Pakistan registered a thumping victory over Indonesia as the visitors defeated the hosts 13-0 in their second pool match of the Asia Hockey Cup 2022 at Jakarta's GBK Sports Arena on Tuesday.
The Men in Green got off to a flying start, scoring four goals in the first quarter to put Indonesia under pressure, who earlier on Tuesday conceded a 9-0 defeat against Japan in their opening match.
Pakistan in their inaugural fixture had held defending champions India to a 1-1 draw.
Rizwan Ali put up a splendid show, scoring thrice in the 15th, 25th and 43rd minutes while Ajaz Ahmad and Abdul Rana were also standout performers. Mubashir Ali, Ali Shan, Ali Ghazanfar, and Moin Shakeel netted a goal apiece in Pakistan's huge win.
Pakistan skipper Umar Bhutta said the win against Indonesia had boosted the team's confidence.
“Yesterday's match [against India] was good. We had the chances to win but could not convert them into goals. We are here with a young side and drew against India. Now, the big win against Indonesia is a morale booster for them,” he added.
Bhutta said Pakistan was eying a podium finish in the Asia Cup to earn a spot in the World Cup in India.
"Indonesia is a lower-ranked team, and we tried our best to score as many goals as we could against them to better our position," the skipper said.
The visitors will play their third match against Japan on Thursday.
DHAKA: Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das hit centuries and shared a record stand to turn the tide for Bangladesh in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Dhaka on Monday after a disastrous start.
At stumps, Liton was unbeaten with a career-best 135 with Mushfiqur on 115, his second hundred in as many innings, as Bangladesh reached 277-5 on the first day after electing to bat at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
The pair added 253 in their unbroken sixth-wicket stand after Sri Lanka’s pace bowlers Kasun Rajitha and Asitha Fernando shared five wickets between them to leave Bangladesh in tatters on 24-5 in a chaotic first hour of play.
Mushfiqur played a part in Bangladesh’s previous highest sixth-wicket stand when he shared 191 runs with Mohammad Ashraful, also against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2013.
“It is one of the best partnerships I have seen as a coach in Tests,” said Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo.
“We were 20 (24) for five, under a lot of pressure. It was an amazing effort by those two batters. Test cricket is hard but those guys showed amazing skill and character to get us in this good position.”
Liton brought his third Test hundred off 149 balls owing to a misfield, which yielded Bangladesh five runs.
Mushfiqur, who also scored 105 runs in the drawn first Test in Chittagong, then reached his ninth Test hundred off 218 balls.
The pair gave the only chance to Sri Lanka during their partnership for over two sessions when Liton lofted a catch on 47 off Fernando. But substitute fielder Kamindu Mendis dropped the chance at backward square leg.
Kamindu came to the field after Kusal Mendis left for a hospital with pain in his chest. Mendis was cleared later to continue playing as his physical condition was found not to be serious, according to a Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman.
The hosts made a nightmare start to the game as Rajitha bowled opener Mahmudul Hasan for a duck with the second ball of the morning.
Fellow opener Tamim Iqbal, who scored a century in the drawn first Test in Chittagong, also fell for a duck as he sent a leading edge off Fernando in the next over to be caught brilliantly by Jayawickrama at backward point.
Skipper Mominul Haque tried to settle the nerves with two fours, including one off the first ball he faced, but soon edged Fernando to wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella when on nine.
Rajitha then found a big gap between the bat and pad of Najmul Hossain, sending his middle-stump cart-wheeling with an inswinger as the left-hander was dismissed for eight. He delivered a body blow next ball to trap Shakib Al Hasan leg-before for a first-ball duck, leaving Bangladesh in disarray.
Liton hit 16 fours and a six and Mushfiqur hit 13 boundaries so far.
Rajitha finished the day with 3-43 while Fernando claimed 2-80.
Sri Lanka had rewarded Rajitha with a place after he impressed in Chittagong by taking 4-60, playing the match as a concussion substitute for Vishwa Fernando.He was one of their two changes, with Jayawickrama replacing Lasith Embuldeniya.
Bangladesh made two changes from the first Test as Mosaddek Hossain and Ebadot Hossain replaced the injured Nayeem Hasan and Shoriful Islam.
