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LAHORE: Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi said Thursday he was hopeful of a quick recovery from injury in time for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next week after his exploits at the Asia Cup.

The 34-year-old hurt his groin during the recent one-day tournament, which concluded last week and was also held in Bangladesh.

As a result he will not fly out with the team early Friday, and instead travel on Monday.

“I am recovering well and (will) hopefully play at least one warm-up match,” Afridi told reporters.

He is set to miss Pakistan's first warm-up match against New Zealand on Monday.

Pakistan's second warm-up match will be against South Africa on March 19.

One of cricket's hardest hitters, his sparkling form with the bat helped Pakistan beat arch-rivals India in the Asia Cup, sealing victory in the last over by striking successive sixes.

He followed up with a whirlwind 25-ball 59 to anchor a tough 327-run chase against hosts Bangladesh, before Pakistan stumbled in the final to eventual winners Sri Lanka.

But Afridi said Pakistan could still take heart from their victory over India, against whom they will play in their first proper match of the tournament in Dhaka on March 21.

“The Asia Cup win over India will benefit us,” said Afridi, but cautioned: “We have to be at our best to beat India who will now be with (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni.

Afridi, who also bowls leg-spin, will be key to Pakistan's World Twenty20 campaign.

In 70 Twenty20 matches, Afridi has 1044 runs and 73 wickets.

Afridi was player of the tournament in the inaugural World Twenty20 held in South Africa, with Pakistan finishing runners-up to India.

He was man-of-the-match in the semi-final and final in Pakistan's only World Twenty20 triumph in England in 2009.

“I can't see a better (limited-overs) combination in the world than Pakistan because our bowling is good, batting is good but the only mistake we are doing that's in fielding and fielding is the most essential thing in limited-over cricket,” Afridi said.

DHAKA: Shahid Afridi smashed two consecutive sixes off Ravichandran Ashwin in the final over as Pakistan defeated India by one wicket in Dhaka on Sunday, virtually knocking the arch-rivals out of the Asia Cup. Pakistan, chasing India’s 245-8, needed nine runs off the last four balls after losing their way from a seemingly winning position to slump from 200-4 to 236-9 at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
But the seasoned Afridi sealed his side’s win with two mighty hits off the next two deliveries to keep Pakistan afloat in the five-nation tournament with their second win in three matches. India, the reigning World Cup champions, suffered their second defeat in three games and are unlikely to make the March 8 final even if they beat Afghanistan in their last match on Wednesday.

Afridi returned unbeaten on a quickfire 34 off 18 balls, studded with three sixes and two boundaries, but the victory was set up by all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez. Hafeez picked up two wickets and then top-scored with 75, adding 87 runs for the fifth wicket with Sohaib Maqsood (38) after Pakistan were reduced to 113-4 in the 23rd over. But both batsmen fell in successive overs — Hafeez caught in the deep off Ashwin and Maqsood was run out — to leave Pakistan on 203-6. India grabbed three more wickets to make it 236-9 before Afridi’s blitz in the company of last man Junaid Khan carried the jubilant Pakistanis home. Afridi, a 34-year-old veteran of 377 one-dayers, said he was delighted to contribute to his side’s win in a crunch match.

“Expectations were high,” he said. “We all know how important this game was and I am glad I did it. It’s a great occasion whenever we play against India and today was our day.” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq appeared a relieved man after Afridi’s heroics. “It was a really important win and I am happy because Pakistan played really well under pressure,” he said. “We have the label of being bad chasers, but Hafeez and Maqsood did well and Afridi finished it perfectly.” India’s Virat Kohli, standing in as captain for the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said he was proud of the way the team responded to the challenge.
“The guys put in a good effort after a modest total,” he said. “We were 20 to 30 runs short with the bat.

But this game could have gone either way. We may not make it to the final, but I am proud how the bowlers fought back.” Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra marked his first match in the tournament with two for 28 from 10 steady overs on the slow pitch. Pakistan had unsettled India’s batsmen with pace and spin after electing to field, with Saeed Ajmal claiming 3-40 and debutant fast bowler Mohammad Talha and Hafeez two each.

