blitz sinks B’desh
Sobers admires Aussie aggression
Call it ‘mismatch’, not ‘minnows’
India in spin dilemma
‘Pak media tried to disrupt team spirit’
Shock defeat for Sasikiran
Paes to lead Davis Cup squad
Gursharan Singh given additional charge
Jayasuriya blitz sinks B’desh
Port of Spain, March 21
Jayasuriya struck 109 off 87 balls, having limped off clutching his left leg on 83 in the 25th over soon after returning from a 30-minute rain break.
Jayasuriya hammered seven fours and seven sixes, including hoisting one against spinner Abdur Razzak over midwicket to reach his second World Cup hundred in his fifth appearance.
He 24th ODI century allowed him to nose ahead of Australian skipper Ricky Ponting to second in the list for most one-day hundreds. Sachin Tendulkar holds the record with 41.
Bangladesh paid a heavy price for sloppy fielding and catching with skipper Habibul Bashar, who put in the opposition at Queen's Park Oval, dropping two of them.
Jayasuriya dominated a 98-run opening partnership with fellow left-hander Upul Tharanga (26) before Kumar Sangakkara (56) and Chamara Silva (52 not out) notched their second successive fifties in the tournament.
Skipper Mahela Jayawardene hit a chancy 46.
Bangladesh, who shocked India by five wickets in their first game, disappointed after Syed Rasel and stumper Mushfiqur Rahim missed direct run out attempts against Tharanga and Jayawardene had touched double figures.
Jayasuriya and Tharanga quickly negated early seam movement from new ball bowlers Mashrafe Mortaza and Rasel to quickly take charge.
Bangladesh were a pale shadow of their brilliant fielding which helped dismiss India for 191 on Saturday.
Jayasuriya was eventually caught reverse-sweeping in the 48th over.
Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions, are looking for their second win like Bangladesh after defeating debutants Bermuda by 243 runs.
Tharanga c Aftabb Rafique 26
Jayasuriya c Habibulb Razzak 109
Jayawardene c Aftabb Hasan 46
Sangakkara c Iqbalb Rasel 56
Silva not out 52
Arnold not out 5
Extras (lb-11, w-10, nb-3) 24
Total (4 wkts; 50 overs) 318
Fall of wickets: 1-98, 2-202, 3-26, 4-300.
Bowling: Mortaza 10-0-66-0, Rasel 10-0-58-1, Razzak 10-0-86-1, Rafique 10-0-48-1, Hasan 10-0-49-1.
Iqbal c Sangakkarab Malinga 6
Nafees lbw b Vaas 0
Rahim c Dilshanb Maharoof 6
Ahmed c Jayasuriyab Malinga 12
Hasan b Muralitharan 4
Bashar run out 18
Ashraful not out 45
Mortaza c Tharangab Arnold 7
Rafique c Maharoofb Dilshan 7
Razzak c Sangakkarab Malinga 0
Rasel run out 0
Extras (lb 2, w 4, nb 1) 7
Total (all out; 37 overs) 112
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-7, 3-20, 4-26, 5-41, 6-66, 7-80, 8-101, 9-111.
Bowling: Vaas 7-4-11-1, Malinga 6-0-27-3, Maharoof 7-1-26-1, Muralitharan 9-0-15-1, Jayasuriya 1.5-0-2-0, Arnold 3.1-0-17-1, Dilshan 3-0-12-1.
Kingston: Imran Nazir slammed a career-best 160 — highest individual score in this World Cup so far — as Pakistan paid tribute to late coach Bob Woolmer by posting a mammoth 349 against Zimbabwe in an inconsequential Group D match played with an eerie feeling dominating the Sabina Park here today.
Imran’s 124-ball heroics was, however, overshadowed by a 35-ball 37 swansong by Inzamam-ul Haq and the Pakistan skipper bid adieu a teary adieu to the
In an emotionally charged match, Inzamam was given a befitting farewell as players from both the teams gave him a guard of honour as he returned to the pavilion for one final time.