BANGLADESH (1st Innings): Mahmudul Hasan b Rajitha 0 Tamim Iqbal c Jayawickrama b Fernando 0 Najmul Hossain b Rajitha 8 Mominul Haque c Dickwella b Fernando 9 Mushfiqur Rahim not out 115 Shakib Al Hasan lbw b Rajitha 0 Liton Das not out 135 EXTRAS (B-6, LB-3, W-1) 10 TOTAL (for five wickets, 85 overs) 277 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-0 (Mahmudul), 2-6 (Tamim), 3-16 (Mominul), 4-24 (Najmul), 5-24 (Shakib). YET TO BAT: Mosaddek Hossain, Taijul Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain. BOWLING: Rajitha 19-5-43-3, Fernando 17-2-80-2 (1w), Jayawickrama 29-9-81-0, Mendis 12-0-41-0, Dhananjaya 4-0-15-0, Karunaratne 4-1-8-0.
Published in Dawn,May 24th, 2022
PARIS: Rafael Nadal kicked off his quest for a 14th French Open title with a straight-sets win over Jordan Thompson, but former world number one Naomi Osaka and defending champion Barbora Krejcikova tumbled out in the first round on Monday.
Nadal, on a quarter-final collision course with Novak Djokovic, brushed Australia’s Thompson aside 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 to improve his Roland Garros record to 106 wins and just three losses since his 2005 title-winning debut.
“I’m very happy with the victory today. I’m happy to get through in three sets,” said Nadal, seeded fifth. “It’s a first round, a positive match for me. Straight sets but with significant room for improvement.”
The Spaniard, who last week downplayed concerns over the recurrence of a foot injury that plagued him in Rome, meets Corentin Moutet in round two after the French wildcard defeated 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka.
American 13th seed Taylor Fritz, who missed the Madrid and Rome Open with injury, clinched a hard-fought 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 win over Argentina Santiago Rodriguez Taverna.
Fritz’ compatriot Reilly Opelka, seeded 18th, lost to Filip Krajnovic in straight sets earlier.
Osaka, the unseeded four-time Grand Slam winner, was knocked out earlier in the day 7-5, 6-4 by Amanda Anisimova — the same player who ended the Japanese star’s title defence at the Australian Open this year.
Osaka served eight double faults and committed 29 unforced errors on her return to Roland Garros, after withdrawing in 2021 when she refused to honour mandatory media commitments before revealing she had been suffering from depression.
As rain stopped play on the outside courts for two hours, Krejcikova followed Osaka through the exit door, going down 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to 19-year-old Frenchwoman Diane Parry in her first match since February following injury.
The Czech world number two had yet to play on clay this season after being sidelined by an elbow problem.
Iga Swiatek, the favourite for the women’s title, stretched her winning streak to 29 matches by dispatching Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko 6-2, 6-0 in 54 minutes.
The 20-year-old Swiatek, who took over as world number one following Ashleigh Barty’s shock retirement, has won her last five tournaments and is bidding for a second French Open in three attempts.
Former world number one Victoria Azarenka came back from a set down to prevail 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 in a gruelling three-hour battle against Ana Bogdan to advance to the second round, where she will meet Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.
Twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova rallied from 2-5 to take the first set against Hungarian Anna Bondar on the tiebreak before cruising through the second to triumph 7-6 (7-0), 6-1. She will meet Australia’s Daria Saville in the second round.
Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, who returned to action in April following a six-month mental health hiatus, moved into the second round with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 win over Belgian qualifier Ysaline Bonaventure.
In Sunday’s late action, Spain’s 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz lived up to the mounting hype with a winning start.
Alcaraz, bidding to become just the eighth teenager to capture a major men’s title, defeated Argentine lucky loser Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 without facing a break point on his Court Philippe Chatrier debut.
Widely tipped to end the dominance of 13-time champion Rafael Nadal and two-time winner Novak Djokovic, Alcaraz extended his season record to 29 wins and just three losses.
German third seed Alexander Zverev, a semi-finalist last year and who is scheduled to face Alcaraz in the quarter-finals, also eased into the second round with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 win over Austria’s Sebastian Ofner, the world number 218.
In the women’s draw, Greek fourth seed and 2021 semi-finalist Maria Sakkari made the second round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over France’s Clara Burel.
Coco Gauff defeated Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino 7-5, 6-0, a day after the 18-year-old celebrated her high school graduation.
Leylah Fernandez, last year’s US Open finalist, defeated Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic 6-0, 7-5.
Published in Dawn,May 24th, 2022
KARACHI: A disastrous show at the ICC World Cup earlier this year gave the Pakistan women’s team a reality check as they found themselves far from the standards required to be a competitive side at the international stage.
