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CRICKET - Int News25 Mar 2023

Afghanistan register first ever win against Pakistan in a T20I fixture
Mohammad Nabi (38 runs not out) guides Afghanistan to claim a six-wicket win Sports Bulletin Report Sharjah (UAE): Thanks to Mohammad Nabi 38 runs unbeaten innings that helped Afghanistan to post the first ever victory against Pakistan in an international encounter at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, United Arabs Emirates (UAE) on Friday night. Hosts won the first T20 of the series by six wickets to go up 1-0 in a three-match rubber. Chasing a modest 93 runs to win, the home side chased down the target in 17.5 overs, losing four wickets in the process. Mohammad Nabi was the star performer for Afghanistan, scoring an unbeaten 38 runs to guide his team to victory. Najibullah Zadran remained not out on 17 runs. The pair knitted a 53-run unbroken stand for the fifth wicket after Afghanistan were reeling at 45 for four in the 10th over. For Pakistan, the debutant Ihsanullah was the most successful bowler, taking two wickets for 17 runs. Earlier, the tourists won the toss and opted to bat first. Pakistan gave T20I debuts to four players, including left-handed opening batter Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir, Ihsanullah, and Zaman Khan. Pakistan's batting struggled to gain momentum as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Imad Wasim top-scored for Pakistan with 18 runs off 32 balls, while Saim scored 17 off 15 balls which included two fours and a six. However, the rest of the Pakistani batters failed to make significant contributions, and the team was eventually ended up scoring 92 runs for the loss of nine wickets in their 20 overs. Afghanistan's spin duo of Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and left-arm fast Fazalhaq Farooqi  picked up two wickets each, while skipper Rashid Khan,  Azmatullah Omarzai and Naveen-ul-Haq took one wicket each. Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi was named the player of the match for his all-round performance. The second T20I of the series will be played at the same venue on Sunday. Scores in brief: Afghanistan beat Pakistan by six wickets Pakistan 92-9, 20 overs (Imad Wasim 18, Saim Ayub 17, Tayyab Tahir 16; Mujeeb-ur-Rahman 2-9, Mohammad Nabi 2-12, Fazalhaq Farooqi 2-13) Afghanistan 98-4, 17.5 overs (Mohammad Nabi 38 not out, Najibullah Zadran 17 not out; Ihsanullah 2-17) Player of the match – Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)

CRICKET - Women25 Mar 2023

Emerging High-Performance Skills Camp begins today in Multan
Sports Bulletin Report MULTAN: A total of 27 women’s emerging cricketers will undergo skills and fitness training at the Inzamam-ul-Haq High Performance Centre, Multan, in the Emerging High Performance Skills Camp, which begins on 25 March. Over the course of the 13-day camp, these 27 players will train under the supervision of the academy coaches. The camp will be headed by former Test cricketer Mohsin Kamal and other academy coaches include Mauhtashim Rashid and Muhammad Kamran Hussain. This camp serves an opportunity to the coaches to work on the skills of emerging cricketers and identify players for the forthcoming ACC Women’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup to be staged in June this year. Head of Women’s Cricket, Tania Mallick: “Skill camps provide opportunities for young and emerging players to hone their cricketing skills under the guidance of experienced coaches. The camp will help identify and develop talented young players at the grassroots level, and can help in creating a pipeline of players for the national team. “The objective of this camp is to upskill the players so we are in a position to select a squad for forthcoming ACC Women’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup.” Names of Players: Aleena Shah (Peshawar), Amber Kainaat (Lahore), Anoosha Nasir ( Karachi), Areesha Noor (Lahore), Asma Amin (Faisalabad), Ayesha Bilal (Lahore), Ayesha Irfan (Lahore), Dua Majid (Lahore), Eyman Fatima (Lahore), Fatima Khan (Lahore), Fatima Shahid (Lahore), Gull Feroza (Lahore), Gulrukh (D.G.Khan), Lubna Behram (Lahore), Maham Manzoor (Karachi), Maham Tariq (Karachi), Najiha Alvi (Karachi), Neha Shermeen (Karachi), Sadaf Shamas (Lahore), Saima Malik (Quetta), Saiqa Riaz (Lahore), Shawaal Zulfiqar ( Lahore), Syeda Aroob Shah ( Karachi), Syeda Masooma Zahra (Karachi), Umm-e-Hani (Lahore), Yusra Amir (Karachi) and Zunera Shah (Karachi) Supporting Staff: Mohsin Kamal (head coach), Muhammad Kamran Hussain (assistant coach), Mauhtashim Rashid (fielding coach), Shakir Qayyum (regional coach), Asiya Khan (manager), Rabia Siddiq (Physiotherapist), Mohammad Usman Shahid (Performance Analyst) and Ramzan Silachi (Strength and Conditioning Coach)

