Dhaka, July 19 (UNB) – Sri Lanka A’s 67-run win against hosts Bangladesh A in the 2nd unofficial One-day International at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Thursday made the 3rd game as series decider.
Bangladesh took the lead 1-0 in the series with a two-run win in the 1st game, but the visitors bounced back in the 2nd match 1-1.
Chasing a target of 276 runs, Bangladesh finished on 208 for all in 44.3 overs where Al-Amin [46 off 65b; 4x4; 1x6] top-scored for the side.
Zakir Hasan [32 off 37b; 4x4; 1x6] could cross the 30-run mark while opener Saif Hassan , Ariful Haque , skipper Mohammad Mithun , Afif Hossain  and Soumya Sarkar  were other double digit scorers for the side.
Malinda Pushpakumara (3/32) and Nishan Peiris (3/39) shared six wickets for the winners.
Batting first after winning the toss, Sri Lanka posted 275 for all in 49.4 overs where skipper Thisara Perera hit a century of 111 off 88 balls, including nine boundaries and five sixes.
Man of the match Thisara was caught by Saif Hassan off Shoriful Islam on 250/9 in 46.3 overs.
Left-handed top order batsman Upul Tharanga [44off 51b; 4x4; 1x6] fell short by four runs for a half century while number-10 batsman Shehan Madushanka played an innings of run-a-ball 36, firing two boundaries and two sixes, to be another notable scorer for Sri Lanka.
Nayeem Hasan (3/42), Sunzamul Islam (2/21) and Shoriful Islam (2/42) shared seven wickets for Bangladesh.
The series decider will be played at the same venue on Saturday.
Leeds, Jul 18 (AP/UNB) — England won a one-day international cricket series against India for the first time since 2011 after coasting to an impressive eight-wicket win at Headingley on Tuesday.
After containing India to 256-8, England's Joe Root and captain Eoin Morgan combined for an unbeaten 186 runs to win with 33 balls to spare and clinch the three-match series 2-1.
Root reached 100 by hitting fast bowler Hardik Pandya through midwicket for his 10th boundary and the winning runs. It was his second successive hundred.
Morgan, dropped on 85, finished on 88 not out off 108 balls, including nine boundaries and a six.
"It feels fantastic," Root said of the series triumph.
"To come into a big series like this, it's a testament to the hard work the guys did when they set the tone early with the ball, kept taking wickets, and were ruthless at the end.
"The best thing about today is knowing it was a must-win game, the pressure of that, and being able to stand up to it."
They easily handled the threat of India wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who combined for 20 overs, conceded 96 overs, and no wickets. Chahal would have had Root stumped on 69 but he committed a front-foot no ball.
New medium-pacer Shardul Thakur took the only bowler's wicket, taking out Jonny Bairstow in the fifth over after a rapid 30. When the other opener James Vince was run out for 27 in the 10th over, Morgan joined Root and the pair set about stripping confidence from the Indians.
After winning nine successive ODI series, India lost one for the first time in 2 1/2 years.
Having split the limited-overs series — India won the Twenty20s, England the ODIs — the first of five tests begins on Aug. 1 at Edgbaston.
Despite Root and Morgan guiding England home, spinner Adil Rashid received man of the match for three wickets, including a stunning dismissal of India captain and top-scorer Virat Kohli.
Kohli backed up to a delivery that turned from leg stump and knocked over his off stump. Surprised, Kohli was out for 71 off 72 balls, including eight boundaries.
"The most satisfying wicket I've taken," Rashid said.
Suresh Raina departed in the same 31st over, edging to Root at leg slip on 1. India was 158-5.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was given out in the next over but reprieved on video review. He tried to corral the tail and led India past 200, but another four overs passed without a boundary and Dhoni was out in the 46th, edging David Willey behind on 42 off 66 balls.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was out on the last ball, giving Willey a third wicket.
India, made to bat first, failed to fire. It was 32-1 after 10 overs, contained by good bowling and fielding. Only Kohli got a half-century, after he was dropped on 23. But even he battled to get on to top of the bowling.
"They suffocated us throught the middle overs really well," Kohli said. He believed they were 30 runs short of a decent total.
Nobody cleared the boundaries until the 49th over, when Thakur, picked for his bowling, hit Ben Stokes twice over the deep square fence.
Opener Rohit Sharma reflected India's batting decline. After an unbeaten 137 in the first ODI win, he scratched 15 in the second and only 2 in the third, wasting 18 deliveries.
Sydney, Jul 17 (AP/UNB) — Eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt will trial for six weeks with the Central Coast Mariners from next month in a deal which could see him play for a season in Australian football's A-League.
Australian football agent Tony Rallis said Monday a "deal between the Mariners and Usain Bolt in principle has been agreed, subject to a couple of benchmarks."
Rallis said it would be necessary for the 31-year-old Bolt to trial and for Football Federation Australia to support his salary.
"Once the FFA comes back and says that they'll be part of the process, we're going to the trial," Rallis said
Bolt has a long-held ambition to play professional football and, since his retirement from the track, has trialed with Germany's Borussia Dortmund and Stromsgodset in Norway.
