Friday, February 26, 2010

Tendulkar jumps to 3rd spot after historic innings

Sachin Tendulkar has jumped to the third spot in the ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen after belting out the first ever ODI double-century in the second match against South Africa in Gwalior.

Tendulkar, who returned undefeated on 200 in his 442nd one-dayer yesterday, climbed up three places and now trails second-placed Mike Hussey of Australia by 43 points. It is Tendulkar's highest ranking in two years. He had earlier reached the second position following an unbeaten 117 against Australia in Sydney.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni strengthened his position at the top of the rankings after scoring an unbeaten 68 runs off just 35 balls. However, while Tendulkar vaulted into third position, his fellow opener Virender Sehwag has dropped one place to the 10th spot.

Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir have also slipped in the latest rankings after missing the first two ODIs due to injuries. A player loses one per cent of his ratings points for every match missed and as such, Yuvraj has fallen one place to the 13th spot while Gambhir has dropped two places to the 21st spot, a position he shares with team-mate Virat Kohli.

AB de Villiers remains South Africa’s highest-ranked batsman in fourth position after stroking an unbeaten 114 in Gwalior while Australian skipper Ricky Ponting completes the top five. But the rankings for bowlers will come as a severe disappoint for Indian fans since off-spinner Harbhajan Singh at sixth position is the only Indian among the top 20.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori is the top ranked ODI bowler with Ray Price of Zimbabwe at second place. Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh, Sri Lankan pacer Nuwan Kulasekara and Kyle Mills of New Zealand are the others in the top five.

Source from :

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Only Sachin was worthy of double ton milestone

A thirteen-year wait ended for me on Wednesday. A wait for the first double hundred in ODIs. I had watched an utterly dehydrated Saeed Anwar of Pakistan get to 194 in the Pepsi Independence Cup match against India at Chennai. And he had a runner.

Ever since that day one was wondering who would be the first to do it. Zimbabwean Charles Coventry came close to it with another 194 against Bangladesh in 2009.

Sachin Tendulkar was the obvious one, Adam Gilchrist the next. When Sehwag came on the scene he became the marked one. In fact, Sehwag got nauseated about the hype over the ODI double-ton and it worked counter productive for him.

After Sehwag came on the scene and blasters like Gautam Gambhir and Mahendra Singh Dhoni followed suddenly the pressure was off Sachin to get that 200.

And that worked in his favour. Everybody expected a hundred but not the 200. They had given it up as gone because they thought only Sehwag could do it.

The reason was Sachin was not playing those rapier-like shots. Nor frequently on the up. Neither was he playing the heave over mid-wicket which he was told by doctors to eschew after his Sharjah back problems.

On Wednesday he played that heave off Langeveldt in the 170s. But as the 200 beckoned Sachin threw caution to the winds. He knew it was his day. By 150 he knew a fair idea where his runs would come from.

He was leaning on his shot and running, tapping and running and when he flicked he didn't need to run because he knew he had cleared the infield. The straight loft off Langeveldt was grand because he was not quite on front foot.

For a long time one has been waiting for Sachin to play two shots he hasn't, a six off the backfoot as an injured 'Tiger' Pataudi hit at Melbourne in 1968 and a six one from outside the off-stump to over square-leg as Viv Richards would do. Today he came near to hitting the backfoot six.

In the end Mahendra Singh Dhoni added an element of doubt to the inevitability of a Sachin’s 200. By denying him strike at the end of three successive overs. Sachin fans all over the globe were livid. It was luck a Dhoni boundary off ball number two off the last over was saved on the fence and Sachin finally got the strike. Or he would have had just three balls for the magic moment.

After the tension of the previous three overs, three balls to get one run for the magic figure seemed a luxury. A dab to point and Sachin kept his date with history, golden history.

All over the world the refrain was 'If there was one person deserving to get ODI's first double hundred it should be Sachin Tendulkar.' For he had done so much to light up the shorter game when he was asked to open for India when Sidhu was injured.

In a bygone era they said the same about Sunil Gavaskar when debate would ensue about who should be the first to get to the 10,000 mark in Test cricket.

From past pronouncements, Sachin's typical response to his feat would be, "It's not about records. It's about loving the game and enjoying being out there in the middle. That is extremely special to me and far bigger than breaking records or creating new ones. Creating records happens after you've gone on the cricket field, but you've got to find a reason to go on the cricket field, and for me the reason is very clear....