CRICKET - Int News25 Mar 2023

Thilina Kandamby to make debut as Specialised Coach with national team
BIPIN DANI Former Sri Lankan top order batter Thilina Kandamby will make his debut as a "Specialised Coach" for the national team on Saturday. On Friday, the 40-year-old Thilina Kandamby, who has played 39 ODIs and 5 T-20Is, was sent to New Zealand to be associated with the team and had its first training session with Dasun Shanaka and his white ball-team boys.  The first D/N ODI between the New Zealand and the visiting Sri Lankan teams will begin at the Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday. Kandamby, who has reached New Zealand with the limited over-team members, will also stay with the T-20 squad. Kandamby has been a successful coach with the Jaffna Kings team in the LPL and is also a coach for the junior boys in Sri Lanka. "I retired at the age of 33 with the intention of becoming a coach", he had said in the video prepared by the JK team at the end of the LPL in 2022. Former and current Sri Lankan players have praised him a lot and see him to be associated with the national team soon. "I have known him for a long time and is a wonderful character and all players respect him", Jehan Mubarak said. Dhananjaya de Silva, Avishka Fernando, Dunith Wellalage and Maheesh Theekshana have all expressed their happiness and want him to be a regular coach for the senior team. SLC's top management team has sent him to New Zealand with an eye on him to be with the seniors.   

CRICKET - Int News24 Mar 2023

Saim, Tayyab, Zaman, Ihsanullah to debut T20I against Afghanistan
Sports Bulletin Report Sharjah (UAE): Pakistan have named a dynamic XI for the first of the three T20Is against Afghanistan at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Friday. Opener Saim Ayub, middle-order batter Tayyab Tahir and right-arm pacer Zaman Khan and Ihsanullah will make Pakistan debuts. Top-order batter Abdullah Shafique, all-rounders Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim, and Azam Khan made their returns to the Pakistan side. These eight players were named in the 15-member squad for this T20I series after a string of impressive performances in the domestic circuit and the recently-concluded HBL Pakistan Super League 8. The series comes with an opportunity for these players to carry their form in international cricket. Karachi-born 20-year-old Saim will open with Mohammad Haris, who has played five T20Is for Pakistan and announced his arrival in the last ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia with his blazing strokeplay and bold intent, and has batted with him in Peshawar Zalmi during the HBL PSL 8. Saim comes into the side after a highly impressive run for Sindh and Peshawar Zalmi. The left-hander played an integral role in crowning Sindh the National T20 champions as he made 416 runs in 12 matches at a strike rate of 155.22. He smashed 341 runs – that included five half-centuries, the joint-most in the season with Babar Azam – at a strike rate of 165.53 for Peshawar Zalmi in this HBL PSL at the top of the order. Abdullah and Tayyab make number three and four respectively. Abdullah, who has played three T20Is with his last being in December 2020 in New Zealand, comes into the side after making 268 runs at 144.08 for champions Lahore Qalandars. He scored two half-centuries, the last being in the final against Multan Sultans. Tayyab has been in good touch over the last year. He marked his HBL PSL 8 debut with a whirlwind 65 and made 137 runs at 144.21 and was the best batter of the Pakistan Cup that concluded in January. He also bagged player of the final award for his match-winning 71 for Central Punjab. He made 708 runs in first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy at an average of 59 and recorded four centuries and one half-century. Azam scored 282 runs at a staggering 161.14 for Islamabad United this HBL PSL. His highest score of 97 came against Quetta Gladiators at the National Stadium Karachi. This will be 24-year-old’s fourth T20I. Faheem, Azam’s HBL PSL teammate, provided balance to the side with his contributions with bat and ball. He made 215 runs at 149.30 and took eight wickets at an economy of 9.50 – in a league that has had the best run rate (9.20) in the last one year for any major T20 tournament around the world. Imad’s nine wickets for Karachi Kings came at an average of 28.22 and an economy of 7.93, but it was his sensational batting that turned heads as the left-hander scored 404 runs at a phenomenal average of 134.66 and a staggering strike rate of 170.46. The 34-year-old has an experience of 58 T20Is in which he has 55 wickets at an average of 23.49. His economy is 6.33. Experienced speedster Naseem Shah will spearhead the pace attack that includes newcomers Zaman and Ihsanullah. Zaman was outstanding with the new and old ball in the Powerplay and death overs and he is expected to execute the same role in Pakistan colours on Friday. He moves the ball in the air at the start of the innings and keep the batters guessing in death with his wily variations. He defended 13 off the last over to help Lahore Qalandars to their second straight HBL PSL title and took 15 wickets at 23.60 runs per dismissal and an economy of 8.53 in the recent season. In Ihsanullah, Pakistan have a reliable pace bowler to carry them through the middle-overs. The right-arm pacer’s thunderbolts kept batters on backfoot throughout the HBL PSL 8 as he peppered every opposition with lethal bouncers. Ihsanullah was the first bowler in the tournament to pick a five-wicket haul and he went on to finish the tournament as the best player and best bowler for taking 22 wickets (the second most) at only 15.77 runs apiece and he leaked only 7.59 runs in the 45.4 overs he bowled, the most for a bowler with top-five wickets. Pakistan XI for first Afghanistan T20I: Saim Ayub, Mohammad Haris, Abdullah Shafique, Tayyab Tahir, Shadab Khan (c), Azam Khan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Zaman Khan and Ihsanullah

