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PSL: Hales shines as Islamabad qualifies for Eliminator 2



A half-century from Hales helped Islamabad to chase down 170 runs in a last-over thriller.

Salman Irshad tried his best to defend the total with his outstanding Yorkers but cameos from Faheem and Azam Khan followed by a six and a four from Dawson in the last over dragged Islamabad over the victory line.

Hasan Ali also returned to the side with a brilliant 3-wicket haul. 

Peshawar Zalmi    20 overs    169-5

Kamran 58 (39)               Hasan 3-30                                                                                                                                    S. Malik 55 (43)               Faheem 1-15

Islamabad United  20 overs   170-5

Hales 62 (49)                   Irshad 3-31                                                                                                                                Azam 28 (22)                   Usman 1-17

The PSL 7 campaign of Peshawar Zalmi came to end with this defeat while Islamabad United still have to face Lahore Qalandars before battling with Multan Sultans for the trophy in the Final match.

The return of several main players has lifted the confidence of Islamabad as they chased down 170 runs on a tough track. 

Kamran Akmal’s half-century 

Kamran Akmal came back in form and played aggressively in the 1st 10 overs.

Peshawar Zalmi lost their 2 Youngsters M. Haris and Yasir Khan before the first 8 overs.

The experienced Kamran Akmal scored 58 runs from just 39 deliveries including 7 fours and 2 sixes.

Peshawar was looking good when Kamran Akmal was batting but after his dismissal, the run rate slowed down a bit. 

Shoaib Malik’s form continues 

After an excellent knock from one experienced player, the other experienced player Shoaib Malik also played an outstanding knock in the death overs.

Peshawar was 107-3 in 15 overs but Shoaib Malik smashed the ball all around the ground to put a fighting total on the board.

Malik scored another half-century this season and smashed 55 runs from 43 balls.

His innings included 4 fours and 2 sixes. The excellent hitting from Malik dragged the total from 107-3 to 169-5.

Excellent 3-wicket haul from Hasan Ali

 Hasan Ali struggled in the whole match but after resting in some matches, he came back strongly as he claimed a superb 3-wicket haul.

This was the best bowling performance from Hasan Al in the whole tournament.

He picked up 3 wickets and conceded only 30 runs from his 4 overs. 

Islamabad’s chase

Alex Hales returned to Islamabad United for the playoffs and he smashed a match-winning 62 runs.

Will Jacks and Alex Hales opened the innings today although Will Jacks departed early but Hales continued his excellent batting form, he was scoring boundaries at regular intervals to keep the required run rate low.

The skipper Shadab Khan (22 off 17) who came back into the side today after suffering from an injury, supported Hales in a 43 run partnership for the second wicket. 

After Shadab’s dismissal, Alex Hales started to play a bit aggressively but after scoring 62 runs, he was clean bowled by Salman Irshad on an almost unplayable yorker.

The match became interesting after his dismissal.

Asif Ali came in and smashed a huge six but in the very next over, he was also done and dusted by Irshad – this time on a slow yorker but the result was the same. 

Islamabad needed 46 runs from 4 overs, Faheem Ashraf smashed a six and a four to score 16 runs from that over to reduce the equation to 32 runs from 3 overs.

Salman Irshad bowled a good 18th over but a six from Azam Khan spoiled it to finish it as a 10 run over. 

Last over drama 

10 runs were required from the last over and Benny Howell was chosen to defend those runs.

He got Azam Khan LBW out on the first ball of the last over but a six and a four by Dawson ended Peshawar’s campaign in PSL 7.

Salman Irshad picked up 3 wickets while Khalid Usman claimed only 1 wicket but he was very economical. 

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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman hails rise of good performance amongst sports during 2024 Budget speech




India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman lauded the rise of sports in India during her Union Budget speech. The Indian contingent finished with its highest-ever medal tally during the Asian Games last year.

Even the Asian Para Games contingent did well and won many medals. Chess has also produced some amazing Indian talents. 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa came in for special attention from the Finance Minister.

The youngster reached the finals of the Chess World Cup before losing to Magnus Carlsen. This achievement was lauded by Nirmala Sitharaman during her speech in the floor of the house.

Finance minister lauds Indian growth in sports 

India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman was presenting the interim budget ahead of the 2024 Elections. During her chat listing all the achievements the country has made, her comments on sports took the limelight.