Zimabwe grabbed few quick wickets towards the end as Pakistan batters tried to clear the rope. Pakistan were all out with a ball to spare.
The Pakistan today scored their highest total of the World cup surpassing the previous best 338 for five, which they scored against Sri Lanka but it was match would be remembered for its emotional quotient than the cricketing skills of any of the players of either of the team.
“We just went through motion. Nobody had the motivation. There was no team meeting, no strategy discussion. We played some football yesterday and went out to bat this monring,” said Younis Khan, the vice captain of the Pakistan team as skipper Inzamam remained inconsolable inside the dressing room.
Meanwhile, Nazir’s second ODI ton, his first also coming against Zimbabwe, seven years back.
He began the innings in an aggressive, but controlled, manner as Pakistan shuffled their batting order. Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik up promoted up the order. Both came and went after brief efforts as Nazir passed fifty off 57 balls.
He passed his 100 in in 95 balls although he was dropped by Friday Kasteni on 81. He went berserk then on and looked set to smash all records but was caught by Utseya off Mpofu.
Other Pakistani batsmen didn’t have much to offer and credit must be given to Iftikhar Anjum who hit a 16-ball 32 as Pakistan mustered 97 runs in the last 10 overs.
Akmal c Taylorb Chigumbura 15
Nazir c Matsikenyerib Mpofu 160
Malik c Chibhabhab Williams 21
Haq c Williamsb Mupariwa 37
Yousuf c & b Brent 3
Younis run out 28
Afridi b Brent 16
Sami c Utseya b Brent 5
Iftikhar c Matsikenyerib Chigumbura 32
Gul b Chigumbura 10Kaneria not out 6
Extras (lb-2, w-12, nb-2) 16
Total (all out; 49.5 overs) 349
Fall of wickets: 1-31, 2-88, 3-158, 4-170, 5-252, 6-285, 7-295, 8-301, 9-324.
Bowling: Mpofu 10-1-74-1, Mupariwa 10-1-57-1, Chigumbura 6.5-1-50-3, Brent 10-0-68-3, Williams 6-0-41-1, Utseya 6-0-46-0, Chibhabha 1-0-11-0. — Agencies
Kiwis ease past Kenya
Gros Islet, March 21
Victory left New Zealand with two wins from its first two matches, assuring the Black Caps of one of the two qualifying spots out of Group C.
New Zealand's total of 331 for seven was a record score in the 12 one-day internationals played at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.
In reply Kenya, who collapsed to 29 for four, were bowled out for 183 although they took the match to the last over.
Ross Taylor’s 85 led the way for the Black Caps while Craig McMillan hammered 71 off just 48 balls with five sixes and three fours to take the team past the 300 mark.
There were fifties too from Scott Styris (63) and skipper Stephen Fleming (60).
McMillan, who made 71 off just 48 balls with five sixes and three fours, took New Zealand past the 300 mark with some typically blazing hitting.
New Zealand had been nought for one after opener Lou Vincent suffered his second succesive duck of the tournament, after making nought in the six-wicket win against England, when he edged Thomas Odoyo to Kenya captain Steve Tikolo at second slip. Kenya’s slump, however, was far worse.
Paceman Michael Mason, in for off-spinner Jeetan Patel, had David Obuya lbw with a yorker for one and then fellow opener Maurice Ouma (four) was run out by Vincent’s direct hit from the covers. Two wickets were then lost for three runs.
First Tikolo skied Mason to Daniel Vettori at mid-off and then Kenya, in a sign this wasn’t their day, lost Tanmay Mishra when the batsman was dropped by wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum off left-arm quick James Franklin only for first slip Fleming to catch the rebound.
Ravindu Shah made a stylish 71 and Thomas Odoyo an entertaining 42 but the duo were only delaying the inevitable.
Earlier, the Kiwis fought back through Fleming and Taylor.
