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South Africa knocked out of 2019 World Cup after 49-run loss to Pakistan

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Pakistani Cricket Team

London, June 23 (IANS) Pakistan beat South Africa by 49 runs at Lord’s in their 2019 ICC World Cup group stage match on Sunday, ensuring they remain in contention for the playoffs while making the Proteas the second team after Afghanistan to be knocked out of the tournament.

Chasing a target of 309, South Africa were restricted to a total of 259/9.

Pakistan were powered to 308/7 thanks to Haris Sohail’s 89 off 59 balls and Babar Azam’s 69 off 80. Imran Tahir’s performance in the middle overs and Lungi Ngidi’s late wickets ensured that Pakistan don’t get too far beyond the 300-run mark but even that turned out to be too much for the Proteas to chase.

Mohammad Amir dismissed Hashim Amla in the second over but captain Faf du Plessis and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock gave the South African chase a semblance of stability for the next 18 overs. The pair put up a partnership of 87 and were helped quite a bit by dropped catches. Shadab Khan then provided the breakthrough when De Kock holed out near the boundary off his bowling in the 20th over.

Shadab then got Aiden Markram, ensuring that the 24-year-old’s poor show in this World Cup continues. Amir then got the big wicket of Du Plessis. The South African skipper looked to hit the ball over deep midwicket and ended up getting a top edge to it. The ball went quite some distance in the air and Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed did well to hold on.

South Africa were given hope by David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen. With Pakistan continuing to drop catches, the pair went on to put up 53 runs for the fifth wicket. Shadab was once again the man to provide the breakthrough. Van Der Dussen tried a slog towards the leg side and the ball ballooned up in the air. Mohammad Hafeez kept his eyes on it all the way and completed the catch.

It was all downhill for South Africa after that as Wahab Riaz started the swinging the old ball around corners and went about cleaning up the tail. Miller fell to a slower delivery from Shaheen Afridi and Wahab then got Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi in consecutive overs.

Earlier, Pakistan were dominant for much of their innings, except for the middle overs where Tahir dismissed openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-Ul-Haq, the latter because of a brilliant catch off his own bowling. This took his tally in World Cups to 39 and he thus overtook Allan Donald to become South Africa’s highest wicket taker in the history of the tournament.

Haris Sohail was the star performer for Pakistan with the bat as his innings ensured that Pakistan cross the 300-run mark. He also won the man of the match for his performance.

This victory means that South Africa have been officially knocked out of the 2019 World Cup, becoming the second team after Afghanistan to suffer this fate. They have now played seven matches and have just three points of them. Pakistan are placed seventh in the standings with five points and a net run rate of -1.265.

Brief scores: Pakistan 308/7, Haris Sohail 89 (59), Babar Azam 69 (80); Lungi Ngidi 3/64
South Africa 259/5, Faf du Plessis 63 (79), Quinton de Kock 47 (60); Wahab Riaz 3/46

Sports

Athletic Bilbao beat Barcelona to win Spanish Super Cup, Messi sent off

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Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi was sent off for violent conduct as Athletic Bilbao stunned Barcelona to win the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday, a dramatic final finishing 3-2 after extra-time.

Moments before Bilbao’s momentous triumph was confirmed, Messi lashed out at Asier Villalibre, who had earlier scored a 90th-minute equaliser in normal time to deny Barca victory.

Antoine Griezmann’s double looked to have sealed the trophy for Barcelona but Villalibre intervened before Inaki Williams’ fabulous strike three minutes into extra time proved decisive.

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‘What killed Maradona?’ shows the flipside of life of a football god

It isn’t quite the same territory as Asif Kapadia’s account of Maradona’s years in Italy but gives enough information to provide a sense of closure to those fans of the legendary forward who still suspect foul play in his death.

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diego maradona argentina

New Delhi, Jan 15 : Diego Maradona’s death on November 2, 2020 was followed by a flood of tributes from around the world and all walks of life. His death had been attributed to a heart attack but it wasn’t this alone that caused arguably the greatest footballer of all time to die at the age of 60.

It is this point that the Discovery Plus documentary ‘What Killed Maradona?’ tries to put across. It features interviews with writers and journalists who have followed Maradona’s life along with his former fitness trainer Fernando Signorini and his former Napoli team mate and captain Giuseppe Bruscolotti. It also features interviews with health experts and psychologists who give a perspective on the kind of toll the rough nature of the sport in the era that Maradona was playing in, the rudimentary manner in which he was medicated for his injuries and his addiction to alcohol and cocaine kept chipping away at his health, particularly the strength of his heart.

Additionally, it also gives a brief insight into the mental and physical toll that comes with the kind of adulation that Maradona received. One of the ways in which he coped with it is by separating himself into two different individuals — ‘Diego’ was the player whose job was to play football and take care of his family while ‘Maradona’ is the larger than life figure that people in Naples and Argentina adore.

Just over 40 minutes long, the assortment of individuals that lend their voices along with footage from Maradona’s playing days and after helps the documentary paper over the repetitive nature of the footage and, towards the latter stages, a few abrupt editing cuts. It isn’t quite the same territory as Asif Kapadia’s account of Maradona’s years in Italy but gives enough information to provide a sense of closure to those fans of the legendary forward who still suspect foul play in his death.

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Entertainment

Sonu Sood plans pan-India platform for young emerging cricketers

Since last year, Sonu has turned focus on social causes. In 2020, amid Covid lockdown, he reportedly arranged transport to facilitate around 7.5 lakh migrant workers to reach home.

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Sonu Sood

Mumbai, Jan 16 : Actor Sonu Sood is putting his weight behind an initiative to set up a pan-India platform to promote young emerging cricketers.

“I always dreamt of becoming a cricketer but I didn’t have a platform in our small town, but when I see all these young kids playing cricket it feels really good,” Sonu said.

He says pitching in for the cause of promoting budding talent in cricket will also let him take time off his busy schedule and reinvent his passion for the sport.

“I like batting as well as bowling but I didn’t get much time to play the sport. I feel we all should take some out from our busy work schedules and reinvent our passion. Sometimes when you see these kids playing not just cricket but any kind of sports, you feel motivated to follow them,” he said, adding that he has had discussions with Cricfit founder Mikkail Vaswani on “creating a platform on a pan-India level where they (children) can explore their skills and enjoy the sports”.

Since last year, Sonu has turned focus on social causes. In 2020, amid Covid lockdown, he reportedly arranged transport to facilitate around 7.5 lakh migrant workers to reach home. He equipped frontline workers with masks and face shields, airlifted students stranded abroad and helped farmers in distress. He also launched Pravasi Rojgar, an app to help skilled and unskilled workers find jobs.

On work front, Sonu will next be seen in “Prithviraj” starring Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt and Manushi Chhillar, apart from a couple of films in the South.

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