Posted on

Shan Masood attains highest ever average

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Test opener Shan Masood has not had the best of times with bat in the longest format playing for Pakistan, as the batsman has struggled to seal his spot at the top, India based sports website reported on Monday.

However, Masood possesses some magnificent and remarkable numbers in List A cricket. Presently, he holds the record of averaging a massive 58.94 in the First-class circuit, which is also the highest average for any batsman in the world in List A cricket.

Masood made his Test debut for Pakistan in 2013 and has since played 12 Tests for his country. He has scored 565 runs in the 12 Tests at an average of less than 25. The left-hander has totalled 3 fifties and a hundred with the bat in his international career so far.

However, the opener has failed to perform on a consistent basis, since scoring a gutsy 75 on debut, which is why the 28-year old is not a regular feature in the Pakistani Test team. He was also not recently named Pakistan squad for the England and Ireland series.

Presently, Masood averages 58.94 in 74 List A matches in which he has amassed 3360 runs, which includes 20 half-centuries and 10 hundreds. He went past the record set by former Australian batsman Michael Bevan, who averaged a splendid 57.86 in 427 List A games.

The current Indian captain Virat Kohli holds the third spot in the tally, with an average of 56.56 from 242 matches. Importantly, Masood boosts this outstanding average tally while playing comparatively less number of matches than the rest of the batsman accompanying him in the top tally.

 

Advertisements
Posted on

India resists Australia overtures for Adelaide day-night Test

Monitoring Desk

SYDNEY: Australian cricket chiefs are still trying to convince reluctant India to play a day-night Test in Adelaide this year after releasing their international playing schedule on Monday. Cricket Australia have scheduled the opening Test of the four-Test India series in Adelaide from December 6-10, with hopes it will be a pink ball match following concept successes against New Zealand, South Africa and England in recent years.

Australia believes day-night Test cricket is the future of the sport and perhaps the only way to save the format despite boom television ratings and record crowds. But the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have so far resisted CA s overtures. CA will play a pink-ball Test against Sri Lanka in Brisbane from January 24-28 next year, but chief executive James Sutherland said he was still negotiating with India.

“It is our preference that we play India in a day-night Test match in Adelaide, but we are still working through this detail and hope to have an answer on this in the coming weeks,” he said. Sutherland has been pushing hard at International Cricket Council level for the new Test Championship schedule to include day-night Tests, but the powerful BCCI has a big say in outcomes. CA confirmed Australia will face South Africa in a Twenty20 international on Queensland s Gold Coast, while the new Perth Stadium and Canberra s Manuka Oval will both host Test cricket for the first time.

But Hobart misses out. The international season starts on November 4 with the first of three ODIs against South Africa before the one-off T20 against the Proteas on the Gold Coast, which will be followed by three T20s against India preceding the start of the Test summer. “Our men s international season structure changes slightly this summer, with one-day and T20 international matches against South Africa and India in November,” Sutherland said. Adelaide opens the Test series against India for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and Perth Stadium will host the second Test, before the series moves back to Melbourne and Sydney for the traditional Boxing Day and New Year s showpiece games. Following the Tests, there will be three ODIs against India in a seven-day window before a two-Test series against Sri Lanka in Brisbane under lights at the Gabba and a second match in Canberra.

 

Posted on

Azarenka back in Europe

Monitoring Desk

Paris: Former world number one Victoria Azarenka is returning to compete in Europe after a custody battle over her son prevented her from leaving the United States. The 28-year-old Belarus star confirmed she would be lining up at the Madrid Open from May 5 in a post on Twitter on Monday.

“Mommy and Leo’s adventures begin. Europe here we come. first stop – see you in Madrid,” Azarenka announced, accompanied by a selfie with her son. The 2012 and 2013 Australian Open winner has only played in two tournaments since July 2017 after a judge in California ruled that her son should not leave the state until custody was resolved. Azarenka has slumped to 99 in the world as she put her career on hold so as not to harm her chances of winning the courtroom battle with her former partner.

During her prolonged stay in America she has only played in Indian Wells, where she was beaten in the second round, and a run to the semi-finals in Miami. Her last appearance in Europe was at Wimbledon in 2017 when her bid to become the first mother in 37 years to win the grasscourt Grand Slam was stopped by Simona Halep in the last 16. Azarenka pulled out of the final Grand Slam of 2017, the US Open, after a judge in Los Angeles ordered Leo, born in December 2016, to be kept in California until custody between Azarenka and the boy’s father, Billy McKeague, was decided.

 

Posted on

Malaysia likely to host PSL-2019: reports

Monitoring Desk

KARACHI: If the news of popular cricket website cricinfo is to believed, then the Pakistan Cricket Board will host fourth installment of flagship Pakistan Super League (PSL-2019) in Malaysia. The news pertaining to rupture in longstanding relationship of PCB and Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) emanated soon after the latter decided to host number of short-format leagues ahead of PSL.

