After Azhar Ali Shocker, Yet Another Farcical Run-Out Has Twitter In Meltdown

Azhar Ali on Thursday hogged the limelight after his shocking run-out during the Pakistan vs Australia 2nd Test became the talk of the town. However, on Friday, another run-out video popped up on Twitter to rival the absurdity of the Azhar Ali run-out. Miles away from Abu Dhabi, where Azhar Ali embarassed himself to no end, Wellington, New Zealand was the scene for the newest viral video. During a Plunket Shield match between Wellington and Otago, all-rounder Nathan Smith and Michael Rippon were involved in a farcical run-out that has fans on Twitter in complete meltdown.

The incident took place in 47th over when Rippon flicked a ball down to fine leg and took off for what looked like a routine double. But while turning at non-striker’s end for the second run, he slipped twice.

Seeing his batting partner’s predicament, Smith tried to stop and turn suddenly but he too slipped in the middle of the wicket. Wellington wicketkeeper Lachie Johns nonchalantly took off the bails as both batsmen were on the ground.

The hilarious incident in New Zealand’s domestic match followed one of the most extraordinary run outs that has ever been seen in the history of Test cricket.

During Pakistan’s second innings, Peter Siddle got Azhar Ali to edge a delivery to third-man. Azhar Ali and batting partner Asad Shafiq were seen chatting in the middle of the pitch, without realising that the ball hadn’t reached the boundary.

Mitchell Starc retrieved the ball and threw it to Tim Paine, who quickly whipped off the bails, much to the shock of Azhar Ali. Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur shook his head in disbelief.

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Yuvraj Singh Pokes Fun At Chris Gayle, Compares Him To Science Fiction Movie Character

Yuvraj Singh Pokes Fun At Chris Gayle, Compares Him To Movie Character

Stylish left-hander Yuvraj Singh and Jamaican star Chris Gayle. © Instagram

Stylish left-hander Yuvraj Singh and Jamaican star Chris Gayle are well-known for their clinical power-hitting. The duo, on their day, can thrash any bowler and pile on misery on the opposition. Yuvraj and Gayle donned the same red jersey while representing the Kings XI Punjab in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL). Since then, the duo’s camaraderie off the field seems to have blossomed. Yuvraj, in particular, never misses a chance to poke fun at the West Indian superstar.

On Friday, Team India all-rounder Yuvraj took to Instagram and compared his Windies rival Gayle to a Hollywood science fiction movie character.

Yuvraj also fondly addresses Gayle by calling him ‘kaka’.

Gayle, on the other hand, laughed at the comparison made by Yuvraj. The Jamaican is currently representing the Balkh Legends in the Afghanistan Premier League 2018.

The 36-year-old Yuvraj, had recently wished Gayle on his 39th birthday saying, “Come on kaka move your legs youngster on your birthday @chrisgayle333”.

Yuvraj is currently out of favour from the national side. He played his last match for India against the Windies on June 30, 2017 at the North Sound in Antigua.

Gayle will miss Windies’ limited overs series against India after he opted out of the five-match series citing personal reasons.

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Ten-Wicket Mohammad Abbas Destroys Australia For Pakistan’s Series Win

This becomes Australia’s heaviest defeat against Pakistan, beating the 356-run hammering at this same venue four years ago.

It was Abbas who destroyed Australia with a haul of 17 wickets in the series — becoming the first Pakistani fast bowler to take ten wickets in a Test since Mohammad Asif’s feat against Sri Lanka at Kandy in 2006.

Abbas had jolted Australia with four wickets off just 23 balls while Yasir Shah finished with 3-45 to give Pakistan their tenth series win on the neutral venues of United Arab Emirates (UAE).

They have only lost one series — 2-0 to Sri Lanka last year — since being forced to play their home matches in UAE since 2009.

Pakistan were forced to play their home matches in UAE since attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.

Australia’s batsmen had no answers to his accurate seam bowling under cloudy conditions at Sheikh Zayed Stadium as only Marnus Labuschagne (43), Travis Head (36) and Aaron Finch (31) offered some resistance.

Yasir dismissed number ten Jon Holland soon after lunch to hand Pakistan victory.

