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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.”

Teams (from):

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.

Final results:

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.

KUWAIT: Killer XI Cricket Club defeated Atif Heroes XI by 11 runs to emerge as the champion team in the final of PSA - 1st Flood Light Tape Ball Cricket Tournament organized by Pakistan Sports Association Kuwait with auspicious of Kuwait Cricket at Sulaibiya Cricket ground.

A total of 16 teams from all over the Kuwait, participated in the tournament held at Sulaibiya Cricket Ground KC from 29th August to 20th September, Director PNES Mr. Majid Ali Ch. inaugurated the tournament on 29th August.

In the Final Match, Atif Heroes XI won the toss and elected to field first. Killer XI scored 85 runs for 3 wickets in allotted 8 overs while Atif Heroes XI in reply, scored 74 runs for the loss of 8 wickets. Hence Killer XI Cricket Club won the match by 11 runs. The winning team and runners up were awarded trophies, cash prizes and other prize incentives.

H.E. Mr. Hassan Wazir, The Head Mission from Embassy of Islamic Republic of Pakistan was the Chief Guest of the final match and prize distribution ceremony. Mr. Amman from Kuwait Cricket, Mr. Muhammad Irfan Adil Tournament Director & Founder of PSA, Mr. Maqbool Ahmed Representative of Wataniya Telecom, Mr. Muhammad Arif Butt President PBC, Hafiz Muhammad Shabbir Member OPF Advisory Council, Mr. Noor Muhammad Chairman FWT, Mr. Nadeem Zafar CEO of Eternity Travels, along with Mr. Ehtisham, Mr. Khalid Amin from Zain, Mr. Rana Ijaz Hussain Sohail President KPFA, Mr. Tariq Nazir, Mr. Fida Hussain from PEFK, Mr. Shamshad Ahmed Khan ,Mr. Khalil Ahmed Rajput, Mr. Asif Khan, Mr. Azfar Hussain, Mr. Naeem, Mr. Shabbir, Mr. Tayyab Khan & Mr. Abdullah Abbasi (Radio Kuwait),Mr. Tahir Khan, Mr. Iqbal Raj & Ms Sandra graced the event with lot of families, guests, sports lovers and players.

Ceremony was commenced with Reciting of Holy Quran offered by Hafiz Muhammad Shabbir and conducted by Ali Raza, Roha Nadeem & Irfan Shafique.

Mr. Amman, Mr. Arif Butt, Mr. Hafiz Muhammad Shabbir and H.E. Mr. Hassan Wazir, The Head Mission from Embassy of Islamic Republic of Pakistan delivered their valuable words on the occasion. They appreciated the PSA management for providing a healthy atmosphere to cricket lovers and organizing such a wonderful event in a real professional manner. They also appreciated the time management of the whole tournament that every match started on specific time. They stated that the event was well organized, in a very short notice of time and completed successfully; it is a great achievement of PSA since it is just a newly established association on dated 14th August 2013.

Mr. Muhammad Irfan Adil Tournament Director & Founder of PSA extended his gratitude of thanks to all distinguished guest, families, players and participating teams. He expressed his special thanks to Kuwait Cricket (Mr. Asad Baig – Director General of Kuwait Cricket), KCUP (Mr. Riaz Chaudhry – Director KCUP), Main sponsor Wataniya Telecom, Co sponsor, PNES(Mr. Majid Ali Chaudhry), Sky Zone Restaurant, Al Hafiz, Pizza Inn, Eternity Travels, Zain Telecom, FWT, PEFK, PBC, Alyasra foods & Qamar Al Awal. He also thanked Associates Hala Pakistan, Minhaj Education Society, PIK - Pakistanis in Kuwait, Pakistani Blood Donors in Kuwait & Help Desk for Pakistani Community in Kuwait. He appreciated foto nine for their remarkable services of event coverage as official photographer of the tournament.

He appreciated the thankless job of PSA admin team for the event headed by Naveed Iqbal Butt along with Ali Raza, Irfan Shafique, Amer, Afzal and Younis Shahid. The services of ground man Mr. Umar Khan were also admired on the occasion. “We congratulate team Killer XI for winning the Champions title of PSA Cricket Tournament this year. We all enjoyed

the match and it was energetic to see all team members in best form today. We are thankful to all our sponsors and associates for their support and look forward to holding more such interactive events in the near future to strengthen our relationship.

Runner up captain Mr.Atif received Runner up Trophy by H.E. Mr. Hassan Wazir and Mr. Irfan Adil, whereas the winner trophy was received by Mr. Asjad Bhatti, the captain of Killer XI by H.E. Mr. Hassan Wazir with KC representative Mr. Amman. Mementos of Special thanks & Appreciation were presented to Kuwait Cricket & KCUP.

