Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad recalled as Pakistan name T20 squad for Sri Lanka series

Waseem Ahmed 2/10/2019
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Recalls for the two controversial batsmen.

Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has named a 16-man squad for the upcoming T20 series against Sri Lanka at Lahore.

There are a total of three changes from the current ODI squad which is involved in a three-match series against the same opposition with Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal and Faheem Ashraf making their international comebacks.

Openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abid Ali have been omitted from the T20 squad with wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan being the third player to make way.

Imam has been left out the T20 squad due to the hand injury he sustained in the second ODI with the opening batsman already ruled out of the series finale which takes place at Karachi on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, it is the first Pakistan call-up for opener Ahmed Shehzad since he was suspended for a doping violation last year. The right-hander’s last appearance for the national team came in June last year in the T20 clash against Scotland.

For controversial top-order batsman Umar Akmal, it is his first T20 call up since his outing against the West Indies in 2016. The right-hander was given an ODI recall earlier this year in the five-match series against Australia in the UAE but he failed to make the cut for the 2019 ICC World Cup squad.

Pakistan are slated to play three T20s against Sri Lanka with all clashes set to take place at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore. The series begins on October 5 and will culminate on October 9 with the final T20I.

PAKISTAN 16-MAN T20 SQUAD

Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Babar Azam (vice-captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz

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India v South Africa LIVE: Rohit Sharma cracks fourth Test ton before bad light stops play

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Rohit Sharma has been in full flow. Image - BCCI/Twitter.

India are aiming to make it a record 11 home series wins in a row as they lock horns with South Africa in the first Test between the two sides at Visakhapatnam.

The hosts have named Wriddhiman Saha as their wicketkeeper in the playing XI with Rishabh Pant being relegated to the bench. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma has been given an opportunity to open the batting alongside Mayank Agarwal as Kohli opted to bat first.

The two openers have started excellently with Rohit bringing up his fourth Test ton with the help of 10 boundaries and four huge sixes.

Will Kohli’s men reign supreme at home once again or will South Africa play party spoilers in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam? Find out by following the LIVE commentary and scorecard from the first Test below.

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Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq ruled out of final ODI against Sri Lanka with injury

Waseem Ahmed 2/10/2019
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Imam-ul-Haq to be replaced by Abid Ali.

Abid Ali will replace Imam-ul-Haq in the Pakistan playing XI for the third and final ODI against Sri Lanka at Karachi slated to take place on Wednesday.

According an update from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Imam has been ruled out the series finale after he sustained an injury to his left hand while fielding in the second ODI on Monday.

The left-hander had struck a 41-ball 31 in the second ODI which Pakistan won by 67 runs eventually to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

For replacement opener Abid Ali, it will be only his fourth ODI appearance for Pakistan with his most recent one coming against England in May earlier this year. The 31-year-old had struck a century on his ODI debut against Australia in Dubai but could was dismissed for a duck and five runs in his two subsequent appearances.

Pakistan are looking to clinch an ODI series win in front of their home fans at Karachi before the two teams move on to Lahore for the T20I-leg.

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed had hinted towards changes in the playing XI for the final ODI after his side’s comprehensive victory on Monday.

“We’ll try to give everyone a chance through this series, even the guys on our bench are first priority players for us,” Sarfraz had remarked after the 67-run win.

Should the hosts be able to seal the job against the Lankans on Wednesday, it will mark a perfect start to Misbah-ul-Haq’s tenure as head coach and chief selector of the men’s team.

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