Pakistan win first Windies series, give fitting farewell to Misbah, Younis


Web Desk & AFP

ROSEAU, Dominica: Pakistan won a thrilling third and final Test with six balls to spare to clinch a first series victory in the West Indies Sunday and give a fitting farewell to the retiring captain Misbah ul Haq and veteran Younis Khan.

Roston Chase´s unbeaten 101, his second hundred of the series, proved in vain as the home side, set a target of 303 at Windsor Park in Dominica, slipped to 93 for six before the lower order almost rescued a dramatic draw.

 

"This was just incredible," said a breathless Misbah after Shannon Gabriel dragged a wide delivery from Yasir Shah onto his stumps with just six balls left in the game to trigger Pakistani celebrations as the West Indies were dismissed for 202 to lose the series 2-1.

"There were so many things happening in that last session -- dropped catches, appeals, no-ball dismissals -- it looked for a while as if it wasn´t going to happen.

"I am thankful for myself, the team and all supporters of Pakistan cricket that we were able to pull it off."
Chase, who also top scored in the first innings with 69 and earned the man-of-the-match award, was the prime beneficiary of those near-misses.

Twice he saw caught-and-bowled attempts by Hasan Ali put down and then was reprieved on 91 when an edge to Asad Shafiq at slip off Mohammad Abbas was shown to be off a no-ball.

"I´m really disappointed that we couldn´t hold on for just one more over," said a crestfallen Chase.

"We have showed that we can compete with the best but it´s up to us to be able to take it all the way. It doesn´t even matter that I got a hundred."

In the end he completed his third Test century but was left helpless at the non-striker´s end when Gabriel, who had defended resolutely for 21 balls, inexplicably attempted a wild drive off Shah and dragged the ball back onto his stumps.

Shah finished with five for 92 and a series haul of 25 wickets, the highest of his career, as he took the man of the series award.

From their mid-afternoon perils, a 58-run seventh-wicket partnership between Chase and Jason Holder frustrated Pakistan for an hour-and-a-half, until the West Indies captain missed a knee-high full toss from Hasan Ali to be leg before for 22 just after tea.

Devendra Bishoo and Alzarri Joseph also offered some resistance but it was Gabriel´s defiance through eight nerve-jangling overs with Chase that almost took the West Indies to safety and a drawn series.

A swift end to the match had looked likely as Vishaul Singh and Shane Dowrich both fell to Shah just after lunch.

Both were taken at short-leg by Babar Azam and on a pitch offering turn and bounce, it appeared only a matter of time before more wickets fell.

But Chase and Holder batted with calm assurance as the Pakistanis grew increasingly impatient in pursuit of the breakthrough.

Such anxieties appeared unlikely at the start of the day. Having already lost the wicket of Kieran Powell overnight, the home side suffered two further setbacks inside the first hour of the morning.

Kraigg Brathwaite´s poor run of form continued when the opening batsman miscued an attempted cut off Shah for Hasan Ali to take the comfortable catch at backward point.

Shimron Hetmyer batted positively for 25 but was then comprehensively bowled by Mohammad Amir for the third time in the series.

Chase then joined Shai Hope with the pair defying all the challenges presented to them by the Pakistani attack until Hasan Ali got the breakthrough and his first Test wicket 20 minutes before lunch, trapping Hope leg-before with a full-length inswinger.

His two additional wickets in that pulsating final session were critical to the victory.


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PCB makes an offer to Misbah


Pakistan test skipper Misbaul Haq, who is playing his last test match against West Indies, has been offered by Pakistan Cricket Borad to represent his country at the International Cricket Control (ICC) as match referee at the end of his remarkable career.

According to Geo News, PCB Chairman Shehreyar Khan said it was Misbah who would decide whether he wants to assume the position after retirement.

Pakistan has no match referee in the ICC and Khan thinks Misbah ul Haq could be best for this post.

Misbah Ul Haq is regarded as the most successful Pakistani captain in terms of winning more test matches.

Admired for his unflappable temperament in a Pakistan dressing room teeming with mercurial talents, Misbah was handed the test captaincy after a 2010 spot-fixing scandal in England which led to a ban on, among others, predecessor Salman Butt.

Since his 2001 test debut in New Zealand, Misbah has gone on to make 5161 runs from 74 matches at a 45-plus average.

The top order batsman also played 162 one-dayers before quitting the format after the 2015 World Cup.


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Pakistan record 7-wkt win over West Indies in first Test


KINGSTON, Jamaica: Pakistan defeated West Indies by seven wickets just after lunch on the fifth and final day of the first Test here at the Sabina Park on Tuesday.

They are now leading 1-0 in the three-match Test series in West Indies.

Needing just 32 runs to win, Pakistan lost three wickets to reach the target in 10.5 overs when captain Misbah-ul-Haq struck two consecutive sixes off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo.

Misbah remained unbeaten on 12 with Babar not out on 9 while the three batsmen dismissed earlier were Azhar Ali (1), Ahmed Shehzad (6) and Younis Khan (6).

Earlier, Yasir Shah completed a six-wicket haul to spearhead a second innings rout of the West Indies and put Pakistan on the verge of a comfortable victory.

Trailing on the first innings by 121 runs and resuming at the overnight position of 93 for four, the home side were dismissed for 152 after less than two hours´ play.

Having taken the first four wickets late on the fourth evening, leg-spinner Shah was kept waiting for more success at the start of play on the fifth day as the visitors´ faster bowlers continued the demolition job by taking the next four wickets.

However, Shah, who bowled unchanged from one end throughout the morning´s play, was not to be denied another five-wicket innings haul. He wrapped up the innings with the wickets of tailenders Alzarri Joseph and Shannon Gabriel in the space of four deliveries in his 22nd over, finishing with the excellent innings figures of six for 63 and a match haul of eight for 154.

Shah was expected to pose an immediate threat at the start of Tuesday´s play but it was Mohammad Amir who initiated the final tumble of wickets, inducing an error of judgement from Vishaul Singh, who was bowled offering no shot to the left-arm fast bowler.

Mohammad Abbas replaced Amir and almost immediately struck two critical blows. Nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo, who had defied the Pakistanis for over an hour, flashed at a wide delivery to be well caught by Younis Khan at second slip for 18.

Shane Dowrich was then trapped palpably LBW two balls later and at 129 for seven the die was effectively cast.

Jason Holder joined Roston Chase and the pair hinted briefly at a repetition of the resistance they showed a year earlier when the West Indies batted through the last day at the same venue to ensure a draw in the second Test of a four-match series against India.

History was not to be repeated, though, as Wahab Riaz replaced Abbas and accounted for the West Indies captain via a catch behind as Holder essayed a loose drive, providing the opportunity for Shah to finish off the innings in the next over.

The second Test will be played from April 30 at Bridgetown, Barbados.


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10,000 runs milestone: Younis says this is Pakistan’s achievement


KARACHI: Pakistan’s great run-machine Younis Khan has credited his late coach Bob Woolmer along with his parents, for his success in reaching remarkable 10,000 runs milestone in Test Cricket.

Younis became the first Pakistani Cricketer on Sunday night to score ten thousand runs in Test Cricket during Pakistan’s innings against West Indies, before getting out after scoring 58 runs.

Former captain Younis Khan always regarded late Bob Woolmer as a fatherly figure for Pakistan Cricket. Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room in March 2007 soon after Pakistan’s upset defeat by Ireland in the World Cup match.

