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South Africa World Cup adventures underway after success in Accra
Lausanne, Switzerland (Sports Bulletin Report):-The Africa Cup of Nations saw a week of exciting hockey action culminate in a double victory for South Africa, giving the top ranked teams in both the men’s and women’s competition automatic qualification for the respective FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar and Rourkela and the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup, Spain and Netherlands 2022. Although South Africa men’s and women’s hockey teams continue their dominance at this event, both finals were tough contests. The women went behind to a well-organised and hard-working Ghana team before rallying and winning 3-1. The men were held to a 1-1 scoreline by a resilient and skilful Egypt, but held their nerve to win the shoot-out by a 3-1 scoreline. In the women’s final, the host nation was hoping that home advantage would serve the players well as they faced South Africa in the final. This was the fifth consecutive final in which the two teams had faced each other, with South Africa emerging the victor on each of the previous occasions. Both teams had shown good form going into the final: South Africa were unbeaten and had conceded no goals to that point. Ghana had drawn with Nigeria and won their other two matches with ease. An early goal from Elizabeth Opoku – following the award of a penalty stroke against South Africa – gave Ghana the lead in the sixth minute. The noise levels among the spectators rose as they sensed the opportunity for an upset. However, South Africa responded well and were 2-1 ahead at half-time, courtesy of goals from Charne Maddocks and Kristen Paton. The match was put beyond doubt in the final quarter when Lillian du Plessis scored a penalty stroke to give her side a 3-1 lead. Tarryn Glasby of South Africa was the competition’s overall top scorer with nine goals. Speaking after the match, she said: ‘It is nice to get a win in Ghana. As a striker you are supposed to score goals, so I am happy to be the top scorer. Looking forward to the World Cup, it is all about trusting our processes.’ The captain of Ghana women, Nafisatu Umara, said: ’We are impressed with our performance. We took the lead in the first quarter, which shows how much we have really improved. We now have the courage to carry the ball, so we are happy with our performance. The last time we played South Africa we lost 6-0, so this was a big improvement. We will look at what happened today, we will do our homework and next time we will beat them.’ South Africa’s Head Coach Inky Zondy said: ‘I am really excited and really happy with the game. It was a tough game, so thank you to Ghana. We have really enjoyed our week here. We are a team that has changed, so we have to learn from what has happened this week and represent Africa well at the World Cup.’ In the men’s final, it was a repeat of the previous five editions, with reigning champions South Africa facing Egypt. Any hope Egypt had of hitting South Africa hard in the early stages was dashed when Matt Guise-Brown stepped up to fire home a penalty corner in the 12th minute. South Africa looked comfortably in control of the game for much of the first half but they failed to capitalise on a number of chances. With seven minutes of the half remaining, Egypt’s Ziad Adel took the opportunity to even the scores with a well-taken goal that eluded Siyavuya Nolutshungu in the South African goal. The teams continued to probe and seek a breakthrough throughout the third quarter but neither team could find the goal. With 15 minutes left, South Africa turned up the pressure a notch. An early penalty corner attempt flew wide and a devastating run from Nqobile Ntuli ended with a tame shot. Egypt continued to dig deep defensively and the team’s resilience paid off as the final whistle blew and the match went to shoot-out for the first time since 2005 [when South Africa beat Egypt 3-2 on penalty strokes]. Clinical finishing by the South African attackers and some great goalkeeping by Nolutshungu saw the higher ranked team finally break down their Egyptian rivals as South Africa won the shoot-out 3-1. Speaking after the match, South Africa’s Head Coach Gareth Ewing said: ’I’m shattered. That was too close for comfort. Ghana is such a great host, there was such a great atmosphere in the stadium, it was great to win. Based on tonight’s performance, we have a lot to do before the World Cup.’ Captain of South Africa, Tim Drummond said: ’We are ecstatic. That was tough but we are missing some players so that shows that we have depth in the squad. There is a long way to go before the World Cup but we hope to make a lot of improvement and finish in the top ten.’ Egypt’s Head Coach Zaman Tahir, said: ‘That was heartbreaking for all the boys. South Africa’s experience to handle this sort of pressure is huge. Shoot-out is down to nerves and South Africa had an advantage. Losing on shoot-out - it could have been any one’s game.’ South Africa’s penalty corner specialist Matthew Guise-Brown was top goalscorer with six goals. Earlier in the day, Kenya women had taken third place after they beat Zimbabwe in a tense match that had finished goalless at full time. Kenya’s goal keeper Milicent Adhiambo performed heroics to keep the Zimbabwe attackers at bay and the Kenyan team were able to finished one place higher than their previous fourth place in 2017. In the men’s match to decide third place, Nigeria put in an energetic performance to defeat Kenya 4-2. Goals from Sunday Godwin, Emmanuel Sunday, Benjamin Ibrahim and James Samaila sealed the bronze medal and the highest ever finishing position for Nigeria. Final positions at the Africa Cup of Nations. Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 1. South Africa - qualified for the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup, Spain and Netherlands 2022 2. Ghana 3. Kenya 4. Zimbabwe 5. Nigeria 6. Namibia 7. Zambia 8. Uganda Men’s Africa Cup of Nations 1. South Africa - qualified for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar and Rourkela 2. Egypt 3. Nigeria 4. Kenya 5. Ghana 6. Uganda 7. Namibia

