Dhaka, Jan 13 (UNB) - Right-arm pacer Taskin Ahmed said that he is eyeing to return to the national cricket team after showing outstanding performance against Dhaka Dynamites in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) on Saturday.
Taskin is playing for Sylhet Sixers who have managed to clinch only one victory in three matches of the sixth season of BPL.
“I always believe that I have the capability to play for the national side. But, the last year was really unlucky for me. I was injured in most part of it, and was in bad patch in the field as well. But now, I am trying to gain my best. I will surely try to do something remarkable if selected for the national side again,” Taskin insisted after ending up with three wickets for 38 runs against Dhaka Dynamites on Saturday.
Taskin was wicketless in the first match of the season for Sylhet. He bowled four overs in the match and conceded 31 runs but failed to grab any scalp. But the right-arm fast bowler made a strong comeback in the second and third matches when he took four wickets against Chittagong Vikings and three against the Dynamites.
“It is really great that I have done well in last two matches. Every match is important and I am trying to learn from my mistakes. I am happy with my performance,” the 23-year-old pacer further said.
Waqar Younis, the former Pakistan legend, is coaching the Sixers in BPL. Taskin insisted the former speed star is helping them to bring their game to next level.
“We - the local pacers- always try to take advice from him. He instructs us to bowl unpredictably. He always motivates us and tries to make us believe we can live up to the expectation,” Taskin said about Waqar.
Taskin Ahmed last played for the national side back in March 2018 in a T20I when he conceded 40 runs in four overs taking just a wicket. He featured in an ODI back in 2017 during Bangladesh’s last South Africa tour, but failed to impress as well. The lean performances threw him out of the national set-up.
Dhaka, Jan 13 (UNB) — Defending champions of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Rangpur Riders won the toss and opted to bowl first against Rajshahi Kings on Sunday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the fifth encounter of the contest.
Rangpur won two of their previous four matches, and in another two, they came up losing to Chittagong Vikings and Dhaka Dynamites. In the most recent match, they were beaten by the newcomer off-spinner Alis Al Islam who recorded a hat-trick and ended the match by taking four wickets.
On the other hand, Rajshahi Kings registered only a win in their three previous matches. The only win of them came against Khulna Titans who are yet to find a win in the ongoing BPL in spite of playing four matches so far.
Rajshahi Kings (Playing XI): Mominul Haque, Mehidy Hasan(c), Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Hafeez, Ryan ten Doeschate, Zakir Hasan(w), Laurie Evans, Arafat Sunny, Kamrul Islam, Isuru Udana, Mustafizur Rahman
Rangpur Riders (Playing XI): Chris Gayle, Rilee Rossouw, Mohammad Mithun(w), Ravi Bopara, Benny Howell, Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Nahidul Islam, Farhad Reza, Sohag Gazi, Shafiul Islam, Nazmul Islam
United Arab Emirates, Jan 13 (AP/UNB) — Iran and Iraq advanced to the knockout stages of the Asian Cup on Saturday with a game to spare.
Three-time champion Iran beat Vietnam 2-0 and secured its spot in the round of 16 when 2015 semifinalist Iraq beat Yemen 3-0 in another Group D game.
Another three-time champion, Saudi Arabia, moved closer to gaining its spot in the next round after beating Lebanon 2-0 in Group E.
With two wins each, Iran and Iraq meet in Dubai on Wednesday to decide the group winner.
Saudi Arabia meets Qatar on Thursday to close the group stage in a highly charged game amid the political tensions between the two nations.
The top two teams in each group and the four best third-placed teams advance to the round of 16.
It was a record ninth successive victory for Iran in Asian Cup group matches. Asia's top-ranked team has dominated possession and looked comfortable in its opening two games, scoring seven goals without conceding.
Iran's Sardar Azmoun took care of the goals against Vietnam, scoring in each half.
Saman Ghoddos crossed for the forward to put Iran ahead with a close-range header before halftime. Azmoun added his second in the 69th with a left-footed strike from the middle of the box for his third goal at the tournament.
Vietnam lost a second straight match after falling to Iraq 3-2.
Iran is led by former Real Madrid and Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz, who is chasing a major title with Iran after eight years in charge.
In Sharjah, Mohanad Ali Kadhim and Bashar Resan Bonyan scored with low shots from outside of the area early in the first half to give Iraq a comfortable advantage against Yemen. Substitute Alaa Abbas sealed it in second-half injury time.
Yemen and Vietnam are pointless and will fight for third place in Al Ain on Wednesday.
In Dubai, Fahad Al Muwallad opened the scoring 12 minutes into the game and Hussain Almoqahwi doubled the lead in the 67th.
With two wins from two, Saudi Arabia leads Group E with six points and could advance with a game in hand if North Korea fails to beat Qatar on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia won its opening two games at the Asian Cup for the first time since 1996, when it last won the title.
After two defeats, Lebanon faces a must win against North Korea to have a chance to make it to the next round.
London, Jan 13(AP/UNB) — Trailing 1-0 in a dreary London derby, what Arsenal manager Unai Emery needed was a creative spark to inspire a comeback at West Ham.
Mesut Ozil, perhaps? The playmaker wasn't in the starting lineup, but he wasn't on the bench either. And he was not injured.
Arsenal's highest-paid player — reputedly earning 350,000 pounds a week — wasn't in Emery's tactical plans so didn't make the trip across London to the Olympic stadium.
