Pakistan seek change of fortune against South Africa

In this file photo, Pakistan’s Asad Shafiq squats at the wicket during day one of the 1st cricket test match between South Africa and Pakistan in Pretoria on Dec. 26, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 17 January 2019

Pakistan seek change of fortune against South Africa

  • The series is crucial for Cricket World Cup 2019
  • Mohammad Hafeez will be part of Pakistani squad

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa: Pakistan will seek a change of fortune when they play South Africa in the first of five one-day internationals at St. George’s Park on Saturday.
The tourists were mauled in a recent Test series, with none of the three matches going beyond lunch on the fourth day, but have reason to be optimistic in the 50-overs game where fast short-pitched bowling will likely not be a decisive factor.
For both teams, the series is an important step toward the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales later this year.
“We’re certainly a far better white-ball team than we are a Test unit at the minute,” said Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur after the third Test on Monday.
That seems a reasonable assessment as Pakistan have shown their ability in one-day cricket, notably when they won the Champions Trophy in England in 2017. Since the start of that tournament, during which they beat South Africa in a rain-shortened match, they have compiled a 17-10 winning record.
Pakistan’s batting will be strengthened by the inclusion of Mohammad Hafeez, who retired from Test cricket at the end of last year, and Shoaib Malik, while they have a capable attack in which spinners Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim could play key roles.
Fakhar Zaman, the aggressive left-handed opening batsman, was exposed against the short ball in the Tests, being dropped after scoring only 32 runs in four innings, but has hit 1275 runs at an average of 57.95 in one-day internationals, scored at close to a run a ball.
South Africa have based their World Cup plans on picking four specialist bowlers but have yet to settle on a batting all-rounder to fill the crucial number seven position.
They announced a squad for the first two matches only. Since the squad was announced, it was decided to rest wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock and fast bowler Dale Steyn.
The changes provide opening batsman Aiden Markram with another opportunity to shine in a format in which he has yet to assert himself, while fast bowler Duanne Olivier was rewarded for his man of the series performances in the Tests with a first one-day call-up.
Port Elizabeth usually has one of the slowest pitches in South Africa, which should suit the tourists. In their most recent appearance at the ground, in November 2013, they clinched their only one-day series win in South Africa.
SQUADS
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), Aiden Markram, David Miller, Duanne Olivier, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (capt, wkt), Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan (wkt), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Shoaib Malik, Usman Khan


Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

Updated 18 November 2019

Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

  • First woman from the Kingdom to compete in the championship in Indonesia

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is sending its first woman to compete in the 55th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup that begins in Indonesia.

Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.

Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating in the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating in the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The men’s competition started Sunday at 9 p.m.

The women’s competition will begin at 3 p.m. today, where Mashael will take part in six rounds. The competition will run until Nov. 24.

HIGHLIGHT

  • Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.
  • Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating at the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating at the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The competition continues on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and after completing 24 rounds, the top 24 players will be selected to compete for the top eight positions by playing eight runs on Friday. On Saturday, the best four female players and four male players will be chosen to compete in the finals.

Abdulrahman said that he is looking forward to the world cup. “This year there is a new advantage and that is having teammate Mashael joining me for the first time. I’m proud of her! It’s a big thing for Saudi women and for us in the team because this world exposure will help them to learn and give them an incentive to develop their skills,” he said.

The 20-year-old player has been bowling for the past 10 years. Despite his young age, thanks to his perseverance and sense of discipline he managed to win many victories, but the most distinguished were those in 2018. He delivered the bronze medal at the World Cup in Detroit, and two bronzes at the Asian Bowling Championship in the Philippines in the same year, and a gold medal for the trio event at the Arab Bowling Championship in Oman.

Mashael, 32, was only able to play officially last year in February 2018 when the Saudi Bowling Federation (SBF) received the decree to allow women to play in sports. However, she has been playing for fun since early childhood when she used to travel to Egypt with her family and where she managed to learn from the professionals and get hooked on the game. Mashael was chosen to take part in the Egypt Arab Championship and World Bowling Women’s Championship in Las Vegas in August 2018.

Mashael said: “Playing for fun is definitely enjoyable but when you wear your country’s flag that’s a huge responsibility put on your shoulder. You become an ambassador and a role model and when I’m put in that situation, I definitely want to give my all to be fit for that honor, and give the best image worthy of our beloved country.”

The bowlers expressed their gratitude to the Saudi Bowling Federation and its president Bader bin Abdullah Al-Alsheikh for his support and for creating opportunities for them so that they can progress, enrich their experiences and win awards and achievements.