Phillips fires New Zealand to ODI series win over Pakistan

New Zealand's Glenn Phillips, second left, Tim Southee, third right and Pakistani players walk off the field on the end of 3rd one-day international cricket match between Pakistan and New Zealand, in Karachi, Pakistan, on January 13, 2023. (AP)
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Updated 13 January 2023

Phillips fires New Zealand to ODI series win over Pakistan

  • Glenn Phillips scored 63 off 42 balls, hitting four sixes and as many fours
  • Kane Williamson contributed with 53, Conway struck an equally steady 52

KARACHI: Glenn Phillips smashed an unbeaten half-century as New Zealand secured a series victory over Pakistan with a two-wicket win in the third and final one-day international in Karachi on Friday. 

Phillips scored 63 off 42 balls, hitting four sixes and as many fours, to rescue New Zealand from a precarious 181-5 in their pursuit of a 281-run target. 




Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman celebrates after scoring 50 runs during the 3rd one-day international cricket match between Pakistan and New Zealand, in Karachi, Pakistan, on January 13, 2023. (AP)

His knock overshadowed Fakhar Zaman’s 101 as Pakistan made 280-9 in their 50 overs. 

Walking in to bat with New Zealand needing 100 off 87 balls, Phillips added 64 for the seventh wicket with Mitchell Santner, who scored 17 in a match-turning stand. 

Skipper Kane Williamson contributed with 53 and Devon Conway struck an equally steady 52 before Phillips finished off the chase with 11 balls to spare. 

Phillips completed his first ODI fifty off just 28 balls, but he was dropped the following delivery when wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan failed to hold a catch off spinner Usama Mir. 

New Zealand’s win sealed their first ODI series victory in Pakistan in six attempts and kept them top of the one-day rankings. 

Williamson steadied the innings during his stands of 65 with Conway for the second wicket and then another 52 with Daryl Mitchell (31) for the next, but New Zealand lost four wickets in the space of 45 runs. 

Off-spinner Agha Salman (2-42) dismissed Conway and then had Mitchell caught off a miscued reverse sweep to break the two partnerships. Williamson was run out for the fourth wicket. 

Opener Zaman laid the foundations for a good Pakistan total. 

The left-hander hit 10 fours and a six after Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat first. 

Zaman lifted Pakistan from 21-2 during a third-wicket stand of 154 with Rizwan, who made a polished 77 featuring six boundaries. 

Pakistan made a poor start as they lost Shan Masood without scoring and skipper Babar Azam, the world’s top-ranked ODI batsman, for just four. 

Azam, who had two half-centuries in the first two matches, was stumped by Tom Latham off spinner Michael Bracewell in the seventh over. 

It was left to Zaman to rebuild the innings and he took a sharp single to reach his eighth hundred, his first three-figure ODI score in Pakistan. 

Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi broke the stand by bowling Rizwan, while Zaman was run out as he tried to steal a quick single. 

Salman gave the innings some late impetus by hitting 45 off 43 balls, while New Zealand seamer Tim Southee finished with 3-56.


Japan’s ‘King Kazu’ joins Portuguese side at 55

Updated 23 sec ago

Japan’s ‘King Kazu’ joins Portuguese side at 55

  • Miura, known as ‘King Kazu’ in his homeland, made his debut in 1986 with Brazilian side Santos
  • Miura turns 56 on February 26 and has said he wants to keep playing until he is 60
TOKYO: Japanese football star Kazuyoshi Miura extended his decades-long playing career on Wednesday less than a month before his 56th birthday, joining Portuguese second-division outfit Oliveirense on loan.
Miura, known as “King Kazu” in his homeland, made his debut in 1986 with Brazilian side Santos and has played 37 seasons as a professional.
His move to Portugal will see him play in a sixth country after stints in Brazil, Japan, Italy, Croatia and Australia.
Last season he played for Japanese fourth-tier side Suzuka Point Getters — managed by his older brother Yasutoshi — on loan from J-League team Yokohama FC.
Yokohama’s parent company acquired a majority stake in Oliveirense in November.
“Even though this is a new place for me, I’ll work hard to show everyone the kind of play I’m known for,” he said in a statement released by Yokohama.
Miura scored two goals — one from the penalty spot and one header — in 18 appearances last season for Suzuka, who finished ninth in the table.
He will line up at Oliveirense alongside Christian Kendji Wagatsuma Ferreira — a Brazilian of Japanese descent who was given the nickname “Kazu” as a youth player.
Miura turns 56 on February 26 and has said he wants to keep playing until he is 60.
One of Asia’s best-known footballers in the 1990s, he helped put the game in Japan on the map when the professional J-League was launched in 1993.
He left Japan for Brazil in 1982 and signed a contract with Santos in 1986.
Miura made his Japan debut in 1990 and was famously left out of his country’s squad for their first World Cup finals appearance in 1998, despite scoring 55 goals in 89 games for the national side.

