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South Africa end Pakistan’s record run of T20 series victories

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Washington:Pakistan’s world-record run of 11 straight Twenty20 series victories came to an end as South Africa won by seven runs at the Wanderers.

South Africa defended its total of 188-3 after two thrilling final overs, when four Pakistan wickets fell and the tourists ended on 181-7.

It gave South Africa a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series and saw Pakistan slip to defeat in a bilateral T20 series for the first time in three years.

 

Chasing 188, Pakistan scored rapidly at the start of their innings, with Azam hitting the first three balls off Beuran Hendricks for four. It was 70 for one at the end of the six-over power play — 26 runs ahead of South Africa’s total at the same stage.

Azam and Hussain Talat (59) put on 102 off 75 balls for the second wicket.

“We had the game but we couldn’t finish it,” said Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik.

The tempo of the game changed when Azam pulled a slower ball from Beuran Hendricks to deep midwicket after hitting 13 fours and a six in a 58-ball innings.

“We didn’t start too well with the ball,” said Miller, who was named man of the match. “We were too short and too wide but the bowlers pulled it back.”

Although neither took a wicket, Miller praised left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and new fast bowler Lutho Sipamla for economical bowling in the middle overs before the late-innings collapse.

President Arif Alvi took to Twitter to comment on the match and share his observations about the players’ performances.

Batting first, stand-in captain David Miller hit an explosive half-century as South Africa made a strong finish to their innings. Miller slammed 65 not out off 29 balls to enable South Africa to post 188 for three in their 20 overs.

Captaining South Africa for the first time because Faf du Plessis was rested for the last two matches of the series, Miller went on the rampage in the closing overs after South Africa made a relatively sedate start on an unusually slow, dry Wanderers pitch.

Miller hit five sixes and four fours as South Africa scored 127 runs in the last ten overs of an innings which was interrupted for half an hour by a rain shower. The break came with South Africa on 140 for three after 17.1 overs and they added 48 runs off the remaining 17 balls of the innings.

New cap Janneman Malan and Reeza Hendricks put on 58 for the first wicket but used up 53 balls. Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim, who opened the bowling, took one for nine in four overs. He bowled a maiden to Malan and had the newcomer stumped after an otherwise promising innings of 33 off 31 balls.

Rassie van der Dussen hit four sixes in a quickfire innings of 45 off 27 balls to lift the scoring rate before Miller finished the innings with some ferocious hitting.

Left-arm fast bowler Usman Shinwari, whose first two balls were hit for six by Malan, conceded 63 runs off his four overs.


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Hearing of Minerva Punjab FC plea against AIFF likely on Friday

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday is likely to hear a plea by the Minerva Punjab FC challenging All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) league committee decision not to postpone the February 18 I-League match against Real Kashmir FC in the wake of the Pulwama attack, team lawyers said on Tuesday.

In the plea filed by Minerva Punjab FC’s counsels Abhimanyu Tewari and Amitabh Tewari, the team said that it requested the AIFF league committee to postpone their match with Real Kashmir FC which was scheduled to take place in Srinagar on Monday.
Minerva’s fears were well founded and a request to postpone the match would not affect any party in the light of the extremely volatile situation in the Kashmir Valley, the advocates said.

In the plea, Minerva had also asked to shift the venue but it was rejected.

 

The decision of AIFF not to postpone the match is akin to forcing the players and spectators to play Russian roulette with their lives, the advocates said.

“The rejection is completely against all principles of equity and are violative of the Hero I-League regulations 2018-19 and the FIFA safety guidelines,” the plea said.

“The decision of the AIFF not to postpone the match is inequitable and has been taken without taking the situation into account and without accounting for the safety of the players and the spectators.”

The advocates said that Minerva has international players, who have been advised by their respective countries not to travel to Jammu and Kashmir.

“The AIFF is acting arbitrarily and without reason as earlier in the month the match between Real Kashmir FC and East Bengal was postponed on account of snow whereas the present situation is much more serious and lives of the players and the spectators are at risk,” the advocates said.

Moreover, Minerva is at a loss by not playing the match.

