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Australia seal Pakistan series 3-0 in Warner’s farewell Test

Courtesy: Dawn News/Reuters/AFP

David Warner went out the way he began with a rumbustious innings to guide Australia to an eight-wicket victory and seal a 3-0 Test series sweep over Pakistan in Sydney on Saturday.

Playing in his 112th and final Test, Warner was dismissed for 57 — just 11 runs from finishing off the job — and left the Sydney Cricket Ground arena before an adoring home crowd.

Marnus Labuschagne with his 19th Test half-century on 62 and Steve Smith on four were there at the end as the Australians reached the 130-run target for the loss of just two wickets.

Pakistan Cricket@TheRealPCB
Australia win the third Test by eight wickets.
“We are in the entertainment business, happy to come out here and showcase what I try to do all the time,” said the 37-year-old opener Warner, who made his Test debut in 2011.

“I started with Twenty20, tried to come here and emulate that, tried to play my shots and managed to get a win on the board.” Asked how he wished to be remembered, Warner added: “Exciting, entertaining and, I hope, I put a smile on everyone’s face the way I played.”

It was something of an anti-climax when Warner, known as “The Bull”, was out after losing a review for lbw to spinner Sajid Khan.

Warner was congratulated by the Pakistan players, who had given him a guard of honour as he came out for his final innings, before he waved his bat acknowledging the cheering crowd as he left the SCG for the last time.

It was a typically aggressive innings from Warner coming off 75 balls with seven fours, replete with crashing drives and audacious reverse sweeps.

It was Australia’s 17th consecutive Test win against Pakistan after securing the current series in Melbourne over Christmas.

“I love the way the boys performed. It has been a great start to the (southern) summer for us,” said skipper Pat Cummins, who was named man of the series for his 19 wickets at an average of 12.

“The boys found a way to get us back into the contest whenever we were on the back foot.”

Australia had an early setback when Warner’s childhood friend and fellow opener Usman Khawaja was out in the second over, lbw to Sajid for a duck.

But it set centre stage for Warner as he sought to put pressure on the bowlers and fielders with his intimidating gung-ho approach. His 37th Test half-century came off just 56 balls.

Warner retires as one of Australia’s greatest opening batsmen, scoring 8,786 Test runs since his debut at an average of 44.59, with 26 centuries.

Pakistan Cricket@TheRealPCB
Spirit of cricket. Signed jersey presented to David Warner following his farewell Test.

But he will also be remembered for his central role in the “Sandpapergate” ball-tampering scandal of 2018.

Impressive Jamal

Pakistan go home on the end of yet another defeat in Australia, but there were some positives.

Aamer Jamal was announced as player of the match for his all-round performance of 82 in the first innings and 6-69 in Australia’s first innings.

“It’s been so long to get here (his Test debut),” Jamal said.

“I was over the moon, performing in front of this great (Australian) side wasn’t easy, but I stuck to my discipline and I loved every moment.”

Mohammad Rizwan and Jamal had defied the Australian attack for almost the first hour of the fourth day, adding 41 runs to the overnight score before Nathan Lyon struck.

Lyon switched to bowling around the wicket and Rizwan played across the line, edging a catch to Warner — who else — at leg slip for 28.

Jamal followed three balls later in Cummins’ next over, top-edging a pull shot straight to Travis Head at deep backward square leg for 18.

The end of the innings came three overs later when Lyon bowled Hasan Ali for five. Lyon finished with three for 36 and has 509 Test wickets.

1- Header image: Australia cricketers pose with the trophy after defeating Pakistan 3-0 in the Test series on Saturday.—Cricket Australia.

Courtesy: Dawn News/Reuters/AFP David Warner went out the way he began with a rumbustious innings to guide Australia to an eight-wicket victory and seal a 3-0 Test series sweep over Pakistan in Sydney on Saturday. Playing in his 112th and final Test, Warner was dismissed for 57 — just 11 runs from finishing off the job — and left the Sydney Cricket Ground arena before an adoring home crowd. Marnus Labuschagne with his 19th Test half-century on 62 and Steve Smith on four were there at the end as the Australians reached the 130-run target for the loss of just two wickets. Pakistan Cricket@TheRealPCB Australia win the third Test by eight wickets. “We are in the entertainment business, happy to come out here and
No stopping for Cristiano Ronaldo as he becomes top goalscorer of 2023

Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters

Ace footballer clinches Maradona Award ahead of Dubai Globe Soccer Awards

Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo never seems to stop as he added another impressive haul by clinching the Maradona Award for the best goal scorer of 2023.

