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Karachi clinches Balochistan Polo Tournament title

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Karachi team clinched the prestigious Balochistan Polo Tournament title after beating host Quetta team after a sensational final played at Saddle Polo and Club in Quetta.

Chief Minister Balochistan Sardar Sanaullah Zehri was the chief guest on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, he highlighted the need of promoting sports activities in the province.

He also thanked Pakistan Army for organizing mega sports events in Balochistan. He said that the peace Balochistan is experiencing was only made possible due to dedicated efforts of security forces in curbing militancy and the sacrifices given by LEAs and by the people of Balochistan.

It is worth mentioning that Pakistan has a great potential to excel in the game of Polo since the game is played and followed throughout the country passionately. The Balochistan Polo Tournament was aimed at promoting National Harmony and Peace, with the motto “Polo for Peace”. Top teams from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta and Pakistan Army’s competed.

Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Amir Riaz, Senior civil and military officials and large number of game lovers witnessed the closing ceremony.

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3rd ODI: Ali smashes century as England beat West Indies

BRISTOL (AFP): Moeen Ali hit the second fastest one-day international century in England’s history to set up a win over West Indies by 124 runs on Sunday.

Victory gave them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the third of the five-match series after the second game was washed out last week.

Joe Root with 84 and Ben Stokes (73) were the other main contributors to an imposing total of 369-9 off 50 overs. They shared a fourth-wicket stand of 132 as Root became the highest scorer in all formats in an English international season.

Then Ali took over, reaching his century off 53 balls, the last of them being his eighth six. Only Jos Buttler, from 46 balls against Pakistan in 2015, has ever got there faster for England.

Ali eventually holed out to long-off for 102 as West Indies’ labouring bowlers went for 123 in the final 10 overs.

“The ground isn’t that big so it’s nice to play on it,” he told Sky Sports. “I just tried to slog it as much as I could.”

Opener Chris Gayle led the response, at one stage hitting Ali for three consecutive sixes, but he never quite had sufficient support and was run out for 94 going for a quick single. Ali even took the final catch as the innings ended for 245 in the 40th over, Liam Plunkett finishing with 5-52.

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Pakistan’s Saadi Abbas lands fifth place in Karate Championship in Turkey

TURKEY (Monitoring Desk): Pakistani karate champion Saadi Abbas stood fifth in World Karate 1 Series A Karate Championship organised by World Karate Federation from September 23-24 in Istanbul.

A total of 151 athletes from 80 countries participated in his weight category (75 Kg). Karate Series – A is part of qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 ranking.

• In the first fight Saadi defeated Ali Akabari of Iran by 3:0

• Saadi defeated World Silver Medalist Erman Eltemur of Turky by 2:0 in the second fight

• In the third fight Saadi defeated Noah Bitsch of Germany by 1:0

• In the fourth fight (Quarter final) Saadi defeated Nikola Malovic of Montenegro by 2:0

Saadi successfully reached quarter-finals and defeated Iran’s star Sajad Hayati by 3:0. But unfortunately after a tough fight with Japan’s Ken Nishimura in the semi-finals Saadi got a fracture in the middle finger of his left hand and lost the fight by 1:0. Nishimura is the current title holder of Karate 1 Series A.

In the bronze medal fight Saadi lost against five-time world champion Rafeal Aghayev of Azerbaijan by 2:0 and secured fifth position in this high stakes match.

A player like Saadi is indeed a pride for our country, said Chairman Pakistan Karate Federation Muhammad Jahangir. Saadi has represented Pakistan at various international forums. He is a two-time Commonwealth Champion, US Open Champion, Asian Gold Medalist (only gold medalist of South-Asian region), South-Asian champion and a silver medalist in fourth Islamic Solidarity Games 2017.

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Pakistan cricket team arrives in Dubai to play series against Sri Lanka

F.P. Report

DUBAI: Pakistan Cricket team arrived in Dubai on Sunday to play series against the Sri Lankan team in UAE.

The 16 members test squad was headed by Sarfaraz Ahmed and Asad Shafique will assist him in the series for the first time. Pakistan selected five fast bowlers and three spinners for the UAE series.

