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DUBAI: Pakistan’s hopes of gaining a morale boosting one day series win over New Zealand ahead of the World Cup next year have been hurt by yesterday’s announcement that Mohammad Hafeez has been suspended from bowling because of an illegal action. The 34-year-old-who joins top Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal in being suspended for the same offence-will still be able to bat in the five-match one-day series which begins in Dubai today.

However, he gives Pakistan an option of an extra bowler and his suspension will badly hurt the team’s preparations for next year’s World Cup. “It’s a setback for us,” said team manager and chief selector Moin Khan after Hafeez was suspended by the International Cricket Council. “Hafeez’s suspension can affect our preparations for the World Cup but we have no doubt over his ability as a batsman and he will play today.” Both the teams will remain focused on the World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand in February-March. The series promises to be a keenlyfought contest after they ended honours even in both the three-Test series and the two-match Twenty20.

Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul Haq admitted his team can build confidence and momentum. “This is one of our last chances before the World Cup, to look how we will go into the World Cup so the focus is on that,” said Misbah on Saturday. “Pitches are different here (from Australia and New Zealandwhere the World Cup is being hosted) but I still think the confidence and the momentum of this series will help us and it will not matter even if we are playing on different pitches here.” Pakistan have recalled experienced batsman Younis Khan after dropping him from the three-match one-day series against Australia which they lost 3-0 in October-also played in the United Arab Emirates.

Misbah believes Younis will provide valuable experience. “His experience will help us,” said Misbah, also hinting Pakistan will go with a specialist opening pair instead of using wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed at the top of the order. “We want to go in with genuine openers and want the first four batsmen settled before going to the World Cup. “New Zealand have adaptability and they have allrounders and good spinners who can win matches for their team,” said Misbah.

New Zealand’s stand-in captain Kane Williamson-Brendon McCullum left after the Tests to prepare for the home series against Sri Lanka-said Pakistan remain a dangerous side even without Ajmal. “We know it ’s a big challenge because Pakistan play well here, they have depth and even without Ajmal whichever side they put out is strong,” said Williamson. New Zealand play two Tests and seven one-day internationals against Sri Lanka starting later this month. “There is so much cricket before the World Cup and this series is the focus but we are conscious of the big event,” said Williamson. All-rounder Corey Anderson will return after missing the second Twenty20 as a precautionary measure after being hit by a bouncer in the first Twenty20 on Thursday, but opener Martin Guptill is still being monitored for a tight hamstring. The remaining oneday matches will be played in Sharjah (December 12 and 14) and Abu Dhabi (December 17 and 19). —AFP

DUBAI: Newcomer Haris Sohail batted with maturity during his maiden one day international half-century to steer Pakistan to a three-wicket win in the first day-night international against New Zealand in Dubai on Monday.

The 25-year-old left-hander scored 85 off 109 balls and added 110 for the seventh wicket with veteran Shahid Afridi (who hit a 51-ball 61) to rescue Pakistan from a precarious 124-6 and into a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Pakistan, set a daunting 247-run target, were struggling at 40-3 before Sohail added 34 with skipper Misbah-ul Haq (13) and 38 with Sarfraz Ahmed (26) to steady the innings.

With just 13 needed at a run-a-ball Afridi was run out but Sohail hit Jimmy Neesham for his fifth boundary to seal the win with three balls to spare. He also hit a six.

Afridi hit seven boundaries and a six in his 37th one-day fifty.

Earlier Ross Taylor became the sixth batsman, and first from his country, to score three hundreds in consecutive matches to lift New Zealand to 246-7.

Pakistan's Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar and South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock have also achieved the feat.

Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals with Mohammad Hafeez (six), Asad Shafiq (five), Ahmed Shehzad (28) and Younis Khan (four) trudging back to the pavilion with the score barely passing 50.

Paceman Kyle Mills gave New Zealand the breakthrough in the fifth over bowling Hafeez before Daniel Vettori struck twice and Neesham once.

Earlier Taylor had held together the New Zealand innings after Mohammad Irfan (3-57) had inflicted serious damage on the top order.

Taylor added 58 for the seventh wicket with former captain Vettori (27) in the final overs after steadying the innings during a 44-run sixth wicket stand with Luke Ronchi, who made 23.

