Karachi [Pakistan], February 22 (ANI): An all-round performance by Lewis Gregory and debutant Mohammad Wasim’s three wickets secured Islamabad United a three-wicket win over Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Sunday.
Gregory, a right-handed middle-order batsman, rescued United from a precarious 74 for six with an unbeaten 49 off 31 balls. He hit six fours and a six to help the two-time champions chase down the target with an over to go, which earned him the player of the match award.
He had a vital 43-run partnership for the seventh-wicket with Faheem Ashraf (22 off 12, two fours, one six) and later unbeaten 34 runs eight-wicket stand with Zafar Gohar (three off four).
Gregory sealed the match for his side in the penultimate over as he smoked Sohail Tanvir for a six and three fours. The over began with United needing 20 off the last two and ended with the scores level.
That Sultans found themselves in a spot of bother earlier in their innings was because of T20 star all-rounder Shahid Afridi and Carlos Brathwaite who took two wickets each for 24 and 23 runs respectively.
Sultans, on the back of captain Mohammad Rizwan 71, posted 150 for eight after Shadab Khan’s decision to field first.
Rizwan, who is in the form of his life, struck eight fours and two sixes in 53 balls and crafted a 48-run stand for the second-wicket with James Vince, who struck one four and a six in his 16 off 17 balls.
Rilee Rossouw (25 off 14, two fours, two sixes) and Carlos Brathwaite (22 not out, 14 balls, two fours, one six) were other contributors in Sultans’ batting.
United fast bowler Mohammad Wasim Jnr, making his debut in HBL PSL, made his presence felt, as he took three wickets for 29. He accounted for Sohaib Maqsood (two off four), Shahid Afridi (first-ball duck) and the well-settled Rizwan.
Gregory, after being smashed for 11 runs in his first over, made a strong comeback and picked up two wickets to finish with the figures of two for 31.
Lahore Qalandars will take on Quetta Gladiators in the fourth fixture of the ongoing HBL PSL 6 on Monday. The toss will take place at 1830, while the first ball will be bowled at 1900.
Brief Scores: Multan Sultans 150/8 (Mohammad Rizwan 71, Rilee Rossouw 25; Mohammad Wasim 3-29); Islamabad United 151/7 (Lewis Gregory 49*, Alex Hales 29*; Carlos Brathwaite 2-23) (ANI)
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Liverpool will never sacrifice Premier League for UCL, says Klopp
Liverpool [UK], March 7 (ANI): Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on Sunday said that his side would not ever sacrifice Premier League for attaining more success in the UEFA Champions League.
Liverpool is currently at the seventh spot in Premier League standings and the side is four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
However, the Reds are in good shape in the Champions League, having defeated RB Leipzig 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 match.
“I can’t think about winning the Champions League now as we have to go through this difficult round. This week we play these three games, late in the season, with two days in between, Thursday, Sunday and Wednesday, and it is tough. We see who we can field on Sunday and then who can play on Wednesday but it is not that we gave up on the Premier League, that will never happen,” Goal.com quoted Klopp as saying.
“There is no game we can play and lose and people say, ‘Ah … look at the line-up.’ Liverpool is too big, too many people are interested. We don’t play behind closed doors really without cameras, it is in front of our people and we feel the responsibility that in each game we have to give our absolute everything to win it. If that doesn’t happen then people will think, ‘that’s not enough’. We don’t change our attitude,” he added.
It is safe to say that Liverpool would not be able to defend their Premier League title this season as the side finds itself 22 points behind table-toppers Manchester City.
Klopp’s men will end the season without any domestic silverware as they have already been eliminated from the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
Liverpool will next take on Fulham in the Premier League later today. (ANI)
Harmanpreet Kaur becomes 5th Indian woman to play 100 ODIs
Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 7 (ANI): Indian women’s team batter Harmanpreet Kaur on Sunday achieved another milestone of playing 100 ODI for the side. He became the fifth player to do so as he took the field in the ongoing ODI match against South Africa here in Lucknow.
The vice-captain joined Mithali Raj (210), Jhulan Goswami (183), Anjum Chopra (127) and Amita Sharma (116) in the elite list of players who have played 100 or more ODIs.
