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Tuesday,19-January-2021

International

England will probably be a touch light in their middle order, feels Waqar Younis

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Waqar-Younis

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis feels the team can cash in on the absence of star England allrounder Ben Stokes in the second Test starting from Thursday.

Stokes will fly out to New Zealand and will therefore miss England’s final two Tests against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl starting August 13 and August 21.

England had earlier dramatically won the first Test on Saturday to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

“If he (Stokes) is not around it’s unfortunate for cricket, but there’s no doubt he is a match-winner,” said Waqar as quoted by Sky Sports. The pace bowling legend coaches the Pakistan fast bowlers.

“England will probably be a touch light in their middle order, so we’re going to talk about that and try to cash in. He’s the kind of batsman who takes the game away from you – single-handedly at times.

But the way we bowled at him in the previous game showed we had very clear plans and executed (them) really well.”Pakistan’s three-wicket defeat notwithstanding, their pace attack of Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah – all impressed.

Naseem is very, very talented and he is still growing, his bones are growing,” added Waqar.

“What a talent he is.”I don’t think he really bowled as well as we expected in the previous game, but he can really bowl well and take the opposition on at times.”He is young, he is inexperienced and it gets tough at times. All he needs to do is probably get stronger and fitter.”Pakistan over the years has produced some real quality fast bowlers. If he keeps himself fit and strong and keeps bowling, I’m sure he has the potential to become a very good bowler.”

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India breach Fortress Gabba, first to beat Australia at the venue in 32 years

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India on Tuesday became the first team to beat Australia at The Gabba in over 32 years when they defeated the hosts by three wickets in the fourth and final Test and clinched the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1.

Chasing 328, India achieved the target in 97 overs with Rishabh Pant remaining unbeaten on 89. Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara also scored 91 and 56 runs respectively.

West Indies were the last one to beat Australia at what is considered a fortress for the Australian team.

In all, Australia had won 40 out of the 62 games they played at the venue prior to this match, losing just eight.

Four of those losses have come against England while three came against West Indies, the last of which was in 1988. One came against New Zealand.

India have played seven matches, losing five, drawing one and winning the one in the ongoing series.

This is also the first time Australia have not won at The Gabba since 2012.

Back in November 2012, they had drawn against South Africa. Following that draw, they beat England (twice), India, New Zealand, Pakistan (twice) and Sri Lanka.

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‘Will be available to play’ for Pak once Misbah and Co. leave: Mohammad Amir

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Left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir has made it clear that he would be available to play for Pakistan again only once the current support staff led by head coach Misbah-ul-Haq “leaves”.

Having already retired from Tests, Amir had last month bid adieu to international cricket alleging that that he had been “mentally tortured” and that he didn’t want to continue playing under the current Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management.

“I would like to clarify that yes I will be available for Pakistan only once this management leaves. So please stop spreading fake news just to sell your story,” the 28-year-old said in a tweet on Monday.

“I don’t think I can play cricket under this management. I am leaving cricket, for now. I am being mentally tortured. I cannot handle it. I have seen it enough from 2010-2015. I have to repeatedly hear that PCB invested a lot in me. However it is not the case,” Amir had said in December last year while announcing his retirement from international cricket.

He was part of the Pakistan squad that won the T20 World Cup in 2009 and was also part of the squad that won the Champions Trophy in 2017.

However, Amir’s career faced a downward spiral when he was banned for five years for his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal during the tour of England.

After serving his five-year ban, he returned to international cricket in 2015 and made his Test return in 2016. Amir, in 2018, called time on his Test career to focus entirely on white-ball cricket.

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Lionel Messi shown first red card of Barcelona career

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Star striker Lionel Messi was handed his first-ever red card of his Barcelona career during their 2-3 defeat against Athletic Club in the Spanish Super Cup final.

The incident happened in extra time of Sunday’s game when Messi was handed the red card for violent conduct against Athletic forward Asier Villalibre, reports goal.com.

It was the first red card the Argentine has ever received as a Barcelona player, coming in his 753rd appearance for the club.

Earlier, Antoine Griezmann scored the first goal of the match, putting Barcelona ahead in the 40th minute. However, the lead lasted for just two minutes as Oscar de Marcos netted an equalizer for Athletic.

Griezmann then again put Barca in the lead in the 70th minute. However, Athletic club’s Asier Villalibre levelled the score in the 90th minute before Inaki Williams scored the winning goal three minutes later.

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