The team has now entered a rebuilding phase and a new “brand” of cricket is what they are looking forward to adapt as they kick off what is going to be a jam-packed season with a three-match Twenty20 series against a visiting Sri Lankan side here at the Southend Club on Tuesday.
After losing six out of their seven matches at the 50-over showpiece Pakistan identified they were lagging behind when it came to hitting the ball hard to score big while fitness also came into question.
“Though we are already working on fitness and improving as well but I think more work needs to be done,” Pakistan captain Bismah Maroof said during the pre-match press conference on Monday. “Power hitting, especially, is a department in which international players are better than us and it’s an area that we need to improve in.”
Bismah admitted Pakistan are suffering due not having a proper structure for women’s domestic cricket in the country. The batter rued the lack of fully developed players in the selection pool.
“There is big difference between our domestic level and the international level,” she said. “We don’t have many players who have already developed and some are gradually coming in since the number of games has started increasing.”
To address this issue the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has considered plans to launch a women’s T20 league next year. Countrywide trials are also being held to form women’s teams of cricket associations.
“If more competitive cricket at the domestic level, there’s a high chance that more players will enter into the pool,” Bismah said.
While improvements in women’s domestic cricket take place as a part of a long-term project, the Pakistan skipper said the three-day training camp ahead of the series under the scorching Karachi sun was utilised to give the younger players the confidence to become performers at the international level.
“We are well prepared and after training in fairly hot weather, we have tried to get used to it in the last three days,” said Bismah. “We’ve tried to give confidence to the youngsters and are looking forward to give them chances in this series.”
Pakistan will go into the Sri Lanka games with slight changes into the squad with two uncapped youngsters in batter Gull Feroza and spinner Tuba Hassan included.
It won’t be just the squad that is changed, the approach is expected to be different too.
“When you try to change the brand you can both fail and be successful,” Bismah said. “This has been communicated to the players and we’ll try to play according to that brand in this series.”
Sri Lanka too haven’t been the best in women’s cricket in the last two years. The side failed it to make it to the World Cup and has not even played a lot of cricket in the period.
While Pakistan look to find their confidence against a team fairly weaker than them, Sri Lanka will hunt for opportunities to cause an upset.
“Last two years we didn’t have many games because of Covid protocols in Sri Lanka but things have eased up now,” said Sri Lanka coach Hashan Tillakratne. “This tour is a great opportunity for the girls to come out and perform.”
Both teams have so far played 13 T20Is against each other and have an even record with six wins apiece. The last time these two sides faced off in a T20 series, Pakistan came out on top with a 2-1 win.
Tuesday’s match will be the first T20I between the two sides in Pakistan.
“We are starting out 2025 World Cup campaign,” said Tillakratne. “We think if we play to our potential, we can challenge them.”
Published in Dawn,May 24th, 2022
A high-voltage encounter between Pakistan and arch-rivals India ended in a 1-1 draw in the Asia Cup 2022 match in Jakarta on Monday.
India took the lead in the first quarter when debutant Karti Selvam scored his first goal for his team.
Both teams played aggressively right from the outset. Pakistan conceded a goal early on but demonstrated a better fight in the first two quarters. The Men in Green got several chances but couldn't captalise on them.
India scored on a penalty corner in the first quarter to take a 1-0 lead and then held onto it.
Pakistan scored the goal 69 seconds before the final quarter guided by Rana Waheed who converted a short corner to make it 1-1.
Pakistan goalkeeper Akmal Hussain was declared the player of the match.
Pakistan will take on hosts Indonesia on Tuesday in their second pool match and Japan on Thursday for their third pool match.
All-rounders Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz have returned to Pakistan's squad for next month's one-day international series against the West Indies, selectors said on Monday.
Shadab, 23, and the 28-year-old Nawaz were part of Pakistan's Twenty20 series against the West Indies in December but have since been out of action with injury.
The three-match series against the Windies will be staged in Rawalpindi on June 8, 10 and 12.
The ODIs were initially slated as part of the West Indies' 2021 tour of Pakistan but were postponed after a spate of Covid cases in the visitors' camp.
“Nawaz and Shadab are now fully fit, which has allowed us to leave out Asif Afridi and Usman Qadir,” said chief selector Mohammad Wasim in a statement.
“We have given the best chance to the squad to win the series.”
The 16-man squad will assemble in Rawalpindi on June 1 for a training camp although English County Championship players Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab will join later.
