Saudi Arabia’s ACC Premier Cup semifinal hopes intact after action on day 4

Special Saudi Arabia’s ACC Premier Cup semifinal hopes intact after action on day 4
1 / 3
Oman’s comprehensive victory over the UAE means that they top Group B, with six points from three games, to almost certainly secure a semifinal slot. (X/@ACCMedia1)
Special Saudi Arabia’s ACC Premier Cup semifinal hopes intact after action on day 4
2 / 3
Oman’s comprehensive victory over the UAE means that they top Group B, with six points from three games, to almost certainly secure a semifinal slot. (X/@ACCMedia1)
Special Saudi Arabia’s ACC Premier Cup semifinal hopes intact after action on day 4
3 / 3
Oman’s comprehensive victory over the UAE means that they top Group B, with six points from three games, to almost certainly secure a semifinal slot. (X/@ACCMedia1)
Short Url
Updated 16 April 2024
Follow

Saudi Arabia’s ACC Premier Cup semifinal hopes intact after action on day 4

Saudi Arabia’s ACC Premier Cup semifinal hopes intact after action on day 4
  • Nepal’s victory over Hong Kong cemented their place in the semifinals
  • Outcome of Group B, as with Group A, will go down to the wire

AL-AMARAT: More rain arrived to influence the ACC Premier Cup competition on day four. A shower at about 8 a.m. caused a late start in the two morning matches, reduced to 18 overs per team.

In the Group A match between Nepal and Hong Kong, the latter was asked to bat. A steady start to 48 for two after seven overs became 82 for four from 13 overs. After that, wickets tumbled, the innings subsiding to 114 all out.

In reply, Nepal raced to 68 for no loss from five overs. The loss of two wickets in the sixth over did little to stop the charge, 117 being reached in the 13th over. Nepal’s victory cemented their place at the top of the group and a place in the semifinals.

The second Group A match of the day saw Malaysia face Qatar, who had yet to register a win. Malaysia were asked to bat, reaching 82 for two in 11 overs. Despite losing two quick wickets, the fifth-wicket partnership prospered so well that a total of 151 for five was achieved.

Qatar’s response was positive and, at the midway stage, half of the required target had been scored. Slow bowlers then stifled Qatar’s progress to 113 for four from 13 overs, with the result in the balance. In the next three overs the required acceleration was injected, so that only five runs were required in the final over, duly achieved with a straight six.

This result injected a new dynamic into Group A, in which four teams each have two points. At the end of day four, Saudi lead the way by virtue of a superior net run rate, with two matches left to play, against Qatar and Nepal. If Qatar are beaten, then Saudi are likely to qualify for the semifinals. If not, the door would be open for one of the other sides, each with one left to play. One unpredictable variable is the possible influence of rain on match completion.

The rain returned after the morning matches on day four. The distant hills to the south were not visible. Oman’s experienced curator, who has had eight years in Oman, revealed that he had never seen rain like this in April. Normally, rain comes from the west, but the current rain is arriving from the south and southeast. Fortunately, it cleared after an hour, and two Group B matches, reduced to 15 overs per side, commenced.

On Turf A, Oman asked the UAE to bat. Prolific batter Alishan Sharafu was out second ball, a second wicket falling in the second over. Muhammad Waseem was then partnered by Asif Khan in an 88-run stand. Khan continued in his attacking mode until a last-ball dismissal for 66 saw the UAE total 145 for five, Bilal Khan claiming three for 11.

Oman’s response was dismissive, Kashyap Prajapati and Naseem Khushi racing to 67 in 4.4 overs, before Khushi was dismissed. Khalid Kail continued the onslaught, scoring 50 from 23 deliveries, while Prajapati eased to 53 not out from 147 for the loss of a single wicket, with 14 deliveries to spare.

Two of the UAE’s ILT20 bowlers, Aayan Khan and Junaid Siddique, were heavily punished.

Oman’s comprehensive victory means that they top Group B, with six points from three games, to almost certainly secure a semifinal slot. The UAE have four points from three matches, with a final match against pointless Cambodia, whom they are heavy favorites to beat.

On Turf B, Kuwait were asked to bat by Bahrain and lost five wickets in reaching 79. No. 3 batter, M. Bhavsar, held firm with 54 before being the seventh wicket to fall. Late hitting by B. Tahir, 40 not out, took the total to 161 for seven.

In reply, Bahrain lost two early wickets for 24 and a third on 35, all to Yasin Patel who conceded only eight runs. Some middle-order hitting was not enough and the innings closed on 135 for six.

The result puts Kuwait on equal points (four) with the UAE. Kuwait have a superior net run rate, but have to play Oman in their final match. The outcome of Group B, as with Group A, will go to the wire.


