Zimbabwe post 202
Inzamam quits one-day cricket
PCB chief quits?
Cricket mourns Woolmer
on Bob’s birth place
Did Pak coach commit suicide?
Flintoff says sorry
Paes-Damm clinch title
Sania drops to 47th
India win by record margin
Port of Spain, March 19
India’s victory margin today erased earlier record of 256 runs by Australia over Namibia in Potchefstroom (South Africa) in 2003 World Cup.
Put in to bat, India posted Wolrd Cup record total of 413 for five, surpassing earlier highest of 398 made by Sri Lanka against Kenya in Kandy in 1996 edition of the showpiece event.
The 1983 champions then bundled out their lowly opponents for 156 in 43.1 overs.
Earlier, the 28-year-old Sehwag shook off his form slump in a 202-run second-wicket partnership with Saurav Ganguly, who hit 89, after Bermuda did India a favour by asking them to bat first in the Group B match.
It was Sehwag’s first one-day century for nearly two years.
Yuvraj Singh then smashed 83 off 46 balls and Sachin Tendulkar 57 not out in a whirlwind 122-run fifth wicket stand as Indian batsmen vented their frustration after their shock defeat to Bangladesh on Saturday.
The last 10 overs netted 136 runs, Tendulkar hoisting seamer David Hemp over square leg for six to bring up the Cup record total and produce the first 400-run total in the tournament.
The 1983 champions need convincing victories against Bermuda and Sri Lanka, they meet on Friday, to avoid a first-round exit if three teams tie on points.
Bermuda's 17-year-old paceman Malachi Jones struck with his first World Cup delivery to remove opener Robin Uthappa (3) in the second over.
Uthappa edged a rising ball and Bermudan policeman Dwayne Leverock flung his 19-stone frame at slip to produce a stunning one-handed catch.
Sehwag, coming in at number three amid calls for his sacking after making just one fifty in 14 innings, tore into the lightweight bowling to score his eighth one-day hundred, his first since April 2005.
The Delhi batsman struck 17 fours and three sixes until he mistimed a heave off paceman Kevin Hurdle and holed out to Jones at deep mid-off.
Ganguly, 34, looked set for a Cup record fifth hundred until he was stumped against spinner Delyone Borden, who had dropped a stiff chance off Hurdle when he was on 14.
Meanwhile, the stocks of the minnows have gone up after the stunning victories recorded by Ireland and Bangladesh, which has spiced up the cricket World Cup in the Caribbean.
The new found confidence in the minnows was apparent when Bermuda captain Irvin Romaine had a slight dig at Indian captain Rahul Dravid after winning the toss.
When commentator L Sivaramakrishnan asked him what he intended to do, pat came the reply "we'll have a bowl. You know, anything can happen in cricket".
"There is something in it for the bowlers in the early part and if we can put the ball in right areas, who knows what can happen," he added.
Romaine laughed after his remarks and had a look at a grim looking Dravid, who stood beside him.
The Bermuda captain was obviously referring to India's stunning five-wicket defeat at the hands of Bangladesh.
Uthappa c Leverock b Jones 3
Ganguly st Minors b Borden 89
Sehwag c Jones b Hurdle 114
Dhoni c Tucker b Borden 29
Yuvraj c Jones b Leverock 83
Tendulkar not out 57
Dravid not out 7
Extras (lb-7, w-17, nb-7) 31
Total (5 wkts, 50 overs) 413
Fall of wickets:1-3, 2-205, 3-238, 4-269, 5-391.
Bowling: Hurdle 10-0-53-1, Jones 7-0-74-1, Tucker 9-1-67-0, Hemp 2-0-32-0, Leverock 10-0-96-1, Borden 5-0-30-2, Cann 7-0-54-0.