"From the age of three I've loved this sport and I've never thought about scoring the most number of centuries or runs in international cricket. Everyone enjoys breaking records, I'm enjoying it too, but that is not the reason for playing cricket...

"When I started playing, I always wanted to be regarded as one of the best and the idea was that when I stopped playing, people would remember my name. Being regarded as one of the best players is always a good feeling, and that drives you, it refuels you completely. You want to be on top of your game all the time and push yourself harder and harder. There's a huge responsibility and it is a great challenge. I love that."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Australian cricket stars make IPL security demands

Australian cricket stars Tuesday refused to commit to this year's lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) until a list of safety demands addressing "serious" security concerns had been met.

Paul Marsh, head of the Australian Cricketers' Association, said players issued the demands, which follow a reported threat from an Al-Qaeda-linked militant, after a security consultant identified a number of shortcomings.

"From the outset it is important to reinforce that players want to play in this year's IPL," Marsh told reporters after a meeting with about 25 Australian players.

"However the independent report has identified some serious concerns with aspects of the current security process.

"Specifically these concerns relate to the reported direct threat against the event and the status and implementation of the IPL's security plan."

Marsh said players had agreed to take British security expert Reg Dickason's confidential findings back to their colleagues to prepare a list of demands, which would be relayed to the IPL by FICA, the international cricketers' union.

Until the IPL responded to their concerns Marsh said players would not commit to the tournament.

"The players are most certainly concerned, the IPL's had a direct threat ... and the IPL security plans are not currently in a state that we're happy with, those are the two issues," Marsh said

Fresh security worries surfaced last week when the Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online news website said it had received a warning from an Al-Qaeda-linked militant about attacking sports events in India.

The warning, from Ilyas Kashmiri, cast jitters over the glitzy Twenty20 tournament, along with the field hockey World Cup later this month in New Delhi, and October's Commonwealth Games

A right-wing Hindu group earlier withdrew a threat to prevent "kangaroo cricketers" from playing in Maharashtra state, which includes IPL hosts Mumbai and Nagpur, after a series of attacks on Indian students living in Australia.

Marsh previously warned that securing the IPL, which is spread over many venues across multiple cities, was a more difficult task than more concentrated formats such as the Olympic or Commonwealth Games.

Australian legspin great Shane Warne last week said the threats had him "thinking twice" about heading to India to captain-coach the Rajasthan Royals, describing them as of "deep concern to athletes across a number of sports."

Warne said the IPL had been moved last year at short notice to South Africa and, if the threats were proven, organisers should consider moving it again.

Organisers took the dramatic step of shifting the event abroad last March, after Indian authorities could not guarantee security because of a clash with national elections. Just weeks earlier gunmen in Lahore, Pakistan had ambushed the Sri Lankan team's convoy, killing eight Pakistanis.

Extremist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 which left 165 dead had already prompted grave security fears for the IPL tournament.

Monday, February 22, 2010

1st ODI: Depleted India snatch dramatic win over South Africa

Wayne Parnell was run out off the final delivery, attempting a second run that would have tied the match, to leave the Proteas on 297 all out in reply to India's 298/9.

The tourists were tottering at 225/8 in the 43rd over when the ninth-wicket pair of Parnell and Dale Steyn swung the day-night match around by adding 65 off 38 balls.

South Africa, needing 26 off the final 12 deliveries, smashed 16 runs in the penultimate over of Ashish Nehra that included a six each by Parnell and Steyn.

With nine runs required from five deliveries, seamer Praveen Kumar bowled Steyn and conceded just seven more off the next four to hand India a thrilling win.

Parnell hit a defiant 49 off 47 balls and Steyn plundered an 18-ball 35, but the pair failed to take the tourists across the line at the Sawai Man Singh stadium in Jaipur.

Earlier, Suresh Raina top-scored with 58 off 63 balls and Virender Sehwag hammered a typically aggressive 46 off 37 balls as the hosts piled up 298/9 after being sent in to bat.

South Africa's stand-in captain Jacques Kallis starred for the tourists with both bat and ball, claiming 3-29 from seven overs with his medium-pace bowling before making a fluent 89.

The veteran all-rounder hit six fours and a six before being eighth out, bowled by Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, 11 runs short of his 17th One-day century.

