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Sarfaraz Ahmed becomes first Pakistani wicketkeeper to score 3,000 Test runs

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Sarfaraz Ahmed Monday amassed 3,000 Test runs, becoming the first Pakistani wicketkeeper to achieve the feat.

The former skipper of the Green Shirts achieved the feat during Pakistan’s first Test of the two-match series against Sri Lanka at Galle.

During the first innings of the ongoing opening Test of two-match series against Sri Lanka in Galle, Sarfaraz scored a boundary to achieve the milestone in 91 innings.

He is the 20th Pakistani batter who has scored 3000+ runs in the longer format of the game. As a wicketkeeper batter, he is the first one from Pakistan to achieve this feat.

Sarfaraz, who made his Test debut in 2010 against Australia in Hobart, scored 21 fifties and four centuries so far in his career.

His last century came against New Zealand earlier this year when his team needed his experience the most. Sarfaraz’s century helped Pakistan draw the second Test against the Kiwis in Karachi.

In the ongoing Test against Sri Lanka, Sarfaraz could only score 17 runs off 15 balls. He got LBW while attempting a sweep shot against Prabath Jayasuriya.

At tea, Pakistan were struggling at 132-5 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 312. In the first innings, Sarfaraz impressed his fans and critics by taking four crucial catches.

Sarfaraz was highly criticised for poor work behind the stumps in Pakistan’s last Test against New Zealand in Karachi back in January this year. Despite saving the second Test by scoring a hundred, Sarfaraz remained under the knife for dropping catches and missing stump chances.

His selection in the ongoing Test was also questioned by fans as they thought Mohammad Rizwan was a better choice in terms of wicketkeeping. But Sarfaraz proved his critics wrong.

The wicketkeeper took three catches on day one and a catch on day two to give a befitting reply to his critics. 

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Shaheen Afridi and Babar Azam get special jerseys from PCB chairman

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After the victory over Ireland, Babar Azam surpassed Uganda’s Brian Masaba (44 victories) to become the most successful skipper in T20I history with 45 wins. Since taking over as captain in 2019, Azam has guided Pakistan in 78 games.

In the interim, Shaheen Afridi reached the noteworthy landmark of 300 wickets in international cricket. During the second Twenty20 International, Ireland skipper Paul Stirling became his 300th wicket.

The 24-year-old is also the fifth-youngest bowler to reach the mark.

Since making his international debut in 2018, he has played in 145 matches across all formats for Pakistan. In Test cricket, he claimed 113 wickets, while in ODI and T20I, he claimed 104 and 84 wickets respectively.

Interestingly, in the second Twenty20 International, Pakistan chose to bowl first, and in the fourth over, Afridi dismissed both of Ireland’s openers, bringing the score down to 34-2.

Nonetheless, Ireland reached 193 in their allotted 20 overs thanks to an outstanding 51 runs from 34 balls by Lorcan Tucker, which included five boundaries and two sixes. Gareth Delany also hit a rapid 28 off 10 balls.

Thanks to the half-centuries of Fakkhar Zaman and Muhammad Rizwan, Pakistan was able to successfully chase the 194-run mark with 19 balls remaining.

After early wickets from Babar Azam (0) and Saim Ayub (6), they put up a 140-run partnership in 78 balls to turn the tide of the match in Pakistan’s favour.

With an undefeated 75 off 46 balls that included six boundaries and four sixes, Rizwan top-scored for Pakistan, while Zaman was removed after making 78 runs off of 40 balls.

Another important contributor was Azam Khan, who scored an undefeated 30 off 10 with four sixes. In the seventeenth over, he blasted three sixes off Mark Adair to end the match in spectacular fashion.

Pakistan and Ireland will play their third and final Twenty20 International tomorrow, May 14.

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PCB will install floodlights for PSL matches at Quetta Stadium.

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By installing floodlights by September, PCB will keep its word. Following stadium renovations, PSL matches would also be held in Quetta, according to Naqvi, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

He stated at a press conference held at Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti Cricket Stadium that the possibility of holding Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches in Quetta was being considered.

In Gwadar and Quetta, he said, the PCB would do its part to promote cricket.
Quetta Stadium will soon have floodlights installed, as announced by the interior minister, which Chief Minister Bugti congratulated for the news.

The province has a wealth of skills, and installing floodlights will help promote sports and cricket in particular. He responded to a query by saying that chances will be given to the province’s youth at the federal level.

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The women’s team from Pakistan travels to England for a white-ball series.

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The national squad left Karachi earlier today to play three Twenty20 Internationals and three One-Day Internationals in the series.

Dr. Muhammad Faisal, Pakistan’s High Commissioner in England, greeted the women’s team and management.

The team will soon depart for Leicester to play a practice match on 9 May against the ECB Development XI. On May 11, in Birmingham, the first Twenty20 International will take place.

Notably, this will be Pakistan’s eighth and final series of the current event cycle. The ODIs in the series are a part of the ICC Women’s Championship 2022–25.

Pakistan women squad for England tour

Nida Dar (captain), Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Gull Feroza, Muneeba Ali (wk), Najiha Alvi (wk), Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Parvaiz, Rameen Shamim, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Tuba Hassan, Umm-e-Hani and Waheeda Akhtar

Player support personnel: Nahida Khan (manager), Mauhtashim Rasheed (interim head coach), Saleem Jaffar (bowling coach), Taufeeq Umar (batting coach), Hanif Malik (fielding coach), Syed Nazir Ahmed (media manager), Rabia Siddiq (physiotherapist), Zubair Ahmed (analyst) and Hina Munawar (chief security officer)

Tour Schedule

9 May – T20 warm-up game v ECB Development XI, Uptonsteel County Ground (11.00 am local time)

11 May – 1st T20I, Birmingham (2.30 pm local time)

17 May – 2nd T20I, Northampton (6.30 pm local time)

19 May – 3rd T20I, Leeds (1.00 pm local time)

21 May – One-Day warm-up game v ECB Development XI, Northampton (11.00 am local time)

23 May – 1st ODI, Derby (1.00 pm local time) (ICC Women’s Championship)

26 May – 2nd ODI, Taunton (11.00 am local time) (ICC Women’s Championship)

29 May – 3rd ODI, Chelmsford (1.00 pm local time) (ICC Women’s Championship)

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