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Pakistan press for victory after Younis's hundred

DUBAI: Pakistan grabbed three key wickets including the key scalp of Alastair Cook to sense victory in the second Test against England after Younis Khan smashed a century in Dubai on Sunday.

Pakistan will need another seven wickets to force a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after Younis’s brilliant 118 helped them set a daunting 491-run target for England.

The first Test ended in a draw in Abu Dhabi.

At close England were 130-3 with Joe Root unbeaten on a fighting 59 and with him Jonny Bairstow on six not out as they still need 361 for an unlikely victory or bat out the final day on a weary Dubai stadium pitch on Monday.

It will be a tough task for the England batsmen as the pitch was offering turn with leg-spinner Yasir Shah and left-armer Zulfiqar Babar posing a real threat.

Earlier Pakistan declared 35 minutes after lunch, with Younis scoring his 31st century, Misbah-ul-Haq 87 and Asad Shafiq making 79.

England were tottering at 45-2 at tea but Ian Bell (46) and Root defied Paksitan bowling during their 102-run stand for the third wicket and looked to take England safely to stumps.

But Babar broke the partnership when he spun a sharp delivery which Bell tried to leave but gloved it to the slip where Younis took an easy catch.

Pakistan reviewed the not out decision by Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford and were duly rewarded. Bell hit four boundaries during his 121-ball resistance packed knock.

Root edged Shah through the slips to complete his 16th Test half century, his 12th fifty plus score in 2015 which is a new record for an England batsman beating Keith Fletcher’s 11 in 1973.

He has so far hit five boundaries in his resolute 134-ball knock.

It was Khan who provided Pakistan with an early wicket, forcing an edge of Ali’s bat to slip where Younis took the catch.

Cook, who scored 65 in the first innings and 263 in the first Test, failed to keep a sweep off Shah down and was smartly caught at deep square-leg by Wahab Riaz.

Earlier, it was Younis who set the tone for a big target.

Younis punched paceman Stuart Broad to the point boundary for his 11th four to reach three figures off 193 balls, his third hundred against England.

He was finally dismissed as he tried to pace the run-rate, skying a catch off leg-spinner Adil Rasheed. In all he hit 13 boundaries during his 354-minute knock.

Pakistan, resuming on 222-3, looked for quick runs.

Misbah had scored a brilliant 102 in Pakistan’s first innings of 378, but failed to add to his overnight 87.

He played an uppish shot to a slower delivery from fast bowler James Anderson which landed in the safe hands of Cook at mid-off.

Misbah hit eight boundaries and five sixes in his enterprising 147-ball innings.

England’s bowlers toiled hard to check the flow of runs as leg-spinner Adil Rasheed conceded 107 runs before finally getting a wicket.

Ali trapped Shafiq leg-before wicket to finish with 1-60. Shafiq hit eight boundaries in his 112-ball knock. He added 113 runs for the fifth wicket with Younis.

Misbah declared the innings at the fall of Shafiq’s wicket.

Anderson with 2-22 and Mark Wood 2-44 were the most successful bowlers.

The third and final Test starts in Sharjah from November 1.

Pope Francis tells bishops to include 'those on fringes'

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Sunday warned Catholic bishops against turning away from people who do not fit their “scheduled faith”, a day after a divisive synod on the Church’s attitude to sex, love and marriage ended in stalemate.

Bishops on Saturday submitted a report to the pope that fudges the key issue of whether divorced and remarried believers should be allowed to play a full role in the Church, reflecting a stalemate in the battle between the conservative and liberal wings.

Francis is free to ignore or implement the document, which leaves him room for manoeuvre should he wish to defy his conservative opponents and push on with his attempt to make the Church more relevant and more welcoming towards believers who find themselves in breach of its rules.

At a mass Sunday marking the end of the synod, the 78-year-old pontiff warned bishops of the dangers of “falling into a ‘scheduled faith'”.

“We are able to walk with the people of God, but we already have our schedule for the journey, where everything is listed: we know where to go and how long it will take, everyone must respect our rhythm and every problem is a bother,” he said, looking pale and tired after the exertions of the synod.

