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New Zealand vs Pakistan, 1st ODI

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Black Caps beat the Champions Trophy holders by 61 runs

Wellington: New Zealand ended Pakistan’s run of nine consecutive wins in one-day internationals when they beat the Champions Trophy holders by 61 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis system today to open the five-match series.

Captain Kane Williamson made 115 to lead New Zealand to 315-7 as they batted first after losing the toss. Pakistan were 166-6 after 30.1 overs when rain brought the match to an early end.

 

Opener Fakhar Zaman was 82 not out and Faheem Ashraf 17 was not out but Pakistan were well short of the 227 runs it needed to win the match under the Duckworth-Lewis system when rain finally set in.

New Zealand swing bowler Tim Southee captured two wickets in the first over of the Pakistan innings to place the tourists under immediate pressure in reply.

Southee trapped both Azhar Ali (6) and Babar Azam (0) lbw within his opening over, then took a catch from Trent Boult’s bowling to dismiss Mohammad Hafeez (1) to leave Pakistan’s innings in disarray at 13-3.

Fakhar batted superbly to recover the innings, reaching his half-century from 63 balls and putting on 78 for the sixth wicket with Shadab Khan. But Pakistan never approached the run-rate they needed to win the match whether or not rain intervened.

New Zealand were on top from the start as Williamson, currently the No. 4-ranked batsman in ODI cricket, reached his 10th ODI century from 106 balls to lead his team to a record total at the Basin Reserve.

Opener Colin Munro also enhanced his reputation as one of the world’s leading ODI batsmen, giving the New Zealand innings a sound foundation with is fifth ODI half-century.

Munro, the top-ranked batsmen in Twenty20 internationals, hit 58 from 35 balls to give the hosts a rapid beginning in conditions in which scoring generally required careful application.

“Obviously, we’ve been playing a lot of cricket recently against the West Indies and it was a different competition against Pakistan,” Williamson said.

“The way we batted with Colin and Martin (Guptill) at the top of the order set the tone coming into a new series and getting past the 300 mark on that surface was an above-par effort.”

Despite being covered during two days of rain – the reason Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed chose to bowl on winning the toss – the pitch at the Basin Reserve was hard and provided good pace and carry, even a little seam movement.

Undeterred by those conditions, Munro reached his 50 off just 33 balls with five fours and two sixes.

He went to his half-century with a six from the bowling of Hasan Ali and added one more boundary before he was out to end an 83-run opening partnership with Martin Guptill (48).

Williamson then added 73 with Guptill for the second wicket and 90 with Henry Nicholls for the fifth before finally falling in the 48th over. Nicholls again played a strong hand near the end, hitting 50 from 53 balls.

The Pakistan seamers, who found a little assistance from the pitch, used shorter balls and slower deliveries to try and limit the scoring options of the New Zealand batsmen.

Munro was the only batsman who was able to launch an all-out attack on the bowlers and Williamson notably achieved his century by quiet accumulation. His innings contained only eight fours and one six and, in total, New Zealand hit only 25 fours and five sixes.

Hasan Ali, ranked the best bowler in the world in ODIs, was again Pakistan’s best on Saturday, taking 3-61.

“Obviously it was very tough conditions for us,” Sarfraz said of the wet, windy and cold weather. “Credit to the New Zealand batsmen, they batted very well.

“Hopefully we will sit together, talk about it and do better in the next match.”


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Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup

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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.

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FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101

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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.

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Coutinho brace helps Brazil forget Neymar in winning Copa start

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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.

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