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Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt score world’s highest T20 opening partnership

KARACHI (INP): Pakistan’s wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal and former captain Salman Butt put up the highest-ever T20 partnership for the opening wicket on Friday, creating a world record by scoring 209 runs between them.

The feat saw the two batsmen beat the previous best of 207 by Kent’s JL Denly and DJ Bell-Drummond against Essex in English county cricket. This is also the third highest ever partnership for any wicket in a T20 inning.

During the same inning, Kamran also became the first ever Pakistani and the first wicket-keeper batsman to score 150 runs in a T20 match.

The 35-year old out-of-favour batsman smashed 12 sixes and 14 fours to score an unbeaten 150 for Lahore Whites against Islamabad in National T20 Cup in Rawalpindi.

He also surpassed South Africa’s Quinton de Kock to post the highest individual T20 score by a wicket-keeper; the South African wicket-keeper had scored 126* before Kamran overtook him by scoring an unbeaten 150 today.

The opener is the first Pakistani and 8th overall to score 150 or more in a T20 inning. His score of 150* is the 10th highest individual score in the shortest format of professional cricket.

The inning has also helped Kamran Akmal to become the first Pakistani and only third overall player to score fifty or more in five consecutive T20 innings. Before 150 not out against Islamabad, Kamran had scores of 52, 65, 63 and 52 in the ongoing National T20 Cup.

Two other players to score five consecutive 50s or more in T20 cricket are India’s Virender Sehwag and Zimbabwe’s Hamilton Masakadza.

During the inning, Kamran Akmal also created a new national record of most sixes in a T20 inning by smashing 12 sixes, surpassing the record of 10 sixes in an inning by Bilal Asif.

Kamran’s individual score of 150 not out contributed 71.77% runs to Lahore’s total score of 209 – the highest percentage of runs contributed by a batsman in a completed inning.

The century was also Kamran Akmal’s third T20 hundred of his career, which is jointly the most by a Pakistani batsman along with Khurram Manzoor and Ahmad Shahzad.

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Australia fight back after top order collapse

Monitoring Desk

BRISBANE: Australia managed to scores 165 runs for the loss of four wickets at the end of second day of first test against England in Brisbane on Friday.

Australian skipper Steve Smith led a rescue mission to revive Australia’s fortune after batting collapse on the second day of the test at Gabba. Australian hoping that Steve Smith build the innings and make sure the long stay at the crease as it is essential for the Australian side.

England team managed to score 302 runs at the Gabba in the first innings.


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National T20: Lahore Blues qualifies for semi final

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Lahore Blues qualify for the semi final of the National T20 after beating Rawalpindi Team by seven wickets on Thursday at Rawalpindi Stadium.

Lahore Blues elected to field first after winning the toss and bowled out the Rawalpindi on 118 runs, Iftikhar Ahmed 60 and Zeeshan Malik 24 were the main contributors from the Rawalpindi side.

Atif Jabbar and Salman Agha took three wickets each for 25 and 3 runs, respectively for Lahore Blues.

Lahore Blues achieved the target scoring 124 runs in 17.1 overs. Imam-ul-Haq 36, Salman Agha 34 not out, Ahmed Shahzad 27, Hussain Tallat 21 batted well. Salman Agha of Lahore Region Blues was declared Man of the match.




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SLC wants Hathurusingha as head coach of the team

Monitoring Desk

COLOMBO: President Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Thilanga Sumathipala has said that Chandika Hathurusinghe would be a great a coach and fit for the team.

Sri Lanka have finally confirmed their interest in having Chandika Hathurusingha as head coach after the position was vacant in June earlier this year when Graham Ford resigned from the post of head coach.

Hathurusingha has previously admitted to a desire to give back to Sri Lankan cricket but was contracted with the Bangladesh Cricket Board as their head coach. He might have occupied the post until the end of the 2019 World Cup, but in October, as Bangladesh were touring South Africa, Hathurusingha sent in his resignation to the BCB and cut all ties with the board.


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Azhar Ali struggling to get rid of knee injury

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Pakistan opening batsman, Azhar Ali is likely to miss some matches as his knee injury will take some more time and the knee injury also ruled out him of the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka.

The return to the team of Azhar Ali will likely be take more time as he was struggling to get rid of the knee injury and he wants to get match practice in domestic games before returning to the international fold and he will be consulting Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) medical commission before entering the field again.