Pitcher b Zaheer 0
Outerbridge b Zaheer 9
Borden lbw Patel 13
Hemp not out 76
Romaine lbw Kumble 0
Tucker b Kumble 0
Minors c sub b Agarkar 21
Cann c Uthappa b Agarkar 0
Hurdle b Agarkar 0
Leverock c Dhoni b Tendulkar 9
Jones lbw Kumble 1
Extras (lb-12, w-12, nb-3) 27
Total (all out, 43.1 overs) 156
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-18, 3-47, 4-57, 5-63, 6-106, 7-106, 8-110, 9-154.
Bowling: Zaheer 10-1-32-2, Agarkar 10-0-38-3, Patel 8-2-20-1, Kumble 9.1-0-38-3, Sehwag 5-0-15-0, Tendulkar 1-0-1-1. — Agencies
Zimbabwe post 202
Kingston, March 19 West Indies captain Brian Lara won the toss at Sabina Park and put Zimbabwe in to bat and he was rewarded with fine spells from his two opening bowlers. Jerome Taylor bowled Friday Kasteni with the first ball of the second over, a delivery which cut back sharply off the seam and then the stumps tumbled at the other end with Vusi Sibanda inexplicably playing no shot to Daren Powell. Zimbabwe, who tied their opening game against Ireland, were two for two and looking in real trouble. Taylor struck again in the tenth over, Chamu Chibhabha beaten for pace as he was clean bowled to leave the African side still in difficulty at 31 for three. Wicketkeeper-batsman Brendan Taylor and Stuart Matsikenyeri looked to lay down some foundations but after getting himself in, the experienced Matsikenyeri paid the price for a poor shot off Devon Smith, his underhit slog going straight to mid-on. Taylor was joined at the crease by left-hander Williams and with Lara turning to spin — utilising Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels — Zimbabwe made some steady progress. Scoreboard Zimbabwe Sibanda b Powell 1 Kasteni b Taylor 0 Chibhabha b Taylor 12 Taylor run out 50 Matsikenyeri c Powell Williams not out 70 Chigumbura not out 30 Extras (b-1, lb-7, w-15) 23 Total (5 wkts, 50 overs) 202 Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-2, 3-31, 4-59, 5-142 Bowling: Powell 6-1-15-1, Taylor 10-0-42-2, Collymore 9-0-29-0, Smith 5-0-28-1, Gayle 10-1-32-0, Samuels 10-1-48-0.
Kingston, March 19
West Indies captain Brian Lara won the toss at Sabina Park and put Zimbabwe in to bat and he was rewarded with fine spells from his two opening bowlers.
Jerome Taylor bowled Friday Kasteni with the first ball of the second over, a delivery which cut back sharply off the seam and then the stumps tumbled at the other end with Vusi Sibanda inexplicably playing no shot to Daren Powell.
Zimbabwe, who tied their opening game against Ireland, were two for two and looking in real trouble.
Taylor struck again in the tenth over, Chamu Chibhabha beaten for pace as he was clean bowled to leave the African side still in difficulty at 31 for three.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Brendan Taylor and Stuart Matsikenyeri looked to lay down some foundations but after getting himself in, the experienced Matsikenyeri paid the price for a poor shot off Devon Smith, his underhit slog going straight to mid-on.
Taylor was joined at the crease by left-hander Williams and with Lara turning to spin — utilising Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels — Zimbabwe made some steady progress.
Sibanda b Powell 1
Kasteni b Taylor 0
Chibhabha b Taylor 12
Taylor run out 50
Matsikenyeri c Powellb Smith 16
Williams not out 70
Chigumbura not out 30
Extras (b-1, lb-7, w-15) 23
Total (5 wkts, 50 overs) 202
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-2, 3-31, 4-59, 5-142
Bowling: Powell 6-1-15-1, Taylor 10-0-42-2, Collymore 9-0-29-0, Smith 5-0-28-1, Gayle 10-1-32-0, Samuels 10-1-48-0. — Reuters
Kingston, March 19
The 37-year-old captain, the mainstay of Pakistan’s batting for years, said the World Cup group tie against Zimbabwe on Wednesday would be his last one-dayer, a match he wanted to dedicate it to Woolmer who died on Sunday.