The first Test ended in a draw in Dubai last week.

Australian opener Usman Khawaja could not bat after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury during practice on Thursday.

Abbas jolted the Australians in the seventh over of the day when he removed a solid-looking Head, getting an edge to substitute wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, deputising for Sarfraz Ahmed.

Sarfraz, who was hit on the helmet by a rising Mitchell Starc delivery on Thursday, had gone for a precautionary scan.

Head and Finch added 61 runs for the second wicket while Starc (28) and Labuschagne added 67 for the sixth wicket, but it only delayed the inevitable.

Abbas had Mitchell Marsh (five) and Finch (31) leg-before wicket and dismissed Tim Paine for nought — before Yasir Shah removed Starc and Peter Siddle for three.

Australia had reached 155-7 at lunch with the writing very much on the wall.

Pakistan made 282 in their first innings and then bowled out Australia for a paltry 145, gaining a match winning 137-run lead.

The highlights of Pakistan’s batting in this match were 94 and 66 from opener Fakhar Zaman in his first Test while skipper Sarfraz returned to form with innings of 94 and 81.

Both the teams now play a series of three Twenty20 internationals with the first in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

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Karim Benzema Hits Out At Attempted Kidnapping Claims

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has brushed off reports that he was involved in the attempted kidnapping of an acquaintance who owes him 50,000 euros. “This must stop,” Benzema said on his Twitter page Friday following a report by the Mediapart website implicating the exiled France international in the attempted kidnap. Mediapart’s report, published late on Thursday, claimed Benzema was personally involved in the alleged attempt because he was owed the money by a supposed victim identified only as Leo D. The report cites the testimony of Leo D., a former acquaintance of Benzema’s who filed a complaint with police on October 8 following the alleged kidnap.

The 33-year-old said close acquaintances of Benzema, including the player’s driver, attempted to load him into a black van in Paris on October 7 following the Paris Saint-Germain v Lyon league clash.

Mediapart said money owed to the player was behind the attempt and that the victim, according to his testimony, believes he saw Benzema in the back of the van.

Prosecutors in Paris have opened an investigation into the driver over the attempted extortion, a source close to the investigation told AFP.

Benzema, however, is believed not to have been present, according to the latest police reports.

Benzema’s lawyer Sylvain Cormier played down Leo D.’s claims, saying: “This man has not been signed off from work for medical reasons, he’s accusing a friend of Benzema’s of grabbing his arm, and we also know that Karim Benzema was not present.

“And yet, he (Benzema) is being accused of attempted kidnapping. It’s just grotesque.”

Benzema, who has not played for France since being left out of the squad ahead of Euro 2016, has been dogged by controversy in previous years.

In 2010 he was one of four French players charged with soliciting sex with a minor, 16-year-old prostitute Zahia Dehar. The charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.

In 2015 he was arrested over his alleged role in a sex-tape scandal in which former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena was allegedly blackmailed.

That episode put his France career on hold after then French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said “athletes need to be exemplary. If they are not, they have no place on the France team.”

The Paris appeals court is to rule in November on whether the sextape investigation can continue.

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Khaleel Ahmed Credits Zaheer Khan For Becoming “A Better Bowler”

Khaleel Ahmed made his India debut in the Asia Cup 2018 and wants to continue his good performance as the 2019 World Cup nears. Khaleel was named in the 14-man India squad for the first two One-day Internationals (ODIs) against the Windies, starting October 21 at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. Ahead of first ODI against the tourists, Khaleel credited former India pacer Zaheer Khan for helping him become a better bowler.

“I think I became a better bowler with his (Zaheer’s) advice,” the 20-year-old bowler said.

“I have spent a lot of time with Zaheer bhai during my two-year stint at the Delhi Daredevils. We played in different conditions during IPL and he always kept discussing on how to bowl on different surfaces,” he added.

Khaleel feels that a good performance against the Windies will serve him well with the 2019 World Cup looming large.

“It’s a good preparation for me for the World Cup. I want to take as many wickets as I can in the ODIs leading up to the World Cup. It will also boost my confidence and I will be under less pressure if I am picked for the World Cup,” Khaleel said.