The West Indies series is part of the ODI Super League, a qualifying round for the 2023 World Cup in India.
Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zahid Mahmood.
Former Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt, who was banned over a high-profile spot-fixing scandal, has been appointed to a coaching role with Singapore's national team, cricket officials said.
The 37-year-old has been named consultant coach and will bring a “wealth of experience” to the side, the Singapore Cricket Association (SCA) said.
His first challenge will be the T20 World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe in July.
The left-handed batsman was part of the Pakistan team from 2003 to 2010, when a spot-fixing scandal erupted on their tour of England.
Butt, captain at the time, was charged with orchestrating deliberate no-balls from his pace bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif during a Lord's Test in return for money.
They were all banned for five years and jailed by a UK court.
Though they completed their bans in 2015, only Amir was able to regain his place in the Pakistan team.
Butt — who before the ban had played 33 Tests, 78 one-day internationals and 24 Twenty20 matches — has since played some domestic cricket.
SCA chief executive Saad Khan Janjua said he hoped Butt's abilities and experience would inspire the Singapore players ahead of the qualifiers.
“Butt is an accomplished player with experience that can push the players to the next level,” Saad was cited as saying in The Straits Times newspaper.
Singapore are not a top international side but have enjoyed some recent success.
They won the 2020 Asian Cricket Council Eastern region T20 tournament after defeating Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
MONTMELO: World champion Max Verstappen overcame a sequence of problems on Sunday to lead his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez home and claim the lead in this year’s title race on an afternoon of anguish for Charles Leclerc and Ferrari at a scorching Spanish Grand Prix.
His victory in a crushing Red Bull one-two was the 24th of his career and third in succession this season as he came home 13 seconds ahead of his Mexican partner with George Russell confirming Mercedes’ revival by finishing third.
Leclerc, who had led the championship and dominated practice, set off convincingly from pole position until he was forced to retire his Ferrari with an engine failure. He fell to second in the title race with 104 points to the Dutchman’s 110.
Beaten at the start, Verstappen was blown off the circuit and had technical problems, but he overcame them to produce a furious drive aided by his team-mate’s generosity for his second win at the Circuit de Catalunya, where he claimed his maiden victory as a teenager in 2016.
“I went off, when I had a lot of tailwind, and lost the rear,” said the 24-year-old Dutchman.
“My DRS (drag reduction system) was not always working and that made it very tough, but we managed to use strategy to get ahead.
“It was a difficult beginning, but a good end! I tried to stay focussed. It is not nice when stuff like that happens. I am very happy to win and happy for ‘Checo’ (Perez). It is a great result for the team.”
Carlos Sainz came home fourth in the second Ferrari ahead of seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who produced an inspired drive in the second Mercedes after an opening lap collision, and Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo.
Hamilton had to slow in the closing laps due to overheating problems, allowing home favourite Sainz to re-pass him to the delight of his home crowd.
Leclerc made a near-perfect start to lead Verstappen into Turn One while, behind him, Sainz struggled with his anti-stall mechanism allowing both Russell and Perez to pass him.
Kevin Magnussen started well and climbed to seventh before attacking Hamilton on the outside of Turn Four where they clashed, the Dane going off into a gravel area after leaving Hamilton with a front left puncture. In his damaged car, Hamilton, 19th, suggested he retired. “I would save this engine, guys, I’m sorry,” he said. Mercedes told him to continue.
At the front, Leclerc built a clear lead before, in succession, Sainz and Verstappen went into the Turn Four gravel, blamed on a gusty wind by Red Bull.
On lap 27, Leclerc slowed and pitted in anguish. “Oh no, no,” he cried, as he conceded the lead to Russell.
In the pits, Ferrari smothered him in sympathy.
Ferrari confirmed a power unit failure had undone Leclerc’s race, a problem that also hit Guanyu Zhou’s Ferrari-engined Alfa Romeo. For the Italians, it was a worrying trend.
“It’s a hard race for us, but we must look at the positives,” said Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto, as Perez, obeying orders, conceded the lead to his team-mate on lap 50.
Esteban Ocon was seventh for Alpine, ahead of Lando Norris of McLaren, two-time champion Fernando Alonso in the second Alpine and Yuki Tsunoda in his Alpha Tauri.
Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2022
DHAKA: Hosts Bangladesh hope that team spirit will propel them to victory in the series-deciding second Test against Sri Lanka from Monday with their four frontline bowlers all out injured.
