Australia international joins Saudi Pro League club

Rhys Williams celebrates scoring for Melbourne Victory in the Melbourne Victory celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Ulsan Hyundai during their AFC Champions League. (AFP)
Updated 12 July 2018
0

Australia international joins Saudi Pro League club

  • 14-cap defender joins Al-Qadsiah
  • 'We thank him for his contribution and wish him all the best,' says former coach

LONDON: Saudi Pro League side Al-Qadsiah have pulled off something of a transfer coup by signing Australia international defender Rhys Williams.
Melbourne Victory were very keen to hang on to the 29-year-old, who has been capped 14 times by the Socceroos, but Al-Qadsiah have managed to get him out of the last year of his contract and lure him to the Kingdom. Al-Qadsiah are reported to have paid Melbourne Victory €400,000 ($466,000) for his services.


"We are obviously extremely disappointed to lose a player of Rhys' quality," Melbourne coach Kevin Muscat said. "We'd planned for Rhys to be here for at least another season, but in the end we honoured the agreement we made when he first joined the club, so we thank him for his contribution and wish him all the best.
"While it's frustrating when things like this happen, we will continue adding quality players to the squad ahead of the new season."
Griffiths started his career in England, playing for Middlesbrough, Burnley and Charlton before moving to Australia two years ago, where he played for Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory.
Named in the A-League team of the year, he will be expected to help shore up a Al-Qadsiah defence that conceded 41 goals in 26 league games last season, meaning they flirted with relegation for much of the campaign before finishing one point and one place above safety.

Griffiths will hope to last longer in the Kingdom than countryman and former Melbourne teammate Mark Milligan. The national team midfielder joined Al-Ahli in January but his contract was terminated last week


Pakistan beat Afghanistan in last over finish

Bangladesh's Mahmudullah, right, bats during the one day international cricket match of Asia Cup between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (AP)
Updated 22 September 2018
0

Pakistan beat Afghanistan in last over finish

  • Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6

DUBAI: Experienced batsman Shoaib Malik hit a six and a boundary to pull off a sensational last over three wicket win for Pakistan against a spirited Afghanistan in the Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Malik pulled the second ball of the final over by paceman Aftab Alam over the deep square leg boundary and then whacked the next to deep fine leg for a boundary as Pakistan pulled off a nerve-wracking win in 49.3 overs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Pakistan, cashing a stiff 258-run target, were home and dry to start the Super Four Stage with a much needed win and now face arch rivals India in Dubai on Sunday.
Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6.
Pakistan were off to a disastrous start when opener Fakhar Zaman was trapped leg-before off the sixth ball of the innings by spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for nought.
Imam-ul-Haq scored a 104-ball 80 with five boundaries and a six while Babar Azam knocked an attractive 94-ball 66 with four boundaries and a six during their innings repairing the 154-run stand for the second wicket.
But both fell within the space of four runs as spinner Rashid Khan (3-46) brought Afghanistan back in the game with the asking rate getting stiffer, as Pakistan needed 42 off the final five overs.
Despite losing skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (eight), Asif Ali (seven) and Mohammad Nawaz (ten), Malik kept his cool to sop Afghanistan from posting their third straight win after beating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the first round.
Earlier, Shahidi hit three consecutive boundaries in the final over off Usman Shinwari, but failed to get to three figures off the last delivery after Afghanistan won the toss and batted.
Shahidi finished with a brilliantly-paced 118-ball 97 not out, and added 94 for the fourth wicket with his skipper Asghar Afghan, who smashed five sixes and two fours in his 56-ball 67.
But it was Shahidi who held one end against Pakistan’s bowling in an innings which featured seven boundaries after left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (3-57) had put the brakes on Afghanistan’s early progress.
Shahidi had added 63 for the third wicket with Rahmat Shah who scored a measured 36.
The total is an improvement by Afghanistan after scoring 249 and 255 in their previous two wins against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Pakistani fielders dropped four catches — three off debutant paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi who finished with 2-38.
India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets in Dubai and now meet Pakistan on Sunday, also in Dubai. Afghanistan and Bangladesh meet in Abu Dhabi on the same day.
Top two teams from the Super Four Stages will play the final in Dubai on September 28.