BRIDGETOWN: West Indies and Pakistan have agreed to play a revised four-match Twenty20 International series, Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced on Sunday.
The two boards — who had initially planned a five-match T20 series — were forced into the alteration to the scheduled tour dates after West Indies’ current ODI series against Australia was rocked by a positive Covid-19 test which saw Thursday’s second match suspended.
It was finally played on Saturday with the third and final match pushed back to Monday — one day before the scheduled opener against Pakistan.
The revised dates allow for an opener in Barbados on Wednesday with three further matches in Guyana.
“Together with the PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board], CWI have examined various scenarios, and we jointly agreed that the best solution in the present circumstances is to cancel the first T20 International and play a four-match series starting on Wednesday and keep the rest of the tour schedule unchanged,” said CWI president Ricky Skerritt. “Both teams are in the final stages of preparing for the ICC T20 World Cup, so we anticipate an exciting and entertaining series of games.”
The T20 World Cup begins in the Gulf in October with West Indies looking to retain the title.
The teams will also play two Tests as part of the new 2021-2023 World Test Championship.
July 27: First Twenty20 International (Bridgetown).
July 31: Second Twenty20 International (Providence).
Aug 1: Third Twenty20 International (Providence).
Aug 3: Fourth Twenty20 International (Providence).
Aug 12-16: First Test (Kingston).
Aug 20-24: Second Test (Kingston).
Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2021
TOKYO: The names on the South Korean women’s archery team may change, the domination with a bow sure doesn’t.
The powerhouse archery nation — with An San, Kang Chae Young and Jang Minhee now in the team — is now nine for nine in the women’s team event since it was added to the Olympic programme at the 1988 Seoul Games, tying the record for the longest gold medal streak in Olympic history.
The South Korean women beat the Russian Olympic Committee team 6-0 in a clean sweep, continuing the country’s gold medal run and matching the nine straight golds of the United States in the men’s swimming 4x100m medley relay and Kenya’s men in the 3000m steeplechase in athletics.
At the Ashaka Shooting Range on Sunday, Russian Vitalina Batsarashkina won the women’s 10-metre pistol event to claim the gold medal that narrowly eluded her five years ago in Rio.
Batsarashkina mounted a spectacular charge over the closing shots to win gold with an Olympic record of 240.3. Bulgarian Antoaneta Kostadinova won silver with 239.4, while the bronze went to Jiang Ranxin of China.
Later, American William Shaner won the men’s 10-metre rifle event with an Olympic record of 251.6, ahead of Sheng Lihao in a battle for the gold between the 20-year-old from Colorado and his teenaged Chinese opponent.
Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2021
TOKYO: Hosts Japan moved within touching distance of qualifying for the men’s football knockout stages with a 2-1 win over Mexico at Saitama Stadium on Sunday, while France staged a remarkable comeback to beat South Africa 4-3.
Real Madrid’s highly rated youngster Takefusa Kubo and playmaker Ritsu Doan found the net inside the opening 11 minutes as Japan notched up their second consecutive win to move top of Group ‘A’ with six points.
France, who were hammered 4-1 by Mexico in their Group ‘A’ opener, got their campaign back on track when Teji Savanier netted a stoppage-time winner in their 4-3 victory over South Africa.
Les Bleus trailed 3-2 with 10 minutes left but captain Andre-Pierre Gignac converted an 86th-minute penalty to complete his hat-trick before Savanier’s late goal.
Gignac, one of the three over-age players selected by France along with the under-24 group for the Olympics, now leads the scoring charts in Tokyo with four goals from two matches.
Back-to-back defeats also left South Africa’s hopes of qualifying hanging by a thread, a week after their camp reported multiple Covid-19 cases.
Defending champions Brazil banged in four goals in their opening victory over Germany in Group ‘D’ but their attack failed to fire in a goalless draw against a resolute Ivory Coast side.
The South American giants struggled to control the match after losing midfielder Douglas Luiz to a straight red card for denying Ivory Coast winger Max Gradel a clear goalscoring opportunity in the 13th minute.
Brazil lead Group ‘D’ on goal difference ahead of their final game of the opening phase against Saudi Arabia, who lost 3-2 to Germany to be eliminated from the competition.
Felix Uduokhai’s 75th-minute goal gave Germany, who had Amos Pieper sent off midway through the second half, a crucial three points.
Spain moved to the top of Group ‘C’ as Mikel Oyarzabal’s late strike — their first goal of the tournament — downed Australia 1-0. Facundo Medina scored to help Argentina to their first three points in the group with a 1-0 win over Egypt.
In Group ‘B’, Honduras came from behind to beat New Zealand 3-2 and South Korea thrashed 10-man Romania 4-0 to leave all four teams on three points.
Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2021
TOKYO: The Tokyo Olympics delivered a day of high drama on Sunday with a stunning surprise in the pool, one of the great David v Goliath cycling victories and double sibling judo gold as Japan continued their golden start.
The host nation bagged skateboarding’s first gold medal courtesy of Yuto Horigome, then saw Uta Abe and her brother Hifumi make history as the first siblings to win gold medals in different events on the same day in any sport. With swimmer Yui Ohashi also victorious, Japan’s overall gold medal tally rose to five, one behind China and one ahead of the United States.
Tunisia are unlikely to add to their solitary gold but no medal of the Games will be celebrated more wildly than that earned via the astounding achievement of 18-year-old Ahmed Hafnaoui, who stunned the swimming superpowers with victory from lane eight in the men’s 400m freestyle.