India took the field in the series opener without bowling spearheads Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, and frontline batsmen Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh.

Harbhajan was given permission to miss the first two matches due to his sister's wedding, while the other three were injured.

Kallis led South Africa in the absence of Graeme Smith, who opted out of the One-dayers with a finger injury sustained during the Test series, which ended 1-1 last week.

When India batted, Sehwag and Dinesh Karthik (44) put on 79 for the second wicket in 75 balls after veteran Sachin Tendulkar was run out for four in the second over of the match.

Sehwag, who hit two audacious sixes over the third man and cover region, was unlucky to be run out when a Karthik drive was deflected to the non-striker's wicket by bowler Charl Langeveldt.

South Africa made a flying start as Herschelle Gibbs (27) and Loots Bosman (29) put on 58 for the first wicket off just 8.4 overs.

South Africa, who were 134/3 at one stage, lost three middle-order wickets for 27 runs to slip to 161/6 by the 35th over.

The second match will be played in Gwalior on Wednesday and the third in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

Friday, February 19, 2010

India's amazing win over South Africa

Harbhajan Singh
India's amazing win over South Africa proves Test cricket is thriving

Test cricket, eh? Supposedly on ­life-support, with administrators and media alike lavishing most attention on the pretty young thing that is Twenty20, Tests continue to confound and enthrall us all. In the space of a little more than six months, we've had epics at Cardiff, Centurion, Cape Town, Dunedin, Perth and now Eden Gardens. South Africa have been part of three of those nail-biters, and finished disappointed every single time. This defeat, in front of the most raucous crowd in India, will hurt the most, especially after Hashim Amla batted 60 seconds short of 500 minutes in a display of defiance as brave as it was skilled.

Spare a thought too for Morne Morkel, who sank to his knees in anguish after being trapped leg before with just nine balls of the scheduled 98 overs remaining. A month ago, in the shadow of Table Mountain, he bowled the final over as Graeme Onions preserved England's series lead. Here, he and Amla kept India on tenterhooks for 126 balls after Paul Harris had been caught in the slips.

Wayne Parnell, who'd endured a torrid initiation to the subcontinent with ball in hand, had played his part too, with a 64-ball 22 after more experienced hands in the middle order had fallen short. But ultimately, this final day was about Harbhajan Singh, the lion of Eden, and an India side with pride and the No1 ranking on the line after the four-day mauling in Nagpur.

By morning, they knew that they'd have to cope without Zaheer Khan, whose nous with new ball and old has been such a huge factor in home victories over Australia, England and Sri Lanka. But Harbhajan, the 13-wicket hero of 2001, stepped into the breach admirably, nudging South Africa towards defeat with flight, turn and sheer cussedness. Amla and Ashwell Prince, with 98 runs in his previous nine innings, kept India at bay nearly all morning before Harbhajan tossed one up invitingly outside off stump. Prince's checked drive went only as far as mid-off, and when Amit Mishra, who has the thankless task of trying to fill the void left behind by Anil Kumble, produced a peach of a googly to see off AB de Villiers, architect of an epochal win in Perth, the crowd sensed an early finish.

As the afternoon wore on, it became clear that the South Africans, and especially Amla, had no intention of running up the white flag. MS Dhoni tried everything, rotating his bowlers, changing ends and even trying an over of Sachin Tendulkar's Shane Warne imitations. When the spinners tired, the ball was thrown to Ishant Sharma, struggling horribly to find the rhythm and menace that so impressed in two series against Australia in 2008.

It's testament to Ishant's strength of character that he managed to dismiss Parnell and Harris. At times, it was like watching Steve Harmison's travails in the latter half of his career, with the odd unplayable delivery in the midst of dross. Through it all, Amla was almost serene, taking his series tally to 490 runs. India got him just once after bowling 1,033 balls to him, and he batted for more than 23 hours in conditions that more celebrated batsmen have never come to terms with.

"I've been quite fortunate on a few occasions," he said with typical modesty afterwards. "There were a few drops here and there, so I could've been dismissed before. Every professional cricketer goes through certain tours and series where he excels. I just been fortunate that this tour has been my opportunity."