Yasir Shah and right-hand opener Azhar Ali had cleared the fitness test and finally made it into the final sixteen test squad against the Sri Lanka series.Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Mohammad Asghar, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Amir, Usman Salahuddin, Mohammad Abbas, Hassan Ali, Wahab Riaz, and Meer Hamza were included in the test squad.

First Test will be started from September 28 in Abu Dhabi while the second match will be started in Dubai. Five one-day internationals (ODIs) will also be played on the same venues.

Two of the three Twenty20 matches will be played in Abu Dhabi while the third T20 will be held at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.


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Pakistan Test squad announced for Sri Lanka series

LAHORE (Monitoring Desk): The Test squad for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka has been announced.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who put to rest fitness concerns after he nailed the fitness tests on Saturday, has been selected in the squad, along with Azhar Ali, who has been struggling with a troubled knee but has been cleared to play after injections.

Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, addressing a press conference, announced the names of the 16 players in the squad, which includes a combination of five fast bowlers and two specialist spinners.

About Yasir Shah, Inzamam said the spinner would prove to be ideal in UAE conditions.

“Yasir Shah has been our best bowler over the recent years,” he said.

The chief selector said he wants to give maximum opportunity to youngsters to showcase their talent in the series.

25-year-old Mir Hamza from Karachi, who has been named in the squad, has an impressive record of 216 wickets in 46 first-class matches which he has played during the last four years.

 Another notable, albeit surprising, inclusion in the Test squad is of 31-year old all-rounder Bilal Asif, who has only 15 first-class matches to his name. He has also represented Pakistan in three ODIs.
Young spinner Shadab Khan and veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez have been omitted from the squad. Opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad also failed to impress selectors with his performance in first-class cricket last season.

In the middle-order batting lineup, Haris Sohail and Usman Salahuddin are included in the list to fill the gap left by retirement of experienced duo of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq.

Squad: Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain, wicketkeeper), Usman Salahuddin, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Abbas, Bilal Asif, Mir Hamza and Wahab Riaz.

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Peace Cup: Pakistan XI batting continues against UK Media XI in North Waziristan

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: A cricket match between UK Media XI and Pakistan XI is underway in Miranshah, North Waziristan agency of FATA, after winning the toss the UK Media XI elected to field and given batting to Pakistan XI.

The match was organized by Pakistan Army, PCB and PSL franchise Peshawar Zalmi which will be played at Younis Khan Stadium in Miranshah, North Waziristan.

Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Kamran Akmal, Junaid Khan, Umer Gul, Mushtaq Ahmed, Riaz Afridi, Wajahatullah Wasti and other prominent players are part of Pakistan XI, informed by Peshawar Zalmi.

Similarly, UK Media XI is 18 member groups of journalists, lawyer, businessmen and academics aged between 21-62, which is touring Pakistan with the aim to improve the country’s image as a sporting nation.

DG ISPR told media that normalcy is back in FATA and assured the masses that Pak Army will never allow terrorism to regain in the area again. Corps Commander Peshawar Nazir Ahmed Butt is also present at the stadium, along with other dignitaries.

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Khalid Latif banned for five years by PCB tribunal in spot fixing case

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Anti-Corruption Tribunal banned the Opening batsman Khalid Latif for five years for his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal in the Pakistan Super League.

Tribunal announced its verdict on Wednesday against the suspended opener and also imposed Rs 1 million on the opening batsman.

Khalid Latif, who represented Pakistan and PSL franchise Islamabad United, was found guilty of all six charges including inviting others teammates Sharjeel Khan and Muhammad Irfan to get involved in fixing which marred the opening day of the PSL earlier this year.

Badar Alam, Lawyer of Khalid Latif has rejected the verdict of tribunal regarding imposing ban on the cricketer.


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Pakistan beats Thailand to enter Group I

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk): History repeats itself as the longest serving player of Pakistan tennis Aqeel Khan once again helped the country beat Thailand’s Kittiphong Wachiramanowong 3-2 in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-II Final second reverse singles match here at Pakistan Sports Complex grass courts on Sunday.

Aqeel once again proved that he is the real hero of the country as he has proved his mettle when it mattered the most as winning the reverse singles against Thai player was must to win the Davis Cup final and in case of Aqeel’s failure, Pakistan couldn’t move into the Group-I, but credit goes to Aqeel who not only saved the country’s honour but also helped it enter the next stage with great honour.