However, Taylor was dropped on seven when he turned Peter Ongondo to the on-side and a diving Mishra at square leg just failed to hold what would have been a spectacular one-handed catch.
In front of a sparse crowd, Fleming went on to make an assured 60 off just 61 balls with three sixes and seven fours.
However, his innings ended farcically when he ran himself out going for a non-existent single after Taylor flicked Jimmy Kamande backward of square leg to Collins Obuya.
Taylor had made 72 when he received treatment for a right hamstring strain with New Zealand 177 for two in the 32nd over and Vincent had to act as his runner.
However, Taylor was still able to sweep off-spinner Tikolo for six.
Two balls later he was out when he chipped a gentle return catch to Tikolo, having faced 107 balls with that one six and eight fours.
Vincent c Tikolo b Odoyo 0
Fleming run out 60
Taylor c and b Tikolo 85
Styris c Mishra b Onyango 63
McMillan c Tikolob Ongondo 71
Oram b Odoyo 3
McCullum c Varaiya b Ongondo 6
Vettori not out 14
Franklin not out 0
Extras (lb-3, w-21, nb-5) 29
Total (7 wkts, 50 overs) 331
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-105, 3-192, 4-274, 5-280, 6-307, 7-321.
Bowling: Odoyo 10-0-55-2; Ongondo 10-0-64-2; Onyango 8-0-63-1; Kamande 9-0-61-0; Varaiya 7-0-40-0; Tikolo 6-0-45-1.
Ouma run out 4
Obuya lbw Mason 1
Shah c and b Vettori 71
Tikolo c Vettori b Mason 7
Mishra c Flemingb Franklin 2
Obuya run out 21
Odoyo c Oram b Bond 42
Kamande b Vettori 12
Onyango run out 6
Ongondo c and b Franklin 4
Varaiya not out 1
Extras (lb-2, w-2, nb-8) 12
Total (all out, 49.2 overs) 183
Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-8, 3-26, 4-29, 5-76, 6-122, 7-149, 8-167, 9-179.
Bowling: Mason 9-0-29-2, Bond 8-2-19-1, Franklin 7.2-2-20-2, McMillan 10-0-39-0, Vettori 10-0-45-2, Oram 5-0-29-0. — AFP
Melbourne, March 21
“Australia has always played cricket like the West Indians. I always enjoyed playing in Australia because they are a team that tried to play the game attractive, tried to win — not at all costs — but tried to win,” Sobers said.
Sobers said the Aussies should not be bothered about the criticism of their tough style of play as their on-field attitude was worth emulating.
“That is a great attitude to have. You learn when you play Australia, there is a toughness about the Australians,” Sobers was quoted as saying in The Australian.
The former all-rounder said the game had become much bigger than what it used to be during his playing days and the players need to have hardened attitudes to cope with on-field pressures.
“The West Indies played the game because they loved it, there was no kind of monetary funds really involved as far as that was concerned. It was sheer love and enjoyment and we went out there and played the game,” he said.
“Today is different. Today there is a lot of money involved in the game. Players are paid quite well and they are more professional than when we were playing. People expect so much more these days than they did then,” he said.
Gavaskar had raised a furore when he said if the Australians acted in a bar the way they did on the field, they would probably end up being bashed.
The former India captain went a step too far by linking the death of ex-cricketer David Hookes to the behaviour of Australian teams led by Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting.
Gavaskar’s comments enraged the current and former Australian players with Allan Border saying that the outburst could soar the Indian’s relations with the Aussie cricket fraternity. — PTI
Sydney, March 21
GCC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Newscorp and the commercial rights holder (sponsorship and broadcast) for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, is understood to have frowned on the television commentators’ denigrating the whipping boys of international cricket and terming the weaker nations as ‘minnows’.
However, commentators can get away by calling the event or encounter a mismatch but not to say some of the nations do not deserve to be in the tournament, according to The Australian.
With this warning, minnow nations have become a protected species in the World Cup.
The GCC is responsible for contracting broadcast and commercial partners for this WC, including international sponsors.
