PSL 2020: Peshawar Zalmi’s Haider Ali smashes the stereotype with his batting promise

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) continues to hurtle towards its conclusion.

Being held entirely in Pakistan for the first time in the competition’s history, the ongoing edition has proven to be a huge hit with packed stands greeting the teams in the cities of Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan.

While the T20 league has clearly been a success off the pitch, the action on the pitch has been equally enthralling and gripping.

It has been a tournament of many surprises with Multan Sultans topping the league on the way to their maiden play-off qualification. Two-time champions Islamabad United have failed to reach the play-offs for the first time in history, while three-time finalists and defending champions Quetta Gladiators have been dealt the same cards.

Meanwhile, perennial underperformers Lahore Qalandars have scripted a dramatic turnaround in the second half to sneak into the play-offs for the first time in five attempts.

For Pakistan fans in particular, PSL 5 has been a rewarding one with several youngsters putting their hands up with notable displays. Unsurprisingly though, most of these displays have come with the ball.

Shaheen Afridi’s stock continues to rise with the teenager leading Lahore’s charge by scalping 13 wickets at an economy-rate of just 7.02. Only fellow 19-year-old pacer Mohammad Hasnain has claimed more dismissals than Afridi, with the Quetta man topping the charts with 15 wickets. Despite Islamabad’s misfortunes, skipper Shadab Khan has emerged with his all-round reputation enhanced after racking up 263 runs at an average of nearly 38 and a strike-rate of over 159. The 21-year-old has been pretty handy with the ball as well, with his leg-spin accounting for eight dismissals.

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WTA calls off three tournaments, suspends Tour until May 2

The WTA has called off three tournaments as part of its upcoming clay-court swing and has suspended its Tour until May 2 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the organization announced Monday.

The WTA said its events in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague will not be held as scheduled.

“We regret this is the case for all of our loyal fans, players, sponsors and all those who support women’s professional tennis,” the Tour said in a statement.

The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Istanbul Open were slated to be held from April 20 to April 26, while the J&T Banka Prague Open was scheduled for April 27 to May 2.

The WTA said it will make a decision in the coming week about its remaining clay-court events.

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Wolves’ Towns donating $100K to Mayo Clinic

Karl Anthony-Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on January 17, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns has announced he’ll donate $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic for testing for the COVID-19 virus.

The Minnesota-based medical system said it expects the money from Towns will help increase capacity for COVID-19 from 200 tests per day to more than 1,000 per day in the coming weeks.

The Mayo Clinic has been working for the past month on developing its own test for the virus to supplement other existing avenues.

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan and the Hornets players have partnered to establish a fund to provide financial assistance to the team’s part-time employees adversely affected by the loss of games and events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Payments from the fund will assist more than 500 part-time staff.

The fund will impact employees who serve in various capacities during games and events, including ushers, ticket takers, box office attendants, entertainers, public safety officers, retail staff, guest services personnel, technical operations and others.

The part-time staff for the Hornets will be compensated through the end of the scheduled NBA season on April 13. There also will be assistance for part-time employees working Spectrum Center concerts and Greensboro Swarm part-time staff through the end of March.

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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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