Earlier, Aqeel did this wonder in 15 years back against China, 14 years back against South Korea and 13 years back against New Zealand and now, he has done it again against Thailand in 5-setter tough game. With this heroic of Aqeel, Pakistan is now back to group I once again.

After Aisam’s first reverse singles 2-3 defeat against Thailand’s Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul, the crowd was not in a mood to witness another defeat on the special day for Pakistan, as they came in huge numbers to support the national team and want Pakistan win the tie.

It was do-or-die for the hosts, as Aqeel had to win, because earlier due non-playing captain M Khalid’s poor planning and coward approach, Pakistan lost the doubles match. Khalid opted to give rest to Aisam/Aqeel and instead picked Shahzad/Abid to carry the day.

The move badly flopped and Pakistan was almost on the brink of losing the final, before Aqeel prevailed and ensured host nation ends on winning note.

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Imad Wasim retains top spot in ICC T20I ranking

LAHORE (NNI): All rounder Imad Wasim retained top spot among bowlers, while Team Pakistan ranked second in the latest ICC rankings issued for T20I.

Meanwhile, Middle order batsman Babar Azam moves up to career-best sixth position in T20I rankings. The 22-year-old has risen 21 spots after his player of the series performance helped complete a 2-1 victory over the World XI in the Independence Cup series played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

In the latest rankings update, which also takes into account performances in Saturday’s one-off T20I in Durham which the Windies won against England by 21 runs, Shoaib Malik was another Pakistan batsman to gain as his 94 runs in the Lahore series saw him gain four slots to reach 30th position.

Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan has gained 32 places to reach 66th rank among bowlers.

T20I Team Ranking

1 New Zealand 125
2 Pakistan 121
3 West Indies 120 (+3)
4 England 119 (-4)
5 India 116
6 South Africa 110
7 Australia 110
8 Sri Lanka 93
9 Afghanistan 86
10 Bangladesh 78
11 Scotland 67
12 Zimbabwe 65
13 UAE 52
14 Netherlands 49
15 Hong Kong 46
16 PNG 39
17 Oman 38
18 Ireland 36

Bowlers (top 10)

Ranking for T20i (bowlers)

1) Imad Wasim Pak
2) Jasprit Bumrah Ind
3) Imran Tahir SA
4) Rashid Khan Afg
5) M. Rahman Ban
6) Samuel Badree WI
7) James Faulkner Aus
8) Sunil Narine WI
9) Shakib Al Hasan Ban
10) R. Ashwin Ind.

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ICC congratulates Pakistan for successful staging of Independence Cup

ISLAMABAD (APP): The International Cricket Council (ICC) Saturday congratulated Pakistan for successful staging of the Independence Cup against World XI at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

ICC Director, Giles Clarke, and ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson, thanked the people of Pakistan for embracing the World XI players, and said the series has demonstrated Pakistan’s passion and love for cricket, as well as its ability to provide an environment in which international cricket stars can show their talent, according to an ICC press release.

They said these are small steps for Pakistan towards the safe and steady revival of bilateral international cricket, and indicated that the next step would be a tour by a Full Member country as opposed to a composite side. Clarke, who attended the first two matches, said the reaction of Pakistanis who were at the ground is something I have never seen in my life. “This tour unleashed the deep and powerful emotions that exist around cricket in this country’s makeup and its society,” he said.

“It has been a fantastic tournament and I am very grateful to everybody for all the hard work – by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and everybody else,” he said. Richardson, who attended the second T20, said “with the tour having gone off so successfully and the security arrangements having being implemented so well, we can call it a success.” “The players that came on the tour witnessed the security arrangements firsthand and can go back and report back that although there may be some level of risk, it can be managed successfully,” he said.

“The main objective of that is to try to build confidence in the likes of the Australians, South Africans and other countries that the threat can be managed and this tour has shown that is the case. Returning full-time international cricket back to Pakistan is not going to be an overnight miracle. It has to take time. The PSL final was the first step, this is the second.” He said “we are really very happy for the people of Pakistan and grateful that they have welcomed the World XI in the fashion that they did.”