The 38-year-old ball player scored 54 goals last year to receive the honour ahead of the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards 2023.

Sports website Essentially Sports cited Luis Castro, Ronaldo’s coach at Al Nassr as praising the Portuguese striker for his ‘utmost ambition’.

Castro admitted that the former has no plans to stop chasing glory, as the the five-time Ballon d’Or winner said he is going to repeat similar success in 2024.

Ronaldo secured the award by outperforming his rivals Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane and Erling Haaland, which not only marked his individual feat but aided his team’s victories.

Kane and Mbappe trail behind the Al Nassr forward by just two goals each, by netting 52 times in 2023. .

Meanwhile, Haaland — who was the only one who could’ve surpassed Ronaldo — scored 50 goals in the current year.

The all-time record goalscorer, with 873 strikes currently to his name, is also in contention to land the Best Men’s Player, Best Middle East Player, and Fans’ Favourite Player at the glitzy 14th Dubai Globe Soccer Awards ceremony.

1- Header image: Al Nassr’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring a goal. — Reuters/File
Courtesy: Geo News/Reuters Ace footballer clinches Maradona Award ahead of Dubai Globe Soccer Awards Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo never seems to stop as he added another impressive haul by clinching the Maradona Award for the best goal scorer of 2023. The 38-year-old ball player scored 54 goals last year to receive the honour ahead of the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards 2023. Sports website Essentially Sports cited Luis Castro, Ronaldo’s coach at Al Nassr as praising the Portuguese striker for his ‘utmost ambition’. Castro admitted that the former has no plans to stop chasing glory, as the the five-time Ballon d’Or winner said he is going to repeat similar success in 2024. Ronaldo secured the award by outperforming his rivals Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane
SA v IND: Record of ‘shortest completed Test’ shattered after 90 years

Courtesy: Geo News

Cape Town match breaks previous record of Melbourne’s red-ball fixture played in 1932

A new history has been made in cricket after the second red-ball fixture between South Africa and India which became the shortest-ever completed Test after over nine decades.

Before the Cape Town match, the shortest Test was played between Australia and South Africa in Melbourne in 1932 which lasted for 656 balls (109 overs).

The previous record was shattered after the Cape Town Test was wrapped up in just 642 balls (107 overs).

After facing a humiliating defeat in the first Test in Centurion, which India lost by an innings and 32 runs, the visiting team held its nerve and chased down the target of 78 in just 12 overs to level the two-match series after they bowled South Africa out for 176 in the second innings.

Additionally, the victory brought India to the top of the World Test Championship 2023-25 table after their first Test win in Cape Town, according to ESPNcricinfo.

ESPNcricinfo@ESPNcricinfo
India’s first Test win in Cape Town takes them to the top of the #WTC25 table #SAvIND
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Both teams ended up sharing the trophy after India’s win saw tie the series 1-1.

Shortest Test matches (In terms of balls)

  1. 642 balls – India beat South Africa by seven wickets (2023; Cape Town)
  2. 656 balls – Australia beat South Africa by an innings and 72 runs (1932; Melbourne)
  3. 672 balls – England beat West Indies by four wickets (1935; Bridgetown)
  4. 788 balls – England beat Australia by an innings and 21 runs (1888; Manchester)
  5. 792 balls – Australia beat England by 61 runs (1888; Lord’s)

Match summary

In pursuit of a modest target on a challenging pitch, Indian opener Yashasvi Jaiswal aggressively took charge from the onset, scoring 28 runs off 23 deliveries before being caught on the boundary off Nandre Burger.

Both Shubman Gill (10) and Virat Kohli (12) were dismissed by Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen respectively, prior to Shreyas Iyer securing victory with a boundary off his only scoring shot.

Captain Rohit Sharma remained unbeaten on 16.

Aided by Markram’s 106 off 103 balls, South Africa were bowled out for 176 shortly before lunch.

Jasprit Bumrah claimed figures of six for 61, narrowly missing out on dismissing Markram at 71 when the batsman edged a drive, and wicketkeeper KL Rahul couldn’t grasp a catch above his head.

