Asia Cup final: Best of frenemies Pakistan and Sri Lanka set for another edition of old, but cordial rivalry
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Asia Cup final: Best of frenemies Pakistan and Sri Lanka set for another edition of old, but cordial rivalry

Madison Franz



Asia Cup final: Best of frenemies Pakistan and Sri Lanka set for another edition of old, but cordial rivalry
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After the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Super Four game ended and the players waited for the presentation ceremony, Babar Azam and Wanindu Hasaranga were spotted engaged in a chat near the boundary rope. Both were chuckling and guffawing, even though Hasaranga had taken out Babar in the match. Beside them, Mohammad Rizwan, Dasun Shanaka and Kusal Mendis were rolling in laughter.

Not far from them Maheesh Theekshana was obediently listening to Saqlain Mushtaq, like an apprentice to a master. Some time ago, Wasim Akram was seen talking to Sri Lanka’s left-arm seamer Dilshan Madhushanka. As the players exited the stadium, a horde of Sri Lankan fans sought the autograph of Naseem Shah, just as a few Pakistan teenagers were queuing up beside Hasaranga for his signature.

Evident thus was an overwhelming camaraderie, an uncomplicated natural friendly vibe, not one for the camera, but one fostered by their frequent cricketing exchanges, their shared experience playing in leagues around the world and historically smooth cricketing ties.

So much so that it’s the most harmonious of cricketing rivalries in the subcontinent, unstained by geopolitical tensions or cultural antagonism.

Pakistan-India match-ups might be devoid of the old hostility, but it is still an intense rivalry with deep nationalistic undertones, so much so that another bilateral series between them is a distant possibility.

Pakistan-Afghanistan encounters could be crudely bitter affairs, as was witnessed in Headingley and Sharjah. Pakistan-Bangladesh match-ups too have an uneasy, expected layer of friction. Bangladesh-Sri Lanka face-offs, a pure cricketing rivalry though it is, have of late turned spicy, replete with heated barbs and cartoonish charades. So have India-Bangladesh duels turned out to be.

Among the mutually squabbling South Asian cricketing siblings exists the Pakistan-Sri Lanka rivalry as an island of peace. Not that they have no reasons to emerge as a feisty rivalry, from the mid-90s to mid-2010s, they competed for continental and global glory, had players capable of turning the scene ugly, and there was a terrorist attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore, yet they have maintained firm and cordial ties, cricketing-wise as well as diplomatically.

In troubled times, they have been by each other’s side, lugging onto the shoulder. Upon cricket’s resumption in Pakistan, no team has toured the country as frequently as Sri Lanka have.

In the last five years, they have travelled to Pakistan three times, twice for white-ball series and in 2019 for Test matches.

No team had visited the UAE for a full-fledged series against Pakistan as much as Sri Lanka (three times in seven years) had either. They were each other’s dial-a-friend lifeline.

There is a deeper cricketing affinity between them too. Unorthodoxy has flourished in both countries — who else would have produced outlier talents such as Shoaib Akhtar, Lasith Malinga or Muttiah Muralitharan? Which other countries would have provided the fertile grounds for the carrom ball and doosra to develop, or the Dillscoop and reverse-sweep? Where else would players who had played just tape-ball or beach-ball cricket on streets and beaches be plucked from obscurity and pitched into international cricket. Who else would have produced leaders like Imran and Arjuna Ranatunga, or stylists like Saeed Anwar and Aravinda de Silva? There are heart-warming life stories, cricketers from deep interiors, those fighting poverty and battling floods and tsunamis, those emerging from outside the cricketing systems.

In a sense, theirs is the ideal sporting rivalry. Fiercely competitive and gentlemanly on the field, and friendly off it. One can remember a raft of classics the two teams have dished out, yet not an instance where they were locked in a bust-up or pre-game rattle, or scandals or gossip. After the Super Four match on Friday, both skippers lavished praise on each other. Shanaka said: “Don’t be fooled by Pakistan’s performance [on Friday], they are a good team and could beat anyone on their day. We have seen that several times and we know the quality they possess.” His counterpart Azam reciprocated at the presentation ceremony: “Even after they lost to Afghanistan in the first match, we never wrote them off. Today, they showed you why and they have been the most consistent team in the Asia Cup.”

