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ILT20’s final phase sees change around in a number of players

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(Last Updated On: February 7, 2024)

Desert Vipers have moved to offset the loss of a trio of Pakistan internationals, who are heading for the PSL ahead of the last leg of the ILT20, by signing England stars Sam Curran and Phil Salt who are expected to help the side’s push for a play-off place.

The last few days have however seen numerous changes, as some players depart for international duty and other leagues, while others arrive from the SA20.

Kieron Pollard has joined the ranks of league-leading MI Emirates after arriving from South Africa.

Pollard, Salt and Curran have meanwhile been brought in to the ILT20 to cover the departure of four leading players. Shaheen Afridi, Azam Khan and Shadab Khan who have returned to Pakistan to prepare for the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Wanindu Hasaranga has also returned to Sri Lanka for international duty.

Speaking of Curran and Salt’s arrival, Vipers’ coach Tom Moody said: “Both players are proven international performers with exceptional Twenty20 records and they will add an extra dimension to our team.

“I know Sam extremely well having worked with him for the Oval Invincibles at The Hundred and I know the quality he offers with bat, ball and in the field.

“He loves to be involved in big games at important times and that is the sort of attitude we want from our players.

“Phil has developed into one of the most exciting players in world cricket at the top of the order, as he showed in the Caribbean with England in December, and he is also an excellent wicketkeeper and so provides us with options in that regard,” Moody said.

Wednesday’s match

Abu Dhabi Knight Riders ABD lock horns with Sharjah Warriors at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, February 7, in match 25 of the ILT20.

Knight Riders lost three out of their first five games. However, they are now on a three-match winning streak and are one victory away from booking their place in the playoffs. They have 10 points from eight games so far.

Meanwhile, Sharjah Warriors are hanging by a thread in the competition as they still have a mathematical chance of progressing to the playoffs. They have lost five out of their eight games thus far. Their disappointing net run-rate of -2.019 is a huge reason for concern. The Warriors are on a three-match losing streak and will be desperate to get back to winning ways.

To watch the upcoming match stay tuned to Ariana Television and don’t forget to follow our updates on social media.

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Head of Sports Administration attends opening ceremony of Kazan’s ‘Games of Future’

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(Last Updated On: February 22, 2024)

The General Director of Physical Education and Sport of Afghanistan (GDPES) Mawlavi Ahmadullah Wasiq participated in the opening ceremony of the Games of Future competition hosted by Tatarstan-Kazan.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, Wasiq also met with the Ministers of Sports of Russia and Tatarstan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials also participated in the opening ceremony, GDPES said in a post on X.

According to GDPES the competition started on February 21 and will continue until March 3.

Nearly 2,000 athletes from 107 countries will take part in the games and will compete in 21 sports.

The Next Generation Sports competition is a new series of sports competitions, which for the first time officially starts in Kazan.

The combination of these sports includes digital and classical sports, GDPES said.

Putin said during his opening speech that sport is meant to create unity between countries and nations and should not become political.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, Wasiq meanwhile met with the minister of sports of Russia, Oleg Matisin, and the minister of sports of Tatarstan, Vladimir Leonov.

Cooperation in sport and sport development was discussed.

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Afghanistan win three-run thriller, but Sri Lanka take T20 series

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(Last Updated On: February 22, 2024)

Afghanistan salvaged some pride on Wednesday when they secured a nail-biting three-run win over hosts Sri Lanka in the third T20I, the last game of their multi-format tour.

It has been a wretched tour for the Afghans — losing six matches in a row — but skipper Ibrahim Zadran said he was “feeling great” after his team held their nerve in a dramatic close with a hard-fought win.

“I am happy with the win,” Zadran said. “Unfortunately, we lost the series.”

Sri Lanka had already secured the three-match T20 series after winning the first two games, the first by four runs, and the second by 72 runs.

They had also won the one-off Test match and the one-day international series in a 3-0 clean sweep.

But Afghanistan seemed determined to win at least one match.

‘Under pressure’

Sri Lanka required 36 off the last two overs, with Dasun Shanaka bringing the chase down to 24 off eight balls — but was run out.

That left Sri Lanka with 19 runs needed off the last over.

But they could manage only 15, with the game marred by controversy as tensions spiked in the last six balls.

The fourth ball from Wafadar Momand was a high full toss, but the square leg umpire didn’t call a no ball despite batters’ protests.

Captain Wanindu Hasaranga was seen exchanging words with the umpires.

“We played good cricket in the first two games,” Hasaranga said.

“Credit goes to our bowlers and the batters”.

Fighting to the end, Kamindu Mendis hit a six off the last ball of the innings, but it was not enough and Sri Lanka fell short by three runs.

Mendis was unbeaten on 65 off 39 balls, with seven fours and two sixes, achieving his maiden half-century in T20 cricket.

On a pitch tailor-made for batting, giving little room for error for the bowlers, Sri Lanka’s openers gave them a rousing start adding 64 runs in 35 balls.

The partnership was broken when Kusal Mendis attempted a boundary on the off-side but failed to clear the extra cover fielder where Sharafuddin Ashraf back-peddled and took a good catch.

In the process, the fielder banged his head onto the turf.

Ashraf was replaced as the concussion substitute rule came into effect and leg-spinner Qais Ahmad took his place.

Afghanistan took two wickets in three balls when Noor Ahmad trapped Kusal Perera leg before wicket for a duck.

Pathum Nissanka posted his tenth T20 half-century, off 27 balls, but soon after hurt his hamstring and his movements were restricted.

He moved to 60 with a six off Noor Ahmad and retired soon afterwards. He faced 30 balls and hit eight fours and two sixes.

Afghanistan’s big total was thanks to the efforts of their openers, posting 88 runs off 44 balls.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz went on to make 70 after being dropped twice.

“I was under pressure but I tried to go in today and play my natural game,” Gurbaz said. “I took responsibility and I think that was the reason.”

Sri Lanka battled back with Matheesha Pathirana claiming two wickets in two balls, but it was not enough to stop Afghanistan from scoring over 200 runs. – AFP

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Afghanistan, Sri Lanka set for 3rd and final T20I

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(Last Updated On: February 21, 2024)

The third and final game of the T20I series between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan will be played on Wednesday, February 21, at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.

This is also the final match in Afghanistan’s tour of Sri Lanka, which included a one-off Test, three ODIs and the T20I series.

So far, Sri Lanka have taken the lead 2-0 in the T20I series.

Afghanistan have failed to win a single game on this tour so far and will be hoping to finish on a winning note.

Sri Lanka have a clear edge over Afghanistan when their head-to-head record in the shortest format is considered. The Lankans have won five games as opposed to one for Afghanistan in their six meetings so far.

Matches played: 6

Sri Lanka won: 5

Afghanistan won: 1

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Pitch Report

The surface at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium looks a good one to bat on. There will be plenty of runs on offer for batters once they get their eye in. The pacers can use slower deliveries while bowling on this deck as it has been effective as seen in the series so far.

Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan Weather Forecast

Clear skies will greet both sides on Wednesday. The temperature in Dambulla is expected to range between 22 and 33 degrees Celsius.
Watch the match live!

Ariana Television Network will broadcast Wednesday’s match live on Ariana Television from 6pm.

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