South Africa picks up first point after washout

South Africa's Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock walk off the field as rain stops play. (Reuters)
Updated 11 June 2019
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South Africa picks up first point after washout

  • South Africa retains some hope of qualifying for the semifinals

SOUTHAMPTON:Faf du Plessis can take some positives out of a washout at the Cricket World Cup: South Africa picked up a point against West Indies and ended a three-game losing streak.

And with it, the South Africans retained some hope of qualifying for the semifinals, despite originally estimating they would need to win their last six group games to advance. The first of their remaining five games is on Saturday against Afghanistan in Cardiff.

Only 7.3 overs were bowled at Hampshire’s Rose Bowl on Monday after West Indies skipper Jason Holder won the toss and sent South Africa in to bat, expecting the Duckworth-Lewis run-rate calculator to come into play with heavy rain in the forecast.

West Indies paceman Sheldon Cottrell twice got to use his trademark wicket celebration — the military-style salute — when he had Hashim Amla (6) caught by Chris Gayle at slip and Aiden Markram (5) caught behind. South Africa was struggling at 29-2 when play was suspended and the wicket square covered.

South Africa opener Quinton de Kock was unbeaten on 17 and du Plessis was not out without scoring.

Rain continued intermittently and there was no further play.

Du Plessis said he had started to consider scenarios as the number of potential overs kept reducing, and was thinking a total of 200-plus from 30-35 overs would have made for a good contest.

“I do feel there was enough in that wicket with our bowling attack ...(but) the further the game goes, the closer to a T20 game, being two down already, the odds are heavily in (West Indies) favor,” he said. “So as it got a bit later in the day, then you’d rather get the point and go.

“It’s important for us to get cricket and start ticking over, but we can’t control the weather so, as a team, (we’ll) take one point. Now we move forward.”

The South Africans were hoping to turn around their campaign after losses to England, Bangladesh and India to open the tournament but did not get the positive start they needed, with veteran Amla continuing to struggle.

Now the South Africans need to win every game, and hope some other results go their way.

“It’s as simple as — we are in this position because we haven’t played our best cricket so we don’t deserve to be anywhere close to the top of the log,” he said. “It is very clear for us as a team we need to be at our best and we need to play well in the next five games.

“If we do that, and the results start one by one happening, then this team will get a lot of confidence from that for the later stages.”

The West Indies, meanwhile, was aiming for a second win in the tournament after opening with a commanding win over Pakistan and losing a tight contest to defending champion Australia.

West Indies coach Floyd Reifer said a point was better than nothing, but his team came to win.

“We are playing fearless cricket, so it doesn’t matter who we play (or) when we play them,” he said. “We were really looking forward to this game. After they lost the first three games their confidence as a team will be a bit low, so we wanted to take a big advantage of that.

“Like I said, it’s the weather. It’s England. So there is nothing we can do about it. We just have to take the one point and look forward to the other games.”

The West Indies will stay in Southampton to take on top-ranked England, featuring former Barbados fast bowler Jofra Archer, on Friday. The local weather forecast is for more rain but it is expected to clear by the end of the week. The Hampshire washout was the second of the tournament after the Pakistan-Sri Lanka match in Bristol last Friday was abandoned without a ball bowled.


Saudi Arabia’s biggest celebration of motor racing returns with Formula E back at Ad Diriyah

Updated 43 min 16 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s biggest celebration of motor racing returns with Formula E back at Ad Diriyah

  • The event will take place on Nov. 22 and 23
  • Two major races will take place in this year’s E-Prix, which made its Middle East debut in the Kingdom last year

RIYADH: This year’s Formula E season will kick off with a doubleheader in Ad Diriyah in November, backed by a huge festival of off-track action, music, culture and heritage.

The 2019 “Saudia” Ad Diriyah E-Prix promises to eclipse the inaugural 2018 edition, with two races, instead of one, being staged at the stunning UNESCO world heritage site of Ad Diriyah, and with crowds of up to 100,000 expected to attend.

Last year’s sell-out E-Prix featured music icons such as David Guetta, Enrique Iglesias, One Republic and the Black-Eyed Peas, performing as part of the racing championship’s debut in the Middle East.

2019 will see Porsche and Mercedes competing for the first time, boosting the number of cars on the track. Plus, Ad Diriyah will be ready to welcome even more international tourists, after the surrounding At-Turaif district finalizes its ambitious development program.

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority (GSA), said: “Formula E’s arrival in the Kingdom was a watershed moment for us, one that thousands witnessed together.

“The 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix excited our nation through its exhilarating action, heroes and entertainment. Thanks to the ambitions of Vision 2030, it was the biggest festival of sport, music and culture the Kingdom has ever seen.

“This year we look forward to igniting an even bigger season of motor racing for Formula E, to welcome even more international visitors, and to create another unforgettable moment for our people.”

In a recent interview with the UAE’s The National newspaper, DJ David Guetta hailed the 2018 event, which included the country’s first unsegregated concerts.

“I’m really proud that I’ve done this. There is obviously a very big effort in Saudi to open to music and to artists. And as an artist, I play for the people and the people were obviously so happy,” he said.

“It was incredible to see men and women dancing and letting go of everything. It was a great honor for me to be part of this.”

Last year saw travelers from 80 different countries flock to the event, taking advantage of the first-ever 30-day tourism visas issued under the new online Sharek immigration system. For 2019 the process has been enhanced to make visiting the Kingdom even easier.

Second staging

The 2019 E-Prix will be the second of a 10-year partnership between Formula E, the GSA and the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF). The event will be staged again by promoter CBX, which successfully created the racetrack and venue in the heart of the heritage site.

Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal, president of SAMF, said: “In 2018 the track proved itself a world-class venue for motorsport, hailed by racers as one of the most exiting they have faced.

“This year sees even more teams enter the championship, with Porsche and Mercedes entering the fray. Last year Ad Diriyah was the launchpad for the new ‘Gen 2’ race cars and the exciting ‘Attack Zone’ innovation. This year will be the first time drivers will have an additional 10 kilowatts (kW) of power available when using the ‘Attack Mode,’ rising from 225kW to 235kW.

“Add to that, a double header — two races instead of one — with a total of 24 cars competing. This will fire up Saudi Arabia’s passion for motorsports, and we are ready to welcome Formula E back.”