The game of courts: The Wimbledon final of the tennis kings

Since 2017, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have dominated the Grand Slams. While their status as legends of the game is already secure, it appears that neither one of them is willing to relinquish their iron grip on each tournament. Their consistency and hunger keeps the rest of the pack on their toes and it therefore seemed inevitable that two out of this reigning triumvirate of tennis kings would go onto reach the final at this year’s Wimbledon.   But which two? Federer has been looking to add to his tally of 20 titles, while Nadal has been snapping ...

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A Tale of Two Teams: Pakistan’s World Cup campaign through Charles Dickens

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness….we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.” The famous opening of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities speaks of an era of contrasts and contradictions. In the year 1775, England and France paradoxically embodied the mirror images of good and bad that define our everyday lives and everything within ...

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CWC19: Pakistan couldn’t score 500, but proved they are worthy of the semi-finals

Before the Pakistan-Bangladesh encounter, Sarfaraz Ahmed said, “we will aim for 500 runs”. While it seemed highly unlikely, Pakistan fans at least expected their team to attempt the impossible. That’s what sport is about, right? Always trying to push the boundaries and make the impossible possible. After all, records are meant to be broken and Pakistan should have done everything they could to try to qualify for the semi-finals. Of course, this was only possible if Pakistan got off to a fast start. Sarfaraz Ahmed "we will try to score 500" #PAKvBAN #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/JPN3sQ5DR8 — Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) July 4, 2019 While the ...

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For Pakistan, the journey to World Cup 2023 starts now

Wednesday marked the end of Pakistan’s World Cup campaign. England held their nerve to trounce both India and New Zealand, making Pakistan’s progression to the semi-finals virtually impossible. Even if Pakistan manage to defeat Bangladesh, their poor run rate will make it very difficult for them to qualify for the next round of the World Cup. As usual, Pakistan’s campaign was filled with plenty of emotions, highs and lows, elation and disappointment. But now, as Pakistan teeter on the brink of elimination, now is the time to reflect on our team and ascertain what needs to change. Many are saying ...

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Wahab Riaz, Pakistan’s unsung World Cup hero

Pakistan needed 22 off 20 balls with three wickets in hand against Afghanistan. How Pakistan got themselves into that situation is a whole other story, but at that moment desperation had kicked in. World Cup dreams, pride, honour and reputation were all hanging by a thread for Pakistan as a defeat at the hands of Afghanistan, handcrafted by Pakistan’s players, seemed inevitable. Out came Wahab Riaz with a fractured finger to rescue Pakistan on a pitch that offered turn from the east coast to the west. This sounds exaggerated, almost like something out of Bollywood’s lacklustre flicks, but it’s not. ...

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#PAKvsAFG: Imad Wasim pulled off what Dhoni couldn’t – a late onslaught

Pakistan’s fate now hangs in the balance. At the start of the weekend, the equation for the Men in Green was simple: Pakistan must beat Afghanistan and India must defeat England. Unfortunately, one of these matches didn’t go according to plan. Nonetheless, Pakistan’s World Cup hopes are still alive because they managed to clinch a crucial victory against Afghanistan, but only just. Going into the match, Pakistan were tipped as being the favourites, even though Afghanistan had previously given India a run for their money. Any fan of Pakistan cricket knows that chasing down a target in an ODI ...

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Defeating the undefeated: I believe in #TeamGreen and their dream

When Pakistan lost the toss to New Zealand, I felt that Sarfaraz Ahmed secretly wanted to lose it. Had he won the toss, his decision to bat first or bowl would have been critiqued from all angels. Had he won the toss and batted first, fans would have said, “why bat in overcast conditions?” and had he won and bowled first, fans would have asked, “why chase when we’ve won the last game defending?” Regardless, Pakistan were sent in to field first and the story which unfolded was similar to their previous games. Mohammad Amir was sensational, striking early and ...

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#PAKvsNZ: Will history repeat itself today?

The 12th iteration of the cricket World Cup is currently underway in England and Wales with 10 teams battling against each other. So far, three teams, South Africa, West Indies and Afghanistan, have been knocked out of the tournament. Two teams, Australia and India, have essentially confirmed their place in the semi-final, while the remaining five teams, England, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, are in the hunt for the remaining two semi-final spots. England and New Zealand have their destiny in their own hands, but the remaining three teams not only have to win their group matches, they ...

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Pakistan cricket has many problems; removing Mickey and Inzi will not solve them

After Pakistan’s dismal performance in the first half of their World Cup campaign, fans have been angry to say the least. The team is being criticised from left, right and centre, in both acceptable and unacceptable ways. It seems that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), like in all the previous World Cups where we didn’t live up to expectations, is feeling the heat and will be looking for scapegoats. After being whitewashed by England prior to the World Cup and their unpredictability in the tournament thus far, questions have been raised and fingers have been pointed. As a cricket fan ...

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No one can ever call the Pakistan cricket team ‘predictable’ or ‘boring’

At the iconic Lord’s cricket ground, Pakistan won the toss and smartly chose to bat first. The real test for Pakistan was whether they could see off the new ball against quality bowlers like Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi. The openers definitely delivered on that front. Just to put things in perspective, after five overs, Pakistan had scored 35 runs, courtesy of seven boundaries. All the shots played were quality strokes, mostly played against good deliveries. This was crucial because when Pakistan’s opening batsmen deliver and lay a good foundation, it usually leads to the middle order firing as well. It wasn’t ...

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