Pakistan recover to set New Zealand target of 263

Pakistan’s Hasan Ali takes the catch of New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson during the first one day international cricket match between New Zealand and Pakistan. (AFP)
Updated 16 January 2018
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Pakistan recover to set New Zealand target of 263

HAMILTON, New Zealand: Pakistan bounced back from a horror start to set New Zealand a competitive target of 263 in the fourth one-day international in Hamilton on Tuesday.
Mohammad Hafeez top scored with 81 as the tourists’ batsmen finally managed to notch some runs, with Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail and captain Sarfraz Ahmed also posting half centuries.
Paceman Tim Southee led the New Zealand attack with three for 44 and skipper Kane Williamson took two for 32.
Pakistan finished their 50-over innings at 262 for eight, thanks to some big-hitting from Hafeez, who smashed 22 from the final over.
It was a gutsy fightback from a side that was reeling at 11 for two in the fifth over and looked in danger of another humiliation after being skittled for 74 in their last outing.
Already 3-0 in the five-match series, Pakistan had little to lose and promoted hard-hitting allrounder Faheem Ashraf to open the batting in the search for runs.
The gamble backfired when Faheem departed for one after edging a swinging Southee delivery to the wicketkeeper in the third over, bringing Babar Azam to the crease.
He lasted only nine balls before becoming Southee’s second victim, trudging back to the pavilion with only three runs to his name.
Fakhar Zaman was lucky not to follow him on seven when he spooned the ball to mid-wicket, only for Colin Munro to drop the chance.
Fakhar made the most of his life, bringing up his half century off 68 balls as part of a productive 86-run partnership with Haris Sohail before departing for 54.
Haris, returning to the ODI arena for the first time since 2015, also failed to push on after reaching 50, smashing the ball to Henry Nicholls on the boundary as he looked for a big six.
Incoming batsman Shoaib Malik had an injury scare as he ran into the path of fielder Munro’s throw while trying to scamper back to his crease and the ball hit him flush on the head.
Shoaib, who was not wearing a helmet, fell down onto the wicket but was able to continue after consultations with team medics, although he was dismissed in the next over.
Pakistan were 175 for five with 10 overs remaining before Sarfraz and partner Hafeez stepped up the pace.
Sarfraz Ahmed reached 51 off 46 balls while Hafeez’s 81 included five fours and four sixes.


Atletico beat Real Madrid 4-2 after extra time in Super Cup

Costa equalized late in the match with his second goal before Saul Niguez and Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion sealed the victory. (AP)
Updated 5 min 8 sec ago
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Atletico beat Real Madrid 4-2 after extra time in Super Cup

  • Atletico’s victory over their crosstown rival had added significance after they lost two Champions League finals to Madrid
  • The loss leaves new Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui still having to prove that there is life after Ronaldo

TALLINN, Estonia: Atletico Madrid finally got the better of Real Madrid on the European stage, scoring twice in extra time to win 4-2 in the UEFA Super Cup final on Wednesday in their rival’s first game without Cristiano Ronaldo.
Atletico got off to a flying start with Diego Costa scoring the competition’s fastest goal just 50 seconds in, but Madrid came back to take a 2-1 lead as Los Blancos tried to prove they can still win trophies without Ronaldo and with a new coach.
But Costa equalized late in the match with his second goal before Saul Niguez and Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion sealed the victory in extra time on a cool night in Estonia’s capital.
Atletico’s victory over their crosstown rival had added significance after they lost two Champions League finals to Madrid in 2014 and 2016. Diego Simeone’s team were also eliminated by Madrid in the 2017 semifinals.
“I’m elated,” Costa said. “Real Madrid has always beaten us in these finals. It was our turn to win a final.”
The loss leaves new Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui still having to prove that there is life after Ronaldo, who scored 450 goals in 438 matches before joining Juventus this summer and helped lead the club to three straight Champions League titles.
“I’m sad. I’m frustrated. It’s a final that we lost,” Lopetegui said. “But I also know that we will have to wake up and prepare ourselves for our first league match and start the season on the right foot.”
Gareth Bale showed glimpses of his pace and skill, but couldn’t mimic Ronaldo’s ability to decide a game on his own.
Instead, Costa was the one who dominated at the Lillekula Stadium in Tallinn. He overpowered Madrid’s center backs in the first minute after a long ball from Stefan Savic, first winning a header against Sergio Ramos and then muscling past Raphael Varane to cut into the area where he beat goalkeeper Keylor Navas at the near post.
Karim Benzema equalized in the 27th minute, heading in a pinpoint cross from Bale, who was able to break away from Lucas Hernandez on the right and curl the ball into his fellow forward’s path. Bale, who was given a freer role than he’s used to, caused trouble for Atletico’s defense in the first half as he switched between wings. He was Madrid’s main creative spark at that point, with his teammates constantly trying to feed him the ball.
He faded in the second half, but Lopetegui was pleased with Bale’s performance.
“Gareth has played very good. In this moment of the season, all the players are not in the best physical way,” the coach said. “We are happy with his performance and we hope he’s going to put in deserved performances in the next matches.”
Sergio Ramos scored a penalty in the 63rd minute after Juanfran Torres handled in the area as the ball flew over him from a corner.
Juanfran made up for it in the 79th by taking the ball off Marcelo near the touchline and then passing to Angel Correa. The substitute then skipped past a couple of Madrid defenders and cut the ball back from the byline to Costa, who poked the ball into the roof of the net.
In extra time, substitute Thomas Partey set up the decisive goal when he stripped the ball off Varane and played a one-two with Costa before dribbling toward the byline. Partey then cut the ball back to Saul Niguez, who volleyed the ball first-time to send the ball past Navas to make it 3-2 in the 98th minute. Koke finished Madrid off with a cool finish with 104 minutes gone.
Lopetegui, who joined Madrid in controversial fashion and was fired as Spain coach just before the World Cup, will need to show that he can build on the success of predecessor Zidedane Zidane and can win with new tactics.
At times, Madrid looked uncomfortable playing under the new possession-based system and seemed to miss Ronaldo’s flair and proficiency.
“We need to improve on the all the phases of the team,” Lopetegui said. “We don’t like to make mistakes.”
Madrid had to play without new goalkeeper Thibault Courtois, as the former Atletico player didn’t even dress for the match. Spanish media reports said the team didn’t register him in time with UEFA following his transfer from Chelsea.
For Atletico, the victory gives the team a boost before the season starts, Simeone said.
“The club is growing. We have a new stadium,” he said. “We have players who want to join us, players who don’t want to leave us. I think this speaks volumes.”