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‘To get Babar Azam out is a dream come true,’ says England’s Rehan Ahmed

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Teenage sensation Rehan Ahmed Monday said “to get Babar Azam out is a dream come true” after his heroics left England on the brink of victory in the third Test against Pakistan and a record clean sweep.

Ahmed dismissed Pakistan captain and key player Mohammad Rizwan among others as his spin bowling proved to be the game-changer for England on day three. 

The 18-year-old became the youngest debutant in men’s Test history to take five wickets in a single inning, beating the previous record held by Australia’s Pat Cummins.

“It was probably the best day of my life again. To get a five-for on debut is a dream come true,” Ahmed told the BBC.

“I have bowled better balls and not got wickets. To get Babar Azam out is a dream come true. He is a very good player.

“I liked the Rizwan wicket because I have been working hard on my leg-spin for the last two months with bowling coach Jeetan Patel. To get one to spin a little bit was great.”

Having bowled out Pakistan for 216 in the second innings, England are chasing a target of 167.

They will resume at 112-2 later on Tuesday, needing 55 runs to win the Test and become the first test team to complete a 3-0 whitewash in Pakistan, having won the first two tests in Rawalpindi and Multan.

After an explosive opening stand of 93 runs, Abrar Ahmed finally got the breakthrough for Pakistan after trapping Zak Crawley in front of the stumps. The right-hander scored run-a-ball 41 with the help of seven fours.

Ahmed, who was sent in as nightwatchman, became Abrar’s second wicket after scoring 10 runs.

At the close of play, Ben Duckett and Ben Stokes were unbeaten on 50 and 10 runs respectively.

Earlier, England were set a target of 167 runs to win the third and final Test after dismissing Pakistan for 216 in their second innings.

Skipper Babar Azam scored 54 and Saud Shakeel 53.

Babar became the first Pakistani in six years to score 1,000 Test runs in a calendar year and the fourth batter to reach the milestone in 2022 during the second innings.

He is the sixth Pakistani batter to reach 1,000 in a year, crossing the total when he reached 45 during an innings that ended on 54.

Babar and Shakeel added 110 runs for the fourth wicket to put Pakistan in a decent position but the former’s dismissal, when the score had reached 164, started a collapse with the home being bowled out for 216.

Pakistan lost their last seven wickets in the second innings while adding only 52 runs.

Despite Babar’s solid form, Pakistan are staring at a first-ever 3-0 series whitewash on home soil.

England won the first Test by 74 runs in Rawalpindi and the second in Multan by 26 runs.

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Leus du Plooy asserts, “There is a lot of talent in Pakistan.”

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Du Plooy shared details on his first-ever PSL playing experience with the media following the game.

“Even though this is my first visit, Mickey Arthur has taught me a lot about PSL.” Being a part of it is an incredible experience, and I think this league is fantastic,” Du Plooy said.

“I am astounded to see the local talent here after facing some of the net bowlers,” he continued.

In addition, Du Plooy took responsibility for his team’s errors following their defeat by Islamabad United and thanked Colin Munro for his criticism.

“In Karachi, the pitch gets harder in the middle overs and it’s easier to play in the powerplay, but we were unable to take advantage of the conditions.”

“They [Islamabad United] did a great job in the powerplay in both innings; Colin Munro in particular did a great job.”

He also valued Shan Masood, the captain of the Karachi Kings, for his leadership qualities, as the two of them stitched together a 40-run partnership for the second wicket.

“I had fun batting with Shan Masood; he’s a great leader.”

Quetta Gla will take on the Karachi Kings.

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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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