Pakistan

Man City pip Spurs to remain in title hunt

Man City pip Spurs to remain in title hunt

21/04/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 28764694
MANCHESTER: Manchester City exacted some measure of revenge on Tottenham for their Champions League exit as Phil Foden’s first Premier League goal earned a 1-0 win to move them back top of the table on Saturday.Pep Guardiola’s men edge one point ahead of Liverpool once more with four games of a titanic title race left for both sides.For all their Champions League heroics to get to the semi-finals this season, Tottenham still have much to do to qualify for the competition next season as they could easily end the Easter weekend outside the top four should Arsenal and Chelsea beat Crystal Palace and Burnley at home respectively.City’s quest for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies was ended by defeat on away goals to Spurs on Wednesday, despite winning a thrilling quarter-final, second leg 4-3.However, they remain on course for a first ever treble of domestic trophies in England as they survived a nervy finale thanks to another blistering start.City have made a habit of firing out of the blocks this season and just like in midweek to kickstart a kamikaze encounter, they struck within five minutes.Foden was making just his second Premier League start and immediately justified Guardiola’s faith in the 19-year-old by heading home Sergio Aguero’s nodded pass across goal from Bernardo Silva’s cross.However, history could easily have repeated itself as after four goals were shared in the opening 11 minutes on Wednesday, Spurs had numerous chances to strike back.Son Heung-min had already forced Ederson in a smart save from a narrow angle before City scored and the Brazilian goalkeeper had to rush from his goal once more to deny Christian Eriksen an equaliser on 15 minutes.Two minutes later the Dane played provider with a glorious ball to free Son in behind the City defence.However, the South Korean, who scored twice in midweek to end City’s European dreams for another season, was caught up just in time by Aymeric Laporte, who made a perfectly timed last-ditch tackle.Despite Tottenham’s chances on the break, it was the hosts who were still dominating territory and possession with Bernardo Silva a constant threat.The Portuguese’s outstanding season was rewarded as he was named alongside teammates Aguero and Raheem Sterling in the six-man shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year award and Jan Vertonghen was fortunate to escape without conceding a penalty when he appeared to trip Silva inside the area.Spurs were without captain Hugo Lloris through injury and his understudy Paulo Gazzaniga looked nervous early on, but the Argentine goalkeeper got down to save Silva’s next effort.Guardiola’s decision to leave Kevin de Bruyne out for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final between the sides was doubly questioned after the Belgian bagged a brilliant hat-trick of assists in midweek.However, Guardiola’s reasoning for being cautious with his playmaker after an injury-plagued season was understandable as De Bruyne limped off again just before the break and may well now miss the rest of the campaign.Both sides suffered from their midweek exertions and the blazing sun as the second-half meandered along at a much more subdued pace.Spurs had a big penalty appeal of their own turned down when Kyle Walker handled inside the area against his former club.Sterling briefly thought he had completed a hat-trick in stoppage time on Wednesday with the goal that would have sent City through to the Champions League last four until VAR ruled the goal out for offside.And the England international could not believe his misfortune once more when Gazzaniga stuck out an outstretched leg to prevent Sterling sealing a vital three points from Leroy Sane’s cut-back.Instead, City had to suffer through the closing stages knowing one mistake could cost them the title. But they held on as Spurs suffered an eighth straight away defeat to English opposition.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/460659-man-city-pip-spurs-to-remain-in-title-hunt
?We are playing a lot of cricket leading into World Cup?

?We are playing a lot of cricket leading into World Cup?

