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Pakistan keep hopes alive by ending South Africa’s unbeaten run

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  • Pakistan beat South Africa by 33 runs.
  • Match was shortened due to rain.
  • Babar Azam fails to impress again.

SYDNEY: Pakistan kept alive their slim hopes of reaching the T20 World Cup semi-finals with a 33-run victory over South Africa in a rain-shortened Super 12 match on Thursday, bringing the tournament’s only unbeaten record to an end in the process.

On the ropes at 43-4 early in their innings, Pakistan rallied behind spectacular half-centuries from Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan to post 185 for nine and delight the lively crowd of 30,000 roaring them on at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

South Africa would still have fancied their chances but Shaheen Afridi (3-14) claimed two early wickets and Shadab removed Temba Bavuma and Aiden Markram, who had built a promising third-wicket partnership of 49, in quick order.

The skies opened soon afterwards with South Africa on 69-4 after nine overs and an hour later they resumed with a revised target of 142 from five more overs under the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method only to fall well short at 108 for nine.

The Proteas remain in second place behind India in Group 2 despite the loss and will secure one of the two semi-final spots if they beat the Netherlands in their final Super 12 match on Sunday.

To have any chance of progressing, Pakistan must beat Bangladesh in Sunday’s second match at Adelaide Oval and hope the Dutch have staged an upset or Zimbabwe manage to stun India in the final group match in Melbourne.

Pakistan’s hopes of reaching the last four were already hanging by a thread coming into the match and they looked over when top order batsmen Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam and Shan Masood all departed cheaply.

Mohammad Haris, thrown straight into the fray after coming into the squad as an injury replacement for Fakhar Zaman, had, however, showed his team mates the way with a blistering 28 off 11 balls that started with two sixes and a four.

Iftikhar, who hit 51, and Shadab, who clubbed 52 off 22 balls, followed his lead with a partnership of 82 for the sixth wicket to transform the innings, which ended with a rain shower, a few boundaries and a flurry of wickets.

While Pakistan skipper Azam’s miserable tournament continued with six runs that left his tally at 14 from four innings, his South African counterpart Bavuma shrugged off the early loss of opening partner Quinton de Kock for a duck.

Bavuma, whose previous three innings at the tournament had earned him 14 runs, hit a dogged 36 before being caught behind off Shadab’s first delivery.

Markram was bowled for 20 two balls later and after the rain break seamers Afridi, Mohammad Wasim and Naseem Shah successfully shackled the South Africans while chipping away with regular wickets. 

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Chief of Staff of the Turkish Army, called COAS

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Chief of the Turkish General Staff General Metin Gürak met with Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir, NI (M), Chief of the Air Staff, and Chief of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu

The Turkish General Staff Chief paid General Syed Asim Munir a visit at GHQ. During their conversation, they covered a wide range of subjects of common concern, including defense, training, and programs meant to support peace and stability in the region. Recognizing their strong alliance, both parties pledged to increase defense cooperation.

The COAS emphasized how critical it is to advance the military cooperation that already exists between their armed forces.

The dignitary who was in Pakistan praised the country’s efforts to promote peace and stability in the region and the role played by the Pakistan Army in fighting terrorism.

The Turkish Army’s Chief of General Staff had earlier laid a floral wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada as a sign of respect after arriving at GHQ. A smartly uniformed contingent of the Pakistan Army provided the distinguished guest with a guard of honor.

At Air Headquarters in Islamabad, General Metin Gürak also paid a visit to Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, the Chief of the Air Staff.

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Rain cancels out Pakistan vs. New Zealand’s opening Twenty20 international

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As the rain returned, Shaheen Shah Afridi’s expertly timed in-swinger to dismiss Tim Robinson left only a two-ball match going on at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.

On-field umpires Aleem Dar and Ahsan Raza shook hands with the players and decided to call off the contest as soon as the rain started up again. Additionally, there was a thirty-minute delay in the planned fixture toss. Then, after winning the coin toss, Michael Bracewell, the captain of New Zealand, decided to bat first.

The players from both sides assembled shortly after for the national anthems, but more rain caused the proceedings to be postponed.

The match appeared likely to be called off before a ball was played due to the intensity of the second spell of rain. But after the rain stopped, the ground crew worked extremely hard, and the game might go into five overs.

The second game, which takes place at the same location on April 20, will pit the two teams against one another.

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The inaugural flight of Azerbaijan Airlines is between Baku and Karachi.

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The national airline of Azerbaijan launched direct flights from Baku to Karachi today. There will be two weekly flights on this route, on Thursdays and Sundays.

The first flight will land in Karachi, and Azerbaijan’s ambassador, Khazar Farhadov, will be there to greet it.

This evening also marks the departure of the inaugural flight from Karachi to Baku, in addition to the arrival of the flight from Baku.

Azerbaijan Airlines said last month that it would be growing its network and flight operations in Pakistan.

Aviation insiders have verified that Azerbaijan Airlines is preparing to launch service to Karachi in the coming month of April.

In addition to its current services in Islamabad and Lahore, the airline plans to launch its Karachi route on April 18, with the inaugural flight anticipated to depart on that date.

Azerbaijan Airlines has been given permission to operate flights on the Karachi route, according to sources within the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Following a bilateral agreement between the two nations, Azerbaijan Airlines has been given permission to extend its operations in Pakistan.

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