Lionel Messi opened up some breathing room in the race for the European Golden Shoe on Sunday with his hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-1 win over Real Betis.
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LAHORE (Dunya News) – Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani on Monday said that from the very first day, India is trying to undermine the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Addressing a press conference in Lahore on Monday, he said that Pakistan faced many challenges like terrorism, adding that the protection of cricketers is our top most priority.Terrorism would win if cricket is stopped in Pakistan, he said and added cricket shouldn’t be stopped due to terrorism.The PCB chairman further added that politics has entered regional cricket, adding that politics and sports should be kept separate.
It only damages cricket, he said. Mani, on behalf of the PCB, has paid glowing tributes and thanked the die-hard cricket fans, the 39 foreign international players and all the local stars for making the HBL Pakistan Super League 2019 an overwhelming success.He termed the league as a resilient’ event and said it had delivered all event objectives despite tough operational and logistical challenges caused due to reasons beyond the PCB’s control.Mani also thanked all the franchise owners and their players, as well as the Sindh Government and all the security agencies involved in providing a safe and secure environment for the commercial partners, players, spectators, officials, media and service providers for the eight Pakistan-leg matches played at the National Stadium.
The fans made this a truly Pakistan event. Cricket euphoria gripped the entire country as the fans got behind the tournament and made this an overwhelming success, Mani said, adding the fans not only enjoyed and celebrated the festival of cricket, but they also portrayed a very positive image of Pakistan.This is the real power of a nation and I can’t thank the fans enough for the way they got behind the tournament, supported all the teams and applauded good performances, Mani said.The success of any event is gauged by crowd attendances and I am delighted that the overall crowd turnout at the National Stadium over the seven match days was nearly 95 percent.
This reflects the passion and love for cricket here.The PCB chairman said: Despite facing severe mid-series operational and logistical challenges, the league didn’t drop the ball at any stage and continued to maintain its very high standard and quality.The 2019 event has shown how resilient this league is. Having lost the production partner in the first week and then the fallout from last month’s turn of events, to pull everything smoothly, flawlessly and professionally reflects the strength and power of this league.Shane Watson’s decision to come to Karachi after having declined pre-event, is a testament of the confidence he had in the PCB and all the security agencies. It was also a validation that he too considered Karachi as a peaceful and cricket-loving city, while reinforcing his respect and commitment for the league.
The fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League, which began at Dubai (UAE) on February 14, has successfully and peacefully concluded in Karachi on March 17 as Quetta Gladiators clinched their maiden title.
In the final, they recorded a convincing eight-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi after defeating them in all the previous encounters in the tournament both the league matches and the Qualifier.On individual basis, Shane Watson’s remarkable performance not only helped his team Quetta Gladiators lift the winning trophy but also he received awards for the Player-of-the-Tournament and the Best Batsman of the tournament.Shane, who appeared in all 12 matches for his team, scored 430 runs (ave 43.00), the most by any batsman in the tournament. He made four fifties, with an unbeaten 91being his highest score.
The award for the best bowler of the tournament went to fast-medium pacer Hasan Ali for taking the most wickets in the event – 25 at an average of 13.64.He grabbed four wickets in an innings on three occasions which is also the most by any bowler in the tournament. The highest total by any team in PSL-4 was 238/3 scored by Islamabad United (vs Lahore Qalandars at Karachi on March 9) while the highest match aggregate (427 in 40 overs) was made in the same match.
The largest victory (by runs) was recorded by Peshawar Zalmi as they defeated Karachi Kings by 61 runs at Karachi on march 11 and the largest by wickets (eight) was achieved on four occasions, as detailed below:1- Quetta Gladiators beat Multan Sultans at Sharjah on February 20,2- Lahore Qalandars beat Quetta Gladiators at Dubai on February 27, 3- Quetta Gladiators beat Peshawar Zalmi at Abu Dhabi on march 4, 4- Quetta Gladiators beat Peshawar Zalmi at Karachi on March 17.The highest individual score in the tournament was 127 not out, made by Colin Ingram of Karachi Kings against Quetta Gladiators at Sharjah on February 24.
This was the first of the two individual hundreds scored in the event. The second was made by Cameron Delport (117 not out for Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars at Karachi on March 9).
Asif Ali of Islamabad United hit the most sixes in the tournament. He struck 26 sixes in 12 matches as the most sixes in an innings were smashed by Ingram.He hit eight sixes while playing for Karachi Kings against Quetta Gladiators at Sharjah on February 24.The best bowling performance was displayed by pacer Faheem Ashraf of Islamabad United.He captured six wickets for 19 runs in four overs against Lahore Qalandars at Karachi on March 9.The most feats of taking four or more wickets in an innings were achieved by Hasan Ali (thrice).His best bowling was four for 15, which he performed twice. The most dismissals were made by wicket keeper Ronchi.
