New Zealand beat Pakistan by five wickets in 4th ODI

England’s Alex Hales in action during the third One Day International match between England and Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Aug. 30, 2016. (Action Images via Reuters)
Updated 16 January 2018
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New Zealand beat Pakistan by five wickets in 4th ODI

HAMILTON: Colin de Grandhomme returned from time out following the death of his father to spur New Zealand to a five-wicket win over Pakistan in the fourth one-day cricket international on Tuesday and to a 4-0 lead in the five-match series.
De Grandhomme was playing for New Zealand for the first time since mid-December, when he returned to his native Zimbabwe after the sudden and unexpected death of his father, aged 61.
New Zealand’s unbeaten record at home this season was under threat until De Grandhomme went to the crease at No. 7 and hit 74 not out, including a half century from 25 balls with five sixes, to guide the hosts to their target of 263 with 4.1 overs remaining.
Pakistan produced its best batting performance of the series so far to reach 262-8 batting first, led by Mohammad Hafeez with 81 and half centuries to Haris Sohail and Sarfraz Ahmed.
New Zealand started strongly with an 88-run opening partnership between Colin Munro, who made 56 from 42 balls, and Martin Guptill (31). But teenage leg-spinner Shadab Khan turned the match with three quick wickets as New Zealand slumped from 88-1 to 90-3 in the space of 24 deliveries.
New Zealand crumbled further to 99-4 before captain Kane Williamson steadied the innings in a 55-run fifth-wicket partnership with Henry Nicholls.
Williamson’s innings of 32 from 54 balls contained only one boundary and he scored almost entirely in singles as he attempted to turn around the innings. New Zealand appeared to be regaining the upper hand when Williamson, attempting to step up the run rate, was lured into a loose shot by Haris and was brilliantly caught on the long-on boundary by Rumman Raees.
The match was again in the balance with New Zealand at 154-5 after 35 overs. But de Grandhomme blasted Pakistan out of the match. Shadab saw his figures scrambled: he had 3-8 when he dismissed Guptill, Tom Latham (8) and Ross Taylor, who was out for 1 in his 200th one-day international, and finished with 3-42 from his 10 overs.
De Grandhomme’s half century included 42 runs from boundaries — three fours and five sixes — and his 74 came from only 40 balls and included seven fours and five sixes.
He was well supported by Nicholls who reached his half century from 69 balls and hit the winning run next ball to finish 51 not out.
“I just took what I’d been doing in the nets and brought it out here,” de Grandhomme said.
New Zealand remains unbeaten in 12 matches at home this summer after winning two tests, three ODIs and three T20 internationals against the West Indies and first four one-dayers against Pakistan.
Pakistan was trounced by 183 runs in the third ODI but rebounded with a more spirited performance in game four.
Fakhar made 54 at the top of the order; Haris made 50 in his first one-day international in almost two years; Hafeez produced his 34th half century in ODIs and went on to top score with 81, hitting 22 runs including three sixes in the final over before being run out on the last ball of the innings.
Captain Sarfaz (51) combined with Hafeez in a 98-run partnership for the sixth wicket which substantially boosted Pakistan’s total after a poor start and after it struggled to boost its scoring rate through the middle of the innings.
“It was disappointing but there were some positives,” Sarfraz said. “Fakhar batted well, Hafeez and Haris batted well. But the problem is we’re not finishing well.
“I think when we scored 262 we had lots of confidence but the difference was de Grandhomme who batted really well.”


Al-Hilal boss Jorge Jesus reveals Omar Abdulrahman will make debut in Super Cup clash in London

Updated 17 August 2018
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Al-Hilal boss Jorge Jesus reveals Omar Abdulrahman will make debut in Super Cup clash in London

  • New boss Jorge Jesus to give start to new star signing after $17 million move from Al-Ain last week.
  • Al-Hilal coach keen to put on a good show in London and start season with silverware against Al-Ittihad.

LONDON: Jorge Jesus confirmed Omar Abdulrahman will make his Al-Hilal debut in the Saudi Super Cup final against Al-Ittihad on Saturday.
The UAE playmaker joined the Saudi Pro League champions last week in a loan deal from Al-Ain that was worth $17 million, a fee that has only been surpassed once in football history. 
The 26-year-old has been training with his new teammates at English football’s HQ at St. George’s Park this week and traveled down to London on Friday with the rest of the team ahead of the showpiece game at Loftus Road.
Abdulrahman has not played since May, when Al-Ain were dumped out of the AFC Champions League by Lekhwiya, and he was not considered for the Arab Club Champions Club on Sunday, but Jesus said the 2016 Asian Player of the Year is line to make his first appearance for his boyhood club this weekend.
“Omar is training with the team for five or six days,” said Jesus. “Intelligent players like Omar learn fast, so that’s why he will be part of the game.”
There are various subplots to the game in west London, not least the fact that Al-Ittihad coach Ramon Diaz comes up against the club that fired him in February. He won the double in the first season in Riyadh and then choreographed Al-Hilal’s run to the final of the AFC Champions League in his second. Now he goes up against Jesus, the Portuguese tactician who replaced him this summer.
“It’s true Diaz could know the players more and this could influence the match, but they are working with my ideas today and I expect the match to be an excellent game,” said Jesus.
Al-Hilal lost the Super Cup the last time it was held in London, losing to Al-Ahli on penalties in a thriller at Fulham’s Craven Cottage ground. Jesus knows this year’s match could provide a launchpad for the season ahead and broaden the appeal of football in the Kingdom. 
“Everybody knows the importance of this match, because we play outside Saudi Arabia,” he said. “It represents the image of our football. We are happy to be present in London and play the Saudi Super Cup here. The eyes of Europe sees London as the center of football, so we need to create a good image of Saudi football.”

Jorge Jesus is looking to get his reign as Al-Hilal coach off to a winning start at QPR's Loftus Road ground on Saturday. 


Jesus will be without the injured Salman Al-Faraj, Abdullah Otayf and Nawaf Al-Abed while national team full-back Yasser Al-Shahrani will undergo a late fitness test. 
“We are missing some players but that should not reduce the importance of some players we have in the squad,” said Jesus. “We have to find our best combination of players to go to the match with.”
Mohammad Al-Shalhoub will captain the side from midfield following the departure of Osama Hawsawi and knows bragging rights are up for grabs on Saturday between Saudi Arabia’s two most successful clubs who have won the top prize in the Kingdom 23 times between them.
“It’s one match, there is no other chance,” he said. “We will do our best to win the cup. We can start the season well if we win this cup. We will fight hard to win, but Ittihad is doing their hardest to win it, too. We are super motivated to show a good level and start with a Saudi Super Cup victory.”
Al-Hilal labored to a 1-0 win over Al-Shabab on Sunday night and know they will need to be much nearer their best against last season’s King’s Cup winners.
“In the beginning of the season, you can have some difficulties,“ Al-Shalhoub said. “Our first home game in the Arab Cup we showed a good level, but we have to me more ready against Ittihad.”