Indian women’s team vice-captain Harmanpreet played a knock of 40 runs studded with six fours. Before the match, she scored 2372 runs in the 50-over format till date at 34.88 with three hundreds and 11 half-centuries.
South Africa women won the toss and elected to field first.
India Women (Playing XI): Punam Raut, Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj(c), Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma(w), Jhulan Goswami, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Monica Patel, Poonam Yadav.
South Africa Women (Playing XI): Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty(w), Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez, Sune Luus(c), Marizanne Kapp, Nadine de Klerk, Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Lara Goodall, Nonkululeko Mlaba.
On Saturday, India women’s ODI skipper Mithali Raj had said that she would like to give every youngster in the side a game in the upcoming five-match ODI series against South Africa for a perfect build-up ahead of the Women’s World Cup in 2022.
“Definitely, yes because it’s a five-match ODI series and we have some young players in the side. As the captain, I would like to give them opportunities to show their talent and yes we are looking at giving the youngsters an opportunity in this five-match ODI series,” Mithali had said while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Saturday.
“This series is very important, we will see the composition of the team. Everybody is coming after a long gap, this series is very important as we have young players and it is the right platform to give them opportunities. It is also about ensuring that the core players get enough game time to develop that rhythm and take it from there,” she had added.
When asked about Shafali Verma’s omission from the ODI squad, Mithali replied: “She definitely is in the scheme of things, she is on the radar. We need to have a little bit of patience and we will see her very soon.” (ANI)
Need to make marathon culture and popular event in India: Rijiju
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju on Sunday said that the country needs to make marathon a culture and a popular event in the country.
Rijiju’s remarks came as he was attending the New Delhi Marathon 2021 on Sunday and he also conferred awards to the winners along with BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi.
“The New Delhi Marathon was conducted successfully. It has proven that away from the pandemic situation All the marathon runners, expressed satisfaction with the arrangement. This shows it was well arranged. The bigger point is how we make the marathon a culture and make it a popular event in India. Marathon, mini-marathon, half marathon, and full marathon- these events can be organised in different structures from the grassroots level in rural areas, villages, towns, and cities like Delhi,” Rijiju told reporters here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
“Marathon is very exciting. It galvanises the whole forces in society. Other than professional runners, other people can also take part. We can think about organising a marathon in different forms and structures. I would like to compliment the athletic federation of India. Although this is a very successful event but none of our runners could qualify for the Olympics because of certain reasons. I am sure in the next event, all will make it,” he added.
New Delhi Marathon 2021 was flagged off during the early morning hours on Sunday at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
On Saturday, Rijiju once again echoed the sentiments that Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes will be given priority for the coronavirus vaccine followed by other athletes.
“We will take care of our elite athletes thereafter all the junior athletes will be taken care of. But the focus is on Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes, they will be given priority because safety is of utmost importance. If any player gets infected at this point in time it will really spoil their chances of competing in the Olympics because if you are infected then you have to follow the quarantine and take medication then your dream is over so that’s why the athletes welfare is our priority,” Rijiju told ANI.
When asked whether BCCI communicated for the vaccination, the minister said, “We are talking about all the sports and all the players but Olympic players will remain our priority because that’s time-bound communication we have with every sports federation I can not just talk about one federation. Every federation is part of the fraternity and we are concerned about all the players. We have to abide by all the methodology being adopted by the health ministry.” (ANI)
NZ vs Aus, 5th T20I: We weren’t aggressive with the bat, admits Finch
Wellington [New Zealand], March 7 (ANI): After coming up short in the fifth and final T20I against New Zealand, Australia limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch on Sunday said that his side wasn’t aggressive with the bat.
Ish Sodhi’s three-wicket haul and Martin Guptill’s 71-run knock helped New Zealand defeat Australia by seven wickets in the fifth and final T20I on Sunday here at the Westpac Stadium, Wellington. With this, the Kiwis won the five-match series 3-2.
“We probably weren’t aggressive enough with the bat. We let them dictate terms and didn’t get enough runs. Probably was the difference in the game. If one of us kicked on, could have got to 160-170. I thought the pitch played quite well today. It was slightly better today than the other day I thought,” said Finch after the game.
“We have been talking about the gradual improvement from game 1 to game 4, and that was exciting. Would have been great to win the series but NZ are a great team. We just weren’t good enough today,” he added.