“I credit this success and achievement to all my family members, especially my late father, my mother and the late Bob Woolmer, who always motivated me,” Younis said in a recorded video statement released to the media by his managers as soon he completed the 10,000 runs feat.

Younis said that this is not only his personal achievement, but this is also a great achievement for Pakistan and Pakistan Cricket.

“I congratulate everyone in Pakistan for this, this is not just my achievement, this is for everyone in Pakistan, this is Pakistan’s achievement,” Younis said.

The veteran of 115 Test and 265 ODIs, who earlier announced that the ongoing series against the West Indies would be last of his career, also thanked his supporters and fans at the occasion.

“I would also like to thank my fans, friends, and supporters who always stood with me throughout my Cricketing career and supported me,” he said.


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Amir takes five as rain ruins Jamaica Test


KINGSTON: Mohammad Amir completed a five-wicket innings haul and West Indies captain Jason Holder reached a fifth half-century as the home side reached 278 for nine in their first innings on a rain-ruined second day of the first Test against Pakistan at Sabina Park on Saturday.

Only 11.3 overs were bowled in the entire day as inadequate covering from heavy overnight and early morning rain left damp patches on the pitch and a sodden area of the outfield, delaying the start of play by four hours.

By the time the showers returned in late afternoon with even greater ferocity, just 55 minutes play was possible during which Amir and Holder shone through the gathering gloom.

 

After the home skipper and Devendra Bishoo extended their eighth-wicket partnership to 75 against the second new ball, Amir had Bishoo caught at the wicket for 28.

He then bowled Alzarri Joseph without scoring to achieve his first five-wicket haul since returning to international cricket last year following a five-year ban for spot-fixing.

Most impressive in the left-arm fast bowler´s effort was his accuracy as reflected in figures of five for 41 off 24.3 overs before the showers swept across the ground and drove the players off the field for the last time for the day.

Holder´s defiance was also admirable, the captain reaching the half-century mark by hoisting debutant Mohammed Abbas for a straight six.

He resumes alongside last man Shannon Gabriel on the third day, weather permitting, on 55 off 69 balls with two sixes and seven fours embellishing his defiant innings.


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Malik ton as Pakistan down West Indies to take ODI series


PROVIDENCE, Guyana: Shoaib Malik scored an unbeaten century as Pakistan beat West Indies by six wickets to clinch victory in their one day international series in Guyana on Tuesday.

Malik sealed the win -- and his ton -- in spectacular fashion, smashing a six off West Indies captain Jason Holder to wrap up victory with nearly seven overs to spare.

Malik´s 101, which included two sixes and ten fours, was matched by an assured 81 from Mohammad Hafeez as Pakistan finished on 236 for four in reply to the home side´s 233 for nine.

"I can´t thank Hafeez enough for the way he played because he took all the pressure off me," said Malik after collecting both the "Man of the Match" and "Man of the Series" awards.

"West Indies fought hard and credit to them but this really gives us encouragement going into the Champions Trophy."

Hafeez completely dominated their partnership, his innings coming off 86 balls with two sixes and eight fours before a miscued sweep off Ashley Nurse found Veerasammy Permaul on the backward square-leg boundary.

Permaul, the left-arm spinner brought into the match at the expense of fast bowler Alzarri Joseph on a turning track, proved expensive while leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo also lacked potency in helpful conditions.

"I felt we had a decent enough total but we just couldn´t put enough pressure on Malik and Hafeez after the early breakthroughs," said Holder.

"I´ve got no regrets about the decision to bat first because I think we recovered well and should have made a better effort of defending that total."

West Indies were indebted to Shai Hope (71) and Jason Mohammed (59) after their top-order once again crumbled.

Jason Mohammed´s excellent run of form in this Caribbean season continued with a fluent 59 off 64 balls with two sixes and five fours, his fourth half-century in six ODI innings. The pair put on 101 for the fourth wicket and lifted the home side from early discomfort to a degree of competitiveness.

However they lost vital wickets in the quest for quick runs over the final overs of the innings, managing just 29 over the last five in which Ahmed resorted to his faster bowlers to good effect.

Junaid Khan, who had accounted for Evin Lewis at the start of the innings, returned to separate the pair of Hope and Jason Mohammed, having the latter caught at the wicket. Hope fell to Shadab Khan via a catch at long-on, although the leg-spinner endured the most expensive effort of his young international career, conceding 57 runs off eight overs.

Not surprisingly on a worn, turgid track used for the third consecutive match, finger spinners Imad Wasim and Hafeez were difficult for the West Indies to get away, Wasim conceding only 24 runs from his full allotment of ten overs for the wicket of Kieran Powell, who was deceived and stumped.


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Babar, Hasan lead Pakistan to 74-run triumph


PROVIDENCE, Guyana: Babar Azam stroked yet another hundred against the West Indies and Hasan Ali claimed five wickets as Pakistan won the second one-day international by 74 runs at the National Stadium in Guyana on Sunday.

Put in by West Indies captain Jason Holder, Pakistan totalled 282 for five and then dismissed the hosts for 208 off 44.5 overs despite a battling knock from Holder, who was last out to Ali for a top score of 68.

Reinstated in his favourite number three spot in the batting order, Azam held a faltering innings together and then accelerated towards an unbeaten 125, his fifth century in ODIs and fourth in five innings against the Caribbean side.

His classy knock occupied 132 deliveries and was embellished with three sixes and seven fours.

"I just wanted to bat through to the end of the innings and I was able to achieve that to help us put up a good total," he said.

"It doesn´t matter where I bat, I just want to make a contribution for the team."

Azam received critical support from Imad Wasim, the all-rounder finishing unbeaten on 43 in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 99 which released the shackles of previously disciplined West Indian bowling on a pitch lacking the pace and bounce from the first match -- which the home team won by four wickets -- two days earlier.

On a good batting pitch the home side also lost their discipline in the reply, crashing to 75 for six with a series of poor shots while the Pakistan bowlers showed much greater intent than in the first game.

"Our batting at the top again let us down because I felt, on this pitch, we definitely had a chance to get to 283," Holder noted at the end of the match.

"Maybe it would have been different with some more runs at the top but now we have to focus on winning on Tuesday (in the third and final match)."

Holder was given support by Ashley Nurse, who belted a one-day best 44 in dominating a 58-run seventh-wicket stand with his captain.

However the accurate Ali, who finished with five for 38 off 8.5 overs, eliminated any outside chance the West Indies had of stealing a series-clinching victory.

He trapped Nurse leg-before and then claimed the last two wickets in the 45th over, both to catches by Azam at mid-off. Holder´s 68 was also his best in this format of the game.

Following the stirring four-wicket win on Friday in which they successfully chased a target in excess of 300 in an ODI for the first time, the home side bowled with purpose and discipline through most of the innings but faded badly under the assault of Azam and Wasim at the end, conceding 84 runs off seven overs.

Pakistan found free scoring difficult at the start of the innings and lost both openers to excellent leg-side catches by wicketkeeper Shai Hope off fast bowlers Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph.

Azam then found a capable partner in Mohammad Hafeez, the pair putting on 69 for the third wicket before Hope was called into action again to effect a leg-side stumping off Nurse as the veteran batsman advanced down the pitch to the off-spinner.

Hope´s competence behind the stumps was again in evidence when he snared a chance offered by Shoaib Malik off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, and when captain Sarfraz Ahmed fell to a catch at mid-on for a run-a-ball 26 off Gabriel to make the score 183 for five in the 39th over, it looked as if the tourists would struggle to post a challenging total.