CRICKET LGS - Int24 Mar 2023

Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf to join Welsh Fire in The Hundred
Sports Bulletin Report London (UK): The Pakistani duo of Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, Australia's Grace Harris and India's Harmanpreet Kaur were some of the big names snapped up at The Hundred Draft, powered by Sage. Sophia Dunkley and Tom Abell were the first picks of the men’s and women’s competitions, both for Welsh Fire, where Abell will be joined by Afridi and Rauf, who will both be making their first appearances in The Hundred. The women’s competition was staging a draft for the first time, with Laura Wolvaardt moving to Manchester Originals, Kate Cross crossing the Pennines to Northern Superchargers and Sarah Glenn signing for London Spirit three of the other stand-out stories of the day. The Hundred Draft saw 64 spots filled across the men’s and women’s competitions, with the eight teams taking it in turns to select players – the order for selections is based on last year’s finishing positions. The open market process will see the remaining 56 places filled in the women’s competition, while 16 spots remain up for grabs in the men’s competition by virtue of The Vitality Wildcard Draft, which will be held in the week commencing 3 July. Following players were signed: Birmingham Phoenix: Sophie Devine, Hannah Baker, Eve Jones, Katie Levick, Ben Duckett, Jamie Smith, Miles Hammond. London Spirit: Grace Harris, Sarah Glenn, Sophie Munro, Sophie Luff, Mitchell Marsh, Olly Stone, Michael Pepper. Manchester Originals: Laura Wolvaardt, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Kathryn Bryce, Katie George, Laurie Evans, Ashton Turner, Josh Tongue. Northern Superchargers: Kate Cross, Georgia Wareham, Alice Davidson-Richards, Reece Topley, Tom Banton, Michael Bracewell, Bas de Leede. Oval Invincibles: Suzie Bates, Dane Van Niekerk, Mady Villiers, Paige Scholfield, Heinrich Klaasen, Ross Whiteley, Ihsanullah. Southern Brave: Danni Wyatt, Anya Shrubsole, Chloe Tryon, Maitlan Brown, Leus du Plooy, Tim David, Devon Conway. Trent Rockets: Harmanpreet Kaur, Lizelle Lee, Kirstie Gordon, Grace Potts, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Sam Hain, Brad Wheal. Welsh Fire: Sophia Dunkley, Shabnim Ismail, Georgia Elwiss, Freya Davies, Laura Harris, Alex Hartley, Tom Abell, David Willey, Shaheen Afridi, Glenn Phillips, Haris Rauf, Roelof van der Merwe, Stevie Eskinazi, Daniel Douthwaite. Haris Rauf said: "I’m very excited about being picked by Welsh Fire. The Hundred is a really good competition and I’m looking forward to getting to Cardiff and working with Mike Hussey. It looks like we’ve built a good squad, and I'm excited about meeting the rest of the team and helping us win games of cricket."

