Cricket rivalry resumes as Pakistan plays India at Asia Cup

Pakistan's Shoaib Malik, right, teammate Imam-ul-Haq during the one day international cricket match of Asia Cup between Pakistan and Hong Kong in Dubai, UAE on Sept. 16, 2018. (AP)
Updated 19 September 2018
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Cricket rivalry resumes as Pakistan plays India at Asia Cup

  • Pakistan won the last encounter between the two rivals — in the final of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy

DUBAI: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed is taking nothing for granted as one of the most famous rivalries in world cricket resumes Wednesday when his team plays India in an Asia Cup group match.

The United Arab Emirates has been the host venue for Pakistan in international cricket since a 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team bus.
Pakistan won the last encounter between the two rivals — a huge 180-run victory over India in the final of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.

But Ahmed, who has won 18 out of 25 games as Pakistan's ODI captain, isn't getting over-confident.

"You could say it is Pakistan's home ground, but the conditions here are same for all the teams," Ahmed said. "The weather is similar to India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and the pitches too are playing the same way. So it isn't a home ground for any team. It is equal for all."
Both teams beat qualifier Hong Kong in their opening matches of the Asia Cup and have entered the Super Four stage. Pakistan won by eight wickets on Sunday chasing 116, while India was pushed hard before registering a 26-run triumph on Tuesday.

The tournament, which ends with the final on Sept. 28 in Dubai, has drawn some criticism from the two rivals over the Super Four scheduling.

Ahmed appeared annoyed at Pakistan having to play in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, while India stays in Dubai.
India had its own concern.

"Playing two consecutive matches is always difficult, especially in such (hot) conditions. We are also human beings and we get tired too," said Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan, who scored 127 runs in the win over Hong Kong.

India is led by Rohit Sharma in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, who has been rested after the long England tour.
Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Hardik Pandya are expected to play against Pakistan in place of Shardul Thakur and Dinesh Karthik.


Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to cut Liverpool’s Premier League lead

Updated 20 January 2019
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Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to cut Liverpool’s Premier League lead

HUDDERSFIELD: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was far from satisfied despite a 3-0 win away to Huddersfield Town on Sunday that saw his side cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League table to four points.
Liverpool’s compelling 4-3 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday heaped huge pressure back onto reigning champions City but they were rarely troubled by a Town side that look a certain bet for relegation this season.
City’s first goal, a deflected strike for Danilo in the 18th minute, brought up their 100th goal of the season in all competitions before Raheem Sterling scored a diving header from Leroy Sane’s cross in the 54th minute and Sane himself made it 3-0 with a calm finish just two minutes later.
For Guardiola, it should have been an afternoon of enjoyment as his side again proved their willingness to push Liverpool all the way this season.
The City manager, however, has forged a footballing reputation based on sublime performances as well as ruthless goalscoring and, on that basis, his team’s showing in West Yorkshire was not a success as the visitors never really clicked into gear on a day against a Huddersfield side who had parted company with manager David Wagner on Monday.
“During the season you have these kind of games,” Guardiola said. “It is important to win. We have scored many goals in all competitions.
“(But) the way we played, we didn’t deserve more than three goals. We will improve in the future.
“We have to demand more from ourselves in every game and do our best, but sometimes it’s difficult.
“Today we are happy we have won but after immediately we have to analyze. During the season you have games when maybe you are not in the top level and it is important to win these games.”
Although City’s fans were happier than their manager following this result, Guardiola could at least take some heart from the fact his side again refused to blink first in the race for the title.
For the second consecutive week, City kicked off knowing Liverpool had already won their weekend fixture and that, consequently, the onus was back on his players to secure three points as well.
Once again, Guardiola’s side managed to do that following up the 3-0 victory over Wolves with this showing and the City manager was more than happy to remind everybody that silverware is not handed out for another four months.
“One team has been better but we’re in January and there’s many more games to play,” he added.
“You don’t win or lose the Premier League in January. We have to focus on what we have to do. If Liverpool win, we have to win. And if Liverpool lose then we also have to win.”
This match was a baptism of fire for Huddersfield’s caretaker boss Mark Hudson and while the Terriers showed impressive fight to inspire some hope this season, this defeat still left them 10 points adrift of safety.
If, as expected, the Borussia Dortmund Under-23 coach Jan Siewert is appointed as Wagner’s permanent replacement, nobody would blame him if he spent his first day in the job preparing for a return to the second-tier Championship next season.
“It’s been a long week,” admitted Hudson.