Chess23 Jan 2022

Shahid Hussain wins the title of Islamabad Open Rapid Chess Tournament 2022
Abdul Jabbar Faisal ISLAMABAD:-The veteran chess player, Shahid Hussain has won the title of the 3rd Islamabad Open Rapid Chess Tournament that held on Sunday at the Main Hall of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) office G-8/1 Islamabad. According to an official of Islamabad Chess Association (ICA), a-day chess tournament was held by ICA in collaboration with ICCI in which over 60 players took part and showed their mental strength. Shahid Hussain claimed top position in 9 rounds fixture while Abdullah Waris remained second and Mohammad Uzair Masood grabbed third position. Anastasiia, a 13-year old girl was on top position in the women’s event. In the Under-15 event, Hamza Zaka Mustafa got the top position while Raja Hattam was second and Ahmed Khan Wazir was on third spot. At the end, chief guest president ICCI Shakil Munir distributed the prizes among the players. Also, Joint Secretary SAFRON Agha Wasim Ahmed graced the occasion as guest of honour. All top officials of ICA and ICCI were present on this eve. Secretary ICA Raja Gohar thanked all guest on this occasion. Position holders were awarded prize money along with trophies and medals. First position holder pocketed 5000 cash while 3000 and 2000 respectively given to second and third position holders.  

Tennis23 Jan 2022

Reza Mirza Tennis Academy Tennis League from January 29
Sports Bulletin KARACHI:-Karachi Tennis Association (KTA) will organize 2nd Reza Mirza Tennis Academy (RMTA) Tennis League 2022 from Saturday (January 29) at RMTA Tennis Court, Civil Line near Frere Hall Karachi. According to an official, Reza Mirza Tennis Academy will sponsor this two month long Round Robin League (RRL) tennis fixture. Men's Singles and Boys Under-15 Singles events will be the part RRL. Matches shall be played only on Saturday. Names of Men's singles invited players: Farhan Altaf, Omer Shahid, Ibrahim Iltifat, Nadir Mirza, Noor e Mustafa, Aqeel Shabbir, Eibad Sarwar and Mohammad Ali. Names of Under-15 invited players: Ahsan Ahmed, Nael Mirza, Dhuraf Das, and Abdullah Razaq, Soyam Kumar Three players shall be selected through trials.