CRICKET LGS - IPL24 Mar 2023

Sangakkara recommended Vijayakanth, as net bowler for Rajasthan
BIPIN DANI Vijayakanth Viyaskanth's name for the net bowler's role in the forthcoming IPL was recommended by the former Sri Lanka captain and the ex-MCC president Kumar Sangakkara. The 21-year-old leg break bowler has been hired by Rajasthan Royals team. Sangakkara has been holding the director's post in the Rajasthan Royals franchise team. Speaking exclusively over the telephone, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth said, "First of all I would like to thank the Rajasthan Royals team for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. I heartily thank the respected Sangakkara and Arnold for recommending my name as the net bowler".   "I performed well in the LPL (Lanka Premier League) and the BPL (Bangladesh Premier League). I gained more experience in playing these big tournaments. Now I will be able to bowl at the world's leading batters in the IPL. The IPL is a big tournament. Though, at present I am there only as a new bowler but hope to take part in it". "Yeah, I have much confidence now but being a youngster, I need to improve my skills which will be gained by doing hard work in my field. I wish to play for our national Sri Lankan team and establish my place in the T-20 team", he signed off. Vijayakanth Viyaskanth will be in India at the earliest once his visa formalities are over this weekend. He will be based at Nagpur for the team's training schedules. His travel, accommodation and all other expenses will be borne by the team.    

CRICKET - Int News23 Mar 2023

T20I Series: Pakistan to meet Afghanistan in the opener on Friday
Sports Bulletin Report Sharjah (UAE): Pakistan will take on Afghanistan in the opening fixture of the 3-match T20I Cricket Series on Friday (March 24, 2023) at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, United Arab Emirates (UAE), as the match will get underway at 8:00 pm local time. The rest of the two matches of the series will be played on March 26 and 27 at the same venue. Afghanistan is hosting this vital series, as it was scheduled after the refusal of Australia to play against Afghanistan a few months back. Shahdan Khan will lead Green Shirts while Rashid Khan will lead Afghanistan first time in the history of Afghan cricket. Pakistan Squad: Shadab Khan (Captain), Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Zaman Khan Reserves: Haseebullah, Usama Mir, Abrar Ahmed Afghanistan Squad: Rashid Khan (C), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Usman Ghani, Sediqullah Atal, Najibullah Zadran, Afsar Zazai, Karim Janat, Mohammad Nabi, Azmatullah Omarzai, Gulbadin Naib, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Noor Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Fareed Ahmad, Fazal Haq Farooqi and Naveen Ul Haq. Reserve players: Nangyal Kharoti, Zahir Khan, Nijat Masoud Series Schedule March 24, 2023: T20I, Sharjah Cricket Stadium March 26, 2023: 2nd T20I, Sharjah Cricket Stadium March 27, 2023: 3rd T20I, Sharjah Cricket Stadium

