Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 7th 2014 Contents A41
Friday, March 7, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The Asia Cup is Pakistan s
first tournament under a new-
look team management, with
Moin Khan as coach and Zaheer
Abbas as chief consultant. The
regime change has coincided
with a stunning return to bat-
ting form for Shahid Afridi,
whose unbeaten 18-ball 34
against India and a brutal 25-
ball 59 against Bangladesh were
instrumental in Pakistan reach-
ing the final.
But correlation, Afridi has said,
didn t quite mean causation.
While praising the support staff
for backing him, he said he was
essentially his own coach.
"It was different earlier, it s
not that it was not good," Afridi
said, after Pakistan s practice ses-
sion yesterday. "The support
team that we have now are all
knowledgeable and keep you
positive. As I ve said earlier also,
having played at this level for so
many years, I don t need a coach.
I am better off coaching myself.
I know very well what to do and
what not to do. It s about having
the right people to back you and
Pakistan, Afridi said, had
peaked at the right time in the
tournament, and this would help
them at the World Twenty20 as
"I ve already mentioned
before how important for us
this series is," he said. "The
World Twenty20 is coming up
after this. I think we peaked at
the right time, that was the
Pakistan have never beaten
India in an ICC world event, be
it the 50-over World Cup or the
World T20. Asked if they could
overcome the jinx when they
meet in the World Twenty20 on
March 21, Afridi said he wouldn t
think about it till the Asia Cup
"I m not looking that ahead,"
he said. "My and my team s
focus is just on the Asia Cup
final at the moment. When the
World Twenty20 comes, we will
talk about the India-Pakistan
Afridi said India and Pakistan
should play each other more fre-
"It should be like that only,"
he said. "Pakistan have always
supported India at every step.
Despite threats, Pakistan have
always toured India. I think crick-
et can only revive India-Pakistan
relations. Sport brings friendship.
The way I enjoyed my cricket in
India, I never enjoyed anywhere
else. We are after all neighbours.
The relations should be good
between us. Cricket can only help
better the relations."
This year s IPL, like most other
editions before it, will not include
Pakistan players. "Ask your Indi-
an government," Afridi said,
when his views were sought on
this. "Why ask me?"
Afridi will turn 35 during the
2015 World Cup, and will have
entered the 19th year of his inter-
national career. But the thought
of retirement, he said, had not
entered his mind yet.
"Obviously, the World Cup
2015 is going to be a huge thing
for me and my team," he said.
"As long as I m fit and give my
life to cricket, I ll continue playing
the sport. I will sideline myself
the moment I start thinking that
I m becoming a burden on my
team. I will not give anyone an
opportunity to talk."
Afridi: I am better
off coaching myself
MIRPUR---Captain Angelo Mathews
struck 74 not out as Sri Lanka beat
Bangladesh by three wickets yesterday
Thursday to ride into the Asia Cup
Sri Lanka, which had already clinched
a finals berth, takes on defending cham-
pion Pakistan on Saturday after fin-
ishing the round-robin with four wins
After Bangladesh made 204--9, Sri
Lanka recovered from 75--5 to reach
208--7 in the 49th over.
Mathews led the comeback, com-
bining for 82 with Chaturanga de Silva
in 16 overs to put Sri Lanka back on
track. De Silva hit a career-best 44 off
52, including five fours.
In an otherwise pretty organized
innings, Mathews knocked seven fours
and one six in 103 balls to ruin host
Bangladesh s party at Sher-e-Bangla
National Stadium. Bangladesh, the
finalist two years ago, couldn t win a
match this time.
Al-Amin Hossain returned figures
of 2--42 while Ziaur Rahman, Arafat
Sunny and Mahmudullah picked up
one wicket apiece.
Hossain had Sri Lanka in trouble by
dismissing Kusal Perera for a duck and
in-form Kumar Sangakkara on two in
his first two overs.
A direct throw by Mahmudullah in
the next over ran out Mahela Jayawar-
dene for a duck to leave Sri Lanka on
Lahiru Thirimanne and Ashan
Priyanjan briefly revived the innings
but Rahman brightened Bangladesh s
chances by removing Priyanjan on 24
with an outswinger which Priyanjan
was unable to leave. Thirimanne holed
out a tossed up delivery from Arafat
Sunny to be caught by Rubel Hossain
However, Mathews lifted Sri Lanka
out of the hole by running singles and
keeping the scoreboard turning over.
By contrast, Bangladesh made a
bright start, collapsed, came alive again
and slumped at the end.
Fresh from his second career century
against Pakistan, opener Anamul Haque
yet again gave his struggling side impe-
tus with a team-best 49, sharing 74
with fellow opener Shamsur Rahman,
39.Haque hit two fours and one six in
his patient 86-ball knock but was out
to a stunning catch by Thirimanne at
midwicket. Haque flicked Priyanjan s
turning delivery and Thirimanne
jumped high to reach the ball but fell,
then recovered quickly to jump forward
to take the low catch.
Bangladesh slid to 119--5 but Nasir
Hossain and Mahmudullah were guid-
ing them back to respectability until
fast bowler Suranga Lakmal came back
for his second spell to remove both of
them for 30 each.
Thisara Perera in the last over got
Rahman and Rubel Hossain in consec-
utive deliveries to raise a prospect of
hat trick, but Al-Amin Hossain however
For Sri Lanka, Priyanjan, Lakmal,
Thisara Perera and Mendis claimed two
ASIA CUP 2013-14
dislodges the bails to
dismiss Sri Lanka's
during the Asia Cup
cricket tournament in
yesterday. AP PHOTO
Bangladesh Innings: 204--9 in 50
overs (Anamul Haque 49, Shamsur
Rahman 39, Mahmudullah 30;
Ashan Priyanjan 2--11, Suranga
Lakmal 2--32, Thisara Perera 2--29).
Sri Lanka Innings: 208-7 in 49
overs (Angelo Mathews 74 not out ,
Chaturanga de Silva 44, Lahiru
Thirimanne 33; Al-Amin Hossain
2--42, Mahmudullah 1--30)
Sri Lanka beats
Bangladesh by 3 wickets
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