MLC stars Netravalkar, Khan, Patel aim to continue USA’s historic run at T20 World Cup Super8s

MLC stars Netravalkar, Khan, Patel aim to continue USA’s historic run at T20 World Cup Super8s
Updated 18 June 2024
Follow

MLC stars Netravalkar, Khan, Patel aim to continue USA’s historic run at T20 World Cup Super8s

MLC stars Netravalkar, Khan, Patel aim to continue USA’s historic run at T20 World Cup Super8s
  • As many as 47 MLC stars have featured in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024

DALLAS: Team USA have made history by advancing to the Super 8 stage of the International Cricket Council Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 for the first time, decided by a wash-out in Broward County.

The US’s advancement ahead of cricketing powerhouse Pakistan has sent shockwaves around the globe and is rallying Americans to get behind their national team.

Team USA, as the host nation making its World Cup debut, has captured the world’s attention. After defeating Canada convincingly in the opening game, the team also emerged victorious against Pakistan in a thrilling super-over, putting them in a position to finish second in Group A.

Cognizant Major League Cricket players in Team USA are: Ali Khan, Nitish Kumar and Shadley Van Schalkwyk (Los Angeles Knight Riders); Steven Taylor, Nosthush Kenjige, Monank Patel and Shayan Jahangir (MI New York); Corey Anderson (San Francisco Unicorns); Harmeet Singh, (Seattle Orcas); Milind Kumar (Texas Super Kings); and Andries Gous, Saurabh Netravalkar and Yasir Mohammad (Washington Freedom).

With the USA set to face South Africa, the West Indies and England in Group 2 of the Super 8 round, MLC Chief Executive Vijay Srinivasan said the advancement of the team to the next stage of the home world cup was an incredible achievement.

“Congratulations to Team USA who, in their first-ever World Cup appearance, gave us three thrilling matches of cricket against the world’s best teams and earned their position in the Super 8.

“This is a historic moment for the sport, especially for our players from Major League Cricket who are representing the USA. We hope that this inspires boys and girls around the country to pick up a bat and ball this summer and encourages sports fans to attend an MLC game or tune into the broadcast. 

“The USA’s advancement to the Super 8 means they’ll automatically qualify for the 2026 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, providing Major League Cricket with a strong platform for continued growth.”

 

MLC’s six teams — Los Angeles Knight Riders, MI New York, San Francisco Unicorns, Seattle Orcas, Texas Super Kings and Washington Freedom — boast some of the world’s best international and domestic talent who are preparing to represent their respective countries in the World Cup.

All 47 MLC players who have featured in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, listed by team, are:

Los Angeles Knight Riders

Ali Khan — USA

Nitish Kumar — USA

Shadley Van Schalkwyk — USA

Andre Russell — WI

Shakib Al Hasan — Bangladesh

David Miller — South Africa

Josh Little — Ireland

 

MI New York

Steven Taylor — USA

Nosthush Kenjige — USA

Monank Patel — USA

Shayan Jahangir — USA

Tim David — Australia

Nicholas Pooran — West Indies

Rashid Khan — Afghanistan

Kagiso Rabada — South Africa

Trent Boult — New Zealand

Anrich Nortje — South Africa

Romario Shepherd — West Indies

 

San Francisco Unicorns

Corey Anderson — USA

Matt Henry — New Zealand

Josh Inglis — Australia

Sherfane Rutherford — West Indies

Haris Rauf — Pakistan

Pat Cummins — Australia

 

Seattle Orcas

Harmeet Singh — USA

Quinton de Kock — South Africa

Heinrich Klaasen — South Africa

Michael Bracewell — New Zealand

Ryan Rickelton — South Africa

Obed McCoy — West Indies

Imad Wasim — Pakistan

 

Texas Super Kings

Milind Kumar — USA

Mitchell Santner — New Zealand

Devon Conway — New Zealand

Aiden Markram — South Africa

Daryl Mitchell — New Zealand

Naveen-ul-Haq — Afghanistan

Marcus Stoinis — Australia

 

Washington Freedom

Andries Gous — USA

Saurabh Netralvakar — USA

Yasir Mohammad — USA

Marco Jansen — South Africa

Akeal Hosein — West Indies

Glenn Maxwell — Australia

Travis Head — Australia

Lockie Ferguson — New Zealand

Rachin Ravindra — New Zealand

 

The second MLC season kicks off on July 5.