Cricket (Women)23 Jan 2022

Leading women players sign for 1st FairBreak invitational tournament in May
Bipin Dani World's leading women cricketers have signed to play in the FaiBreak Invitational 2022 tournament to be held in May this year, it is learnt. The latest to sign are : Bangladeshi fast bowler Jahanara Alam, Sri Lankan captain Chamari Atapattu and UAE opener Esha Oza. Jahanara, an outstanding fast bowler was the first Bangladeshi female cricketer to take a five-wicket haul in a single T20 match. Chamari has been a mainstay in Sri Lanka's batting attack for over a decade. According to the sources in Malaysia, where she is participating in the ICC's Women's Commonwealth Games Qualifiers, the organizers have recently signed her for this six-team tournament. There will be nineteen matches played for 15 days. Leading players from other foreign countries and Asian nations including India and Pakistan will also participate in the tournament, which is sanctioned by the ICC. It will take place on May 1-15 this year in Dubai in conjunction with Cricket Hong Kong. Owing to the current pandemic, Hong Kong airport is not operational for airlines from all countries and therefore the decision has been taken to play the matches in Dubai.  and the leading healthcare group Gencor has come forward to be the main sponsor. Interestingly, this is the world's first privately funded tournament in women's cricket history.

Golf23 Jan 2022

Defending Champion Shabbir Iqbal retains the title of Sindh Open Golf Championship
Sports Bulletin KARACHI:-Defending Champion Shabbir Iqbal retained the title of Sindh Open Golf Championship 2022 after winning the 23rd edition of top national golf showpiece, as the championship concluded at Airmen Golf Club Karachi on Sunday. Pakistan’s ace Golfer Shabbir Iqbal clinched the title with 208 under par 8 score by maintaining the lead from the first round of the Sindh Open Golf Championship 2022. Mohammad Naeem of PGC remained runner up with 215 one under par and Mohammad Ashfaq of AGC with 216 at par claimed third position. Speaking to media, Shabbir Iqbal who has completed 194 titles, said, “I am thankful to Al-Mighty Allah for winning the Sindh Open Golf 2022. Loosing title at last week’s Rashid D Habib was my bad luck, however now I played carefully. I am well prepared for Pakistan Open, Chief of Air Staff Tournament and DHA Open.” Mohammad Saqib of LGG with seven over par secured first position in Junior Professionals. Second position in this category is jointly shared by Abdul Wadood from MTG and Nabeel Khan of Airmen Golf Club. In the senior professional category Tahir Naseem from GYM stood first with four over par while Mohammad Akram was runner up with eight over par. Salman Jehangir from LG lead Amateurs category with two over par. Yashal Shah and Saim Shazli of KGC secured second and third positions. Omar Khalid of DHA succeeded fourth position with Gross 240 at par. President Sindh Golf Association- Khurram Khan distributed prizes and trophies amongst the leaders of final day. Khurram said, “The strong winds during the last two days did challenged the golfers, however they accepted the challenge. We will continue promoting Golf players in Pakistan.”

