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Pak bowlers fight back to defy S. Africa

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Australia v India second Test scoreboard

Johannesburg: Pakistan’s bowlers changed the course of the third and final Test against South Africa when they engineered a dramatic collapse on the first day of the third and final Test today. 
From being in control on 226 for three at tea, South Africa were bowled out for 262 at the Wanderers Stadium.
Vernon Philander struck back for South Africa, taking two wickets off successive balls as Pakistan reached 17 for two at the close.
A polished innings of 90 by Aiden Markram, coupled with some wayward bowling by Pakistan, laid the foundation for some attacking batting by South Africa, who collectively hit 37 fours and a six before tea on what looked the best batting pitch of a series already won by the hosts.
But the runs dried up after the interval as South Africa were able to add only 36 for the loss of seven wickets in 19.4 overs, hitting only four more boundaries.
Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Abbas set the tone after tea, taking two and one wickets respectively. Both bowlers gained reverse swing and tightened up their lines to make run-scoring difficult.
Amir left the field four balls into his 16th over after falling in his delivery stride and appearing to twist his left ankle but Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf continued to put pressure on the batsmen.
Ashraf finished with three for 57, while Amir, Abbas and Hasan took two wickets each.
Markram hit 16 boundaries off 124 balls in an innings marked by crisply-struck drives and firm clips to leg.
It was the third time in his 15-Test career that he had been dismissed in the nineties.
Markram, who had to pass a fitness test after suffering a badly bruised right thigh while fielding in the second Test in Cape Town, looked set for his fifth Test century until he glanced a ball from the medium-paced Faheem and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed dived to his left to take a good catch.
Hashim Amla (41) helped Markram put on 126 for the second wicket after stand-in captain Dean Elgar was caught behind off Mohammad Abbas for five in the second over.
Theunis de Bruyn (49) and new cap Zubayr Hamza (41) both batted brightly in a fourth wicket stand which was worth 72 off 92 balls at tea.
But De Bruyn was out in the third over after tea and Hamza, who scored 38 off 46 balls before tea, could add only three more runs off 22 deliveries before he was caught behind off Amir.
Left to negotiate a tricky 40 minutes before the close, Pakistan lost Shan Masood, their top scorer in the series, for two when a successful review by South Africa showed he had got a faint edge to a ball angled across him.
Azhar Ali received a superb first delivery which seamed way from him and found an edge for wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock to take a second catch.

 

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PCB regrets Durban incident

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has expressed regret over the remark made by Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and picked up by the stump mic during the second ODI against South Africa in Durban.
The PCB neither endorses nor supports any comments that have the potential to cause offense, and firmly reiterates their zero-tolerance approach towards racist comments made; in whatever context, said a spokesman of the PCB here on Wednesday night. “This incident has also highlighted the importance and significance of player education and training at all levels. The PCB endeavors to improve their player education programmes to ensure these types of incidents do not happen again,” he said.
“Sarfaraz is one of the most respected cricketers in the world. However, captaining Pakistan is a massive honor and any hurtful remarks by any cricketer, let alone the captain, is not acceptable to the PCB,” he added. The spokesman said, “The PCB is confident that this incident will not affect the series, which has been played in great spirit with some excellent performances from both sides. The PCB is also hopeful that the crowds will continue to turn up in big numbers for the remaining matches to support cricket.”

 

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PSL: Haier joins Peshawar Zalmi as Main Title Sponsor

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LAHORE: Peshawar Zalmi and Haier Pakistan have signed a MoU for Main Title Sponsorship for Peshawar Zalmi for the 4th Edition of Pakistan Super League being played from February 14 in UAE and Pakistan.
Pakistan Super League’s most valued franchise in terms of Media and Brand, Peshawar Zalmi signed the MoU at an impressive ceremony. Chairman Peshawar Zalmi, Javed Afridi and Haier Pakistan Senior Director Li Da Peng signed the MoU here on Wednesday. Also present were Peshawar Zalmi players Kamran Akmal and Umaid Asif. Javed Afridi and Li Da Peng expressed their happiness on the signing and said that Partnership between Haier Pakistan and Peshawar Zalmi will strengthen in future and it will benefit Pakistan Cricket too along Peshawar Zalmi. Javed Afridi said that Haier Pakistan did a great part in past in promotion of Cricket in Pakistan and he is grateful for their tremendous support for Pakistan Sports and Peshawar Zalmi.
Li Da Peng highlighted the efforts of his organization for the uplift of cricket in Pakistan and expressed the hope that with the efforts of Peshawar Zalmi cricket will gain rapid promotion in China as well. “Besides being Pakistan’s number one brand in electronics, Haier is actively involved in sports-related activities and we are gaining rapid success in the field of electronics and sports,” he asserted. Javed Afridi said he has a multi-dimensional vision which focuses on generating more and more cricket activities from the platform of Peshawar Zalmi besides speeding up efforts to play due role in the fields of education and sports. “We are doing it for our country and to contribute in the national duty, we are not just focusing on cricket only we are lending support to hockey which is our national sports and needs immediate attention for its revival,” he said.
Javed Afridi called upon the need for introducing a transparent system in Pakistan Hockey Federation to ensure that funds being provided to them were being spent in the right direction purely on the development of the game. “We will soon reveal our ambitious plan to spend resources in the field of education and health as they are the two most neglected fields in the country and the future of our country heavily depends on improvement and progress of these fields “, he said. He said star-studded Peshawar Zalmi will perform to a higher level in the Pakistan Super League and its players will live up to the expectations by giving their best form and performance in the mega event. Kamran Akmal and Umaid Asif also spokesman on the occasion and reiterated their pledge to support Peshawar Zalmi by putting up their best in the PSL.

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Cricket: S. Lanka hoping for a miracle in Australia Test series

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BRISBANE: Sri Lanka have closely studied the way India defeated Australia in their recent Test series, but captain Dinesh Chandimal said today his side will still need a miracle to do the same.
Speaking to reporters ahead of Thursday’s opening Test at the Gabba, Chandimal was cautious when asked about Sri Lanka’s chances. “It’s definitely a challenge for us, and if you can take this challenge – and as a batsman or as a bowler you give it your best shot and give 200 percent to the team – we can do a miracle here,” he said.
“That’s what we want to do as a team, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed.” Chandimal said he had kept a close eye on the “outstanding cricket” played by India in their first Test series win in Australia, which wrapped up earlier this month. “When India were bowling between 40 and 80 overs they didn’t give any runs away in that period. They kept it at under three an over. That’s the area where I think they won the series,” he said.
“If we want to win a game that is the area we’ll have to improve, and we’re aware of that.” The Sri Lankan skipper said he wasn’t perturbed by the notoriously fast and bouncy Gabba wicket. “When you look at the pitch you can see a lot of grass on the wicket,” he said. “We have got really good fast bowlers – Suranga (Lakmal), Lahiru Kumara, (Dushmantha) Chameera. Kumar can bowl over 140 (kilometres per hour) — so that’s a real plus,” he added.
Chandimal said he wanted to make history and become the first Sri Lankan captain to win a Test series in Australia, but wouldn’t take his opponents lightly. “We never underestimate the Australians,” he said.
“They have some really good players, but in their batting unit they are missing a lot of experienced players. So if we can get early wickets we can put them under pressure.”

 

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