Jongwe snatches four wickets as Zimbabwe surprise Pakistan in T20

Pakistan batsman during Mohammad Rizwan throws his bat in the air after been dismissed during the T20 cricket match between Zimbabwe and Pakistan at Harare Sports Club, in Harare, on April 23, 2021. (AP)
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Updated 23 April 2021

Jongwe snatches four wickets as Zimbabwe surprise Pakistan in T20

  • Zimbabwe pulled off a surprise 19-run victory over Pakistan Friday in second Twenty20 international of three-match series
  • Pakistan skipper Babar Azam won the toss, opted to bowl, and the tourists restricted their hosts to 118-9

HARARE, Zimbabwe: Luke Jongwe took four wickets as Zimbabwe pulled off a surprise 19-run victory over Pakistan Friday in the second Twenty20 international of a three-match series at Harare Sports Club.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam won the toss, opted to bowl, and the tourists restricted their hosts to 118-9 with 34-run Tinashe Kamunhukamwe the only batsman to impress.
Set a run-a-ball target for victory, Pakistan lost star opener Mohammad Rizwan for only 13 and 41-run Azam was the lone batsman to star as they slumped to 99 all out off 19.5 overs.
Right-arm medium pacer Jongwe (4-18) captured the wickets of Rizwan and Azam, and those of Haris Rauf and Arshad Iqbal as the Pakistan tail collapsed.
Ryan Burl (two), Blessing Muzarabani and Richard Ngarava (one each) were the other Zimbabwean wicket-takers.
The result levelled the series at 1-1 and it will be decided at the same venue Sunday as Pakistan seek a second successive T20 series win having beaten South Africa 3-1 before traveling to Zimbabwe.
Rizwan made 82 when Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by 11 runs Wednesday, but faced only 18 balls and hit one four before being caught by Tarisai Musakanda.
Fellow opener Azam lasted one hour, faced 45 balls and struck five fours before becoming the fourth Pakistan batsmen to fall, leaving the tourists on 78-4 after 15.5 overs.
With wickets falling cheaply, the tourists began the final over on 99-7 and needing 20 runs to snatch a dramatic victory.
But instead of a run fest, the wickets of Usman Qadir, Rauf and Iqbal fell without any addition to the scoreboard.
Earlier, Kamunhukamwe cracked four fours as he faced 40 deliveries in a 60-minute stand.
His innings ended when caught by Azam off the bowling of Danish Aziz, who was making his second appearance for the tourists.
Fellow opener Brendan Taylor, who missed the first match due to illness, lasted only seven balls before being caught by Mohammad Hafeez off a Faheem Ashraf delivery for five.
Apart from Kamunhukamwe, Regis Chakabva (18), Wesley Madhevere (16) and Tadiwanashe Marumani and Musakanda (13 each) reached double figures for the hosts.
Six Pakistan bowlers shared the wickets with Mohammad Hasnain (2-19) and Aziz (2-29) the most successful, while Ashraf, Iqbal, Rauf and Qadir took one each.
After the T20 series, Zimbabwe and Pakistan will play two Tests in Harare, beginning on April 29 and May 7.


Pakistan signs deal with China for 27.5 million doses as vaccine shortages reported countrywide 

Updated 9 min 8 sec ago

Pakistan signs deal with China for 27.5 million doses as vaccine shortages reported countrywide 

  • On Thursday officials said hundreds of COVID1-9 inoculation centers had been shut due to supply chain obstacles
  • Government has said it would be able to provide additional supplies to all provinces by Sunday

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government has entered into an agreement with China to buy 27.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in the form of prepared jabs as well as raw materials to produce shots locally in order to step up an ongoing national vaccination drive, local media reported on Friday.

On Thursday, officials said hundreds of COVID-19 vaccination centers across Pakistan had discontinued their services due to supply chain obstacles, with the government saying it would be able to provide new supplies to all provinces by Sunday. Authorities in Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi also decided on Thursday to temporarily shut down a number of immunization centers due to a shortage of vaccine jabs. 

The vaccine shortage has hit the Sindh province worst, with authorities saying they had shut down at least 40 percent of inoculation centers there. People in Punjab also complained about the unavailability of vaccines in cities like Lahore, Chakwal, Jhelum and Rawalpindi along and several rural areas of the province.

“The National Institute of Health (NIH) said that the [27.5 million] purchased vaccines included Sinopharm, CanSino and SinoVac,” Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper reported, adding that the vaccine doses would be provided in phases by December this year.

“The NIH said that the purchase agreement included 23 million doses of Sinopharm, 2 million ready-made vaccines and raw material from CanSino and 2.5 million doses of Sinovac,” the newspaper said. 

