Recalled Malik leads Pakistan’s win over Bangladesh

Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik plays boundary as Bangladeshi wicketkeeper Liton Das looks on at the Qaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Jan. 24, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 24 January 2020

Recalled Malik leads Pakistan’s win over Bangladesh

  • Bangladesh could not put a reasonable fight, making it easy for Pakistan to chase the target
  • The win further consolidated Pakistan’s chances of hanging on to their world number one ranking in T20

LAHORE: Recalled Shoaib Malik smashed a solid half-century to anchor Pakistan’s five-wicket win over Bangladesh in the first Twenty20 international in Lahore on Friday.
Malik’s 45-ball 58 not out for his eighth Twenty20 fifty as Pakistan overhauled a modest 142-run target in 19.3 over to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Bangladesh had managed 141-5 in their 20 overs with openers Mohammad Naim scoring 41-ball 43 and Tamim Iqbal hit 34-ball 39 as Pakistan’s three-man pace attack kept them in check on a flat Gadaffi stadium pitch.
The win further consolidated Pakistan’s chances of hanging on to their world number one ranking in the shortest format. If they lose any of the remaining matches — on Saturday and Monday, also in Lahore, Australia will replace them at the top.
Lahore’s foggy weather prompted Pakistan Cricket Board to start the match at 2pm (0900 GMT) but it failed to attract more than 10,000 people in a capacity of 24,000 stadium.
Bangladesh could not put a reasonable fight as Pakistan won their first match after losing six of their last seven T20 matches with one washed out.
Malik, playing his first match since February last year, was in sublime form as he hit five boundaries and added 46 for the third wicket with debutant Ahsan Ali who made 32-ball 36 with four boundaries.
Malik, fourth leading run-getter in Twenty20 internationals with 2321 in a record 112 matches, credited bowlers for the win.
“Congratulations to the whole Pakistan for this win and for hosting another match,” said Malik. “It wasn’t an easy pitch and our bowlers restricted them to a gettable total.
“It’s tough to be in and out of the team but I have been playing leagues and domestic cricket and that helped me stage a comeback in this match.
“I am happy to help achieve this win in a chase.”
But Pakistan’s chase was initially jolted when they lost world number one Twenty20 batsman Babar Azam on only the second ball into their innings, caught behind off an inside edge off fast bowler Shafiul Islam.
Shafiul was the best Bangladeshi bowler with 2-27.
Another recalled batsman Mohammad Hafeez hit three crisp boundaries and was looking in good touch before he miscued a flick and was caught off Mustafizur Rahman for 17.
Malik and Ahsan took Pakistan to 81 and before Iftikhar Ahmed (16) added a further 36 for the fourth wicket but even the fall of Iftikhar and Imad Wasim (six) did not derail Pakistan.
Earlier, Bangladesh, who won the toss and opted to bat, were off to a good start as Iqbal and Naim put on 70 for the opening wicket.
Naim, fresh from his top score of 81 against India in November last year, cracked three boundaries and a six while Iqbal had four boundaries and a six but Pakistan pulled the scoring rate between 12-15 overs which yielded just 21 runs.
Iqbal was run out in the 11th over while Naim holed out off spinner Shadab Khan in the 15th.
Skipper Mahmudullah hit two boundaries in his 14-ball 19 not out.
Pakistan handed Twenty20 debuts to opener Ahsan and pacer Haris Rauf.


Pakistani scientists get government nod to develop coronavirus vaccine

Updated 06 April 2020

Pakistani scientists get government nod to develop coronavirus vaccine

  • Researchers say process awaits funding, could take nine months or more 
  • Clinical trials conducted after experts detected a genetic mutation of the virus through genome sequencing

KARACHI: Pakistani researchers working under government-approved projects have expressed confidence that they can develop a vaccine for coronavirus, but added that the process could take nine months or more.
As of Sunday, authorities said 50 people had died while 3,200 had tested positive for the virus in the country.
“We are actively engaged in vaccination development. It will be clinical trials on animals first and then humans... the process will not take less than nine months, could even take more than that.”
Dr. Javed Akram, who is leading a government-sanctioned series of clinical trials for the vaccine, told Arab News on Saturday.
Dr. Akram, who is also a Vice-Chancellor of the University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Lahore, said that the process began on Friday after Professor Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, Chairman of Prime Minister’s National Task Force on Science and Technology authorized him to lead the clinical trials for the vaccine, last week.
It follows a breakthrough by Pakistani scientists and researchers who detected a genetic mutation of the coronavirus through genome sequencing – a process which reveals the order of bases present in the entire genome of an organism and is an essential step in the necessary research for clinical diagnosis and the development of vaccines and drugs.
Since the breakthrough, Dr. Akram said they had conducted genome sequencing for the coronavirus in two separate trials, in Karachi and Lahore.
Experts say the studies reveal that the virus is mutative, which means that “it can adjust to local conditions” which are slightly different from Wuhan – the epicenter of the epidemic in China which led to the coronavirus outbreak, killing more than 65,000 and impacting more than a million people across the world.
“The process revealed that the sequence of this virus is slightly different from the Wuhan virus with few mutations,” Professor Dr. Saeed Khan, a virologist at Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) in Karachi, and a member of the team that conducted the trials told Arab News.
On Wednesday, DUHS said it had conducted the genetic sequencing of the virus – obtained from a locally-infected 15-year-old boy – by collaborating with the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) in Karachi. 
Dr. Akram confirmed that the tests showed that the coronavirus’ strain in Pakistan was mutative but said that it was not “clinically significant.”
“We have also done (genetic sequencing) and (it was detected) that mutations of the virus are taking place, but they are not very significant because these changes are not major – only 3-5 percent mutations are detected,” he said.
The research further revealed that two types of coronavirus strains, S-Strain and L-Strain, are spreading around the world.
“The study shows that the L-strain was derived from the older S-strain. The genetic sequencing shows that the virus was L-strain that is more aggressive and spreads rapidly,” Professor Khan said.
DUHS now plans to develop the vaccines, which researchers say requires funding – a request for which has been sent to the relevant authorities. 
“We want to develop a vaccine that would be effective for all strains of the virus,” Professor Khan said.