Dhaka, Mar (UNB) — Mashrafe Bin Mortaza took six wickets to help Abahani Limited defeat Gazi Group Cricketers by 29 runs on Friday in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League (DPDCL).
It was Abahani’s sixth win the league and Gazi’s fifth loss. With the day’s victory, Abahani cemented their place at the top of the points table.
Mashrafe was adjudged the man of the match. It was his sixth five-wicket haul in List-A cricket.
Gazi won the toss in the seventh round game and decided to bowl first in the flat wicket of BKSP.
Abahani posted 286 runs for six wickets in 50 overs. Former national cricketer Jahurul Islam struck a century (130) with 14 fours and two sixes.
Jahurul and Soumya Sarkar added 66 runs in the first wicket stand. Soumya, going through a rough patch, got out after scoring 29. Mosaddek Hossain, on the other hand, made an impressive 71.
For Gazi, Kamrul Islam Rabbi and Nasum Ahmed took two wickets each while Abu Hider and Parvez Rasool took one each.
But the team tumbled in 48.4 overs scoring 257.
Gazi lost their first wicket in the second ball of innings. Rony Talukdar was the first man to get dismissed by Mashrafe.
Imrul Kayes, coming in at number three, hit 126 off 118 deliveries with 15 fours and five sixes. Shamsur Rahman was the team’s second highest scorer with 30 runs.
Mashrafe took five more wickets conceding 46 runs.
Miami Gardens, Mar 29(AP/UNB) — Ashleigh Barty waited six hours to get her spot in the Miami Open women's final. Denis Shapovalov needed to pull off yet another comeback to earn his berth into the semifinals.
Roger Federer, meanwhile, made winning seem relatively easy.
And Simona Halep's chance to return to No. 1 in the world fell apart against Karolina Pliskova.
Federer is back in the Miami semifinals, the No. 4 seed winning the first eight games of his match and eventually ousting sixth-seeded Kevin Anderson 6-0, 6-4 as part of a very long, very soggy Thursday at Hard Rock Stadium. He won a marathon ninth game of the final set to break Anderson for a 5-4 lead, then served it out at love.
"I got a bit lucky there at the end," Federer said. "But it was a great fight by Kevin and of course I enjoyed the match."
Anderson hadn't lost a set 6-0 since October 2016 — 353 sets ago. He rallied from a break down to get back on serve in the second, before Federer took control at the end.
"They just don't happen often enough," Federer said of that 6-0 first set. "I think I played a really, solid, nice first set with very few mistakes."
Mistakes doomed Halep, who lost to fifth-seeded Pliskova 7-5, 6-1. Pliskova was up 5-0 in the second set when play was interrupted — for at least the sixth time Thursday — by rain shortly before midnight. Halep, the No. 2 seed, would have replaced Naomi Osaka as the top-ranked women's player if she won the semifinal.
She led 5-3 in the opening set, and just unraveled. Pliskova won nine consecutive games before the skies opened during a changeover. After waiting about an hour for the rain to stop and the court to be dried, she needed only four more minutes of play and finished out the match at 1:11 a.m. — or 6:11 a.m. Friday in her native Czech Republic, 7:11 a.m. Friday in Halep's native Romania.
So the day's winners were Federer, Shapovalov, Barty, Pliskova and the rain.
"We can't control the weather," Barty said.
Barty walked away from tennis about five years ago, saying she was basically burned out at 17. She returned three years ago. And now at 22, she's better than ever.
The 12th-seeded Barty endured enduring three rain delays on Thursday before ousting 21st-seeded Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-3 in the first women's semifinal. Next up is the biggest final of her singles career, against Pliskova.
"Obviously, I've been doing the right things throughout the week to put be able to put myself in a position to play for a title," Barty said. "You have to go out there and embrace it."
Barty, who will rise to a career-best No. 9 in the world ranking next week, was to take the court for the semifinal against Kontaveit at 1 p.m. Rain pushed their start time back to 2:08, and the delays were just getting started.
They got three games — six minutes of tennis — in before the first in-match delay stopped things for more than two hours. They got another game in before more rain arrived, prompting another two-hour delay.
At 7:32 p.m., finally, Barty could celebrate. Kontaveit fended off one match point with a forehand drop shot, but was ousted by an ace on the following point. Barty was down 3-1 in the second, but won the final five games.
"Very long day," said Barty, who passed the time in the locker room by drinking coffee and watching golf. "But for me, it's an opportunity to come out and play another match."
Federer is 37 years old. That's the combined age of the two Canadian teens in the men's semifinals — Shapovalov, 19, will face Federer on Friday night, and the 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime will meet defending Miami champion John Isner of the U.S. earlier Friday.
"It's great for the game because they will carry the sport when we're long gone and we'll be sitting on the couch watching those guys slug it out," Federer said about the young Canadians. "It'll be a joy to watch because not only are they great, great players but they're good people, too."
Shapovalov reached the semifinals by beating 28th-seeded Frances Tiafoe 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2 — the third time in four matches at this tournament that he rallied from a set down before prevailing. And the success for Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov in Miami follows the story of 18-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu winning the title at Indian Wells earlier this month.
O, Canada, indeed.
"Pretty crazy. Everyone is super excited back home," said Auger-Aliassime, who wasn't in the top 100 of the world rankings two months ago and now will climb to No. 33 next week — if not higher. "It's great to hear all these good comments from them. It puts a lot of belief in tennis in Canada. I think all the Canadian players from the young kids to Denis and Bianca and I, there is a lot of belief right now, so it's great to see."
Sydney, Mar 29 (AP/UNB) — Steve Smith and David Warner on Friday ended their 12-month ban for their role in Australian cricket's ball-tampering scandal.
But how soon and how warmly they will be welcomed back in an Australian team that has reshaped itself in their absence remains unclear.
