DUBAI: Pakistan will look to finish off the series when they face New Zealand in the second Twenty20 International here at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday.
For a team coming out of a seven-month hiatus from international cricket, New Zealand did quite well to brush off the dust and give Pakistan a scare in the first T20 of the three-match series at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Having been restricted to 148-6 by a varied New Zealand attack, Pakistan were able to escape with a two-run victory. Pakistan will now have their eyes set on closing out the series in the very next game, to build on the 10-series winning streak.
New Zealand will rue the missed opportunity in the first game, but will take heart from what was still quite a decent performance.
The tourists’ bowling and top-order batting were particularly good, but they will want to be better prepared to tackle the spinners with the slightly softer ball in the middle overs.
In the first game, they slipped from 79-1 to 89-4, which severely dented their chase. Colin Munro did the heavy scoring at the top of the order with a 42-ball 58, but after his dismissal things went downhill.
The New Zealand batsmen will want to take a leaf out of Ross Taylor’s book in their quest to capitalise on the middle-overs. The veteran batsman scored a fantastic 42 not out off just 26 deliveries even as wickets tumbled rapidly at the other end. They know that if just one other batsman had chipped in, the result might have been different.
Pakistan will be pleased that they were able to post a decent total on a tricky pitch even though Babar Azam finally failed at the top of the order his scores of 68 not out, 45 and 50 were crucial in Pakistan clean-sweeping Australia in the preceding T20 series. He was dismissed for seven by Adam Milne, but Asif Ali, Mohammad Hafeez and Sarfraz Ahmed chipped in with sizeable contributions to steady the side.
For Pakistan to continue winning, it will be crucial for the spinners to continue bowling the way they have, but New Zealand’s prospects of milking runs will improve significantly if captain Kane Williamson a naturally sound player of spin finds form in the second game.
Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup
Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.
Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.
While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.
“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.
“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.
FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101
London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.
Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.
Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.
GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019
The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.
Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.
2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.
Coutinho brace helps Brazil forget Neymar in winning Copa start
Sao Paulo: A brace from Philippe Coutinho handed hosts Brazil a winning start to the Copa America in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the absence of superstar Neymar was quickly forgotten.
Barcelona’s Coutinho scored from the penalty spot early in the second half and added a close-range header three minutes later.
Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch a Group A victory for coach Tite’s tournament favorites in Sao Paul.
The build-up to the competition had been dominated by Neymar’s woes, firstly when he was accused of rape by a Brazilian model, and then when he damaged ankle ligaments in a friendly last week, forcing him out of the Copa.
If Brazil’s first-half performance was anything to go by, the Paris Saint-Germain star was sorely missed, but Coutinho’s brace at least silenced the jeers that met the team at half-time.
“Whistles are part of the game, the fans want us to win and play well, so that’s why they jeer,” said the match-winner, whose goals papered over the cracks of an at times disjointed performance.
“We always want their support but we’re focused on the objective, which is the match,” Coutinho told Brazil’s SportTV.
“Whistles or cheers, the important thing is to stay focused and get the win.” Brazil made a bright start and predictably dominated the early possession and chances
But surprisingly their greatest threat came from set-pieces with Coutinho’s corner delivery causing panic in the Bolivian backline.