DUBAI: Dashing all-rounder Shahid Afridi on Sunday showed confidence Pakistan can pull off a one-day series win despite the return of Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn in the South African squad for the last three matches.
Afridi starred with 3-26 to add to his 20-ball 26 in Pakistan’s comprehensive 66-run win in the second One-day International here on Friday which levelled the five-match series at 1-1.
Pakistan spurned a golden opportunity to win the first match in Sharjah last Wednesday, going down by one run from a winning position.
But Afridi, 33, said the way their bowlers were performing Pakistan can win the series.
“There is no doubt Amla and Steyn will strengthen South Africa but the way our bowlers are doing, I am sure we can beat South Africa,” Afridi told reporters.
Amla returned to Dubai on Sunday after missing the second Test and the first two one-day games due to the birth of his child back home.
Steyn is likely to join the squad in time for the third match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday after returning home for a rest before the one-day series.
Besides Afridi, off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took 2-15 and paceman Mohammad Irfan claimed 3-53 in the second match.
Afridi brushed aside criticism of failing to guide Pakistan to a win when only 19 runs were needed when he walked into bat in the first match.
“I got a bad ball which I hit and got out, it could have been a six,” said Afridi who made only nine in that match.
“It’s not Afridi versus South Africa, its Pakistan versus South Africa,” said Afridi, who so far has 365 wickets in 364 matches.
He also has 7,395 runs, including a world record 37-ball hundred made against Sri Lanka in 1996.
Afridi said he was enjoying being part of Pakistan’s squad.
“I am enjoying the game,” said Afridi.“This current team is a mix of seniors and juniors and I am feeling younger with each passing day.”
Afridi said he hoped Pakistan’s batting will click in the remaining matches.
“The batting needs to be improved, its a matter of applying ourselves,” said Afridi.
The fourth match will also be played in Abu Dhabi on Friday while the fifth and final match will be held in Sharjah on Nov 11.—AFP
DUBAI: Pakistan won the second day-night international against South Africa by 66 runs in Dubai on Friday, to level the five-match series at 1-1.
Pakistan were bowled out for 209 in 49.4 overs with Ahmed Shehzad top-scoring with 58 while Ryan McLaren (4-34) and Mornke Morkel (3-38) shared the bowling honours.
South Africa could not cope against Pakistan's slow bowlers as they were dismissed for 143 in 40.4 overs. McLaren top-scored with 29 not out.
South Africa won the first one-dayer in Sharjah by one run.
The remaining matches will be played in Abu Dhabi (November 6 and 8) and in Sharjah (November 11).
Brief scores: Pakistan 209 in 49.4 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 58; R. McLaren 4-34, M. Morkel 3-38); South Africa 143 in 40.4 overs (R. McLaren 29 not out, Shahid Afridi 3-26, Mohammad Irfan 3-53).
Teams: Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Wahab Riaz
South Africa: AB de Villiers (capt), Coiln Ingram, Jean-Paul Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Graeme Smith, Lonwabo Tsotsobe
Umpires: Steve Davis (AUS) and Shozab Raza (PAK) TV umpire: Richard Illingworth (ENG) Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)
SHARJAH: South Africa staged a remarkable comeback to turn what seemed certain defeat into a one-run win over Pakistan in the first day-night international in Sharjah on Wednesday.
Pakistan, chasing a modest 184 to win, were cruising along nicely at 165-4 but lost their last six wickets for just 17 runs off 39 balls to be bowled out for 182 in 46.3 overs.
It looked all over with Umar Amin (20) and Umar Akmal (18) at the crease but leg-spinner Imran Tahir (3-45) dismissed Umar, Shahid Afridi (nine) and Wahab Riaz (zero) in succsessive overs to leave Pakistan struggling for the last seven runs.
Last man Mohammad Irfan and Saeed Ajmal added five runs before Morne Morkel (2-23) bowled Irfan to send his team into an unexpected but frenzied celebration, much to the dismay of the 15,000 crowd who came to see Pakistan win.
It was man-of-the-match Wayne Parnell who starred with both bat and ball, hitting a career best 56 before taking 3-41 in his eight overs.
South African captain AB de Villiers said his team had the belief of turning the tables. “South Africans always believe we can turn things around. When you get a sniff you have to drive it home,” said De Villiers.
His Pakistan counterpart Misbah-ul Haq was disappointed at losing when victory seemed certain.
