$1.41m Sunrisers Hyderabad man Rashid Khan skittles Zimbabwe to give Afghanistan win

Rashid Khan took 5-24 to inspire Afghanistan to victory in Sharjah. (AP)
Updated 13 February 2018
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$1.41m Sunrisers Hyderabad man Rashid Khan skittles Zimbabwe to give Afghanistan win

SHARJAH: Leg-spin sensation Rashid Khan took five wickets as Afghanistan cruised to a six-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the third one-day international at Sharjah on Tuesday.
The Afghans now lead the series 2-1 with two matches remaining, as the teams warm up for the 2019 World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe next month.
Zimbabwe won the toss and batted first, but collapsed from 117-3 to 154 all out as 19-year-old Khan finished with figures of 5-24.
Rahmat Shah and Nasir Jamal both struck half-centuries in Afghanistan’s reply as they wrapped up victory with 22.3 overs remaining.
Zimbabwe recovered from 44-3 with Sikandar Raza hitting 38 and Craig Ervine 39, but both fell LBW to Khan as the teenager, who was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for $1.41 million in last month’s IPL auction, ran through the middle order.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 16, again impressed opening the bowling with his leg-breaks and claimed the key wicket of second-match centurion Brendan Taylor on his way to 3-45.
Big-hitting Afghanistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad — continuing his return from a drugs ban — fell early, but Shah and Jamal combined to put on 69, before Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran finished the job with some lusty blows.
Afghanistan will look to win the series in the fourth ODI at Sharjah on Friday, with the sides set to meet again in Group B of World Cup qualifying on March 6.
Qualification for the 10-team World Cup in England and Wales next year would continue Afghanistan’s remarkable rise, with the war-torn nation to play their maiden Test match against India at Bangalore in June.
 


Morata misses out on Spain World Cup squad

Updated 43 min 5 sec ago
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Morata misses out on Spain World Cup squad

MADRID: Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata was left out of Spain’s World Cup squad, announced on Monday.
Morata paid the price for a disappointing debut season in the Premier League as Spain coach Julen Lopetegui picked Iago Aspas and Rodrigo Moreno up front, along with Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa.
“The decision is always difficult because of the talent of the players we have,” Lopetegui said.
“We have opted for three other players who had different assets and including four players up front was not something we wanted to do.”
Two more Chelsea players also missed out as Marcos Alonso and Cesc Fabregas were not included in the 23-man group.
Morata’s absence was the stand-out decision, however, even if it was not an entirely surprising one given the 25-year-old’s dramatic dip in form.
After scoring seven goals in his first seven games for Chelsea, a back injury seemed to affect his confidence. Morata has scored only three times in 22 games since the turn of the year.
“I’ve talked to the players I had to talk to,” Lopetegui said. “I’m not going to name anybody, but there are players who had to find out from me that they were not going to be on the list.”
In contrast, Aspas and Moreno have been in excellent form for Celta Vigo and Valencia respectively, with Aspas the top Spanish scorer in La Liga on 22 goals.
Costa is expected to start when Spain open up against Portugal in Group B on June 15 but Aspas, with his speed and direct running, remains an attractive option.
Alonso only made his debut in a friendly against Argentina in March and lost out to Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal. Fabregas fell behind Spain’s impressive wealth of options in midfield, which will include Sergio Busquets, Saul Niguez, Koke, Thiago Alcantara, Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Isco, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez.
Manchester United’s David de Gea was included as expected, along with fellow goalkeepers Pepe Reina and Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta did make it in, as did Monreal. Dani Carvajal, Alvaro Odriozola, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Nacho and Jordi Alba complete Spain’s group of defenders.
“I’ve had several doubts, making a list of 23 is very difficult,” Lopetegui said. “But we have decided this was the most balanced decision and the one we think will help us most at the World Cup.”