Ons Jabeur ‘avoids risk’ by missing Paris Olympics

Ons Jabeur ‘avoids risk’ by missing Paris Olympics
Updated 18 June 2024
Follow

Ons Jabeur ‘avoids risk’ by missing Paris Olympics

Ons Jabeur ‘avoids risk’ by missing Paris Olympics
  • Earlier in the day, world number three Aryna Sabalenka said she would also miss the Olympics to protect her fitness

PARIS: Three-time Grand Slam runner up Ons Jabeur said on Monday she will sit out this summer’s Paris Olympics to avoid further injury to her knee.
Tunisian Jabeur, 29, will miss the Games, between July 27-August 4. The competition being played Roland-Garros, meaning a switch back to clay immediately after the grass season and before the hard-court run up to the US Open.
Last year Jabeur underwent surgery on her right knee.
“After consulting with my medical team regarding attending to the Olympics in Paris, we have decided that the quick change of surface and the body’s adaptation required would put my knee at risk and jeopardize the rest of my season,” Jabeur said on her social media accounts.
“Unfortunately I will not be able to participate in the 2024 Olympics,” she added.
Jabeur reached the final at Wimbledon in 2022 and 2023 and at the US Open in 2022. She competed at the Olympics in London in 2012, in Rio in 2016 and in Tokyo five years later.
Wimbledon starts on July 1 with the US Open beginning on August 26.
Earlier in the day, world number three Aryna Sabalenka said she would also miss the Olympics to protect her fitness.


Boats cruise the Seine river in a rehearsal for the Paris Olympics’ opening ceremony

Boats cruise the Seine river in a rehearsal for the Paris Olympics’ opening ceremony
Updated 18 June 2024
Follow

Boats cruise the Seine river in a rehearsal for the Paris Olympics’ opening ceremony

Boats cruise the Seine river in a rehearsal for the Paris Olympics’ opening ceremony
  • Officials are confident that the near four-hour ceremony will run like clockwork on July 26
  • On the day of the eagerly-awaited event, around 200 Olympic delegations will join the parade on more than 80 boats

PARIS: Curious onlookers gathered on bridges as dozens of boats snaked along the Seine river on Monday in a rehearsal for the Paris Olympics’ unique opening ceremony next month.

A total of 55 boats made the journey from Pont d’Austerlitz, named after a French military victory in 1805, to Pont d’Iena, a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower, the nation’s most striking and best-known landmark.

Officials are confident that the near four-hour ceremony will run like clockwork on July 26.

“Six months ago we had like 10 minutes delay on the timing and today we are very close, almost to the second to our targets,” Thierry Reboul, the executive director for ceremonies said. “So it is very satisfying. We’ve respected an extremely precise level of timing.”

On the day of the eagerly-awaited event, around 200 Olympic delegations will join the parade on more than 80 boats. They will make the journey from east to west, along a six-kilometer (3.7-mile) route which has become a major talking point — for its audacity as a unique open-air event and for its exposure to potential danger.

Security concerns led French President Emmanuel Macron to say in mid-April that the ceremony could shift to Stade de France if the threat level was too high. But Reboul said Monday that authorities are preparing for the big day as originally planned, with no alternatives being prepared at this stage.

There will be a final rehearsal, involving the full armada of boats, before the opening ceremony — one which is expected to bring 100 world leaders to the city’s embankments, where more than 300,000 people will watch.

“We will give our heart and souls to make it a great success for the French people,” France’s Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said Monday. “They deserve it.”

The rehearsal saw 10 police speedboats shadowing the convoy, as well as speedboats equipped with television cameras. There were armed police officers stationed at various points along the way. The boats crossed 16 bridges, passing by iconic landmarks such as the green-tinged Grand Palais — where fencing and Taekwondo events will be held.

On each bridge, a few dozen people watched attentively.

“Fifty-five? That’s a lot of boats,” said 49-year-old Rosa Gabriel. Taking a break between walking from the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral, she watched it from the Pont des Arts bridge — fondly known as Love Lock Bridge, with its thousands of personalized locks attached to the railings.

One tourist even mistook the scene for something else.

“Maybe they are making a movie,” said Driss El Kaoutari, a 42-year-old from Morocco who was on vacation in Paris with his daughter.

What people actually saw were empty vessels bobbing slowly by. But they will be full of life, color, sound and movement next month.

“You will have many delegation members on the boats with their uniforms and their flags,” Reboul said. “Around them there will be many other things, as you can imagine.”

The water itself has become a sensitive and thorny topic for the organizers and politicians heading into the July 26-Aug. 11 Paris Games. A whopping $1.5 billion investment has already been made to improve the Seine’s water quality, with Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo both promising to take a dip.

This time, it was Oudea-Castera’s turn to give assurances about the river — where marathon swimmers and triathletes are set to compete during the Olympics.

She bristled a little when answering.

“Regarding the quality of the Seine’s water, we are confident. You shouldn’t ask us to be ready ahead of time,” Oudea-Castera said, adding that a new center for collecting waste will be opened next week.