In the absence of veterans Younus Khan and Misbahul Haq, Azhar was fielded against Sri Lanka in the two-match Test series. However, even in his presence, Pakistan faced first whitewash in the Emirates at the hands of the Islanders.

Azhar went to England after being rested for the ODIs to receive treatment for his knee. He returned to the country a couple of nights ago and sources are claiming that he hasn’t been able to recuperate completely.

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Kohli equals Amla’s record

Monitoring Desk

KOLKATA: Indian skipper Virat Kohli has scored a century in second innings of Test against Sri Lanka at Kolkata on Tuesday and equaled the record of South African batsman Hashim Amla of scoring fastest 50 international centuries.

Both Kohli and Amla have achieved the record in 348 International matches. With this innings Kohli also broke the record of Sachin Tendulkar for consuming 376 matches to register the same number of international centuries.

Virat Kohli has made 18 Test and 32 one-day international (ODI) centuries.

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Qatar urge neighbors to allow its citizens to attend 2022 FIFA World Cup

Monitoring Desk

DOHA: Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general at Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy urged the four neighboring countries to separate the politics from sports and allow their citizens to attend the World Cup in Doha in 2022.

This he said while talking to media persons on Monday in Doha. The committee is responsible for planning and operations for the tournament.

Al Thawadi said that we are hopeful that those who cut diplomatic with Qatar will allow their citizens and traders to participate in the FIFA World Cup in 2022 as it is a opportunity of lifetime for the region to witness the mega event in the area.

Four countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut diplomatic, transport and trade ties with Qatar in June and accusing it of financing terrorism. However, Qatar denies the charges.

Al-Thawadi added that our plans are put in place, alternative supply chains are put in place and the projects are continuing on schedule and on cost.

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Bangladesh tackles illegal cricket betting with stadium raids

DHAKA (AFP): Bangladesh has launched a series of police raids to crack down on illegal betting in cricket stadiums that has gripped the country’s main Twenty20 competition, tournament officials said Saturday.

Some 77 people have been thrown out of two cricket grounds in the cities of Dhaka and Sylhet in the past few days after being suspected of betting during the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), a lucrative competition modelled on the Indian Premier League, officials said.

Betting is illegal in Bangladesh, but the alleged offenders — 10 of whom were Indian nationals — used their mobile phones to place live bets before scores were broadcast on television and online, BPL secretary Ismail Haider Mallick told reporters.

“Matches go on air four to five seconds or in some cases nine seconds after the original actions take place (on the ground). Gamblers were using the time gap to do betting,” he said.

The bettors were monitored at the venues, before being caught and evicted with assistance from special branch police, Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus told AFP.

The BPL has been dogged by betting allegations since its first two editions in 2011 and 2012 were blighted by a match-fixing scandal involving players and team owners. Top Bengali daily Prothom Alo reported last week that betting has become common in cities and remote towns during BPL matches.

Tea stalls, restaurants and auto-rickshaw garages have all become venues for fans to place their bets during the matches, the newspaper said. A university student was allegedly murdered following an argument over a bet during a BPL match in Dhaka on November 6. But Mallick said cricket authorities alone could not stop illegal gambling.

“We are trying to create awareness … but we can’t stop betting around the country. It entirely depends on the law-enforcing agencies,” he said. The cricket board has tried similar tactics to curb betting in the past — at least four suspected bookmakers were thrown out of cricket stadiums in 2015 — but that has not stopped the gamblers.

Last year the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission blocked 12 betting websites in an attempt to curb gambling during cricket matches.

Nearly 50 foreign cricketers, including Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, the West Indies’ Chris Gayle, New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum and England’s Jos Buttler are taking part in the seven-team BPL tournament this year.

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Malik 54*, Hasan’s 5 for 20 seal thrilling Comilla win

DHAKA (Cricinfo): Comilla Victorians surged to the top of the points table with their fifth successive win, beating a strong Dhaka Dynamites side by four wickets. Hasan Ali’s five-for helped bowl out Dhaka for only 128 before Shoaib Malik’s unbeaten half-century coolly finished the chase in the last over.