In his second series with the senior team, Khaleel recalled how nervous he was before his debut against Hong Kong, in which he recorded impressive figures of 3 for 48.

“I was very nervous (for my debut) as my first tournament happened to be a big tournament like the Asia Cup. There was pressure. But after doing well on debut, I felt I could go further,” Khaleel recalled.

Even though it’s his second series, Khaleel said that the seniors have never made him feel like a newcomer.

“I never have felt that I’m a junior in the side. Seniors support me well. Everyone keeps talking to me and boost my confidence,” Khaleel said.

(With PTI inputs)

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Cricket Legend Shane Warne Says “Worrying Times” For Australia After Test Series Loss

Thanks to a fighting century from opener Usman Khwaja in the second innings, Australia managed to draw the first Test against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, in the second and final Test, a ten-wicket haul from Pakistan pacer Mohammad Abbas left the visitors in shambles as the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side registered a convincing 373 runs victory to win the series 1-0. The result came as a disappointment to Australian legend Shane Warne, who highlighted his concerns over the “very ordinary” performance from his national team batsmen.

Warne, on Twitter, said that the number of overs his national team batsmen could manage to last was a major concern to be addressed. He also congratulated Pakistan for their terrific all-round show.

Australian skipper Tim Paine was also left unimpressed with his side’s performance and reckoned that they let things slip from the onset of the match.

Paine said that their batting needs improvement and applauded Abbas for his prolific performance.

“Disappointing to let things slip from the first session on day 1. Our bowlers toiled pretty well on that wicket. It’s just our batting. Abbas tested our defence time and time again. Have to go on and improve. No sugarcoating, our batting needs to be addressed. He (Abbas) just challenges your defence. We weren’t good enough to keep him out for long. We came today with high hopes,” Paine said in the post-match interview.

After the Test series defeat, Australia will aim to bounce back in the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Pakistan, slated to begin from October 24 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

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Mohammad Abbas Receives Praise From Cricket Fraternity After Stellar Performance vs Australia

Mohammad Abbas became the talk of the town after he rocked the Australian top-order on two occasions in the second Test to help Pakistan register a convincing 373-run victory against Australia on Friday. Adjudged player of the match and series, Mohammad Abbas ended the Test with impressive figures of 10/95. Abbas’ fierce bowling in the Test against Australia garnered him praises from former cricketers as Pakistan recorded a famous victory against a new-look Australia at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Abbas also became the first pace bowler to pick up 15 wickets in a Test series in the United Aram Emirates (UAE).

While South African cricketer Dale Steyn made a bold Abbas claim saying that he sees a new No 1 Test bowler, former England captain Michael Vaughan said that Abbas is the kind of bowler who would dismiss him every single time.

Paul Collingwood also said that Abbas troubled him when he faced the Pakistan bowler the last month.

The 28-year-old bowler also became the first Pakistani pacer to take a ten-wicket haul in Test matches since Mohammad Asif in 2006. Incidentally, the top-five match figures by Pakistan fast bowlers in the last ten years have all been by either Abbas or Asif.

Currently, Abbas’ bowling average, 15.64, is the best for any bowler with 50-plus wickets in the last 100 years and fourth-best overall.

Talking about his performance, Abbas said, “Whatever the pitch, my job is to bowl to my strengths. I’ve been the man of the series back to back. Wanted to replicate my performances from England. Bowled to my strengths, to the opposition’s weakness.”

Abbas mentioned that this performance is a birthday gift for his daughter, who celebrates her birthday on October 20.

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After Test Series Loss, Australia Lose Two Places In ICC Test Rankings

Australia suffered a massive 373-run defeat in the second Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi on Friday that led them to lose the two-match Test series 0-1. The defeat means that Australia lost two crucial points and are now placed fifth in the latest ICC Test Rankings. Australia, who had started the series at the third position, are now on 102 points, behind New Zealand on decimal points. Australia began the second Test with India and South Africa ahead of them, but the loss saw England and New Zealand overtake Australia. England and New Zealand are placed third and fourth respectively. Though Pakistan made substantial gains in terms of points (88 points to 95 points), their position remains unchanged on seventh. 

