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T20 World Cup Final – All you need to know



(Last Updated On: November 12, 2022)

Pakistan will take on England in the T20 World Cup final on Sunday in what is expected to be a thrilling match.

Initially, Pakistan looked unlikely to even reach the semi-finals after they lost their first two Super 12 matches but Babar Azam’s side were given a late reprieve following a thrilling victory over Bangladesh on an epic final day of group play coupled with the Netherlands’ upset over South Africa.

Four wins on the trot heading into the final – including an impressive seven-wicket triumph over New Zealand in the semis – means Pakistan are in form and firing at the right time.

England meanwhile have had the more conventional lead into the final, despite only qualifying for the semi-finals due to a more superior net run rate than tournament hosts Australia.

Their worst performance was the narrow loss to Ireland last month, while their victory over India in the semis was as close to the perfect match as you can get.

Going in to Sunday’s match, which will be played at the MCG in Melbourne, here’s what you need to know.

How to watch:

Tune in to Ariana Television to watch the match live from 12 noon Kabul time.

Pakistan’s path to the final:

October 23 – lost to India by four wickets
October 27 – lost to Zimbabwe by one run
October 30 – beat Netherlands by six wickets
November 3 – beat South Africa by 33 runs (DLS method)
November 6 – beat Bangladesh by five wickets
November 9 – beat New Zealand by seven wickets

England’s path to the final:

October 22 – beat Afghanistan by five wickets
October 26 – lost to Ireland by five runs (DLS method)
October 28 – Match Abandoned against Australia
November 1 – beat New Zealand by 20 runs
November 5 – beat Sri Lanka by four wickets
November 10 – beat India by 10 wickets

Key players:

Pakistan: Shaheen Afridi – There’s a handful of important players in Pakistan’s highly-talented line-up, but none as influential as opening bowler Shaheen Afridi.

Afridi bowls with tremendous pace and his ability to swing the new ball early in the innings should be of concern to England’s talented top-order.

His teammates seem to work off the energy that Afridi provides, so a brilliant opening spell can help turn the match Pakistan’s way.

England: Jos Buttler – The England captain showed his class with an unbeaten 80 during the semi-final victory over India and he is the key wicket that Pakistan will be chasing.

Buttler has the ability to win matches of his own bat and you only need to look at his record over the last few years for his country at T20I level and at the IPL earlier this year to see how good he is.

Buttler has 10 T20I half centuries and one century to his name in England colors over the last two years and at the IPL this year hit four centuries on his way to a whopping 863 runs at an average of 57.

If Buttler fires then England will be very hard to beat.

Specific playing conditions for final:

There must be a minimum of 10 overs bowled to the side batting second in the final, subject to a result not being achieved earlier and there is a reserve day in place (Monday November 14) should play not be completed on Sunday.

Every effort will be made for the match to be completed on Sunday, with any necessary reduction of overs taking place and only if the minimum number of overs necessary to constitute a match cannot be bowled on Sunday will the match be completed on the Monday.

If the match is to be completed on the Monday then the match will resume at the point where the last ball was played.

There is 30 minutes of extra time available for the match to be completed on Sunday, while an additional four hours of extra time is available on Monday for the match to be completed.

A Super Over will be played should scores be tied at the end of the match and if the weather interferes and the Super Over cannot be completed, then Pakistan and England will be declared joint winners.

If at any time the umpires together agree that the conditions of ground, weather or light, or any other circumstances are dangerous or unreasonable, they shall immediately suspend play, or not allow play to start or recommence.

The decision as to whether conditions are so bad as to warrant such action is one for the umpires alone to make, following consultation with ICC Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle.

Team news:

While Pakistan look reasonably settled with their line-up, the same can’t be said for England with Jos Buttler’s side monitoring the fitness of two key players ahead of the final.

Speedster Mark Wood and top-order batter Dawid Malan missed the semi-final over India and will be given every chance to recover in time to face Pakistan on Sunday.

If Wood is fit then he will play, meaning veteran seamer Chris Jordan may be the unlucky man to make way despite his three-wicket haul in the semis.

Malan may earn a recall if fit too, giving England another left-handed option with the bat at the top of their order.

Likely Teams:

Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shan Masood, Mohammad Haris, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi

England: Alex Hales, Jos Buttler (c, wk), Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood


Starc hat-trick brightens damp Day 2 of World Cup 2023 warm-up matches



(Last Updated On: October 1, 2023)

Australia and Netherlands got some game-time under their belt in the first round of warm-up matches on Saturday, albeit in a match that ended in no result. Elsewhere, the India-England clash was called off without a ball being bowled.