“It’s a dream and it became true — it was my best race ever,” Hafnaoui said in an Olympic-level understatement after he held off heavily-fancied Australian Jack McLoughlin and American Kieran Smith despite qualifying slowest for the final.
Hafnaoui received the ultimate validation as American medal machine Michael Phelps, the greatest swimmer in history, labelled his performance as an “unbelievable swim”.
Skateboarder Horigome, who grew up in the Tokyo ward where the event is being held, took gold at the Games debut of a sport once seen as a symbol of counter-culture and, ironically, still symbolised by the “no skateboarding” signs plastered on the outside walls of the venue.
“It felt significant to return to Koto ward, it meant so much more for me,” said Horigome, who moved to the United States after high school to follow his skateboarding ambitions.
The day the Abe family will never forget began when Uta triumphed in the women’s 52kg category. The 21-year-old had cruised through to the final but was then taken deep into Golden Score overtime before overcoming Amandine Buchard of France.
She then cheered on as her big brother Hifumi overpowered Georgian judoka Vazha Margvelashvili in the under-66kg gold medal fight.
Ohashi had got things going for Japan with victory in the 400m women’s medley and the gold rush was a boost for organisers hoping to see a lift in enthusiasm for the delayed Olympics among the Japanese public, who are labouring under a state of emergency in the capital.
Ohashi powered to victory, toppling Hungary’s defending champion Katinka Hosszu.
“I swam believing in myself. I really did not think of winning the gold,” said Ohashi.
Five years ago in Rio, Annemiek van Vleuten suffered an horrific crash in the women’s cycling road race when she was on course to win and she contributed another memorable Olympic moment on Sunday — again for all the wrong reasons.
Little-known Austrian amateur Anna Kiesenhofer made an audacious solo breakaway and somehow stayed clear to cross the line looking absolutely incredulous. She was not alone, as the vastly-experienced four-woman Dutch team seeking a third successive title were somehow unaware she had escaped.
Cue an embarrassing air-punching celebration by Van Vleuten who crossed the line second but thinking she had won.
“Have I got that wrong?,” she asked the team masseur at the finish line. She had spectacularly — leaving full-time teacher Kiesenhofer with something very special to tell come September.
“I am happy that I was not too scared and I just went for it,” said Kiesenhofer after winning Austria’s first cycling gold since the inaugural Games of 1896.
The first world record of the Games came in the pool as Australia’s women romped home in the 4x100m final.
Chase Kalisz delivered Team USA its first gold in the men’s 400m medley.
GOLFERS TEST POSITIVE
A USA men’s basketball team lost at an Olympics for the first time since the 2004 Athens Games as a team led by 11-time NBA All-Star Kevin Durant were beaten 83-76 by France.
Durant was held to just 10 points in an upset that shows the Americans have a fight on their hands to retain their title.
NBA player Evan Fournier top-scored with 28 points for France, finding form from three-point range late in the game to help his team claw back a 10-point deficit to stun the Americans.
Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty crashed out in the first round of the women’s tennis singles. The reigning Wimbledon champion lost 6-4, 6-3 to Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka won her first-round match — her first since withdrawing from the French Open in May and two days after lighting the Olympic flame — as she defeated 52nd-ranked Zheng Saisai of China 6-1, 6-4.
Elsewhere on Sunday, a century-long wait to see surfing at the Olympics came to an end at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach.
It marked the culmination of efforts to get surfing added to the Olympic programme dating back more than 100 years.
The spectre of Covid-19 meanwhile continued to stalk the Olympics, with the men’s golf tournament upended by two high-profile withdrawals.
World number one Jon Rahm was ruled out after returning a positive test — his second Covid-19 positive in two months — while Bryson DeChambeau also saw his Olympic hopes end with a positive case.
The Dutch rowing coach also tested positive as Olympic organisers reported 10 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total disclosed to 132.
In gymnastics, Simone Biles and the US women’s team trailed the Russians after qualifying in the team event, the first time in a decade they’ve failed to finish atop the standings during any portion of a major international event.
Biles led the field in a bid for her fifth gold medal, but the US team has work to do to repeat as Olympic champions. The ROC had a score of 171.629 through the first three subdivisions at the Ariake Gymnastics
Centre, ahead of the second-place Americans’ 170.562.
After Sunday’s events
(Tabulated under gold, silver, bronze, total):
China 6 1 4 11
Japan 5 1 0 6
United States 4 2 4 10
South Korea 2 0 3 5
Russian OC 1 4 2 7
Italy 1 1 3 5
Australia 1 1 1 3
France 1 1 1 3
Hungary 1 1 0 2
Tunisia 1 1 0 2
Austria 1 0 0 1
Ecuador 1 0 0 1
Iran 1 0 0 1
Kosovo 1 0 0 1
Thailand 1 0 0 1
Uzbekistan 1 0 0 1
Canada 0 2 0 2
Netherlands 0 2 0 2
Brazil 0 1 1 2
Taiwan 0 1 1 2
Britain 0 1 1 2
Indonesia 0 1 1 2
Serbia 0 1 1 2
Belgium 0 1 0 1
Bulgaria 0 1 0 1
Colombia 0 1 0 1
Georgia 0 1 0 1
India 0 1 0 1
Romania 0 1 0 1
Spain 0 1 0 1
Germany 0 0 2 2
Kazakhstan 0 0 2 2
Turkey 0 0 2 2
Ukraine 0 0 2 2
Estonia 0 0 1 1
Israel 0 0 1 1
Mexico 0 0 1 1
Mongolia 0 0 1 1
Slovenia 0 0 1 1
Switzerland 0 0 1 1
Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2021