Messi returns to training with Barcelona

BARCELONA - Lionel Messi returned to training with Barcelona Thursday to offer the Catalans a boost with less than a week to go before their Champions League clash against Roma. Messi missed Argentina's two internationals over the last week due to a hamstring strain, although he did train between the 2-0 win over Italy last Friday and Tuesday's 6-1 humiliation by Spain. "Messi took part in a part of training with the squad," Barca tweeted. The 30-year-old five-time world player of the year joined other Barca stars just back from international duty. With Barca enjoying an 11-point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga, where they are unbeaten all season, Messi may be rested for Saturday's trip to Sevilla to give him more time to recover ahead Champions League clash against Roma.–AFP

 Lahore Distribution win SNGPL Annual Sports

LAHORE - Lahore (Distribution) secured 51 points to win the SNGPL Annual Sports, which concluded here at Wapda Sports Complex Thursday. Mardan (Distribution) Region team bagged second (39 points) and Head Office Team third position (34). In individual events, Ayesha Ali won table tennis, Maryam Iqbal badminton, Ishfaq long jump, Farhan high jump, Arsalan shot put, Ifran, Zeeshan, Tariq and Umer 400m relay race, Awais 200m race, Haroon table tennis, Mudasar Noor and Syed Naveed Kamal table tennis doubles, Awais Ahmed badminton, Awais Ahmed and Arshad Aziz badminton doubles titles. In team events, Peshawar Distribution team won volley ball, Lahore Distribution team tug-of-war, and Qaseem 100m race titles. Chief guest Deputy MD (Services) Amer Tufail distributed prizes among the winners.–Staff Reporter

 Aqua FC annex Balochistan Football Cup

LAHORE - Aqua FC Quetta annexed Ufone Balochistan Football Cup after beating Noshkal Baloch FC Noshki 2-1 in the thrilling final played at Railway Ground Quetta. According to information made available here Thursday, Aqua FC Quetta and Noshkal Baloch FC started the match well but they failed to converted a single goal in the first half. Noshkal FC’s Abdul Malk scored earlier in the second half to give his team 1-0 lead which was soon equalized by Sher Hassan. By the close of the match, Aqua FC’s Nasrullah netted the match-winning goal to guide his team to title win. Secretary Sports Balochistan Manzoor Ahmed graced the final as chief guest and gave away trophy to the winning team.–Staff Reporter

 Four matches played on inaugural day

LAHORE – Four matches were played on the inaugural day of the CSP-organised ‘Jotun Corporate Silver League 2018’ here at Ali Garh and Green Acres cricket grounds. In the first match of the day, LTC defeated UBL Funds Manager, beat ICI Pakistan in second encounter, Jazz routed Adsells in third fixture while Nespak outplayed in the fourth and last match of the day. UBL Funds manager and captain Uzair Dar praised the quality of arrangements made by organisers and efforts of CSP founders Abdul Saboor Khwaja and M Arslan Khan.–Staff Reporter

 Waleed shines in Al-Fateh Club win

ISLAMABAD – Waleed Iqbal helped Al-Fateh Club beat mighty Punjab by 19 runs in the Allama Iqbal 40-40 Cricket Series encounter played here at XI Star cricket ground on Thursday. Put into bat first, Al-Fateh scored 278-8 with Waleed Iqbal slamming breath-taking 105 off 89 balls hitting 12 fours and 2 sixes and Adil Khan smashing 75 studded with 7 fours. Khurram and Moeez took 2 wickets each conceding 33 and 37 runs respectively. In reply, Punjab were bowled out for 259 in 39 overs. Saleh Riaz made fighting 84 while Sardar Ali hit 47.  Adil ripped through Punjab batting claiming 6-21 while man-of-the-match Waleed Iqbal bagged 2-44. A total of 13 teams are taking part in the tournament, which are divided into two pools as Pool A has 7 teams and Pool B has 6 teams.–Staff Reporter