South Africa beats Pakistan in rain-marred ODI

South Africa's bowler Dale Steyn, left, reacts as teammate attempts a run out against Pakistan's batsman Mohammad Hafeez during the second One Day International cricket match between South Africa and Pakistan at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa, on Jan. 25, 2019. (AP)
Updated 26 January 2019

South Africa beats Pakistan in rain-marred ODI

CENTURION, SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa beat Pakistan by 13 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method on Friday to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series of one-day internationals.
The home team's pursuit of Pakistan's impressive total of 317-6 was shaping up to be a thrilling one before rain intervened.
Reeza Hendricks, who was undefeated on 83, and captain Faf du Plessis (40 not out) were in the middle of a 108-run stand when the bad weather forced the players off for the second and last time at SuperSport Park with South Africa on 187-2 after 33 overs.
The game was finally called off and the result confirmed over an hour later.
Pakistan's score was built around opener Imam-ul-Haq, who made 101 and was one of a number of batsmen dropped in a sloppy display by South Africa in the field.
Imam also became the second fastest player to reach 1,000 ODI runs, behind teammate Fakhar Zaman. The duo have pushed West Indies great Viv Richards, who set the record 38 years ago, down to third on that list.
Babar Azam was also given a life and went on to hit 69 from 72 balls in a 132-run partnership with Imam.
South Africa was 79-2 in reply and under pressure when Hendricks and du Plessis came together. Hendricks hit eight fours and pulled two sixes over midwicket on the way to his second ODI half-century.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed played despite coming under scrutiny for an alleged racist comment aimed at allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo in the second ODI.
The International Cricket Council governing body is gathering information on the incident but hasn't announced any formal proceedings against Sarfraz, who apologized the day after and said his remarks were a general expression of frustration not aimed specifically at the South African.
Sarfraz also apologized in person to Phehlukwayo ahead of Friday's game.


Southgate to bring Sterling back from England exile

Updated 17 November 2019

Southgate to bring Sterling back from England exile

  • World Cup semifinalists ‘still have room for improvement as they chase first major title since 1966’

PRISTINA:  Gareth Southgate is set to bring Raheem Sterling back from his brief England exile in Sunday’s qualifier against Kosovo as he seeks to end the controversy over the Manchester City star’s row with Joe Gomez.

Sterling was dropped for Thursday’s 7-0 rout of Montenegro after clashing with England team-mate Gomez in the Three Lions’ training base canteen.

It is believed Sterling was unhappy with Gomez following an altercation with the Liverpool defender during City’s Premier League defeat at Anfield last weekend.

Although Sterling was left out of the Montenegro game as punishment for his attack on Gomez, Southgate has confirmed the winger will return for England’s final Group A fixture.

Sterling and Gomez, left with a scratch under his eye after the incident, are said to have patched up their relationship, but the center-back was jeered by England fans at Wembley when he came on as a substitute against Montenegro.

Both Southgate and Sterling expressed their support for Gomez and criticized the booing supporters, with the England manager reportedly comforting the shocked 22-year-old and his family after the match.

Now Southgate could include Gomez against Kosovo in a show of support for the Liverpool player.

With England already guaranteed to qualify for Euro 2020 in first place in their group, Southgate already planned to make changes, although he is keen to ensure England finish with a win as they eye a top-six seeding in next year’s tournament.

“We will make some changes, for sure, but the seeding in the group could be critical and we know it’s a big night for the Kosovans,” Southgate said.

“It’s a shame for them that they’re now out of this part of the qualification, although they’ve still got the playoffs in which I think they’ll be a huge threat in that format. “So, it will be a good test for us because it will still be a lively environment.

“The enthusiasm for the game is high and we want to finish the group with as many points as we can.”

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson could return following a one-match ban, while Southgate has to decide whether to keep faith with Ben Chilwell ahead of Danny Rose at left-back.

Harry Kane may have scored a hat-trick against Montenegro but it was Leicester’s Chilwell who was named England’s man of the match following a fine display in which he provided three assists in the opening 24 minutes.

“Ben, I liked the hunger in his game, the enthusiasm to get forward,” Southgate said.

“The whole team pressed well but he also pressed well from that full-back position, got into overlaps, his quality of delivery was excellent.”

Although England have cruised through their qualifying group, Southgate believes the 2018 World Cup semifinalists still have room for improvement as they chase a first major title since 1966.

“There were a couple of chances we conceded that just shouldn’t happen, so that’s still part of our game that we’ve got to improve upon,” he said.

“If we are to be a team that are going to challenge seriously, although we’re young, we’ve got to manage games well.

“We’ve got to make sure that, although we’re such a fantastic attacking threat, the rest of the team is right as well. There are things we’ve got to be better at.”