On Wednesday, Pakistani health chief Dr. Faisal Sultan said two million coronavirus vaccine doses were currently present in the nation’s inventory, adding that reported shortages at some centers around the country were only temporary. 

Sultan told Arab News last Friday Pakistan had received 14.5 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine since it kicked off its vaccination campaign in February and planned to buy and receive over 90 million more jabs to vaccinate its adult population in the second half of 2021.

The National Command and Operation Center, the federal government’s main body overseeing the pandemic response, said on Friday 266,959 vaccines were administered across Pakistan on Thursday, with 12,750,760 total vaccines administered so far since the vaccination drive kicked off in February. 

On June 18, the body said, the national coronavirus positive rate stood at 1.90 percent, with 1,043 infections and 39 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. 


Islamabad edges Peshawar in record scoring PSL fixture in Abu Dhabi

Updated 57 min 6 sec ago

Islamabad edges Peshawar in record scoring PSL fixture in Abu Dhabi

  • Islamabad United bettered own previous PSL record of 238-3 against Lahore Qalandars in 2019
  • Peshawar won the toss and elected to bat in its last league game

ABU DHABI: Islamabad United edged spirited Peshawar Zalmi by 15 runs in a record high-scoring Pakistan Super League game on Thursday.
Islamabad stand-in captain Usman Khawaja hit an unbeaten 105 off 56 balls in his team’s PSL record total of 247-2 after Peshawar won the toss and elected to bat in its last league game.
Peshawar nearly upstaged Khawaja’s brilliant effort with a 232-6 reply as Shoaib Malik (68) and Kamran Akmal (53) led the charge.
“It was enjoyable to bat 20 overs,” Khawaja said. “I’m not trying to take anything away from our bowlers because they put in a great effort, but Shadab was resting. We knew we were probably going one short on pace.”
Islamabad bettered its own previous PSL record of 238-3 against Lahore Qalandars in 2019.
The Karachi Kings kept alive their playoff hopes with a seven-run win over the Lahore Qalandars.
The Kings batted first and posted 176-5, with Babar Azam scoring 54 and Martin Guptill belted 43 from 31 balls including three sixes. The Qalandars were right in the chase with contributions from Hohammad Hafeez (36), Tim David (34) and James Faulkner (33) but the chase was strangled by some tight bowling.
Noor Ahmad, the 16-year-old Afghani left-arm spinner, took 2-19 in four overs including the wickets of Hafeez and Ben Dunk (6).
In the opening match, Australian top-order batter Khawaja set the tempo in a brisk 98-run opening stand with Colin Munro (48) off only 59 balls. Munro just missed out on his third half-century in four games.
Islamabad’s ploy to promote power-hitter Asif Ali paid off for the two-time champions as he smacked five sixes and two boundaries in his 43 off 14 balls.
Brandon King added an unbeaten 46 off 22 balls.
Khawaja reached his third T20 century in the last over with a boundary followed by two successive sixes. The Islamabad-born Khawaja hit 13 fours and three sixes.
Peshawar lost Hazratullah Zazai off the first ball, but Akmal and Malik kept them in the hunt. Experienced fast bowler Hasan Ali picked up 3-43 that included the key wicket of Malik in the 17th over.
Sherfane Rutherford (29), captain Wahab Riaz (28) and Umaid Asif (20) played little cameos in the end to narrow the margin of defeat as fast bowler Akif Javed bowled well in the last over, giving away only seven runs.
“We were very pathetic in the field when we won the toss and bowled first knowing they were a bowler short,” Riaz said. “The attitude wasn’t there.”
Islamabad has already qualified for the playoffs, while Peshawar finished the league stage.


Militants kill soldier near airport in southwestern Pakistan

Updated 18 June 2021

Militants kill soldier near airport in southwestern Pakistan

  • No group immediately claimed responsibility but previous attacks have been blamed on small separatist groups
  • Although Pakistan’s military says it has quelled insurgency in Balochistan, isolated attacks on troops have continued

QUETTA: Suspected militants opened fire on troops at a security post near an airport in southwestern Pakistan on Thursday, killing a soldier before fleeing the scene, the military said.
The attack happened in the Turbat district in Balochistan province, a military statement said. Security forces have launched a search operation in the region to trace and arrest the attackers, it added. The slain soldier was identified as Aqeel Abbas.
No group immediately claimed responsibility but previous such attacks have been blamed on small separatist groups that have been carrying out a long-running insurgency demanding independence from the central government in Islamabad. The Pakistani Taliban and the Daesh group also have a presence in Baluchistan.
Although Pakistan’s military says it has quelled insurgency, isolated attacks on troops have continued.


