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‘Issues aren’t working’: Milan’s title defence crumbling as Napoli host rivals Roma



MILAN: With 86 minutes gone of their final Serie A house match AC Milan’s title defence was very a lot alive, two targets to the great in opposition to Roma and set to keep up the five-point hole separating the champions and league leaders Napoli.

Lower than three weeks later and their hopes of retaining the Scudetto are hanging by a thread after a sudden hunch which has allowed Napoli to cost 12 clear nearly utterly unopposed, and led to them being knocked out of the Italian Cup and shedding the Tremendous Cup to Inter Milan.

Two quickfire targets from Roger Ibanez and Tammy Abraham snatched a shock draw for a dismal Roma that night time on the San Siro, and since then Milan have appeared a shadow of the staff who final yr snatched the title from neighbours Inter.

The partying which exploded final Spring in celebration of Milan’s first league crown since 2011 felt like a distant reminiscence on Tuesday night time when Lazio demolished Stefano Pioli’s aspect 4-0 and moved a degree behind them in third place.

Pioli all-but conceded the title after a depressing show in Rome, admitting that “proper now a variety of issues aren’t working” as beforehand dependable performers both get injured or underwhelm on the sphere.

Director Paolo Maldini insisted on Tuesday that the season “doesn’t seem to be an enormous catastrophe” however the Milan icon has been criticised for flop summer season signings together with Belgium attacker Charles De Ketelaere and Sergino Dest, whose show on Tuesday at left-back instead of injured Theo Hernandez was calamitous.

On Sunday Milan host struggling Sassuolo — the staff whose floor followers invaded en masse to witness a long-awaited title triumph in Could — the right alternative to set their season again on the right track.

However it will take a whole implosion for Napoli to let slip a historic first title since 1990, after racking up an unbelievable 50 factors on the midway stage of the season.

Napoli host fierce rivals Roma for the primary time since an enormous dust-up between hardcore followers of each groups triggered a motorway to be closed for almost an hour whereas Roma supporters travelled to their dramatic draw with Milan.

There will probably be nobody within the away finish on the Stadio Maradona on Sunday night time as each units of followers had been banned from travelling for 2 months within the wake of that battle.

Roma, like Lazio and Inter Milan, are a degree behind Milan and have a promising strike partnership forming between England worldwide Abraham and Paulo Dybala.

However coach Luciano Spalletti is aware of his staff have a “probably once-in-a-lifetime alternative” to finish over three many years of ready for southern Italy’s greatest membership, who will probably have Khvicha Kvaratskhelia again after the Georgian wing wizard recovered from flu.

In the meantime, Juventus proceed their bid to rise again up the desk, following a brutal 15-point punishment for illicit switch exercise, after they host shock package deal Monza in Turin.

Massimiliano Allegri stated final week that Paul Pogba and Dusan Vlahovic could be obtainable for choice, and followers are questioning when France midfielder Pogba will lastly prove for the Turin giants after a knee harm nightmare value him the World Cup and the primary half of the home season.

What to be careful for: SAOT

Semi-automated offside know-how (SAOT) will make its Serie A debut this weekend after getting used on the World Cup and the group stage of this season’s Champions League.

Italy’s high flight will turn out to be the primary main home league to implement the know-how this weekend, within the hope it is going to finish rows just like the one in September after Juventus’ profitable objective in opposition to Salernitana being dominated out as a result of VAR cameras someway didn’t spot Antonio Candreva standing by the nook flag, enjoying everybody onside.

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Starc haul and Marsh blitz assist Australia hammer India



VISAKHAPATNAM, INDIA: Mitchell Starc’s 5-53 and a blazing 66 by Mitchell Marsh helped Australia demolish India by 10 wickets within the second one-day worldwide to stage the sequence at 1-1 on Sunday.

Starc, a left-arm fast, rattled the Indian batting together with his tempo and swing to bundle out the opposition for 117 in 26 overs in Visakhapatnam.

Openers Travis Head (51) and Marsh, who smashed six sixes in his 36-ball blitz, then took aside the Indian bowling to romp residence in 11 overs and stage the three-match sequence with one recreation left.

Australia completed the chase with 39 overs to spare and bounce again from their opening loss.

Starc led the workforce’s deadly assault with the wicket of Shubman Gill for a duck after the vacationers determined to bowl first after in a single day rain.

Two successive strikes from Starc to get returning skipper Rohit Sharma for 13 after which Suryakumar Yadav, out for a second straight first-ball duck, pushed India onto the again foot.

KL Rahul performed out the hat-trick ball however lasted for simply 11 extra deliveries earlier than falling leg earlier than wicket to Starc, who returned figures of 4-31 in his first spell of six overs.

Skipper Steve Smith took a surprising one-handed catch at first slip to dismiss Hardik Pandya for one off the bowling of Sean Abbott, who took three wickets.

Smith went full stretch to his proper and was airborne when he took the catch off an edge from Pandya, setting social media abuzz with reward for his “superman” effort.

Virat Kohli tried to hit again for India with a rating of 31 that included 4 boundaries earlier than he was trapped in entrance by Nathan Ellis.

Wickets stored tumbling and the departure of Ravindra Jadeja, the hero from Friday’s first match in Mumbai, for 16 off the bowling of Ellis added to India’s woes.

