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Monday, February 28, 2011

Zimbabwe crush Canada by 175 runs

Zimbabwe crush Canada by 175 runs NAGPUR: Zimbabwe recorded their first victory in the World Cup 2011 when they demolished Canada by a huge margin of 175 runs in their Group A match here at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground on Monday.

Chasing 299, Canada were all out for 123 runs in 42.1 overs. Their main scorers were Zubin Surkari (26), Gunasekeara (24) and Jimmi Hansra (20).

Ray Price (3-16) and Graeme Cremer (3-31) were the most successful bowlers for Zimbabwe,.

This is Zimbabwe’s largest victory in World Cups and the fourth largest in One-day Internationals.

Batting first after their captain Elton Chigumbura won the toss, Tatenda Taibu and Craig Ervine helped Zimbabwe set Canada a daunting 299-run target for victory.

Taibu was unfortunate to miss his third ODI century by just two runs as he was dismissed by Balaji Rao for 98. He hit nine boundaries in his 99-ball innings.

Craig Ervine also batted very well to make 85 from 81 balls with two sixes and six fours.

He and Taibu made together 181 runs for the third wicket partnership which helped Zimbabwe compile a big score but no other batsman except Sean Williams (30), Graeme Cremer (26) and Prosper Utseya (22) could make any significant score.

The 181-run partnership between Taibu and Craig Irvine is the highest partnership for Zimbabwe in World Cups, surpassing the 166-run stand between Grant Flower and Craig Wishart against Namibia in 2003.

After skipper Elton Chigumbura won the toss and elected to bat, Zimbabwe lost both their openers for only seven runs before Taibu and Ervine came to rescue.

Leg-spinner Balaji Rao was the most successful bowler capturing four for 57.while seamers Khurram Chohan and Harvir Baidwan claimed two wickets each.

Pakistan win crucial match against Sri Lanka

Pakistan win crucial match against Sri Lanka COLOMBO: Pakistan after a tough fight defeated Sri Lanka by 11 runs in their crucial Group A match in the ICC World Cup here at the Premadasa Stadium on Saturday.

Shahid Afridi came up with another superb bowling performance after taking his first World Cup five-wicket haul in the previous match against Kenya.

He captured four for 34 runs which included his 300th one-day international wicket when he dismissed Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara for 49.

Sri Lanka, chasing Pakistan's total of 277-7, replied with 266-9.

They have now lost seven times to their sub-continental neighbours in the World Cup, falling in 1975, 1983 (twice), 1987 (twice) and 1992.

After captain Shahid Afridi won the toss, Pakistan stalwarts Younus Khan (72) and Misbah-ul-Haq (83) not out) shared a century partnership to set co-hosts Sri Lanka a challenging target to chase under lights.

But Pakistan spinners strangled the Sri Lankan batsmen, capturing six of the nine wickets to fall.

Sri Lanka got off to a good start with openers Upul Tharanga (33) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (41) putting together 76, but got bogged down in the middle overs and despite a late spurt towards the target fell agonisingly short.

Chamara Silva led a late onslaught with a top score of 57 and Nuwan Kulasekara hit a quick 24 off 14 balls, but Sri Lanka had left their run chase a little too late.

Openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga provided a sound start of 76 runs but Sri Lanka lost four quick wickets for 20 runs, reeling at 96 for four.

Then, captain Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera took the score to 167 before Sangakkara departed. They added 71 runs for the fifth wicket.

Other batsmen could not resist the accurate Pakistan bowling despite fielding lapses. But Chamara Silva batted aggressively to become top scorer for Sri Lanka with 57 off 78 balls.

Pakistan stalwarts Younus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq shared a century partnership after Afridi had won the toss and chose to bat first.

The pair came together after Pakistan were reduced to 105 for three and they provided a solid foundation for Pakistan's eventual testing target.

Roach hat-trick as Windies beat Dutch

Roach hat-trick as Windies beat DutchNEW DELHI: West Indies seamer Kemar Roach grabbed a hat-trick as his team crushed the Netherlands by 215 runs in the World Cup here on Monday.

Roach, who became the fifth bowler to take a World Cup hat-trick, finished with 6-27 as the Dutch were dismissed for 115 in 31.3 overs.

West Indies capitalised on a strong start to post a commanding 330-8 against the Netherlands in a World Cup Group B match.

Put into bat at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium where they went down to South Africa on Thursday, the twice champions got off to a rollicking start with Chris Gayle (80) and Devon Smith (53) stitching together a century opening stand.

Down the order, Kieron Pollard (60) celebrated his promotion in the batting line-up with a 27-ball blitz to guide the team past the 300-mark.