Both teams meet in the decider on Tuesday at the same venue with the West Indies seeking their first ODI series win over Pakistan for 26 years.


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'Pakistan's most successful runs scorer': Younis announces retirement



KARACHI: Veteran Pakistan batsman and former captain Younis Khan announced on Saturday he will retire from international cricket after the upcoming Test series in the West Indies.

The 39 year-old has captained Pakistan in all three formats, and in 2009 led them to their only World Twenty20 title in England.

"I will be retiring... with my head held high," he told a press conference in Karachi.

"I think this is the right time as every sportsman has to take this decision in his career."

Younis hit a hundred in his first Test against Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi in 2000, which started a glorious career during which he also scored a double hundred in Pakistan´s series-levelling win against India at Bangalore in 2005.

He needs only 23 runs to reach 10,000 Test runs, a milestone he missed out on after his team´s disastrous tour of Australia in January this year, when Pakistan lost all three Tests.

He has so far scored 34 Test centuries in 115 matches -- the most by any Pakistani batsman -- and is set to become the first Pakistani and 13th batsman in the world to score 10,000 or more.

India´s Sachin Tendulkar currently tops the charts with 15,921 runs in 200 matches.

"I was planning this for few months," he said of his decision to quit, but added that he "always tried to play for my team and for my country".

One of the worst moments of Younis´ career was when Pakistan lost their coach Bob Woolmer during the 2007 World Cup in West Indies, he said.

Woolmer coached Pakistan from 2004 to 2007 but died in mysterious circumstances in Jamaica.

After lengthy investigations that even included the possibility of murder, Jamaican police on June 12 announced that Woolmer had died of natural causes.

"Those were very sad days for me," Younis recalled.

- ´Tough to replace´ -

Younis is the second high-profile player to retire this month after his team mate Misbah-ul-Haq also announced his decision to quit on Thursday following months of speculation.

The pair have formed the nucleus of Pakistan´s batting in the last seven years and helped their team square a crucial Test series 2-2 in England last year.

On Wednesday the two stalwarts were named in Wisden´s best cricketers of the year 2017, following their performances on the England tour after which Pakistan briefly rose to number one in Test rankings for the first time.

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram paid rich tribute to Younis.

"He is still fit but there is always a time when you have to decide about leaving," said Wasim.

"He has set many records which prove his greatness. Whenever he played he played with his heart and commitment.

"It will be tough to replace players like Younis and Misbah, so Pakistan will have to work hard in Tests without them."

Younis said he will remain associated with cricket following his retirement.

"Even though I will be retired from playing, my services will still be available for cricket," he said.

The West Indies series which starts in Jamaica from April 21 followed by Tests in Barbados and Dominica, ending on May 14.


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Pakistan Test squad named for West Indies series


LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s selection committee Wednesday named young leg-spinner Shadab Khan in a 16-man squad for their three-match Test series in the West Indies, rewarding him for his strong Twenty20 performance.

Shadab, 18, who rose to fame in the second edition of the Pakistan Super League in February-March, took 10 wickets in Pakistan´s 3-1 T20 series victory against the West Indies last week.

Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said Shadab´s inclusion highlights the policy of introducing fresh blood.

"The Test team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions in the West Indies and the recent performances of players during the domestic and international season," Inzamam told AFP.

Misbah-ul-Haq will lead Pakistan in the Tests, which follow the three-match one-day series starting in Guyana on Friday.

Inzamam said Shadab had performed better than predicted.

"Everyone felt that Shadab has performed beyond expectations so we thought he should also be used for the five-day format," he said.

Uncapped medium paceman Mohammad Abbas, 27, won selection thanks to his performance in domestic matches, having taken 61 and 71 wickets in the last two home seasons, respectively.

Middle-order batsman Usman Salahuddin, 26, was selected for the first time in a Test team after failing in the two one-day internationals on the tour of West Indies in 2011.

But wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, who scored 1,035 in the country´s premier first-class tournament and Asif Zakir -- 853 runs in the same tournament -- were overlooked.

Inzamam defended Kamran´s exclusion.

"We gave Kamran chances in the recent Twenty20 (in West Indies) and he is in the one-day squad but in the presence of the main wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed it was tough to get him in the Test side," he said.

Openers Ahmed Shehzad and Shan Masood staged comebacks in the Test side but there was no place for Mohammad Hafeez, who was also overlooked for Pakistan´s last two Test series in New Zealand and Australia.

The first Test starts in Jamaica on April 21, the second in Barbados on April 30 and the third in Dominica on May 10.

Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asghar, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas.


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Steady Shehzad guides Pakistan to series win


POPRT OF SPAIN: Ahmed Shehzad made a welcome return to form in guiding Pakistan to a series-clinching seven-wicket victory over the West Indies in the fourth and final match of their T20 International series at the Queen’s Park Oval on Sunday.

Facing a modest target of 125, the opener stroked his way to 53, ensuring there were to be no alarms as the visitors rebounded from a heavy defeat suffered the day before which gave the West Indies hope of squaring the series.

Shehzad put on 70 for the second wicket with Babar Azam (38) to eliminate any prospect of the home side pulling off the upset. However both fell to the pace of Kesrick Williams with victory in sight and it was left to the experienced pair of Shoaib Malik and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed to formalise the result with an over to spare.

Excellent seam bowling by Pakistan limited the West Indies to 124 for eight batting first and set the stage for the batsmen’s romp to victory to complete a 3-1 series triumph and claim a potentially significant psychological advantage ahead of the three-match one-day international series in Guyana starting on Friday.

Hasan Ali and Rumman Raees, replacing fellow left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir from the previous match, displayed admirable accuracy and discipline, combining for three important wickets and also delivering three maiden overs.

It is the first time ever that Pakistan managed to bowl as many as three maidens in a T20 international and also the first occasion the West Indies, the reigning World T20 champions, conceded three maidens when batting in the game’s shortest format.

Despite struggling to cope with the intense early afternoon heat, Ali returned the outstanding figures of two for 12 from his four overs, including two maidens. He breached the defences of Marlon Samuels and Jason Mohammed to leave the home side’s innings in ruins after they had started brightly.

“I made a greater effort to bowl wicket-to-wicket and got the results this time,” said Ali after receiving the man of the match award. “There was also a bit of reverse swing and that helped me as well.”

Leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who suffered alongside the other bowlers as opener Evin Lewis blazed 91 in pacing the home side to a seven-wicket win in the third match to keep the series alive, also responded superbly in this critical final match.

He claimed two for 16 off his four overs, including opener Chadwick Walton for a top score of 40 after Imad Wasim had earlier accounted for Lewis for just seven. Khan finished with 10 wickets in the series and earned the man of the series award.

“Yesterday I bowled a bit too quickly,” he explained after collecting his award. “The coach (Mickey Arthur) advised me to slow it down a bit today and it got the results.”

With his side tottering at 83 for seven, captain Carlos Brathwaite effected a bit of a repair job with an unbeaten 37, although the inadequacy of that final total was put into context by Pakistan’s response.