Bowlers from both teams struggled to make an impact on all five days of the drawn first Test in Chittagong.
But the wicket at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium is expected to offer some assistance and no Test has been drawn at the ground since 2016.
If Bangladesh, who enjoyed the upper hand in the first Test, are to get a result they will do so with their bowling stocks badly depleted.
Off-spinner Nayeem Hasan, who claimed 6-105 in the first innings of the first Test, was the latest to be ruled out with a finger injury on Friday.
The hosts are also without Taskin Ahmed, Mehidy Hasan and Shoriful Islam.
Bangladesh have opted not to replace pacer Shoriful, who suffered a hand injury in Chittagong, while a replacement for Nayeem is yet to be named.
Skipper Mominul Haque said it would need to be a team effort.
“Batsmen or bowlers, we get good results when we can play as a team. The team gets into a good position whenever we give a collective effort. It will help us in Dhaka,” Mominul said.
Mominul pointed to the hosts’ extensive experience of the wicket in the capital.
“We play our most matches in Dhaka. I think we know how to handle spin and pace,” he said.
Sri Lanka struck an equally upbeat tone. They have won all three Test matches they have played at Sher-e-Bangla stadium, including a 215-run victory during their last visit in 2018.
“Our pacers did better than theirs (in the first Test). We have a few positives in that aspect,” all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva said.
Outlining a winning formula for the second Test, de Silva said the Dhaka wicket “will be helpful to the spinners”.
“If we are batting first we will try to get 275-300, and then get them out for less than 150 in one innings,” he said.
“It will give us a chance to win.”
Pace bowlers took seven of Sri Lanka’s nine wickets in the first Test, with right-arm quick Kasun Rajitha — playing as a concussion substitute for Vishwa Fernando — leading the way with 4-60.
Bangladesh: Mominul Haque (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Najmul Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Liton Das, Yasir Ali, Mosaddek Hossain, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain, Khaled Ahmed, Quazi Nurul Hasan, Rejaur Rahman, Shohidul Islam.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kamil Mishara, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kamindu Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Suminda Lakshan, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Praveen Jayawickrama, Lasith Embuldeniya.
Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2022
PARIS: Arab trailblazer Ons Jabeur crashed out of the French Open at the first hurdle on Sunday as full crowds returned to Roland Garros after a pandemic-hit two years.
Sixth seed Jabeur, seen as a potential champion, despite never having previously got past the fourth round, lost 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 to Poland’s 56th-ranked Magda Linette.
Jabeur came into the event with a season-leading 17 wins on clay in 2022, the prestigious Madrid title under her belt and a runners-up spot to world number one Iga Swiatek in Rome.
However, she was undone on Sunday by 47 unforced errors in the two hour 28-minute match.
Linette had lost to Jabeur in the third round in 2021 having stunned an injury-hit top seed Ashleigh Barty in her previous match.
“I just tried to stay focused after the first set and tried to make her uncomfortable,” said Linette.
Also making a premature exit was 2016 champion and 10th seed Garbine Muguruza, beaten 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 by Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi, the oldest woman in the tournament who came back from a set and break down.
World number 46 Kanepi, who turns 37 next month, made the last eight at the French Open in 2008 and 2012. Sunday’s victory was her 10th top ten win at a Slam.
Two-time runner-up Dominic Thiem, whose ranking has slipped to 194 after a lengthy battle with a wrist injury, was another early casualty, losing 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to 87th-ranked Hugo Dellien of Bolivia.
The 28-year-old Austrian, a former world number three, reached at least the quarter-finals at Roland Garros five years running from 2016 to 2020.
He finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2018 and 2019.
Canadian ninth seed Felix Auger-Alissiame came into this Roland Garros without a win in two visits.
That almost became three on Sunday when he gave up the first two sets to Peruvian qualifier and Grand Slam debutant Juan Pablo Varillas before he recovered to win 2-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3.
It was the first time Auger-Alissiame had come back from two sets behind to win.
American John Isner converted only one break point but won three tiebreaks in his first-round match against Quentin Halys to advance with a 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (8-6) victory.
Argentine 15th seed Diego Schwartzman, semi-finalist in Paris two years ago, beat Andriy Kuznetsov 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 6-2 to set up a second-round clash with Spaniard Jaime Munar, who saw off Daniel Altmaier in four sets.
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who retired due to injury during his first-round match against Marcos Giron in Paris last year, started his campaign in fine form by crushing the American 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 in an hour and a half.
Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2022