ICC@ICC
A look at the key takeaways as India draw a Test series in South Africa after 13 years

Markram tackled a pitch offering pace, significant seam movement, and erratic bounce, where no other teammate managed a score higher than 15 in either innings.

His innings included 17 fours and two sixes, one of which sailed out of the ground and landed on a railway line beyond square leg off Prasidh Krishna.

The 29-year-old opener was eventually caught at mid-off by Sharma off Mohammed Siraj, attempting another expansive shot.

Siraj played a pivotal role in India’s victory, claiming figures of six for 15 as South Africa crumbled to 55 all out before lunch on Wednesday.

A total of twenty-three wickets tumbled on the first day.

1- Header image: India and South Africa share the trophy after the two-match Test series is tied 1-1. — X/ICC
Courtesy: Geo News Cape Town match breaks previous record of Melbourne’s red-ball fixture played in 1932 A new history has been made in cricket after the second red-ball fixture between South Africa and India which became the shortest-ever completed Test after over nine decades. Before the Cape Town match, the shortest Test was played between Australia and South Africa in Melbourne in 1932 which lasted for 656 balls (109 overs). The previous record was shattered after the Cape Town Test was wrapped up in just 642 balls (107 overs). After facing a humiliating defeat in the first Test in Centurion, which India lost by an innings and 32 runs, the visiting team held its nerve and chased down the target of 78 in just
Australia beat Pakistan by 79 runs to win second Test and series

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP/Reuters

A fired-up Pat Cummins bagged five wickets and 10 for the match to earn Australia a nail-biting 79-run win in the second Test and clinch the series against Pakistan on Friday.

Set 317 to win, the visitors put up a stellar fight, but were dismissed for 237, with the last five wickets falling for just 18 runs.

Cummins was the chief destroyer, taking 5-49 to go with his first innings of 5-48 — only the second 10-wicket haul of his Test career. Just when it looked like the match would go down to the wire on the final day, the pacer stepped in to remove batter Mohammad Rizwan and claim his 250th test wicket.

Mitchell Starc chipped in with 4-55 as the tail collapsed after Shan Masood (60), Agha Salman (50) and Babar Azam (41) gave them a fighting chance.

It was always going to be a tough task, with the highest-ever successful fourth innings run chase at the Melbourne Cricket Ground the 332-7 England managed in 1928, with no other team getting past 300.

Opener Abdullah Shafique departed for four during a tricky session before lunch, caught by Usman Khawaja in the slips off Starc following a period of intense pressure.

Iman-ul-Haq survived the initial blitz, but was no match after the break for Cummins, who sent down a probing ball that nipped back and trapped him lbw for 12.

Masood was given out lbw by the umpire on 12, but it was overturned on review and he quickly got back in his stride. He took a nasty ball to the ribs that needed treatment, but was undeterred and raced to a gutsy 50 before Cummins again came to Australia’s rescue, enticing an edge to Steve Smith.

Plenty was resting on the shoulders of Azam as the side’s premier batter and he looked in good nick. But after reaching 41, Josh Hazlewood got a ball to jag back and it clattered into his off stump.

Rizwan also looked dangerous on his way to 35 before Cummins again worked his magic, with Alex Carey collecting a catch behind the stumps after the ball went off the batsman’s glove. Cummins then removed Aamer Jamal and Shaheen Shah Afridi in quick succession before Starc cleaned up.

Bounced back

Pakistanis padded up after the hosts were all out in their second innings for 262, after resuming on 187-6.

Mir Hamza was the best of the bowlers with 4-32, while Afridi took 4-76. Carey slammed 53 to help Australia build their overnight lead and quieten chatter about his form after losing his place in the one-day side to Josh Inglis.

Pakistan Cricket@TheRealPCB
50 – run partnership @iMRizwanPak and @SalmanAliAgha1 exhibiting a solid batting displayImage
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He resumed on 16 after Australia had bounced back from 16-4 thanks to an attacking 96 from Mitchell Marsh and Smith’s gutsy 50.

Carey, who made his first and only Test hundred in Melbourne a year ago, hit consecutive fours in his first over from Hasan Ali to build confidence.

At the other end, Starc lived dangerously and fell for nine with the impressive Afridi getting the breakthrough on a pitch still offering a bit for the bowlers. Azam took the sharp chance at slip after Starc miscued a drive.

