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Afghanistan beats Zimbabwe by 48 runs in first T20I series match

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(Last Updated On: March 17, 2021)

An entertaining 87 from Rahmanullah Gurbaz and another half-century from skipper Asghar Afghan ensured Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe comfortably by 48 runs in the first T20I of Abu Dhabi Sunshine T20I Series at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Earlier in the day, Zimbabwean skipper Sean Williams won the toss and opted to bat first, ACB reported.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz set the tone for Afghanistan with a blistering knock of 87 off just 45 deliveries as he successfully took on the Zimbabwean bowlers hitting some great strokes in the process while skipper Asghar Afghan complimented him with a quick-fire 55 off just 38 deliveries.

The home side set a challenging target of 199 for the visitors eventually.

In response, an all-round bowling performance from Afghanistan meant Zimbabwe could only manage 150/7 thereby losing the contest by 48 runs as Afghanistan took a lead of 1-0 in the series.

According to ACB, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe was the top-scorer for his team with a knock of 44 while Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza contributed with 22 each- albeit not enough to hand them a victory.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz was named Player of the Match for his blistering third half-century in the format.

The second match of the Abu Dhabi Sunshine T20 Series will be played on Friday, 19th March 2021 at the same venue.

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It’s down-to-the-wire for ILT20 teams as playoffs loom

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2023)

An intense battle of nerves and skills will be on display when the DP World International League T20 playoffs begin on Wednesday at the Dubai International Stadium in the UAE.

First up will be table toppers Gulf Giants against second placed Desert Vipers in Qualifier 1 on February 8 (Wednesday) at the Dubai International Stadium while MI Emirates challenge Dubai Capitals in the Eliminator at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on February 9 (Thursday).

No team can be assured of a victory as it hasn’t been a smooth ride for them into the playoffs with all four having tasted defeats during the course of the competition.

Gulf Giants stand tall with only one defeat against Sharjah Warriors who were eliminated in the last league round match. All others have lost over three matches.

Every team will have to produce their best to advance to the final. Given that each of the four teams have internationally acclaimed limited over cricket players, they can be expected to turn the course of the match any moment.

The DP World ILT20 with a total prize pot of $1.3 million will see the winners walk away with a whopping $700,000 while the runners-up receive $300,000.

Gulf Giants are however table toppers and their skipper James Vince leads from the front with 321 runs from eight matches at an average of 45.85.

In addition they have David Wiese, who is the highest wicket-taker with 15 wickets. The other giants in the team are strike bowlers Chris Jordan, the indomitable hard-hitter Shimron Hetmyer, and two UAE players – Sanchit Sharma and 17-year-old Ayan Khan.

Speaking about his team’s success so far, Vince said: “We play every game to try and win it. Great to see guys come in and do well. Conditions will be different for the Wednesday game, but we will approach that match in the best way possible.”

Desert Vipers however have proven that they can sting their opponents hard. They have Alex Hales, the highest run getter of the tournament so far with 465 runs and an average of 58.12, the consistent Sam Billings and bowlers Sheldon Cottrell and Wanindu Hasranga. UAE players Rohan Mustafa and Shiraz Ahmed have also performed well.

The team’s captain, Colin Munro, said: “Everyone has been unbelievable. From the background staff, going back to people in the commercial office, guys doing the media stuff, everyone that’s part of the family. We set out the tournament as a new franchise, as a new team, and we’re trying to make it to the final, and we’re on our way there.”

MI Emirates on the other hand is a mix of youth and experience and they have West Indies giant Kieron Pollard as their skipper.

He is backed by his countrymen Andre Fletcher and Nicholas Pooran who can take their team to victory on their day.

In addition there is the UAE’s pride and joy – the consistent performer and opener Muhammad Waseem, with his national teammate Zahoor Khan, while veterans Dwayne Bravo and Imran Tahir have encouraged everyone in the team to give their best.

When asked about the team’s approach, Pollard said: “It’s just a matter of understanding and easing the pressure on the boys in the new franchise so that they can understand their roles. We basically break it down for them. It’s a matter of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together and playing exciting cricket that MI is known to play.”

Last but not least is Dubai Capitals who clinched the last spot in the playoffs, when they pulled off a seven-wicket win against MI Emirates. They have batsmen who can turn the course of the match at any time with the likes of experienced Robin Uthappa, George Munsey, Dasun Shanaka and Rovman Powell at the top. All-rounder Sikandar Raza’s contribution has also been immense.

In addition, they have UAE strike bowlers Hazrat Luqman and Akif Raja, along with Jake Ball and Fred Klaassen, who are capable of restricting any opponent.

Yusuf Pathan, who stepped in as skipper from the last match said: “It feels great to be in the playoffs. The group is confident as well. We played really well in our last match. We need to continue doing the good things we did against MI Emirates. We have played well against them in both our league stage matches.”