Opener Rohit Sharma (56) and Ambati Rayudu (58) were the main contributors for India at the top of the order, before Ravindra Jadeja hit an unbeaten 52 off 49 balls towards the end. Left-hander Jadeja, who walked in to bat in his 100th one-dayer with his team on a shaky 155-5, smashed four boundaries and two sixes to boost the total. Rayudu put on 52 for the fifth wicket with Dinesh Karthik and 59 for the sixth with Jadeja before he holed out in the deep in the 47th over. Afghanistan, who stunned Bangladesh in their last match, take on Sri Lanka in Dhaka on Monday.

India vs Pakistan Scoreboard

DHAKA, March 2, (AFP): Full scoreboard from the Asia Cup one-day international between India and Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka on Sunday:

INDIA:
R. Sharma c Hafeez b Talha    56
S. Dhawan lbw b Hafeez    10
V. Kohli c Akmal b Gul    5
A. Rahane c Hafeez b Talha    23
A. Rayudu c sub (Ali) b Ajmal    58
D. Karthik c Ajmal b Hafeez    23
R. Jadeja not out    52
R. Ashwin st Akmal b Ajmal    9
Mohammed Shami c Maqsood b Ajmal    0
A. Mishra not out    1
Extras: (lb3, w5)    8
Total (for eight wickets, 50 overs)    245
Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Dhawan), 2-56 (Kohli), 3-92 (Sharma), 4-103 (Rahane), 5-155 (Karthik), 6-214 (Rayudu), 7-237 (Ashwin), 8-237 (Shami)
Bowling: Hafeez 9-0-38-2, Gul 9-0-60-1 (w2), Junaid 7-0-44-0 (w1), Afridi 8-0-38-0, Talha 7-1-22-2 (w2), Ajmal 10-0-40-3

PAKISTAN:
Sharjeel Khan b Ashwin    25
Ahmed Shehzad c Ashwin b Mishra    42
Mohammad Hafeez c Kumar b Ashwin    75
Misbah-ul-Haq run out    1
Umar Akmal c Jadeja b Mishra    4
Sohaib Maqsood run out    38
Shahid Afridi not out    34
Umar Gul c Rahane b Kumar    12
Mohammad Talha c Jadeja b Kumar    0
Saeed Ajmal b Ashwin    0
Junaid Khan not out    1
Extras: (lb11, w6)    17
Total (for nine wickets, 49.4 overs)    249
Fall of wickets: 1-71 (Sharjeel), 2-93 (Shehzad), 3-96 (Misbah), 4-113 (Akmal), 5-200 (Hafeez), 6-203 (Maqsood), 7-235 (Gul), 8-236 (Talha), 9-236 (Ajmal).
Bowling: Kumar 10-0-56-2 (w3), Shami 10-0-49-0, Ashwin 9.4-0-44-3 (w1), Jadeja 10-1-61-0, Mishra 10-0-28-2 (w2)
Pakistan won by one wicket.
Toss: Pakistan
Umpires: Nigel Llong (ENG) and Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
TV umpire: Raveendra Wimalasiri (SRI)
Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)

 

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LAHORE: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said on Friday he hoped his team will carry the momentum of their recent one-day winning form into the Asia Cup starting in Bangladesh next week.

Pakistan will open the defence of the title they won under Misbah in 2012 with a match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

“For me every team is favourite (to win the Asia Cup) but we definitely have the edge as we have won our last two one-day series,” Misbah told reporters on the last day of a training camp.

Pakistan won a three-match series in South Africa 2-1 before taking a five-match series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates 3-2 in December last year.

Five-time Asian champions India, hosts Bangladesh and Afghanistan are the other teams in the event which runs until March 8.

Misbah believed hosts Bangladesh are also dangerous.

“In their home conditions Bangladesh will also be very dangerous because the way they played in the last Asia Cup, beating India and Sri Lanka, they will be equally dangerous,” said Misbah.

Misbah said because of the twin wins, Pakistan have an ideal combination.

“We have given good performances and because we won the last two series the combination is good and when you are on a winning run your confidence is high and that's the case with us,” said Misbah.

Misbah refused to reveal his plans when asked about when he would hang up his boots.

“I don't know why people are after me,” said a visibly irked 39-year-old, who leads Pakistan in Tests and one-day matches.