The win against Australia helped Pakistan reduce the point gap and close in on Sri Lanka (97 points), who are placed sixth.

Currently, India sit atop of the Test rankings with 116 rating points followed by South Africa with 106 points. England are in the third position with 102 points in 23 matches. New Zealand (102) are just ahead of Australia at fifth spot with a lead in decimal points. 

Australia will now face Pakistan for a three-match T20I series, starting October 24 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Following this, Australia will host India for a three-match T20I and ODI series and a four-match Test series.

The T20I series will be played from November 21 to November 25. The Tests will be played from December 6 to January 7, 2019, and the ODI series will commence on January 12, 2019.

Pakistan, on the other hand, have a three-match Test series in the UAE against New Zealand that starts on November 16.

(With ANI Inputs)

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Former England Captain Feels This Pakistan Bowler Would Make Him ‘Soil His Pants’

As Australia were being decimated at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, the world took notice of Pakistan’s newest pace sensation Mohammad Abbas. Aged 28, Abbas is not a teenage tearaway pacer creating ripples on the world circuit. Having worked as a welder and a leather factory labourer in Pakistan, Abbas’ hard work on and off the cricket field is finally paying dividends. So much so that former England captain Michael Vaughan took to Twitter to pay a huge compliment to the right-arm fast bowler.

After Abbas wreaked havoc on Australia, Vaughan said that the Pakistani was the sort of bowler who would get him out “every time within about 6 balls” and make him soil his pants.

Abbas has been Pakistan’s most successful bowler since making his Test debut in the West Indies last year, taking 54 wickets in nine-and-a-half games.

And his prowess with the ball was there to see for all as he took five wickets for 33 runs to help Pakistan take a 137-run first-innings lead in the second Test in Abu Dhabi against Australia.

The Australians were bundled out for a paltry 145 in 50.4 overs with Abbas and Bilal Asif running riot.

By close on the second day Pakistan were 144 for two in their second innings, stretching the advantage to 281 runs with eight wickets intact as they bid to win the two-match series 1-0.

Abbas has taken seven wickets in the drawn first Test in Dubai last week.

When he claimed his 50th wicket in his 10th Test on Tuesday, Abbas became the joint-second fastest to achieve the feat from Pakistan alongside the legendary Waqar Younis, Asif and Shabbir Ahmed.

Team-mate Yasir Shah is the fastest Pakistani to 50 wickets — in nine matches.

(With AFP Inputs)

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Azhar Ali Explains The Bizarre Run Out During The 2nd Test vs Australia

Pakistan batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq were involved in a bizarre run out on Day 3 of the second Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi. Cricketers and fans alike were shocked after witnessing the comical run out. Azhar, in the post match press conference, explained what happened in the middle after he edged a Peter Siddle delivery towards the third-man region. “We were just discussing that the ball was swinging a bit late. We both didn’t actually realise something like this could happen. When Mitchell Starc threw the ball even then we didn’t think anything was happening but when it landed in the gloves of the keeper we realised something funny was happening,” Azhar explained. 

“The way the shot was hit to a fast bowler and the edge flew I thought it reached the boundary. But there is no excuse. Everyone was pulling our legs in the dressing room but at that moment it was a shock,”Azhar recalled.

“We were not watching the ball and that was the reason I missed the whole sight of it. I wasn’t happy with it and thankfully other batsmen did the job and we laughed about it afterwards. It is kind of disappointing and a shock but also funny,” Azhar further explained.

Azhar, who has played 66 Tests for Pakistan, said he is expecting some teasing from his 10-year-old son after the shocking dismissal.

“My son is going to speak about it (the run out) for a long time and in a funny way,” said Azhar of his 10-year-old son Ibtisam, who arrived at the ground after his father’s dismissal. 

“Whenever I will say something about cricket he will surely come back to this incident,” Azhar said.

Azhar denied there was any unsporting behaviour from Australian players in his dismissal.

“I don’t think it was bad sportsmanship and I take full responsibility as I feel I was a bit ignorant. It was nothing at all as no one got in my way or distracted me. 

“It was my own doing. I think the Aussies did the right thing.”

(With AFP Inputs)

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