Palestine ready to follow Jordan’s lead and shock the Socceroos

Palestine are out to hit the heights against Australia on Friday. (AFP)
Updated 10 January 2019
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Palestine ready to follow Jordan’s lead and shock the Socceroos

  • Noureddine Ould Ali confident his side can exploit Australia's weaknesses in Dubai.
  • Aussies know they cannot afford another slip-up after Jordan defeat.

LONDON: Noureddine Ould Ali claimed that Palestine are ready to end Australia’s tournament.
The Socceroos were shocked by Jordan in their first match on Sunday and know they need to win in Dubai on Friday. Graham Arnold’s men arrived in UAE lacking several key men due to either retirement or injury, but it would be a huge shock if they were to exit at this early stage.
The defending champions are still the team to beat in Group B and Palestine are only too aware of the task they face.
But Ali revealed he and his team have watched the Australia-Jordan match and have backed themselves to match their Arab rivals and kick the Aussies out of the tournament.
“You need to know that we are in 2019, and every team is able to give a good performance,” Ali said.
“In regard to Jordan against Australia we studied the game between them and (Australia’s) strengths, but we also noticed points of weakness and we are also going to exploit such weaknesses.”
Palestine drew their first match 0-0 against the much-fancied Syrians — their first ever point in the competition — and Ali is hoping his side can take that form into the Australia match.
“In the last game we were very defensive because the conditions of the match did not allow us to change our style,” said the Algerian boss.
“But we were very pleased with our performance and the point we got in the first game, and that was the most important thing.”
Australia’s loss to Jordan was one of the major talking points of the competition’s opening week and Arnold knows his side cannot afford another slip-up against Palestine.
“(when we won) four years ago is a long time, and it’s a completely different team to what we had four years ago,” the Australia coach, who also led the Australians at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, said.
“Four years ago it was played in Australia on home soil, this time its here in the UAE, with a totally different team.
“It’s a great memory for Australian football, of course, but now it’s all about the moment. We handed the trophy back the day before the tournament started before the UAE vs Bahrain match, and the trophy is there to be won again.”
Arnold has told his players a repeat performance of their Jordan reverse will not be acceptable.
“We expect a great reaction from the players,” he said.
“The boys are going into this match with a lot of confidence, a lot of belief and expectation to win.
“Something that Australians also have is a great attitude to fight. Palestine will be aggressive and its important that we win the battle,” he said.
“You don’t want to look back, but against Jordan we controlled 76 percent of possession, we had some good chances and on another day we would have scored three or four goals.”


David Warner on fire in IPL return after ball-tampering ban but epic knock not enough to stop Kolkata

Updated 24 March 2019
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David Warner on fire in IPL return after ball-tampering ban but epic knock not enough to stop Kolkata

  • Warner did not play in the 2018 edition of the IPL tournament
  • During his ban, he played T20 franchise cricket in Canada, Bangladesh and the Caribbean

KOLKATA: Australia’s David Warner smashed 85 from 53 balls on his Indian Premier League comeback Sunday but his knock went in vain as Sunrisers Hyderabad lost to Kolkata Knight Riders.
Warner, who along with compatriot Steve Smith returns to the Twenty20 tournament after missing the previous edition due to a ball-tampering controversy, steered Sunrisers to 181 for three after being put into bat.
Warner did not play in the 2018 edition of the IPL tournament after organizers stopped him for his part in the scandal.
His one-year ban from international cricket ends later this month and the 32-year-old opener is expected to make Australia’s World Cup squad and play in this summer’s Ashes series in England.
During his ban, he played T20 franchise cricket in Canada, Bangladesh and the Caribbean, and grade cricket in Australia.
His efforts though were not enough, with Andre Russell hitting an unbeaten 49 off 19 balls as the Knight Riders won by six wickets with two balls to spare at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.
A pause for a floodlight failure in the 16th over re-charged Knight Riders’ chase as Russell put together an unbeaten 65-run stand with Shubman Gill, who hit 18 runs including the winning six.
Russell struck four fours and four sixes
Earlier Warner stood out during a 118-run opening stand with England’s Jonny Bairstow, who made 39, to lay the platform for their big total.
“It is good to get out there and contribute. It looked a nice wicket to bat on but it slowed down a bit which made us reassess after six overs,” Warner said after his knock.
The Australian admitted some anxiety before his big return to IPL — and an unusual solution.
“I was a bit nervous in the dressing room and kept drinking pickle juice,” he said.
Opener Warner survived a reprieve on 38 after Knight Riders captain and wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik dropped him off left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Warner, who captained Sunrisers to their only IPL title in 2016, made the most of the spill and raced to his 37th IPL fifty with a six off Russell to signal his aggressive intent.
Bairstow was bowled by leg-spinner Piyush Chawla but Warner took the attack to the opposition, hitting nine fours and three sixes during his blitz.
Warner, who recently recovered from an elbow injury he picked in the Bangladesh Premier League, finally fell to Russell after driving the ball to cover.
Warner said his elbow “wasn’t all too bad” after doing a lot of work with his trainer back home.
Year-long bans from state and international cricket for Warner and Smith end on March 28 but the duo are keen to get among the runs in the IPL, ahead of the 50-over World Cup starting in May.
The suspension did not include club games but IPL’s governing council decided not to allow the disgraced duo in the 11th edition of the T20 league last year in a bid to avoid controversy.
The pair were banned for cheating in a Cape Town Test in March last year along with teammate Cameron Bancroft, whose nine-month ban has already finished.
Smith is expected to appear for his team Rajasthan Royals in their opening match against Kings XI Punjab in Jaipur on Monday.