“We just batted poorly and once again our middle-order failed us,” said the disconsolate skipper. “We keep talking about doing the right things and having the right attitude but we need to get the results that are deserving of a greater effort.” —AFP

Score Board

Pakistan won toss

West Indies

E Lewis c Hasan b Imad 7

†C A K Walton c Shoaib b Shadab 40

M N Samuels b Hasan 22

J N Mohammed b Hasan 1

L M P Simmons run out 1

K A Pollard b Rumman 3

*C R Brathwaite not out 37

J O Holder c sub (Nawaz 3) b Shadab 0

S P Narine b Wahab 9

S Badree not out 1

Extras (lb 2, w 1) 3

Total (8 wickets; 20 overs) 124

Did not bat: K O K Williams

Fall: 1-27, 2-52, 3-59, 4-73, 5-73, 6-82, 7-83, 8-121

Bowling: Imad 4-0-25-1; Hasan 4-2-12-2 (1w); Rumman 4-1-25-1; Wahab 4-0-44-1; Shadab 4-0-16-2

Pakistan

Ahmed Shehzad b Williams 53

Kamran Akmal c Williams b Samuels 20

Babar Azam c sub (R Powell) b Williams 38

Shoaib Malik not out 9

*†Sarfraz Ahmed not out 3

Extras (lb 1, w 3) 4

Total (3 wickets; 19 overs) 127

Did not bat: Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman, Rumman Raees, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali

Fall: 1-40, 2-110, 3-115

Bowling: Badree 4-0-38-0; Holder 3-0-24-0; Williams 3-0-16-2 (1w); Narine 4-0-19-0; Samuels 2-0-11-1’ Brathwaite 2-0-13-0 (2w); Mohammed 1-0-5-0

Result: Pakistan won by 7 wickets

Series: Pakistan won the 4-match series by 3-1

Man of the Match: Hasan Ali (Pakistan)

Man of the Series: Shadab Khan (Pakistan)

Umpires: G O Brathwaite and J S Wilson. TV umpire: L S Reifer. Match referee: J J Crowe (New Zealand)


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Peshawar Zalmi win historic PSL final at Lahore


LAHORE: The second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has seen an historic final, played for the first time at Lahore after all its matches were held in United Arab Emirates with great success.

In the end, Peshawar Zalmi emerged victorious to lift the title for the first time whereas Quetta Gladiators despite qualifying for the final for the second successive time failed again to win the coveted trophy in the PSL.

Chasing a moderate total of 149, Quetta Gladiators made a disastrous start, losing three early wickets for just 13 runs and were all out for 90 in 16.3 overs.

Peshawar Zalmi bowlers dominated the scene to help their team defeat Quetta Gladiators by a convincing margin of 58 runs with 3.3 overs remaining.

This is Peshawar Zalmi’s first PSL title as the first edition was lifted by Islamabad United in 2016.

Powered by a quick fire 40 by Kamran Akmal, Peshawar Zalmi scored 148 for six in allotted 20 overs.

Englishman David Malan along with Kamran Akmal set flow of runs by adding 42 runs for the opening stand.

Malan made 17 runs off 12 balls with a six and a four.

Kamran, the highest run-scorer of the tournament, continued his form with the bat and put on 40 runs for the second wicket along with West Indian Marlon Samuels, He smashed six boundaries and one six during his 32- ball innings, before being out lbw by Hassan Khan.

Then, Peshawar Zaalmi lost two quick wickets and were reduced to 84 for four when Samuels (19) was bowled by Nawaz after slamming two sixes and one four in 17 balls.

Later, Muhmmad Hafeez also departed after making 12 as he was caught by Nawaz off Emirt who bowled Iftikhar Ahmad (14) to get the rare chance of being at a hat trick which was denied by West Indies Daren Sammy.

Darren (28) and England's Chris Jordan (8) produced 36 for the sixth wicket unbroken stand to help their side to reach a good total.

Emrit was the pick of the Quetta Gladiators bowlers, taking three wickets for 31 runs and Hassan Khan captured two for 34 while Muhammad Nawaz took one for 15.

Things turned worst for Quetta Gladiators when their key batsman Ahmad Shahzad (1) fell cheaply caught by Khushdil off pacer Hassan. Then the task was left at the shoulders of skipper Sarfraz.

But the sky fell on Quetta when reliable Sarfraz (22) was brilliantly stumped by Kamran off the bowling of Hafeez, leaving the opponents at 4 for just 31 runs.
Sarfraz hit five fours off 22 balls.

Quetta ran out of luck and their wickets continued to fall as Peshawar found themselves well on the path of victory.

Quetta lost their fifth wicket of Saad Nasim (4) at 37 caught by Iftikhar off Wahab Riaz.

Ervine and Anwar Ali contributed 35 runs for the sixth wicket.

Ervine (24 with two fours) was bowled by Asghar at a total of 6 for 72 and at the same total Quetta lost their seventh wicket of Nawaz (0).

Anwar fell after making 20 with defeat widely staring at Quetta.

Left-arm spinner Muhammad Asghar was the highest wicket taker for Peshawar Zalmi with three for 16, followed by pacer Hassan Ali (two for 13), Wahab Riaz (two for 13) while Muhammad Hafeez and Chris Jordan claimed one wicket each.


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PSL: Karachi beat Islamabad United


SHARJAH: Karachi Kings dented Islamabad United’s pride with a 44-run victory in the second PSL play-off at Sharjah Stadium on Wednesday night.

Imad Wasim, Usama Mir and Mohammad Amir maintained an impeccable approach in their bowling to get Karachi Kings an impregnable victory. They took three wickets each. The match that seemed turned in favour of Islamabad after Karachi Kings were bowled out for 126 in 19.4 overs, drew a dramatic turn around as the former champions saw their nerves wrecked bit after bit and were bowled out for 82 runs in 15.2 overs.

The pressure applied by Aamir in his third over doubled rather tripled by Imad Wasim and Usama Mir in the later stages of the game. It looked that Karachi had a jittery start but Islamabad were too nervy to get among the runs. All their stars – Dwayne Smith (8), Brad Haddin (0), Misbahul Haq (13), Shane Watson (8), Shadab Khan (1) and Nicholas Pooran (1) – had little to contribute in this low scoring match.

Islamabad’s only hope Asif Ali, who was maintaining the flow of runs, too did not last long enough and was taken by Usama Mir for 39. Earlier, Karachi Kings were at 122 for five in the 18th over but bundled out for 126 in 19.4 overs. Rumman Raees did the main damage by taking four wickets. Karachi would now face Peshawar Zalmi in the third playoff on Friday for a place in the final.


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Peshawar Zalmi beat Lahore Qalandars by 17 runs


DUBAI: Peshawar Zalmi defeated Lahore Qalandars by 17 runs in the 16th Twenty20 match of the Pakistan Super League 2017 here at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.

Chasing a modest total of 167 runs, Lahore Qalandars could make 149 for the loss of nine wickets in the 20 overs.

Their main scorers were Sohail Tanvir (36 not out), Cameron Delport, Aamer Yamin (25), Yasir Shah (22) and Sunil Narine (21) while none of the other players could get into the double figures.

For Peshawar Zalmi, all-rounders Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Hafeez claimed two wickets each.

After winning this match, Peshawar Zalmi went up to second position at points table, gaining seven points from as many matches while Lahore Qalandars remained at six after playing seven matches.

This was second match between the two teams in this tournament and Peshawar Zalmi won both matches. They had defeated Lahore Qalandars by three wickets in a low-scoring match, played at Dubai on February 12.

The next match is being played between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators.


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Asad's fighting ton takes match to final day

BRISBANE: Asad Shafiq scored a thrilling century as Pakistan put up a spirited resistance to Australia on Sunday, frustrating the hosts´ attempts to wrap up the first Test with a day to spare.