Cricket (Women)23 Jan 2022

Bangladesh and Malaysia win in ICC Commonwealth Games Qualifier 2022
Sports Bulletin ISLAMABAD:-Bangladesh’s spinners helped their team beat Scotland by nine wickets for their third consecutive win before Malaysia recorded a memorable five-wicket victory over Kenya in the ICC Commonwealth Games Qualifier 2022 at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. With Sri Lanka already having won three matches, the last match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on Monday will decide the winners of the five-team tournament, being played to decide the one remaining slot in this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The line-up for Birmingham will be confirmed in due course, after the Commonwealth Games Federation of the winning country formally accepts the slot. Australia, Barbados, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa are the seven teams already confirmed for the Games. Bangladesh vs Scotland An unbeaten partnership of 78 runs for the second wicket between Murshida Khatun (50 off 35 balls) and Fargana Hoque (20 of 36) led Bangladesh to victory after they bowled Scotland out for 77 in 17.3 overs. After Scotland won the toss and chose to bat, Abbi Aitken-Drummon chipped a full toss back to Suraya Azmim in her follow through before the Bangladesh seamer dismissed Kathryn Bryce in her next over to leave Scotland reeling at 12 for two in the fourth over. Katie McGill then joined opener Sarah Bryce at the crease, and the two stitched together a 38-run partnership, which featured a flurry of boundaries scored in front of square on both the leg side and the off side. However, with the score on 50, Nahida Akter bowled Katie McGill with an arm ball, which sparked a collapse that saw Scotland lose their last eight wickets for 37 runs. Lorna Jack was next to go, suffering an identical fate to her predecessor before Sarah Bryce skied a catch to a gleeful Shanjida Akter in the circle. Scotland never recovered, getting bowled out for 77 with 2.3 overs to spare in their allotment of 20. In reply, Bangladesh lost a wicket off their very first delivery when Shamima Sultana poked at a Kathryn Bryce delivery, edging it through to keeper Sarah Bryce. Fargana Hoque then joined left-handed opener Murshida Khatun at the crease and the two blunted Scotland’s advances to get through to 22 for one at the end of the Powerplay. Feeling more secure at this point, Murshida Khatun started to play away from her body, picking up a boundary to third man to go with a few singles. In the eighth over, she drove Katherine through the covers for two boundaries, as Fargana Hoque held strong at the other end. As Murshida approached her first-ever T2OI fifty, Hoque let her farm the strike. The left-hander carted Kathryn Bryce for six to reach 49 before nudging a single away to register her half-century and deliver a win for Bangladesh with 4.4 overs to spare. Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana was impressed with her team’s all-round display. “After Scotland built a partnership, we didn’t panic. We were strict with our own plan. We knew we could break the partnership,” she said. Player-of-the-match Murshida revealed her simple game plan after Bangladesh lost a wicket of the first ball of their chase. “Until the end, don’t lose my wicket,” she said. Scotland captain Kathryn Bryce backed her team’s newfound aggressive approach despite the loss. “With the way we are starting to be more aggressive with the bat, days like today will happen, but we are building towards a positive future,” she said. Malaysia vs Kenya Off-spinning all-rounder Mas Elysa stole the show with figures of two for 19 and a quick-fire 37 (26) to help Malaysia chase down 89 with five wickets and 10 balls to spare against Kenya. Earlier in the day, Kenya won the toss and chose to bat. In the first over, opener Queentor Abel was dismissed for a duck by an inswinger from Malaysian skipper Winifred Duraisingam. Malaysia’s bowlers kept things tight as Kenya was unable to score any boundaries in the Powerplay. Mary Mwangi broke the shackles by whipping Nur Zulaika away for four in the seventh over before Margaret Ngoche was caught by Shasa Azmi off the bowling of Arianna Natasya to leave Kenya at 24 for two after eight overs. Mas Elysa was then introduced into the attack getting Mwangi stumped before Sarah Bhakita hit one back to Elysa, which ricocheted off her fingers an into the hands of Duraisingam at mid-off. Kenya, to their credit, did not collapse and continued to rotate the strike, scoring 27 runs in their final five overs to post a score of 87 for six. In reply, Queentor Abel had Duraisingam stumped for a duck in the first over. Wan Julia was run out in the next over when Mas Elysa called her through for a run that wasn’t there. Despite Malaysia struggling at nine for two, Mas Elysa was undeterred. She punished Kenya’s bowlers whenever they bowled too straight or drifted down leg and was equally viscous with her off side game. Needing a wicket, Kenyan skipper Margaret Ngoche turned Mercyline Ochieng. The seamer responded by nipping a ball back into Mas Elysa, which the right-hander could only chop onto her stumps to leave Malaysia at 53 for three in 9.2 overs. The runs dried up in the next few overs before Ainna Hamizah was bowled around her legs by Sarah Bhakita. With 30 runs required in the last seven overs, Kenya had a glimmer of hope. However, Intan Jaafar had other ideas. She swept Queentor Abel down to fine leg for four before a late cut beat a diving short third man to race away for another boundary. Malaysia lost Jaafar when she hit Flavia Odhiambo to Ngoche at backward point. However, this would only prove to be a minor speed bump for Malaysia as Arianna Natasya and Nur Zulaika knocked off the remaining runs to deliver a historic win for Malaysia. Malaysia’s fielders ran onto the field once they got the winning runs. Captain Winifred Duraisingam explained the significance of this victory to her and her team. “After this great win, I feel a lot is going to happen and cricket in Malaysia is going to go to another level,” she said. Player-of-the-match Elysa spoke about her aggressive despite Malaysia losing early wickets in their chase. “Still wanted to play in an aggressive and attacking mode and I wanted to rotate the strike. Brief Scores: Bangladesh beat Scotland by nine wickets. Bangladesh 78/1 in 15.2 Overs; Scotland 77 All Out in 17.3 Overs. Player of the Match: Murshida Khatun Malaysia beat Kenya by five wickets. Malaysia 89/5 in 18.2 Overs; Kenya 88/6 in 20 Overs. Player of the Match: Mas Elysa