21/04/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 28764695
HYDERABAD, India: Jonny Bairstow, the England wicket-keeper batsman, is confident of his team’s chances in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.Bairstow, who is playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL), is all set to fly home on April 23.All England players are expected to leave by the end of the month to take part in a busy period of World Cup preparations."We get back after the Chennai game on April 23. Then we’ve got the World Cup camp. We then play Pakistan in the five-ODI series and then we’ve got two warm-up matches in which we play Afghanistan and Australia. And then we go into the World Cup," Bairstow said."It’s a lot of cricket leading into the World Cup. And then we’ve got five Ashes Tests after that."Bairstow, who was named in England’s 15-member World Cup squad on April 17, also admitted that it is difficult to say which team will win the trophy. "Lots of teams who could win it and there would be upsets along the way. West Indies could win a game from nowhere. Then there is Afghanistan, who would probably bowl 30-40 overs of spin."In England, you know you do not have pitches like India, which is really dry. Sometimes the pitches could turn in England," said the 29-year-old.The right-hander has, so far, accumulated 365 runs in eight matches in the IPL, which includes a spectacular 52-ball hundred he scored against Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier this month. He is one of the top run-scorers in the tournament and expressed the desire to perform well in his remaining games to give Sunrisers a chance to reach the play-offs."So far it has gone well. To be in the top-five leading run scorers... it is really very pleasing. Hopefully I can finish on a high in the next two games as well and we could be in the position to make the play-offs by the time I leave."When asked whether too much IPL will burn out players before the World Cup, Bairstow disagreed. "Cricket is cricket and I think in IPL you play 14 games in six weeks and that is not too many. It is part and parcel of playing cricket. You play Test cricket and that is five full days... the guys bowl 20 overs in a day."However, there is lot more travelling. You travel at strange times as the evening games finish around mid-night. But it is good." England begin their World Cup campaign on May 30 against South Africa at The Oval.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/460660-we-are-playing-a-lot-of-cricket-leading-into-world-cup
New captain Smith powers Rajasthan to IPL victory

New captain Smith powers Rajasthan to IPL victory

21/04/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 28764696
JAIPUR: Australia’s Steve Smith hit an unbeaten half-century to lead his Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals to a comfortable win after being appointed captain on Saturday.Smith was given the leadership job in place of India’s Ajinkya Rahane ahead of the game against Mumbai Indians in Jaipur, despite the Australian being barred from leading the national team over a ball-tampering scandal.Smith — who along with compatriot David Warner missed the 2018 edition of the Twenty20 tournament because of the scandal — made an unbeaten 59 off 48 as Rajasthan outplayed Mumbai by five wickets."Haven’t contributed as much as I’d like through this tournament, it was nice to get off to a good start and take the boys home," Smith said after his team’s third win in nine games so far."We can’t worry about other results, it’s about us and our processes. For us, it’s a final, every game. We did well to pull it back to 160 (161) and executed our skills well," he added.The star batsman, who was named man of the match, hit five fours and one six to anchor Rajasthan’s chase as they achieved their 162-run target with five balls to spare.Rajasthan bowlers restricted Mumbai to 161 for five in 20 overs despite a brisk 65 from South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock.Smith and Warner were not allowed to compete in last year’s IPL despite their one-year suspension restricted to club and national games for Australia.The former Aussie captain has made his way back into the national team for the upcoming World Cup but cannot take on formal leadership responsibilities for another year.Smith and Warner’s cheating ban ended last month and the two have launched into the IPL campaign as they seek to restore their reputations.Smith, who was captain of Rajasthan in 2015 and also led the now defunct IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiant for two years till 2017, has scored 245 runs in eight matches this season.The team management are gambling on Smith boosting confidence to get the side to the play-offs."Steve is one of the most innovative and successful captains in the world, in all formats of the game," said Rajasthan’s head of cricket Zubin Bharucha."We are confident he can lead the Royals to success."Smith and Warner were suspended for cheating in a South Africa-Australia Test in March last year along with teammate Cameron Bancroft, who was banned for nine-months.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/460661-new-captain-smith-powers-rajasthan-to-ipl-victory
Pandya, Rahul fined for ?sexist? chat show remarks