Cummins made a breezy 16 but was caught behind by Rizwan off Jamal, while Lyon crunched two straight fours off Jamal, then was bowled for 11 three deliveries later.

Carey brought up his sixth Test half-century before being the last man out, lbw to Hamza.

Positive Masood rues giving ruthless Australia a sniff

Skipper Shan Masood rued his side letting Australia off the hook at key moments in the second test but was taking plenty of positives from defeat.

“We’ve taken 20 wickets which we haven’t done in Australia for a while, that’s a box ticked,” he said.

“In terms of runs, everyone got good starts and there were some nice fifties but in test cricket against quality sides, you want to get the hundreds.

“So a lot to work on but this is the blueprint of the way we want to play test cricket and hopefully we’ll keep doing that.” Masood thought it was clear where the match had been lost.

“(You can’t) give a quality side like Australia a sniff, which we did. Maybe sometimes with the ball, maybe sometimes with the bat, yesterday maybe in the field,” he added.

“If you (don’t) drop someone in form like Mitchell Marsh, we might […] have been chasing 237 today, but mistakes happen,” he said.

Masood said it was imperative that the batsmen produced bigger scores if they were to compete with the Australians in the third and final test in Sydney next week.

“They’re ruthless,” he added.

“They have some world-class bowlers in their ranks and if you give them a sniff, if you don’t convert your fifties into hundreds, you might not have enough runs on the board,” he said.

1- Header image: Australian bowler Pat Cummins (L) acknowledges the applause after taking five wickets on the fourth day of the second cricket Test match between Australia and Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne on December 29, 2023. — AFP
Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP/Reuters A fired-up Pat Cummins bagged five wickets and 10 for the match to earn Australia a nail-biting 79-run win in the second Test and clinch the series against Pakistan on Friday. Set 317 to win, the visitors put up a stellar fight, but were dismissed for 237, with the last five wickets falling for just 18 runs. Cummins was the chief destroyer, taking 5-49 to go with his first innings of 5-48 — only the second 10-wicket haul of his Test career. Just when it looked like the match would go down to the wire on the final day, the pacer stepped in to remove batter Mohammad Rizwan and claim his 250th test wicket. Wicket 250 for Pat Cummins! 🎉The third
Bangladesh claim historic victory over NZ in first T20

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP

NAPIER: Bangladesh clai­med an historic five-wicket win over New Zealand on Wednesday after their bowlers ran riot in the opening game of their three-match Twenty20 International series in Napier on Wednesday.

This was Bangladesh’s first Twenty20 win on New Zealand soil, four days after also claiming a maiden away ODI win over the Black Caps in Napier.

“I’m really excited and very proud of how we played,” said Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto.

Asked to bat by Shanto, New Zealand made a disastrous start losing three wickets before reaching 134 for nine after their 20 overs.

“Our bowlers learnt quickly in these conditions with the new ball,” Shanto added. “We were really confident after we restricted them.”

The Black Caps bowlers gave home fans hope with the early wickets of Bangladesh opener Rony Talukdar and Shanto.

Veteran Litton Das partnered up with Soumya Sarkar, then Towhid Hridoy to steer Ban­gladesh to 96-4 after 13 overs.

The visitors were wobbling at 97-5 as they lost wickets in quick succession after Afif Hossain was caught for one run off six balls.

Das, who finished on 42 not out, survived two close calls as he battled cramp.

The on-field umpire gave him out lbw on Tim Southee’s bowling, but the Bangladesh opener stayed at the crease when the review showed the ball would have sailed over the stumps.

Ish Sodhi then caught Das at the boundary, but stepped onto the boundary rope to give away six runs.

It fell to all-rounder Mahedi Hasan, who finished 19 not out, to hit the winning runs in his partnership of 40 alongside Das with eight balls spare.

“Credit to Bangladesh, they bowled well,” said Mitchell Santner, who captained New Zealand with regular white ball skipper Kane Williamson rested.

“We fought hard with the ball to make it interesting, but the powerplay took it away from us with the bat,” Santner added.

The second and third T20 in Internationals will both be played at Mount Maunganui on Friday, then Sunday.

Bangladesh, ranked ninth in T20 International cricket, punched above their weight to floor third-ranked New Zealand.

Having dismissed the Black Caps for 98 in Saturday’s third ODI in losing the series 2-1, the Bangladesh bowlers picked up where they left off.

Hasan bowled Tim Seifert in the opening over.