Inzamam’s decision, which was very much on the cards after the team’s botched World Cup campaign, means that Pakistan will have a new one-day captain who will have to revive the fortunes of a talented but unpredictable team.
Although the burly batsman, one of the top performers for Pakistan with 11,702 runs from 377 ODIs and 8,813 Test runs from 119 matches, wants to continue playing in the longer version, his future as captain would be decided by the PCB.
Inzamam said that he discussed the issue with his coach, the late Bob Woolmer, before making up his mind.
“A lot of people may think that this was not the right time to announce retirement but Woolmer agreed with me,” he said at a press conference here on Sunday.
“The Zimbabwe match will be the last one. Leading Pakistan was a great honour and these last three years have been the most memorable for me.” It was his fifth World Cup and his dream of winning it as a captain would remain unfulfilled. “I wanted to go on a high but this was not in my fate,” he said.
“I have also talked with my father on the phone and have decided to retire from one-day cricket after the Zimbabwe match,” Inzamam said.
Pakistan went out of World Cup reckoning after their stunning loss to Ireland in a league match on Saturday, a day before Woolmer, a former England batsman, died in a local hospital after being found unconscious in his hotel room.
“We will play the last match for our coach, who was not only a great coach but a great human being and a personal friend,” the Multan batsman said.
“We can never overcome the tragedy and would always remember him.” Inzamam burst on the international scene at the 1992 World Cup in Australia where his sizzling knocks in the semi-final and final helped Pakistan to their maiden win.
Inzamam suggested that he was stepped down as captain to continue playing in Tests.
“I will be willing to serve Pakistan cricket in any capacity and would be playing Test cricket, if needed, as a player,” he said.
“I always gave my best and never compromised on the team’s interests. I apologise to the fans for our disappointing show in the World Cup.
“I want to be remembered as an honest player, someone who takes pride in playing for my country, and would always be available to help Pakistan cricket’s cause,” he added. — PTI
Karachi, March 19
An emotional Inzamam brought the curtains down on his one-day career after Pakistan’s early and humiliating exit from the cricket World Cup and coach Bob Woolmer’s sudden death on Sunday.
“I am surprised at his timing. He could have waited a bit longer for things to settle down and made the announcement after the last game against Zimababwe on Wednesday,” Fareshteh Gati, a cricket writer said.
However, for former captain Rashid Latif, the decision was on expected lines and came at the right time.
“It is something that was expected. He has done the right thing. Because this was the best time for him to allow the board to appoint someone else as captain,” Latif said.
Inzamam has been under fire for not only his captaincy and form, but also for his tendency of dictating things and taking one-man decisions.
“It is no secret that the board was having problems in dealing with him as were the selectors. Woolmer had also distanced himself from the problems associated with the captain,” a Pakistan Cricket Board source said.
The source said Inzamam had pushed through his views on selection matters on a number of occasions in the last few months and it did not go down well with many people.
A former Test captain said the veteran batsman should have stepped down from the one-day side a while ago and not insisted on playing this World Cup.
“I think he wanted to go out in a blaze of glory and that sadly didn't happen. Ironically, Pakistan’s last World Cup campaign in 2003 also ended in disappointment because many felt that Waqar Younis was the wrong choice as captain at that time and many of the other seniors should also have avoided the tournament,” he said.
Pakistan’s poor World Cup show in South Africa four years ago had forced retirements of greats like Wasim Akram, Younis and Saeed Anwar while this tournament has claimed Inzamam, the last survivor of the country’s 1992 World Cup winning squad.
Sources said if Dr Naseem Ashraf remained Chairman of the PCB, it was obvious that he would bring in Younis Khan as the captain and would also go for axing a few other senior players who had contested Younis’ appointment the last time.
Inzamam told Geo TV that he was happy with what he had achieved in his career and apologised to the nation for the team's performance in the World Cup.
