Sep 252018
Mathews dropped for ODI series against England

COLOMBO: Days after he was removed from the limited-overs captaincy, Angelo Mathews has been dropped from Sri Lanka’s ODI squad over fitness concerns.Mathews has responded almost immediately, demanding the selectors allow him to take a fitness test.The ODI squad for the forthcoming series against England has not yet been released, but it has been named and sent to the sports ministry for the minister’s mandatory approval. As the squad is not official yet, there is a small chance Mathews could find his way back into it. For now, however, he is in a standoff with the selectors.It is understood that concerns over Mathews’ fitness were a central feature of the meeting between him, coach Chandika Hathurusingha, and the selectors, which took place on Friday — the same meeting in which Mathews was asked to step down from the captaincy.Cricinfo also understands Mathews was one of at least two players asked by Hathurusingha not to undergo a yo-yo test ahead of the Asia Cup, the reasoning being Mathews had played every one of the eight matches during South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka, and the risk of injury was thus high.Mathews has also had recurring injuries in his legs, but it is his match fitness that has been called into question on this occasion. In the Asia Cup, he had been sluggish between the wickets, and had played a role in the run-outs of two batting partners.But although he has stopped bowling in order to prevent further injury, Mathews has been [Read More…]

Jan 092018
New Zealand beat Pakistan in rain-affected second ODI

Martin Guptill stayed not out at 86 and Ross Taylor at 45 Three half-centuries including a late charge by Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan went in vain as New Zealand hunted down D/L revised target of 151 with seven balls to spare in the second one-day international in Nelson on Tuesday. Fifties by Mohammad Hafeez, Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan carried Pakistan to 246 for nine batting first against New Zealand.  [embed_video1 url= style=center] However, rain interrupted the match, reducing the second inning to 25 overs and revising down the target to 151. Martin Guptill stayed not out at 86 and Ross Taylor at 45. Mohammad Amir had Colin Munro caught in the deep for duck. Faheem Ashraf extinguished skipper Kane Williamson’s inning at 19 before rain stopped the match.  Earlier, Mohammad Hafeez hit a solid 60, the 33rd ODI half-century for the veteran right-hander as he held the first half of the innings together. Hasan then blasted his first 50 and Khan his second when they mounted a rescue mission with Pakistan 141 for seven in the 37th over. The pair featured in a 70-run stand off 49 deliveries for the eighth wicket. It was Sarfraz Ahmed´s call to bat when he won the toss, saying it looked like a wicket that would favour the side having first use of it. But just as in the first ODI in Wellington on Saturday, the Pakistan top order were not allowed to settle. Imam-ul-Haq, in for the injured Fakhar Zaman, was out for [Read More…]

Jan 082018
Pakistan eye early wickets of Guptill, Munro in second ODI

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur (L) and bowling coach Azhar Mahmood/File photo Pakistan have set their eyes on getting New Zealand batting powerhouses Martin Guptill and Colin Munro out early in the second one-day international in Nelson on Tuesday. Bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, speaking to media during a team practice session in Nelson today, said he has faith in the team’s bowling attack to get the key wickets of openers early in the game. “Both [Guptill and Munro] are in great form and playing well. We need to get them out early. We will bowl to get wickets,” he said, noting the distinct playing styles of the two batsmen. “Munro likes hitting. Guptill is a [great] batsman, takes his time. We will aim to get them out.” To a question, the coach said failing to get the openers out early would not take the match out of Pakistan’s hands. “I don’t believe so, I have complete faith in our bowling. Our bowlers can take wickets [at any point in the match]. The new ball will also be key. Our bowling is strong and we will perform [better] in the next match.” Mahmood lamented the rain intervention in Wellington, where New Zealand beat Pakistan by 61 runs (D/L method). But he was quick to laud the Black Caps’ performance. “It was obviously frustrating. But rain wasn’t in our control. Credit to New Zealand, who played really well,” he said, adding that playing in the cold, windy conditions was a challenge. He also [Read More…]

