Canberra, Feb 2 (AP/UNB) — Kurtis Patterson became Australia's third century-maker of its first innings against Sri Lanka, scoring an unbeaten 114 in the second test at Manuka Oval on Saturday.
Patterson made Sri Lanka pay for dropping him on the first ball he faced.
Australia's century drought, which dated to Dubai in October, ended as Patterson joined Joe Burns and Travis Head in reaching three figures.
Australia declared its first innings closed at 534-5 about an hour after lunch with captain Tim Payne also unbeaten on 45.
Sri Lanka played 13 overs before tea at 47 with no loss. Dimuth Karunaratne was 29 not out and Lahiri Thirimanne unbeaten on 17.
In the morning session, Australian opener Burns' career-best innings ended on 180 after being bowled. The Queensland batsman appeared set to become the first Australian to score a double century since Steve Smith's 239 against England in December 2017.
But Burns played onto his stumps off a ball from Sri Lankan fast bowler Kasun Rajitha, adding eight runs to his overnight score.
Vishwa Fernando was the best of the Sri Lankan bowlers with three wickets for 126 runs.
Burns' innings and his record 308-run partnership with Head (161) on the first day put Australia in an almost unbeatable position to ensure it wins its first test series since the 2017-18 Ashes.
Australia beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 40 runs in the first test at Brisbane.
Saint-Denis, Feb (AP/UNB) — George North accepted two gift tries as Wales rallied from 16-0 down at halftime to beat France 24-19 in a rainy Six Nations rugby opener on Friday.
Two of Wales' three tries were donated by French mistakes, allowing Wales to pull off the biggest comeback win in the tournament since it expanded in 2000.
Wales ran its winning streak to 10, one short of the national record set more than a century ago.
"The biggest difference between the two sides is that we're a side who's forgotten how to lose, whereas on the other foot they're a side looking for confidence," Wales coach Warren Gatland said.
"It was strange. To win this tournament, you need a little bit of luck. You saw that last year with Johnny Sexton scoring a last-minute drop goal in a game France probably should have won (against Ireland)."
No. 8 Louis Picamoles barged over for an early try for France, and left winger Yoann Huget added a neat second. Neither was converted but flyhalf Camille Lopez added a penalty and dropped goal to make it 16-0 by halftime.
France ended a miserable 2018 with a home loss to Fiji. So French fans could scarcely believe the halftime score against the team second in last year's tournament and a strong candidate this year.
Wales had to hit back strongly and did so as scrumhalf Tomos Williams and North scored converted tries to pull within two of France just 11 minutes into the half. By then Wales had already two tries disallowed.
Wales went ahead for the first time with a penalty by replacement flyhalf Dan Biggar, Camille kicked France back in front, then North intercepted debutant Romain Ntamack's ponderous pass to Huget and sprinted home from 55 meters for the clinching converted score.
While Wales overcame a sloppy performance, France still seems chronically unable to make the most of a winning situation.
"It's not a question of mental strength," France coach Jacques Brunel said, somewhat surprisingly. "It's more a lack of control."
France's selection promised a more mobile, attacking approach than previous years. They made the ideal start as Picamoles bundled over in the right corner in the sixth minute after sustained pressure.
On a slippery night, Morgan Parra missed two difficult goalkicks for France, and Wales kicker Gareth Anscombe, who made all of his goalkicks in the 2018 championship, botched his first shot.
But a slick four-man passing move opened up the French defense, and fullback Liam Williams rode a tackle to get over the line. But the try was disallowed on video review by a knock on, which Williams could have avoided by passing inside to his left.
A physical French side unsettled Wales and a one-handed reverse offload by flanker Arthur Iturria released Huget into space on the left touchline and he scored in the corner.
Parra again missed the extras. Anscombe followed suit to make kickers 0-5.
Still, the Stade de France crowd had cause for optimism, having long been used to watching a brittle and gritty France side.
Since Les Tricolores reached the World Cup final in 2011, the side has finished no higher than third in the Six Nations — and that was only once. But the fans were enjoying the show and the players fed off their energy.
Lopez took over the goalkicking from his Clermont clubmate and nailed a penalty and long dropped goal on the buzzer to make it a dream first half.
The fans were lapping it up.
Then it all went wrong.
"It's frustrating, a feeling of deja vu, like South Africa (last year) and like many other times," France captain Guilhem Guirado said. "Every team in the world manages to control the second half. Not us, unfortunately."
Tomos Williams finished off a Josh Adams break for a Wales try on his tournament debut, then Huget spilled the ball on his tryline under no pressure, and North scooped it up and scored.