Instead he pointed to the Gospel story of Jesus healing the blind man Bartimaeus as evidence that God “wants to include above all those kept on the fringes who are crying out to him”.

After the three-week synod — which Francis recognised in closing remarks had exposed deep divisions in the Catholic family — the pope must now decide if and when he updates guidelines on the Church’s teaching.

The text approved on Saturday advocates a “case by case” approach to the most controversial question, the handling of divorced and remarried believers, saying they need to play a greater role in the Church but stopping short of explicitly ending the current ban on their receiving communion.

The document includes only one brief article on the Church’s approach to gay believers, framing the question in terms of how priests can help support families who have “persons with homosexual tendencies” in their midst.

It reiterates that the Church believes every person, regardless of their sexuality, is worthy of respect but stresses the Church’s opposition to gay marriage.

The emphasis contrasted sharply with first drafts last year which spoke of recognising the value of loving same-sex relationships, to the outrage of those opposed to any dilution of Church teaching that homosexuality amounts to a kind of disorder.

Fazal, Jaffer steer Vidarbha to three-wicket win over Assam

PTI | Oct 25, 2015, 05.30 PM IST

NAGPUR: Faiz Fazal (63) and Wasim Jaffer (71) shared an 124-run opening partnership to steer Vidarbha to a three-wicket victory over Assam on the fourth and final day of their Group A Ranji Trophy cricket match at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here on Sunday.

Chasing 213 to win, Vidarbha resumed their second innings at 88 for no loss as Fazal and Jaffer continued their good work and notched up their individual half-centuries.

Syed Mohammad dismissed Jaffer in the 44th over, while Amit Verma removed Fazal at the 150-mark in the 57th over. Jaffer had eight boundaries in his 119-ball innings, while Fazal hit just three fours during his stay.

Ganesh Satish (17) and skipper S Badrinath (37) then took Vidarbha to the 200-mark but S Purkayastha then came up with twin strikes to dismiss both the batsmen in the 70th over.

Just 13 runs off the target, Vidarbha then suffered a mini-collapse as they lost Badrinath, Shalabh Shrivastava (0), Jitesh Sharma (4) and Aditya Shanware (1) in the next four overs.

SS Ruikar (4) and UT Yadav (6) then took the team home and helped Vidarbha grab six points.

Brief Score:

Assam 206 & 160

Vidarbha 154 & 215/7 in 74 overs (W Jaffer 71; Amit Verma 3/55, S Purkayastha 3/90).

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British enlisted Indian children during WW-I, new book reveals

LONDON: Britain’s World War-I army included Indian children as young as 10-years-old fighting against the Germans on the western front, according to a new book on the role of Indian soldiers in the Great War.

The youngsters were shipped over to France from the far reaches of the British Empire to carry out support roles, but were so close to the front line that many were wounded and admitted to hospital, according to ‘For King and Another Country: Indian Soldiers on the Western Front 1914-18’.

The account by writer and historian Shrabani Basu is based on official papers at the National Archives and British Library.

Some of the Indian children, including a 10-year-old “bellows blower”, and two grooms, both 12, provided support to cavalry regiments, a ‘Sunday Times’ report said.

One of the youngest boys involved in direct combat was a “brave little Gurkha” called Pim, 16, who was given an award for valour by Queen Mary while he was recuperating in hospital in Brighton.

Basu believes many of the children came from poor families and that they would have lied about their age at recruitment offices in India, where they were encouraged to sign up for a monthly salary of 11 rupees.

“In the case of a 10-year-old, it should have been pretty obvious that they were underage,” she told the newspaper.

This embarrassment was shared by some British officials.

In one dispatch to Lord Kitchener, secretary of state for war, Sir Walter Lawrence, a civil servant tasked with overseeing injured Indian troops, wrote: “It seems a great pity that children should have been allowed to come to Europe.”