At the end group photo session was held and refreshments were served to all guests, teams and spectators. Hence PSA - 1st Flood Light Tape Ball Cricket Tournament ended with great professional manner and golden memories.

for more pictures click on the link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.476649919099995.1073741881.220236501408006&type=1

 

 

PAKISTAN: Pakistan’s manager, Moin Khan, said Misbah-ul-Haq’s men did not need to apologise to the fans after their humiliating loss to Zimbabwe in the second Test at Harare.

The shock loss, which leveled the Test series 1-1, according to the former captain and wicket-keeper was more as a result of Pakistan not being able to adjust to the conditions in Zimbabwe rather than anything apocalyptic as some former players have suggested.

“I don't think our level is falling,” Moin said. “I think the conditions suited Zimbabwe team more than us. In both the matches that we lost (one-day and Test) we played badly. We didn't bat well in the second Test, but overall I would say that our performance was satisfactory.

“No, no need to apologise. We didn't lose the series. It was 1-1 and we won the T20 and one-day series.”

Former fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar had claimed the level of cricket in Pakistan was at its lowest after the loss.

“We have hit rock bottom as a cricket nation,” Akhtar said.

“If we can't beat Zimbabwe then we are going to face a torrid time against South Africa,” former Test leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed said of the upcoming tour.

But Moin defended the team saying, he did not want to “demoralize” players and take measures to boost the confidence.

“I won't say that he is consistently failing,” he said when asked about vice-captain Mohammad Hafeez’s flailing form in Tests.

“He did well in the T20s and one-dayers. He is a good performer but his batting was not good in Tests but he is keen and will try to regain his form.”

Moin also backed coach Dav Whatmore to come good.

“It was not in my domain to plan things,” he said.

“Everyone makes mistakes and I am sure that Whatmore will be doing his best to overcome those mistakes. When you lose to a team like Zimbabwe you learn a lot of lessons.”

KABUL: When the rattling sound of Kalashnikov assault rifles resonates in the streets of Kabul, it's more often than not because of an attack by Taliban insurgents. But that changed, for once, on Wednesday, the shots being fired in celebration at Afghanistan's victory over India to win the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) title.

The smell of burning cordite enveloped the Afghan city after the national team's 2-0 win over the Indians in Kathmandu thanks to goals from Mustafa Azadzoy and Sandjar Ahmadi.

The victory will no doubt reinforce the popularity of the national team that already grabbed the right headlines with a 3-0 win in a friendly against Pakistan, the neighbouring state with which Afghanistan shares stormy political relations.

As the win over India played out, Afghans did not wait for the referee's final whistle for some welcome relief, packing cafes, restaurants and businesses throughout Kabul that showed the game on television.

In a tearoom in the old city, some 20 people crammed around a television set mounted on a wall.

Situated on the first floor of a rickety house, the tearoom had small platforms covered in red carpet on which the clientele stretched out to drink tea, smoke cigarettes or hashish. “I came here to visit my brother and also to watch football,” said 30-year-old civil servant Gholam Rasol Lala.

“I love to watch football, especially the English championship. It's good for us, it makes us forget the war and the attacks that we can see every day in our country.”

When Azadzoy opened the scoring after a badly attempted clearance by Indian goalkeeper Subrata Paul, it was met by deafening cheers and applause.

“They're playing very well,” beamed tearoom regular Gul Raman.

A little further down the street was a restaurant also showing the game. The owner was left rubbing his hands in delight at the sight of his packed establishment, grilled kebabs of meat accompanied by long, spiced chips selling like hot cakes.

With no places left to sit inside, dozens of locals massed in front of the restaurant in an ambitious bid to spy the small-screened television set up at the far end of the establishment.

Abdel Wahed, 21, avoided any disruption to his viewing entertainment by simply going to a shop selling televisions.

The final was broadcast on a big screen still sporting its plastic protective wrapping. “If we win, there will be a big celebration,” the 21-year-old Barcelona fan said.

“We went through three decades of war so it is good to think about something else from time to time.” When Sandjar Ahmadi chipped 'keeper Paul for Afganistan's second in the 62nd minute of a fast-paced final, and the team then held on for the win, the relief was palpable.

“We won, this is so exciting!” cried Abdul Salam. “They struggled to be there, to ensure that the name of Afghanistan will be known for something other than war and attacks.”

Out in the street, car horns blazed, guns rattled and groups of fans came together waving the Afghan flag.

Scenes familiar in the West – perhaps apart from the guns – but incredibly rare in a country still battling the Taliban, who have been leading a bloody insurgency since their regime was toppled in late 2001.

The national team players will return as heroes to Afghanistan. And they will doubtless be better off after the government promised each player an apartment should they win – not bad when you earn nine dollars a day as a professional footballer in the country ranked 139th in the world.

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