Imam taken to hospital after Ferguson blow

By Sports Desk November 09, 2018

Pakistan Imam-ul-Haq was taken to hospital after being struck on the helmet by a short ball from New Zealand quick Lockie Ferguson during the second ODI on Friday.

A rapidly rising delivery from Ferguson did Imam for pace and appeared hit the opening batsman on the grille in Abu Dhabi.

Imam was checked over as he lay on the pitch and looked dazed after getting back to his feet.

The shaken 22-year-old was helped off the field clearly unsteady on his feet and carried on a stretcher to an ambulance, which took him off for scans.

Babar Azam replaced Imam, who retired hurt for 16 with Pakistan 54 without loss in the 13th over chasing 210 to level the three-match series.

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    All Blacks head coach Hansen this week declared that the winner of Saturday's showdown at the Aviva Stadium would be the number one team in the world.

    New Zealand remain at the top of the rankings despite suffering a 16-9 defeat, Jacob Stockdale scoring a superb only try of pulsating Test in Dublin.

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    "So if you want to make them World Cup favourites, go ahead. I guess they are favourites."

    Ireland head coach Schmidt said the rankings speak for themselves.

    "I think he probably enjoyed a little bit of banter," said the New Zealander.

    "I've huge respect for Steve, Fozzy [Ian Foster] and Scott MacLeod, their coaching staff.

    "So for us to be favourites when they have been the world number one team for nine years, and continue to be the world number one team...

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    Joe Schmidt's side finally defeated the All Blacks for the first time in Chicago last year and proved that was no flash in the pan at a raucous Aviva Stadium.

    Jacob Stockdale created a brilliant try for himself by racing onto his own chip over the top to touch down in the second half of an absorbing contest between the top two sides in the world.

    Two penalties and a drop-goal from Beauden Barrett was all Steve Hansen's men could muster, Johnny Sexton booting 11 points in Ireland's first home win over the All Blacks.

    Captain Read said New Zealand could have no complaints with the outcome after they suffered a first loss in Europe for six years.

    "Everyone just threw everything at it, I think all 23 players of both teams, and the Irish were just too good for us tonight so full credit to them," he told RTE.

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