About 1.5 million Indian soldiers fought for Britain in the First World War, with a handful being awarded the Victoria Cross bravery medal.

Basu’s book, to be published by Bloomsbury on November 5, also reveals that British nurses were barred from treating Indian soldiers in war hospitals and were allowed only to supervise orderlies, leading to claims of discrimination.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Ranji Trophy: Bengal take three points from drab draw against Delhi

NEW DELHI: A contest spiced up by a heated argument petered out into a drab draw with Bengal taking three points on the basis of first innings lead against Delhi in their Ranji Trophy group A match at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Sunday.

Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary declared the second innings at 217/4, setting a target of 326. Delhi scored 161/4 with debutant wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant registering a maiden half-century.

Tiwary and Aamir Gani resumed the innings on the final morning and after a nervy start, the duo settled in comfortably. The Delhi bowlers failed to break through their defences even as Tiwary proceeded towards his half-century. A six off spinner Manan Sharma took him from 46 to 52 in the 47th over and in his next, hit two successive fours to set the tone. Gambhir began the day with pacers, then a pacer and a spinner and eventually settled on spinners from both the ends, without success.

Tiwary and Gani collected runs easily. There was a chance in the 60th over though when Tiwary took the aerial route and the ball went flying to wide of long-on. Parvinder Awana began his charge a bit late and his sluggish effort failed to fetch him the catch. Meanwhile, Gani recorded his maiden first-class fifty at the stroke of lunch. Delhi lost the first session, bowling 35 wicket-less overs as the visitors took lunch at 157/3 and thus any chance of forcing an outright win.

A sunny day in Delhi turned frosty in on Sunday at Kotla. That’s the best way to sum up the first two sessions of the final day’s play. Fresh from Saturday’s ugly altercation between the two rival captains Gambhir and Tiwary, players from both the sides didn’t shy away from having a go at each other. In the 53rd over of the Bengal innings, Gani exchanged words with Delhi vice-captain Unmukt Chand after hitting Manan for a four. On the fielding side’s complain, the umpire had a word with Gani and Chand.

The next incident happened during Delhi’s chase when batsman Yogesh Nagar backed off with Ashok Dinda in his pre delivery stride in the fifth over. A visibly frustrated Dinda bowled anyway and aimed the ball at the batsman. Nagar wasn’t impressed and walked towards the bowler. For the third time in two days, umpire had to diffuse the tension.

Post lunch, Bengal continued in the same vein. Tiwary kept hitting crisp boundaries and looked all set for a century. With the wickets drying up, Gambhir changed his strategy and experimented with a heavy off side field as Sumit Narwal kept an outside off-stump line. It paid off as Gani went for a sweep off Narwal hoping for an easy boundary on the almost vacant leg side but could only manage an edge to the keeper. He scored 62 (142b, 4X8, 6X1). That stand for fourth wicket was worth 144 runs.

Tiwary, all set to make a well-crafted century, became Narwal’s second victim, caught in the gully for 97 (199b, 4X11, 6X1). Bengal declared after his dismissal at 217/5, setting Delhi a target of 326 with just over a session’s play left in the day.

Delhi came in with a new opening pair in Unmukt and Pant. They started aggressively, with Unmukt recording four fours in the third over, bowled by Dinda. However, he played a shot too many and ended up offering a return catch to the bowler off the final delivery of the over. With the match heading for a draw, Pant played aggressively, hitting two fours and three sixes on way to his first half-century. He fell for 57, becoming the second Delhi batsman to be out stumped after Nitish Rana (14) – both off Gani. Delhi finished at 161/4 in 37 overs.

Brief Scores: Delhi 161/4 (Rishabh Pant 57, Nitish Rana 49; Aamir Gani 3/47) & 249 drew with Bengal 217 (Manoj Tiwary 97; Sumit Narwal 2/37, Manan Sharma 2/88) & 357

Points: Bengal 3, Delhi 1

Players should avoid ugly confrontations: Thakur

PTI | Oct 25, 2015, 04.49 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Stressing on the importance of clean cricket, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said incidents like the showdown between Gautam Gambhir and Manoj Tiwary in a Ranji Trophy match should not take place and promised corrective measures.