His victims were 11 (10 caught and one stumped) in 12 matches. He dismissed three batsmen of Quetta Gladiators at Abu Dhabi on March 5, which is the most by a wicket keeper in an innings.The fielder who took the most catches in the tournament, was Kieron Pollard.He held 10 catches in 13 matches. However, the record of taking the most catches in an innings is held by Babar Azam, who took four catches while playing for Karachi Kings vs Islamabad United at Karachi on March 14.
Dimuth Karunaratne's forthcoming stint with the Hampshire county side may be cancelled, with Sri Lanka's selectors now strongly considering handing the ODI reins to Karunaratne for the World Cup.
INDIAN WELLS – Roger Federer came out playing like his legendary self. Dominic Thiem needed a set to adjust to what he was seeing across the net.
Thiem went on to beat Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 and win the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday, denying Federer a record sixth title in the desert. It just feels unreal what happened, Thiem said.He’s such a legend. Thiem trailed 4-3 and 5-4 in the third set before breaking Federer with a forehand winner to go up 6-5.
Thiem served out the two-hour match that ended with yet another error from Federer, a forehand dumped into the net.Federer was in the final for the third straight year and lost for the second year in a row.He was beaten in a third-set tiebreaker by Juan Martin del Potro last year. Federer won his 100th career title in Dubai recently.
Thiem had lost in his previous two ATP Masters 1000 finals. But the 25-year-old Austrian’s solid serve held up against Federer as it had throughout the tournament.
Thiem was broken just four times out of 61 service games in the tournament. He didn’t lose serve during his semifinal win over Milos Raonic, facing only one break point in that match.Thiem and Andreescu earned $1.3 million each.Federer and Thiem had split their four previous meetings, but Federer had won both of their hard-court matches without dropping a set. He cruised through the first set in 36 minutes while getting broken for just the second time during his run to his ninth appearance in the final.But Federer broke back in the next game and served out the set. The way he was playing the first set was unreal, Thiem said.
I had to get used to it.Thiem earned the only break of the second set in the fourth game, going up 3-1.Federer won just two more games in the set. Both players were on serve in the third set until Thiem collected the only break.Federer tried consecutive drop shots that Thiem retrieved for crosscourt forehand winners before the Austrian hit a winning forehand to lead 6-5. He did very well when he got up to the ball, stayed calm, made the shot, Federer said.Federer won just one point on Thiem’s serve in the final game. Just came up against somebody who was on the day a bit better when it really mattered, Federer said.I have been in these positions so many times that I get over it very quickly. Federer advanced to the final after rival Rafael Nadal withdrew before their semifinal match because of knee pain.
Thiem also benefited from a walkover, reaching the semis when Gael Monfils withdrew with an Achilles injury. Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu upset Angelique Kerber 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to win the women’s title.
Andreescu, an 18-year-old Canadian, became the first wild-card winner and second-youngest to claim the title in tournament history. The fricking champion of Indian Wells, Andreescu said.It’s crazy. She overcame nerves, fatigue, arm and leg issues in the final set to earn the first title of her fledgling career.
Andreescu won on her fourth match point when Kerber netted a backhand. She broke Kerber three times in the third set, rallying from a 3-2 deficit to take four of the final five games.Andreescu dropped her racket near the baseline and fell on her back, her legs in the air as she covered her face in disbelief. After getting up and exchanging kisses with Kerber, the teen bent down and kissed the sunbaked hard court and dropped to her back again, her arms and legs splayed, before grabbing her head.Born in Canada, she later moved with her parents to Romania, where she first started playing tennis.Kerber was the last of five seeded players that Andreescu knocked off in her seven matches.When she had the chances, she just go for it, Kerber said. The Canadian followed in the footsteps of Naomi Osaka, who was a little-known 20-year-old when she won the title last year.Osaka used it as a springboard to win titles at the U.S.and Australian opens while ascending to the No. 1 ranking in January.No pressure, Andreescu said, joking.She’s projected to rise 36 spots to No.24 in the WTA Tour rankings on Monday. Kerber, ranked eighth, remains without a title since winning Wimbledon last year.She was a crowd favorite, with fans waving Canadian flags and chanting Let’s go, Bianca! Let’s go in the second set. They clearly enjoyed Andreescu’s fearless style of play.
She alternately outpunched opponents from the baseline, tossed up high-arching shots and unleashed well-time drop shots usually during the same point.A smiling Andreescu was quick to correct a reporter.It’s not moonballing, she said. It’s just hitting heavy to her backhand with more spin.We’re not under 12 here. Her most dominant win during the 12-day tournament came in the quarterfinals, a 6-0, 6-1 rout of two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza.
In all, the teen knocked out four Top 20 players.Leading 2-1 in the third, Andreescu took a medical timeout and had a trainer massage her tight right shoulder and arm.Kerber won the next two games, breaking Andreescu to go up 3-2. Appearing tired and nervous, Andreescu called for her coach, who urged her to make Kerber play every point.She did just that. Andreescu won the next three games, ripping off powerful forehands while winning nine straight points during one stretch, including a 40-love service game.I just fought till the end because physically I wasn’t feeling too well, she said.
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