“I am sorry for what has happened. I can say no more, we should have performed better. But I have taken my decision after giving it great thought and I feel it is right time for me to retire from one-day cricket,” he said. — PTI
PCB chief quits?
Karachi, March 19 A private television channel Geo announced Ashraf’s resignation offer but no confirmation was immediately available from a board official. The channel said Ashraf had sent his resignation to the chief patron of the board, President Pervez Musharraf, but it was not known if he had been accepted. Ashraf who took over as chairman six months ago had earlier in the day told reporters that he was sorry for the performance of the team and could only apologise to them.
Karachi, March 19
A private television channel Geo announced Ashraf’s resignation offer but no confirmation was immediately available from a board official.
The channel said Ashraf had sent his resignation to the chief patron of the board, President Pervez Musharraf, but it was not known if he had been accepted. Ashraf who took over as chairman six months ago had earlier in the day told reporters that he was sorry for the performance of the team and could only apologise to them. — Reuters
Port of Spain/Islamabad/New Delhi, March 19
Woolmer, 58, was found unconscious in his hotel room yesterday during the World Cup in the West Indies and later died in hospital.
The cause of death is not yet known but a heart attack is suspected.
Ahead of their do-or-die match in Port of Spain, Team India plunged into grief after hearing the news of the death of the Englishman, who was born in Kanpur.
Many of the Indian players who knew Woolmer personally could not believe that the affable and well-respected coach was no more.
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer,” a statement issued on behalf of captain Rahul Dravid, coach Greg Chappell and the rest of the team members said.
“Bob had a distinguished career in cricket as a player for England and a national coach for South Africa and Pakistan. He has left an indelible mark in the game that he loved and lived for,” it said.
In Pakistan, President Parvez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz praised the coach for his dedication for the growth of the game in the country.
“Bob Woolmer had promoted the cause and game of cricket in Pakistan with dedication and single mindedness,” they said, adding that his services to the game will be remembered for a long time.
Paceman Shoaib Akhtar, who hasn’t had best of the relationship with Woolmer, described the incident as a personal loss.
“It is a huge tragedy. We are not ready to believe this has happened,” he was quoted as saying by BBC Sports.
“I am completely shattered, and what is going to happen I don’t know.
“He was a very dear man, he was a great leader and it's an unbelievable tragedy.” Woolmer led Warwickshire to three trophies in one season in 1994 and it was during that time his protege Brian Lara scored world record 501.
The West Indian skipper was in a state of shock.
“I had a wonderful relationship with Bob at Warwickshire in 1994 and our relationship continued to grow over the years even though we sat in different dressing rooms,” said Lara.
“He was a very focused man with a great love for the game but what shone through was the great love he had for players under his charge. Everyone meant something to him.”
Woolmer took the charge of the South African team and built them one of the most formidable unit in the world cricket. ‘White lightning’ Allan Donald, who played under Woolmer, described him as a man of poise and said it was hard to believe that stress took away his life. “He was always a calming influence on the team and if stress took his life away, I find it difficult to believe,” said Donald.
“I heard on Sunday that he suffered from diabetes, and that is another thing I wasn’t aware of, he said and added: “It’s pretty devastating. We’re talking about a person who was very close to me for the majority of my cricketing career.” Former Test umpire Dickie Bird said: “He knew the game inside out - that’s what made him a magnificent cricket coach. I know for a fact that the Pakistan team thought the world of him.”
International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed also expressed his condolences.
“We are greatly saddened by Bob Woolmer’s passing,” said Speed and added, “He was a very dear man, he was a great leader and it's an unbelievable tragedy.”
Saddened England and Wales Cricket Board chief David Collier recalled the cricketer Woolmer who played an outstanding 149 against Australia in 1975.