Dec 282017
Pakistan team off to New Zealand for ODI, T20 series

[embed_video1 url= style=center] LAHORE: The Pakistan cricket team departed for New Zealand late Wednesday for five-match ODI series starting from January 6, 2018, followed by three T20 internationals. The team took off from Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport Wednesday night. “Leaving for NZ tour keep remembering in your prayers,” pacer Hasan Ali tweeted prior to the flight. All-rounders Mohammad Nawaz and Faheem Ashraf shared a picture before departing. Fast bowler Mohammad Amir also tweeted a picture asking for fans’ prayers.  Pakistan ODI squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain, wicketkeeper), Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam Ul Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Muhammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Aamir Yamin and Rumman Raees. Fixtures ODIs: Jan 03: New Zealand XI vs Pakistan, One-day practice match, Saxton Oval, Nelson (3:00 AM) Jan 06: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st ODI, Basin Reserve, Wellington (3:00 AM) Jan 09: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Saxton Oval, Nelson (3:00 AM) Jan 13: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 3rd ODI, University Oval, Dunedin (3:00 AM) Jan 16: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 4th ODI, Seddon Park, Hamilton (6:00 AM) Jan 19: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 5th ODI, Basin Reserve, Wellington (3:00 AM) T20Is: Jan 22: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st T20I, Westpac Stadium, Wellington (8:00 AM) Jan 25: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 2nd T20I, Eden Park, Auckland (11:00 AM) Jan 28: New Zealand vs Pakistan, 3rd T20I, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui (11:00 AM) (Timings in Pakistan Standard Time)

Dec 232017
Imad Wasim dropped as PCB announces ODI squad for New Zealand tour

[embed_video1 url= style=center] KARACHI: All-rounder Imad Wasim has been dropped while former captain Azhar Ali made a comeback as Pakistan announced a 15-member squad for the five-match series against New Zealand. Junaid Khan was also not included in Pakistan’s squad and was replaced by Amir Yamin in the team. “Imad Wasim was again feeling discomfort in his previously injured knee which ruled him out from the ODI Squad. Immad has been told to work on his fitness in NCA,” said chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq. The chief selector added that the team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions and the recent performances of some players in the domestic tournament.  “Azhar Ali makes a comeback in the ODI squad after being rested in the ODI series against Sri Lanka. He is making a comeback after gaining full fitness,” added the chief selector. “Junaid Khan has been ruled out of the ODI squad due to a fracture in his right foot and doctors have advised him six-weeks rest. Aamir Yamin comes in to replace the left arm pacer in the squad,” he said. According to PCB, the team was finalised after consultation with captain Sarfraz Ahmed and head coach Mickey Arthur. The T-20 squad will be announced later. The five-match ODI series will take place from January 6, 2018, to January 19, 2018, whereas the T-20I series will commence from January 22 and will conclude on January 28, 2018. The PCB has also announced a 9-member team management for the tour. Aun [Read More…]

Dec 202017
Windies rue poor batting as New Zealand win first ODI

Doug Bracewell found Chris Gayle’s outside edge off his first ball, New Zealand v West Indies, 1st ODI, Whangarei, December 20, 2017/Getty Images WHANGAREI: New Zealand cruised to a five-wicket win over the West Indies in the first one-day international on Wednesday as the tourists´ batting line-up failed to perform. The return of Chris Gayle could not spark the West Indies, with the short-form master managing only 22 as his team struggled to 248-9 after losing the toss and being sent in to bat. The Black Caps always looked comfortable chasing the modest total, overhauling it with four overs remaining at Whangarei´s Cobham Oval. West Indies skipper Jason Holder said his side needed to be “a lot better with the bat” as they chase their first ODI series win in New Zealand since 1995. “It was tough, I didn´t think we had enough runs,” he said. “We kept losing wickets at crucial stages of the game and never really gathered momentum. “That obviously hampered us today and we´ve just got to correct it.” There were some bright spots for the Windies, with opener Evin Lewis notching a classy 76 and Rovman Powell staging a pugnacious rearguard action to score 59 off 50 balls. Gayle — fresh from notching a record 18 sixes in the Bangladesh Premier League T20 final — had an uncharacteristically subdued innings. He fell victim to resurgent New Zealand paceman Doug Bracewell, who was named man of the match after celebrating the end of a 15-month exile [Read More…]