Shafiq dashed for three runs off a cut shot in the final over of the fourth day to reach his 10th Test century off 140 balls in the day-night match at the Gabba.

The tourists, who have lost their last nine Tests in Australia, refused to buckle despite the loss of key batsmen Younis Khan, Azhar Ali and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.

At the close on a storm-hit day, with Shafiq leading the way, Pakistan had just two wickets left and were 382 for eight.

They trail the home side by 107 runs heading into Monday´s final day.

Play was extended by an extra half-hour to seek a result but the tourists held firm.

Steve Smith dropped a two-handed chance at second slip when Shafiq was 72 off Mitchell Starc´s bowling with three regulation overs left in the day.

Shafiq gave as good as he got and led the resistance with a belligerent knock including 10 fours and a six.

Mohammad Amir, in the first year of his return to international cricket following a five-year ban for spot-fixing, hit his highest Test score in a stubborn 92-run seventh-wicket partnership with Shafiq.

Amir´s previous best was 39 not out against England at The Oval in August, but he fell late in the session for 48 off 63 balls with five fours.

The Australian bowlers endured a long grind, with a three-hour final session ending only at 10:09 pm, after a fierce storm lashed the ground just before tea.

The bowlers, who decimated Pakistan by taking seven wickets for 24 in the first innings, were frustrated by a lack of assistance from the pink ball under lights in the second.

Australia are defending an unbeaten run of 27 Tests at the Gabba. Their last defeat here was in 1988 at the hands of the West Indies.

The hosts went into the final night session needing five wickets for victory and removed the first-innings top-scorer Sarfraz Ahmed for 24.

Starc scattered his stumps with an inswinger in the 88th over, his third wicket, and Jackson Bird had Amir caught behind in the 107th over.

Younis Khan had also kept the bowlers at bay but was out to a rash shot 30 minutes before the dinner break.

The 112-Test campaigner fell to an ill-judged reverse sweep off spinner Nathan Lyon, the ball ballooning off the back of his bat for Smith to take an easy catch.

Misbah was caught behind off Bird for five to complete a low-scoring match after his four in the first innings and Younis followed just 18 minutes later.

Starc persisted with a short-pitched plan after a 90-minute storm delay at tea.

It finally paid off when Azhar Ali tried to flick a rising ball down to fine leg, only to edge to Matthew Wade.

Azhar faced 179 balls for his 71 and put on 91 for the third wicket with Younis.

Younis, out for a first-ball duck in the first innings, took 20 balls to get off the mark with a streaky shot through the slips cordon to the boundary.


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Pakistan to face India in Women’s Asia Cup final

BANGKOK, Thailand: Pakistan cricket team defeated Thailand by five wickets here on Saturday to qualify for the final of the ACC Women’s Asia Cup T20.

They will now meet their arch rivals India Women’s team in the final, scheduled to be played here on Sunday

In their final round of the tournament, hosts Thailand were bundled out for a mere 51 runs in 18.2 overs after their captain Sornnarin Tippoch won the toss and elected to bat first.

Experienced Pakistan off-break bowler Sana Mir captured four wickets for just nine runs from her quota of four overs. She was assisted by left-arm spinner Anam Amin (2-6) and off-spinner Nida Dar (2-13) while right-arm pacer Asmavia Iqbal took one for eight.

Later, Pakistan women achieved the easy target of 52 in just 11.4 overs, losing five wickets.

Asmavia scored 24 and Nida made 14 for Pakistan while Thailand’s leg-spinner Suleeporn Laomi claimed three wickets for nine runs from three overs.


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Rain brings early close for Pakistan, New Zealand

By: APP

HAMILTON: New Zealand had a first innings lead of 55 over Pakistan when rain forced the abandonment of play during the final session on the third day of the second Test against Pakistan.

It was the third time rain had driven players from the field in Hamilton on Sunday. New Zealand faced only one ball for no run in their second innings when play was washed out. Pakistan were all out in their first innings for 216 with Babar Azam unbeaten on 90.


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Azhar´s journey from sub to triple centurion


By AFP

DUBAI: Fourteen years ago Azhar Ali came on as a substitute fielder to see Inzamam-ul-Haq score an epic triple hundred in Lahore and wished he could emulate the legendary Pakistan batsman in future.

On Friday Ali notched his own with an unbeaten 302 against West Indies in the second ever day-night Test in Dubai to join a select league of batsmen.

But what distinguishes the 31-year-old from the rest of the triple centurions is that he became the first batsman in day-night Test cricket to achieve the landmark.

"I still remember I was sent to the ground as a substitute fielder on the day when Inzamam scored that epic triple century," said Ali of Inzamam´s 329 against New Zealand in Lahore in May 2002.

"Now I have my own and it´s a great achievement for which I am proud and can´t explain my feelings. It is something which I will remember my whole life," said Ali whose innings guided Pakistan to an imperious 579-3 declared.

His was the fourth triple hundred by a Pakistani batsman.

Apart from him and Inzamam, late Hanif Mohammad knocked 337 against West Indies at Bridgetown in 1958 and Younis Khan made 313 against Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2009.

Ali said he had also watched Younis´s triple and missed the senior batsman who had to withdraw from Dubai Test as he was still recovering from dengue fever.

"Of course, I missed Younis in this match," said Ali. "He has always been my role model and I was sitting on his seat in the dressing room so I had to keep the honour of that seat as well.

"I am proud that I have matched him because whenever he scores a hundred he takes it to double or big scores," said Ali of Younis who is Pakistan´s highest Test run-getter with 9456 in 108 matches.

Since his arrival on the international scene, Ali has impressed with his resolute batting and is likely to anchor Pakistan´s batting once Younis and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq leave the stage.

He has already replaced Misbah as captain of the one-day team.

Ali dedicated his triple hundred to his parents and also to the people of his nation.

"First, I want to dedicate my achievement to my parents who have always guided me in my life and next to the people of my country who must keep their minds clear and not let them affect when we don´t do well."

Ali believed the pink ball -- used in the day-night Test instead of the traditional red -- did not cause any difficulties.

"The pink ball did not cause any problems, we sighted it well and that´s why scored runs so I am okay with it," said Ali.

Manufacturers of the pink ball modified its seam from green and white after players had complained sighting problems in the first-ever day-night Test between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide last year.


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Pakistan win second T20 to claim series victory vs West Indies

By AFP

DUBAI: Pakistan played good all-round cricket to beat world champions West Indies by 16 runs in the second Twenty20 in Dubai on Saturday, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed hit a rapid 32-ball 46 not out to guide Pakistan to 160-4 before pacemen Sohail Tanvir (3-13) and Hasan Ali (3-49) restricted the West Indies to 144-9 at Dubai Stadium.

Pakistan had won the first match -- also in Dubai -- by nine wickets on Friday.

The victory over the world champions gave Pakistan reasons to smile in their campaign to build a new team after they thumped England, also by nine wickets, in Manchester earlier this month.

Pakistan were ousted in the first round of the World Twenty20 held in India in April this year, forcing Shahid Afridi to step down as captain.

Pakistan´s unassailable lead leaves the third and final match in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday of academic interest.

Tanvir rocked the West Indies top order with the wickets of Evin Lewis (three) and Marlon Samuels (one) before he later dismissed Nicholas Pooran (four).

He also completed 50 wickets in the shortest format and now has 52 victims in 53 matches.

Afridi is the highest wicket-taker in Twenty20 cricket with 97 while two other Pakistanis, fast bowler Umar Gul and spinner Saeed Ajmal, have 85 each.

