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Sport 27

SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2015

QUICK BYTES Emirates to sponsor FA Cup for the next 3 years Dubai’s Emirates airline will sponsor the FA Cup for the next three years until 2018, the English Football Association announced on Saturday. The FA had been looking for a new sponsor for football’s oldest knockout competition after Budweiser’s three-year deal came to an end last year. The FA, which will rebrand the competition as The Emirates FA Cup, did not release any financial details. –Reuters

Kane strikes again as Spurs win in Sydney

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane’s run of goals shows no sign of drying up as the England international struck to secure a 1-0 win over Sydney FC in front of 71,549 fans in a friendly at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday. The 21-year-old netted 31 goals in all competitions for Spurs in the recently concluded English season and grabbed a double in a 2-1 victory over a Malaysian XI in the first stop on their post-season tour on Wednesday. –Reuters

Ali century anchors Pakistan to series win

Captain Azhar Ali scored a century on Friday and led Pakistan to a six-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the second one-day international to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Ali, dropped on 53, scored a career-best 102 off 104 balls with eight fours in Pakistan’s solid run-chase of 269-4.

BRIEF SCORE, 2ND ODI Zimbabwe 268/7 in 50 overs (Raza 100*, Chibhabha 99)

Pakistan 269/4 in 47.2 overs (Azhar 102, Sohail 52*) Pakistan win by 6 wickets –AP

Djokovic, Murray subdue new generation

Afghanistan national footballers arrived in Dhaka yesterday afternoon prior to their Fifa international friendly match against Bangladesh on Tuesday

Soumya working on batting glitch n Minhaz Uddin Khan Bangladesh’s results in the past few months have certainly boosted the confidence level among the cricketers as Soumya Sarkar believes they will be wearing the “favourite” tag when they face India for one Test match and three one-day internationals in 10 days’ time. The 22-year old left-hander has been able to project himself as a fearless batsman in limited-overs cricket but is yet to flourish in the longer-version. He made his Test debut during the homes series against Pakistan last month and, a genuine top-order batsman, Soumya was made to bat at No 7 and ended up with just 70 runs from four innings. His aggression and courage at the top of the lineup has always been praised, but a similar approach in the Tests was highly criticised too. “I have already started working on my approach in Test cricket,” he said after the national team’s training at Mirpur yesterday. “I got myself out in both the Tests against Pakistan despite getting good starts so I am working hard on my weak points alongside trying

to be mentally strong.” He returned for a duck in the first innings for South Zone in his only Bangladesh Cricket League (longer version) appearance against East Zone last week. However, 127 runs in the second innings restored some momentum in the youngster. “I tried to bat according to my way and get the best result because there was only one game left to play. I failed in the first innings but recovered in the second. The 127 will give me confidence if I get the chance to face India in the Test match,” said Soumya. He reflected on their recent triumphs and said, “It is very much possible for us to get good results for the way we have performed in the past few months.” The magical run of form in recent times, however, will not make it any easier facing India as Soumya was matured enough to say that they need to work really hard as a team to outplay their neighbours. “It is the cricket played on a particular day that wins you the game. The side displaying better cricket between us (Bangladesh and India) will end with the win.”l

Grand Slam old guard Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray put next generation hopefuls Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios firmly in their place Saturday with comfortable French Open third round wins. World number one and top seed Djokovic reached the last-16 for the sixth straight year with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over 19-year-old Kokkinakis. –AFP

Chelsea sweat through victory over Thai All Stars

Chelsea’s up-and-coming youngsters got a chance to shine under sweltering Bangkok skies Saturday as the Blues survived a brief second half scare to dispatch the Thai All Stars 1-0. The English Premier League champions were visiting the Thai capital for the first stop on an end-of-season tour that will also take in Australia. –AFP

WOMEN’S HANDBALL LEAGUE BEGINS TODAY

The Cute Women’s Handball League 2015 will get underway at M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium today. A total of ten teams split into two groups will take part in the event. The champions and runnersup side of each group will progress to the semi-finals. In the opening day, Mohammedan Sporting Club will face Viqarunnisa Sports Club while Arambag Krira Sangha will lock horns with Usha Krira Chakra. Group A: Mohammedan, Arambagh, Gafur Beluch Smriti Sangha, Usha KC, Viqarunnisa SC Group B: Dhaka Mariners Youngs, RN Sports Home, Jatrabari KC, Madaripur, Flame Girls

COURTESY

No progress on West Indies series n Minhaz Uddin Khan Last month, Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan raised the prospects of hosting the West Indian team in a bilateral series in November this year. A month has passed but according to BCB cricket operations committee chairman Naimur Rahman, the board is yet to reach a common ground with their West Indian counterparts. “I have a plan to host the West Indies in a bilateral series later this year. But, there has been no real progress with that till now, to be honest. The issue is, they want to play the series in one way while we want it to happen in another way,” Naimur told the media following a BCB cricket operations committee meeting at Shere-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. Naimur informed that while they are planning to organise two ODIs and as many Twenty20 internationals, the WICB is suggesting a series comprising only four T20Is. “So, that is where we are stuck at the moment. We had discussions regarding this issue in the meeting today (yesterday). We tried to comprehend what will be good for us and we will take a decision emphasising on that,” said Bangladesh’s first Test captain. Among other issues, domestic cricket was also on the agenda. Many a time in the recent or distant past, the domestic circuit experienced stoppages and interruptions, mostly due to the national side’s commitments but Naimur stated that things will change from now onwards. “From now on, domestic cricket will get the top priority. The board has already held discussions regarding this and we are working to finalise a calendar. No issue will be able to change the calendar in future. Domestic competitions will take place even if the national cricketers are busy. I hope the national players will not affect the competitions from now on. The national cricketers will participate in the domestic competitions if they are not busy during that point of time,” said Naimur. During the meeting, the committee also came up with a four-year plan during which the national side have been drawn up to face Zimbabwe, South Africa, Australia, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. l


31 May, 2015