“I want to play with commitment as long as I play,” said Misbah, the world's leading scorer in one-days in 2013 with 1,373.

Despite his form there remain concerns who will lead Pakistan in the 2015 World Cup to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Pakistan will fly to Dhaka on Saturday.

Pakistan suffered a huge blow to their Asia Cup and World Twenty20 preparations as fast bowler Mohammad Irfan, the team's spearhead in recent times, was ruled out of both events due to a recurrence of his hip injury.

Lanky Irfan, the tallest ever man to play international cricket at 7 feet one inch, fractured his hip in Pakistan's T20 series against South Africa in UAE in November last year.

However, his recovery proved short lived when the injury recurred in a domestic tournament this week, prompting chief selector Azhar Khan to say Irfan had to be left out of the squads.

“Irfan was left out as he injured himself again and needs some time for recovery,” Khan told reporters while announcing the squads.

The notable inclusions in the squads for the upcoming events are Fawad Alam, who returns to the ODI squad after a gap of over two years and Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik who have been included in the World T20 squad.

“Kamran and Malik will give experience to the team for the important event,” said Khan.

The Asia Cup will be held in Dhaka, from February 25 to March 8. Besides Pakistan - the defending champions - India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and hosts Bangladesh will also take part in the event.

The fifth edition of the World T20 with 16 teams in competition will also be held in Bangladesh from March 16 to April 6.

Asia Cup squad:

Misbah-ul-Haq (Captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Fawad Alam, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Anwar Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Mohammad Talha

World Twenty20 squad:

Mohammad Hafeez (Captain), Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Junaid Khan, Bilawal Bhatti, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Zulfiqar Babar, Mohammad Talha, Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal

ISLAMABAD: Significant changes to the way international cricket is run were agreed in principle by the ICC board on Tuesday, the governing body said, although they were toned down from a set of radical proposals put forward by the game’s big three – India, England and Australia.

“Key principles” that had “unanimous support” from the board at its meeting in Dubai, according to the ICC, included the dumping of the troubled Test championship, which will be replaced in 2017 by the limited-overs Champions Trophy competition.

The International Cricket Council also said a new executive committee would be set up consisting of representatives from India, England and Australia and two other representatives taken from the ICC board.

The fact that those proposals were softened suggests they were opposed by members of the ICC board.

Pakistan and South Africa, two of the leading opponents of the original sweeping changes, stressed the principles laid out Tuesday had to be passed by their own national boards before they would back them at next month's ICC meeting.

“The PCB clearly stated at the (Tuesday) meeting that the guiding principles were subject to PCB’s governing board’s approval,” the Pakistan Cricket Board said.

Cricket South Africa said its board would carefully consider the changes before the follow-up meeting on Feb 8.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India, England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia had proposed a four-member executive committee, with those three countries deciding who joined them and rotating the chair between them.

The ICC said anyone from its board, which is made up of the 10 Test-playing nations and three representatives of smaller cricket countries, could eventually be elected to chair the board and anyone on the executive committee or influential finance and commercial affairs committee could chair those, but only after a “transitional period” ends in 2016.

Until then, India, England and Australia would lead the governing body’s top committees.

It was also agreed in principle that smaller countries would also have the chance to play Test cricket, but no one would lose their Test status. The ICC didn’t give detail on how current non Test-playing countries might win the right to play Tests.

India, England and Australia had suggested a reduced eight-team top tier for Tests with two countries immediately relegated, regular promotion and relegation, but immunity from relegation for the big three.

Tuesday’s proposed changes were yet to be formally adopted, with ICC President Alan Isaac saying “extensive work will now be undertaken in advance of a follow-up board meeting next month.”

Before the start of Tuesday’s board meeting, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashaf told a Pakistani television station that his board was united with South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in opposing the radical proposals, which would have needed eight of the 10 test nation votes to be passed.

Although the principles ultimately agreed on were watered down, there were concessions that India, England and Australia would take more control of the ICC, recognising the reality that the three countries, and specially India, raise a huge portion of the ICC's revenue.

