lamichhane, but was called for a run that was never there and ended up being run out at the non-striker’s end in the ninth over.

Shakib and Jaker Ali tried to consolidate, but Paudel got another breakthrough by dismissing Shakib, before Lamichhane bowled Tanzim and Jake with wrong’uns to put Bangladesh under threat of being bowled out under 100.

But Rishad Hossain and Taskin helped Bangladesh add 31 runs for the last two wickets that took them to 106.

Brief scores:
Bangladesh 106 in 19.3 overs (Shakib Al Hasan  17; Sompal Kami 2-10, Sandeep Lamichhane 2-17, Rohit Paudel 2-20, Dipendra Singh Airee 2-22) beat  Nepal 85 in 19.2 overs (Kushal Malla 27, Dipendra Singh Airee 25; Tanzim Hasan Sakib  4-07, Taskin Ahmed 1-29,  Mustafizur Rahman 3-07, Shakib Al Hasan 2-09) by 21 runs

[Cricinfo]



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Djokovic sets up Alcaraz rematch in Wimbledon final

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Novak Djokovic is trying to match Roger Federer's total of eight Wimbledon titles [BBC]

Novak Djokovic outclassed Italian underdog Lorenzo Musetti to reach the Wimbledon final and set up a showdown with reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz in a repeat of last year’s final.

The 37-year-old impressed as he stayed on course for a record-equalling eighth men’s singles title at Wimbledon with a 6-4 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 victory on Centre Court.

Musetti, 22, had one chance to get the break back in the final set but sent a forehand into the net and crouched down with his head in his hands, knowing the end was near.  Djokovic made sure his opponent did not get another opportunity.

Under pressure, Musetti sent a shot long before Djokovic walked to the net, knowing he had reached his 37th Grand Slam final and 10th at Wimbledon.

The Serb then moved his racquet over his shoulder and imitated playing a violin, in a gesture aimed at his six-year-old daughter Tara, with television cameras showing her grinning along.

Some fans, however, started booing, thinking Djokovic, who produced the same celebration following his win over Holger Rune in the last 16, was being disrespectful.

Alcaraz beat Djokovic in last year’s showpiece, winning 1-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 3-6 6-4 in a five-set epic, which lasted four hours 42 minutes and is regarded one of the best matches in the tournament’s history.

The pair meet again on Sunday in what could be another amazing chapter in Wimbledon folklore.

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Top ICC official Chris Tetley and Claire Furlong resign

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There was a lot of scrutiny of the matches in the US leg of the World Cup, particularly the games held in New York

A couple of senior officials from the International Cricket Council (ICC), who were closely involved in organizing the Twenty20 World Cup in the US and the West Indies, have resigned. On Friday, it came to light that Chris Tetley, the ICC’s Head of Events, and Claire Furlong, the General Manager of Marketing and Communications, have announced their departures from the organization.

The resignations, coming as they did immediately after the conclusion of the World Cup and just about a week ahead of the ICC’s annual conference in Colombo, are believed to be related to the conduct of the championship. However, ICC insiders say the resignations are several months old.

One particular source has claimed that both Tetley and Furlong decided to leave the world body at the end of the last commercial cycle itself but stayed on in view of the Twenty20 World Cup in the US. The source went on to add that the two quit quite some time back but will continue to be with the ICC for a few more months ‘to ensure smooth transition of charge in a crowded event cycle.’ They will also attend the Annual Conference in Colombo from July 19 to 22.

The World Cup in the US, and particularly in New York, was a major project of the ICC and the two officials were closely involved in it. Many members of the ICC were priming to raise the issue of the New York games, which were low-scoring affairs due to the ‘up and down’ nature of the drop-in pitches at the NY stadium, at the Colombo conclave. A key member of the ICC board is learnt to have raised the issue through a letter to the members.

The number of fours and sixes, which are generally expected to be high in numbers in the Twenty20 games, was significantly low in the New York games. The Indian team, the eventual champions, however, did not comment on the nature of the pitches, stating that the conditions were equal for all the participating teams.

The matches in the US were conducted by an entity called T20 World Cup Inc which had built a modular stadium in the Nassau County of New York’s Long Island in record time. The stadium was dismantled immediately after the NY leg of the championship. NY hosted eight of the 16 games allotted to the US.

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US space agency NASA releases Webb telescope photos of entwined galaxies

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In this photo provided by NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute, two interacting galaxies are captured by the Webb Space Telescope in the infrared. Scientists say the neighnouring galaxies, nicknamed Penguin, right, and the Egg, left, have been tangled up for tens of millions of years

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released photos from the James Webb Space Telescope showing a pair of entangled galaxies.

The space agency released a photo of the two galaxies — one named Penguin and the other Egg — on Friday, marking the two-year anniversary of Webb’s activities capturing images of space.

“In just two years, Webb has transformed our view of the universe, enabling the kind of world-class science that drove NASA to make this mission a reality,” said Mark Clampin, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA, said in a news release.

“Webb is providing insights into longstanding mysteries about the early universe and ushering in a new era of studying distant worlds, while returning images that inspire people around the world and posing exciting new questions to answer. It has never been more possible to explore every facet of the universe.”

NASA says that the two galaxies — about 326 million light-years away — have been wrapped up with each other for tens of millions of years. One light year, a reference to distance rather than time, is about 5.8 trillion miles.

The Webb Telescope, which specialises in capturing infrared light, is considered the successor to the famous Hubble Space Telescope and has helped bring about a series of discoveries and ae-inspiring images from space over the last two years.

The cosmic dance between the two galaxies was set in motion between 25 and 75 million years ago, according to a news release from NASA.

“They will go on to shimmy and sway, completing several additional loops before merging into a single galaxy hundreds of millions of years from now,” it reads.

[Aljazeera]

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