Irfan had dismissed opener Dean Brownlie (14) and skipper Kane Williamson (10) in his first five-over spell before returning to take Ronchi's wicket in the 38th over.

Tom Latham was run out for 13 and Neesham was lbw to Afridi for one as New Zealand were left struggling at 111-5.

Paceman Wahab Riaz claimed the wickets of opener Anton Devcich (26) and Vettori to finish with 2-51.

But Taylor kept one end intact, reaching his 27th one-day fifty with a single.

He hit Umar Gul for a six and a four and then took a sharp single to complete his hundred off 133 balls with eight fours and a six.

He hit another boundary off Riaz on the final delivery as New Zealand scored 41 runs in the last five overs.

Pakistan included all-rounder Hafeez as a batsman alone after he was suspended over an illegal bowling action but left out hard-hitting Umar Akmal.

New Zealand were forced to leave out opener Martin Guptil and all-rounder Corey Anderson due to injuries.

The remaining matches will be played in Sharjah (December 12 and 14) and Abu Dhabi (December 17 and 19).

 

KUWAIT: Shaheen Club defeated Ghuri Club by 3-1 in Final and became the champion of PSA Quaid-e-Azam Day Volley Ball Cup 2014.

Pakistan Sports Association Kuwait organized Quaid-e-Azam Day Volley Ball Cup in style at Jaleeb Shuyoukh Last week. Best players participated from different communities in Kuwait. Noor Uddin Dawar --- Community Welfare Attaché, Embassy of Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Kuwait, graced the Event as Chief Guest along with Muhammad Arif Butt Patron PSA, Hafiz Muhammad Shabbir, Chairman PSA, Muhammad Irfan Adil, Founder PSA, Muhammad Nawaz, Sr. Vice President PEFK, Mr. Noor Muhammad Chariman FWT, Col. Anjum Masood, Principal ISP, Rana Ijaz Hussain Sohail, President KPFA, Naveed Shahzad, President Hala Pakistan, Mr.Faisal Rehman President SHRPK, Eng. Ashraf Zia of Pak Aggregarians Forum, Mr. Naeem Jan from KPYS, Mian Arshad, President Muslim Center Kuwait, Mr. Shahzad Ahmed President PQNCK, Mr.Ayub Bhatti, Mr. Atif Siddiqui (PIK-Pakistanis in Kuwait), Mr.Irfan Kiyani. Mr. Tariq Mohsin, Mr.Irfan Nagra, Mr. Zubair Sharfi were among guests. Large number of spectators cheered the both teams and enjoyed the thrill of game.

Event was sponsored by Al- Hafiz Company & Pakistan Business Council. Pakistan Employment Forum Kuwait (PEFK) was organizing Partner. Event was supported by Help Desk for Pakistani Community in Kuwait, Hala Pakistan, Pakistanis in Kuwait, SHRPK, PQNCK, PEFK S & Y, PBDIK, KPYS and Kuwait Up2Date & covered by Pak Media in Kuwait.

Match between Ghuri Club & Shaheen Club which was played in Best of 5 games. Both players showed their abilities, skills & expertise in the game. After intense competition, Shaheen Club defeated Ghur Club with 3-1 and became the champion of PSA Quaid-e-Azam Day Volley Ball Cup 2014.

M.Irfan Shafiq, GS PSA conducted the Awards ceremony. He invited Founder PSA Mr. Irfan Adil, President PSA Mr. Maqbool Ahmed, Chairman PSA & Member OPAC, Mr. M. Hafiz Shabbir, Patron PSA Mr. Arif Butt & other dignitaries from Pakistani Community in Kuwait on stage.