Tennis23 Jan 2022

Islamabad Tennis Association nominates Tariq Mehmood Murtaza as its Chairman
Abdul Jabbar Faisal ISLAMABAD:-Islamabad Tennis Association (ITA) has nominated Tariq Mehmood Murtaza its chairman in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) that met here on Sunday, as president preside over the meeting at Tennis Lounge of Islamabad Club. Also attended by members of its affiliated unites including Margalla Club, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), Pakistan Television (PTV), Islamabad Club Tennis (ICT), Islamabad Tennis Academy (ITC) and Gun Club. On this occasion, Tariq Murtaza appreciated the role of affiliated units for their valuable contribution for the promotion of tennis in the country. He particularly appreciated ICT, ITC and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) for organizing national tournaments, camps, league and local tournament. It is also a great honor for Islamabad Tennis Association to organize international tournaments in Pakistan. ITA will start its tournament session with ITF world Juniors Tennis Tournament from February at PTF Tennis complex. ITA also offered Fateh for late Senator Syed Dilawar Abbas, who was the founder of Islamabad Tennis Association. Activities report for the three years also discussed in the meeting. Future plans were discussed in details and each affiliated units assured to play their role for the promotion of tennis in the Islamabad region. Tariq Mehmood Murtaza also nominated as Chairman of Islamabad Tennis Association through special resolution unanimously approved by the council members. ITA president also appreciated the services of Arif Qureshi for organizing the tournaments in professional manners on behalf of ITA. Names of Management Committee: Chairman Tariq Murtaza President Tariq Murtaza Sr. Vice Presidents Hassan Baig Naveed Ahmed Majid Bashir Vice Presidents: Mushaf Zia, Fazal-e-Subhan, Nouman Ahmed, Yasir Javed, Khalil Ahmed Chughtai, Tufail Cheema Secretary: Mohammad Arif Qureshi Joint Secretaries: Kamran Khalil and Ali Murtaza Treasurer: Ahsan Zaidi Women’s Wing: Nighat Saeed (Head), Zahra Ahmed Zaka, Tasha Yasir, Mehwish Chishti.

Sports News23 Jan 2022

Pakistan Basketball Federation elects Mohammad Iftikhar its president for next 4 years
Abdul Jabbar Faisal ISLAMABAD:-The General Council of the Pakistan Basketball Federation (PBF) has elected Mohammad Iftikhar Mansoor its president and Khalid Bashir as the secretary for the term of next four years, as the House met in the chair of Mohammad Iftikar Mansoor at Olympics House Lahore on other day. According to an official, POA representative Mohammad Jehangir Deputy Secretary General of Pakistan Olympics Association (POA) attended the meeting as observer. The house also constituted committees to look after the various affairs that needed immediate attention. On this occasion, Fateha Khawani was offered for the recently passed away veteran Basketball legends Mian Iqbal Fareed (former President), Major (R). Abdul Waheed Qureshi (former Army and National Coach). Ghulam Fareed, Mahmood butt and Zubair butt. Names of elected office bearers: Brig. (R) Mohammad Iftikhar Mansoor (President), Imtiaz Rafi Butt (Senior Vice President), Ghazi Mohammad Salahuddin (Vice President), Choudhary Al-Mustansar Cheema (Vice President), Choudhary Sagheer Ahemd (Vice President), Mohammad Rajmil Khan (Vice President), Khalid Bashir (Secretary General), Mohammad Yaqoob Qadry (Associate Secretary), Mohammad Faqeer Awan (Associate Secretary), Ouj E Zahoor (Associate Secretary) and Din Mohammad (Finance Secretary). Executive Committee Rep - Quetta Rep - Hyderabad Rep - Faisalabad Rep - Karachi Selection Committee: Col. (R) Shujaat Ali Rana, Mohammad Riaz Malik, Syed Moudood Jaffry, Malik Ijaz, Imran Afzal Referee’s Board: Siraj Ul Haq Qureshi (Secretary), Tariq Nawaz, Mohammad Yaqoob Qadry, Ouj E Zahoor, Saadat Jehangir Khan Coaches Board: Mohammad Riaz Malik (Secretary), Emmanuel Nazarat Lal, Mohammad Khalid Choudhary, Munawar Hussain, Umer Mahmood  