Former captain Smith and vice-captain Warner are expected to be named to the Australian squad for the World Cup, which begins in England in late May. Their recall will inevitably result in players being left out who have played in their absence. Also absent has been young batsman Cameron Bancroft who served a nine-month ban.
Smith and Warner briefly met with Australian players in Dubai earlier this month. Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts called the meeting a "positive step" toward the reintegration of the suspended trio. But he said "a meeting in Dubai doesn't mean everything is fixed."
"What we're focused on is doing everything we can to support Dave, Steve, Cameron and all the other players in support staff with this reintegration to build harmony rather than to disrupt the harmony that is building," Roberts said at the Melbourne Press Club. "At the same time, let's be open about it. At any workplace you don't have to be best mates with everyone you work with."
Australian media reports on Friday revealed the breadth of the fracture between Warner and his teammates immediately after the ball-tampering scandal during last year's test series in South Africa.
The Sydney Morning Herald, quoting numerous sources, said star bowlers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyons considered refusing to play in the fourth test of last year's series against South Africa if Warner were selected.
The so-called "Sandpapergate" scandal sent cricket into turmoil in Australia, where fans and ex-players struggled to understand how a team that claimed to hold the moral high ground in the sport could suddenly fall in a clumsy cheating scheme.
Smith, who was the top-ranked batsman in test cricket, and Warner accepted their 12-month bans for their parts in the plot. Opening batsman Bancroft, the player caught by TV cameras using sandpaper to change the condition of the match ball during the third test against South Africa in Cape Town, has already completed a nine-month ban.
All three players gave tearful news conferences after being sent home from South Africa. The bans meant they couldn't play for their national or provincial teams, but were eligible for grade cricket in their home cities and for domestic competitions abroad. For the most part, they stayed out of the public gaze.
The sanctions cost Smith and Warner multiple millions in earnings and endorsements, but both have said that's less important than the chance of returning to represent Australia.
There was fallout on the administrative side, too. The chairman and the long-time chief executive of Cricket Australia stepping down, the high-performance manager had his contract terminated early, and coach Darren Lehmann quit despite being cleared of any involvement in the scandal.
Former test captain Mark Taylor in recent weeks has called into question the investigation that followed the scandal, saying there was never any mention of how far back the ball-tampering efforts went or if other players were involved.
Roberts responded on Thursday, calling the investigation "absolutely fit for purpose."
"We're not going to jump at shadows or speculation, we'll deal with the facts," Roberts said. "All the evidence suggests that was the first time a foreign object such as that (sandpaper) had been used.
"We don't have any suggestions from the ICC, match officials, broadcaster footage, players or player agents, CA staff, cricket fans - no one has made any allegations of any other inappropriate goings on."
Most of the sentiment now seems to be in favor of Smith and Warner returning following the harshest sanctions ever meted out to international cricketers for ball tampering.
Whether teammates are as forgiving is yet to be seen.
Dhaka, March 28 (UNB) – The logo of the “Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open 2019”, an Asian Tour Professional Golf Tournament, was officially unveiled at the Kurmitola Golf Club here on Thursday.
Chief of the Bangladesh Army and President of Bangladesh Golf Federation (BGF) General Aziz Ahmed unveiled the tournament’s logo at a function at the Banquet Hall of Kurmitola Golf Club Thursday afternoon.
Professional golfers from America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia are expected to compete in the tournament from April 3- 6 at the Kurmitola Golf Club, under the supervision of Bangladesh Golf Federation with the cooperation of Asian Tour.
The Bangladesh stop has been a part of the Asian Tour since 2015, making this year’s the 5th staging of the tournament at KGC.
Some 40 professional and promising golfers from Bangladesh including six amateurs will get the opportunity to compete directly in the meet, sponsored by National Bank Limited.
Executive Vice President of the meet’s organizing committee and BGF secretary general Brigadier General Md Sayeed Siddiki disclosed these at a press conference at the same venue after the logo unveiling ceremony.
Chairman of the media committee Brigadier General Salim Mahmud Chowdhury and Chairman of the tournament support and ground committee Brigadier General Abidur Reza Khan (retd) also spoke on the occasion.
Directors of the meet sponsors National Bank Limited Rick Haque Sikder, Ron Haque Sikder, Managing Director Mustaque Ahmed, and celebrated Indian actor Sanjay Dutt, among others, were present at the function.
Some 150 professional golfers, plus officials, delegates and TV crews from 22 countries will be part of the meet.
Dhaka, Mar 28 (UNB) — Bangladeshi star opening batsman Soumya Sarkar, currently going through a rough patch, says he is trying to play big innings.
The left-hander has failed to capitalise his decent starts in some matches recently.
“Preparation is the key to success. I’m thinking of making plans to stop getting out on 30 or 40. I’m trying to play longer,” he told the media Thursday.
The top-order batsman scored 30, 22 and 0 runs against New Zealand in the recently concluded three-match ODI series.
He is playing the ongoing Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League for defending champions Abahani Limited. In three matches, he got out on 33, 36 and 43 runs– despite solid starts.
He joined the national team before World Cup 2015.
“I played freely back then,” Soumya recalled. “But now, the responsibility is bigger. If I’m included in the ensuing World Cup XI, I’ll have to play with more responsibility.”
The 26-years-old believes playing in the ongoing Dhaka League will help him to prepare for the biggest cricketing event.
“I’m playing in the league keeping the match situation in mind and trying to respond according to the team’s demand. It’s helping me to chalk out plans about how I should play in England,” he said.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is set to announce the national team. BCB selector Habibul Bashar recently said the announcement might come in the second week of April.
Before heading to World Cup, Bangladesh will face Ireland and West Indies in a tri-series in Ireland.