Nov 232017
'India not bound to play Pakistan in Test or ODI leagues'

Mohammad Amir reacts to Virat Kohli’s wicket in ICC Champions Trophy final 2017 KARACHI: Although the Pakistan Cricket Board has claimed that refusal to play Pakistan in the 13-team ICC ODI championship and nine-team Test league will force India to forfeit their points in Pakistan’s favour, it is clear that India are not bound to play Pakistan in either of the championships. The PCB has been saying that if India refuse to play Pakistan in the proposed ODI or Test leagues, they will have to forfeit points. However, that’s not the case. In fact, the ICC, in an official communiqué following its Board meeting earlier, had explained that the Test league will see nine teams play six series over two years – three home and three away – with each having a minimum of two Tests and a maximum of five, and all matches being played over five days culminating in a World Test League Championship Final. This means India can still avoid playing against Pakistan in the Test league by opting to play against six other teams. It is my understanding that no country is bound to play every country in these leagues and the leagues will be scheduled only after being mutually agreed upon by the two competing boards. This understanding means that if the BCCI and PCB don’t agree upon playing against each other, then India vs Pakistan matches will not be made part of the Test league. In that case, there is no question of forfeiting [Read More…]

Oct 202017
Hasan Ali becomes No 1 ODI bowler

KARACHI: Pakistan’s Hasan Ali moved up six places to become the top-ranked ODI bowler in the ICC rankings here on Friday.Hasan’s haul of five for 34 in the third ODI against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi gave the pacer a big boost in ranking points. The 23-year-old, who has taken nine wickets in the series so far, became the fifth bowler at the top of the ODI rankings this year after Trent Boult, Imran Tahir, Kagiso Rabada and Josh Hazlewood. Outside the top 20, Sri Lanka’s Suranga Lakmal (up three places to 36th), South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo (up 30 places to 52nd) and Bangladesh’s Rubel Hossain (up seven places to 61st) were the other bowlers to move northwards. The latest rankings also see de Villiers climb to the top of the ODI table for the 14th time in his career.A knock of 176 by AB de Villiers in the second ODI against Bangladesh, which included 15 fours and seven sixes and came off only 104 balls, helped South Africa edge India at the top of ICC ODI Team Rankings by taking a 2-0 winning lead in the three-match series. De Villiers, who has leapfrogged Australian David Warner and India captain Virat Kohli, had first attained the top position in May 2010 and the number of days he has spent at the top is second most after retired Windies great Vivian Richards. De Villiers has now been at the top for 2,124 days. Richards was number one for 2,306 days. Other [Read More…]

Oct 202017
Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in fourth ODI

SHARJAH: Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the fourth day-night international in Sharjah on Friday, taking a 4-0 lead in the five-match series. Pakistan bowled out Sri Lanka for 173 in 43.4 overs before overhauling the target in 39 overs.  Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik both scored 69 not out and were responsible for propelling the team to another win over the beleaguered Sri Lankans.  Debutant centurion Inam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman returned to the pavillion after contributing a mere 19 runs and were soon followed by Mohammad Hafeez who made 9.  The innings stabilised after Azam and Malik made a stand and kept the scoreboard ticking, pushing their team towards another victory in the five-match ODI series.  Earlier, Sri Lanka´s woeful batting continued as they were bowled out for another paltry total of 173 in 43.4 overs by Pakistan. Medium pacer Hasan Ali (3-37) and spinners Shadab Khan (2-29) and Imad Wasim (2-13) were the chief destroyers as only Lahiru Thirimanne resisted with a 94-ball 62 on a flat pitch at Sharjah stadium. Already trailing 3-0 in the five-match series, Sri Lanka were off to a disastrous start when their in-form skipper Upul Tharanga was bowled by debutant left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari for nought off his second delivery. Shinwari was one of two changes Pakistan made from the third one-day which they won by seven wickets in Abu Dhabi. Also brought back was Wasim. They replaced Fahim Ashraf and Rumman Raees. Sadeera Samarawickrama of Sri Lanka bats during the third one [Read More…]