Shoriful Islam was the pick of the Bangladesh bowlers with 3-26, including having Finn Allen caught and Glenn Phillips trapped lbw in consecutive balls.

Daryl Mitchell hit consecutive fours before falling for 14 to leave New Zealand 20-4.

Mark Chapman hit 19 off as many balls before being caught with the score on 50-5.

Santner and James Neesham put on 41 before Sarkar made his second catch to dismiss Santner, having also caught Allen in the slips.

Neesham fell two runs short of his 50, holing out at deep cover point, and Southee was caught on eight.

Adam Milne hit a towering six off the final ball to finish 16 not out before Bangladesh’s batters chipped away at New Zealand’s tally.

Scoreboard

NEW ZEALAND: F. Allen c Soumya b Shoriful 1 T. Seifert b Mahedi 0 D. Mitchell b Mahedi 14 G. Phillips lbw b Shoriful 0 M. Chapman c Tanzim b Rishad 19 J. Neesham c Afif b Mustafizur 48 M. Santner c Soumya b Shoriful 23 A. Milne not out 16 T. Southee c Afif b Mustafizur 8 I. Sodhi c Liton b Tanzim 2 B. Sears not out 1 EXTRAS (LB-1, W-1) 2 TOTAL (for nine wickets, 20 overs) 134 FALL OF WICKETS: 1-1 (Seifert), 2-1 (Allen), 3-1 (Phillips), 4-20 (Mitchell), 5-50 (Chapman), 6-91 (Santner), 7-110 (Neesham), 8-124 (Southee), 9-127 (Sodhi) BOWLING: Mahedi 4-0-14-2, Shoriful 4-0-26-3, Tanzim 4-0-45-1 (1w), Mustafizur 4-0-15-2, Rishad 3-0-24-1, Afif 1-0-9-0 BANGLADESH: Liton Das not out 42 Rony Talukdar c Southee b Milne 10 Najmul Hossain c Santner b Neesham 19 Soumya Sarkar b Sears 22 Towhid Hridoy c Southee b Santner 19 Afif Hossain c Neesham b Southee 1 Mahedi Hasan not out 19 EXTRAS (LB-3, W-2) 5 TOTAL (for five wickets, 18.4 overs) 137 DID NOT BAT: Rishad Hossain, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman FALL OF WICKETS: 1-13 (Rony), 2-38 (Najmul), 3-67 (Soumya), 4-96 (Towhid), 5-97 (Afif) BOWLING: Southee 4-0-16-1, Milne 3.4-0-39-1 (1w), Neesham 1-0-7-1, Sears 4-0-36-1, Sodhi 2-0-20- (1w), Santner 4-0-16-1 RESULT: Bangladesh won by five wickets.

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP NAPIER: Bangladesh clai­med an historic five-wicket win over New Zealand on Wednesday after their bowlers ran riot in the opening game of their three-match Twenty20 International series in Napier on Wednesday. This was Bangladesh’s first Twenty20 win on New Zealand soil, four days after also claiming a maiden away ODI win over the Black Caps in Napier. “I’m really excited and very proud of how we played,” said Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto. Asked to bat by Shanto, New Zealand made a disastrous start losing three wickets before reaching 134 for nine after their 20 overs. “Our bowlers learnt quickly in these conditions with the new ball,” Shanto added. “We were really confident after we restricted them.” The Black Caps bowlers
Australia’s Starc, Cummins set salary records at IPL auction

Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP

Australian fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins became the most expensive players in Indian Premier League (IPL) history on Tuesday, with franchises dishing out millions of dollars for their services at the glitzy Twenty20 tournament.

Starc, who last played in the IPL eight years ago, made a smashing comeback when he was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders for 247.5 million rupees ($2.98m), setting an all-time IPL auction record.

“We won, Mr Starc!” the franchise posted on X, formerly Twitter.

KolkataKnightRiders@KKRiders
Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP Australian fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins became the most expensive players in Indian Premier League (IPL) history on Tuesday, with franchises dishing out millions of dollars for their services at the glitzy Twenty20 tournament. Starc, who last played in the IPL eight years ago, made a smashing comeback when he was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders for 247.5 million rupees ($2.98m), setting an all-time IPL auction record. “We won, Mr Starc!” the franchise posted on X, formerly Twitter. KolkataKnightRiders@KKRiders We won, Mr. Starc!