Pandya, Rahul fined for ?sexist? chat show remarks

21/04/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 28764697
NEW DELHI: India’s cricket board on Saturday fined players Hardik Pandya and Lokesh Rahul $29,000 each for making sexist remarks on a TV chat show that saw them ordered home from a tour of Australia.Pandya "must make amends" for boasting about his sexual conquests during the celebrity show in which he appeared with Rahul, said an ombudsman who investigated the case.But with both heading for the World Cup in England and Wales which starts May 30, the inquiry said the fine should close the controversy.The Board of Control for Cricket in India said the money from the fines will be given to 10 widows of paramilitary constables killed in action and to a fund for the blind created by the sporting body.Star all-rounder Pandya, 25, and opening batsman Rahul, 27, missed several internationals because of a suspension imposed when they were sent home.But after making public apologies, both have returned to the national team and are playing in the Indian Premier League.They have spoken in recent interviews about how they were forced to stay home, as criticism raged."I have no hesitation in observing that the remarks made by the player, even by his own admissions, did offend sensitivities, which should have been avoided," said the ombudsman, D.K. Jain."In our country, the game of cricket is often treated as a religion, revered, and the cricketers are idolised," Jain said in a warning to Pandya and Rahul to improve their behaviour.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/460662-pandya-rahul-fined-for-sexist-chat-show-remarks
West Indies are the surprise element at World Cup: Lara

West Indies are the surprise element at World Cup: Lara

21/04/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 28764698
MUMBAI: Brian Lara, the former West Indies batsman, believes the Caribbean side is unpredictable, and that consistency will be key if it has to perform well in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.Lara, who is in India as a part of the expert commentary panel for the Indian Premier League, backed his home side to make it to the semi-finals, calling them the "surprise element" in the tournament."West Indies will have to play some consistent cricket. We’ve shown that we can beat England or India. We can beat any team on our day. But then we lose against Bangladesh or Afghanistan, and we let it all go away. So, that’s what West Indies have to avoid. I would love to see them get to the semi-finals," he told the Times of India."West Indies, over the last two [T20] World Cups, have been the surprise element. They’ve always been up there in the opposing team’s mind. There have been too many elements joining the dots, gradually but it’s happening. So, I don’t think any country walks into the game against West Indies anymore thinking it’s all over before it starts."On the other hand, we are capable of colossal failures, too. So, the surprise element works both ways and that’s where West Indies need to keep working. It’s amazing we have players that are most sought after in the different franchise leagues around the world and can still get together as a team. We’ve got two T20 World Cup trophies to show for that. But consistency is the key," added the left-hander.When asked which other teams he thinks will reach the semi-finals, Lara picked England and India to comfortably sail through."Normally, I’d never risk backing them because they’ve never failed to lose that one important game," he said of England. "But this team looks good. So, them and India [are] two teams I believe will definitely be in the semi-finals."The West Indies legend, who has over 10,000 runs in One-day Internationals, cautioned the batsmen to be wary of conditions in England. "England can be tricky, which is great. When I played in England, I enjoyed it. I think the key to performing in England is knowing your game, knowing your limitations, and playing accordingly, assessing conditions very quickly."You’re batting under a cloudy sky, on a damp pitch and suddenly a couple of hours later, it’s all dried out, the sun is out and things turn better. England is all about how quickly you assess that."One thing is sure: if it’s going to be a dry summer, pitches are going to be very receptive to good batting," he added.Lara also thinks that the competition could come down to who has the better mindset. "The key battle in cricket is always the mental battle," he said. "That’s something you cannot show. But it’s there. Always. Simmering. Playing on your mind. The team that wins that, wins half the battle."You see guys with average technique score tons of runs and guys with amazing techniques going nowhere. That’s because mentally they are not there."West Indies begin their World Cup campaign on May 31 in Nottingham against Pakistan. —Agencies

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/460663-west-indies-are-the-surprise-element-at-world-cup-lara
?England have the best white-ball captain in the world?

