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Pakistan declare at 476-4 in first Test against Australia

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Pakistan declared their first innings at 476-4 on Saturday in the first Test against Australia after brilliant hundreds from Azhar Ali and Imamul Haq on the second day in Rawalpindi.

Ali scored 185 and Haq 157 as Australia toiled hard after Pakistan won the toss and batted on a flat, batting-friendly Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium pitch. The 37-year-old lofted spinner Nathan Lyon for his eighth boundary towards mid-wicket to complete his 19th hundred in his 92nd Test. With that, Pakistan reached 312 without losing another wicket after starting the day on 245 for one.

He has been Pakistan’s mainstay in the Test batting line-up since making his debut in 2010, and boasts a triple hundred against the West Indies — the first since day-night Tests were introduced. Haq was the slowest of the Pakistan pair on Saturday morning, adding just six runs in the first hour and not hitting a boundary until the 90th minute. Haq was lucky to survive a caught-behind appeal on 143 off Lyon the Australians didn’t challenge when replays showed it hit the bat. Meanwhile, Skipper Babar Azam made 36 while Mohammad Rizwan (29) and Iftikhar Ahmed (13) remained not out.

For Australia, Pat Cummins, Lyon and Marnus Labuchagne took a wicket apiece while Azam was run out. Earlier today, the Australian and Pakistan teams paid tribute to legendary spinner Shane Warne with a minute’s silence as play resumed.

“It’s a sad way to start the day,” the television commentator said as players wore black armbands to pay homage to Warne, who died of a heart attack in Thailand on Friday.

The handful of early-morning spectators in the stands also stood in respect. The Australians were playing in Pakistan for the first time since 1998, having declined to tour previously because of security issues. Warne was widely regarded as one of the greatest cricketers of all time — a larger-than-life character whose tally of 708 Test wickets has been surpassed only by fellow spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. His death is a double blow for Australia after another cricketing great, Rod Marsh, also died on Friday after suffering a heart attack. Cummins admitted the team was shaken. “Yeah, these are really tough times with, you know, both Rod and Shane gone,” the Australian skipper told the host broadcaster ahead of the day’s play.

“I just encourage everyone to talk about it.”

Cummins said Warne was popular around the world. “You know, his showmanship and all those things that he brought to Australian cricket are probably my longer-lasting memories.

“I think playing across the world, you realise just it wasn’t only Aussies that felt that it was … in all corners.”

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Karachi: PSL 9 match traffic schedule

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The second round of PSL 9 matches is slated to take place from February 28 to March 18. In order to improve attendance’ convenience and ensure smooth traffic flow, Karachi Traffic Police created a specific plan.

It is recommended that guests who are coming from places like Karsaz, Millennium, and New Town use the allotted parking spaces at the PSB Coaching Centre, which is close to the stadium.

In order to prioritise the flow of cars and pedestrians, some roads will also have restricted heavy traffic access during match days.

The following routes are off-limits: Carsaaz to the Stadium, Millennium to New Town, Liaquatabad No. 10 to Hassan Square, Peoples Chowrangi to University Road, Sohrab Goth to Nipa, and Stadium Signal to Hassan Square.

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PSL 9: Basit Ali offers a daring leadership recommendation for PCB

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In order to raise the status of Green Shirts, former cricketer-turned-coach Basit Ali stated in the most recent episode of PSL special show “Har Lamha Purjosh,” hosted by Waseem Badami, that it is a good idea for new PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi to give wicketkeeper-batsman Muhammad Rizwan the captaincy of the national team.

In order to improve Pakistani cricket, he stated, “I believe that now is the ideal time to name Rizwan captain.” “This is the right time to take this bold step and name him captain. I have some free advice for the newly appointed PCB chairman.”

In the recently concluded Pakistan vs. New Zealand series, he further criticised left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi’s captaincy, claiming that it even caused his pace to decline. He went on to say, “The 4-1 defeat by New Zealand after Babar’s removal from captaincy is a good enough reason that bold decisions must be made now to prepare ahead of the World Cup.”

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PSL 9 match security details released

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The PSL will see over 16,000 police officers handling security responsibilities since matches in Rawalpindi and Multan will have a security strategy in place.

Colin Munro and Tymal Mills of Islamabad United landed in Lahore, and the team will play Lahore Qalandars to open the season.

Mohsin Naqvi, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), announced that the PSL’s ninth season will start on February 17.

He stated that the duration of the traffic closure would be limited and that the public would be notified about other routes through the media in a timely manner. He also directed that effective management be made to preserve fluency for the convenience of the people.

The Lahore DIG Operations Police announced that around 7000 people will be assigned to a security strategy that would guarantee spectators, including cricket players, complete security.

According to the security plan, residents would be permitted entry after completing four levels of security, and 13 SPs, 36 DSPs, and 81 inspectors would be stationed. The situation would also be continually monitored by the Punjab Safe City Authority’s cameras.

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