Dhaka, Feb 3 (UNB) – Arambagh Krira Sangha earned their 3rd consecutive victory in four matches to take a joint lead in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football beating formidable Chattogram Abahani Limited by 2-0 goals at their lucky home venue -- Rofiq Uddin Bhuiyan Stadium in Mymensingh on Sunday.
With the day’s feat, Maruful Haque’s Arambagh KS shared the top slot in the league with star-studded Bashundhara Kings, holders Dhaka Abahani Limited and Saif Sporting Club securing nine points each. Chattogram Abahani went down to the 6th slot in the league table with five points from four matches.
Mediocre Arambagh KS, which started their league campaign with 0-1 goal defeat against Sheikh Russel KC, smartly returned to the winning tone outplaying traditional Dhaka Mohammedan SC 4-1 in the 2nd match and maintained their good form beating Saif Sporting Club 1-0 in the 3rd match.
After a barren first half in the day’s match, Arifur Rahman and Paul Emile scored one each for Arambagh KS in a span of 13 minutes. Nigerian forward Matthew Chinedu, who scored the match-winner against Saif SC in the last match, also played an important in the day’s match assisting in both the goals.
Arifur Rahman put Arambagh KS ahead in the 61st minute, off a Matthew Chinedu pass (1-0) while Cameroon striker Paul Emile confirmed the Arambagh victory scoring the 2nd goal in the 74th minute, also by a Matthew Chinedu pass (2-0).
In the day’s other match, Saif Sporting Club beat Brothers Union Club by 2-1 goals to take joint lead in the league on Sunday at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here.
Deiner Cordoba scored the first goal for Saif SC in the 11th minute (1-0) while Bablu of Saif SC scored a suicidal goal in the 27th minute to level the Brothers margin (1-1).
Denis Bolshakov scored the match winner for Saif SC in the 60th minute.
Dhaka, Feb 3 (UNB) – Reining Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) runners-up Dhaka Dynamites are upbeat ahead of their Monday’s eliminator clash against Chittagong Vikings which begins at 1:30 pm at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Dynamites coach Khaled Mahmud Shujon said they are optimistic about beating the Vikings despite their poor show against the same team in the league stage.
The winners of Monday’s eliminator will play in the qualifier-2 on Wednesday at the same venue and same time against the losers of the first qualifier where Rangpur Riders and Comilla Victorians will meet each other on Monday at 6:30 pm.
The losers of the eliminator will be eliminated from the meet.
However, Shujon admitted that they are the underdogs in the eliminator as they lost both of their league matches against the Vikings. “Since we lost our league matches against them, we’re going to play this match with the underdog tag. But still we’re confident to beat them. We should concentrate on our thinking in our own game rather than assuming about the rivals,” he told reporters at the National Academy ground.
“Our top-order failed to click during the league matches against the Vikings. If you disappoint to get runs from the top-order, you can’t expect a good outcome. Though we won a match against Sylhet Sixers in spite of losing three wickets during the power-play, you can’t win all matches. So, the important thing is to keep wicket and score runs,” Shujon further said.
Dynamites lost the last BPL final against Rangpur Riders after a tremendous century of Chris Gayle. The Riders were struggling at the start of the season, but they have found the momentum as they won all of their last six league matches in a trot.
The Dynamites coach thinks they also got the confidence back after winning the last league stage match against Khulna Titans. He believes it can make them powerful as they were at the start of the season.
“To be honest, the last win against the Titans was a relief for me, and probably it helped us get the momentum back. I can’t say whether we can play the final on February 8, but we’ve got the confidence back which is the most important thing to play good cricket,” he added.
On the other hand, Vikings are also all set to lock horns against Dynamites. Right-arm pacer of the Vikings Khaled Ahmed said two wins (against Dynamites) in the league stage made them confident ahead of Monday’s knock-out clash.
“The Dynamites are a tough opponent, but it’s not a problem for us. We defeated them twice in the league stage. So, we’re confident about our game. If we can deliver our best, we can come out victorious,” Khaled said on Sunday.
While the Dynamites have some distinctive big hitters like Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Keiron Pollard in their armoury, the Vikings are lacking it. Khaled said: “It’s true that we don’t have big hitters like them. They’ll get the extra chances for it. So, we’re behind them in terms of having big hitters. But still, we’re determined to have it all against the Dynamites.”
Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine have been the best batsmen of the Dynamites as they accumulated 275, 255 and 234 runs respectively while Shakib also led the bowling line taking 21 wickets as well. Along the skipper, Rubel Hossain and Sunil helped the Dynamites scalp 16 and 14 wickets respectively.
In contrast, the Vikings secured their place in the top-four play-offs mostly with the help of their batsmen. Mushfiqur Rahim scored the highest runs for them with 418 in 12 matches featuring three fifties. Yasir Ali and Mohammad Shahzad accompanied him with great efforts as they produced 299 and 270 runs respectively. Abu Jayed Rahi and Khaled Ahmed were the main bowlers for them taking 18 and 14 wickets respectively
Australia, Feb 3 (AP/UNB) — Batsman Kusal Perera left the field in the second test against Australia on Sunday after he was hit on the helmet, the second Sri Lankan player in two days to leave with a head injury.
Perera was to undergo a mandatory concussion test after he was unable to continue batting at Canberra's Manuka Oval in the first session of the third day.
At lunch Sunday, Sri Lanka was 215-7 chasing Australia 534-5 declared, trailing by 319 runs. Wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella was out lbw for 25 on the last bowl before lunch, and with Perera unsure of returning, could be eight wickets down.
Fast bowler Mitchell Starc has taken 3-54 for Australia.
