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Pakistan look to end decade-long Asia Cup drought but Sri Lanka have psychological edge

Madison Franz



Pakistan look to end decade-long Asia Cup drought but Sri Lanka have psychological edge
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Will Pakistan win their third Asia Cup? Or will Sri Lanka be crowned for the sixth time?

It is a tournament Pakistan love but a tournament that hasn’t always loved them back. Pakistan’s lack of success over this competition’s four-decade history has been baffling, given, if history is a guide, there are only three possible destinations for this trophy. For the first half of the tournament’s existence, India and Sri Lanka played musical chairs, with Pakistan kept out in the cold, making only one of the first six finals.
They won the Sharjah Cup, the Nehru Cup and even the World Cup during this time, but the Asia Cup remained elusive. It wasn’t until 2000 that a Moin Khan-led side finally touched the one piece of silverware that Pakistan had been denied. But it took them another 12 years for their next title. It has been a further decade since, and while India and Sri Lanka have split a dozen of these between them, Pakistan cherish the memories of those two.
The tournament has evolved, this particular edition is in the T20 format, and fans been gifted a vintage Pakistan side: wild, excitable, unpredictable, and against all odds, still here. The manner of India’s routing of Afghanistan and Sri Lanka’s subsequent dismantling of Pakistan means those two Naseem Shah sixes really were the difference between qualification and elimination. Now, Babar Azam has the chance to achieve what only Moin and Misbah-ul-Haq have accomplished for Pakistan – the official continental supremacy.
Pakistan have not necessarily looked destined for glory this fortnight, beginning with a final-over defeat to arch-rivals India. They inflicted a loss on that same opponent a week later to invigorate a flagging campaign, but stumbles against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka suggest a lot of work still needs to be done – not just with bat in hand, but, for this young side, also when it comes to keeping emotions in control; there was evidence in that game against Afghanistan that nerves, and perhaps tempers, threatened to get the better of them at crucial moments.
Tempers are less likely to flare in the final, though. Each Asia Cup side has had a complicated relationship with the others, but Pakistan vs Sri Lanka is perhaps the friendliest fixture of all. Throughout most of their history, these two nations have enjoyed cordial relations, and been there for each other in their toughest times. That warmth has been evident on the field as well, and there is no reason that should change.
A Sri Lankan redemption arc, though, is perhaps a neater, easier graph to chart, though nonetheless dramatic for it. Not many would have expected Sri Lanka to be here after they were blown away by eight wickets and almost ten overs to spare in the opening game by Afghanistan. Against Bangladesh, too, they looked done for in a steep chase until Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, and Bangladesh’s own mistakes saw them sneak through to the Super 4s.
But since then, their campaign has turned around. The batters, right through to the lower order, played modern, aggressive, entertaining cricket that has lit up this tournament, gaining them fans outside that little paradise of an island itself. Afghanistan were swiftly avenged, before a thrilling win against India effectively saw them through to the final. The way their batters held their nerve at the death against India made that win especially impressive as they trumped an opposition that had beaten them in 14 of the last 17 T20Is.
The win against Pakistan in the last game of the Super 4 round perhaps means they go into the final as favourites, but not mentioning the value of the toss would be irresponsible. Only three times has a team defended successfully in the tournament – Hong Kong’s two opponents and India against Afghanistan – and while there have been plenty of close games to suggest it needn’t have been that way, the value of winning the toss cannot be overstated.
Pakistan LWWWL (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)
Sri Lanka WWWWL

In the spotlight

Whether you’re Team Total Attack or Team Platform Building, Pakistan’s T20 fortunes are tethered firmly to the kind of day Mohammad Rizwan is having. He might take his time and hold up one end, which gives the rest of the side something of a comfort blanket – that only becomes really apparent in how exposed the side feels when he falls early. Even better for Pakistan, if he could find his timing from relatively early on and get them off to a rapid, if not flying, start. A struggling Rizwan often means a struggling Pakistan, not just because his runs might be missed, but because Rizwan in the right mood lifts the spirit of the entire side. He has become this T20I side’s heartbeat, as well as the bellwether of its performances.
Wanindu Hasaranga doesn’t mind playing against Pakistan. The 3 for 21 he picked up in the dry run for the final wasn’t a one-off. Quite literally, in the sense that he had registered those precise numbers in a T20I in Lahore as well to help Sri Lanka clean sweep Pakistan 3-0. It was really that tour of Pakistan that kickstarted his career, and he hasn’t looked back since. Pakistan remain, statistically, one of his most favoured opponents, against whom he has bagged 11 wickets in four matches. These include a Player-of-the-Series award as well as two Player-of-the-Match performances. Add to that his ability to contribute runs down the order, and it becomes clear why his battle against Pakistan might be key to the destination of the Asia Cup.

Pitch and conditions

It will be hot and dry again, as it has been all fortnight.