Starc wrapped up the innings together with his ninth ODI five-wicket haul. Axar Patel, who got here into the workforce instead of Shardul Thakur, was unbeaten on 29 after hitting two sixes.

The left-handed Head and Marsh got here out firing as they smashed Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami to all components of the bottom.

Head started the assault with two straight boundaries off Siraj and Marsh quickly joined the cost with a string of fours and sixes.

Marsh, who hit 81 in his workforce’s opening loss, hit two straight sixes off Pandya to achieve his fifty off 28 balls.

Head quickly raised his fifty and Marsh hit the successful boundary to take the sequence decider to Chennai on Wednesday.



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Shaheen Afridi named PSL 2023 crew captain



LAHORE: Lahore Qalandars’ skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi was appointed as captain of the Crew of Pakistan Tremendous League (PSL) 2023 by an impartial panel headed by technical committee chairman Haroon Rashid.  The panel additionally included commentators Bazid Khan, Daren Ganga, Nick Knight and Sana Mir as members.

Whereas choosing the facet, the impartial panel thought of a variety of T20 cricket features, together with consistency, impression on the facet and total recreation, and very best crew mixture in order that this crew can tackle any T20 facet on any given day at any venue in any circumstances.

Afridi impressed Qalandars to complete on prime of the factors desk with seven wins, then helped his facet to bounce again from a Multan Sultans drubbing within the qualifier by overcoming Peshawar Zalmi in Eliminator 2, and, lastly slapped a 15-ball 44 not-out and took 4 for 51 to not solely stroll away with the participant of the ultimate award but additionally guided his facet to their second successive PSL title. That is the fourth successive 12 months Afridi has made it to the unique facet for the reason that PSL groups’ idea which was launched in 2019.

The facet additionally consists of Sultans’ gamers Abbas Afridi and Ihsanullah, who received the Rising and Participant of PSL 8 awards, respectively. Just like the Multan duo, it’s also the primary time for Mohammad Haris and Azam Khan to be chosen for the crew of the match. Total, the facet consists of 5 gamers from shedding finalists Sultans, two gamers every from Qalandars and Zalmi, and one participant every from Islamabad United and Karachi Kings.

Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam have been chosen as openers, with Haris, Rilee Rossouw, Azam and Kieron Pollard forming a formidable center order. Imad Wasim, who has been picked within the Crew of PSL for the primary time, is available in as an all-rounder, adopted by wrist spinner Rashid Khan and three quick bowlers in Afridi, Ihsanullah and Abbas. That is the fourth time in 5 years Babar has been chosen as an opener, although the primary time was along with his accomplice Rizwan, who himself has been chosen within the crew of the match for the third successive time.


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Wasim Akram hopes to see cricket ‘evolve’ in Saudi Arabia



ISLAMABAD: Wasim Akram, former Pakistan captain and a legendary pacer, has mentioned that Saudi Arabia may kind its correct cricket workforce because the Kingdom recurrently hosted tournaments, including he needs to see the sport “evolve” within the Gulf nation.

Akram made his first-ever journey to the Saudi capital of Riyadh in February this yr the place he held a gathering with the chairman of the Saudi Arabia Cricket Federation (SACF), Prince Saud bin Mishal, to debate the way forward for the game within the Kingdom.

In an interview with Arab Information, Akram spoke in regards to the rising cricket expertise in Saudi Arabia, saying although he didn’t get an opportunity to witness Saudi cricketers, he wish to go to the Kingdom once more.

“I might like to go and see the expertise, and I’m certain, they will kind a correct cricket workforce, the place they will really beat the affiliate international locations,” the previous pacer mentioned.

“However for that, they have to have home common leagues, and that too, like I mentioned earlier, on turf pitches. That’s crucial for Saudi cricket to evolve.”

Akram’s go to adopted the latest strengthening of cricket ties between the 2 international locations. In January, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi, mentioned his nation was ready to share its experience within the sport with Saudi Arabia the place cricket is more and more rising in recognition.

The identical month, Javed Afridi, who owns the Pakistan Tremendous League franchise Peshawar Zalmi, introduced that his workforce was going to play exhibition matches within the Kingdom, Arab Information reported .

“I met with the chairman of the Saudi Arabia Cricket Federation, who’s a really eager and avid fan of cricket,” Akram mentioned.

“And naturally, there are a whole lot of expats: Pakistanis, Australians, Indians, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans. All of them are there, and so they love one sport, that’s cricket. The [Kingdom] has about 16 districts, and so they do put up common tournaments, [but] I believe what they want is a correct cricket floor and turfs, that’s the place Saudi cricket will evolve.”

Akram added he went to Riyadh for the primary time and was amazed to see town.

“The climate was unbelievable,” he mentioned. “It was chilly really. It was about 11 to 12 levels. And basically, the site visitors was in all places. However other than that, the nation is evolving. It has advanced a lot.”

Since its institution in 2020, the SACF has launched a collection of main initiatives, together with a nationwide cricket championship, a company cricket match, a league for expatriate staff, and social applications in a number of cities.

It oversees 15 official associations representing the game in 9 areas and has introduced plans to arrange extra associations within the remaining areas to make sure that cricket actions are held throughout the Kingdom.

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