Tennis23 Jan 2022

Australian Open: Aisam and his partner reach in quarterfinal in Mix Doubles
Sports Bulletin ISLAMABAD:-Pakistan tennis start Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi pairing with Ninomiya from Japan have jumped into the quarterfinal of Mix Doubles of the Australian Open after defeating L. Kichinek from Ukraine Andre Golubev from Kazakhstan in straight sets 2-0 at Melbourne Australia on Sunday morning. The final score-line was 6-3 and 6-4.
ICC declares Zeeshan and Andrea-Mae declare Associate Cricketers of the Year 2021
Sports Bulletin DUBAHI:-As part of the 2021 edition of the ICC Awards, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced today the first set of the individual awards with the associate cricketers of the year category in men’s and women’s international cricket.  The captain of Oman’s men’s cricket team Zeeshan Maqsood was voted as the ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Year for his fantastic performance in 2021, including leading his team at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup last year. The left-arm spinner was consistent with his performance across both ODI and T20I and aided his team to several victories throughout the year.  Leading his side with aplomb, Maqsood also flourished in both batting and bowling roles for Oman in 2021. He played a crucial role as a middle order batter and picked up wickets consistently. Maqsood made fifties against the USA and Namibia, and was at his consistent best as a bowler, controlling the flow of runs in the middle overs and picking up vital wickets. Maqsood particularly thrived against PNG, registering four wickets against them twice this year, one in an ODI and the other one in at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. His most memorable performance in the year was against PNG at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup where he was also named as the Player of the Match for his performance. Commenting on receiving the honour Zeeshan Maqsood said: “I am very delighted to be presented as the ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Year. This award surely is one of the biggest achievements in my career and gives me immense pleasure that my efforts have been recognized by the ICC. I would like to thank the Oman Cricket Management, my teammates, support staff, my family, and my organization to have backed me in all stances to express myself on the field. 2021 has truly been god's blessing to me in terms of my accolades and leading Oman to flourish to the highest level”. In the women’s category, Austrian all-rounder Andrea-Mae Zepeda was voted as the ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Year for her stellar performance in 2021. Zepeda was consistent at the top of the order for Austria while scoring her runs at a brisk rate. Out of the eight T20Is she played in 2021, three were against Belgium, while the other five came against Italy. Zepeda was impressive in the series against the Belgians in particular, as she scored over fifty runs, including a century, in all three matches against them. Commenting on her award Andrea-Mae Zepeda said: “It is a great honour and a pleasant surprise for me to receive the ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Year award. Thank you, ICC, for this. I would also like to thank my teammates, my coaches, the Austrian Cricket Association, my home club Austrian Cricket Club Vienna, to my family and friends for always supporting me and encouraging me to play such a wonderful game. “I really enjoyed playing cricket last season despite being surrounded by COVID 19 and working full-time as a medical doctor. Nevertheless, we played some very good cricket, and I was able to perform well. My best innings was probably against Belgium in our home ground when I scored my first century ever. Looking forward, I will try my best to continue my journey and to contribute to my team as much as I can.”