The more you watch him, the more you're reminded of Rahul Dravid, both in terms of the incredible powers of concentration and the utter imperviousness to external pressures. Before his debut at this venue five years ago, he had told me: "The [Indian] batting line-up has huge quality, but I'd love to talk to Dravid when there's time." After this series, it won't be long before he's mentioned in such august company.

Gripping matches like this deserve the biggest stage and the unbelievable atmosphere at what is Indian cricket's theatre of dreams shamed the board officials who hadn't scheduled a Test here since December 2007 for a host of petty reasons. No one quibbles with one-day cricket and T20 being played in every corner of this antique land, but if Test cricket is to remain in rude health, Eden Gardens and Chepauk must get at least one Test a year. Playing in front of empty stands at Mohali and Nagpur merely mocks a great tradition. As a friend wrote to me: "Can you imagine England picking Grace Road above Lord's, or the Aussies Hobart over the MCG/SCG?"

The noise as Harbhajan came on to bowl what turned out to be the final three balls was just deafening, and that too in a stadium that has lost two huge stands to World Cup renovation. Men and women, young and old, everyone was on their feet, with fast handclaps, chants and roars creating an atmosphere similar to that which precipitated the Australian collapse from 166 for 3 to 212 all out nine years ago.

"The crowd was fantastic," said Harbhajan later. "Eden has always been special. I have not heard this kind of noise anywhere in India. In Test matches, we don't always get crowds but at Eden, you get crowds for the whole five days. It does not matter whether India is batting or bowling."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

India Vs South Africa 2nd Test: Cricket live score

VVS LAXMAN and Mahendra Singh Dhoni played with common sense to take India to the top in the second India Vs South Africa test match at the Eden Gardens in Calcutta.

VVS Laxman played brilliantly to negotiate the South African speedsters in the morning reaching his half century in style as the score read 471 for the loss of 6 wickets on the crucial day 3 of the India Vs South Africa second test.

Laxman is playing on 52 runs, while skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is also pressing for a well made half century, playing at 49 runs.

The South Africans were frustrated in the morning by night watchman Amit Mishra, who took his chances and hit some nice shots for his cameo of 28 runs. His inning helped India to negotiate the crucial first hour and also allowed VVS Laxman to settle in his rhythm.

At lunch, India had reached 431 runs and extended the first inning lead over South Africa by 135 runs. South African fielding failed to live up to the mark today as they dropped a number of catches, some of which were tough though.

Amit Mishra's wicket was claimed by Morne Morkel, who managed to get an edge from him taken brilliantly by Kallis at second slip.

India needs to win this match to retain the number one position in ICC test ranking and without doubt return of VVS Laxman really boosted the Indian batting. South Africa leads the India Vs South Africa series 1-0 but it will be quite difficult for the visitors to save this match, if both VVS Laxman and Dhoni continue their pyrotechnics.

South Africa only needs a draw to win the India South Africa series and become the top test team in the world.

The playing eleven of Ind - SA second test match at Eden Garden in Kolkata:

South Africa: 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers (wk), 6 JP Duminy, 7 Ashwell Prince, 8 Paul Harris, 9 Wayne Parnell, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Morne Morkel.

India: 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 M Vijay, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 VVS Laxman, 6 S Badrinath, 7 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 8, Harbhajan Singh, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Amit Mishra, 11 Ishant Sharma.

Ind - SA second test match of the India South Africa test series at Eden Garden in Kolkata can be watched live on Neo Sports from 9:30 AM. Live streaming of the match is available on internet.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ind vs SA 2nd Test Day 2 Live Cricket Scores and Streaming

Ind vs SA Live Cricket Score: South Africa are batting on 266 for the loss of nine wickets. South Africa lost seven wickets for 32 runs after tea.

South Africa had reached 218 for 1 in 58 overs, with the help of centuries from Amla and debutant Alviro Petersen.

Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh finished the day with three wickets each.

SA are all out for 296 on the 2nd day morning.

Watch Live streaming and Live scores of the 2nd days play of 2nd cricket test match between India vs south Africa (IND vs SA) which will be played at Kolkata from February 14-18, 2010.

Match start time 0915 (0345 GMT).

On Sunday, South Africa met the devil himself, and didn’t know what to do. They had reached 218 for 1 in 58 overs.

Indians bowlers stunned South Africa after taking the last 7 wickets in just around 15 overs and 36 runs. , at the end of day one SA were 266 for 9 wickets.