“We could not handle the pressure, some relaxed shots that cost us the match,” he said.
“Our focus should be to be there till the last run is scored, the batting spoiled the party.
We have to forget this game and improve for the next one.”
For Pakistan off-spinner Ajmal (4-30) was well supported by leg-spinner Afridi (3-37) as South Africa were bowled out in the final over.
The win gives South Africa a 1-0 lead in the five-match series with the second match in Dubai on Friday.
Pakistan lost opener Nasir Jamshed (nought) early but Shehzad (58) and Mohammad Hafeez (28) shared a 71-run stand for the second wicket to stablise the run-chase.
Even when Hafeez fell, Pakistan never looked in trouble as Misbah (31) and Shehzad took Pakistan to 135 when the innings started to fall apart with Misbah dismissed by Parnell.
The Pakistan skipper hit three fours off 49 balls. When on 28 he reached 4,000 one-day runs with a flurry of boundaries off Tahir. He became the 13th Pakistani batsmen to reach the milestone in his 129th match.
It was Shehzad who set the tone for a successful chase, hitting five boundaries in his 92-ball innings.
But once Shehzad and Misbah fell, South Africa sensed an unexpected victory as batsmen fell one after the other.
When South Africa batted after winning the toss, they could never recover from the early loss of opener Colin Ingram, caught off Irfan's second ball of the innings for nought.
Ajmal then rocked the South African batting, dimissing Graeme Smith (20), Faf du Plessis (12) and De Villiers (four) in his first spell of six overs.
Afridi then jolted South Africa further by taking Ryan McLaren (eight), David Miller (37) and Morkel (four) in his nine overs.
Parnell, who hit a century in South Africa's domestic one-day competition earlier this month, hit six boundaries and a six off 70 balls and added an invaluable 52 for the ninth wicket with Lonwabo Tsotsobe (16 not out) to avoid a complete disaster.
Parnell holed out in the 49th over, caught off Ajmal before Sohail Tanvir dismissed Imran Tahir in the final over.
Parnell's wicket was Ajmal's 150th in his 93rd one-day match, becoming Pakistan's 11th bowler to reach the milestone.
Tsotsobe hit a four and a six off Ajmal in the 45th over, crossing the double-figure mark for the first time in 52 matches.
Miller hit two boundaries and a six off 51 balls before falling to Afridi, leaving Parnell to repair the damage to some extent.
Parnell's previous best of 49 was against India at Jaipur three years ago
Brief Scores: South Africa 183 in 49.5 overs (W. Parnell 56; Saeed Ajmal 4-30, Shahid Afridi 3-30), Pakistan 182 in 46.3 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 58; W.Parnell 3-41)
South Africa: Colin Ingram, Graeme Smith, JP Duminy, AB de Villiers (capt), Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Ryan McLaren, Wayne Parnell, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan
Umpires: Richard Illingworth (ENG) and Shozab Raza (PAK) TV umpire: Steve Davis (AUS) ICC match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)
DUBAI: A confident Pakistan will look to their spinners to sweep the two-match series against a depleted South Africa when the second and final Test starts in Dubai on Wednesday.
Pakistan's spin duo of Saeed Ajmal and left-armer Zulfiqar Babar shared 11 wickets between them to guide their team to a seven-wicket win in the first Test in Abu Dhabi, only their fourth win in 22 Tests against South Africa.
Even the pacemen Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan took four wickets apiece as a formidable South Africa batting slumped to 249 and 232 in the two innings, with only Hashim Amla (118) and AB de Villiers (90) showing some resistance.
Pakistan rode on a brilliant 146 by opener Khurram Manzoor -- the highest by a Pakistani batsman in a Test against South Africa -- and a responsible 100 by captain Misbah-ul Haq to post a big 442-run total.
South Africa will be hard pressed to maintain their unbeaten run in an away series since losing in Sri Lanka in 2006.
More so as Amla and Dale Steyn, respectively the world's top Test batsman and bowler, may not be available for the match. Amla has returned home for the birth of his child while Steyn is nursing a hamstring injury.
Left-hander Dean Elgar is due to replace Amla while Rory Kleinveldt is likely to fill in for Steyn.
South Africa will also look at their spin option to replace left-armer Robin Peterson, who failed to get a single wicket in the first Test, with Pakistan born leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
South African captain Graeme Smith expressed confidence his team can bounce back.