Australia won the toss and opted to bat however the match was eventually abandoned due to rain.

But Thiruvananthapuram finally got to see some warm-up action at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 after Friday’s clash between South Africa and Afghanistan was abandoned due to rain.

Saturday’s action was also truncated by rain, with only a 23-over-a-side game possible after a late start.

Having already played three games in India recently and familiar with the conditions, Australia decided to experiment with their batting order by giving their lower order a chance with the bat.

Steve Smith opened the batting with Josh Inglis but the latter’s stay at the crease was cut short by a peach of an inswinger from Logan van Beek. Smith, meanwhile, was on the attack and scored a fiery 55 off 42 balls laced with four boundaries and three maximums.

Australia lost Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell in quick succession to the spin of Roelof van der Merwe and Shariz Ahmad respectively. Mitchell Starc came in at No.6 after Smith’s dismissal, and gave a good account of himself with an unbeaten 24 off 22 balls. Skipper Pat Cummins at No.7 couldn’t do the same.

Cameron Green gave the innings some much-needed impetus as well with a 26-ball 34 as Australia finished at 166/7 in 23 overs.

In reply, Netherlands were blown away by Mitchell Starc’s fiery spell that contained a stunning hat-trick. With three almost identical in-swingers, Starc removed three batters for golden ducks. He first trapped Max O’Dowd in front of the stumps before rattling the woodwork of Wesley Barresi and Bas de Leede.

Mitchell Marsh removed Vikramjit Singh soon after and Netherlands never managed to recover from the early loss of wickets. Colin Ackermann and Scott Edwards were the only two batters to get to double-digit scores and saved the Dutch from slipping further.

Just as a result was in sight, the rain returned in the 14th over and the match was abandoned with Netherlands at 84/6.

The Dutch will continue their stay at Thiruvananthapuram as they play their second warm-up game against India on Tuesday, 3 October. Australia head to Hyderabad to take on Pakistan on the same day.

England vs India

The warm-up match between India and England in Guwahati on Saturday was abandoned due to persistent rain. The only action possible was the toss, which Rohit Sharma won and elected to bat.

But just as the players were about to take the field, it started pouring and never relented.

Both teams will be hoping to get some game-time before the World Cup begins in the second round of warm-up matches. England will remain in Guwahati to face Bangladesh on 2 October while India travel to Thiruvananthapuram to face Netherlands.

Watch all warm up matches live

Ariana Television Network kicked off its live broadcast campaign of the ODI World Cup on Friday, September 29. Sadly, Afghanistan’s first warm up match – against South Africa – was rained out.

Both Afghanistan’s warm up matches will be broadcast live, on Ariana Television, along with other key matches. However, the balance of matches will be streamed live on our website.

Ariana Television broadcasts of warm up matches will start at 12:30pm on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. Live coverage of other matches, on the same days, will be streamed on our websites.

For the full warm up broadcast and streaming schedule see table below.

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North Korean lifters smash records at Asian Games



(Last Updated On: September 30, 2023)

Hosts China romped to gold in the men’s and women’s 100m sprints at the Asian Games as North Korea’s weightlifters scorched several world records on an action-packed Saturday.

Golds were up for grabs on a damp day in Hangzhou in everything from diving and eSports to athletics and roller skating, AFP reported.

China inevitably hoovered up many of them to take them to 114 golds in total at the halfway stage of the competition, well clear of Japan (28 golds) and South Korea (27).

The 100m sprints are among the most prestigious events of any Games and it was two Chinese speedsters who thrilled the raucous crowd with victories at the 80,000-capacity Hangzhou Olympic stadium.

First, Ge Manqi raced to the line in 11.23sec to take the women’s crown and then Xie Zhenye made it a double home delight with his winning time of 9.97sec for the men’s title.

Among other notable performances in track and field, the world’s number-two ranked pole vaulter EJ Obiena of the Philippines cleared 5.90m for gold and a Games record.

He admitted to mixed feelings, having relegated home favorite Huang Bokai to silver.

“The challenge is I feel a little bit like a villain today — it’s not my medal,” he said.

There were some eye-popping performances from North Korea’s women weightlifters.

They were competing at an international event for the first time since December 2019 after the country sealed its borders because of the pandemic.