?England have the best white-ball captain in the world?

21/04/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 28764699
LONDON: Former England assistant coach Paul Farbrace was all praise for limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, calling him the "single biggest factor" behind England’s white-ball success.Morgan was in charge when England exited the previous edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, in 2015, at the group stage, after being defeated by Bangladesh. Since then, they have transformed into a formidable side, and are now the odds-on favourites to lift the World Cup for the first time, at home.Last year, England won five One-day International series, including away victories against Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, and lost only a one-off affair to Scotland, while drawing 2-2 with West Indies this year.Farbrace credited Morgan for England’s rise to No 1 in the ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings and to No 3 in Twenty20 Internationals. "They have the best white-ball captain in the world," Farbrace told Wisden Cricket Monthly. "He [Morgan] is England’s single biggest factor. There are some fantastic players, but Morgan holds everything together."What he said to the team here back in 2015 was that he wanted them to play the way that had got them selected and to take the positive option at every opportunity. It’s very easy as a captain to talk about the way it should be done, but Morgs plays the way he speaks."That takes guts and skill. He’s never going to be consistent [as a batsman] because of the risks he takes. He’s a bit like London buses – just when you think he’s done nothing, he’ll suddenly play a couple of big innings."Farbrace went on to shed some light on the kind of work that he, along with head coach Trevor Bayliss, former director of cricket Andrew Strauss, and Morgan, have put in over the past four years to effect the turnaround."We talked about having no ceiling – let’s see how good we can be," he said. "We had an outline plan of how we wanted the team to be, but we just kept telling the players ‘go and play, go and play’. Strauss, Trevor, Morgs and me met regularly and we started to drip-feed the plan and asking them what they felt. They started repeating the things that we’d been dropping into them." England will face South Africa in the World Cup opener on May 30 at The Oval in London.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/460664-england-have-the-best-white-ball-captain-in-the-world
Bayern grind out Bremen win to stay ahead of Dortmund

Bayern grind out Bremen win to stay ahead of Dortmund

21/04/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 28764702
BERLIN: Niklas Suele’s late goal saw Bayern Munich break a brave resistance from ten-man Werder Bremen to snatch a crucial 1-0 win and stay ahead of Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race.Bayern toiled in the searing Bavarian sun against Bremen, eventually grinding out the victory to go four points clear at the top of the table overnight."It would have been nice if we had taken more of our chances, but we deserved to win," Bayern coach Niko Kovac told Sky.The win puts pressure on title rivals Dortmund, who need to win a tough away game in Freiburg on Sunday if they are to remain within a point of Bayern.Bremen held Bayern at bay for much of the game, but suffered a lethal blow just before the hour mark, when Milos Veljkovic was sent off for a second yellow card.Chances came and went for Bayern as the clock ticked down, until Suele finally broke through with a deflected shot from the edge of the area 15 minutes from time."I had a couple of shots against Dortmund which were a bit NFL-like, so it was nice to score the winning goal today," Suele told Sky.At the other end of the table, Stuttgart look doomed to a bottom-three finish after they suffered a humiliating 6-0 thrashing by fellow strugglers Augsburg.Augsburg obliterated their relegation rivals with a delightful display of attacking football. Goals from Rani Khedira, Andre Hahn and Philipp Max saw them establish a 3-0 lead before the half-hour mark.Max added another in the second half, and a Marco Richter double completed a disastrous display for Stuttgart.Augsburg’s win lifts them ten points clear of the relegation play-off place, and also confirms survival for Mainz, who beat local rivals Fortuna Duesseldorf 3-1.Jean-Philippe Mateta put Mainz into the lead after just 36 seconds, but Dodi Lukebakio levelled the scores with his second goal in two games.Lukebakio later missed a penalty, and Mainz took advantage of the let-off. They promptly restored the lead through Karim Onisiwo, before Mateta sealed the win a few minutes from time.Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen kept themselves in the race for Europe with a 2-0 win over Nuremberg.Lucas Alario’s 61st-minute header just cleared the goalline, before Kevin Volland struck late to decide a nervy game in Leverkusen’s favour.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/460667-bayern-grind-out-bremen-win-to-stay-ahead-of-dortmund
Omar Associates thump CAA, Ghani Glass claim ten-wicket win