“We haven't been in this position too often,” said Smith.
“And with the standards that we set ourselves, we should have the ability to bounce back.
“The motivation is there. We are really motivated to win the next Test match. That's got to be our ultimate goal. We have to focus on making sure our plans are better.”
On the contrary, Pakistan have a settled squad and will not tinker with the winning combination.
But despite all the plusses, Misbah warned against complacency.
“We are playing the top side in the world, so our focus is on the next game,” said Misbah, aiming to add to Pakistan's only series win over South Africa way back in 2003.
Misbah denied he wants a batting track in Dubai to draw the Test.
“I don't think so we have given clear indications to the groundsman. We want a result, no doubt we want to exploit our home advantage and we will do that, but we want a result,” said Misbah.
“Whenever you have negative thoughts in your mind it won't give you good results. We are positive about that, we want a result no matter whatever happens, if we win or lose, it doesn't matter.”
Pakistan: Khurram Manzoor, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Umar Amin, Adnan Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Zulfiqar Babar, Abdur Rehman, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Rahat Ali, Asad Shafiq, Ahmed Shehzad, Shan Masood.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Thami Tsolekile.
Umpires: Rod Tucker (AUS) and Ian Gould (ENG) Tv umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS) Match referee: David Boon (AUS)
KARACHI: The pair of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Sajjad did Pakistan proud by capturing the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) Team Event title in Carlow, Ireland, on Sunday routing Iran 5-3 in the best of nine frames final.
The formidable Pakistan duo recovered from three frames down to turn the tables on their opponents Soheil Vahedi and Amir Sarkosh. Pakistan was home 33-70, 18-68, 9-74, 88-20, 67-11, 87-15, 75-43, 58-35.
Sajjad hammered two elegant breaks of 83 and 51 in the fourth and seventh frames while Asif piled up a break of 50 in the fifth.
This is the second world crown for Asif in less than a year after his unprecedented rise in the IBSF world amateur snooker championship at Sofia, Bulgaria, on Dec 2 last.
For Sajjad, this is the maiden world title after his triumph in Korat Cup, a Thai ranking event besides finishing runner-up in the Asian Snooker Championship.Earlier, the two Pakistanis were crashed out from the 6-Reds event in pre quarter-finals on Saturday.
The victorious Pakistan team is due to arrive from Carlow in the wee hours of Tuesday. President of the Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Federation (PBSF) Alamgir Shaikh, secretary Munawwar Hussain Shaikh and international referee Shabbir Hussain will also return with the victorious cueists.
Pakistan bt Iran 5-3 (33-70, 18-68, 9-74, 88-20, 67-11, 87-15, 75-43, 58-35).
NEW DELHI: Disgraced Indian Premier League founder Lalit Modi was Wednesday banned for life from holding any cricket post, three years after being thrown out of his own popular, but tainted, Twenty20 league.
The general body of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which met in Chennai, accepted the verdict of its disciplinary panel that found Modi guilty of “serious” acts of indiscipline and misconduct.
“The BCCI resolved that Mr Lalit Modi is guilty of committing acts of serious misconduct and indiscipline, and therefore he is hereby expelled from the board,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.
“He shall forfeit all his rights and privileges as administrator. He shall not in future be entitled to hold any position or office, or be admitted in any committee or any member or associate member of the BCCI.”
Modi was found guilty, among other things, of rigging bids during the franchise auction in 2010, selling media and internet rights without authorisation and secretly trying to create a rebel T20 league in England without the knowledge of the Indian and England boards.
The BCCI announced its decision soon after a last-ditch effort by Modi's lawyers to get the meeting put off was rejected by the Supreme Court earlier on Wednesday.
Modi, who now lives in self-exile in London, currently holds no post in the BCCI, having already been removed as IPL chairman and BCCI vice-president after the conclusion of the third edition of the tournament in 2010.
The 49-year-old scion of a business family, who is also being investigated by the government on corruption and money-laundering charges, has in the past denied all allegations against him.
The life ban is unrelated to the spot-fixing and betting scandals currently swirling around the IPL which has led to players, book makers and others being charged over their alleged involvement.
Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of current BCCI chief N. Srinivasan and a former team principal of IPL side Chennai Super Kings, was among those charged with cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy on Saturday over the betting scandal.
Two players from the Rajasthan Royals team, international fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and upcoming spinner Ankeet Chavan, have been banned for life by the BCCI, after they were among those charged over the spot-fixing scandal.