PSA Founder Mr. Irfan Adil, Chairman Mr. Hafiz M Shabbir & Patron of PSA, Mr. Arif Butt respectively, expressed their views about PSA Quaid-e-Azam Day Volley Ball Cup & appreciated efforts of PSA team. They Thanked Community Suppoerts & Media team for covering a healthy event. They assured their support in all upcoming events. Chief Guest delivered a key note appreciation to PSA Team for providing an healthy opportunity for the Volley ball lovers. He appreciated the PSA Team & Management for organizing a disciplined event. He congratulate the winner and runner up and praised the President of PSA Kuwait – Mr. Maqbool, President PSA, thanked all the participants for taking interest in Volley Ball Match. He thanked Sponsor, Co-Sponsor, Partner & Community Supporters for supporting the event. He thanked Mr.Khalid Noor, Pak Media in Kuwait, for covering the event. He appreciated efforts of PSA Team including M.Younus Shahid, Naveed Iqbal Butt, M.Irfan Shafiq, AbdulRehman Akram and Adnan Akram in making this tournament a success in such short span of time. Mr. Maqbool also shed light on future plans of PSA Kuwait that it will be bringing many opportunities for communities in Kuwait to play different games. While expressing his views, he said “PSA is all about Sports” & Sports are beyond boundaries. It will give healthy opportunities to people in Kuwait & will help brining different communities closer”. Best Netman Prize awarded to Jamshaid While Best Shooter Prize awarded to Mohsin of Shaheen Club

The Winning shields for the event were presented to Adeel while Wilayat Khan received Runner-Up Shield by PSA Patron Mr. Arif Butt, PSA Chairman Mr. Hafiz Shabbir along with Founder & President of PSA.

 

اسلام آباد: پاکستانی کھلاڑیوں کی ٹیسٹ کرکٹ میں شاندار کارکردگی کے بعد رینکنگ میں بھی بتدریج بہتری آرہی ہے۔آئی سی سی کے اعلامیے کے مطابق متحدہ عرب امارات میں مسلسل تیسری فتح کے بعد پاکستانی کھلاڑیوں سرفراز احمد، محمد حفیظ، ذوالفقار بابر، یاسر شاہ، راحت علی اور عمران خان نے کریئر بیسٹ رینکنگ حاصل کرلی ہے۔کپتان مصباح الحق جو پہلے ٹیسٹ کی پہلی اننگ میں 102 رنز ناٹ آؤٹ رہے تھے، نے بھی کیرئیر بیسٹ آٹھ سو بیالیس پوائنٹس حاصل کرلیے جس کے بعد وہ رینکنگ میں آٹھویں نمبر پر آگئے ہیں۔ادھر رنز کے انبار لگاتے یونس خان بلے بازوں کی رینکنگ میں چھٹی سے پانچویں پوزیشن پرآگئے جبکہ اظہر علی سترہویں پوزیشن پربراجمان ہیں۔اس کے علاوہ وکٹ کیپر بیٹسمین سر فراز احمد کا دو درجے ترقی کے بعد اکتیسواں نمبر، احمد شہزاد اٹھارہ اور محمدحفیظ بارہ درجے کی چھلانگ لگاکر باونویں نمبر پر پہنچ گئے جبکہ باؤلرز رینکنگ میں بھی وہ انتالیسویں نمبر پر براجمان ہیں۔ سری لنکا کے کمار سنگاکارا پہلے نمبر پر موجود ہیں۔بیٹسمینوں کی طرح باؤلرز کی رینکنگ میں بھی بہتر ہوئی ہے جہاں ذوالفقار بابر گیارہ درجہ ترقی کے بعد اکتیسویں اور یاسرشاہ دو درجہ ترقی کے بعد پینتیسویں پر آگئے۔جنوبی افریقا کے ڈیل اسٹین بدستور پہلی پوزیشن پرقابض ہیں۔ پابندی کے باوجود سعید اجمل کا ابھی بھی دسواں نمبر ہے۔اس کے علاوہ بنگلہ دیش کے شکیب الحسن آل راؤنڈرز کی ریکنگ میں پہلے نمبر پر ہیں۔

Former Pakistan bowling coach Daryl Foster and one of cricket’s leading biomechanics experts, Daryl Foster, said the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) crackdown was going out of its way “to get rid of some of the best spin bowlers in the world.”

In an exclusive interview with Cricket Australia, Foster said the game was poorer without the likes of the Saeed Ajmal.

“I wasn't surprised, just disappointed for the boy [Ajmal] himself,” Foster, who previously worked with Sri Lanka’s spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan on his action, said.

The ICC banned the 36-year-old Ajmal on Tuesday after biomechanic tests at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane, Australia, revealed all his deliveries breached the permissible limit for straightening of the elbow joint.