“Bob was one of the world’s greatest coaches and as a player his innings of 149 in the series in 1975, and lasting more than eight hours against Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson, demonstrated not only how talented a player Bob was but also his pride in wearing the England sweater.” Woolmer’s ex-England team-mate Dennis Amiss recalled his conversation with Woolmer last week after Pakistan’s loss to the West Indies.
“He was fine - upset by the results but Bob was phlegmatic, he knew there were some good days and some bad days.
“I remember he used to say: ‘all I can do is prepare them, I can’t do it for them on the field’.
“He was highly respected, one of the greatest coaches the game will ever see.” Ireland, who ended Pakistan’s campaign at the World Cup were in a state of disbelief.
“I spoke to him after the game and he was totally gracious in defeat - he made no excuses and praised Ireland's performance,” their coach Adrian Birrell told BBC Sport.
“He has made a huge contribution to world cricket.” Former West Indian skipper Clive Lloyd said, It’s sad that such a tragedy should take place in the World Cup - I feel sad for his family.” — UNI
on Bob’s birth place
Kanpur, March 19 Woolmer, who was born at this hospital on May 14, 1948, had been to the place in connection with a cricket match two years back and had inaugurated an operation theatre which was named after him. Director of Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association Jyoti Bajpai said Woolmer was in immense love with the city since it was his birth place. “By birth Woolmer was an Indian and he had so much love and affection for his native place,” Bajpai told PTI today. The former England Test cricketer was very excited when the hospital administration handed over him his birth certificate. Woolmer’s father was working with the British India Corporation, which is now famous as Lal Imli. “After his birth, Woolmer’s family shifted to England but memories of Macrobert Hospital remained with him forever. For this, after arriving in India in 2005, Woolmer had expressed his desire to visit his birth place and the Lal Imli Mill, where his father used to work,” said Bajpai. — PTI
Kanpur, March 19
Woolmer, who was born at this hospital on May 14, 1948, had been to the place in connection with a cricket match two years back and had inaugurated an operation theatre which was named after him.
Director of Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association Jyoti Bajpai said Woolmer was in immense love with the city since it was his birth place.
“By birth Woolmer was an Indian and he had so much love and affection for his native place,” Bajpai told PTI today.
The former England Test cricketer was very excited when the hospital administration handed over him his birth certificate.
Woolmer’s father was working with the British India Corporation, which is now famous as Lal Imli.
“After his birth, Woolmer’s family shifted to England but memories of Macrobert Hospital remained with him forever. For this, after arriving in India in 2005, Woolmer had expressed his desire to visit his birth place and the Lal Imli Mill, where his father used to work,” said Bajpai. — PTI
Karachi, March 19
The Jang newspaper added a twist to the causes of Woolmer’s shocking death as their correspondents in Kingston reported that the rumour mill suggest that Woolmer might have committed suicide. But they had no proof to substantiate the claims.
However, a Pakistan team official said on condition of anonymity that it was premature to make such speculation since the Jamaican Constabulary Force and a team of medical experts were still conducting preliminary investigations at both the hotel and the hospital.
“Bob was a larger than life person and was deeply disappointed by the team’s performance. He was a diabetic and also had other medical conditions. All that would be taken into account in the autopsy,” the official said.
He said there was a pall of gloom in the Pakistan camp after Woolmer’s death.
“Don’t forget he was like a family member to many of the players for the last three years. When someone so close to you dies, it is terrible. Even after the loss to Ireland, Bob had been talking positively with the players and lifting their spirits,” he said.
On Inzamam’s retirement, the official said the skipper might have buckled under the pressure of the present circumstances to take such a step.
“I guess that was something weighing on his mind since the defeat to Ireland specially after the backlash at home,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board chief Naseem Ashraf said Woolmer was not to be blamed for the country’s defeat to Ireland.
“The point is that if the players were not able to take advantage of his experience and credentials it is not his (Woolmer’s) fault,” he told a TV channel.
Ashraf also made it clear that he had no intentions of resigning from his post following the World Cup debacle as he had been in the saddle only for six months and followed the action plan of his predecessors.