West Indies thrash Afghanistan in final T20 World Cup group game

West Indies thrash Afghanistan in final T20 World Cup group game
Updated 18 June 2024
Follow

West Indies thrash Afghanistan in final T20 World Cup group game

West Indies thrash Afghanistan in final T20 World Cup group game
  • Nicholas Pooran’s blistering 98 off 53 balls highlighted a dominant batting effort by West Indies

GROS-ISLET, Saint Lucia: West Indies thrashed Afghanistan by 104 runs in the final group stage game of the T20 World Cup on Monday.
Nicholas Pooran’s blistering 98 off 53 balls (six fours, eight sixes) highlighted a dominant batting effort by West Indies as they piled up 218 for five after being put in as the two Super Eight qualifiers sparred in advance of the next phase of the tournament starting on Wednesday.
Afghanistan were bundled out for 114 off 16.2 overs in reply.


Celtics win 18th NBA championship with 106-88 Game 5 victory over Dallas Mavericks

Celtics win 18th NBA championship with 106-88 Game 5 victory over Dallas Mavericks
Updated 18 June 2024
Follow

Celtics win 18th NBA championship with 106-88 Game 5 victory over Dallas Mavericks

Celtics win 18th NBA championship with 106-88 Game 5 victory over Dallas Mavericks
  • Boston earned their latest title on the 16th anniversary of hoisting their last Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2008
  • Jaylen Brown had 21 points and was voted the NBA Finals MVP

BOSTON: The Boston Celtics again stand alone among NBA champions.

Jayson Tatum had 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds as the Celtics topped the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 on Monday night to win the franchise’s 18th championship, breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most in league history.

Boston earned their latest title on the 16th anniversary of hoisting their last Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2008. It marks the 13th championship won this century by one of the city’s Big 4 professional sports franchises.

Jaylen Brown added 21 points and was voted the NBA Finals MVP. Jrue Holiday finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Center Kristaps Porzingis also provided an emotional lift, returning from a two-game absence because of a dislocated tendon in his left ankle to chip in five points in 17 minutes.

It helped the Celtics cap a postseason that saw them go 16-3 and finish with an 80-21 overall record. That .792 winning percentage ranks second in team history behind only the Celtics’ 1985-86 championship team that finished 82-18 (.820).

Second-year coach Joe Mazzulla, at age 35, also became the youngest coach since Bill Russell in 1969 to lead a team to a championship.

Luka Doncic finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds for Dallas, who failed to extend the series after avoiding a sweep with a 38-point win in Game 4. The Mavericks had been 3-0 in Game 5s this postseason, with Doncic scoring at least 31 points in each of the them.

Kyrie Irving finished with just 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting and has now lost 13 of the last 14 meetings against the Celtics team he left in the summer of 2019 to join the Brooklyn Nets.

NBA teams are now 0-157 in postseason series after falling into a 3-0 deficit.

Boston never trailed and led by as many as 26 feeding off the energy of the Garden crowd.

Dallas were within 16-15 early before the Celtics closed the first quarter on a 12-3 run that included eight combined points by Tatum and Brown.

The Celtics did it again in the second quarter when the Mavericks trimmed what had been a 15-point deficit to nine. Boston ended the period with a 19-7 spurt that was capped by a a half-court buzzer beater by Payton Pritchard – his second such shot of the series – to give Boston a 67-46 halftime lead.

Over the last two minutes of the first and second quarters, the Celtics outscored the Mavericks 22-4.

The Celtics never looked back.

Russell’s widow, Jeannine Russell, and his daughter Karen Russell were in TD Garden to salute the newest generation of Celtics champions.

They watched current Celtics stars Tatum and Brown earn their first rings. It was the trade that sent 2008 champions Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn in 2013 that netted Boston the draft picks it eventually used to select Brown and Tatum third overall in back-to-back drafts in 2016 and 2017.

The All-Stars came into their own this season, leading a Celtics team that built around taking and making a high number of 3-pointers, and a defense that rated as the league’s best during the regular season.

The duo made it to at least the Eastern Conference finals as teammates four previous times.

Their fifth deep playoff run together proved to be the charm.

After both struggling at times offensively in the series, Tatum and Brown hit a groove in Game 5, combining for 31 points and 11 assists in the first half.

It helped bring out all the attributes that made Boston the NBA’s most formidable team this postseason – spreading teams out, sharing the ball, and causing havoc on defense.

And it put a championship bow on dizzying two-year stretch for the Celtics, that saw them lose in the finals to the Golden State Warriors in 2022 and then fail to return last season after a Game 7 home loss to the Miami Heat in the conference finals.