Pakistani cleric charged with sexual abuse at religious school

Updated 17 June 2021

Pakistani cleric charged with sexual abuse at religious school

  • The 60-something cleric has been expelled from his position at the seminary and stripped off his title of 'mufti'
  • Police could not locate the cleric when they visited the religious school after the student filed the sexual abuse complaint

LAHORE: A Muslim cleric who has led anti-blasphemy rallies in Pakistan has been charged with sexually abusing a student at a religious school, police said on Thursday.
Police said charges were filed against Aziz-ur-Rehman after cellphone videos purporting to show the cleric forcing himself on the student went viral on social media.
The case has caused a stir in Pakistan, a mainly Muslim country, and outrage on social media, with many calling for a strict punishment for the cleric.
Rehman denied the accusation of sexual abuse in a video statement issued on social media, saying that he was drugged before the filming of the alleged abuse. He said this was part of a plot to throw him out of the seminary, the Jamia Manzoor-ul-Islamia.
Rehman, who is in his 60s and is a member of a prominent religious political party, has worked as a custodian of the seminary for several years.
The seminary said the cleric has been expelled from his position, and Wafaq-ul-Madaris, the body that oversees the religious schools system, said it has stripped him off his title, mufti, which means a religious scholar.
A police spokesperson said police could not locate the cleric when they visited the seminary after the student filed the sexual abuse complaint.
The student, who police said appeared to be in his early 20s, said in his complaint that he has given several video and audio recordings to help police investigate, adding he had gone into hiding because he had received death threats.
The police said the student had told them that the cleric had been abusing him for several years. He said he started filming the abuse after he got sick of it and sent the video clips of the abuse to the head of the Wafaq-ul-Madaris.
It was not clear how the video clips began circulating on social media.
Rehman has often been seen in photos and videos of anti-blasphemy rallies held in recent months to denounce publication of cartoons in France depicting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Over 2.2 million children attend religious seminaries in Pakistan. Sexual abuse cases are often hushed up, although some parents have recently been coming forward to file complaints.
A nongovernment organization called Sahil that works to stop child abuse reported 2,960 cases of child sex abuse in 2020 throughout the country, not just in seminaries.


In Pakistan’s largest city, immunization centers turn away citizens as vaccine stocks finish

Updated 17 June 2021

In Pakistan’s largest city, immunization centers turn away citizens as vaccine stocks finish

  • Medical professionals criticize the government for setting up inoculation facilities without paying much attention to procurement and storage of vaccines
  • Pakistan’s southern Sindh province says it is only left with 376,231 doses of different COVID-19 shots

KARACHI: Authorities in Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi have decided to provisionally shut down some immunization centers due to a shortage of coronavirus vaccines, provincial health officials confirmed while talking to Arab News on Thursday.
According to the official statistics, the country’s southern Sindh province is only left with 376,231 doses of various types of COVID-19 vaccines.
This is despite the fact that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah inaugurated the province’s biggest vaccination facility at the Expo Center in Karachi last month to administer 20,000 more coronavirus shots on a daily basis.
“While we increased our capacity to inoculate more people by establishing such facilities, we could not ensure smooth supply of vaccines that could have helped us endure the pace of our immunization drive which will now be negatively impacted,” Dr. Qaiser Sajjad, general secretary of the Pakistan Medical Association, told Arab News.
He maintained that doctors were previously trying to persuade people to get themselves vaccinated, adding that many medical facilities in the country were now turning them back.
Sajjad maintained it was not just small immunization facilities that were finding it difficult to serve the public but also places like the Expo Center.
Dr. Anila Qureshi, a health official in Karachi’s district east who was suspended earlier this year for vaccinating the family of a former governor before their rightful turn, negated any vaccine shortage at the mega facility.
“Do you need to get vaccinated,” she asked. “We have COVID-19 shots.”
However, Dr. Sajjad insisted many citizens who recently visited the Expo Center had returned unvaccinated.
Mehar Khursheed, a Sindh health department spokesperson, admitted there was a vaccine shortage since the province was not getting sufficient doses from the federal government.
She shared official figures related to the number of remaining COVID-19 shots with Arab News, showing that Sindh was only left with 376,231 doses of Sinopharm (168,330), CanSino (37,768), SinoVac (91,816), AstraZeneca (62,487) and PakVac (15,830).
The province has so far administered 2,755,767 jabs, though 1,954,956 of them are first doses.
According to reports in the local media, authorities in Karachi have temporarily suspended vaccination centers at Korangi and Malir districts to ensure the availability of COVID-19 vaccines at the Expo Center.
Speaking to the media in Islamabad on Wednesday, Dr. Faisal Sultan, who advises Prime Minister Imran Khan on public health, said the vaccine shortage would be over by the end of the month since the government was doing the necessary procurement.
“People who are due to get their second shot should not be worried,” he continued. “The second dose can also be administered after a delay of about a week or so.”