"If he's competitive, he will lift our A-League profile," Rallis said. "He will create dreams for young people and he will give the A-League a profile no amount of money can buy. This bloke's an ambitious athlete. The A-League needed a hero and we got superman."
Rallis said the owner of the Mariners would guarantee 70 percent of his salary and the FFA would be expected to fund the remainder.
Mariners chief executive Shaun Mielekamp said there was still a lot of work to do and a trial was imperative to determine Bolt's skill level.
"It would only be big if he can play and if he can go really, really well," he said. "Beause if he comes and he's not up to the level then it actually has a detrimental effect.
"But if he comes and he's as good as our reports are saying that he can be, then that would be very exciting and I'm sure that this stadium would be pretty full every time he put the boots on."
Moscow, Jul 16 (AP/UNB) — Taking turns sliding across the rain-soaked turf holding the World Cup trophy tight, teenager Kylian Mbappe and the rest of France's players acted like the youthful bunch they are.
Nothing, not a Pussy Riot protest nor a postgame downpour that soaked Russian President Vladimir Putin, was going to stop the party.
It carried on long after a thrilling 4-2 win over Croatia on Sunday. In the locker room with French President Emmanuel Macron striking poses with players, then a champagne-spraying, water-splashing interruption of the coach Didier Deschamps' news conference.
"Sorry! They're young and they're happy," said Deschamps, like a proud father.
Deschamps had good reason to indulge them. His team is mostly aged 25 or under and can return almost intact to defend their title in 2022 in Qatar.
"Our children are going to be very proud," forward Antoine Griezmann said. "The World Cup, it's a lot."
The 19-year-old Mbappe became only the second teen after Pele to score in a World Cup final.
Mbappe had just shown his electrifying speed in the 52nd minute when play was held up by four protesters who ran onto the field. Russian punk band Pussy Riot later took credit for the incident — watched from the VIP seats by Putin, whose government once jailed members of the activist group. Charges were filed against the group Sunday, too.
Putin was later on the field to award medals to the players in a ceremony soon drenched in rain and joy. As thunder pealed and lightning cracked, FIFA president Gianni Infantino handed France captain Hugo Lloris the gold World Cup trophy.
Gold confetti stuck to the soaked Les Bleus as they paraded the trophy around the Luzhniki Stadium, a final act of an enthralling tournament in which Croatia reached its first final while powers Brazil, Germany and Argentina went home early.
About 12 minutes after a protester gave Mbappe a double high-five on the field, Mbappe sent a right-footed shot from 25 yards (meters) past goalkeeper Danijel Subasic . The goal put France up 4-1, closing the door on Croatia who had been the better team until Mbappe took control.
The only other teen to score in a World Cup final was Pele, who was 17 when Brazil beat Sweden 5-2 in 1958.
Mbappe, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain in the French league, was born months after France won its only other World Cup title in 1998.
"I have a whole story to write," Mbappe said. "This is just the beginning."
Paul Pogba and Griezmann, France's two other key creative players, also scored. Pogba played a disciplined role in Russia, but his natural joy was evident celebrating his 18-yard (meter) shot, and leading the champagne shower for Deschamps.
But it was Mbappe who put the match out of reach with a furious passage of play in the second half. In the 59th, a run from Mbappe started a play that ended up with Pogba on the edge of the penalty area. With his second attempt, the midfielder curled his shot beyond Subasic.
Griezmann scored from the penalty spot in the 38th minute fully four minutes after his corner kick was knocked out of play by Ivan Perisic's arm. The referee ruled it handball only after a video review, just as the first thunders claps boomed around the stadium.
"In a World Cup final, you do not give such a penalty," Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said.
France took the lead in the 18th when Croatia's tallest outfield player, 1.90-meter (6-foot-3) forward Mario Mandzukic, rose to meet Griezmann's free kick with the top of his head. He deflected it past his own goalkeeper.
Perisic and Mandzukic both scored for Croatia, first to equalize in the 28th minute and later as a consolation goal in the 69th, embarrassing Lloris with a flicked shot as the France goalkeeper tried to dribble the ball out of his goalmouth.
But the three-goal lead was too much for the red-and-white-checkered squad that made a habit of coming back at the World Cup — and played three straight 120-minute games before the final.
"We were dominant, we had control," Dalic said through a translator. "What we've had in terms of luck over the tournament, we lacked that today."
Deschamps became only the third man to win the World Cup as a player and a coach. He joined Mario Zagallo of Brazil and Franz Beckenbauer, who captained West Germany.
France's captain 20 years ago, Deschamps was lifted up by his players on the field and flung into the air several teams and caught. The normally staid coach did a few skipping dance steps in the rain before stopping and laughing at himself.
It was that kind of unbridled evening for the French who won with an exuberance not often seen in a mostly efficient, controlled title run.
Back home in France, tens of thousands of fans headed to the Eiffel Tower to watch a broadcast on giant screens that Paris police closed the area more than two hours before kickoff.
Two years ago at home, France flopped in a European Championship final it was expected to win against Portugal.
"But maybe if we had been European champions we would not be champions today," Deschamps said.
Putin watched the game in a VIP section with the presidents of France and Croatia, Emmanuel Macron and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.
