Daily Archives: March 11, 2016

Afghanistan shatters Hong Kong dreams for Zimbabwe meet

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Afghanistan shatters Hong Kong dreams for Zimbabwe meet

ICC World T20 Group B
Hong Kong 116-6 (20 overs): Rath 28*, Campbell 27, Nabi 4-20
Afghanistan 119-4 (20 overs): Shahzad 41, Noor Ali 35
Afghanistan wins by six wickets

Afghanistan effectively shatters Hong Kong’s dreams of progress, beating the East Asia team by 6 wickets in Group B of the ICC World Twenty20.

With entering the Super 10 group at stake, Hong Kong wins the toss but their score of 116-6 never looked enough as spinner Mohammad Nabi took 4-20 all by himself.

He was simply a class above Hong Kong on a Nagput surface that appeared to have help, even sprinting to the edge of the fielding circle at mid-wicket to take a skied catch off his own bowling.

It was the best figures by an Afghani bowler at a World T20 as his orthodox style drew praise from former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar.

But it is hard not to discount the contribution of openers Mohammad Shahzad (41) and Noor Ali Zadran (35) added 70 as Afghanistan won with two overs to spare.

Shahzad, though portly is ranked No.12 in the world and scored a match-winning 61 against Scotland in the first match, struck two sixes and four fours in posting 41 from 40 balls against Hong Kong with his powerful right.

The victory means that Afghanistan will face Zimbabwe in an all-stakes game, to decide who plays alongside England, defending champions Sri Lanka, the West Indies and South Africa in Group 1 of the Super10 .

In the meantime, Hong Kong would face Scotland in a dead rubber game. The Scots themselves have yet to win a major ICC global tournament game and were defeated by Zimbabwe earlier.

Borussia Dortmund fires three past Tottenham irregulars

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Borussia Dortmund fires three past Tottenham irregulars

Tottenham will have a mountain to climb in the second leg of their Europa League Round-of-16 fixture after being defeated by Borussia Dortmund by 3-0 at the Signal Iduna Park.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino made his priority obvious that he wants the Premier League instead of European honours, making seven changes from the side that drew with Arsenal on the weekend.

The hosts punished them for it.

Even though both clubs currently sits second at their respective domestic leagues, Thomas Tuchel’s side produced an exhilarating performance that completely outclasses the Tottenham replacements.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the opening goal of the game at 30 minutes with a header from Marcel Schmelzer’s cross. However, it was after half-time that the Spurs irregulars showed that they were incapable of keeping up.

They were slow to press from the corner where Marco Reus smashed in Neven Subotic’s header. Then, the German team essentially cut through the heart of the English club’s midfield with 21 passes to set up Reus for his third.

It was then that the regulars: Harry Kane, Erik Lamela and Mousa Dembele were brought in, but it was already too late; Dortmund had run rampant and may already have placed both feet solidly into the quarter-finals.

Borussia Dortmund never won the Europa League, or the UEFA Cup as it was previously known. Nonetheless, their strong performance here may warrant the need of something special to stop them from reaching the final in Basel, and perhaps even lifting the trophy.

Liverpool beats poor-performing United in Europa League

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Liverpool beats poor-performing United in Europa League

Liverpool asserted their dominance in Anfield as they beat a poorly performing Manchester United by 2-0 in their Europa League round-of-16 match.

As both sides meet each other for the first time in a European competition, Liverpool pressed and probed from the start under the floodlights against their longtime rivals.

Daniel Sturridge made the controversial opener from the spot twenty minutes in, after Memphis Depay was penalized for fouling Nathaniel Clyne in the box.

Even if he was playing with a team that seemed to have gave up since the beginning of the game, David De Gea hanged on for Manchester United, making saves after the saves from Liverpool frontmen Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana.

Indeed, United seemed to hope that their keeper would carry the team through the whole game as both teams head into the break. Even Jurgen Klopp had felt that his team were “too loose” in the second half.

But with a Michael Carrick mistake, Roberto Firmino tuned in a pass from Lallana to make it two for the host. Anfield was ablaze as red and white scarves swung wildly along with a huge waving banner with the words “European Elite.”

It may be a second-tier European tournament, but the atmosphere – red smoke from flares, the celebration from Liverpool fans at the final whistle and The Kop’s pre-game rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone –certainly makes the game reminiscent of any game in the Champions League Final.