Pakistan’s baseball team beats Palestine to clinch West Asia Cup 2023

Updated 51 min 11 sec ago

Pakistan’s baseball team beats Palestine to clinch West Asia Cup 2023

  • Pakistan beat Palestine 11-3 to clinch the seven-nation tournament
  • Pakistan’s Amjad Hussain, Muhammad Shoaib fare well in final

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s baseball team on Wednesday defeated Palestine in the final to be crowned the winners of the West Asia Cup 2023, with Sri Lanka finishing in third place. 

The seven-nation event, organized by the Pakistan Baseball Federation (PBF), was held at the Pakistan Sports Complex in Islamabad from January 27 till February 1. Apart from the host Pakistan, teams from Palestine, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and Afghanistan are participating in the event.

Pakistan, who reached the final of the tournament after emphatically defeating Sri Lanka 16-1, once again put up an impressive performance in the final against Palestine, ,defeating the Middle East team 11-3 to clinch the trophy. 

Pakistan the new West Asia Cup baseball Champ,” the Pakistan Federation Baseball wrote on Twitter. “Team Palestine wins the hearts of the people with their outstanding display.”

According to the PBF, pitchers Amjad Hussain and Muhammad Zohaib fared impressively against Palestine in the final. 

Palestine, who qualified for Wednesday’s final after defeating Bangladesh 14-3 in the other semifinal, lost out to Sri Lanka who finished with the bronze medal. 

The PBF partnered with Baseball United, first-ever professional baseball league that helps develop the game across the Middle East and South Asia, to host the West Asia Cup, an official World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) tournament.


FIFA aims at sexual offenses in updated ethics code

Updated 01 February 2023

FIFA aims at sexual offenses in updated ethics code

  • The code, said the governing body of world football, is intended "to enhance protection of football integrity"
  • It also targets match fixing and clubs that fail to pay transfer fees

LAUSANNE: FIFA has toughened its disciplinary proceedings for cases of sexual assault or harassment in a revised Code of Ethics that was announced and came into force on Wednesday.
The code, said the governing body of world football in a press release, is intended “to enhance protection of football integrity.”
It also targets match fixing and clubs that fail to pay transfer fees.
“The changes are aimed at improving the protection of certain parties to proceedings before FIFA’s judicial bodies, while providing FIFA with further instruments against illegal, immoral or unethical methods and practices,” said the release.
The revised code removes the 10-year limitation period on prosecuting sexual offenses.
The changes make the possible victims “parties to the relevant proceedings, who enjoy all procedural rights, such as that of being notified of the relevant decision and being entitled to appeal it.”
The code also obliges “member associations and confederations to notify FIFA of any decisions rendered on sexual abuse and match-fixing.”
A series of sexual assault scandals in recent years, notably in Gabon, Haiti, the United States and Afghanistan, forced FIFA into disciplinary proceedings, particularly in cases where the local authorities refused to act.
FIFA said it would appoint an independent integrity expert to investigate match fixing and coordinate with the public authorities in assessing potential offenses, and propose “appropriate disciplinary measures.”
FIFA said it was extending transfer bans on debtor clubs that do not comply with decisions by its Football Tribunal and could charge 18 percent interest on unpaid debts.