Both made a mockery of pre-tournament odds, where India were predicted to encounter Pakistan. A dream final of sorts. The possibility seemed even more realistic when Afghanistan thumped Sri Lanka in the opening fixture. But thereafter, they scripted a stunning turnaround, as only Sri Lanka, or Pakistan, can. They went on to win four games on the trot — three in the last over and one comprehensively. But with each game, they kept unearthing more heroes. Apart from the usual suspects like Hasaranga, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Shanaka emerged new heroes like Pathum Nissanka, the feisty opener, Madushanka, the left-arm seamer and Theekshana, the mystery spinner. An old hero remerged too — Mendis. The words of former Bangladesh cricketer Khaled Mahmud, that they don’t have a world-class bowler, turned out to be a spur-on in hindsight. Shanaka dwelled on that again on Friday, rather indirectly: “Bowling combination, starting with left-arm fast bowler, off-spinner, leg-spinner, variation from the spinners, any kind of batting line-up will be challenged. The combination as well as the variation we have is amazing,” he said.

But the Lankan top order is vulnerable to pure pace. Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hasnain made them look like novices at times in the Super Four game. So had Afghanistan left-arm seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi and Bangladesh’s Ebadot Hussain. With Naseem Shah returning for the final, and a bouncier and quicker surface expected for the game, a baptism by pace awaits them. That’s how Pakistan have historically won tournaments, with the magic and mystique of the pacers. Think of Wasim Akram in the 1992 World Cup; or Mohammad Amir in the 2017 Champions Trophy.

On the other hand, Pakistan kicked off the tournament as overwhelming favourites but had to scrape through nervous moments, both their Super Four victories being exceedingly tight. They were beset with unusual problems — like the indifferent touch of Azam, the flaky middle order and an erratic Rizwan, who would look sublime one day and banal the next. Apart from Rizwan with 256 runs, no other Pakistani batsman has scored more than 100 runs in the tournament (Babar 63, Fakhar Zaman 96, Asif Ali 41, Khushdil Shah 56 and Ifthikar Ahmed 73). But little doubt that they have the mettle and quality to reverse the tide and put on a larger-than-life show in the final. Saqlain defended each of the spaces that had been holding Pakistan from fully blooming.

On Babar, he said: “It is just that his luck is not going his way. The kind of boundaries he has hit against India. A batter with deeper eyes will say that his form is fine. It is his luck which is not going his way.” On Rizwan: “Rizwan is superhuman and he is very spiritual, the energy he brings to the team is amazing.” On the middle order: “They have done well against India and Afghanistan when we chased. You might think that it was a small total and Naseem Shah won it for us but all 11 players batted. We have a big-match temperament.” And the arsenal of bowlers—the fast bowling trio has wizardry and the spin pair of Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz smarts and nous.

None, thus, would dispute that Pakistan could reverse the Super Four defeat. Then none would argue that Sri Lanka don’t possess the ammo to rattle Pakistan either. Both have imperfections, but both have the incandescence to beat any team in the world on their day as well. Thus, an ideal final between ideal rivals, unbound by geopolitical tensions and bound by warm diplomatic and cricketing ties.

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TheScore 1b Usyoungcnbc: Your Guide To The Top Sports Stories Of The Day

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TheScore 1b Usyoungcnbc: Your Guide To The Top Sports Stories Of The Day
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Technology has always played a big role in sports, from broadcasting games to tracking players’ movements. And as the industry continues to grow, so too does the need for accurate and up-to-date information. That’s where TheScore comes in. TheScore is a news outlet that covers all things sports, from major sporting events to minor league baseball games. And with so much information available on the internet, it can be difficult to know what to focus on. That’s where TheScore comes in. Every day, they round up the top sports stories of the day and put them all in one place so you can easily find and read about them. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, check out TheScore 1b Usyoungcnbc; it’s your guide to the day’s top sports stories.

The score esports

1. TheScore esports has released its first-ever ranking of the world’s best CS: GO teams.

2. North America’s Cloud9 will miss the ESL One Cologne Major due to a suspension from Valve.

3. Renegades have secured themselves a spot at the ESL One Cologne Major after defeating Ghost Gaming in the final match of the Australian Online Qualifier.

4. Astralis and Na`Vi will face off in the semifinal of the IEM Katowice World Championship in Poland next week.

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TheScore’s sports team is always hard at work keeping you up to date on the biggest stories in the world of sports. Here are the top five stories from today:

1) Cleveland Cavaliers Cement Victory Over Golden State Warriors

After a nail-biting finish, the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to secure a 104-101 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of their playoff series. LeBron James led his team with 41 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists while Kyrie Irving added 34 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. This victory cemented Cleveland as champions of the NBA playoffs, ending what had been a long championship drought for them.

2) Serena Williams Wins Third US Open Title

Serena Williams was able to win her third US Open Title by defeating Naomi Osaka in a close match. While this victory may come as no surprise to many tennis fans, it was still great to see Williams win her first US Open title in 2005 and her second in 2007. This win also earns Williams $23 million dollars – making her the highest-earning female athlete of all time.

