Bangladesh sink Afghanistan to keep alive World Cup semifinal hopes

Man-of-the-match Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, right, walks off the field of play after The Tigers defeated Afghanistan by 62 runs in the Cricket World Cup at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton. (AP Photo)
Updated 24 June 2019

Bangladesh sink Afghanistan to keep alive World Cup semifinal hopes

  • Shakib’s 51 laid the foundations for Bangladesh to score 262-7 and made him the leading run-scorer in this year’s World Cup
  • The 32-year-old then ripped through the Afghan batting line-up with his career-best ODI figures of 5-29 from 10 overs

SOUTHAMPTON: Bangladesh boosted their bid to reach the World Cup semifinals as Shakib Al Hasan’s superb all-round display inspired a 62-run win over Afghanistan on Monday.
Shakib’s 51 laid the foundations for Bangladesh to score 262-7 and made him the leading run-scorer in this year’s World Cup.
The 32-year-old then ripped through the Afghan batting line-up with his career-best ODI figures of 5-29 from 10 overs.
Shakib is only the second player in World Cup history to take five wickets and hit a 50 in the same match after India’s Yuvraj Singh against Ireland in 2011.
Bangladesh, winners against South Africa and the West Indies earlier in the tournament, are up to fifth place in the 10-team group stage.
They sit one point behind fourth-placed England, who face Australia on Tuesday, in the race to seal a semifinal berth via a top-four finish.
Mashrafe Mortaza’s side play India and Pakistan in their final two group matches.
Afghanistan became the first team to be eliminated after an agonizing 11-run loss against India on Saturday, when Mohammed Shami’s final-over hat-trick denied them a famous upset.
Gulbadin Naib’s team have lost all seven of their matches, leaving with two games to avoid finishing the tournament without a single point.
Rahmat Shah and Gulbadin put on 49 for the first wicket, giving Afghanistan hope of a surprise win.
But Shakib’s introduction brought the breakthrough as the spinner weaved his magic.
Rahmat carelessly flicked a flatter delivery to Tamim Iqbal at mid-on and departed for 24.
Just 10 runs came from the next five overs and Hashmatullah Shahidi perished when he tried to accelerate, stumped by Mushfiqur Rahim off Mosaddek Hossain for 11.
Bangladesh had victory in their sights after Shakib took two wickets in the space of four balls.
Gulbadin was removed for 47 after driving low to Liton Das at short extra cover before Mohammad Nabi was bowled through the gate for a duck.
Shakib became the first Bangladesh player to take five wickets in the World Cup when he had Najibullah Zadran stumped.
Earlier, Shakib became the leading run scorer in this year’s World Cup so far as his side posted a solid score after being put into bat.
Shakib’s 51 took him to 476 runs in the tournament, while Mushfiqur top-scored with 83 from 87 balls.
Liton was promoted ahead of Soumya Sarkar to open along with Tamim for Bangladesh, with the pair managing a brisk 23 from the first four overs.
But Liton fell for 16 in the next over after being fooled into a miscued drive by spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who finished with 3-39.
That brought Shakib to the crease and he upped the tempo even further with some aggressive hitting that maintained his fine World Cup form.
When Shakib, who has two centuries already in the tournament, pulled Naib to the boundary, it moved him above Australia’s David Warner’s 447 runs.
Tamim and Shakib put on their fourth successive fifty partnership in one-day internationals.
Shakib went on to become only the second player to hit six consecutive 40-plus scores in a World Cup.
Not long after that milestone, Shakib brought up his half-century in 66 balls — his fifth score of 50 or more in this tournament — to huge cheers from the Bangladesh fans who made up the majority of the crowd.
Shakib was unable to turn his solid start into another century, but he would contribute more than enough with the ball to seal the victory.


World number five Medvedev topbills first international tennis tournament in the Kingdom

Updated 19 November 2019

World number five Medvedev topbills first international tennis tournament in the Kingdom

DUBAI: Some of the greatest men’s players on the planet can use the upcoming $3 million Diriyah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia as ideal preparation for the Australia Open, says one of its big-name competitors.

World number five Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, is one of six confirmed names heading to the Diriyah Arena in the UNESCO world heritage site for the first international tennis tournament to be staged in the Kingdom, presented by Saudi Aramco on December 12 to and 14.

It has been a breakthrough year for the fan favorite, reaching six consecutive tournament finals, including one at the 2019 US Open and two at Masters 1000 events with a career high ranking of number 4.

Now Medvedev believes the competitive nature of the Diriyah Tennis Cup can provide an ideal platform to build on that success, especially with the first Grand Slam event of 2020, the Australian Open taking place a little more than a month after the Saudi tournament.

Medvedev said: “Saudi will be a big part of my preparation for the new season. Coming to Saudi the heat and conditions will be similar to Australia. It will be a great test for us.

“It’s in our pre-season so we’ll want to get that match time in to prepare for the new season – but the fans should expect us to fight hard like in any tournament. It will be competitive and hopefully they’ll be lots of fans coming to support us there.

“Hopefully I can play some great tennis, help the country raise awareness of the sport and inspire people to play. Looking at the players confirmed it’s a really great field.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about Saudi Arabia. I’m excited to promote tennis there especially as it’s the first tournament.

The tournament is part of the Diriyah Season, an epic month of showcase sports events being hosted by the GSA. 

The Diriyah Tennis Cup showdown has confirmed six leading players to date for the inaugural tournament. As well as Medvedev this includes three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland.

World number 12, Fabio Fogini, who was the first Italian to win an ATP Masters 1000 title this year in Monte Carlo and highly-rated David Goffin (Belgium), the former world number 7 will also present in Diriyah.

The big-serving American John Isner, with over 10,000 aces on tour, and five-time ATP champion Lucas Pouille of France, an Australian Open semi-finalist this year complete the current line-up. Officials will name the final two players in the coming weeks.

Medvedev will go into tournament with confidence after a great year, in the past week missed out on closing rounds of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals which also included another epic showdown with World Number One, Rafael Nadal in London.

He said: “It’s been a great year for me, especially the second half. The highlights were in Washington and then finishing in Shanghai and winning that title. With six titles and two of them Masters titles, it wasn’t something I expected if I’m honest with you.

The 23-year-old Russian also gave some insight into what it has taken to reach the top echelon of the men’s game, as he closes in on ‘The Big Three’; namely Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. 

“To be successful in tennis you need to fight hard and play with passion. You need to fight hard on every single point. Look back on the times it doesn’t go well and always try to improve and always get better. Self-reflection is important. That might sound a bit tough for the kids, but that’s what it takes to break through."

Tickets are now available at www.diriyahseason.sa with nine different ticket categories available to suit all budgets – the perfect event for groups of friends and families.

The Diriyah Tennis Cup is taking place at the 15,000-seater Diriyah Arena being purpose built at the ancient site of the Kingdom’s first capital, known as the home of kings and heroes. The tournament will happen just a week after the same venue plays host to the Clash On The Dunes, the world heavyweight title fight between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua OBE.