Some of the changes agreed in principle are:

a) An opportunity for all member countries to win the right to play Tests, “with participation based on meritocracy,” according to the ICC. There were no details of any promotion format.

b) A Test cricket fund will make money available annually to the other seven Test countries outside the big three: Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

This would be introduced to “encourage and support Test match cricket,” the ICC said, with the game’s flagship format struggling to make money away from the big three.

c) Bilateral agreements for Test series could come into effect from 2015, a move away from the ICC-controlled Future Tours Program which ensured big teams had to play series against smaller teams at some point in the rotation.

Bilateral agreements would give India, England and Australia more scope to pick and choose who and when they play.

d) The ICC said the powerful and rich Indian board would take “a central leadership responsibility.”

e) The new five-member executive committee made up a representative from the BCCI, the ECB, CA and two other members. For two years from June the BCCI would chair the ICC board, CA would chair the executive committee and the ECB would chair the influential finance and commercial affairs committee while the governing body undergoes a “transitional period.”

f) The Test championship planned for 2017 will be dropped and the 50-over Champions Trophy played in its place.

DUBAI: Sri Lanka owed it to their bowlers for taking the opening day honours against Pakistan in the second Test in Dubai on Wednesday.

A three-pronged pace and one-man spin attack helped Sri Lanka bowl out Pakistan for just 165 after Angelo Mathews won the toss and opted to bowl on a seaming Dubai stadium pitch.

Paceman Nuwan Pradeep finished with a career-best 3-62 while spinner Rangan Herath took 3-26. Fast bowlers Shaminda Eranga (2-25) and Suranga Lakmal (2-45) were also useful in the second session.

By the close Sri Lanka had knocked off 57 runs for the loss of opener Dimuth Karunaratne, out leg-before to Junaid Khan for 32.

Kaushal Silva and Kumar Sangakkara were each on 12 as Sri Lanka now trail Pakistan by 108 runs with nine wickets intact on a day dominated by the bowlers.

But initially it looked as if Sri Lanka had miscalculated in bowling first as Ahmed Shehzad, trapped leg-before by Pradeep in the tenth over for three, was the only man out by lunch, but five wickets fell for 71 runs as Pakistan slumped from 57-1 to 128-6 at tea.

Pradeep said his hard work paid off.

“I came into the team after a long time,” said Pradeep who played his last Test in January last year. “During that period I worked hard in the club as well as with the A team and from that experience I bowled well today.”

Opener Khurram Manzoor top-scored with 73 in an otherwise insipid batting display.

Manzoor termed the seam movement as difficult to handle.

“It wasn't easy out there, toss was vital because pitch is helping seam bowlers,” said Manzoor.

“Whoever plays positive will score runs. Sri Lankans really bowled very well and the first hour on Thursday will be important for us.”

Sri Lankan pacemen had little success in the first session and their hard work was also spoiled by sloppy fielding.

Mathews floored Shehzad in the slips off Lakmal with the batsman still to get off the mark, but the lapse did not prove costly.

Mahela Jayawardene dropped Hafeez off the first ball he faced from Pradeep, but the paceman had the last laugh when he bowled Hafeez through the gate soon after lunch.

Pakistan had pinned their hopes on Younis Khan and Misbah-ul Haq but they lost their last eight wickets for 58 runs.

Eranga took the prized wickets of Younis and Misbah in the space of seven balls. Younis, who made 13, tried to cut a wide delivery while Misbah was squared up on a moving delivery on one -- both caught behind.

It was a rare failure for Misbah who was Pakistan's best batsman in Tests and one-dayers last year.

Lakmal then had Manzoor caught behind off a rash shot and Asad Shafiq off a miscued drive for six.

Manzoor hit seven fours and a six during his 136-ball knock but failed to turn it into a big score and halt the slide.

Pradeep, who had three wickets in his previous four Tests, took the scalp of Sarfraz Ahmed after tea for seven to claim his best figures in Tests.

Herath polished off the tail to wrap Pakistan's innings.

The third and final Test will be played in Sharjah from January 16.

Teams: Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Khurram Manzoor, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Bilawal Bhatti, Rahat Ali.

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Prasanna Jayawardene, Suranga Lakmal, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera.

Umpires: Bruce Oxenford (AUS) and Sundaram Ravi(IND)

TV umpire: Richard Kettleborough (ENG)

Match referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)

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