3) Cubs Win The World Series!

Finally, after 108 years of waiting, the Chicago Cubs were able to win their first World Series title by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in 5 games. David Ross was incredible during this entire series – batting .370 with three home runs and seven RBIs throughout the playoffs. Chicago’s historic victory is sure to

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Canadabased thescore 1b usyoungcnbcis your guide to the top sports stories of the day. From baseball to track and field, we’ve got you covered. In today’s edition:

– LeBron James signs with Lakers

– Neymar seals PSG move

– Serena Williams crashes out at WTA Finals

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1: TheScore NBA is your source for the day’s top sports stories. From breaking news to in-depth analysis, we have it all.

2: Check out our latest article on the Houston Rockets and their impressive start to the season.

3: The Golden State Warriors are still ruling the roost in the NBA, but there are plenty of other teams that are worth keeping an eye on. Read about how Phoenix Suns have been performing so far this season.

4: And don’t forget about the Toronto Raptors! After a promising season start, they’ve recently hit some bumps in the road. Find out what’s causing them problems and how they plan to fix them.

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1. Today’s top sports stories include the Portland Timbers shutting down their season with a loss to Seattle Sounders FC and the Chicago Blackhawks winning their first Stanley Cup in 54 years.

2. For bettors, today’s headlines include some key NBA games and MLB matchups. In the NBA, Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets is a matchup that could go either way, while in MLB, the Boston Red Sox are fighting for a chance at their fourth straight World Series title against the Toronto Blue Jays.

3. Other hot betting topics of the day include who will win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and who will be this year’s Eurovision Song Contest champion.

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Najbolji CS:GO timovi na početku i kraju 2022. godine

Madison Franz



Najbolji CS:GO timovi na početku i kraju 2022. godine
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Godina koja će uskoro biti iza nas je bila izuzetno turbulentna kada je reč o CS:GO esportu. Na’Vi nije uspeo da zadrži tron, kao ni FaZe Clan koji se popeo na vrh nakon njih. Kako se godina bližila kraju sve češće se nametalo pitanje da li uopšte postoji jedan najbolji tim trenutno na svetu, a kada sagledamo celokupnu sliku zaključak je jasan da njega u ovom trenutku nema. Ipak, možemo pogledati ko su timovi koji su najviše napredovali u proteklih 12 meseci, a ko je nazadovao u odnosu na start godine.

Natus Vincere je držao ubedljivo prvo mesto na HLTV rang listi 3. januara 2022. godine sa maksimalnih 1.000 poena. više nego duplo od drugoplasiranog Gambita. Činilo se kao da ništa ne može da zaustavi probuđenu zver, ali samo dva meseca kasnije započinje rat u Ukrajini koji i danas traje, i koji je ostavio nesagledive posledice kako na celu planetu, tako i na u tom trenutku najbolji CS:GO tim sveta koji su u tom trenutku činili dva igrača uz Ukrajine uključujući i superstara Aleksandr „s1mple“ Kostylieva i tri igrača iz Rusije.

S1mple i saigrači ulaze potpuno dekoncetrisani u turnire na početku godine, a potom dolazi do dodatnih komplikacija nakon što je iz tima uklonjen IGL Kirill „Boombl4“ Mikhaylov. Na’Vi se nakon toga nije oporavio do kraja godine, uspevaju da održe visoku poziciju, ali nisu imali snage da se ponovo nametnu kao vodeća CS:GO sila i godinu završavaju na šestom mestu.

Tada drugi tim sveta Gambit je u međuvremenu prešao u Cloud9 pošto im je bilo onemogućeno da učestvuju na turnirima predstavljajući esport organizaciju iz Ukrajine. Cloud9 je bio jedan od glavnih favorita za titulu na IEM Rio Majoru gde su poklekli u završnici takmičenja, a godinu završavaju na devetom mestu i uz glasine o izmenama u timu na startu 2023. godine.

Also Read: VISIT

Vitality i G2 Esports su imali potpuno drugačiji rasplet godine, a iako se činilo da će Vitality biti uspešniji, na kraju je G2 taj koji je uspeo da povrati visoku poziciju osvajanjem poslednjeg velikog turnira u godini, čime su prekinuli šampionski post dug četiri godine.

G2 je ove godine zamenio sve igrače sem braće Kovač, uzdajući se u legende naše esport scene. Uz dolazak menadžera Petra „Peca“ Markovića G2 uspeva da ostvari svoj najveći uspeh kada se to od njih najmanje očekivalo, i vrati navijačima veru u tim koja je bila ozbiljno poljuljana nakon što se G2 nije kvalifikovao za Major u Brazilu.