Sunil Narine top-scored with 30 while Andre Fletcher made 29 but the West Indies for the second day failed to find the batting skills which earned them two World Twenty20 titles, the first in 2012.

Ali dismissed Fletcher, Kieron Pollard (18) and Carlos Brathwaite (eight) in a daring spell of bowling.

Narine hit four boundaries and a six during his 17-ball knock but 74 runs in the last five overs proved too much for the champions.

Ahmed said the series win means a lot to this young team.

"We have made good strides and it´s awesome to win the series against the champions," said Ahmed who has won three in three since taking captaincy.

"The conditions were tough because of the dew. The ball was slipping, but we finished it well. It is a great sign for Pakistan cricket."

Brathwaite lamented poor batting by the West Indies.

"We didn´t come to the party as we would have liked," said Brathwaite who replaced World Twenty20 winning captain Darren Sammy last month.

"It is what it is. We should have batted well in the first six-seven overs. As a result, Pakistan are the series winners."

Earlier Pakistan scored at a fast pace after they were put into bat.

Skipper Ahmed hit a rapid 46 not out and added 69 runs for the third wicket with Shoaib Malik (37 off 28 balls) to lift Pakistan.

Ahmed´s knock featured five boundaries while Malik smashed a six and three fours as Pakistan kept the same tempo which earned them a win in the first match.

Opener Khalid Latif made a 36-ball 40 with three boundaries and a towering six. Babar Azam made 19 and Sharjeel Khan two.


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Pakistan beat England by 10 wickets to square series 2-2

THE OVAL: Pakistan secured a historic win by beating England with 10 wickets to square the four-match series 2-2 on Sunday.

Azhar Ali managed to score the winning runs for Pakistan, hitting a befitting six to wrap up the fourth Test match. The win seemed to be an icing on the cake for the country, which was celebrating its 69th Independence Day today.

Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam both remained unbeaten on scores of 30 and 12 respectively as Pakistan finished at 42/0.

The tourists were in the driving seat on the fourth day of the final Test match against England, as the hosts could only manage to hand the tourists an easy target of 40 runs to chase.

Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam looked comfortable in chasing the target, as Pakistan were already 16/0 at Tea. The hosts only require 24 more runs to clinch the final Test match of the series.

Misbah-ul-Haq was named as Pakistan's Man of the Series while England's Man of the Series award was given to Chris Woakes.

Thanks to Yasir Shah's five wickets and a couple of early wickets from Wahab Riaz, Pakistan dismissed England for 253. The hosts, who trailed by 214 runs, could only manage a lead of 39 runs and hand Pakistan an easy target of 40 runs.

Pakistan successfully retained their number three spot in the world Test rankings after beating England and squaring the series.

Johnny Bairstow happened to be the pick of the English batsmen, who was dismissed at 81 runs. His latest innings took Bairstow to 992 Test runs in 2016 and in sight of breaking Zimbabwe great Andy Flower´s record for most Test runs scored by a wicket-keeper in a calendar year of 1,045 set in 2000. The match seemed to tilt in Pakistan's favour after Moeen Ali was dismissed by Yasir Shah, caught behind by wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmad.


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Younis´s double ton puts Pakistan on top against England

LONDON: Younis Khan´s superb double century took Pakistan into a dominant position in the fourth Test against England at The Oval on Saturday.

The veteran batsman´s 218 was the centre piece of Pakistan´s 542 all out at tea on the third day in reply to England´s 328.

That left Pakistan with a first-innings lead of 214 runs as they looked to end the four-match series all square at 2-2.

England won the third Test at Edgbaston by 141 runs after overturning a first-innings deficit of 103 runs. But only six times in properly completed matches in the 139-year history of Test cricket have a team come back from more than 200 runs behind on first innings to win.

Younis received excellent support in a ninth-wicket stand of 97 from Mohammad Amir, whose 39 not out was the left-arm quick´s highest Test score.

Younis´s sixth innings of 200 or more in Test cricket was a dramatic way for the 38-year-old to end a run of low scores. He had managed just 122 runs in six previous innings this series, with a best of 33 in Pakistan´s first Test win at Lord´s.

Pakistan resumed on 340 for six after Asad Shafiq (109) and Younis (101 not out) had both compiled impressive centuries. But it was Ahmed, 17 not out overnight, who was the initial aggressor on Saturday as he scored in typically brisk fashion.

By contrast it took Younis 13 balls to add his first run Saturday. But when James Anderson gave him width outside off stump, Younis responded by cutting England´s all-time leading wicket-taker in front of point for four.

Ahmed was eventually out having struck seven fours in 78 balls when he edged a good-length Woakes delivery and opposing wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow held an excellent, diving, one-handed catch.

Pakistan were now 397 for seven, with Woakes having taken his 26th wicket this series -- a marked contrast to the mere 16 the improving all-rounder managed in his first eight Tests.

Pakistan were 417 for seven at lunch, a lead of 89, with Younis 147 not out. Soon afterwards, Younis went to 150 by pulling paceman Stuart Broad for four.

Ali did have Wahab Riaz (one) stumped by Bairstow, although the keeper was lucky when a fumbled take rebounded straight into the stumps.

Younis completed his double hundred in style when he advanced down the pitch to drive Ali for a fourth six in 281 balls.

Amir took 24 balls to get off the mark but did so in dashing fashion when he hoisted Ali for six over deep midwicket. It was the start of a flurry of boundaries from the pace bowler.

England eventually ended the partnership when Anderson´s yorker-length delivery struck Younis on the pad and South African umpire Marais Erasmus gave him out lbw. Younis reviewed but replays showed the ball just clipping leg stump.
He walked off to a standing ovation from the Oval crowd after batting for more than seven-and-a-half hours in a 308-ball innings featuring 31 fours and four sixes.


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Azhar ton gives Pakistan control of third test


By REUTERS

BIRMINGHAM: Azhar Ali´s patient century lifted Pakistan to 257 for three and a dominant position on the second day of the third test against England at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Replying to the home team´s 297 all out, Azhar shared a second-wicket partnership of 181 with Sami Aslam on the way to an excellent knock of 139 as England endured a frustrating day in the field.

Aslam was run out for 82 after being called for a quick single by Azhar who was dropped twice before completing his 10th test century.

England made an early breakthrough with the fourth ball of the day when Mohammad Hafeez cut James Anderson straight to Gary Ballance at point and was out for a duck.

Anderson induced a rash stroke from Azhar shortly after lunch but Joe Root spilled a difficult catch at second slip and England´s anxiety increased.

Azhar, also dropped by Moeen Ali off his own bowling, drove Steven Finn off the back foot for three to bring up his 21st test half century and Aslam, 20, swept spinner Moeen for four to reach his maiden test fifty in his third match.

Azhar got to three figures by gloving a Stuart Broad bouncer to the fine leg boundary, celebrating the milestone with 10 press-ups.

He continued to punish the England attack, hitting a total of 15 fours and one six, before edging the last ball of the day from Chris Woakes to Alastair Cook at first slip.

Younus Khan was unbeaten on 21 at the close.

The four-match series is level at 1-1.


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Sohail strikes as Pakistan knock over England ´pillars´
By AFP

BIRMINGHAM: Sohail Khan led Pakistan´s attack on his return to international duty as Pakistan dismissed England "pillars" Joe Root and Alastair Cook before lunch on the first morning of the third Test at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

At lunch, England were 100 for three, after Sohail had accounted for both opener Alex Hales (17) and star batsman Root (three) on his way to figures of two for 28 in eight overs.