Injured Pakistani pacer Shaheen Afridi ‘very excited’ for PSL comeback

Updated 01 February 2023

Injured Pakistani pacer Shaheen Afridi ‘very excited’ for PSL comeback

  • Shaheen Afridi says there were times during injury when he ‘wanted to give up’
  • Afridi leads Lahore franchise, who begin PSL title defense against Multan on Feb 13

ISLAMABAD: Left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi said on Wednesday he is “very excited” to be making a comeback to the cricket field for the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL) 8 after a knee injury in November last year ruled him out of action for a couple of months.

Afridi, who made his international debut for Pakistan in 2018, has gone on to become one of the most lethal fast bowlers in the world. The lanky pacer, who spearheads Pakistan’s pace battery in all three formats of the game, has the ability to bowl toe-crushing in-swingers at a fiery pace while at the same time, surprise batters with plenty of bounce and variety. 

After missing an important white-ball series against England at home, Afridi returned to action in last year’s ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. However, a freak twist while taking a catch aggravated his injury further, ruling him out of action for a few more months. 

According to a statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Afridi described the PSL, Pakistan’s professional T20 cricket league, as “one of the best” leagues in the world and an important event for him to make his comeback. 

“I am very excited to be making my comeback here and look forward to all the challenges that it will throw at me,” Afridi said. “Thanks to the Almighty, I am doing well. I am ticking both the bowling workload and fitness requirement boxes.”

Afridi, who led Lahore Qalandars to their maiden PSL title last year, will hope to take the field when the defending champions take on Multan Sultans on February 13 in Multan when the tournament kicks off. 

The bowler spoke of how he wanted to play in Pakistan’s home series against England and New Zealand but was unable to do so. “I was more distressed for missing the Tests, because I like Test cricket more. A bowler is measured on how he performs in Test cricket and I wanted to take wickets against England,” he added. 

“There were times when I wanted to give up,” he said. “I was working on only one muscle and it was not improving. Often during the rehabilitation sessions, I used to say to myself ‘this is enough, I cannot do this anymore’.

Afridi’s potency can be judged by the fact that he has taken the most wickets in the tournament since his debut. He is third on the list of the highest wicket-takers in the tournament history behind Wahab Riaz (103) and Hassan Ali (81) who have played 27 and 14 more matches than him.

While he missed several important fixtures at home, Afridi aims to make his return to international cricket at an important time. The third ICC World Test Championship cycle and 50-over Asia Cup and World Cup would both be played this year. 
 


Pakistan-born Aussie batter Khawaja's India visa delayed ahead of Test tour

Updated 01 February 2023

Pakistan-born Aussie batter Khawaja's India visa delayed ahead of Test tour

  • Khawaja, who moved to Australia aged four, has toured India before, but also faced delays on that occasion
  • Pakistan and India have had tense ties since partition in 1947 and those tensions have routinely seeped into sports

SYDNEY: Pakistan-born Australian batter Usman Khawaja said on Wednesday he was still waiting for an Indian visa, even as his teammates began departing for a four-Test tour that starts on February 9.

Khawaja — who moved to Australia aged four — has toured India before, but also faced delays on that occasion with his visa taking longer than Australia-born teammates.

“Waiting for my Indian Visa,” Khawaja said on Instagram, above an image from Netflix series “Narcos” where a forlorn Pablo Escobar — played by actor Wagner Moura — sits alone on a swinging seat.

The left-handed opener is now scheduled to fly out on Thursday.

Australian media reported that touring players and support staff began receiving visas in early January, and some have already begun arriving in Bengaluru, where the team will set up pre-match camp.

Pakistan and India have had fraught relations since partition in 1947 and those tensions have routinely seeped into sports.

The two countries last played a bi-lateral series a decade ago and Pakistani players have been barred from the prestigious T20 Indian Premier League.

Australia is trying to win its first Test series in India in almost a decade. Tests will be played in Nagpur, Delhi, Dharamsala and then in the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.

After being left out of the Test side for about two years Khawaja made a stunning return against England in the 2021-2022 Ashes.

He notched his 4000th Test run in a recent match against South Africa in Sydney, where he was 195 not out.