G2 je trijumfom na BLAST Premier World Finals 2022 uspeo da se popne za jedno mesto i završi godinu na trećoj poziciji, odmah iza ekipa Heroic i Outsiders, vicešampiona i šampiona IEM Rio Majora, dok je Vitality usled serije nedovoljno dobrih rezultata pao na desetu poziciju, iako bi na papiru ovaj sastav trebao da je mnogo bolje rangiran.


Na petom mestu na početku godine se nalazio Heroic, jedno od, ako ne i najprijatnije iznenađenje godine. Dolazak Jakoba „Jabbi“ Nygaarda u junu je preporodio ekipu koja stiže do finala IEM Rio Majora, gde su i pored uloge favorita izgubili u finalu od Outsidersa. Iako je ovaj poraz mnogo boleo igrače Heroica, oni nisu mentalno pali nakon njega već se uzdišu na najbolji mogući način i pred domaćom publikom osvajaju u Kopenhagenu finale jesenjeg BLAST turnira.

Also Read: VISIT

Veliki pad su doživeli Ninjas in Pyjamas koji su sa šestog pali na 16. poziciju na kraju godine. NiP već dugo vremena ne uspeva da se nosi sa najboljim timovima sveta zbog čega im visoki plasman na najvećim turnirima redovno izmiče. Sa druge strane igrači koji predstavljaju, a koji su primorani da većinu ove godine igraju kao Outsiders, su i pored gubitka glavne zvezde ekipe uspeli da naprave senzaciju i osvoje IEM Rio Major što im je omogućilo da se popnu sa sedmog na drugo mesto kada uporedimo početak i kraj godine.

Outsidersi nisu uspeli da nastave sa dobrom igrom i ispadaju već na startu BLAST World Finalsa, tako da ukoliko žele da zadrže visok plasman naredne godine, moraće mnogo bolje da igraju na narednim turnirima.

Also Read: VISIT

Veliki tragičar 2022. godine je i Astralis, koji je godinu započeo na osmom mestu, da bi je završili na 18. mestu, nadomak ispadanja iz top 20. Srećom po Astralis kao partnerski timovi vodećih takmičenja imaju znatno lakši posao da skupljaju bodove, ali ni to im neće previše značiti ukoliko ne pronađu način da zaigraju kao „pravi“ tim. Narednu godinu će započeti sa novim igračem, u pitanju je Christian „Buzz“ Andersen, ali ih nećemo videti na IEM Katowice 2023, jer nisu uspeli da obezbede učešće na takmičenju.

Brazilska FURIA se popela za dva mesta i sada zauzimaju osmu poziciju, prvenstveno zahvaljući velikom uspehu na Rio Majoru gde su uspeli da sruše Na’Vi i obezbede top 4 plasman, dok devetoplasirani Entropiq više nema svoj CS:GO tim.

FaZe Clan je zauzimao 11. poziciju na početku godine, pre nego što su doživeli vrtoglav uspon koji je krunisan PGL Antwerp Major titulom, ali su i oni doživeli pad forme u drugom delu sezone, tako da su sa prvog mesta koje su držali pali na petu poziciju.

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Treba napomenuti i da je Fnatic uspeo da ostane maltene na istom, i napreduje za jedno mesto sa 12. na 11. poziciju, iako su godinu završili sa tri nova igrača, i još uvek pokušavaju da se stabilizuju i izgrade sinergiju.

ENCE za koji nastupa Pavle „maden“ Bošković je godinu započeo i završio na 14. poziciji, ali treba napomenuti da su u jednom trenutku zaista igrali kao top 5 tim sveta, što se na kratko i odrazilo na njihov rang.

IEM Katowice 2023 počinje 31. januara i trajaće do 12. februara, kada ćemo videti kako su se timovi spremili za novu godinu i nove izazove koji im predstoje.

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Top 10 timova sveta u prvoj nedelji 2022. godine na HLTV rang listi:

1. Na’Vi

2. Gambit
3. Vitality
4. G2 Esports
5. Heroic

6. Ninjas in Pyjamas
8. Astralis
9. Entropiq


Top 10 timova sveta u poslednjoj nedelji 2022. godine na HLTV rang listi:

1. Heroic
2. Outsiders (

3. G2 Esports
4. Team Liquid
5. FaZe Clan
6. Na’Vi

9. Cloud9 (bivši Gambit)
10. Vitality

More Read: VISIT

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