The IPL, which began in 2008, features the world's top players signed up for huge fees by rich business houses and individuals in a glitzy mix of sport and entertainment.
KARACHI: It is a very rare occurrence that a cricketer scores century on Test debut and is then cast aside 17 months later altogether for no fault of his. This has exactly happened with Fawad Alam whose claims have been constantly overlooked by the national selectors despite the player performing consistently in domestic competitions for the last three seasons.
The left-handed batsman, still relatively young with his 28th birthday around the corner (Oct 8), last played for Pakistan on the New Zealand tour on the Boxing Day in 2010 at Auckland’s Eden Park in the first of three Twenty20 Internationals.
Fawad, who got married to former Pakistan batsman Mansoor Akhtar’s daughter in November 2011 in Karachi, hails from a cricketing family since his father Tariq Alam and paternal uncle Rafat Alam both extensively played first-class cricket for various teams between 1974 and 1994.
But as of now Fawad faces an uncertain future as far as his aspiration to resurrect his international career is concerned after participating in just three Tests, 27 One-day Internationals (603 runs at 37.68) and 24 Twenty20 Internationals plus having been a member of the triumphant Pakistan team that won the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England under Younis Khan’s captaincy.
A prolific performer in all formats, the Karachi-born cricketer averages a staggering 55.96 after 96 first-class appearances with an undefeated 296 — for the National Bank of Pakistan against Pakistan Customs in a Quaid-i-Azam Trophy fixture at the NBP Sports Complex in January 2009 — being his highest score among 19 centuries. Fawad is also rated among the country’s top fielders.
In an exclusive interview with Dawn on Wednesday, Fawad expressed his desire to reclaim his spot in the national squad particularly at a time when questions are often asked of how brittle Pakistan’s batting has become in the wake of low team totals in Test matches.
“Of course, like any other player who has been sidelined, I’m not only desperate to make the squad but utterly frustrated by the manner in which I have been treated. Nobody in the competent authority ever spoke to me as to why I had been left out [of the national side] and the reasons behind the decision,” Fawad lamented.
“This attitude [of the cricket board] has hurt me a lot. The pain [of not being part of Pakistan team] just won’t go away. If the criterion of selection is based on performances then this system should be applicable for each individual.”
Fawad argued there is definitely something wrong down the line in Pakistan cricket. “Obviously, any player in my place would be devastated and feel deeply disappointed if the selectors continue to ignore the individual’s performances. My first-class batting average over the past five seasons has been 44.00 or more and thrice I averaged above 60,” Fawad said.
“I was not considered for the West Indies tour in 2011 despite making 534 runs in five matches of the Pentangular Cup [adjudged tournament’s best batsman] which was very disappointing. I’m not the sort of person who would be complaining but this is how cricket or any other sport is conducted in our country.”
Fawad is the first of just two batsmen — Umar Akmal is the other — to score century overseas among the 12 Pakistanis who reached three figures on Test debut when the left-hander batted for 384 minutes to pile up 168 in the second innings of the match Sri Lanka won at Colombo’s P. Sara Stadium in July 2009 to wrap the series against Younis Khan’s side.
“It was a wonderful moment in my life to register a century in my first Test. But it would have been nice had we won [that match] because that would kept the series alive before the third Test,” Fawad, who is also a handy left-arm spinner, recalled.
“The whole game was like a dream because I was told just two days before that match that I would be playing and that too as an opener [regular choice Salman Butt was indisposed], something I had never done in my life!
“But Younis was very supportive and had even predicted that I would be scoring century on debut. When a captain backs you like that one’s confidence surely skyrockets. I really felt in the zone after making 16 in the first innings. In fact, so sure was Younis that he had pre-written on the ball ‘Fawad Alam debut 100’ and had put his signature on it.
“In fact, Younis was batting with me when I completed my century. After congratulating me, the skipper said he had got something for me which he would present him in the dressing room. It was an indescribable feeling inside to know that the captain believed so much in me. A captain like Younis can change your entire perspective about the game.”
Sadly, Fawad figured in further two Tests before being unceremoniously axed after Pakistan lost to New Zealand at the University Oval in Dunedin, while his ODI career lasted until the offshore series against South Africa in November 2010.
“But I’m more determined than ever to make a comeback because I think positively and working harder than before to keep myself fit and performing,” Fawad concluded.