But that did not stop them from shattering a slew of world records.

Ri Song Gum broke two world records in the women’s 49kg, the first weightlifting event in Hangzhou.

Then Kang Hyong Yong, a 24-year-old with no international pedigree, set a hat-trick of world records in snatch, clean and jerk, and combined on her way to gold in the women’s 55kg class.

China’s world champion Jiang Huihua, who took silver, said she was “surprised” at Ri’s success after such a long absence.

There were tears on the podium as Ri and Kang saluted the North Korean flag — which was hoisted once again in contravention of a World Anti-Doping Agency edict.

WADA declared the country’s national anti-doping body “non-compliant” in 2021 and slapped it with sanctions, including not being able to fly the flag at continental events.

“I feel very happy about breaking the world record and when I see my national flag flying I feel very excited to bring this good news to my people,” said Ri.

Fierce rivalries took center stage.

North Korea thrashed South Korea 4-1 in a feisty quarter-final of the women’s football.

South Korea, led by the English coach Colin Bell, included players who featured at the recent Women’s World Cup, where they went out in the group phase.

The neighbors, who are still technically at war, were locked at 1-1 when South Korea forward Son Hwa-yeon was sent off for a second yellow card close to half time.

North Korea made the most of their numerical advantage to score three times in the second period for an ultimately comfortable victory, their players celebrating wildly at the full-time whistle.

Pakistan and arch-rivals India then clashed in the men’s hockey group stage.

The highly anticipated showdown turned out to be a mismatch, however, as India thrashed their neighbors 10-2.

India also got one over Pakistan in squash, edging them 2-1 in the final of the men’s team competition.

Table tennis shock

In other action, China’s Zhang Zhizhen won the men’s singles tennis, adding his gold to the one collected by Zheng Qinwen in the women’s singles a day earlier.

“It’s been a very, very tough week, not just this match, but very tough for the whole week actually, from the first match onwards,” said Zhang.

In table tennis, the hosts won all five golds five years ago and are a global superpower in the sport.

But they were on the end of three defeats in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

In the biggest shock, the 16th-ranked Indian women’s pair of Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee — not related — defeated world champions Chen Meng and Wang Yidi 3-1 to reach the last four.

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Top ranked performers from each team rated ahead of ICC Cricket World Cup



(Last Updated On: September 30, 2023)

With the start of the much anticipated ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 just days away, warm up matches are now in full swing and excitement among fans is growing.

Here, we take a look at the best performers in each category of the MRF Tyres ODI Player Rankings – players that will be in action at the ODI World Cup.

Top ranked batter: Ibrahim Zadran (#18)
Top ranked bowler: Mujeeb Ur Rahman (#3)
Top ranked all-rounder: Mohammad Nabi (#2)

Afghanistan have two players inside the top three in the ODI rankings category, with former captain Mohammad Nabi leading the way as the No.2 ranked all-rounder.

Spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman is third in the ODI bowler rankings, while fellow tweaker Rashid Khan (fourth) is not far behind in this category. Young right-hander Ibrahim Zadran is Afghanistan’s highest rated batter at 18.

Top ranked batter: David Warner (#6)
Top ranked bowler: Josh Hazlewood (#2)
Top ranked all-rounder: Josh Hazlewood (#14)

In-form veteran David Warner continues to show great consistency at ODI level and is currently rated the highest Australian player on the list of ODI batters in sixth.

Experienced seamer Josh Hazlewood recently lost the No.1 ranking for bowlers to India’s Mohammed Siraj, but the right-armer remains second in this category and surprisingly high 14th in the list for all-rounders.

Top ranked batter: Mushfiqur Rahim (#21)
Top ranked bowler: Shakib Al Hasan (#17)
Top ranked all-rounder: Shakib Al Hasan (#1)

Evergreen skipper Shakib Al Hasan continues to re-write the record books on the eve of his fifth World Cup. with the Bangladesh star still holding on to the No.1 ranking in the category for ODI all-rounders.

Shakib has previously appeared at the 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 editions and amazingly held on to the No.1 ODI all-rounder ranking at the start of every tournament since his second appearance in 2011.

The veteran is also Bangladesh’s highest ranked bowler at 17, while Mushfiqur Rahim has their best ranking for batters at 21.