Perera ducked into a ball from Australian fast bowler Jhye Richardson and received treatment on the field, with play stopping for several minutes. He tried to continue and add to his 29 but play was stopped again shortly after as Perera left the field, which ended a promising 37-run partnership with Dhananjaya de Silva.
Perera was replaced by Dimuth Karunaratne, who had retired hurt on day two after being hit in the neck by a bouncer. Opener Karunaratne was cleared to return to the crease, less than 24 hours after being felled by a Pat Cummins delivery.
Play was stopped for almost 15 minutes on Saturday as Karunaratne was treated on the field before he was put on a stretcher and taken from the field to Canberra Hospital by ambulance.
He was released on Saturday night and given the all clear before Sri Lankan officials confirmed he could return to the crease.
Australia beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 40 runs in the first test at Brisbane.
Spain, Feb 3 (AP/UNB) — Nothing can silence the Camp Nou crowd like the thought of an injury to Lionel Messi — especially four days before a clash against Real Madrid.
So a chill ran through Barcelona's supporters during the Spanish league match against Valencia on Saturday when Messi sat down on the sideline, his right leg stretched before him, and received a massage from a team trainer.
Little did it matter that the team's all-time leading scorer had just struck two goals to lead Barcelona back from a two-goal deficit to secure a 2-2 draw. Any hint of Messi being sidelined with the season entering its critical phase with titles on the line immediately overshadowed yet another outstanding performance by the Argentine.
Messi may have been hurt when Valencia defender Antonio Lato ran into him.
The scare comes before Barcelona hosts Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal.
"Please don't let it be anything serious," Barcelona midfielder Carles Alena said. "We hope he will be back in full form on Wednesday."
Coach Ernesto Valverde said Messi was undergoing medical exams.
"He is bothered by something, but we will have to wait to see what the doctors say," Valverde said. "I imagine that it is not that bad."
Messi missed Barcelona's first clasico against Madrid in October due to a broken right arm. His teammates did fine without him, routing their fierce rival 5-1 and sealing the fate of coach Julen Lopetegui.
Madrid, however, is playing much better now. It has won four straight before hosting Alaves on Sunday.
Before his fitness put a damper on a thrilling match, Messi extended his scoring run to nine straight games across all competitions. His double took his league-leading tally to 21 goals in 22 rounds.
Barcelona's winning streak in la Liga ended at eight matches in a row. It leads second-placed Atletico Madrid by six points before its closest title rival visits Real Betis on Sunday.
Valencia took advantage of Sergi Roberto playing out of position as a fill-in left back for Jordi Alba. Daniel Wass led several attacks from Roberto's side, starting with a pass for Dani Parejo to test Marc-Andre ter Stegen before Denis Chershev put the rebound off the post.
Parejo started a move that produced Kevin Gameiro's opener in the 24th minute when he tackled Messi. That sprung a counterattack led by Rodrigo Moreno, who slipped a pass forward to set up Gameiro.
Parejo doubled the advantage from the penalty spot after Roberto knocked down Wass trying to dispute a cross.
Valencia lost Gameiro to injury shortly after when the striker asked to be substituted after being shaken up when he knocked heads with Gerard Pique.
Messi got his first goal from the penalty spot in the 39th after Nelson Semedo was fouled by Lato.
Messi struck again in the 64th when Arturo Vidal laid the ball off for him on the edge of the area. Messi quickly unleashed a curling, left-foot strike around two defenders, who impeded goalie Neto from seeing the ball until it was too late to react.
"We played at a good pace, counterattacked well, scored twice and could have scored more," Parejo said. "The team's performance was magnificent."
Celta Vigo broke a five-match losing streak and escaped the relegation zone by beating Sevilla 1-0 at home thanks to Okay Yokuslu's second-half goal.
Fourth-place Sevilla has won only one of its last six league games.
Real Sociedad defeated Athletic Bilbao 2-1 to deal its northern Basque Country rival its first defeat since the arrival of coach Gaizka Garitano.
Garitano had kept Bilbao unbeaten through seven league games since replacing Eduardo Berizzo in December.
Getafe's 0-0 draw at Levante was marred by 11 Getafe fans being arrested for provoking a clash with rival supporters outside the stadium in Valencia.
Getafe, which condemned the violence, rose to fifth as the small Madrid-based club continued its impressive season on the field.
Dhaka, Feb 2 (UNB) — Dhaka Dynamites beat Khulna Titans on Saturday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium by six wickets and booked a place in playoffs as the fourth team of the tournament.
Upul Tharanga adjudged man of the match for trucking 42 off 3 balls with four fours and two sixes to win the game for the Dynamites.
They will face Chittagong Vikings in the eliminator match of the tournament on February 4 at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium at 1:30 pm. If Dynamites can win that game they will advance to the second Qualifier of the tournament.
Titans posted a moderate total of 123 runs for nine wickets in 20 overs. Rubel Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan took two wickets each for the Dynamites.
Dynamites chased the target in 14.5 overs where Upul Tharanga and Sunil Narine added 43 runs in the opening stand and set the platform for the win.
Narine was the first man to get dismissed for the Dynamites. He posted 35 before hunting by Saddam Hossain. After his dismissal, Dynamites lost Shakib Al Hasan (1) and Mizanur Rahman (0) in quick succession.
However, Tharanga’s 42 along with Nurul Hasan’s unbeaten 27 helped the Dynamites to win the game with 31 balls to play.
Mahmudullah Riayd, the captain of the Titans, took two wickets for his team while Saddam Hossain and Taijul Islam bagged one wicket each.
While Dynamites qualify for the playoffs of the tournament surpassing Rajshahi Kings by run-rate, Titans finished the tournament at the bottom of the points table. They played 12 matches and won only two of them.