Omar Associates thump CAA, Ghani Glass claim ten-wicket win

21/04/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 28764700
KARACHI: Omar Associates made a stunning fightback to record their second straight win and brighten their semi-finals chances when they overwhelmed Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) by seven wickets on the third and final day of their second round Patron’s Trophy Grade-II outing here at the SBP Ground on Saturday.After having gained a 38-run lead, CAA resumed their second innings at 35-5 and were folded for 77 to set a 116-run target for Omar Associates who achieved it in 30 overs for the loss of three wickets. Fahadis Bukhari scored 42 not out, striking seven fours from 74 balls. Mirza Ahsan got 2-55.Earlier, Ashfaq Ahmed top-scored in CAA’s second innings with 28. Spinner Mohammad Irfan got 4-11, for excellent 9-111 match-haul. CAA posted 262-9 in their first innings. In response, Omar Associates piled-up 224 all out. Kashif Sohail and Abdul Karim supervised the match.Meanwhile in Pool B outing at Rana Naveed Academy, Sheikhupura, Ghani Glass romped to their first win from two outings when they routed Candyland by ten wickets.After being forced to follow-on, Candyland perished for 216 after resuming their second innings at 185-9 to set a 14-run target for Ghani Glass who reached it in five overs without losing a wicket.Ghani Glass piled-up 394 all out in their first innings. In reply, Candyland accumulated 191. Aftab Gilani and Saifullah Khan officiated the game as umpires.At Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad, the match between Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Port Qasim Authority (PQA) ended in a draw with the former securing three points due to first innings lead. In response to HEC’s first innings total of 266 all out, PQA were bowled out for 144 with Test cricketer Khurram Manzoor making 94 off 131 balls, striking 12 fours and one six. Mohammad Sami made 20. Mamoon Riaz was the pick of the bowlers with 6-26. Asfand Mehran got 2-25.After gaining a 122-run lead, HEC scored 113-3 till end of the game in the second innings.Mohammad Faiq chipped in with 46 which came off 54 balls and had six fours. Haris Kamal claimed 2-26. Abdul Wasay and Abrar Ahmed supervised the game. The Pool C outing between Army and PAF also ended in a draw at the Army Cricket Ground Rawalpindi.In response to Army’s first innings total of 237, PAF reached 245-7 till end of the match.Umair Masood struck 68 not out, hitting five fours and one six. Mohammad Naqash chipped in with 61 off 59 balls, hammering ten fours.Earlier, Army resumed their first innings at 125-5 and were folded for 237 with Shoaib Khan scoring 54. Qadir Khan chipped in with 48 and Mohammad Fahad made 35. Mohammad Ismail and Arish Ali Khan got three wickets each.At Diamond Club Ground, Islamabad, the clash between Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) did not yield any result with the bankers taking three points due to first innings lead.In respose to PIA’s first innings score of 230-7, SBP resumed their innings at 99-3 and went on to post 279-8 in the allotted 83 overs. Syed Saad Ali top-scored 83 which came off 73 balls and had 11 fours. Rizwan Hussain made 46 off 71 balls, striking six fours. Tahir Khan got 4-75.PIA scored 51-3 in their second innings till end of the show. Nasar Khan and Raweed Khan supervised the match.In Pool D outing at Railways Stadium, Lahore, Sabir’s Poultry defeated Railways by nine wickets, their first win in the 16-team event. Sabir’s Poultry chased the 94-run target in 16 overs for the loss of one wicket.Imran Dogar once again batted superbly, making unbeaten 59, having hit nine fours in his run-a-ball knock.After having conceded a 10-run lead, Railways perished for 103 in their second innings to set an easy target for the oppositions. Hamza Nazar made 37 and Ahsan Bhatt chipped in with 20.Nisar Ahmed got 6-28 and Manzoor Khan captured 4-28. Railways scored 200 all out in their first innings. In response, Sabir’s Poultry scored 210 all out.The outing between K-Electric and Karachi Port Trust (KPT) ended in a draw with the former securing three points due to first innings lead at the LCCA Ground, Lahore.In response to K-Electric’s first innings total of 402-8, KPT were skittled out for 116 with Shah Ali Zafar scoring 23 not out. Waqar Anwar and Asad Raza got three wickets each. Javed Ashraf and Qaisar Khan supervised the show.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/460665-omar-associates-thump-caa-ghani-glass-claim-ten-wicket-win
Nadal crashes to Fognini in Monte Carlo shocker