PCB—being uncomfortable with the scenario—foresees these leagues as potentional threats to its revenues, and thus has requested ECB to review its decision. Pakistan is due to host New Zealand and Australia in the UAE later this year for Tests, ODIs and T20s.

 

Posted on

Messi hat-trick seals Barca’s 25th title in style

Monitoring Desk

Madrid: Barcelona claimed their 25th La Liga title on Sunday as a Lionel Messi hat-trick secured a thrilling 4-2 victory at Deportivo La Coruna that wrapped up the league with four matches to spare.

Ernesto Valverde’s men completed a league and cup double after thrashing Sevilla 5-0 in last week’s Copa del Rey final, regaining the Spanish crown from Real Madrid and relegating Deportivo in the process.

The only blip on the Catalans’ season was the stunning Champions League quarter-final loss at Roma when they blew a 4-1 first-leg lead.

“We have managed an almost perfect league campaign, without losing so far. I hope we can continue,” midfielder Sergio Busquets told Spanish broadcaster Movistar. “This season was very good, almost excellent. The Champions League is a regret but we managed a double, it’s fantastic.”

Barca knew they just had to extend their record unbeaten streak to 41 La Liga matches to seal a seventh title in 10 seasons, and Philippe Coutinho fired them into an early lead.

Messi’s 38th-minute volley made it two, but Lucas Perez pulled one back for Deportivo before half-time and Turkish winger Emre Colak stunned Barca with an equaliser midway through the second period.

Barca finally saw off their stubborn hosts, though, as Messi pounced after a brilliant one-two with Luis Suarez before slotting in to complete his 30th La Liga treble.

The Catalan giants now hold an unassailable 11-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid, who have just three games to play, and are closing in on becoming the first Spanish side to go through a top-flight season without tasting defeat.

Andres Iniesta was surprisingly left on the bench after the midfield great announced earlier this week that he will leave the club at the end of the season.

But it was his expected long-term successor Coutinho who broke the deadlock in the seventh minute, bending an exquisite finish into the top corner for his third La Liga goal for the club since signing from Liverpool in January.

Deportivo had to win to stave off relegation for another week, but Clarence Seedorf’s men were denied an equaliser when Perez was flagged offside after tapping in from close range.

Messi went close to doubling the advantage just before the half-hour mark, only for home goalkeeper Ruben to pull off an excellent one-handed save to turn his free-kick around the post.

Deportivo were causing Barca plenty of problems at the back, though, and centre-back Fabian Schaer should have levelled as he headed over when unmarked inside the six-yard box.

But Messi drilled a curling Suarez cross past Ruben at the keeper’s near post to score his 30th league goal of the campaign, before on-loan Arsenal striker Perez swept home to halve the deficit just two minutes later.

Despite the close scoreline, Barca were playing as if the second half was a pure title party, with centre-back Gerard Pique even performing a few ‘keepie uppies’ on the left wing.

Their complacency cost them in the 64th minute, as Celso Borges unselfishly squared for Colak to score.

Suddenly the champions-elect were desperately trying to hang onto their unbeaten record, as goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a smart stop from another Schaer header.

But Barcelona showed their class as Suarez and Messi combined to terrific effect with eight minutes to play — the latter clipping the ball in off the post.

Suarez again sent the Argentinian racing clear three minutes later, and the 30-year-old made no mistake to complete a hat-trick and a title-sealing victory.

Earlier on Sunday, Kevin Gameiro scored a second-half penalty just seven minutes after Fernando Torres had missed a spot-kick as Atletico Madrid claimed a 1-0 win at Alaves.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico stayed in control of the race for second by moving four points clear of Real Madrid, who have a game in hand.

Fourth-placed Valencia’s winless run was extended to four league games with a goalless home draw with Eibar, but their Champions League spot for next season will be confirmed if Real Betis fail to beat Malaga on Monday.

 

 

 

Posted on

Pakistan Star wins Queen Elizabeth II Cup

F.P. Report

Hong Kong: Pakistan Star clinched the Queen Elizabeth II Cup for jockey William Buick in Hong Kong Sunday, the highlight of three Group One spring races with a total purse of HK$58 million ($7.4 million).

Known for being unpredictable, the five-year-old stormed to victory by a large margin in the final strides and finished the 2,000-metre course in just over two minutes.

“He´s quite a famous horse for his antics so I was aware of him and I was aware of what he can do,” Buick said after the race, adding Pakistan Star “felt beautiful today”.

“When I found out that I was riding him, I took on board all of the information I knew about the horse and also thought it was quite important to ride him with a fresh mind and just be very positive about the horse,” the winning jockey said.

The prize money for the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup had been boosted up from last year´s HK$20 million to HK$24 million. Italian jockey Alberto Sanna finished second on Gold Mount, while Australian Hong Kong-based jockey Brett Prebble rode Eagle Way to finish third.