Macron paced nervously out of his seat during the video review, and kissed his Croatian counterpart on both cheeks to console her after the game. They joined the medal ceremony and both kissed the gold trophy before it got to Lloris.
The two previous finals were 0-0 after 90 minutes before being settled with a single goal deep into extra time.
Three goals in the first half was the most prolific since 1974, when West Germany went into the break up 2-1 against the Netherlands. That was the final score.
The six-goal final was the most since England beat West Germany 4-2 in 1966. It also ensured the 2018 World Cup had only one scoreless game, when France last played at Luzhniki Stadium against Denmark.
Moscow, Jul 12 (AP/UNB) — Croatia's legs seemed heavy, burdened by the accumulated toll of consecutive penalty-kicks wins needed to get this far. England had gone ahead with a free kick just five minutes in, dominated play and appeared headed to its first World Cup final since 1966.
Then the second half started and it was as if a different Croatian team had replaced the lethargic one.
Ivan Perisic tied the score in the 68th minute , Mario Mandzukic got the go-ahead goal in the 109th and Croatia shocked England with a 2-1 victory Wednesday that advanced a nation of just over 4 million to a World Cup final against France.
"Mentally strong team," midfielder Ivan Rakitic said. "It's just unbelievable to get back in the game in this way."
When the final whistle blew and they knew they were going to their first World Cup final, the Croatians ran to their jumping and cheering fans in their iconic red-and-white checkered jerseys. Croatia joined an exclusive club of 13 nations that advanced to a World Cup final, doing it in a tournament where powers Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Spain made early exits.
"They've had an incredible route to the final. They've shown remarkable character," said England coach Gareth Southgate, who for now will be remembered more for a fashionable waistcoat than ending a half-century of hurt.
France, which won its only title at home in 1998, will have an extra day of rest after beating Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday.
Croatia, coming off 360 intense minutes at soccer's highest level, faces its biggest sporting moment since becoming an independent nation in 1991.
"We started slowly, but we've shown our character, just as we did in the previous two knockout rounds when we were one-goal down," Perisic said.
Fans back home in Zagreb took to the streets to celebrate, lighting flares and waving flags in a sea of exuberance.
"We are a nation of people who never give in, who are proud and who have character," said coach Zlatko Dalic, who wore a checkered jersey to his post-match news conference. "There's no weakness in a team that is in the final."
England was not among the top 10 nations in ticket sales before the tournament, but the team's progress caused gallivanting supporters to flock to Moscow.
The front of the stands behind one goal was filled with more than two dozen white banners with a red Cross of St. George, pledging support from many of the island's clubs, from Bradford to Wolverhampton. Back home, a crowd of 30,000 was in London's Hyde Park for a large-screen viewing, the British Beer and Pub Association predicted supporters would buy 10 million extra pints at pubs during the match, and No.1 Court at Wimbledon was less than one-third full for the men's quarterfinal between John Isner and Milos Raonic.
Promise seemed about to be fulfilled when Kieran Trippier curled in a free kick in the fifth minute for his first international goal, above leaping Dejan Lovren and Mandzukic and past the desperate dive of goalkeeper Danijel Subasic. Choruses of "God Save the Queen" began in England's end.
"We had a couple chances after that to get the second, give ourselves a bit more breathing room," England captain Harry Kane said.
Football will not be coming home to England, and there will be no title to match the 1966 triumph at Wembley Stadium. Kane & Co. will deal with the same disappointment that felled Shearer and Platt, Gazza and Wazza, Beckham and Gerrard. And Southgate, whose penalty-kick failure led to England's previous semifinal loss in a major tournament, in the 1996 European Championship semifinals.
"Impossible to say anything to them that is going to make them feel better at this point," Southgate said after England's fourth straight loss in a major tournament semifinal.
Croatia tied the score after Rakitic switched the ball from left flank to right, where Vrsaljko crossed. Kyle Walker attempted a diving header to clear. Perisic jumped and from behind raised his left boot over Walker's head to poke the ball past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from about 8 yards for his fourth World Cup goal, including two in this tournament.
Mandzukic scored after Walker stuck out a leg to block Josip Pivaric's cross. The ball popped up, and Perisic outjumped Trippier to head the ball toward goal. Mandzukic alertly reacted to the unexpected ball in the penalty area, splitting defenders Stones and Harry Maguire, who both had taken four short steps up. The ball bounced twice, Mandzukic ran onto it and one-timed a low, left-footed shot to Pickford's left.
"Three times 120 minutes and fresher legs today than the English team," Lovren marveled.
Mandzukic ran to a corner and was mobbed by teammates, who jumped on him and trapped photographers under them in the crush.
Not long after, Dalic was thinking about the short recovery time before the final.
"It's our fault. Why didn't we score earlier?" he said. "Why didn't we finish the job in regulation time?"
Rakitic wasn't worried.
"We still have lots of energy in the tank," he said.
No players are suspended for the final.
Croatia defender Domagoj Vida was jeered by fans whenever he touched the ball. He received a warning from FIFA for shouting "glory to Ukraine" in a video posted after Croatia beat Russia in the quarterfinals.