SA were all out for 296 and India after a rapid start lost 2 quick wickets.

The probable teams are as follows :

India: 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 M Vijay, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 VVS Laxman, 6 S Badrinath, 7 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 8, Harbhajan Singh, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Amit Mishra/Pragyan Ojha/Ishant Sharma, 11 Sreesanth.

South Africa: 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Ashwell Prince, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 JP Duminy, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Paul Harris, 9 Wayne Parnell, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Morne Morkel

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Australia vs West Indies 3rd ODI live with Aus vs WI live scores

Today Australia will meet West Indies in 3rd ODI if the One day series. Australia is definitely the hot favorite win this match.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting told that they are quite confident to mark another victory against West Indies team. West Indies cricket captain stated that they will show a good fight against them.

Here is the full list of team squad

Australia squad

RT Ponting*, MJ Clarke, DE Bollinger, RJ Harris, NM Hauritz, JR Hopes, MEK Hussey, MG Johnson, CJ McKay, SE Marsh, TD Paine†, AC Voges, CL White

West Indies squad

CH Gayle*, N Deonarine, TM Dowlin, WW Hinds, NO Miller, RS Morton, BP Nash, KA Pollard, D Ramdin†, R Rampaul, KAJ Roach, DJG Sammy, LMP Simmons, DR Smith, GC Tonge

This match will start at local time 14:25 in just a few moments from now. To check the ball by ball commentary you can visit our website.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kirsten appointed ICC Cricket Committee member

India coach Gary Kirsten was today appointed member of ICC Cricket Committee as a representative of national coaches on the final day of two-day meeting of the International Cricket Council Board here.

Kirsten will replace Mickey Aurthur, who recently resigned as South Africa coach. "The Board has reappointed Ian Bishop and Mark Taylor to the ICC Cricket Committee as media representatives and also ratified the reappointment of Kumar Sangakkara and Tim May as current player representatives and India's Gary Kirsten as the representative of national coaches following the recent resignation of Mickey Arthur," an ICC statement said today.

The ICC Board decided to further work on the Decision Review System and build on the encouraging results from the first 13 matches.

"ICC received a report from David Richardson, ICC General Manager – Cricket, on umpire decision review system in which he stated the system had led to a significant increase in the number of correct decisions. In 13 Tests the percentage of correct decisions has risen from 91.3 to 97.44 per cent.

"The Board supported to continue to build on the encouraging results from the first 13 matches and will discuss further technological improvements with broadcasters in March to improve and refine DRS further," the statement said.

It also accepted ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit's recommendation on the requirement of a designated full-time security manager by all the full members.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Zealand Vs Bangladesh Cricket - NZ win

New Zealand completed a one-day cricket series whitewash by beating Bangladesh by three wickets in the third and final match tonight.

The hosts chased down their target of 242 in 44.5 overs, with Martin Guptill leading the way with 91 off as many deliveries before James Franklin and Ian Butler put on an unbroken stand of 34 for the eighth wicket to get them across the line.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan impressed with his left-arm spin, keeping the New Zealanders honest with figures of four for 33 off 10 overs.

Bangladesh scored a competitive 241 for nine batting first in the day-night fixture after young opener Imrul Kayes hit 101 off 138 balls, his maiden one-day century and the first scored by a Bangladeshi against New Zealand.

Seam bowler Tim Southee and spinner Dan Vettori both took three wickets after the home side restricted the tourists to just 43 runs in the final 10 overs.

New Zealand won the earlier matches by 146 runs and five wickets.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

PCB slapped with legal notice by Cricket Council USA over 'illegal' remarks

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is facing another controversy, with the Cricket Council of the United States of America (CCUSA) sending it legal notice following insult by chairman Ijaz Butt.

Butt had in a press release described the CCUSA as an 'illegal' institution, and blamed PCB director general Javed Miandad for wanting to take an illegitimate cricket team to China.he CCUSA's legal notice demanded an immediate retraction of statement and an apology from Butt.

"Your defamatory statements expressed in the widely-popular fixed print medium of the 'Jang' represent false and unprivileged expressions of negligence and malice. Your actions have directly insulted the wonderful cricket constituents of the venerable PCB," the notice said.

