Kiwi paceman Southee jolts Sri Lanka

Updated 27 November 2012
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Kiwi paceman Southee jolts Sri Lanka

COLOMBO: Tim Southee rattled Sri Lanka with two wickets off three balls to put New Zealand in command on the second day of the second and final Test at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo yesterday.
The fast bowler removed opener Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara in his second over before Sri Lanka struggled to reach 43-3 in their first innings at stumps in reply to New Zealand’s 412.
Southee, who also grabbed four quick wickets in the opening Test in Galle, rocked the Sri Lankan top order as he bowled Dilshan (five) and then had Sangakkara caught by Trent Boult at fine-leg after a mistimed pull.
Boult also struck early, having skipper Mahela Jayawardene (four) caught by Kane Williamson at gully to reduce the hosts to 12-3.
Angelo Mathews was unbeaten on 20 with Tharanga Paranavitana nine not out when play was called off due to bad light, with seven overs remaining in the day.
Sri Lanka lead the series 1-0 following their 10-wicket win in the first Test.
“It’s nice to finish the evening the way we did getting those three wickets. I guess that makes the first-innings total look a lot better,” said New Zealand batsman Williamson, who scored a solid 135.
“The Sri Lankan spinners were very good, bowled a lot of overs and didn’t allow us to score too freely at times. It’s nice to get somewhere close to a really competitive first-innings total.” New Zealand had been strongly placed at 276-2 before losing their last eight wickets for 136, with left-arm spinner Rangana Herath finishing with 6-103 for his third successive haul of five or more wickets in an innings.
Herath took six of the eight New Zealand wickets that fell in the day, including those of well-set Ross Taylor (142) and Williamson, after the tourists had resumed at 223-2.
“Once we broke the Taylor-Williamson partnership it became easy to get wickets. I also got support from the rest of the bowlers who applied pressure from one end,” said Herath.
“We were in a similar situation in Galle when we lost five wickets for 50 in the first innings. I think New Zealand fast bowlers really bowled well. If we can survive the first hour or so (on Tuesday) we can get into a good position.”



New Zealand were 300-6 at one stage but Daniel Flynn (53) helped his team cross the 400-mark with his second half-century of the series. He also completed 1,000 Test runs during his 135-ball knock.
Skipper Taylor and Williamson added 262 for the third wicket before they fell in the space of 14 runs, trapped leg-before while attempting to sweep.
Herath, who dismissed debutant Todd Astle (three) and Southee (15) in the afternoon, finished the innings soon after the tea break with the wickets of Flynn and Boult in the same over.
Taylor, 119 overnight, cracked 11 fours in his 306-ball knock while Williamson’s 305-ball innings included 12 boundaries.
The hosts, who took their second wicket in the fourth over on Sunday, continued to struggle until Herath struck in the second hour of the morning.
Williamson, 95 overnight, reached his third Test century in 18 matches with an edged four off paceman Shaminda Eranga.
He also completed 1,000 Test runs a few overs later, fluently driving seamer Nuwan Kulasekara through the covers for a boundary.


Saudi Arabian football clubs helped with debts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Updated 18 min 44 sec ago
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Saudi Arabian football clubs helped with debts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

John Duerden RIYADH: The General Sports Authority and Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) have announced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will cover all external debts owed by Saudi Professional League clubs.
According to reports, the Crown Prince will provide 1,277,000,000 Saudi riyals (around $340 million) that will not only clear monies owed but also enable clubs to invest ahead of the 2018-19 season.
The issue of debt had become a major issue in the country’s football scene.
“Some Saudi Arabian clubs are currently experiencing financial problems that require immediate and urgent intervention,” the General Sports Authority, which oversees Saudi Arabian sport, said in a statement released on social media.
The body noted that there are a total of 107 cases under appeal at world governing body FIFA regarding unpaid salaries in Saudi Arabia.
“Failure to intervene urgently to rescue clubs may result in damage to the reputation of the Kingdom in general and Saudi Arabian sport in particular,” added the GSA.
“Some Saudi Arabian clubs may face severe disciplinary sanctions because of the failure to meet financial obligations such as the
denial of the registration of players in general or the deduction of points.”
Unpaid salaries were also a factor in Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr being unable to appear in this year’s AFC Champions League after they were denied AFC club licenses.
Al-Ittihad were the club with the highest debt of 309 million riyals ($82 million) and welcomed the news.
“We are delighted by the generous initiative of His Royal Highness,” Al-Ittihad president Nawaf Al-Muqairn said in an official statement released by the two-time Asian champions.
“This contributes to creating solid ground for all clubs to move toward achieving their goals.”
Legendary Saudi striker Sami Al-Jaber, recently appointed president of champions Al-Hilal, announced his gratitude on social media.
“Great thanks to His Highness the Crown Prince for the great support that the clubs have enjoyed which enables sport in our country to keep pace with the aspirations of our leadership,” Al-Jaber wrote.
The Crown Prince’s move followed the SAFF announcing a new raft of regulations in April that will come into effect next season and are designed to take the league forward. These included restricting club spending on transfers and salaries to 70 percent of revenue. The size of first-team squads has been reduced from 33 to 28, of which five must be homegrown players of 23 or younger.