“Incidents like this should not take place in any sports. Each and every player playing the game should avoid indulging in such kind of acts. I had a word with game officials and asked them to look into the details of the incident,” said Thakur on the sidelines of a match played between Parliamentarians and Celebrities.

“All corrective measures will be taken on the cricketers,” he added.

Delhi Captain Gautam Gambhir had a heated exchange of words with his Bengal counterpart Manoj Tiwary during their Ranji match on Saturday. The umpire had to step in to pacify the players.

Gambhir was fined 70 percent of his match fees while Tiwary copped a penalty of 40 percent for the altercation during the third day of play.

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Ex-UK PM Tony Blair sorry for Iraq war 'mistakes', says it gave rise to ISIS

Tony Blair has made apologies about aspects of the Iraq War for the first time and has said there are ‘elements of truth’ in the theory that the invasion helped feed the rise of Isis.

In a TV interview with CNN, the former British Prime Minister said he was sorry that the intelligence behind the decision to attack Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003 was wrong, and admitted there had been mistakes in the planning of the operation.

He had been asked how he felt about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as he took questions from American political broadcaster Fareed Zakaria in an interview due to be broadcast by CNN Europe on Sunday.

It is as part of a longer documentary, Long Road To Hell: America In Iraq, set to be screened on Tueday.

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War with ISIS: The West is wrong again in its fight against terror

With the cameras rolling, Mr Zakaria asked Mr Blair: “Given that Saddam had no WMDs, was the war a mistake?”
He replied: “I apologise for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong. I also apologise, by the way, for some of the mistakes in planning, and certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime. But I find it hard to apologise for removing Saddam.”

Mr Blair’s comments led to questions as to why he had chosen to be so candid to a US network before making such comments to British broadcasters or newspapers. The timing of the interview has been noted by critics, with the long-awaited findings of the Chilcot inquiry into the conflict due to be made public in the coming weeks.

The war led to large scale public protests and rebellions against Mr Blair in the Labour Party. Saddam Hussein was toppled but up to 500,000 people are said to have been killed in war-related deaths from 2003.

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Iraq war ‘absolutely’ worth it: Bush

In his CNN interview, Mr Blair, who resigned as Prime Minister in 2007, was asked how he felt about being sometimes branded a “war criminal” by his opponents, and how it had changed the way people viewed his time in Downing Street. He responded by comparing the invasion with inaction in Syria, claiming the West and Europe had stood back while hundreds of thousands of people had been killed.

He added: “By the way, I always point out to people, I did actually win an election after Iraq. But I agree it’s been a huge political problem.”

In another segment, Mr Blair is asked whether the war provoked the growth of Isis, the group which now controls swathes of Iraq and Syria and which is being hit with air strikes from a US-led coalition that includes the UK.

“I think there are elements of truth in that,” Mr Blair said. “Of course, you can’t say those of us who removed Saddam in 2003 bear no responsibility for the situation in 2015.”

In the past, Mr Blair has been less candid about what went wrong. In 2007, he insisted: “I don’t think we should be apologising at all for what we are doing in Iraq.”

2nd Test: Rain washes out fourth day's play in Colombo

Reuters | Oct 25, 2015, 03.56 PM IST

Highlights

• West Indies will resume their second innings on 20 for one on the final day and need another 224 runs for a series-levelling win.

• The ground at the P Sara Oval remained covered with Colombo receiving heavy overnight rain and more showers during the day.

Match officials walk on the covers as they inspect the situation of the ground in Colombo. (AP Photo)Match officials walk on the covers as they inspect the situation of the ground in Colombo. (AP Photo)

COLOMBO: The fourth day’s play in the second and final Test between Sri Lanka and West Indies was washed out due to persistent rain on Sunday.

West Indies will resume their second innings on 20 for one on the final day and need another 224 runs for a series-levelling win after the hosts won the first Test in Galle by an innings and six runs.