Meanwhile, debate rages on with some commentators happy to abide by the directive as they feel the minnows are a necessary part of global expansion.
Others, who feel the tournament has been devalued by their presence, would rather speak their mind although rank outsiders Ireland surprised the cricketing fraternity by shocking Pakistan and managing a tie against Zimbabwe. And though Bangladesh are no minnows, they certainly were not considered potential threats before they beat the formidable Indians.
The minnow nations have been a mixture of the good (Ireland), the bad (Scotland) and the downright ugly (The Netherlands and Bermuda).
Games such as India versus Bermuda and South Africa versus the Netherlands have been cringing mismatches.
ICC high performance manager for the developing nations Richard Done concedes it has been a mixed bag but with enough positives to warrant the inclusion of the six novice teams.
“Our statistics say that they are improving,” Done said. “We are trying to bridge the gap as much as we can,” he said. — UNI
India in spin dilemma
Port of Spain, March 21
Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh both have given good account of themselves in their solitary games and now a choice needs to be made between them for the Friday’s game.
Kumble showed all the traits which makes him such a remarkable strike bowler in the game against Bermuda. The Karnataka leg-spinner claimed three for 38 from his 10 overs but Bermuda being Bermuda, it perhaps was a below-par performance from the champion leg-spinner.
Harbhajan bowled in more trying circumstances against Bangladesh as the latter were off to a good start and were chasing a paltry total.
Harbhajan was hard to get away and finished with none for 30 from his 10 overs. His economy, as can be seen, was a standout feature of his effort.
The team is wrestling with their choice, according to sources, as any of the two spinners could feel hard done by if omitted from the playing eleven.
Kumble is straining under the leash to give a good account of himself in the final World Cup of his glittering career.
His World Cup ambitions are well known, as is the fact that he has declared his intentions to retire from one-day cricket after this tournament.
Harbhajan, on the other hand, has been India’s best spinner in the limited overs format for the last year and a half. He also brings value to the side as a lower-order batsman and a better bet than Kumble in the field.
The game against Sri Lanka being a must-win encounter, the Indian team wants to revisit their plan again and again before making up their choice.
India’s World Cup plans, as is known, is hanging by the thread.
Opinions though have started to shift in Harbhajan’s favour by the hour. The off-spinner brings good value to the side because Sri Lanka’s line-up is packed with left-handers.
As many as four left-handers dot their batting map: openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga, Kumara Sangakkara and Russel Arnold. In the lower half too, Chaminda Vaas is a left-hander and can strike mighty blows.
To top it, Kumble’s record against Sri Lanka isn’t that great either. He has picked up 34 wickets from 43 games against the neighbours and has a rather high economy rate of 4.66 per over.
Spinners are seen as key players for teams in this World Cup where wickets tend to keep low and slow.
As many as six top class spinners are in the fray: Kumble and Harbhajan for India; Monty Panesar for England; Muthiah Muralitharan for Sri Lanka; Danish Kaneria for Pakistan and Daniel Vettori of New Zealand are in a league of their own.
The best show, however, has come from Bangladesh who played three left-arm spinners against India and all of them squeezed the life out of their more fancied opponents. — PTI
Kingston, March 21
“We are also very disappointed by the articles trying to disrupt team spirit appearing in our press in Pakistan, and would ask those who read this to ignore the drivel!” wrote Woolmer in his final ‘diary’ item on Friday, less than two days before he died in his hotel room in mysterious circumstances here.
Woolmer begins his final ‘diary’ with the description of the team’s final net practice at Kensington Oval followed by a fielding session at Sabina Park here.
“... then I had lunch with Danish (Kaneria, the leg-spinner) next to the pool and then went back to the room to catch up with the ‘Diary’ and a couple of articles and our final preparations for the team meeting this evening,” he wrote.
“We are aware of the importance not just of this game (against Ireland) but both (the third one against Zimbabwe) and we are very determined to do well.”
