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Sri Lanka to bowl first against New Zealand

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AUCKLAND: Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl in the one-off Twenty20 match against New Zealand in Auckland Friday.

It is Sri Lanka’s last chance to notch a win on their tour after losing all three one-day matches and finishing the two-Test series with a loss and a draw.

“We’ll see what the bowlers can do and then the batsmen can chase it down,” captain Lasith Malinga said after winning the toss.

Tim Southee, leading New Zealand while Kane Williamson is rested, said he would also have bowled first but “it looks like a good surface so hopefully we can make good use of it.

“It has been a great start to the season and hopefully we can keep the momentum going.”

Scott Kuggeleijn makes his debut for New Zealand and Mitchell Santner returns from an injury lay off while for Sri Lanka Danushka Gunathilaka is injured with Kusal Perera moving up to opener.

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee (capt), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson
Sri Lanka: Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Thisara Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dasun Shanaka, Lasith Malinga (capt), Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara

 

 

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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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Australia v India second Test scoreboard

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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