Top ranked batter: Dawid Malan (#14)
Top ranked bowler: Chris Woakes (#12)
Top ranked all-rounder: Chris Woakes (equal #11)

The ever-consistent Dawid Malan is England’s highest ranked batter, although skipper Jos Buttler (#17) is just three rungs behind the experienced No.3 and sure to press hard during the World Cup.

Reliable quick Chris Woakes holds the best ranking in both the bowling and all-rounder category, which isn’t a huge surprise since the tall right-armer was a major reason why England won the most recent World Cup when he claimed 16 scalps at the 2019 event.

Top ranked batter: Shubman Gill (#2)
Top ranked bowler: Mohammed Siraj (#1)
Top ranked all-rounder: Hardik Pandya (#7)

India are the only side at the World Cup that can boast to have a player inside the top 10 in each ranking category and newly-crowned No.1 ranked bowler Mohammed Siraj leads the way following his match-winning spell against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final earlier this month.

That catapulted Siraj past Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood and into the top ranking for ODI bowlers, while young gun Shubman Gill is within just 10 rating points of claiming the No.1 ranking for batters from Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. The experienced Hardik Pandya is also inside the top 10 in the all-rounder category.

Top ranked batter: Scott Edwards (#39)
Top ranked bowler: Logan van Beek (#51)
Top ranked all-rounder: Bas de Leede (#49)

Emerging star Bas de Leede is the Netherlands’ highest ranked all-rounder, but don’t be surprised to see the talented de Leede turn a few heads with his performances in India if he can continue the form that saw him dominate the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament earlier in the year.

Reliable captain Scott Edwards remains the Netherlands’ best in the ODI batter rankings at No.39, while seamer Logan van Beek holds the premier spot for the Dutch for bowlers.

New Zealand
Top ranked batter: Kane Williamson (equal #28)
Top ranked bowler: Trent Boult (#5)
Top ranked all-rounder: Mitchell Santner (equal #11)

The Kiwis have two players inside the top 10 of the ODI bowling rankings, with underrated left-armer Trent Boult leading the way in fifth ahead of fellow pacer Matt Henry in ninth.

Skipper Kane Williamson remains the leading New Zealand player on the list for batters at equal 28th despite his recent injury woes, while Mitchell Santner is equal 11th on the rankings for ODI all-rounders.

Top ranked batter: Babar Azam (#1)
Top ranked bowler: Shaheen Afridi (#8)
Top ranked all-rounder: Shadab Khan (#13)

Babar Azam has been a mainstay at the top of the ODI batter rankings in recent times and it comes as no surprise that the Pakistan skipper heads into this year’s World Cup hanging on to the premier position.

The always dangerous Shaheen Afridi is comfortably nestled inside the top 10 of the bowler rankings, while Shadab Khan goes about his business with a minimum of fuss in 13th position on the list for ODI all-rounders.

South Africa
Top ranked batter: Rassie van der Dussen (#3)
Top ranked bowler: Keshav Maharaj (#14)
Top ranked all-rounder: Aiden Markram (equal #23)

Middle-order performer Rassie van der Dussen has been holding his ground near the top of the ODI batter rankings in recent times and the right-hander enters the World Cup with just Babar Azam and Shubman Gill in front of him in the current list.

Experienced tweaker Keshav Maharaj is 14th on the list for ODI bowlers, while Aiden Markram continues to thrive at international level and holds on the equal 23rd ranking for all-rounders.

Sri Lanka
Top ranked batter: Charith Asalanka (#27)
Top ranked bowler: Maheesh Theekshana (#16)
Top ranked all-rounder: Dhananjaya de Silva (#17)

With star spinner Wanindu Hasaranga injured and set to miss the World Cup, much of Sri Lanka’s fortunes with the ball will fall to fellow tweaker Maheesh Theekshana (16th on the current ODI rankings for bowlers).

It’s Charith Asalanka that is Sri Lanka’s highest ranked batter at 27, while Dhananjaya de Silva occupies their best slot in the all-rounder ranks at 17.

Watch all warm up matches live

Ariana Television Network kicked off its live broadcast campaign of the ODI World Cup on Friday, September 29. Sadly, Afghanistan’s first warm up match – against South Africa – was rained out.

Both Afghanistan’s warm up matches will be broadcast live, on Ariana Television, along with other key matches. However, the balance of matches will be streamed live on our website.

Ariana Television broadcasts of warm up matches will start at 12:30pm on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. Live coverage of other matches, on the same days, will be streamed on our websites.

For the full warm up broadcast and streaming schedule see table below.

Continue Reading


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