Smith dominated the initial stage of the opening partnership, hitting Mudassar Bukhari for three boundaries in the first over before offering the same treatment off Berend Westdijk.

Gayle followed suit, hitting three boundaries off Ryan ten Doeschate's first over and went on to help himself to some more but his second World Cup century would eventually elude him.

Bernard Loots earned the breakthrough for the Netherlands in the 17th over when he had Smith caught behind but West Indies had reached the 100-mark by then.

Next man in Darren Bravo (30) proved why people compare him to Brian Lara, wowing the sparse crowd with a fluent 38-ball cameo that included two sweetly-timed sixes before spinner Pieter Seelar cut short his stay.

Pollard continued punishing the Dutch bowlers, hitting four sixes and five fours in his entertaining knock.

Team mate Ramnaresh Sarwan fell one run shy of the half-century mark despite two reprieves from his butter-finger opponents. (AFP)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Aussies dismiss New Zealand for 206

Aussies dismiss New Zealand for 206NAGPUR: New Zealand batsmen could not resist the pace attack by Australia and were all out for 206 runs in 45.1 overs in a World Cup Group A match here at the Vidarbha Cricket Ground on Friday.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and invited New Zealand in the daytime match overshadowed by the devastating earthquake in Christchurch.

At least 113 people have been killed as a result of tremors in the New Zealand city and the teams wore black armbands and observed a minute's silence before the start of play.

New Zealand were in trouble right from the start and all their top order batsmen were gone before the 15 overs were completed. They were 73-6 in 17 overs.

Later, Nathan McCullum and captain Daniel Vettori tried to make some recovery and both added 54 valuable runs for the eight wicket.

However, Nathan fell after scoring 52 from 76 balls when New Zealand were 175.

Vettori then fought the battle against Aussie pace bowlers but could notcontinue it long and was after making 44 off 43 balls.

For Australia, Mitchell Johnson captured four wickets for 33 runs and Shaun Tait claimed three for 35.

Both defending champions Australia and New Zealand won their opening matches following comprehensive wins over Zimbabwe and Kenya respectively.

Australia were unchanged for the game at the VCA Ground but New Zealand brought in batsman Jamie How for all-rounder Jacob Oram in a tactical switch

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pakistan crush Kenya to make flying start in WC

Pakistan crush Kenya to make flying start in WC HAMBANTOTA: Pakistan outclassed Kenya by a huge margin of 205 runs in their opening World Cup Group A match here at the Mahinda Rajapakse Stadium on Wednesday.

Set an improbable target of 318 runs, Kenya were bundled out for a mere 112 runs in 33.1 overs.

Captain Shahid Afridi was the main destroyer capturing five wickets for only 16 runs while Umar Gul claimed two for 12 and Mohammad Hafeez took one for 26.

Collins Obuya was the main scorer for Kenya with 47 as only three other top order batsmen could enter into double figures.

Earlier, captain Shahid Afridi won the toss and decided to bat but Pakistan made a disastrous start losing both their openers in seven overs.

Mohammad Hafeez was the first to go, failing to keep a drive down as a diving Seren Waters picked up a beautiful catch at short mid-wicket.

Two overs later, Ahmed Shahzad, who scored his first run after 13 deliveries, was caught by skipper Jimmy Kamande off Odoyo to leave Pakistan struggling at 12-2.

However, wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal and veteran batsman Younis Khan came to rescue and revived the innings through a solid 98-run stand.

Kamran made 55, his ninth ODI fifty and Younis scored 50, his 40th ODI fifty.

Later, Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal gave the innings the final flourish with a rapid fire 118-run stand for the fifth wicket adding 118 runs for the fifth wicket partnership.

Misbah hit 65 from 69 balls with two sixes. This was his 13th ODI half-century.

Umar Akmal, playing his first World Cup match, reached his seventh ODI fifty. He top scored with a 52-ball 71 with eight fours and a six.

This was the fourth half century in Pakistan innings.

Afridi made just seven runs and was dismissed lbw by Odoyo who finished with 3-41, conceding 20 in wides in a total of 46 extras

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

England win after Netherlands set huge target

NAGPUR: Captain Andrew Strauss guided England to a six-wicket win by achieving a huge target set by the Netherlands in a Group B match of the World Cup here at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground on Tuesday.

Chasing a difficult target of 293, England openers Strauss and Kevin Pietersen provided a solid start of 105 runs.

Strauss made 88 from 83 balls and Pietersen scored 39 while John Trott scored 62, adding 61 for the second wicket with Stauss.

Later, Trott and Ian Bell (33) made together 58 for the third wicket.

Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara made 30 runs each and added 54 runs of rthe unbeaten fifth wicket partnership to see England win their opening match in the tournament.

Earlier, a superb century by Ryan ten Doeschate powered the Netherlands to an astonishing total of 292 runs for six wickets against a strong England side after captain Peter Borren had won the toss and elected to bat first.

The 30-year-old South Africa-born right-hander hit three sixes and nine fours in his 110-ball 119 that was the cornerstone of the Netherlands's innings.

It was his fourth hundred in One-day Internationals and the first in the World Cup.

Ten Doeschate added 78 runs with Tom Cooper (47), 64 with Tom de Grooth (28) and 61 with skipper Peter Borren (35 not out) to set a target that should be quite a test for England's tweaked batting order.

Doeschate also claimed two wickets to earn the Man-of-the-Match award for his fine allround performance.

Earlier, The Dutch openers provided a bright start of 36 from only six overs but the English bowlers soon got rid off them..

Tim Bresnan got Alexei Kervezee caught behind for 16 when Netherlands were 36 and
Graeme Swann got Wesley Barresi stumped out for 29, again by wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

Then, Ten Doeschate ensured there was no panic in the Dutch camp. He offered dogged resistance in the company of former Australia under-19 player Cooper, consolidated the innings with his smart association with de Grooth before providing the late charge with Borren

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sri Lanka crush Canada by 210 runs

Sri Lanka crush Canada by 210 runs HAMBANTOTA: Sri Lanka recorded victory by a huge margin of 210 runs over Canada in their opening Group A day-night match on the second day of the ICC World Cup 2011 here at the at the Mahinda Rajapakse stadium on Sunday.

Chasing an improbable target of 333 runs, Canada were all out for 122 runs in 36.5 overs as only three players could get into double-figures.

Rizwan Cheema was the top-scorer with 37 off 35 balls with two sixes and four boundaries while captain Ashish Bagai made 22 and Harvir Baidwan remained not out on 16.

Sri Lankan pacers Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera claimed three wickets each while off-break bowler Muttiah Muralitharan captured two wickets.

Earlier, Mahela Jayawardene hit his second World Cup hundred to lead Sri Lanka to 332-7.

The 33-year-old right-hander scored his 100 off 80 balls for his 13th one-day hundred and added an invaluable 179 for the third wicket with skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who made 92.

Jayawardene and Sangakkara built on the platform set by opener Tillakaratne Dilshan (50) after Sri Lanka won the toss before a near-capacity 35,000 crowd at the new ground which became the 177th one-day venue.

Jayawardene completed his hundred with a single off spinner John Davison after facing just 80 deliveries - the fastest by a Sri Lankan in the World Cup, beating Sanath Jayasuriya's 85-ball ton against Bangladesh at Port of Spain four years ago.

But Davison dismissed him in the same over, caught at short fine-leg after Jayawardene had hit nine boundaries and a six.

Sri Lanka lost a cluster of wickets in the death overs, but Angelo Mathews (21) and Thilan Samarwaweera (18 not out) ensured they got past 300.

Earlier, Dilshan and Upul Tharanga put on a quick 63 for the first wicket by the 12th over before a mix-up between the two sent Tharanga back, run out for 19.

Dilshan fell just after scoring his third World Cup half-century, holing out at deep cover to Davison as he failed to control a shot off medium-pacer Rizwan Cheema.

It was then left to Jayawardene and Sangakkara to punish a hapless Canadian attack, depleted by an injury to spearhead Henry Osinde who walked off the field due to a hamstring problem after bowling only 2.1 overs

Australia beat Zimbabwe by 91 runs

Australia beat Zimbabwe by 91 runsAHMEDABAD: Defending champions Australia recorded a 91-run victory over Zimbabwe in their opening World Cup match on Monday.

Chasing 263 runs, Zimbabwe were all out for 171 in 46.2 overs after their bowlers made the Aussies struggle in the early overs.

Main scorers for Zimbabwe were Graeme Cremer (37), Sean Williams (28) and Prosper Utseya (24).

For Australia, Mitchell Johnson was the most successful bowler taking three wickets for 19 runs while Shaun Tait and Jason Krezja captured two wickets each.

Earlier, Shane Watson and Michael Clarke hit half-centuries as Australia overcame early struggles against spin.

In-form Watson, who cracked one six and eight fours in a 92-ball 79, added 61 for the first wicket with Brad Haddin (29) and 79 for the second with skipper Ricky Ponting (28).

Clarke provided the late flourish with a 55-ball 58 not out as Australia plundered 90 runs in the closing 10 overs to set a challenging target for Zimbabwe after electing to bat in the day-night match.

