Saudi Arabia in Group D for World Cup, Asian Cup qualifiers

Saudi national team players sing the national anthem during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in Sharjah. (AFP/File)
Updated 18 July 2019

Saudi Arabia in Group D for World Cup, Asian Cup qualifiers

  • Forty teams will participate at this stage

RIYADH: The Asian qualifiers draw took place on Wednesday for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup at the AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Saudi Arabia are top-seeded in Group D, alongside Uzbekistan, Palestine, Yemen and Singapore.

Forty teams will participate at this stage. They will be divided into eight groups, each involving five teams. 

Top-ranked Iran were drawn with neighboring Iraq, plus Bahrain, Hong Kong and Cambodia, in Group C.

UAE are top-seeded in a Group G loaded with Southeast Asian derbies, involving Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Australia, which play in the Asian Football Confederation, will play Jordan, Taiwan, Kuwait and Nepal in Group B.

World Cup host Qatar also play as this group stage doubles up as qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Cup being played in China. Qatar will play Oman, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh in Group E.

China are in Group A with Syria, Philippines, Maldives and Guam. Japan is in Group F with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Myanmar and Mongolia.

North Korea and South Korea have been drawn together in  Group H that includes Lebanon, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka.

The teams will compete in the two-stage league system. The tournaments will take place from Sept. 5 to June 9, 2020. The top team in each group will qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup alongside the top four teams that finish in second place. 

The same teams will also qualify for the 2022 World Cup finals.


Boult, Southee rattle Sri Lanka in second Test

Updated 23 August 2019

Boult, Southee rattle Sri Lanka in second Test

  • Weather permitting, extended playing time is planned for the day after only 36.3 overs were possible on Thursday due to rain in the Sri Lankan capital

COLOMBO: Trent Boult and Tim Southee led New Zealand’s charge against Sri Lanka on day two of the rain-hit second Test on Friday, with the host skipper Dimuth Karunaratne’s offering resistance with a half-century.
Boult took two early wickets in one over after Sri Lanka resumed the day on 85 for two at Colombo’s P. Sara Oval, where the start was delayed due to a wet outfield.
Sri Lanka were 144 for six at lunch with Dhananjaya de Silva, on 32, and Dilruwan Perera, on five, at the crease.
Southee, like Boult, also delivered a double-wicket maiden as the duo put on a superb display of seam bowling under overcast conditions.
Boult got overnight batsman Angelo Mathews caught behind for two to reach a landmark of 250 Test wickets — only the third Kiwi bowler to achieve the feat.
He trapped Kusal Perera lbw for nought after just three balls as Sri Lanka slipped to 93-4 and would have been in further trouble had Boult held on to a simple catch from de Silva off his own bowling a few overs later.
Karunaratne also got a lifeline on 61 when Kane Williamson could not grab a tough chance at short mid-wicket off Ajaz Patel.
But the left-hander, who completed his 23rd Test fifty after resuming the day on 49, soon fell, caught behind off Southee for 65.
Southee struck again in the same over to send Niroshan Dickwella trudging back to the pavilion for nought.
Perera then played out the rest of the session with de Silva.
Medium-pace bowler Colin de Grandhomme and spinner William Somerville took a wicket each on the opening day after Sri Lanka elected to bat first.
Weather permitting, extended playing time is planned for the day after only 36.3 overs were possible on Thursday due to rain in the Sri Lankan capital.