Chief selector Wasim Bari also insisted he was not going to resign as he would not take hasty decisions in the wake of the team’s disappointing performances.
“It is unbelievable that we lost to Ireland, but I will make up my mind after things have settled down and we are back to normal from all these tragedies,” he said.
As expected, the Pakistan media today gave extensive coverage to the team’s humiliating exit from the World Cup and to the sudden death of Woolmer.
The two stories, related pictures and pieces about angry protesters venting their ire made the front pages of almost all newspapers while television channels continued to carry extensive coverage of the cricket tragedy.
The media prominently linked Woolmer’s death to the team’s shameful performance.
The Dawn newspaper read “Dejected Woolmer dead”, and the News said “Woolmer dies after shock defeat”.
They were also some hard hitting editorials calling for heads to roll, including that of Ashraf. — PTI
St Lucia, March 19
Flintoff was omitted from the game after reports he’d been one of a number of players who’d stayed out drinking until the early hours of Saturday morning following the six-wicket defeat by New Zealand.
“I know that what I did on Friday night was completely wrong and I have to take full responsibility for it,” said Flintoff in a statement.
There can be no excuses on my part. I know I shouldn’t have done what I did and I have to accept the punishment.
“To my team-mates and the England supporters that I let down, all I can say is that I am extremely sorry and assure everyone that I will be giving 110 per cent for England for the rest of this tournament.”
Despite the controversy, he will be available for England’s match against Kenya on Saturday.
“It has been decided that Andrew Flintoff will not be considered for the England captaincy should Michel Vaughan be injured at any stage during the tournament,” said an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement. — AFP
St Kitts, March 19
“We are focused on our match against Scotland, because this is the match to play for now,” said South African captain Graeme Smith of his team's Group A clash at Warner Park tomorrow.
Smith’s men know their real challenge will come on March 24 against defending champions Australia whom they displaced as world number one last month.
Smith believed his team’s emphatic 221-run win over the Netherlands in their first group match last week had given the players a much-needed work out.
“After what happened in Trinidad we arrived in St Kitts and since then have better preparation. The batsmen have had good workouts and the bowlers bowled a few so I am happy with the preparations,” said Smith, whose team had a poor build-up to the tournament.
They struggled to beat debutants Ireland and went down by seven wickets to Pakistan in their warm-up matches in Trinidad, where the facilities and a tricky pitch came under criticism.
But against Netherlands in their Group A opener they piled up 353-3 with Jacques Kallis hitting an unbeaten 128, while Herschelle Gibbs wrote his name in history books by slamming six sixes in an over for the first time in one-day cricket during his 40-ball 72.
Mark Boucher made the fastest World Cup fifty off just 21-balls.
Only opener AB de Villiers failed to make an impact when he was dismissed without scoring, a failure Smith was happy to write off.
“He (De Villiers) had a good series against Pakistan back home and there is no doubt in my mind that he is a good player and will be among runs soon,” said Smith who hoped his team will keep up the momentum of the first match.
“We know Scotland are a slightly better side so we need to improve. We have analysed some video footage of them,” said Smith whose side has never played Scotland in one-day internationals.
Smith has, however, played alongside Scotland’s acting captain Ryan Watson during his school days back home.
Watson will replace regular captain Craig Wright who has gone home to attend a family funeral but will be back for his team’s last group match against the Netherlands on March 22.
Scotland’s Australian-born coach Peter Drinnen said his team relishes the challenge of playing the number one team in the world.
“We are excited by the challenge and both Australia and South Africa in our group provide us with two real challenges,” said Drinnen, a former Queensland wicket-keeper who took over as coach last year.
“South Africa have been playing tough cricket for the last year. But we have to think about what we are doing and we need to pose a stronger challenge than we did against Australia,” said Drinnen, whose team lost to Australia by 202 runs. — AFP
St Lucia, March 19
Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming spoke after the team’s six-wicket success of now having a “game in hand” leading into the second stage, Super Eight phase for which New Zealand and England are favourites to qualify from a Group C also featuring Canada.