CRICKET LGS - PSL23 Mar 2023

PSL 8: Match referee bans Multan Sultans manager Haider for a match
Sports Bulletin Report LAHORE: Multan Sultans team manager Haider Azhar has been handed a one-match suspension for a level 3 breach of the HBL PSL Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel. Haider was found to have violated article 2.13, which relates to personal abuse of a player, player support personnel, umpire or match referee during an HBL PSL match. The incident occurred after the end of the HBL PSL 8 final when Haider confronted the two on-field umpires and abused Alex Wharf. Haider contested the sanction imposed by match referee Roshan Mahanama, but it was upheld after a hearing took place in the PCB Board Room. Roshan Mahanama said: “It is truly disappointing that this outstanding tournament has ended with a team manager’s misdemeanour getting him banned for a match. Haider Azhar’s actions were totally against the values and spirit of this beautiful game and it is my responsibility to make sure such transgressions are dealt firmly. “I hope this sanction will act as a deterrent and every player and player support personnel will continue to respect the umpiring decisions and avoid unnecessary provocations.” The charge was levelled by on-field umpires Alex Wharf, Rashid Riaz, third umpire Asif Yaqoob and fourth umpire Faisal Afridi.
Ice Hockey: University of Wisconsin Badgers beat Ohio State Buckeyes 1-0
Sports Desk ISLAMABAD: Kirsten Simms scored at 13:28 of the opening period and Cami Kronish stopped all 31 shots she faced to lead the Mark Johnson-coached University of Wisconsin Badgers to a 1-0 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the NCAA championship final Sunday afternoon at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minnesota. This marked the first ever 1-0 game since the NCAA introduced a national women’s championship in 2001, and only the sixth win by shutout. This was also the first time all season the Buckeyes were held without a goal. A native of Plymouth, Michigan, the 18-year-old Simms is a freshman. She won gold with the U.S. at the 2020 Women’s U18 and a silver two years later. The Buckeyes were defending champions after defeating the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, 3-2, for their first ever championship last year. The Buckeyes are coached by Nadine Muzerall, in her 7th season, and Swede Peter Elander is her assistant coach. For Johnson, this marks a true and remarkable dynasty as the Badgers have now won three of the last four national titles going back to 2019 (COVID-19 cancelled the 2020 tournament). Overall, they have now won seven, more than any other university. Natalie Buchbinder, Sophie Shirley, Britta Curl, and Kronish have played on all three championship teams under Johnson, and Kronish was named the top player of the Frozen Four this time ‘round. The Badgers got to the finals by defeating the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers on Friday night, 3-2, thanks to an overtime goal by Caroline Harvey. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, punched their ticket to the finals courtesy of a 3-0 win over Northeastern and a shutout from Amanda Thiele. Thiele stopped 20 of 21 shots against Wisconsin on Sunday, but that one shot from Simms proved to be the difference. (Thanks to Andrew Podnieks)

CRICKET - ICC22 Mar 2023

Kiwi batter Kane Williamson soars in ICC Test Player Rankings
Sports Bulletin Report Dubai (UAE): New Zealand’s premier batter Kane Williamson has moved back towards the top spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings while Australia’s Josh Hazlewood is the new No. 1 ODI bowler with India’s Mohammad Siraj slipping to third. Williamson, a formerly top-ranked batter, has moved up four slots to take second position in the list led by Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne after top scoring with 215 in an innings victory over Sri Lanka in Wellington that helped seal their two-match ICC World Test Championship series 2-0. Henry Nicholls, who scored 200 not out and featured in a triple-century partnership with Williamson, has also made rapid progress, moving up 20 places to 27th position. Captain Tim Southee (up one place to 11th) and Matt Henry (up four places to 31st) are the Kiwi players to advance in the bowling rankings. For Sri Lanka, captain Dimuth Karunaratne is in the top 10 with scores of 89 and 51 while Dinesh Chandimal has moved up one slot to 17th with scores of 37 and 62. In the ODI rankings, which considers performances in two matches each of the India-Australia, Bangladesh-Ireland and South Africa-West Indies series, as well as the first match between Zimbabwe and the Netherlands, Siraj has slipped behind Hazlewood and New Zealand’s Trent Boult after India’s 10-wicket loss to Australia in Visakhapatnam. Hazlewood, whose career best second position was attained for the first time in June 2017 and which he had kept since August 2022, is No. 1 in ODIs for the first time. Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc’s eight wickets in the two matches against India see him go to joint-third position with Siraj. Other bowlers to move up the ODI rankings include West Indies’ Alzarri Joseph (up eight places to 11th), India’s Mohammad Shami (up five places to 28th) and Netherlands’ Fred Klaasen (up 22 places to 52nd). In the batting rankings, Quinton de Kock, Shubman Gill and Steve Smith have made marginal progress within the top 10 while Shai Hope and Mushfiqur Rahim have advanced after smashing fine centuries this past week. Hope’s 128 not out in East London has lifted him two places to 12th position while Mushfiqur has gained four slots to reach 18th position after smashing Bangladesh’s fastest ODI century, a 60-ball 100 not out in Sylhet. The South African pair of Heinrich Klaasen (up 13 places to 30th) and Temba Bavuma (up 17 places to 33rd), Lokesh Rahul of India (up three places to 39th) and Australia’s Mitchell Marsh (up 24 places to 55th) have also moved up in the batting rankings.