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FIFA World Cup 2018: Alburayk late show help Saudi Arabia pip Egypt

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Egypt vs saudi arabia fifa 2018

Volgograd (Russia), June 26: Saudi Arabia scored a late winner to beat Egypt 2-1 in the last game of the 2018 World Cup finals for both sides to allow them to travel home on a high note.

Mohamed Alburayk slotted home from a narrow-angle to give the Saudis the win their attacking play in the second half of the game deserved, reported Xinhua news agency.

Although the Volgograd Arena was only around two-thirds full, the game kicked off with a good atmosphere in the stands and both teams looked to move the ball around quickly, although without creating clear chances.

Saudi midfielder Salem Aldawsawi had the first shot, although his effort sailed over the goal defended by El Hadary, who aged 45 became the oldest player ever to appear in the final stage of the World Cup.

Salah opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, racing through the middle to lob the ball over Yasser Almosailem and he should have doubled the lead three minutes later only to chip wide with just the keeper to beat.

Salah twice set up Treziguet to shoot just wide, before a good block from Ahmed Hegazy denied Salaman Alfaraj at the other end in a rare Saudi chance.

El Hadary saved a 41st-minute penalty from Fahad Almuwallad after Ahmed Fathi was penalized for handball.

The 45-year-old got across brilliantly to save Fahad’s spot kick, but couldn’t deny Alfaraj deep into first-half injury time after the Saudis were awarded another penalty after a slight pull on Fahad as he went for a pass in the Egypt area.

The second half was an open affair with Saudi Arabia seeing more of the ball only to spoil some attractive football with their poor finishing and when they did get efforts on target, Hassain Almoqhawi and Motaz Hawsawi were denied by good stops from El Hadary.

The game looked destined for a draw but at the death up popped Alburayk with his decisive goal to break Egypt and El Hadary’s hearts.

IANS

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Eng vs WI: Anderson & Broad deserve to play 1st Test, says Hussain

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Nassar Hussain

London, July 6 : Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels veteran pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad deserve to be in the playing XI for the team’s first Test against West Indies starting Wednesday.

The first Test of the three-match series is scheduled to be played at Ageas Bowl, followed by two matches at the Old Trafford from July 16 and 24 respectively.

Hussain stated England are going to rotate the bowlers around, considering workload management, as they will take on Pakistan right after the conclusion of the West Indies series.

“A lot will be made of the first Test selection, but the bowlers are going to be rotated. I would start with Anderson and Broad because they deserve it. Then I”d leave (Chris) Woakes out and pick one of (Mark) Wood or (Jofra) Archer,” Hussain was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

“I”d probably go for Wood because he bowled very well in his last two Tests in South Africa, but Archer is a serious bowler so I”d have no problem with him instead,” he added.

However, according to a report in The Guardian, Broad “faces the prospect of missing a first home Test match in eight years as England give serious consideration to unleashing the dual pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood at the earliest opportunity”.

West Indies Test skipper Jason Holder had earlier warned their opponents against taking them lightly and Hussain agreed with him.

Pointing towards their potent bowling attack, Hussain stated they will pose a big threat to the high-profile England line-up in the forthcoming series.

“They are a threat, especially the bowling. With Shannon Gabriel alongside Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph and Holder (left), nobody is going to get easy runs,” Hussain said.

“But the batting looks flimsy with no Darren Bravo or Shimron Hetmyer. Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite will have to repeat their Headingley form of last time.

“England are very difficult to beat at home and West Indies haven”t won here for a long time, so I”m going for an England win — but you”d be a fool to write off West Indies because they thrive on being written off.”

West Indies had famously beaten England during the previous series between the two sides that was played in the Carribbean Islands. A draw in the series would be enough for them to retain the Wisden trophy.

–IANS

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We definitely spoke to Rahul Dravid: Ex-CoA chief Rai on India coach job

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Vinod Rai

New Delhi, July 6 : Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai recently lifted the lid as to why former captain Rahul Dravid turned down Team India”s coaching job following the end of Anil Kumble’s tenure.

In 2017, Kumble resigned from the high-profile role after his relationship with skipper Virat Kohli became ”untenable”. Dravid was approached by the CoA but he opted against taking the job citing personal reasons.

“Rahul was very upfront with us,” Rai told Sportskeeda during a Facebook live session. “He said ”look I have two boys growing up at home and I have been travelling with the Indian team all over the world and I am not able to give time and attention to them, I think I must stay at home also. And give time to my family”.

“I think that was a very fair request and though he would have been uppermost in mind. So, he was very much in the zone of consideration,” he added.

Rai also revealed Dravid wanted to continue as the coach of the India U-19 team as he wanted to complete the work that he had started with the Colts. Current head coach Ravi Shastri was eventually handed over the reigns of the senior team.

“Look, in terms of potential for coaching, Dravid, Shastri and Kumble are the best in the business,” Rai said.

“We definitely spoke to Rahul. He was engaged with the Under-19 team and he was involved with them. He had developed a road map on how to develop a team.

“He was bringing out fantastic results. He wanted to continue because he felt that there were some unfinished task with that team and he wanted to do it.”

Dravid was later appointed as the head of circket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in July, 2019 and Rai said: “He was very kind and very gracious in accepting that and committing himself to the NCA.”

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Azhar can be reason for Younis-Grant knife episode, says Latif

Latif said that after Younis scored a double ton at the Oval in 2016, he did not take the name of Flower and instead cited Azhar as the reason for the improvement in his batting.

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Mohammad Azharuddin

Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Rashid Latif claimed that former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin may have played a role in the Younis Khan-Grant Flower knife episode.

Flower was Pakistan’s batting coach from 2014 to 2019 and had said recently that former captain Younis had once held a knife to his throat for offering him batting tips.

“We do not know what happens in the dressing room. Azharuddin can be a reason for this,” said Latif in a the chat show ‘Caught Behind’ on Youtube.

“In 2016, Younis made a double century at the Oval. He (Younis) did not take the name of the batting coach (Grant Flower). He said that I was struggling and talked to Azharuddin.

“That is a big factor that a player is opting for someone else rather than the coach. Flower must have done some things as batting coach and has served Pakistan. I think this Azharuddin factor must have been somewhere in his (Flower’s) mind.”

Flower had said during a conversation with brother Andy and host Neil Manthorp on the ‘Following On Cricket Podcast’ for talkSPORT that it was coach Mickey Arthur who had to eventually intervene.

Arthur himself later confirmed the incident while refusing to go into details.

“If I say something, people I know try to justify it. It is not Mickey Arthur’s fault,” said Latif.

“The real focus should be the person who asked these questions and is still behind the scenes. It could also be an organisation behind the whole thing. That is a possibility.

“If Younis came on because of a higher authority, he would not have come as a batting coach working under Misbah-ul-Haq. He would have been in a much more influential position,” he said.

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