Team news

After resting a few players in the last game, Pakistan should revert to the side that won three games in a row prior to Friday’s defeat.
Pakistan (probable): 1 Babar Azam (capt), 2 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 3 Fakhar Zaman, 4 Iftikhar Ahmed, 5 Khushdil Shah, 6 Shadab Khan, 7 Asif Ali, 8 Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Naseem Shah, 10 Haris Rauf, 11 Mohammad Hasnain
Sri Lanka may consider bringing Asitha Fernando back, but after that commanding bowling performance on Friday, an unchanged XI is more likely.
Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Kusal Mendis (wk), 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Dhananjaya de Silva, 4 Danushka Gunathilaka, 5 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 6 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 7 Chamika Karunaratne, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Pramod Madushan, 11 Dilshan Madushanka

Stats and trivia

  • Haris Rauf is three strikes shy of 50 T20I wickets.
  • This is the fourth time Sri Lanka and Pakistan are playing an Asia Cup final, with Sri Lanka winning two of the previous three.


“When building a team, it is great for us that different players have stood up when it counts and helped the team win matches. As a captain, this is important for me, and it helps pave the path for future success for the team as well.”
Babar Azam relishes the contributions from multiple players this competition
“As a tournament, looking back, this has been one of the best Asia Cups we have had, and we are looking forward to the final.”
Dasun Shanaka has his eyes firmly on the prize
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What Are Raptor Lights? (Or: Tacoma Bros, Stop Putting Them on Your Trucks)




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Three orange LEDs won’t add inches to your truck’s girth.

The luminescent phenomenon known as “Raptor lights” lit up in 2010 with the arrival of the Ford F-150 Raptor, but the idea of putting three orange lights on a big truck is nothing new. These lights have been legally required on semi trucks, buses, and other large vehicles for decades. You see them on all kinds of pickup trucks and SUVs these days, although technically they have no business on your Tacoma.

What Are Raptor Lights?

Officially, they’re “identification lamps,” but whatever you call them, the three small amber lights in the grille of a truck have become a styling cue for off-road trucks. The F-150 Raptor wasn’t the first truck to wear them, but it definitely started the trend, hence why enthusiasts and the aftermarket often use the term “Raptor lights” regardless of what truck they’re on.

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You can thank the federal government, at least in part, for the current fad. When Ford’s extra-girthy, desert-running Raptor checked in at 86.3 inches wide back in 2010, the automaker was obligated to put them on the pickup—any passenger vehicle over 80 inches wide is subject to the same lighting regulations governing commercial vehicles. In addition to amber front identification lights, a set of three red lights must be installed on the rear of these vehicles. These vehicles also require clearance lamps at the corners that are similar to identification lights but called out separately in the regulations.

Here’s The Legal Definition

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 108, (aka Title 49, Subtitle B, Chapter Five, Section 571.108 of the Code of Federal Regulations) lays out the legal details around vehicle lighting. Among the statutes you’ll find this gem describing how the identification lamps should be placed on any vehicle 80 inches or wider: “On the front and rear—3 lamps, amber in front, red in rear, as close as practicable to the top of the vehicle, at the same height, and as close as practicable to the vertical centerline, with lamp centers spaced not less than 6 inches or more than 12 inches apart. Alternatively, the front lamps may be located as close as practicable to the top of the cab.”

04 what are raptor lights tacoma indicator marker lamps

In other words, the Raptor is wide enough to require the same lighting as big rigs and dump trucks. These lights are like bright colors on a poisonous frog, but instead of saying, “Don’t eat me, I’m deadly,” they say, “Watch the heck out, there’s one big chungus of a truck coming your way.”

Now, why do so many pickup trucks put Raptor lights in the grille rather than on top of the truck like a semi? If you read the regulations like a lawyer, you’ll notice that the feds want these lights both high and at the front of the vehicle. In other words, the default location is along the front edge of the hood. Placing them along the top of the cab like you see on semis is spelled out as an exception to the rule. Heavy-duty pickups with hips exceeding 80 inches often have the indicator lamps affixed to the top of the cab, although nothing’s stopping automakers from placing them into the grilles.

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Which Other Trucks And SUVs Have Raptor Lights?

The 88.0-inch-wide Ram 1500 TRX followed in the gigantic footsteps of Ford F-150 Raptor and helped make “Raptor lights” a symbol of modern off-road machines, with the orange identifiers mounted high inside its hood scoop. The Bronco Raptor, which measures 85.7 inches between its fat fenders, and the TRD Pro versions of the third-gen Toyota Tundra and Toyota Sequoia are also lit up like big rigs. Heavy-duty pickups outfitted with dually rear axles (and, subsequently, large width measurements) also bear identification lamps.

There has been some documented conflict between OEMs and state laws concerning these indicator lamps. The identifier lamps atop the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD trucks, required by federal law because of the trucks’ width, violated an annoyingly specific bit of California Vehicle Code 27606, which states, “No person shall own or operate a motor vehicle which is equipped with a light bar, or facsimile thereof, to resemble a motor vehicle used by a peace officer or traffic officer while on duty within that jurisdiction.” To summarize, the code suggests the indicator lamps too closely resemble the amber light bars atop some government vehicles and therefore cannot adorn trucks sold in California.