"Your reference to Mr Miandad working with a non-sanctioned American organisation to try and take an illegal cricket team to compete in China is totally false. Never has CCUSA assembled a cricket team for such purpose. My client demands the retraction of these falsehoods," the notice, which was through Attorney David Rubin, said.

Meanwhile, PCB's Chief Operating Officer (COO) Wasim Bari said the board would reply to the notice after consulting its legal experts.

"The CCUSA is not an International Cricket Council (ICC) recognised member as earlier cricket's governing body had written to the PCB, objecting to any association with CCUSA. The PCB had informed Miandad of ICC's protest and he had clarified not to have any dealings with the CCUSA in an official capacity," The Daily Times quoted Bari, as saying.

He said the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) was the only officially recognised ICC member.

According to sources, a number of former Pakistani cricketers, who have now settled America, are allegedly supporting the CCUSA and are currently camping in Dubai from where they wanted to take a team to China.t may be mentioned that the ICC had officially conducted elections of USACA after large scale bungling was alleged by those involved in the running of the USACA in the past.

Galdstone Dainty was elected as the USACA president in the election held six months back. The ICC had also appointed a CEO of the USACA to run the sport in that country

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Cricket India v South Africa first test scoreboard - lunch

India v South Africa
Scoreboard at lunch on the fourth day of the first test between India and South Africa at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur, India, on Tuesday.

South Africa first innings 558-6 declared (H. Amla 253 n.o., J.Kallis 173, AB de Villiers 53).

India first innings 233 (V. Sehwag 109, S. Badrinath 56, D.Steyn 7-51).

India second innings (overnight 66-2)

G. Gambhir b Morkel 1
V. Sehwag c Smith b Steyn 16
M. Vijay c Morkel b Harris 32
S. Tendulkar not out 77
S. Badrinath c Boucher b Parnell 6
M. Dhoni not out 9
Extras (b-10 lb-5 w-5 nb-1) 21
Total: (for four wickets; 49 overs) 162
Fall of wickets: 1-1 2-24 3-96 4-122.

To bat: W. Saha, H. Singh, Z. Khan, A. Mishra, I. Sharma.

Bowling (to date): Steyn 10-0-36-1, Morkel 12-4-36-1 (w-5),
Parnell 6-0-38-1, Harris 14-5-21-1, Kallis 6-2-11-0, Duminy
1-0-5-0 (nb-1).

Monday, February 08, 2010

Bangladesh take cricket gold at South Asian Games

Hosts Bangladesh snatched a narrow six-run victory over Sri Lanka to clinch the Twenty20 Under-21 cricket title for the gold medal in 11th South Asian Games on Sunday.

Elected to bat, Bangladesh rode on Anamul Haque's 43 to score 157 for seven in the stipulated 20 overs and then restricted Sri Lanka to 151.

For the hosts, leg-spinner Shabbir Rahman scalped four wickets for 31 runs and played the wrecker-in-chief.

With one wicket remaining, Sri Lanka needed six runs from the last two balls as the match headed to a close finish. But Rahman scalped Naveen Kavikara for his fourth wicket in the penultimate ball of the match to clinch the issue.

Bangladesh got the gold, while Sri Lanka had to settle for the silver in the T20 format that was introduced for the first time in the SAG.

Pakistan won the silver after overcoming Nepal in the bronze medal play-off match.

India did not participate in the cricket competition.

Brief score:

Bangladesh: 157/7 in 20 overs (Anamul Haque 43, MD Mithun 37; Thisara Perera 2/35, Sachith Pathirana 2/22).

Sri Lanka: 151 all out in 19.5 overs (Lahiru Thirimanne 39; Shabbir Rahman 4/31).

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Cricket Australia fears ban on WACA following drunken ground invasion

Cricket Australia (CA) is apprehensive over the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) losing the right to host international cricket matches in Perth, as the International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked it to submit a 'rapid report' over the ground invasion by a drunken spectator during the fifth ODI against Pakistan.

CA has also proposed imposing a fine of 20,000 dollars on ground invaders.

"The ICC has power to strip grounds of their status and it was discussed at the MCG a few years ago," The Dawn quoted CA spokesman Peter Young, as saying.

"It (the WACA Ground) could lose it, like New Delhi lost it recently," Young added.

It may be noted that a drunken spectator dodged security officials and jumped on to Pakistani fielder Khalid Latif during the last ODI match of the series on Sunday.

