Pakistan notches 11 runs win in 2nd T20 against Aus

Pakistan cricketer Muhammad Hafez, right, celebrates after he dismissed Australian cricketer Alex Carey, left, during the second T20 cricket match against Australia at the International Cricket Stadium in Dubai, Oct. 26, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 27 October 2018

Pakistan notches 11 runs win in 2nd T20 against Aus

  • It was Pakistan’s 10th consecutive Twenty20 series victory under the captaincy Sarfraz Ahmed
  • Australia top order batsmen once again choked against the left-arm spin of Imad Wasim (1-8) and legspinner Shadab Khan (2-30)

DUBAI: Pakistan survived a late Glenn Maxwell charge to beat Australia by 11 runs in the second Twenty20 on Friday.
Maxwell, dropped twice, made 52 off 37 balls and Nathan Coulter-Nile scored a fighting 27 but Pakistan restricted Australia to 136-8.
Earlier, opening batsman Babar Azam once again top scored with 45 and together with Mohammad Hafeez (40) anchored Pakistan to 147-6 after captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bat.
The victory ensured top-ranked Pakistan notches its 10th successive Twenty20 series victory under Ahmed that began with a 1-0 win over England in 2016. The last match of the series will be played at the same venue on Sunday.
“It’s not easy to get 10 out 10 in Twenty20, but credit goes to the boys, the way we have improved our bowling, batting and fielding,” Pakistan captain Ahmed said.
“It’s a big win and now we will try to give the boys sitting on the bench a chance in the last match.”
Australia top order batsmen once again choked against the left-arm spin of Imad Wasim (1-8) and legspinner Shadab Khan (2-30) before Maxwell and Coulter-Nile made a late recovery.
Wasim, who grabbed three wickets in the first match which Australia lost heavily by 66 runs on Wednesday, had the wicket of dangerman Chris Lynn.
D’Arcy Short was run-out after the ball brushed the left-arm spinner Wasim’s fingers and crashed onto the stumps at the non striker’s end.
Finch’s (3) struggle continued against Wasim before he holed out in the deep in Shadab’s first over while attempting a desperate big shot before the legspinner had Mitchell Marsh caught behind.
“We were probably just a bit tentative in the Powerplay,” Finch said. “Being six down in the last game, we tried to be conservative and when Pakistan put the squeeze on you, it can get tough. They are No.1 for a reason.”
Ben McDermott was run out for the second successive time in the series by Fakhar Zaman, this time the fielder hitting the stumps with a brilliant backhand flick.
Australia was stuttering at 73-6 in the 14th over before Maxwell and Coulter-Nile put on 59 runs but both were dismissed by 18-year-old left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi in the last over.
Like in the first match Pakistan innings revolved around Azam and Hafeez’s 70-run second wicket stand.
Australia pegged back Pakistan through its spinners Short and Adam Zampa with Short featuring in the dismissal of both batsmen.
Hafeez holed out to Short at deep square leg while Finch caught Azam on the edge of the boundary at long off off Short’s left-arm spin.
Coulter-Nile (3-18) returned to remove Shoaib Malik (14) and Hasan Ali off successive deliveries before Faheem Ashraf’s unbeaten 17 off 10 balls gave Pakistan enough runs to defend.


Italy’s Serie A to resume on June 20

Updated 29 May 2020

Italy’s Serie A to resume on June 20

  • ‘Italy has started to return to normal life again, it is only right that football should do the same’

ROME: Italy’s Serie A was given the green light on Thursday to resume on June 20 after a three-month absence as one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic begins to ease restrictions.
Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said that the government’s Technical and Scientific Committee (CTS) had agreed to the health protocol proposed by Italian football chiefs.
“Italy has started to return to normal life again, it is only right that football should do the same,” said Spadafora.
“The federation assured me that it had a Plan B and a Plan C.
“In light of these considerations, the championship can resume on June 20.”
Italian football federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina told the minister during the video conference that a play-off system would be used if the championship were again interrupted, while the existing standings would be used if it were stopped.
“We had a very useful meeting,” said Spadafora. “From the start, I said that football could restart once all the security conditions had been met.”
No top-flight matches in Italy have been played since Sassuolo beat Brescia 3-0 on March 9.
One of the hardest hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic with over 33,000 deaths, Italian football now faces a scheduling nightmare, for matches which will take place behind closed doors.
Lega Serie A will meet on Friday morning to examine “the different calendar hypotheses” for the remaining Serie A and Italian Cup matches, amounting to 127 in total.
Most teams have 12 league games left to play, but there were four postponed fixtures.
Spadafora suggested that the Italian Cup could be concluded the week before the return to Serie A action.
The semifinal return leg matches between Inter Milan and Napoli and AC Milan and Juventus, could be played on June 13-14 with the final on June 17.
“I also hope to be able to send a positive signal to the whole country by taking advantage of the week from June 13 to 20 to conclude the Italian Cup,” he added.
The announcement of the resumption of the Italian league comes just after the English Premier League confirmed it will restart on June 17.
The German championship has already resumed and Spain’s La Liga will return to the pitch the week of June 8.
Among the five major European championships, only the French Ligue 1 has been definitively stopped.
“I’m happy and satisfied,” said Gravina. “The restart of football represents a message of hope for the whole country.”
But many issues remain to be resolved including match schedules, players’ contracts which end on June 30, and unpaid TV rights by broadcasters.
“Footballers are not robots, there are concerns,” said Damiano Tommasi, president of the players’ union.
“A critical issue is (playing a) match at 4.30pm which in June and July in Italy is unthinkable,” added the former Italy and Roma player.
The thorniest issue remains the two-week quarantine period in the case of a positive test, which Spadafora insisted would remain.
“The CTS agreed with the medical protocol, but confirmed the absolute necessity for a quarantine period if a player were to test positive,” said Spadafora, who did not exclude future changes to the rule.
“I’m ready to bet on the resumption of the championship, but with this rule of quarantine of 14 days, the possibilities of concluding it are not high,” said Enrico Castellacci, president of the Italian Football Doctors Association.
“It’s a crime. I’m not going to quarantine 50 healthy people. We don’t do this if there is a positive case in a factory,” argued Lazio doctor Ivo Pulcini, with the Roman club committed to a resumption of the season, as they sit just one point behind leaders Juventus.