Rahat Ali then had England captain Alastair Cook lbw for a fluent 45.

James Vince was 16 not out and Gary Ballance 18 not out.

Right-arm quick Sohail was recalled for just his third appearance at this level in place of Wahab Riaz as Pakistan broke up the all left-arm pace attack they had deployed for the first two Tests of this four-match series.

They also brought in Sami Aslam for struggling opener Shan Masood after England´s crushing and series-levelling 330-run win in the second Test at Old Trafford.

But it was Sohail who had the first chance to show his skills after Pakistah captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and fielded on an overcast morning.

An unconvincing Hales fell when a good-length Sohail ball that cut away took the outside edge and was caught by wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed.

It was not long before England´s 36 for one became 48 for two.

Joe Root had made a Test-best 254 at Old Trafford in a match where he and century-maker Cook scored 506 runs between them for just twice out.

It was no wonder that Misbah, speaking on Tuesday, had described the pair as the "pillars" of an otherwise fragile England top order.

Pakistan managed to knock down one of those pillars when Root, playing one of his favourite back-foot forcing shots, edged Sohail and was safely held by sometimes fallible slip fielder Mohammad Hafeez.

Sohail had taken two wickets for eight runs in nine balls, with Vince, yet to score a Test fifty, walking out with England in trouble.

Left-handed opener Cook, carrying on from where he left off in Manchester, struck eight fours -- including a straight drive off Rahat Ali -- in 52 balls.

But Rahat had his revenge with a full ball that nipped back and hit Cook on the front pad.

Umpire Joel Wilson gave Cook out lbw and the England skipper reviewed, more in hope than expectation.

But Wilson´s decision was duly upheld and England had lost their second ´pillar´ at 75 for three.
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Inzamam hopeful about Pakistan’s comeback in 3rd Test

‘Win at Lord’s has shown everyone that this team is more than capable of winning against tough opposition and in foreign conditions’

KARACHI: Pakistan’s chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq seemed optimistic about Pakistan’s strong comeback in the upcoming third Test, which begins in Birmingham next week.

According to local media report, “I am convinced that as the players get more experience in these conditions, their performance will improve and Pakistan will get better results and bounce back,” Inzamam said.

“The win at Lord’s has shown everyone that this team is more than capable of winning against tough opposition and in foreign conditions,” the 46-year-old said.

“The Old Trafford Test obviously did not go that well, but then we have to give credit to England for making a comeback in this series which shows that they are a very tough team to beat.”

“Look most of the players are playing in a test series in England for the first time in their lives. I am not disheartened by the second test defeat because better touring sides than us have come to England and struggled in their conditions.”

“I firmly believe this team has lot of talent and can bounce back in the two tests.”

After a stunning victory in the first Test at Lord's, Pakistan were humbled when England leveled the series 1-1 earlier this week, crumbling to a 330-run defeat in Manchester.

One thing in Pakistan's favour heading into the Edgbaston Test will be the absence of England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has been ruled out due to a torn right calf. England coach Trevor Bayliss, speaking before it was confirmed Stokes would not play in the third Test, said, “If he does miss out, it will give someone else an opportunity.

Inzamam has expressed that he was confident that Misbah ul Haq with his experience and performances would be able to lift the spirits of the team in the remaining two Tests and help them recover after the defeat at Old Trafford.

However, the third Test starts on Wednesday, August 3.



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Cricket: Pakistan beat England by 75 runs at Lord's
By AFP

LORDS: Pakistan defeated England in the first test match on Sunday after Yasir Shah and Mohammad Amir sent home the bulk of the British batsmen to secure the victory for the country.

Yasir Shah was once again the man who did the trick for Pakistan, when a low kept delivery rattled Bairstow's stumps. The latest dismissal meant that Yasir had claimed four wickets this innings while earlier he had claimed six English scalps in the previous innings of England. Mohammad Amir struck for Pakistan right in the next over, when he bowled Stuart Broad.

Mohammad Amir finished with two wickets in the end and it was the Pakistani pacer who clean bowled JT Ball to clinch the victory for Pakistan.

It was Yasir Shah who had done the damage earlier to the English batting side as his two quick wickets after lunch helped put Pakistan in the driving seat. At first, Shah dismissed Ballance before moving on to bowling Moeen Ali out.

England were set a target of 283 to win the first Test after bowling out Pakistan for 215 in their second innings on the fourth day.

England were 90 for three in their second innings, needing a further 193 runs to reach their victory target of 283, at lunch. James Vince was 41 not out and Gary Ballance 15 not out after Rahat Ali had removed all of England´s top three batsmen in a return of three for 36 in eight overs.

This is the first of a four-Test series.

Pakistan, 214 for eight overnight, lost their last two wickets for just one run in 13 balls during Sunday´s opening 10 minutes.

Stuart Broad struck twice in two balls with Yasir Shah, failing to add to his overnight Test-best 30 not out, and Mohammad Amir (one) both caught behind by wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow.

Pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes led England off the field after taking five for 32 for a match haul of 11 for 112.

England now needed to surpass their record fourth innings-winning chase in a Lord´s Test of 282 for three against New Zealand in 2004 if they were to go 1-0 up in this four-match series.



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A century and 10 push-ups: Misbah fulfills promise made to army guys
By AFP

LONDON: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said his unbeaten century against England at Lord´s on Thursday was the "top innings" of an impressive Test career.

The 42-year-old Misbah became the sixth oldest player in Test history to make a century as his unbeaten 110 took Pakistan to 282 for six at stumps on the first day of a four-match series.

Thursday´s match was Misbah´s maiden Test at Lord´s, selection decisions having seen him miss previous tours of England, yet he secured a coveted place on the dressing room honours board at the very first attempt.

As soon as he had completed his 10th Test century, Misbah dropped to the turf.

But rather than utter a prayer, Misbah performed several press-ups, just as 73-year-old actor Jack Palance did when winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the 1992 Academy awards.

- ´Honour code´ -

But Misbah´s celebration, which included a salute to the Pakistan flag flying above the Pavilion, was no tribute act.

Rather it was a reference to Pakistan´s gruelling pre-tour boot camp at a military academy in Kakul in May.

"I promised the army guys I would do the push-ups if I got a century," Misbah told reporters after stumps.

"We had an honour code on the boot camp, for push-ups, so that was my promise to them the next time I scored 100. So that was for them, and the salute was for the flag."

Misbah equalled West Indies great Vivian Richards´s then world record for the fastest-ever Test century with a blistering 56-ball hundred against Australia in Abu Dhabi in 2014 -- a mark surpassed by Brendon McCullum´s 54-ball hundred for New Zealand against Australia at Christchurch in February.

But Thursday´s hundred ranked higher in Misbah´s estimations.

"I rate this as my top innings in Test cricket and I´m really happy about that," he said.

"It´s a dream to play at Lord´s and especially getting 100, and the name on the honours board is something special," added Misbah, who vindicated his own decision to bat first after winning the toss.

"Obviously when you are playing competitive cricket you just don´t think about your age.

"If you are there, you just take on the challenge that comes with playing the game.

"These records are always something special, and they are very satisfying to make those kinds of achievements, but the main thing is just to keep achieving for your country."

But with Chris Woakes taking wickets at both the start and end of the day´s play for a return of four for 45, England had reason to be happy with how things had gone as well.