The ICC has the power to strip troublesome venues of their international status, and has expressed disappointment over the WACA incident, wanting to know why security protocols were not in place ahead of the event.

Australian cricket bosses have implored the West Australian Government to increase penalties for ground invaders drastically.

The fine for ground invasion at the WACA is only 500 dollars, compared to 7000 dollars at the MCG, 5500 dollars at the SCG and 4000 dollars at the Gabba.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Players won't pay for clash

CRICKET Australia yesterday said there was no cause for alarm among the Indian Premier League contracted players.

CA's legal and business affairs department confirmed Indian cricket officials, the IPL and CA had agreed that this year's "one-off" clash of dates was unfortunate and that the players involved were not under threat of heavy penalties.

"I can assure you it is very clear to all parties the players will perform their domestic duties and nobody will be getting their contracts torn up," CA's general manager for legal and business affairs Dean Kino said yesterday.

The worst the players would endure is pro-rata reduction in payments for the early games missed.

Despite assurances from the official body, the players remained nervous about the attitudes of the individual franchises.

Victorian captain Cameron White, who will play for Australia in tomorrow night's Twenty20 blockbuster against world champion Pakistan at the MCG, yesterday said all players caught in the Sheffield Shield-IPL dates clash hoped they wouldn't have to choose between the two.

"There's a lot of money up for grabs ... if it came back to the individual players' choice, personally I could understand whichever way someone wanted to go," White said.

The six-week, 60-match IPL season starts on March 12, on day three of the last Shield game of the season and five days before the start of the Shield final.

Victoria is the defending Shield champion and, with a 10-point buffer from third-placed Western Australia, is on track to reach the final again.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Cricket: Black Caps punish ill-disciplined visitors

New Zealand made light work of Bangladesh to win their Twenty20 cricket international by 10 wickets in Hamilton tonight.

The result was a foregone conclusion once the tourists were rolled for just 78 in 17.3 overs at Seddon Park.

The home side had no need to rush but still passed their target in 36 minutes without losing a wicket in 8.2 overs after dangerous opener Brendon McCullum made Bangladesh pay heavily for an early fielding blemish.

McCullum smacked 56 not out off 27 balls while his partner Peter Ingram marked his international debut with a supportive 20 not out off 23 deliveries.

The tourists did not help themselves with some ragged fielding, dropping catches in the deep off McCullum, on eight, and Ingram when the newcomer was on 11.

Bangladesh batted as if they had just got off the plane, which they did three days ago to begin a short tour also featuring three one-day internationals and a one-off test.

They were guilty of taking the freedom given them by the abbreviated format to the extreme and did not allow themselves any time to settle before seeking the boundary.

What followed was largely a series of mishits and airshots against a disciplined bowling attack, superbly led by New Zealand captain Dan Vettori, honed to the Twenty20 format after a month playing for their provinces.

The early overs were uneventful save for some hopeful hitting by opener Tamim Iqbal, who reached 14 before gloving a catch to wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum.

The die was cast as early as the seventh over as Bangladesh self destructed to be 42 for five after losing four wickets for five runs in nine balls.

Canny bowling changes by Vettori saw himself, seamer James Franklin and offspinner Nathan McCullum pick up wickets in their very first overs.

Left-arm spinner Vettori toyed with the batsmen and ended with the exceptional figures of three for six off four overs, while McCullum, seamer Jacob Oram and fast bowler Daryl Tuffey all picked up two wickets apiece at cheap cost.

None of the Bangladeshis impressed with the bat, with all of them struggling to time the ball.

Raqibil Hasan, at No 8, topscored with 18 off 13 balls but the damage had been done well before then.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Indian cricket tour, a hot job, opines South African bowling coach

Vincent Barnes, the bowling coach of South African cricket team contended that although the Indian tour is hectic, the players are a focussed lot.

conference after the draw of the stumps on the first day of the two-day practice match against India's Board President's XI here on Tuesday, Barnes said: "We are quite focussed. We have come here and it is a big job ahead for us...playing against the number one team in the world.

We knew that coming Test would be a big job, all the management and we have spoken in-length about it. We come here to do a job and that is what we have to do. It is no exception to any other tour and it is going to be a hot job."

He also hinted to include two spinners in the first Test against India commencing on February 6 at Nagpur.