Woolmer, however, lauds Ireland’s gritty performance in their earlier match against Zimbabwe, which ended in a thrilling tie. It gave qualifiers Ireland an unexpected point.
“Wow, what a game between Zimbabwe and Ireland. While we did not need reminding we saw a very committed Ireland side and Zimbabwe, who were gutted that they did not beat Ireland when they had the game by the throat,” he wrote.
“All credit to Ireland for sticking to their task,” said the man who had, ironically, groomed the Irish team as the International Cricket Council-appointed High Performance Manager before becoming Pakistan coach.
Woolmer further wrote: “In the evening, I went out for supper with the leader of the Drum ensemble who played at the opening ceremony. Very interesting! We went to Courtney Walsh’s restaurant and bar just down the road. We had some great food and a pleasant evening.”
Always philosophical, Woolmer penned this thought March 14: “The Word Cup is about performance and losing leads to retrospection.” — IANS
Zafra (Spain), March 21
Having drawn three games so far in the event, the loss proved costly for Harikrishna as he needed to score at least five points from this tournament to maintain his ELO rating.
But as the events have turned out, the Indian, who is currently on 1.5 points, cannot reach that magical figure even if he wins the remaining three games.
Monaco: A blunder after losing track of his position and a ferocious attack leading to a draw summed up Viswanathan Anand’s fourth round misfortunes against world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the Amber Blindfold and rapid chess tournament. Anand’s onslaught in the return rapid game did not yield and he is now joint fifth in the combined standings of the event he has won five times.
Monaco: A blunder after losing track of his position and a ferocious attack leading to a draw summed up Viswanathan Anand’s fourth round misfortunes against world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the Amber Blindfold and rapid chess tournament. Anand’s onslaught in the return rapid game did not yield and he is now joint fifth in the combined standings of the event he has won five times. — PTI
Paes to lead Davis Cup squad
New Delhi, March 21 Rohan Bopanna, Karan Rastogi, Divij Sharan and Sunil Kumar Sipaeya will be the other members. Former Davis Cuppers Nandan Bal and Sandeep Kirtane will be the two coaches accompanying the team, according to new selection committee chairman Anil Dhupar and member Akhtar Ali here today. India had lost their last tie 1-4 to Uzbekistan and interestingly Sunil Kumar Sipaeya, who had teamed up with Leander in the doubles to win the only rubber for India, has been relegated to the fifth place in the order of the team while Vivek Shokeen has been dropped to facilitate the return of Rohan Bopanna. Ironically, Shokeen was the only singles player to win a set off the Uzbeks in the totally one-sided mismatch.
New Delhi, March 21
Rohan Bopanna, Karan Rastogi, Divij Sharan and Sunil Kumar Sipaeya will be the other members. Former Davis Cuppers Nandan Bal and Sandeep Kirtane will be the two coaches accompanying the team, according to new selection committee chairman Anil Dhupar and member Akhtar Ali here today.
India had lost their last tie 1-4 to Uzbekistan and interestingly Sunil Kumar Sipaeya, who had teamed up with Leander in the doubles to win the only rubber for India, has been relegated to the fifth place in the order of the team while Vivek Shokeen has been dropped to facilitate the return of Rohan Bopanna.
Ironically, Shokeen was the only singles player to win a set off the Uzbeks in the totally one-sided mismatch.
Sodhi shoots bronze
New Delhi, March 21
He, however, missed the Olympic qualifying quota by five points. He shot 140 out of 150 in the qualifying round with a sequence of 43, 49 and 48. He shot a brilliant 47 out of 50 in the final. The Swedish shooter who won the gold secured the quota berth with a score of 192 out of 200.
The other two Indian shooters, Vikram Bhatnagar and Moraad Ali Khan, shot 134 and 125 respectively, according to the National Rifle Association of India here today. The Indian team also lifted the bronze in an invitation event conducted along with the World Cup.
Gursharan Singh given additional charge
Sangrur, March 21
Sangrur, March 21