“Minerva is languishing at the bottom of the table and an adverse decision would lead to relegation from the 1st division therefore the decision to not play the match on the February 18 is completely bonafide in light of the security situation.

“A decision of awarding three points to Real Kashmir FC is beneficial for them as the same would propel them to the title with better goal difference therefore their insistence to play the match,” the plea added.

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After IMG-Reliance’s exit, Pakistan Super League gets new producer

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) were dealt a blow on Sunday when IMG-Reliance pulled out as producers and logistical support providers for the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The decision to pull out early into the season came after Pulwama terror attack in South Kashmir on February 14 left 40 CRPF soldiers dead. Immediately afterward, PCB announced they would sign a new partner soon and it has emerged that they have.

PCB has found a replacement for the remainder of the tournament with consortium of Blitz and Trans Group to help produce the PSL. “The Pakistan Cricket Board today announced the consortium of Blitz and Trans Group as the new live production partner for the HBL Pakistan Super League 2019,” the PCB said in a press release. “Blitz is the PCB’s broadcast partners in Pakistan, while Trans Group is the event management partners.”

The Blitz and Trans Group will begin their coverage of the PSL from February 20. The board stated that the group will provide same coverage the viewers experienced in the earlier matches of the league.

 

In the mail written to Sohaib Sheikh, General Manager Marketing & Sales PCB and PSL, and Kamil Khan General Manager Marketing, Digital Media and Sports Production at Pakistan Cricket Board, IMG-Reliance wrote: “Due to unfortunate events a couple of days back which resulted in the death of Indian soldiers, IMG Reliance is pulling out with immediate effects, from offering broadcast production services for PSL,” the source confirmed to IndianExpress.com. “The incident that occurred is deeply regrettable,” it further said.

PCB issued a statement in response saying, “We have been informed by IMG Reliance that they will be unable to partner with us for the remaining HBL PSL 2019 and PCB has reserved all its rights. The PCB always had a contingency plan in place, and we are confident we will be in a position to announce the new partner on Monday after the completion of the formalities,” said PCB’s Managing Director Wasim Khan.

The decision from IMG-Reliance came just a few hours after the broadcasting channel D-Sport suspended the telecast of the league in India. Even the official streaming service pulled out from coverage.

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Ross Taylor, Tim Southee shine in Bangladesh sweep

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Ross Taylor became New Zealand’s highest scorer in one-day internationals on Wednesday as he helped his side secure an 88-run victory over Bangladesh in Dunedin in their final official ODI before the World Cup.

The 34-year-old top-scored with 69, his 47th ODI half century, to move to 8,026 career runs and ahead of former captain Stephen Fleming’s 8,007 as New Zealand scored 330 for six at University Oval.

Tim Southee then took three wickets in his first two overs with Sabbir Rahman’s maiden one-day century not enough as Bangladesh were dismissed for 242 in 47.2 overs to give New Zealand a 3-0 series sweep. Southee finished with 6-65.

 

“I knew I was close at the start of the day … but that was only because I was told I was 50 runs away by a journalist yesterday,” Taylor told Sky Sports on Wednesday.

“It was nice to get the reception I got,” he added of the standing ovation he received when he reached 51 and the crowd were told of the significance of the score. “Very humbling.”

Congratulations @RossLTaylor amazing last 18 months and stellar career to date. Great player that I hope will set the bar high for the next. Well deserved and good luck over the next few months.

Taylor is in a rich run of form. He has scored 2892 at 68.85 with eight centuries since the last World Cup and averaged 91.28 last year, but sidestepped any questions about retirement.
“We’ll have to wait and see how the body is going,” said Taylor, who turns 35 on March 8.

“It’s definitely in your thinking, because you have to think about retirement after cricket.

“In saying that you still need to earn the right to play for the team. At the moment I’m really enjoying my time and hopefully I’ll have a couple of more years left in me.”

New Zealand have no more official ODIs before the World Cup starts on May 30, but Taylor said he felt they had learned enough from 3-0 series sweeps against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and a 4-1 loss to India to be competitive in England.

“I think we’re getting a good nucleus of depth in this team and hopefully we can go over and compete,” he said.

“I guess we need to have a full complement of batters and bowlers going well.”

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