Nottinghamshire quick Jake Ball, making his Test debut after England left out all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson because of concerns he had not yet recovered from a shoulder injury, also got in on the act.

He took one for 51 in 19 overs after a yorker that knocked Azhar Ali off his feet saw him win an lbw decision for his first Test wicket.

Before play, he received his Test cap from uncle and England wicket-keeping coach Bruce French -- himself a former Test cricketer.

"That settled me down," said Ball. "He (French) just said how proud the whole family are of me.

"To receive it from my uncle was an extra-special moment. He was holding back the tears."

As for the match situation, Ball added: "The two late wickets have given everybody a big lift.

"We now know if we can come out in the morning, get a couple and try to restrict them to about 350, then we´re well in the game."



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Amir’s visa approved for England tour


KARACHI: Pakistani cricketer Muhammad Amir's visa for England tour has been approved, reported Geo News on Tuesday. Amir was named in Pakistan’s 17-member squad for the Test series against England.

Pakistan team would leave for England on June 18 to play four Tests, five One Days, and one T-20.

Amir who was banned from cricket for five years following the Lord s spot fixing scandal in 2010 along with the then captain Salman Butt and fellow pacer Mohammad Asif had submitted a visa application to the UK high commission in Islamabad last month.

The PCB had prepared a separate case for Amir while sending documents of other players for their visa to the UK High Commission in Islamabad.

The PCB chief had written a letter to the UK High Commissioner seeking special and sympathetic consideration on Amir’s visa.

The board was also in touch with the England and Wales Cricket Board who has been positive and cooperative in this matter right from the beginning, Associated Press of Pakistan quoted sources as saying.

The source said that the PCB had only decided to apply for a visa for Amir after legal consultations.



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Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies at 74


LOS ANGELES: Boxing icon Muhammad Ali died on Friday, a family spokesman said in a statement.

"After a 32-year battle with Parkinson´s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74," spokesman Bob Gunnell said.

Ali, whose fame transcended sport during a remarkable heavyweight boxing career that spanned three decades, had been hospitalized in the Phoenix, Arizona, area with a respiratory ailment this week.

Born in Louisville, Ky., in 1942, as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., he began boxing at the age of 12, winning a number of amateur titles, culminating in an Olympic gold medal as a light heavyweight at the 1960 Games in Tokyo. He turned pro soon after that.

Early in his career, he battled societal norms as frequently as he did his opponents. In 1964, as the struggle for civil rights simmered, he knocked out heavy favorite Sonny Liston to win the heavyweight title for the first time, then told reporters that he was a member of the Nation of Islam and had changed his name to Muhammad Ali, a name many news outlets at the time were slow to recognize.

By 1967, he had successfully defended the title nine times, all but two by knockout. With the Vietnam War raging, he refused induction into the U.S. Army, on religious grounds, and was arrested and charged with draft evasion. When prodded further for his reasons for resisting, he said, “I am not going 10,000 miles to help murder, kill, and burn other people to simply help continue the domination of white slave-masters over dark people the world over.”

Though he remained free on appeal, he was stripped of his title and not allowed to box for more than three years. The conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court, unanimously, in 1971. (A 2013 film by Stephen Frears, “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight,” which dramatized the court’s decision, debuted in Cannes, aired on HBO in the U.S., and earned an Emmy nomination.)

During his exile from the ring, Ali decided to try acting, starring in the 1969 Broadway musical “Buck White” at the George Abbott Theatre. He played a militant black lecturer, and got better reviews than the show, which closed after seven performances. “He sings with a pleasant slightly impersonal voice, acts without embarrassment and moves with innate dignity,” wrote New York Times reviewer Clive Barnes.

Ali’s boxing career was defined by his matches against top opponents, particularly rivals Joe Frazier and George Foreman. His 1971 bout with Frazier to unify the heavyweight championship, his third after being reinstated, was called the Fight of the Century. Among those in attendance at Madison Square Garden were Miles Davis, Barbra Streisand, and Sammy Davis Jr. Bert Lancaster was the color commentator for the closed-circuit TV feed. Life Magazine hired Frank Sinatra as the photographer for Norman Mailer’s story.

Ali had exploded the era of humble sports heroes when he declared, “I am the greatest!” in the run-up to his title fight with Liston. He also was among the first athletes to trash-talk his opponents, and he called Frazier, who supported the war, an Uncle Tom. Frazier knocked down Ali in the 15th round, and won a unanimous decision.

Ali had to wait three years for another shot at the championship, this time against Foreman, who had beaten Frazier so badly in taking the title that few gave the 32-year-old challenger a chance against the 25-year-old champ. Ali called the fight, held in Kinshasa, Zaire, the Rumble in the Jungle. In documenting the bout 22 years later, Gast’s Oscar-winning “When We Were Kings” showed how an ebullient Ali had arrived on the scene a few days before the taciturn Foreman, and won over the nation’s citizens. An impromptu entourage of hundreds followed him around chanting, “Ali, bomaye!” (Ali, kill him!).

In 1977, Ali lent his name to a short-lived NBC animated series “I Am the Greatest!: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali.” Somewhat more memorably that year, he joined Sylvester Stallone — whose “Rocky” was to win best picture — to present the best supporting actress award to Beatrice Straight for her role in “Network.”

In the ring, a third, brutal fight against Frazier (the “Thrilla in Manilla”) as well as battles with Ken Norton subjected Ali to a great deal of punishment. And though he would become the first heavyweight to reclaim the title for a third time in 1978 at age 36, when he beat 25-year-old Leon Spinks in a rematch, the wear and tear of a career in boxing was apparent.

He retired, and stayed that way for two years, but ill-advisedly returned for two more bouts, with Larry Holmes and Trevor Burbick, both cringe-inducing losses.

In 1996, 12 years after his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Ali, showing the effects of the disease, lit the torch to begin the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. In 2005, he was presented with the Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.

Ali is survived by his fourth wife, Yolanda “Lonnie” Williams, two sons, and seven daughters, including Leila Ali, a boxer who retired, undefeated, in 2007.



Courtesy www.thenews.com.pk

 

ICC conducts dope tests on Yasir, Misbah, Azhar and Junaid
By AFP

LAHORE: Cricket´s world governing body is conducting dope tests on four Pakistani players, including leg-spinner Yasir Shah, suspended for three months earlier this year, team manager Intikhab Alam confirmed Friday.

Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq was also tested by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The team can ill afford any positive results, which could have a significant impact on their upcoming tour in England, during which the results are expected to be confirmed.

The ICC, which has been a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) since 2006, routinely conducts such tests in and out of competition.

Shah was provisionally suspended in December last year after he tested positive for chlortalidone, a masking agent under the WADA list of banned substances.

He was barred for three months after he pleaded guilty and told the ICC that he had inadvertently taken his wife´s blood pressure medication.

His ban was lifted in late March, making him eligible for the England tour.

Alam said Shah´s test could come under the spotlight.

"Besides Shah, Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq, one-day skipper Azhar Ali and fast bowler Junaid Khan were also tested but Shah´s test could be targeted," he told AFP.

Shah is seen as Pakistan´s main wicket-taker for the four-match Test series in England, which starts at Lord´s from July 14.

Pakistan will also play five one-days and a Twenty20 international on the tour.

Their last tour to England in 2010 was marred by a spot-fixing case which resulted in five-year bans on then Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

Amir returned to the national team in January this year and is expected to be named for all three formats for the tour.

Courtesy www.thenews.com.pk

 

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