Sitharaman said “The country is proud of our youth scaling new heights in sports. The highest-ever medal tally in Asian Games and Asian Para Games in 2023 reflects a high confidence level. Chess prodigy and our number-one ranked player Praggnanandhaa put up a stiff fight against the reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsson in 2023. Today, India has over 80 chess grandmasters compared to little over 20 in 2010,”

Last year during the Asian Games, India finished 4th in the medals tally. The final tally read, 28 gold medals, 38 silver medals, and 41 bronze medals. Men’s and Women’s cricket won gold medals for the first time. The Indian Kabaddi Team did well to beat Iran in the final of a pulsating contest.

Despite their bad performance in the AFC Asian Cup 2024, even Indian football has started to perform well. Indian Cricket Team reached the finals of the ODI World Cup and the World Test Championships in 2023. 2024 is set to be yet another huge year for Indian sports. The focus will be on the huge Olympics set to be held in Paris this year. The likes of Neeraj Chopra will be looking to bring even more glory to the nation with their performances.

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CSK Skipper MS Dhoni files lawsuit against Business partner, accuses cheating and financial loss



MS Dhoni

In surprising news, cricketing legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni has taken legal action against his former business associates, Mihir Diwakar and Soumya Vishwash of Aarka Sports and Management Limited. The former India captain accuses them of tricking him in a deal related to cricket academies, resulting in a huge financial loss of over Rs 15 crore. Dhoni filed a criminal case in October 2023, accusing them of cheating.

The legal battle unfolded as Dhoni and Diwakar agreed in 2017 to open a cricket academy. However, Diwakar allegedly failed to stick to the specified conditions, causing substantial financial harm to MSD.

Today, the court witnessed the proceedings in the case, highlighting the intricacies of the alleged breach of agreement. The cricketing maestro and Mihir Diwakar’s agreement in 2017 outlined the opening of a cricket academy. However, Diwakar is accused of failing to adhere to the predetermined terms, causing a significant loss estimated at Rs 17 crore for Dhoni.

MS Dhoni is set to make a comeback in IPL 2024

The accusations of deception and breach of agreement have added a new layer to the ongoing legal saga. Dayanand Singh, representing MS Dhoni through Vidhi Associates, emphasised the alleged failure of Mihir Diwakar to fulfil the agreed-upon conditions, leading to substantial financial losses for the cricket icon.

The legal battle takes a more dramatic turn as Dhoni’s friend, Simant Lohani (Chittu), also files a complaint. Lohani alleges that he faced threats and abuse from Mihir Diwakar after legal action was initiated against Aarka Sports.

Despite the legal complexities, MS Dhoni remains resolute in his return to competitive cricket. Recently returning from Dubai after celebrating the New Year, Dhoni is gearing up for IPL 2024, which is anticipated to be his farewell season in the league. The legal tussle with former business partners adds an unexpected twist to Dhoni’s journey, underscoring the challenges even cricketing legends face beyond the boundary.

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South Africa’s paralympian Oscar Pistorius released on parole



Former South Africa Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been released on strict parole conditions. Back in 2013, he mistakenly murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He claimed to have mistaken her for a burglar and shot her from inside his bathroom. In the same year, he was jailed for 16 years. However, after completing his 11 years of sentence, he has been released on bail on some conditions.

Pistorius’ sentence will conclude in 2029. As per the law of the South African land, offenders are allowed to be considered for parole after serving half of their total sentence, and in Pistorius’s case, this moment has arrived. His parole conditions include strict monitoring and participation in programs addressing anger management and gender-based violence.

Reeva Steenkamp’s mother, June Steenkamp, expressed her acceptance of the legal process, stating as per BBC, “The conditions imposed by the parole board, which includes anger management courses and programs on gender-based violence, send out a clear message that gender-based violence is taken seriously.” She acknowledged the limitations of justice, emphasizing the irreparable loss suffered by her family.

Oscar Pistorius’ journey in a nutshell

The 37-year-old’s career took off when he secured four gold medals in the Paralympics. During the 2012 London Olympics, he competed against non-disabled athletes. However, due to the unfortunate event mentioned above, his much-celebrated career came to an end.

The Department of Correctional Services in South Africa asserted that Pistorius, despite his celebrity status, would be treated like any other parolee. The conditions entail home confinement during specific hours, a ban on alcohol consumption, and restrictions on media interaction.

June Steenkamp reflected on the complexity of justice in the face of an irreparable loss, stating, “There can never be justice if your loved one is never coming back, and no amount of time served will bring Reeva back.” She expressed her hope to focus on the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation, dedicated to continuing her daughter’s legacy.

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