Foster, who has also coached Western Australia and Kent, said he was a little disappointed with the crackdown against the spinners.

“We seem to be going out of our way to sort of get rid of some of the best spin bowlers in the world. But ... if that's the way the ICC are going then people have to comply with what the rule is.”

Ajmal has about five months to correct his action and appeal for a reassessment in order to play in the World Cup.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan conceded it was a big jolt coming less than six months before next year's 50-over marquee event.

Foster, who recently worked on the action of Sri Lankan off-spiner Sachithra Senanayake, who was banned in July this year, said Pakistan had the facilities and the expertise to fix Ajmal’s action.

“I don't think we can afford to be losing such a great talent like this out of the game.”

According to Foster, who worked with Pakistan in 2001, remedial work could take as little as a week if the player was receptive to the advice of the experts.

Suspect bowling actions have remained a problem for Pakistan for a while with Shoaib Akhtar, Shabbir Ahmed, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik being reported in the past.

Former fast bowler Akhtar, who like Muralitharan was also cleared to bowl on medical grounds, has advised Ajmal to legally challenge the ban.

“I would advise Saeed to legally challenge not only the ban but the entire protocol and method being used by the ICC to test bowlers,” Shoaib said.

“I don't know how much the PCB is going to support Saeed on this issue but to me the best option for him is to take the ICC to court.

“The way I look at it he has to fight this case himself if he wants to play in international cricket again.”

ISLAMABAD: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday said Pakistan ace off-spinner Saeed Ajmal's test will be conducted using the same testing protocol that were earlier followed for the testing of Sri Lanka's Sachithra Senanayake and New Zealand's Kane Williamson.

In a press release issued here, an ICC spokesman said Ajmal will be tested on Monday at the Cricket Australia National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.

He said Ajmal's test will be conducted by their accredited and lead team of Human Movement Specialists.

“This process will be managed by the ICC personnel and use Cricket Australia facilities. The testing date and location were agreed in consultation with the Pakistan Cricket Board, with Brisbane being one of a number of world-class facilities that can now be used by ICC accredited Human Movement Specialists for testing bowlers with suspect actions,” he said.

The ICC spokesperson said in its efforts to make testing more accessible across cricketing countries, the ICC is currently in the process of accrediting Human Movement Specialists at these facilities so they are able to test bowlers using the ICC testing protocol.

“The results of the tests on Saeed Ajmal's action will be known in about two weeks following which the ICC will announce the findings via a media release. Until such time, the ICC will not make any comment on this matter,” he said.

BANGALORE: Pakistan pulled off a surprise 2-0 win over India Wednesday, with a late goal from Saddam Hussain ensuring them a share of the spoils in the first football series between the arch rivals for almost a decade.

Pakistan's captain Kaleemullah put his side ahead in the 38th minute and a scrambled shot by Hussain in the 89th minute silenced the 5,000 Indian spectators at the Bangalore Football Stadium.

The home fans had been hoping for more of the same after India won the first match on Sunday 1-0, at the start of the first series between the South Asian neighbours since India toured Pakistan in 2005.

India suspended all sporting ties with Pakistan following the deadly 2008 attacks on Mumbai. However the two countries have played each other in a variety of sports in the last few years, including cricket.

India came close to opening the scoring when a dipping long-range effort by skipper Sunil Chhetri was palmed away by Pakistan's goalkeeper Muzamil Husain.

Chhetri set up debutant Haokip Thonhkosiem to score in the 37th minute, only to see his attempt saved by Husain. Francis Fernandes then squandered a golden opportunity to score off the rebound.

A minute later Pakistan went ahead when Kaleemullah swept home a free kick after being brought down by Indian midfielder Lalrindika Ralte just outside the box.

India swarmed forward in the second half in an increasingly desperate bid to find an equaliser but could not breach a determined Pakistani defence.

Their hopes were finally extinguished when Hussain poked the ball home after a solo run into the Indian penalty box.

The players hugged and shook hands on the final whistle before the Pakistani team took a victory lap, waving their national flag.

The teams are next set to compete in the Asian Games starting in South Korea next month.

India are 150th in FIFA's world rankings while Pakistan languish further down in 164th spot.

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