"I decided the idea of the players that I think are the best for this match," Emery said. "Today the players who were here are the players who deserved to be in this match. We could've won or lost."
But Arsenal lost — for the third time in six English Premier League matches — after Declan Rice's first goal for West Ham three minutes into the second half earned the victory.
"We tried for the reaction after the goal, but could not be efficient to create a goal," Emery said. "We need more, to recover our play."
Recovering league positions is proving harder. Fifth-place Arsenal fell six points behind Chelsea, which extended its grip on the fourth and final Champions League place after laboring to a 2-1 victory over Newcastle.
Wining the Europa League — something Emery achieved three times at Sevilla — might be Arsenal's only route back into the Champions League. In Emery's first season in charge, Arsenal is only two points better off after 22 games than in Arsene Wenger's final campaign.
Without a Premier League title since 2004, Arsenal looks far from being a contender anytime soon.
Liverpool, though, is well placed to end its 29-year league drought. After the leader's unbeaten start was ended by Manchester City and then it was knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolverhampton Wanderers, Liverpool beat Brighton 1-0 thanks to Mohamed Salah. The African player of the year netted a penalty four minutes into the second half after being brought down by Pascal Gross.
It put Liverpool seven points ahead of City ahead of the champion playing Wolves on Monday.
"It was not the best performance of the season in a few departments but from a maturity point of view, I would say it is the most mature performance in the season," Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said. "We are not the Harlem Globetrotters. We have to deliver results."
After being linked with a departure from Stamford Bridge, Willian insisted his "future is at Chelsea" after curling a winner into the top corner of the Newcastle goal in the 57th minute.
Chelsea should have completed the job far sooner against a struggling team after Pedro Rodriguez netted the opener in the ninth minute. But Ciaran Clark equalized in the 40th minute after leaping to reach Matt Ritchie's corner and heading past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
"It was difficult to kill the match," Willian said. "We have to be more clinical, but we have the quality to do it."
Newcastle dropped into the relegation zone, a point from safety.
On the rise
Southampton is out of the bottom three after winning at Leicester 2-1. James Ward-Prowse's penalty and Shane Long's first goal in nine months earned Southampton a fourth win of the season — three of them coming in the month since Ralph Hasenhuettl replaced fired coach Mark Hughes.
Tom Cleverley scored from a volley as Watford came from behind to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 and rise to seventh place.
Last-place Huddersfield was initially awarded a penalty at Cardiff after Florent Hadergjonaj fell in the box. But it was overturned after protests by Cardiff players and the game ended 0-0.
Fulham remains three points ahead of Huddersfield in next-to-last place. The London club led at Burnley through Andre Schuerrle's second-minute strike before conceding two own-goals in three minutes to hand Burnley a 2-1 victory. Jeff Hendrick's strike went in off Joe Bryan and his cross was inadvertently headed in by Denis Odoi to lift Burnley three points clear of the relegation zone.
Third-place Tottenham on Sunday hosts a Manchester United side enjoying a five-game winning streak in all competitions since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho.
Bournemouth is at Everton.
New York, Jan 13 (AP/UNB)- Cristiano Ronaldo was among several regular players who didn't start though defending champion Juventus nevertheless eased into the quarterfinals of the Italian Cup on Saturday.
Juventus, which achieved the league and cup double in the past four seasons, won at Bologna 2-0 and will next face Atalanta or Cagliari.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Friday that Ronaldo would play at Bologna and insisted the superstar was calm after being asked this week by police to provide a DNA sample in a rape investigation. Kathryn Mayorga alleges Ronaldo raped her in his Las Vegas hotel room in 2009 and paid her to keep quiet.
Ronaldo was in the reserves with fellow forward Paulo Dybala, while Mario Mandzukic, Juan Cuadrado, Andrea Barzagli and Joao Cancelo were injured. He was brought after the hour mark with the match all but won.
Bologna gifted Juventus the opener in the ninth minute as goalkeeper Angelo Da Costa collided with teammate Arturo Calabresi as they both went to defend Mattia De Sciglio's long ball, allowing Federico Bernardeschi to fire into an open net.
Bologna wasted chances to level and Juventus doubled its lead four minutes into the second half when Douglas Costa's shot was deflected and teenager Moise Kean fired in the rebound.
Juventus is scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia for Wednesday's Italian Super Cup against AC Milan.
Patrick Cutrone came off the bench to fire AC Milan into the quarterfinals.
The Italy forward, who turned 21 this month, scored twice in extra time to help Milan win at Sampdoria 2-0.
Milan, which lost last year's final to Juventus, will face Napoli or Sassuolo.
Milan and Sampdoria had their chances in regular time. Gonzalo Higuain even had the ball in the back of the net for Milan but it was ruled out for offside.
Gennaro Gattuso sent on Cutrone at the start of extra time and he threw on Andrea Conti in the 99th minute. Those two substitutes combined three minutes later to give Milan the lead as Cutrone volleyed in Conti's cross.
Cutrone all but sealed the result for Milan six minutes later when he dinked another volley over Sampdoria goalkeeper Rafael.
Difference of divisions
Lazio eased into the quarterfinals after thrashing third-division side Novara 4-1.
Ciro Immobile scored twice against one of the only two Serie C sides left.
The other, Virtus Entella, also travels to the Italian capital, to play Roma on Monday.
Lazio plays Inter Milan or second-division Benevento in the next round.