With nine required off the last over, Malik carved the first ball from Mohammad Saddam for a four over point and an inside-edge off the third ball leveled the scores. Malik completed the victory off the next delivery, scampering for a single to end a match that had a couple of heated moments.

But it was Hasan’s 5 for 20, his maiden five-for in the format, that had given Comilla the upper hand. He bowled out all five of the batsmen, pitching up fast deliveries on a length just ahead of half-volley, but not quite a yorker. He struck twice in the second over, before Sunil Narine and Kumar Sangakkara added 92 runs for the third wicket, and then got the side back into the game again as Dhaka slipped to 128 all out in 18.3 overs from a position of 104 for 2 in the 13th over.

Narine lifts Dhaka

Hasan dismissed Evin Lewis and Mehedi Maruf off his first balls, making amends for having dropped Lewis in the previous over. Lewis was bowled trying to swing across a fast, full delivery. Maruf tried a similar thing, but was bowled by an inswinger that was directed at middle and leg stump, hit his pads and smashed into the off stump.

At the other end, Narine had other ideas. Sent to open for the first time this season, he cracked a six off Hasan straight down the ground. Against spinners Rashid Khan and Mahedi Hasan, Narine hit sixes over square-leg and long-on. Al-Amin Hossain and Mohammad Saifuddin were also hit for a straight six each before the latter removed Narine in the 14th over, an over after Sangakkara was dismissed.

Narine had done his job though. A 92-run partnership with Sangakkara for the third wicket had given Dhaka a strong base that their big-hitters could exploit in the remaining 6.2 overs. Hasan, however, had different ideas.

Hasan sinks Dhaka

One over after Narine was dismissed, Rashid fielded brilliantly off his own bowling to catch Pollard short of the crease. Rashid, off his own bowling, did brilliantly to cut out the ball and catch Pollard short of the crease. Then, Tamim brought back Hasan into the attack. Mosaddek’s middle-stump was disturbed first up, but the batsman didn’t take kindly to Hasan’s send-off and had to calmed down by Tamim as he left the field. Hasan then removed Saddam and Abu Hider, as Dhaka lost their last eight wickets for 24 runs.

Comilla’s top order falls cheaply

Abu Hider and Sunil Narine got rid of the Comilla openers, Liton Das and Tamim in consecutive overs. Liton was bowled attempting an ugly slog, while Tamim was stumped charging at Narine after having hit him for a six off the previous ball. Imrul Kayes and Darren Bravo, who had replaced Marlon Samuels, added 35 runs for the third wicket before Imrul was undone by Saddam’s slower ball for 20. Narine got rid of Bravo with a beautiful delivery that spun from leg-stump and took the left-hander’s outside edge. Mohammad Amir then dismissed Jos Buttler in the 17th over, with Comilla still needing 30 runs to win.

Malik finishes a tough chase

Two balls after dismissing Buttler, Amir removed Mohammad Saifuddin to leave Comilla in some trouble at 103 for 6. Malik took charge with a huge six off Saddam in the next over before milking singles off Narine in the penultimate over. Saddam couldn’t stop Malik in the end, as Comilla won with two balls to spare. He was unbeaten on 54 off 53 balls with a six and four boundaries.

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Pakistan hockey will take years to regain its winning form, says PHF secretary

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Shahbaz Ahmed Senior has said that the national hockey team will require “at least a few years to regain their winning form”.

While talking to Media News, the former Olympian said it was unfortunate that the players were not able to take part in some international events due to the unavailability of funds.

The statement comes days after Pakistan finished last in a four-nation hockey tournament held in Melbourne.

The PHF secretary admitted that the federation did not have money to bear the expenses of a foreign coach, but went on to say, “Even a foreign coach cannot put the hockey team on the right track.”

He said that the level of fitness and skills of the national players was quite low as compared to the players of other international teams.

Ahmed lamented that the players preferred to play in international leagues instead of focusing on the domestic hockey setup.

“I am making efforts to promote and build the domestic hockey infrastructure so that the player quality improves at the grassroots level,” he added.

The PHF secretary, however, hoped for better results in Commonwealth Games to be held in Australia next year.

Responding to allegations against him and other PHF officials, the former Olympian said he had seen the world during his hockey career and had no desire to go on foreign tours on federation’s expenses.

“I went to New Zealand for a pro-hockey league meeting at the behest of the hockey federation,” he clarified.