Pakistan pick five uncapped players for Ireland, England Tests

In this file photo, Pakistani bowler Mohammad Amir, center, celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of West Indies batsman Andre Fletcher during their 1st T20 match in Karachi, Pakistan, April 1, 2018. (AP)
Updated 15 April 2018
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Pakistan pick five uncapped players for Ireland, England Tests

  • Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq among five uncapped players named in Pakistan's 16-man test squad
  • Ireland will play their first-ever Test against Pakistan from May 11-15 in Dublin

LAHORE: Pakistan included five uncapped players in the 16-man squad announced Sunday for their Tests against Ireland and England starting next month, with an eye on the World Cup next year.
The five include openers Fakhar Zaman, 28, and Imam-ul-Haq, 22. Batsmen Usman Salahuddin and Saad Ali, and allrounder Faheem Ashraf are the other three uncapped members of the squad.
“The World Cup next year is in England. So we’ve decided to call up several young players to give them exposure to those conditions,” chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said at a press conference.
“This is a great opportunity for us, particularly our batsmen, to gain experience in this conditions.”
Pakistan suffered a major setback last week when ace leg-spinner Yasir Shah was ruled out of the tour with a hip bone fracture.
Shah was replaced with teenager Shadab Khan, who has only played one Test.
“Yasir’s absence is a big loss for us,” Haq said.
“If we look at his numbers for the last two years, he has more wickets than any other bowler for Pakistan. He was our strike bowler. He played a big part in all the games we won.”
Haq said selectors had tried to strengthen the side’s batting, which was weakened after the retirement last year of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan.
The 32-year-old batsman Fawad Alam failed to make the squad again despite his strong domestic form.
Mohammad Amir will lead the pace attack, for which Rahat Ali was recalled, but there was no place for Wahab Riaz.
Sarfraz Ahmed, the captain, is the only specialist wicketkeeper in the squad.
Ireland will play their first-ever Test against Pakistan from May 11-15 in Dublin. Pakistan will then play two Tests against England — at Lord’s (May 24-28) and Headingley (June 1-5).

Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Sami Aslam, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Saad Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Abbas


Manchester United inflict more semifinal misery on sorry Spurs

Updated 21 April 2018
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Manchester United inflict more semifinal misery on sorry Spurs

  • Manchester United come from behind to make FA Cup final.
  • Mauricio Pochettino yet to win a trophy as manager.

A third cup final with Manchester United for Jose Mourinho. More FA Cup semifinal misery for Tottenham.
While Mauricio Pochettino wins admiration for his style of football, the manager has yet to actually win a trophy in management.
A 2-1 collapse to United at Wembley Stadium on Saturday left Tottenham reeling from an eighth successive loss in the FA Cup semifinals.
Pochettino is responsible for two of the setbacks, having also fallen short against Chelsea last season.
At the stadium where Tottenham have been playing their home matches this season, Dele Alli's goal gave the 1991 FA Cup winners hope of turning around their miserable record in world football's oldest knockout competition.
But Alexis Sanchez leveled in the 24th minute and Ander Herrera struck the winner in the second half. It ensured Mourinho, who won the League Cup and Europa League in his first season at United, has a chance to also end this campaign with silverware against Chelsea or Southampton in the FA Cup final.
"We're getting used to being in finals," Herrera said. "This club is all about titles and finals."
While Mourinho has fallen short in the English Premier League behind newly crowned champion Manchester City, United are second and on course for their highest finish since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
Tottenham would settle with holding onto fourth place to secure a third season in a row in the Champions League.
Liverpool missed a chance to considerably stretch its advantage over Tottenham in one of Saturday's two league games. Juergen Klopp's side threw away a two-goal lead to draw with last-place West Bromwich Albion 2-2 and move only three points ahead of Tottenham.
Chelsea, who plays Southampton in the other FA Cup semifinal on Sunday, are five points behind Tottenham with four games remaining.

POGBA TRANSFORMED
When United fell behind to Tottenham, Paul Pogba was culpable.
A high ball was launched forward by Tottenham, a lethargic Pogba didn't try to break sweat in an attempt to prevent it reaching Eriksen. It allowed the Dane to whip in a cross for Alli to slide onto at the far post and strike past David De Gea in 11th minute
Had Harry Kane made a connection at the far post with Son Heung-min's cross three minutes later, Tottenham might have extended their lead.
Instead, United were able to draw level. Pogba made amends for his earlier inertia by dispossessing Mousa Dembele and delivering a cross that Sanchez headed past static goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Sanchez did the hard work to create the winner in the 62nd, holding off Kieran Trippier and rolling the ball into the penalty area where Jesse Lingard teed up Herrera to shoot past Vorm.