Australian jockey Zac Purton was another star of the day, riding four-year-old gelding Ivictory to triumph in the 1,200-metre Chairman´s Sprint race. “I was fortunate enough to get on him and at the right time,” he said of Ivictory.

Purton claimed his first Hong Kong Cup last year in the city´s Longines International Races, one of the world´s richest race meetings. Already on a winning streak, Purton snapped up the 1,600-metre Champions Mile with Beauty Generation, surging from a relatively slow start to seal its victory.

“He´s just so honest, he goes out and runs the same race every time. When he gets the circumstances to suit him, you get to see how good he is,” Purton said of the horse.

Posted on

Elections on time a national priority: Govt

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The national unity government leaders met to discuss Oct 20 parliamentary and district council elections, the voter registration drive and distribution of the paper ID cards.

Chaired by President Ashraf Ghani, the meeting at the Presidential Palace talked about security for the elections, voter registration and ID cards centers, a statement from the Palace said.

The meeting discussed transfer of electoral materials, political parties’ suggestions, public awareness and transparency in the employment process at the Independent Election Commission (IEC).

Besides Ghani, second vice-president Sarwar Danish and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah attended the meeting. The participants said holding the upcoming elections on time was the government’s national and political priority.

They prized people’s participation in the voter registration process and stressed on providing all necessary resources and public awareness for the elections.

At the end, President Ghani said meetings with leaders and political, national and religious figures, representatives of educational institutes, civil society, media and youths would continue.

A number of ministers and some other senior government officials, political parties’ representatives and ambassadors were also present at the meeting.

 

Posted on

Daesh operating military base in Jalalabad: Hazrat Ali

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The national unity government leaders met to discuss Oct 20 parliamentary and district council elections, the voter registration drive and distribution of the paper ID cards.

Chaired by President Ashraf Ghani, the meeting at the Presidential Palace talked about security for the elections, voter registration and ID cards centers, a statement from the Palace said.

The meeting discussed transfer of electoral materials, political parties’ suggestions, public awareness and transparency in the employment process at the Independent Election Commission (IEC).

Besides Ghani, second vice-president Sarwar Danish and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah attended the meeting. The participants said holding the upcoming elections on time was the government’s national and political priority.

They prized people’s participation in the voter registration process and stressed on providing all necessary resources and public awareness for the elections.

At the end, President Ghani said meetings with leaders and political, national and religious figures, representatives of educational institutes, civil society, media and youths would continue.

A number of ministers and some other senior government officials, political parties’ representatives and ambassadors were also present at the meeting.

Posted on

Vaccines rescue nearly 3m children a year: MoPH

 

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Vaccination helped save the lives of nearly three million children per year in Afghanistan, but still 1.5 million children are at risk of contracting the deadly polio disease and other fatal diseases, according to the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).

The MoPH marked World Immunization Week in Kabul with this year’s theme ‘Vaccine is Efficient’ as part of its efforts to expand access to immunization particularly in remote areas.

Dr. Bashir Ahmad Hamid, head of preventive medicine at MoPH, said: “Currently 13 types of vaccines are given to children and women through 1,910 centers against fatal diseases across the country.”

He said the vaccines rescued children from TB, paralysis, diptera, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B, influenza, pneumonia and measles. The years between 2011 and 2020 have been named “the decade of vaccination.”

Hamid said vaccination campaigns helped rescue lives of nearly three million children per year, but still another 1.5 million children were at risk.

Dr. Rik Peeperkorn, WHO representative for Afghanistan, said Afghanistan was far behind from the goals of vaccination and the country needed more struggle to achieve the goals until 2020.

He said the World Immunization Week was a good opportunity for Afghanistan to identify its problems and deal with them. Mualvi Shamsur Rahman Frotan, an Islamic scholar, said: “Awareness and encouraging people to allow vaccination to their children is important not only from scientific but from Islamic perspective, we want families to cooperate with the vaccination campaign.”

MoPH, meanwhile, announced creating real time monitoring of vaccines to protect them from being affected.

 

 

Posted on

Mafia circles operate under shadow of Taliban, ISIS

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The local officials in eastern Nangarhar province are saying that the Mafia circles have stepped up operations under the shadow of Taliban and ISIS terrorist group.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said at least three people including two soldiers were assassinated in Jalalabad city a while ago with the Taliban and ISIS groups claiming responsibility behind the attacks.

He said the Taliban and ISIS claims were later proved as false after the arrest of the main perpetrators involved in the killings.

The detain individuals have confessed that they carried out the assassinations for receiving 50,000 for each killing and were paid by individuals covered with masks.

The detainees have also confessed that the individuals had no links with the Taliban and ISIS group.

In the meantime, Khogyai says the Mafia circles are attempting to deliberately carry out assassinations in a bid to contribute in the deterioration of the security and to show the failure of the government for their own interests.

The latest claims by the local officials came as both Taliban and ISIS loyalists are attempting to expand foothold in the country although the government officials had earlier admitted that the ongoing violence also has major links with the organized crime.