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Why Your Tacoma Should Not Have Raptor Lights

It’s simple: Your midsize truck is not wide enough to leave the factory with Raptor lights and pressing any number of orange LEDs into your grille won’t add inches to your vehicle’s girth. Notice that neither the new 2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter nor the 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor are fitted with these orange telltales, although you can imagine the marketers certainly wish they were.

The legality of adding aftermarket Raptor lights to your rig will come down to local laws, but vehicle lighting is heavily regulated. Unless you’ve installed fenders that push the body beyond 80 inches, adding exterior lights to your vehicle could earn you a ticket from a knowledgeable and ornery cop. When in doubt, refer to your local vehicle code.

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Why show jumping is one of the most thrilling horse sports?

Odyssey News



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Think horse sports and the first thing that comes to mind is probably dressage. But for many equestrian enthusiasts, show jumping is considered the ultimate horse sport. There are several reasons why this is the case. First, it is one of the most challenging disciplines because riders must balance speed, precision, and control while jumping over obstacles.

Second, it is a spectator-friendly sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. And lastly, it requires a high level of athleticism and training from both horses and riders. If you’re looking for an intense and exciting horse competition, then show jumping is definitely worth checking out!

What is horse show jumping?

Horse show jumping is better known by the name “Show Jumping.” This event is performed by the horse and rider navigating a specific obstacle course by jumping over hurdles. The obstacle course is designed by the organizers of the event and is in accordance with the intention of the event. There is a specific time limit as to the duration of the event. Judges grade and score the skill and efficiency and time taken to perform the event, said Alec Lawler, a talented show jumping athlete and business owner with a passion for identifying and securing international equine investment opportunities. He has competed at the highest international level in show jumping throughout North America and Europe, and has won numerous awards and accolades, including the CSI 3* Grand Prix of Lummen Belgium in 2016. Alec founded Lawler Show Jumping LLC in 2019, where he selects, imports, develops, and sells dozens of horses annually.


History of Show Jumping

The tradition of the English fox hunt is what gave birth to “Show Jumping” in the 1700’s. The laws known as “The Enclosure Acts” were written to put controlling guidelines on horse riding in order to ensure the safety of the horses.

Show Jumping events were originally mostly informal and were held in the British Isles and France throughout the 1800’s; the sport was not popular until fans were able to view the jumps in a controlled space (such as a stadium.)

In Italy Army Captain Caprilli revolutionized show jumping by introducing the “forward seat.” The rider’s position on the horse was changed which provided better balance for the horse while jumping. This new riding position was immediately adopted worldwide and is still used today. It replaced the “Dressage seat” which hindered the horse’s jumping potential. The first formal jumping event was held in England in 1907.

The riders were soldiers . There were no formal rules for these competitions as the judges wrote a personal opinion of what they had witnessed. In 1925 The BSJA (British Show Jumping Association) was established, and made specific rules for jumping events. It was preceded by The American Horse Show Association founded in 1917.

What are the jumping horses breeds

There are twelve horse breeds that are considered to be the best jumpers. They are The Holsteiner, The Arabian, The Oldenburg, The WestPhalian, The Trakehner, The Morgan, The Quarter Horse, The Connemara, The Dutch WarmBlood, The Irish Sport Horse, The Hanoverian, The Thoroughbreds. We will briefly describe their specific positive attributes.

  • The Holsteiner has a long lifespan (35 to 40 years)
  • The Arabian is very beautiful and has great athletic abilities and stature
  • The Oldenburg is kind hearted, easily trained and strong
  • The Westphalian Is easily trained, a fine athlete, and traces its bloodline to the first Persian King
  • The Trakehner has great style and jumping ability
  • The Morgan is much smaller than the other breeds, easily trained and friendly
  • The Quarter Horse is good tempered, has great strength, trainable, and very popular in the USA
  • The Connemara is of Irish origin, smaller, well balanced and ideal for training youngsters
  • The Dutch Warmblood is good natured and placid
  • The Irish Sport Horse is very calm and muscular
  • The Hanoverian is considered to be a great investment and a great performer
  •  The Thoroughbred is highly intelligent, loyal, agile and fast

Is it necessary to train a horse to jump?

All horses naturally know how to jump. Any horse will instinctively know when it is necessary to jump. If you do not plan to have your horse perform jumping training is not necessary. However, if your intention is to compete with your horse in Show Jumping events it is recommended that both you and your horse have training with a seasoned professional trainer.

You both will learn the fine points of jumping and how to jump correctly according to standardized jumping procedures. These procedures must comply with strict internationally prescribed rules. In a competitive tournament, your jumping activity and jumping time will be keenly observed and scored by professional judges. This process will determine who is considered as the best jumper and the winner of the event.

These competitive events are conducted mostly on an adult level. However, there are also competitions for teenagers only.

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