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Afghanistan beat Australia 5-4 in NSDF Futsal Championship

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(Last Updated On: March 25, 2024)

Afghanistan defeated Australia 5-4 in their second match of NSDF Futsal Championship in Thailand on Monday.

Four of Afghanistan’s goals came in the first half of the match, with Omid Qanbari, Sayed Mojtaba Hosseini, Akbar Kazemi and Mehran Ghulami scoring the goals.

Australia equalized in the second half before Mahdi Norowzi hit the winning goal in the last minute of the game.

Afghanistan’s first match in the tournament had ended in 3-3 draw against Malaysia.

Their next match will be against hosts Thailand on Wednesday.

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Gujarat end Rajasthan’s winning streak with IPL thriller

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(Last Updated On: April 11, 2024)

Gujarat Titans celebrated ending Rajasthan Royals’ IPL four-match winning streak in a nail-biting thriller to win by three wickets on Wednesday.

While Rajasthan cling on to their table-topping position above Kolkata Knight Riders, the Titans clawed their way back to a dramatic victory in the final five overs, needing 73 off the final 30 balls, AFP reported.

The pressure fell on the shoulders of bowling all-rounder Rashid Khan from Afghanistan to win the match on the final ball — thumping it to the boundary for four to end on top with 199-7.

“You just have to be positive,” Rashid said. “The more positive you are thinking inside, the better the result comes out.”

Asked where the Royals had lost, skipper Sanju Samson laughed and said “the last ball of the game”, adding it was “very hard” to speak after the defeat.

But he still handed out praise for the Titans’ play.

“You have to give credit to the Gujarat Titans, to the way they batted, bowled and fielded,” Samson said.

Rajasthan had looked confident going into the game, after being invited to bat first at their home ground of Jaipur.

‘We had belief’
After initial wobbles, with Yashasvi Jaiswal caught on 24, and England’s Jos Buttler going for eight, 22-year-old Riyan Parag helped build a daunting total.

He celebrated his third fifty in five innings, this time in a knock off 34 balls.

Parag fell for 74 to a juggled but successful catch by Vijay Shankar.

But Samson, who made 68, and Shimron Hetmyer, unbeaten on 13, guided Rajasthan to 196-3 — keeping their hopes that they were heading for their fifth straight victory alive.

As Gujarat came into bat, the Royals seemed to have taken charge, with the chase crumbling as speedster Kuldeep Sen ripped through the Titans’ top order, posting figures of 3-41.

Sen trapped Sai Sudharsan lbw for 35 before bowling Matthew Wade and Abhinav Manohar cheaply.

“We lost a few wickets back-to-back”, said Gujarat’s Sudharsan. “But we had belief and we won the game.”

Skipper Shubman Gill made 72 to push Gujarat’s total up before being stumped, while Rahul Tewatia made 22 before he was run out.

But it was Rashid who brought the Titans across the winning threshold, making 24 in the frantic final balls, AFP reported.

“This victory was much-needed for us and gives us momentum,” Sudharsan added. “Hopefully we play a few more good games and have a good season.”

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Reddy helps Hyderabad edge Punjab in IPL thriller

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(Last Updated On: April 10, 2024)

Sunrisers Hyderabad survived a late assault by Punjab Kings batsmen Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma to win by two runs in an IPL thriller on Tuesday.

Nitish Kumar Reddy, a 20-year-old batting all-rounder, pulled Hyderabad out of early trouble to guide them to 182-9 after being invited to bat first at Punjab’s new home Mullanpur.

Punjab looked down and out at 114-6 but Shashank (46) and Sharma (33) put on an unbeaten stand of 66 off 27 balls to give Hyderabad a scare as Punjab ended on 180-6.

Hyderabad’s Pat Cummins looked a relieved captain after left-arm quick Jaydev Unadkat just about defended 29 runs in the last over, which witnessed three dropped catches in the deep, AFP reported.

Cummins, who was paid $2.5 million by Hyderabad in the auction, praised Reddy for his batting, one wicket and a catch as well.

“He was awesome, fantastic debut last week,” Australia’s World Cup-winning captain said.

“Straight to the top for the order, fantastic in the field, bowled three overs too. To get us to 180 off his bat, it was amazing.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar took two wickets to play a key part in Hyderabad’s third win in five matches to stay fifth, above Punjab in the 10-team table.

But Reddy set up victory with his 37-ball 64 laced with four fours and five sixes as he put on a key 50-run sixth-wicket stand with Abdul Samad, who hit a 12-ball 25.

Punjab quick Arshdeep Singh struck twice in the space of three balls to send back Travis Head, for 21, and Aiden Markram, for a duck, before Reddy took charge.

Reddy rebuilt the innings as he stood firm despite wickets falling around him and mixed the right dose of caution and aggression.

Arshdeep again struck twice in an over as he sent back Samad and Reddy but Shahbaz Ahmed steered the team to a total which eventually proved enough with his unbeaten seven-ball 14.

Sam Curran and Harshal Patel took two wickets each but leaked runs.

Punjab wobbled early in their chase after Cummins took down Jonny Bairstow for a three-ball duck and soon slipped to 58-4 when Curran departed on 29.

Zimbabwe’s Sikander Raza hit 28 but it was number six Shashank and number eight Sharma who took on the chase only to finish two short.

“There was always the hope that they could finish the game. Hats off to them that they brought it this close,” Punjab skipper Shikhar Dhawan said after their third loss this season.

“Gives us confidence and hope for the next game. We have to do better in certain areas and improve.”

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Babar Azam says Pakistan’s World Cup loss to Afghanistan was ‘very painful’

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(Last Updated On: April 9, 2024)

Pakistan’s white-ball captain Babar Azam has said that his nation’s defeat against Afghanistan in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 was “very painful.”

“That match was very painful for me because losing to Afghanistan in a World Cup was a different kind of thing,” Babar said in a podcast, A Sports reported.

“I think they played very good cricket and we could not execute the way we should. We made efforts and we posted a good total but the way they both [Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah] played, it seemed they would not get out on that pitch. The credit should be given to them as well.

“So, that day was a hard day for me. I couldn’t sleep that day. It [defeat] hit me hard in the heart.”

Babar Azam then went on to share how he overcame the setback, stating it takes time but experience helps a person to handle such situations.

“Look, it takes some time to overcome, a day or two. If you do well, you don’t sleep with excitement leave aside failures.

“The more you play, the more you get experienced, you get to know how to handle yourself.”

Afghanistan defeated Pakistan by eight wickets in the ICC World Cup 2023.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah scored half-centuries after Noor Ahmad’s 3/49 led Afghanistan to beat Pakistan.

The eight-wicket victory marked Afghanistan’s first over Pakistan in ODIs. The two sides had come face to face on seven occasions in the 50-over format.

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