But Bracewell said Kenya’s seven-wicket win over Canada last week meant New Zealand couldn’t let up when they play the surprise semi-finalists of four years ago tomorrow.
“We’ve got two points to carry through should England qualify. That’s the importance of the Kenyan match. We have to win that just in case it’s Kenya who qualify because they are the other team with two points in the bag.” While England coach Duncan Fletcher has talked of his side needing four wins to get to the semi-finals in the Caribbean, Bracewell said he was not yet prepared to look that far ahead.
“For us it’s game by game because rhythm is quite an important thing in any tournament on getting on a roll,” the former New Zealand off-spinner explained.
Bracewell, who said he hoped to give all his squad a run-out during the Black Caps two remaining matches, said he’d received a briefing on the Africans from Andy Moles, the former Kenya coach.
Moles, who as a player was an opening batsman for English county Warwickshire, is now coaching New Zealand first-class side Northern Districts.
“We’ve got a fair degree of notes from Andy Moles who worked with them over an extended period so we’ve got a fair bit of scouting done on them.” New Zealand held England to 209 for seven, with fast bowler Shane Bond taking two wickets in four balls to get rid of dangermen Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff.
However, the Black Caps later collapsed to 19 for three before an unbroken stand of 138 between all-rounders Scott Styris (87 not out) and Jacob Oram (63 not out) saw them complete victory with nine overs to spare.
“Sometimes bowlers bowl well and you’ve got to face that and you adapt afterwards,” Bracewell explained. “You don’t panic and you’ve got to take your hat off to Jake and Scotty.” The New Zealand coach added that all his squad, including the four players who didn’t face England, batsman Peter Fulton and seam bowlers Michael Mason, Daryl Tuffey and Mark Gillespie (currently battling a shoulder problem) had it in them to play significant roles at the World Cup.
“They went about their business servicing the team but they also had to prepare to play. I don’t regard them as ‘dirt-trackers’.” Kenya coach Roger Harper, the former West Indies off-spinner, said he hoped his local knowledge would prove an asset.
“The advantage here is that the wicket hasn’t changed much so my experience counts for something. I’ve been here before. I know what to expect as far as the conditions and the culture are concerned.” And as for the prospect of Kenya advancing to the Super Eights, Harper added: “Our objective is to play our best cricket in each game and if we can do that the result will take care of itself.” — AFP
New Delhi, March 19
The fifth seeded Indo-Czech pair, which shocked top seeds Bjonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi in the semifinals, carried on their sublime form in the summit clash to win the $3.16 million event in their third final appearance of the
Paes and Damm converted two of the six break points that came their way while saving all five they faced in the one hour and 27 minute match.
The Indo-Czech pair had earlier won the Rotterdam title and reached the final in Doha. Since teaming up last year, they have a winning record of 4-2 in finals.
“Our partnership is 15 month-old and all the hard work we put in the beginning of last year is really coming together now,” a triumphant Paes said after the victory.
“The results really take care of themselves but we are playing like a team that's been together for a few years. I am really enjoying the partnership. It’s nice,” Paes said. — PTI
New Delhi, March 19
Sania, who is under rehabilitation to recuperate from an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury, has 504 ranking points.
The Indian ace picked up the injury during the Doha Open two weeks ago.
The lay off has also led to a drop in Sania’s doubles rankings and the 20-year-old has slipped five places to 31st in the list with 1074 ranking points.
Among other Indians in the singles’ list, the US-based Shikha Uberoi (107.75) is the next highest placed at 240th spot, which is an improvement of two rungs.
Veteran Rushmi Chakravarthi remained steady at 394th with 46.25 points, while Ankita Bhambri (39) was up four spots to 441st this week.
Meanwhile, Belgian Justine Henin reclaimed the top spot. — PTI