Match officials

The ILT20 playoffs will also witness some of the world’s most renowned match officials in action. Roshan Mahanama and Alex Wharf will be the on-field umpires for Qualifier 1, while Richard Kettleborough and Leslie Reifer will be officiating as the third and fourth umpires in the game. Meanwhile, Shiju Mannil will be the match referee for the match at the Dubai International Stadium on Wednesday.

The Eliminator game will see Simon Taufel and Richard Kettleborough as on-field umpires. Ruchira Palliyaguruge and Martin Saggers will be the third and fourth umpires. Akbar Ali Khan will officiate as the match referee at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

Roshan Mahanama and Leslie Reifer will be the on-field umpires in Qualifier 2. Martin Saggers and Alex Wharf will support them as third and fourth umpires, while Shiju Mannil will be the match referee for the game at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday.

Simon Taufel and Richard Kettleborough will take charge as on-field umpires in the final. Meanwhile, Alex Wharf and Leslie Reifer will be the third and fourth umpires. Ruchira Palliyaguruge will be the match referee for the final at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

Cricket fans across Afghanistan can meanwhile tune in and watch the playoffs live, exclusively on Ariana Television. For the broadcasting schedule CLICK HERE

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Pakistan to play three T20Is against Afghanistan in Sharjah next month

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(Last Updated On: February 6, 2023)

Pakistan will play a three-match T20 series against Afghanistan next month in a bid to compensate Afghanistan for the losses caused by the withdrawal of Cricket Australia from the ODI series against the side, the Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board Management Committee Najam Sethi said on Sunday.

“Pleased to announce PCB will play 3xT20s against Afghanistan in Sharjah end March to compensate Afghanistan following Australia’s pullout from bi lateral series against it,” he said on Twitter.

PCB head added that he also supported the Asian Cricket Council’s decision to grant Afghanistan an equal share of ACC revenues like the other top four member boards.

“I also supported ACC decision to grant Afghanistan equal share of ACC revenues like BCCI, PCB, SLC & BCB.” he remarked.

Last month Cricket Australia announced its decision to pull out of the scheduled three-match ODI series in March in response to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s restrictions on women.

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ILT20 announces prize money pool for inaugural edition

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(Last Updated On: February 6, 2023)

The DP World International League T20 on Sunday announced a prize money pool of $1.3 million (USD), where the winning team will receive $700,000 and the runner-up team will receive $300,000 at the end of the final.

The first season of the DP World ILT20 is currently being held across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

Speaking about the prize money, Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary, Emirates Cricket Board said: “The league is incredibly pleased to announce the prize money for the winning and runner-up teams of the DP World ILT20.

“We want the franchises and the players to compete intensely in winning these awards. The Season 1 of the DP World ILT20 will conclude on 12th February where the two finalist teams will contest to lift the Trophy and take the winner’s prize money. May the best team win.”

The ILT20 has witnessed several magnificent performances over the past three weeks and the competition is all set for its knockout stage.

The Desert Vipers, Gulf Giants and MI Emirates have booked their spots in the playoffs, while the Sharjah Warriors and Dubai Capitals are fighting for the final playoffs spot.

Desert Vipers have won seven matches from ten games; Gulf Giants and MI Emirates have won six and five games respectively in nine matches. The Vipers and Giants, who are in the top two spots on the points table, have confirmed a top-two finish in the league stage.

Desert Vipers’ Alex Hales has been the leading run scorer in the tournament so far with 465 runs and is the current Green Belt holder. Meanwhile, Gulf Giants’ Chris Jordan is the current White Belt holder with 14 wickets in the competition so far.

Alex Hales is leading the race to the Red Belt as he is currently the Most Valuable Player in the ILT20 with 184 points. MI Emirates’ Muhammad Waseem is in the driver’s seat for the Blue Belt (Most Valuable UAE Player) with 146.5 points in the competition so far.

Each of the Belt winners will receive $15,000 as prize money at the end of the season.

The Most Valuable Players are decided based on a unique point scoring system devised by the DP World ILT20. The players are given a certain number of points for their performance with bat, ball and on the field in every match.

The DP World ILT20 has been presenting five match awards namely; player of the match, DP World smart delivery of the day, Fairplay News biggest hit of the match, Skyexch.Net Super 4s of the match and Sportsbuzz 11 Buzzmaker of the match with every award winner receiving $1,500.

The tournament will also present season awards for DP World Smart Bowler, Fairplay News biggest hit, Skyexch.Net Super 4s and Sportsbuzz 11 Buzzmaker. Each of the award winners are set to receive $15,000 as cash prize following the final.

The Qualifier 1, Eliminator and Qualifier 2 will be played from 8 February 2023 to 10 February 2023, with the Final to be held at the Dubai International Stadium on 12 February 2023.

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