Zimbabwe's specialist spinners Ray Price, Prosper Utseya and Graeme Cremer tied the Australian batsmen down, preventing them from scoring freely.

Left-arm spinner Price, who shared the new ball with seamer Christopher Mpofu, was instrumental in keeping the run-rate low early in the innings with a tidy line and length. He finished with 1-43 off 10 overs.

Off-spinner Utseya and leg-spinner Cremer bagged one wicket apiece, conceding 84 runs in a combined tally of 20 overs.

In a rare show of aggression in the early overs, Watson and Haddin smashed two fours apiece in a Mpofu over, but skipper Elton Chigumbura promptly turned to spin.

Utseya provided the breakthrough when he trapped Haddin lbw, with Zimbabwe asking for a review of the umpire's decision after the batsman had initially been given not out.

Watson was also ruled out lbw off Cremer following a referral, but not before he had set the stage for the final onslaught.

Ponting was run out after a brilliant piece of fielding by Mpofu, who hit the stumps at the non-striker's end from deep midwicket.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Clijsters moves up world rankings

Clijsters moves up world rankings 

PARIS: Australian Open winner Kim Clijsters has risen to second place in the world rankings and within close range of Caroline Wozniacki who holds on to the top spot despite once again failing to win a Grand Slam title.

China's Li Na, who lost in Saturday's final in Melbourne, moves up to a career-best seventh place with Francesca Schiavone of Italy up to fourth behind Vera Zvonareva.

Former world number one Serena Williams, who has not played since winning the Wimbledon title last year, falls out of the top 10.

WTA world top 20:
1. Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) 8655 pts,
2. Kim Clijsters (Belgium) 8515 (+1)
3. Vera Zvonareva (Russia) 7405 (-1)
4. Francesca Schiavone (Italy) 5055 (+3)
5. Samantha Stosur (Australia) 4862 (+1)
6. Venus Williams (USA) 4645 (-1)
7. Li Na (China) 4450 (+4)
8. Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) 4385
9. Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) 3935
10. Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) 3340 (+4)
11. Shahar Peer (Israel) 3225 (-1)
12. Serena Williams (USA) 3035 (-8)
13. Maria Sharapova (Russia) 2936 (-3)
14. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) 2645 (+4)
15. Marion Bartoli (France) 2595 (+2)
16. Flavia Pennetta (Italy) 2535 (+9)
17. Kaia Kanepi (Estonia) 2460 (+4)
18. Petra Kvitova (Czechoslovakia) 2418 (+10)
19. Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) 2405 (+1)
20. Nadia Petrova (Russia) 2362 (-5)

Misbah guides Pakistan to tight win over New Zealand

Misbah guides Pakistan to tight win over New ZealandNAPIER: Misbah-ul-haq overcame the loss of late wickets to keep his cool and guide Pakistan to a two-wicket victory over New Zealand in their fourth one-day international match in Napier on Tuesday.

Misbah, who has anchored Pakistan's batting throughout the tour of New Zealand, proved once again a thorn in the side of Daniel Vettori's team, scoring 93 not out as Pakistan finished on 264 for eight in 49 overs having chased down the host's 262 for seven.

The Pakistan test captain, who had been coasting to the victory target while batting with Younus Khan (42), was forced to take all the responsibility of getting his side home when
Younus was run out in the 38th over.

Umar Akmal then scratched around for 10 off 17 balls before he was well caught in the 43rd over by Nathan McCullum off Vettori, who trapped Shahid Afridi in front two balls later to give New Zealand a faint hope of running through the bowlers to win the match and take a 2-1 lead in the best of six series.

Misbah, however, and Abdul Razzaq (23) managed to keep pace with the required run rate and while Razzaq was well caught by a hobbling Vettori, Misbah smashed 10 runs off two balls from Scott Styris and Sohail Tanvir (14) hit three boundaries off Tim Southee the next over to see their side home.

Late call-up James Franklin had proved the saviour of New Zealand's innings, which was about 30 runs short of a par total on a good batting wicket with short square boundaries.

Franklin was only brought into the side after Jesse Ryder, who injured a finger while playing for Wellington at the weekend, withdrew before play began.

The left-hander, who had scores of 72 not out, 98 not out and 17 not out in his previous three innings in India last December, top-scored with 62 to help arrest New Zealand's
mid-innings slump.

The hosts had romped to 40 without loss but lost three wickets for four runs and then slumped to 79 for five before Franklin's 62-run partnership with Brendon McCullum (37) and a stand of 64 runs with Nathan McCullum (53 not out) halted the slide