Shai Hope (17) was unbeaten overnight after his opening partner Kraigg Brathwaite (three) fell lbw to paceman Dhammika Prasad on the final delivery of the second session on Saturday before rain washed out the entire final session.

The ground at the P Sara Oval remained covered with Colombo receiving heavy overnight rain and more showers during the day.

The umpires made a couple of inspections during the day and finally called off play shortly after the scheduled tea break.

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Bangladesh rejected IS claim over Shia shrine blasts

DHAKA: Bangladesh on Sunday rejected as “entirely baseless” claims by the Islamic State (IS) that it was behind bomb blasts targeting Shia community that killed a 12-year-old boy and injured 90 others and said people trying to discredit the government were behind the incident.

“The (reported IS) claim is entirely baseless and Islamist militants were not involved in it…give us just one or two days and by that time we expect the real culprits to be exposed to justice,” home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told PTI.

A boy was killed and about 90 others injured in Saturday’s blasts targeting a Shia procession in front of the community’s main shrine in the Bangladeshi capital.

The bombing comes just weeks after an Italian aid worker and a Japanese farmer were shot dead in attacks claimed by the Islamic State.

Kamal said the culprits planned such an attack under a well drawn up design coinciding with the Shia Muslim mourning festival of Ashura so that the incident could be attributed to the ultra Sunni IS.

“For now, I would also like to tell you briefly that all the three incidents, the murder of the two foreign nationals and the blasts at the Husseini Dalan, are interlinked… the same group of people masterminded the attack to create instability and discredit our (ruling Awami League) government,” the minister said.

Police said three bombs were hurled at the procession joined by more than 20,000 people around 1.30am at Huseni Dalan, an important 17th century centre of learning for the Shia community.

They said it was believed to be the first attack on the Shias in the Sunni-dominated Bangladesh, which has witnessed an increase in violence this year claimed by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

Hours after the attack, the US-based Site Intelligence Group that monitors militant threats reported that the Islamic State claimed the responsibility for the bombing on the Shia shrine.

The attack came hours after a suicide bombing at a Shia Muslim mosque in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province killed at least 12 people.

“But here in Bangladesh, there is a different motive behind the attack unlike Pakistan…the explosions at Husseini Dalan was carried out on Ashura to give it a colour of Sunni-Shia clash,” Kamal minister said.

Earlier too, Bangladesh authorities had rejected the claims that the IS was involved in the murder of two foreigners in the country and blamed a section of ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia’s BNP-led right-wing coalition with fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami for the incident to create instability in the country.

The US and the UK have condemned Saturday’s attacks.

Younis completes century as Pakistan build big lead

AFP | Oct 25, 2015, 02.06 PM IST

DUBAI: Younis Khan completed his 31st century as Pakistan amassed a formidable lead on the fourth day of the second Test against England on Sunday.
Younis was unbeaten on 112 and Asad Shafiq 47 not out as Pakistan reached 311-4 at lunch, extending their lead to 447 at Dubai stadium. Younis punched paceman Stuart Broad to the point boundary for his 11th four to reach three figures off 193 balls, his third hundred against England.

He has so far hit 12 boundaries during his 203-ball stay and added 87 in an unbroken fifth-wicket stand with Shafiq. Pakistan, resuming on 222-3, looked for quick runs to set England a target and secure a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The first Test in Abu Dhabi ended in a draw.

Misbah had scored a brilliant 102 in Pakistan’s first innings of 378, but failed to add to his overnight 87. He played an uppish shot to a slower delivery from fast bowler James Anderson which landed in the safe hands of Alastair Cook at mid-off.

Misbah hit eight boundaries and five sixes in his enterprising 147-ball innings. England’s bowlers failed to make an impact on the fourth-day pitch, with leg-spinner Adil Rashid costing 90 runs in his 22 wicketless overs. Anderson with 2-22 and Mark Wood 2-29 were the most successful bowlers.

The third and final Test will be in Sharjah starting on November 1.

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