Australia captain Tim Paine has sights set on series win over Pakistan in Abu Dhabi

Usman Khawaja was one of the main reasons Australia were able to draw the first Test in Dubai. He got a 50 in the first innings and followed it up with a brilliant 141 in the second innings. (AFP)
Updated 15 October 2018
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Australia captain Tim Paine has sights set on series win over Pakistan in Abu Dhabi

LONDON: They may have only narrowly avoided defeat in the first Test but Australia skipper Tim Paine said his side only have eyes on victory over Pakistan in the series decider in Abu Dhabi.
The second of the two-Test showdown gets underway today just days after a brilliant rearguard action from Paine and Usman Khawaja prevented Pakistan from getting a well-deserved win in Dubai.
Those last-day heroics have boosted the tourists who have now targeted a first series win in Asia since 2011.
“We want to win every series we are involved in,” Paine said. “We are focusing on what we do and if we can do well for five days then we have a really good chance of winning it.
“We are reasonably confident. After the last few days we got a little bit of relief and a little bit of mileage, so we know if we play our best cricket we have got a chance to win this Test match.
“We are coming into this Test with a bit more momentum and guys know what to expect in these conditions a bit more,” Paine said.
The trying conditions of the pitches and hot weather in Asia have stopped the Baggy Greens from winning a series since they beat Sri Lanka 1-0 seven years ago.
Since then they have lost 4-0 in India (2013), 2-0 in UAE to Pakistan (2014), 3-0 in Sri Lanka (2016), 2-1 in India (2017) and drew 1-1 in Bangladesh last year.
Paine admitted Pakistan were a “very good team” and his side would have to be at their bests.
“They have some good batters, particularly in these conditions. We know what we are up against and we know they are an excellent team and even better in these conditions.”
Pakistan have been forced into making two changes after opener Imam-ul-Haq fractured his finger in Dubai. He will be replaced by Fakhar Zaman for his first Test.
They also left out fast bowler Wahab Riaz, who went wicketless in the first Test, and will pick one from uncapped pacer Mir Hamza or leg-spinner Shadab Khan.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka great Sanath Jayasuriya became one of the most high-profile figures embroiled in corruption in cricket when he was charged yesterday with two counts of disrupting an investigation.
The 49-year-old has 14 days to respond to the charge. It is not known which matches the charges relate to, or if anyone else is involved.


Saudi sports authority launches investigation into stadium

Updated 16 January 2019
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Saudi sports authority launches investigation into stadium

  • The King Fahad International Stadium has been hit by delays
  • The investigating committee will start work soon

DUBAI: An investigation has been launched into delays surrounding the completion of the new King Fahad International Stadium in Riyadh.

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority, announced the formation of a committee on Wednesday to carry out the investigation.

The committee will be headed by Abdul Ilah Al-Dalalek, assistant chief of GSA, who will start the investigation soon.