Australia beat Pakistan once again for an unassailable 3-0 lead in ODI series

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The Aussies celebrated yet another win – their sixth in a row – to win the series against Pakistan in the UAE. (AFP)
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Updated 27 March 2019

Australia beat Pakistan once again for an unassailable 3-0 lead in ODI series

  • Aaron Finch once against leads from the front with 90 runs.
  • Victory was the sixth in a row for Finch's team.

ABU DHABI: Skipper Aaron Finch just missed a record hundred while Adam Zampa took four wickets and Pat Cummins claimed three as Australia demolished Pakistan by 80 runs in the third one-day international in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Finch hit a 136-ball 90 to steer Australia to 266 for six in 50 overs on a slow-paced Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch before Zampa (four for 43) and Cummins (three for 24) jolted Pakistan’s batting before they folded at 186 in 44.4 overs.
The win gives Australia an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series with the last two games taking place in Dubai on Friday and Sunday.

Finch enjoyed another great day with the bat as he led from the front in the UAE capital. (AFP) 

Australia won the first two matches by identical margins of eight wickets — both in Sharjah — and continued their dominance of a depleted Pakistan side who rested six of their key players in a surprise move, two months before the World Cup.
Cummins, fresh after resting the first two matches, followed his 14 wickets in the series win in India earlier this month, by dismissing Shan Masood (two) in his third over and then had Haris Sohail (one) and Mohammad Rizwan (nought) in his fourth.
That left Pakistan reeling at 16 for three before opener Imam-ul-Haq (46) and Shoaib Malik (32) put on a fourth wicket stand of 59 before Glenn Maxwell trapped Imam leg-before.
Umar Akmal (36) and Imad Wasim (43) also fought during their stand of 53 for the sixth wicket but Zampa mopped up the tail with career best figures.
It was Finch again who anchored Australia after light rain delayed the start by 15 minutes.
Finch, who scored 116 and 153 not out in the first two matches, could have been the first Australian to score three hundreds in as many ODIs.
Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara holds the record of most successive hundreds with four while nine other batsmen have struck three consecutive hundreds in ODI cricket.
Maxwell, 71 with eight boundaries and a six, gave the total its final touches.

Some big hitting from skipper Shoaib Malik was not enough to save Pakistan. (AFP) 

Finch holed out to leg-spinner Yasir Shah in the 42nd over but he had once again built the innings.
Australia started shakily and lost opener Usman Khawaja off just the fifth ball, bowled for nought by Usman Shinwari.
Junaid Khan dismissed Shaun Marsh for 14 to leave Australia struggling at 20 for two but Finch added 84 for the third wicket with Peter Handscomb (47 with six boundaries) to help his team recover.
Finch added another 36 with Marcus Stoinis (10) and 48 for the fifth wicket with Maxwell.
Maxwell and Alex Carey (25 not out) put on a quick 61 for the sixth wicket as Australia hit 90 in the last 10 overs.
Australia brought in fast bowlers Cummins and Jason Behrendorff to replace injured Jhye Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Pakistan included Shinwari and Junaid in place of Faheem Ashraf and Mohammad Abbas.

Coronavirus forces Wimbledon cancelation for 1st time since WWII

Updated 01 April 2020

Coronavirus forces Wimbledon cancelation for 1st time since WWII

  • Wimbledon champion Roger Federer tweeted one word: “Devastated”
  • The prestigious tournament joins the growing list of major sports events called off in 2020 because of the Covid-19 outbreak

LONDON: For the first time in its nearly century-and-a-half history, Wimbledon was canceled for a reason other than war, scrapped in 2020 on Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic.
With Britain under a nationwide lockdown, the All England Club announced its decision to call off its storied two-week grass-court tennis tournament, something that hadn’t happened to the sport’s oldest Grand Slam event in 75 years.
“It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars,” club chairman Ian Hewitt said, “but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.”
Wimbledon was scheduled to be played on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12. Instead, the next edition of the tournament will be June 28 to July 11, 2021.
Eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer surely spoke for many tennis players, officials and fans with a one-word message on Twitter: “Devastated.”

Also Wednesday, the ATP and WTA announced that the men’s and women’s professional tours would be suspended until at least July 13, bringing the number of elite tennis tournaments affected by the new coronavirus since early March to more than 30. The top tours already had been on hold through June 7. Lower-level events on the Challenger Tour and ITF World Tennis Tour also are called off for the first two weeks of July now.
Wimbledon first was held in 1877 and has been contested every year since, with the exception of two stretches: from 1915-18 because of World War I, and from 1940-45 because of World War II.
Now the prestigious tournament — known for its carefully manicured grass, its Royal Box at Center Court, its rules about wearing white, its strawberries and cream and, alas, its rain delays — joins the growing list of major sports events called off in 2020 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
That includes the Tokyo Olympics — which have been pushed back 12 months — and the NCAA men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments.
Wimbledon is the first Grand Slam tournament wiped out because of the coronavirus; the start of the French Open was postponed from late May to late September.
Shortly after the news came from Wimbledon, the US Tennis Association issued a statement saying it “still plans to host the US Open as scheduled,” from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 in New York.
As of now, the French Open is set to begin six days after the men’s final at Flushing Meadows, where a facility housing indoor practice courts is now a temporary 350-bed hospital and Louis Armstrong Stadium is being used to prepare 25,000 meal packages per day for patients, workers, volunteers and schoolchildren in the city.
Wednesday’s decision by the All England Club means Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep will not get a chance to defend their Wimbledon titles from 2019.
“We are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back!” Halep wrote on social media. “And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title.”
Serena Williams retweeted the club’s message about the cancelation and wrote: “I’m Shooked.”
The move takes away what might have been one of Federer’s best chances to try to add to his men’s-record 20 Grand Slam titles. Federer, who turns 39 in August, is recovering from knee surgery and planned to return in time for the European grass-court circuit that now has been erased from the calendar.
In a statement last week, the All England Club said that postponing the two-week event would not come “without significant risk and difficulty” because of the grass surface that is affected by weather conditions. The club also said then that it had ruled out “playing behind closed doors” without spectators.
Hundreds of thousands of people have caught COVID-19 around the globe, and tens of thousands have died. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough, but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization.
The All England Club said it would work to help with the emergency response to the pandemic, including distributing medical equipment and food and offering the use of their facilities in other ways.
Regular day-to-day life has come to a halt in many ways in many parts of the world in recent weeks, and sports has reflected that.
The NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball are on hold indefinitely; the Kentucky Derby and Indianapolis 500 were pushed back several months until September; England’s Premier League and other club soccer competitions are currently suspended; and the European soccer championship — scheduled to end in London on the same day as the Wimbledon men’s final — was postponed from 2020 to 2021.
“I have been fortunate to go to Wimbledon every year since 1961, and I am certainly going to miss it this year,” said Billie Jean King, who won a total of 20 trophies at the All England Club — six for singles, 10 for women’s doubles, four for mixed doubles. “Right now, we need to make sure we are taking good care of ourselves and our loved ones. These are challenging times for all of us and now is the time for us to do what is right for our world and what works for our sport.”