The first two T20Is of the five-match series were won by New Zealand, but Australia staged a comeback to level the series 2-2. However, in the series decider, the hosts were on their game from the very start and they ended up winning the series 3-2.
In the fifth and final T20I, Ish Sodhi’s three-wicket haul helped New Zealand restrict Australia to 142/8 in the allotted twenty overs.
in the end, Glenn Phillips (34) and Mark Chapman (1) took the BlackCaps over the line by seven wickets and 27 balls to spare. (ANI)
ISL 7: Focusing on second-leg, NorthEast don’t have chances, says Habas
Bambolim (Goa) [India], March 7 (ANI): After playing out a 1-1 draw against NorthEast United in the first leg of the Indian Super League (ISL), ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Habas is now focusing on the second-leg clash as he believes that there is no chance for the opponents to book a berth in the finals.
Idrissa Sylla headed in a stoppage-time header to help NorthEast United hold ATK Mohun Bagan to a 1-1 draw at GMC Stadium, on Saturday.
The second-half substitute struck in the fourth minute of injury time to cancel out David Williams’ 34th-minute goal. The result also meant Khalid Jamil is still unbeaten in the competition and extended NorthEast’s winning run to ten games.
“In the semi-final, there are two matches. it is important to win 4-0. But I don’t remember a lot of teams with big differences. Maybe last season with (FC) Goa but not anymore,” Habas said after the game.
“I don’t remember chances for the opponents. They only had free-kicks and long balls. I think we have the opportunity in the second match and have to win,” he added.
Habas said despite missing out on some crucial players they are strong enough to take on any opponents.
“We don’t have Edu Garcia, Tiri, Sandesh (Jhingan) and what is the problem? I don’t know. I don’t understand. We played better than the opponent for 75 minutes. After that, we committed the foul and the free-kick. I don’t remember any opportunity to opponents,” he said.
“We had the opportunity to score in the first 45 minutes. After that, this match had a lot of tension. It is not necessary to win the first match. I remember a team winning the first leg 3-0 and then being eliminated. We have are the most motivated team in the ISL,” Habas concluded.
ATK Mohun Bagan and NorthEast United will now lock horns in the second leg of the ISL semi-final on Tuesday. (ANI)
WTC: Ashwin says best of three final would have been nicer, but team will give best shot
Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 7 (ANI): After reaching the final of the World Test Championship (WTC), India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said that a best of three final for the World Test Championship (WTC) would have been nicer, but he assured that his side will give its best shot in the summit clash.
Team India on Saturday roared into the final of the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) following an emphatic 3-1 series win over England. Virat Kohli’s men, who defeated England in the fourth and final Test by an innings and 25 runs at the Narendra Modi Stadium, will now face New Zealand in the WTC final slated to be played from June 18 to 22, with June 23 as the reserve day at the iconic Lord’s Stadium in London.
“For people like me, Pujara, Rahane, and Ishant, who did not play the 2019 World Cup, this is literally the World Cup. I also saw Ishant speaking about it. I am happy for every member for making it to the finals. I am sure we can get a positive result if we adapt quickly because we just have one match as the final. It would have been nicer if we had three, but we just have one, we have to live with that and we will try to give our best shot,” said Ashwin in a video posted on the official website of BCCI.
Talking about the WTC final, pacer Ishant Sharma said: “Feeling great to be a part of this team. Really happy, the kind of effort we have put in 2-2.5 years for this championship, it is a tremendous achievement that we have made it to the final. Actually, I am looked forward to the final.”
Batsman Cheteshwar Pujara also said that is an amazing feeling to qualify for the WTC final.
“Boys have worked really hard, it has been more than two years that all this began. We are hopeful that we will do well in the WTC final, it is an amazing feeling for all of us to qualify for the WTC final,” said Pujara.
India finished as the number one team with 72.2 percentage points in the WTC points table, the factor that determined the final placings rather than total points won, following a change to the points system owing to the Covid-19 disruption.
The Black Caps were the first team to ensure a place in the final with 70 percentage points. Australia finished third with 69.2 percentage points while England ended with 61.4 percentage points at the fourth position.
The Black Caps had qualified for the WTC final following the postponement of the Test series between South Africa and Australia. In November last year, the ICC had confirmed that the WTC points system would be amended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (ANI)
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