"It is good to get two spinners in our team that to me is the most important...because the Test is coming up and we know that we have to step it up and we would definitely step it up once the Test started," he added.

The first Test starts in Nagpur on Saturday (February 6) after South Africa opened their tour with a two-day match against a Board President's XI.

India displaced South Africa as world number one in December after securing a 2-0 series victory over Sri Lanka.

South Africa had come close to winning a series in India two years ago when they took a 1-0 lead before the home side squared the three-match series on an unpredictable pitch of Green Park in Kanpur.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Dinesh Karthik century firms up South Zone

Dinesh KarthikDinesh Karthik's attacking, unbeaten 161, laced with 23 hits to the fence, put South Zone in front against West Zone in an empty Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. The Hyderabad Cricket Association decided to not allow spectators in the stadium, fearing crowd trouble due to the political situation in Andhra Pradesh.

The absence of any support appeared to have had its effect on South Zone in the initial stages of their innings, as the West Zone seamers made their mark, dismissing the openers with just 34 on the board. In conditions favourable to batting, and given the importance of a first-innings lead, South Zone would have been disappointed with the start they got.

But the middle order stepped up. Ganesh Satish scored a patient half-century before being dismissed with the score on 120, but Karthik, by then, had found his groove. He was involved in a stand of 121 with wicketkeeper M Gautam (49) and 89 with Rohan Prem (24) to guide his side beyond 300.

Irfan Pathan's three-for was a highlight for West Zone, but Karthik's presence at the crease, with the score currently on 356 for 6, should provide enough encouragement for South Zone to put up a substantial score on the second day.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

2-match ban mild for 'serial offender' Afridi: Border

Former Australia captain Allan Border has flayed the two-match ban imposed on Shahid Afridi, saying the Pakistani all-rounder, being a 'serial offender', deserved a sterner punishment.

"It wasn't enough given that he's been a bit of a serial offender in front of ICC disciplinary committees," Border said on Fox Sports show 'Inside Cricket'.

Incidentally, Afridi's former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq had earlier said that the all-rounder was lucky to have escaped with a two-match ban when it could have been much more.

Afridi, who was slapped a four-ODI ban in 2007 for trying to hurt a spectator in South Africa and was also banned in 2005 for damaging pitch in Faisalabad, was caught on camera biting the ball during Pakistan's fifth and final ODI against Australia in Perth.

Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle subsequently banned him from two Twenty20 Internationals but Border felt the punishment was inadequate.

Monday, February 01, 2010

South Africa ready for tough India challenge

Graeme Smith's South Africa open their tour of India on Tuesday with a practice match ahead of their bid to dislodge the hosts as the number one Test nation.

The tourists take on the Indian Board President's XI in a two-day match in Nagpur before the first Test begins at the new Vidarbha Cricket Association ground on the outskirts of the city on Saturday.

The two-Test series, the second match will be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata from February 14, could be one of the most important the Proteas have played in recent years.

The second-ranked South Africa need a 2-0 series win to displace India from the top. A 1-0 result in favour of the tourists will leave both teams level on 123 rating points.

South Africa were rattled last week by the resignation of long-time coach Mickey Arthur over what he said were differences with Cricket South Africa on the future course of action.

The entire selection committee, headed by former Test all-rounder Mike Procter, was also sacked following a 1-1 series draw to England at home.

National high performance coach Corrie van Zyl has taken over from Arthur for the Indian tour, which includes three One-Day Internationals after the Tests.

Skipper Smith was, however, confident the team would recover from the recent setbacks and perform well in India.

"It's been an emotional week and not many teams go to India and win," Smith was quoted as saying in Johannesburg prior to the team's departure over the weekend.

"The players who have been part of the set-up for a while have dealt with a few difficult things in recent years and handled them very well.

"I expect them to be as professional as normal, and I'm looking to them for responsibility and guidance for the youth."

The 15-man squad includes right-hand batsman Alviro Petersen, 29, and left-arm fast bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe, 25, both of whom have yet to play Test cricket.

Tsotsobe is part of a five-man pace attack led by Dale Steyn, but there is no place for former spearhead Makhaya Ntini.

South Africa's Test squad:

Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, Ashwell Prince, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Jean-Paul Duminy, Alviro Petersen, Mark Boucher, Paul Harris, Johan Botha, Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.