Anxiety spread in the home crowd as Biggar's penalty put Wales one point ahead with less than 20 minutes left.
Fear turned to relief when a mighty effort from the French scrum drew an error near the line, and Lopez clipped over the penalty for 19-17.
Then Ntamack undid the hard work moments later with a sloppy pass and watched North streak away.
Wales takes momentum to Italy next weekend. Guirado has to rally his crushed players for England at Twickenham.
Abu Dhabi, Feb 2 (AP/UNB) — Long scorned for a lack of soccer pedigree, Qatar will enter the 2022 World Cup as the champion of Asia.
The Asian Cup was lifted by Qatar for the first time on Friday after a series of victories on the field just as improbable as winning the vote in 2010 that secured the FIFA showpiece for the small, super-rich Gulf nation.
While Japan entered the Asian Cup hotly tipped to win a fifth title, the Qataris hadn't even reached the semifinals before. But confounding the disparity in the FIFA rankings — with Qatar at 93 and Japan at 50 — the Gulf nation won the final 3-1 to claim its first major soccer title.
The strong attacking display was a reflection of Qatar's remarkable run over the last month in the United Arab Emirates, scoring 19 goals and conceding only once in winning all seven games.
"Qatar today is a top Asian team," goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb said. "We wrote history."
After upsetting the final favorite, players wrapped themselves in Qatari flags in a display of patriotic furor that will have resonated far beyond the stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Since joining other Arab countries in cutting diplomatic, economic and travel ties with Doha in 2017, the UAE warned residents that expressing sympathy for Qatar could lead to fines and imprisonment. The UAE is among a quartet of nations accusing its regional foe of supporting extremists, which Qatar denies, and even prevented the team from traveling direct to Abu Dhabi for the tournament.
There was even an attempt by the UAE to get Qatar disqualified after losing their semifinal. Tournament organizers confirmed only hours before the final they dismissed a challenge by the UAE against the eligibility of two Qatar players who were born outside Qatar.
One of them, Almoez Ali, scored the opening goal against Japan in the 12th minute with an audacious overhead kick. That gave him an all-time tournament record nine goals, surpassing Ali Daei's previous record tally of eight with Iran in 1996.
Abdulaziz Hatem doubled Qatar's lead with a curling strike in the 27th.
While Qatar conceded its first goal of the tournament in its seventh game when Takumi Minamino netted in the 69th, Akram Afif restored the two-goal cushion in the 83rd from the penalty spot.
"It's a huge disappointment," Japan captain Maya Yoshida said. "But we have to learn from this defeat."
Victory will give Qatar renewed hope of being able to compete against the globe's best teams when it qualifies for the first time for the World Cup — as hosts — in 2022.
"This result doesn't come from nothing," said defender Bassam Al-Rawi, the other player whose eligibility was questioned by the UAE. "It came with lot of effort. It came from determination. It came from immense hard work on the pitch. We were able to win today because we took all the chances."
There is an even stronger test for the squad in June when Qatar joins Japan as guest nations at the Copa America. Qatar is in a group with Argentina, Colombia, and Paraguay.
"This is one step more to continue developing the team to play another tournament in the summer and to be ready for 2022, to represent Qatar as a very competitive team at the World Cup," Qatar coach Felix Sanchez said.
Dhaka, Feb 1 (UNB) — After posting a challenging total of 165 for five, Sylhet Sixers bundled Chittagong Vikings for 136 for all in 18.3 overs and finished the sixth season of Bangladesh Premier with its fifth win by 29 runs.
Vikings suffered a big blow while chasing the target after losing both of their openers in three runs.
Mohammad Ashraful, the former captain of Bangladesh, failed to exploit his comeback to the playing XI. He played two balls but disappointed to add anything to the board. Right after Ashraful’s dismissal by Taskin Ahmed, Cameron Delport fell for two off three balls.
Vikings captain Mushfiqur Rahim struck 48 off 32 balls with three fours and as many as sixes but his effort was not enough to avoid an embarrassing loss to the Sixers, while Vikings already qualified to the playoffs of the tournament and Sixers have eliminated.
Besides Mushfiqur, Yasir Ali (27) and Mosaddek Hossain (25) showed some batting prowess but failed to manage an expected result.
Ebadat Hossain clinched his best bowling in T20s by taking four wickets for 17 runs for the Sixers. Along with him, Wayne Parnell bagged two wickets for them as well.
Earlier, with Andre Fletchers 66 off 53, Sylhet Sixers posted 165 in 20 overs in their last match of the ongoing season of BPL.