Nadal crashes to Fognini in Monte Carlo shocker

21/04/2019, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 28764701
MONTE CARLO, Principality of Monaco: Rafael Nadal crashed out to Fabio Fognini in the Monte Carlo Masters semi-finals on Saturday with the Spanish star admitting his 6-4, 6-2 loss was his "worst clay court match in 14 years".The shock result leaves Italian 13th seed Fognini facing unseeded Serb Dusan Lajovic in Sunday’s unscripted final."I played one of my worst matches on clay in 14 years," said Nadal. "It’s difficult to find any positives — I deserved to lose."Fognini, who beat Nadal twice on clay in 2015, stopped a 25-set win streak in the principality for the world number two."The vision is clear," added 32-year-old Nadal who was playing his first tournament in a month after opting to rest his troublesome knees."I played a very bad match against a good player. In that situation, you have to lose."I had a bad feeling, it was a tough day. I’m coming from low moments in terms of injuries, and in terms of the mental side it has not been easy to accept all the things that have been going on during recent weeks."Everything was wrong. I always expect the best. But you have to be ready to accept the negative things and today was a negative day."For 31-year-old Fognini, based just over the border in San Remo, it was a fourth career win over Nadal and third on clay."I had a really good week, did some good work," said the Italian."I was born near here, I know how to play on clay. This will be the final that no-one expected, I just hope to recover well and be ready."Plus Lajovic is trained by my ex-coach — we laughed about that in the locker room."Fognini, cheered by thousands of compatriots on Centre Court, broke Nadal three times in a 55-minute opening set.Nadal saved three match points while trailing a set and 5-0 as he broke Fognini in a last-gasp effort.But the 13th seed would not be denied, earning another pair of chances in the eighth game and claiming victory with a forehand winner down the line."I’m calm, I want to enjoy my victory," Fognini said after reaching his first final at the Masters 1000 level."I’ve beaten Rafa on clay, I’m really happy, it was windy and tough to play."Of course it’s a surprise to play Lajovic, but he’s playing good."Fognini trailed 3-1 early in the opening set before giving himself a mental scolding: "I told myself to calm down and play."All of that doesn’t matter now — I’m in the final. It was difficult, you need more than 100 percent concentration to play Rafa on clay. I really want to win this title now."Lajovic, ranked 48th, will be playing his first ATP final after seeing off Russian 10th seed Daniil Medvedev — the conqueror of Novak Djokovic — 7-5, 6-1.That match was also played in distracting, swirling conditions, with Lajovic making a recovery from 5-1 down after changing strategy when Medvedev had the upper hand.Lajovic ran off 10 straight games to claim the opening set in an hour and take a 4-0 lead in the second."I was completely out of rhythm, to start. It was the worst nightmare, being 5-1 down," Lajovic said."I’m still unaware of reaching the final, but I’m enjoying it," added the player who has not dropped a set all week.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/460666-nadal-crashes-to-fognini-in-monte-carlo-shocker
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