Vikings have won the toss and decided to bowl first in the wicket which is slightly better for the bowlers. They managed initial success taking two wickets for 37 as well. But in the third wicket stand, Fletcher and Sabbir Rahman added 65 runs.
Afif Hossain and Jason Roy were the first two batsmen to get dismissed for the Sixers. Afif scored only one run and Jason post 11 off 10 balls. Both of the wickets were hunted by South African pacer Hardus Viljoen who participated for the first time in BPL.
Sabbir was the third Sixers’ batsman to fall scoring 32 off 25 balls with two fours and as many sixes to his credit. Nayeem Hasan was the bowler to take the wicket of Sabbir.
After the dismissal of Sabbir, Fletcher and Mohammad Nawaz added 52 runs. However, their stand came to the end when they were dismissed by Hardus Viljoen at 153. Nawaz scored 34 off 19 balls with two fours and three sixes to his name, and Fletches struck 66 off 53 balls with six fours and two sixes.
Viljoen took four wickets conceding 29 runs and Nayeem took the other wicket for the Vikings.
Dhaka, Feb 1 (UNB) — Comilla Victorians defeated Dhaka Dynamites by one run on Friday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the Bangladesh Premier League.
Victorians posted 127 in 20 overs but Dynamites failed to chase it down in spite of superb efforts from Keiron Pollard and Andre Russell. Mohammad Saifuddin bagged four wickets for 22.
Dynamites needed 38 runs in last 24 balls. Saifuddin bowled the 17th over and gave away just one run and scalped the wickets of Pollard and Nurul Hasan Shohan in two successive deliveries.
Russell hit Shahid Afridi for two big sixes in the next over to amass 17 runs. Wahab Riaz was not fortunate enough to take the wicket of Russell in 19th over when he overstepped and Russell skied a catch which was taken in the third-man area.
Riaz conceding eight runs and took the wicket of Shuvagata Hom in that over.
The current runners-up of BPL required 13 runs in the last over to win the game. But Saifuddin finished the over conceding 11 runs and scalping Rubel Hossain, and subsequently, helping his side win the game.
The victory placed Victorians in the second place of the points table. They have 14 points in 11 matches with seven victories. The defending champions of BPL Rangpur Riders also achieved as many points but they have a better run-rate to lead the points table.
On the other hand, five consecutive losses made Dynamites’ chance to advance to the playoffs slimmer. Now, they must win the last game against Khulna Titans though the win itself will not ensure a place for them in playoffs. They also have to surpass the run-rate of Rajshahi Kings who have already secured 12 points from their 12 matches in the league stage of the tournament.
Dynamites started chasing 127 losing three wickets before posting 20 runs. The Sri Lankan recruit of the Dynamites, Upul Tharanga, failed to impress in his first match of the season. He fell prey to right-arm off-spinner Mehedi Hasan.
Right after his dismissal, Dynamites lost Mizanur Rahman and Rony Talukdar to Mosharraf Hossain and Saifuddin.
Dynamites skipper Shakib Al Hasan scored only seven runs. Their win now depended on Narine (22), Pollard (34) and Russell (30). But they were overshadowed by the superb bowling effort of the Victorians.
Saifuddin had his career-best bowling figures in T20s. Along with him, Mehedi Hasan took two wickets conceding 22 runs. Besides them, Wahab Riaz, Mosharraf Hossain and Afridi took one wicket each.
Dynamites had won the toss and opted to bowl first.
During the Chattogram phase of BPL, batsmen were enjoying a run fest in the batting-friendly wicket but began to struggle when the league returned to Dhaka.
Victorians managed to score 38 in the first wicket stand of Tamim Iqbal and Evin Lewis. West Indian Lewis fell for eight. He was dismissed by Narine.
Victorians lost their second wicket when Anamul Haque got out for a golden duck while facing Rubel. It was Anamul’s fourth duck in his last 10 games. He failed to touch a double-digit score eight times in his last 10 appearances
Imrul Kayes (7) and Shamsur Rahman (2) failed to manage big scores. Thisara Perera (9) and Mohammad Saifuddin (2) also disappointed with the bat.
Tamim was the best batsman for Victorians scoring 38 off 20 deliveries with four fours and two sixes. Besides him, Afridi (18), Mehedi Hasan (20) and Wahab Riaz (16) also contributed with the bat.
Rubel, the right-arm speedster of the Dynamites, scalped four wickets for 30 runs while Sunil and Shakib took two wickets each.
Victorians will play their last match of the league phase against Riders. Winning the battle will put them at the top of the points table.