Thursday, 24 March 2011

Pakistan Cricket fans celebrate victory

LAHORE – Cricket enthusiasts enjoyed the one of the Cricket World Cup 2011 match played between Pakistan and West Indies on a big screen in a Cricket Mania here at the SozoWorld Cinema organised jointly by Nawa-i-Waqt Group and SozoWorld Cinema.
There was a big crowd rushed to the SozoWorld Cinema and enjoyed the match a lot on a big screen. After the victory, they started dancing, chanting slogans “Pakistan Zindabad” and greeted each other.
The fans also appreciated the Nawa-i-Waqt Group and SozoWorld’s effort of showing World Cup matches on big screens and said that it was a big-margin win against West Indies. They are very happy that Pakistan is just two-match away to clinch the World Cup trophy. This win is a gift for nation on the eve of Pakistan Day.
When a local cricket fan Ammarah Zareen was asked about to express her views, she replied: “Yahoo… we won the match. It was the best winning game for Pakistan. Defeating West Indies appeared an easy task since in the last match in which the team make history by whacking Australia. This is motivational and has raised anticipations to win the World Cup, yet the spirit of other strong teams, like South Africa must not be underestimated. As for Boom Boom Afridi, he needs to calm down on the field and need to rush for six in the first few balls. He should focus on continuity of batting. Pakistan can definitely reach and win the final if the team maintained its winning attitude.”
M Ali Nasir Chishti commented: “Pakistan had crossed a major hurdle in its way to become a world champion by defeating West Indies with a big margin and also gave a message to other cricketing nations that Pakistan is not an easy team to be defeated. I wish Pakistani team all the best for semi-final and final.”

Pakistan cricket team has "no security concerns about going to India" for World Cup semis: Waqar

The Pakistan cricket team has no security concerns over going to India for their World Cup semi-final at Mohali on March 30, coach Waqar Younis has said, adding that he is in fact happy to visit the neighbouring country.
"We have to go wherever the tournament schedule takes us. We have no security concerns about going to India. It's good to go to a neighbouring country. I am happy to go to India," The Nation quoted Waqar, as telling reporters after his team thrashed the West Indies by 10 wickets in their quarterfinal match at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
He said that Pakistan had toured India in 1999 when the relations between both countries were not that good. "Now things are far better," he added.
Waqar felt that Pakistan would not get the same backing from the Indian crowd as they got in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, but expected the presence of Pakistani fans in the Mohali stadium.
"We won't get crowd support like here or Sri Lanka but some people might cross the border to see us play. We have to play wherever the tournament takes us. We are not concerned by security," he said.
Pakistan may encounter archrivals India in the semi-final stage, if the co-hosts beat Australia in Thursday's quarterfinal in Ahmedabad.

Statistical highlights of Pakistan vs West Indies World Cup match

# Pakistan's 10-wicket win is their first at the World Cup.
# Pakistan's triumph with 175 balls to spare against West Indies is their biggest in terms of balls remaining, outstripping their victory against Canada with 119 balls to spare at Leeds on June 9, 1979.
# West Indies recorded their largest defeat in the history of the World Cup.
# Mohammad Hafeez got his first Man of the Match award in the World Cup. It is his fourth in ODIs.
# Hafeez's eighth half-century in limited overs Internationals is his first at the World Cup. His previous best at the World Cup was 49 against Zimbabwe at Pallekele on March 14, 2011.
# Pakistan posted their third win in nine games against West Indies at the World Cup - their last victory was at Bristol on May 16, 1999.
# West Indies (112) posted their lowest total against Pakistan at the World Cup - their third lowest overall, behind 93 against Kenya at Pune on February 29, 1996 and 110 against Australia at Manchester on May 30, 1999.
# For the sixth time, Pakistan have reached semifinal, emulating the record held by Australia.
# Umar Gul took his wickets' tally in the World Cup to 18 at an average of 15.27 in 10 games.
# Umar's tally of 14 wickets at 14.50 in seven matches is the second highest for Pakistan in the present World Cup competition.
# Pakistan registered their third win by ten wickets in ODIs - one each against New Zealand, Bangladesh and West Indies.
# For West Indies, the ten-wicket defeat is the fourth suffered by them in ODIs - one each against England, Australia, Pakistan and India
# Kamran Akmal's unbeaten 47 off 61 balls is his second best innings at the World Cup - his best is 55 against Kenya at Hambantota.
# Devon Smith, playing in his seventh match, has become the first West Indian to aggregate 300 runs (ave.42.85) in the 2011 edition of the World Cup.
# Shahid Afridi became the first bowler to register the feat of producing four instances of four wickets or more in a single edition of the World Cup.
# Afridi, with his tally of 21 wickets at 10.71 runs apiece in seven matches in the present tounament, has set two records - most wickets by a Pakistani bowler in a World Cup competition apart from most wickets by a captain in a single edition at the World Cup.
# Kamran Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez, with their 113-run unbroken partnership, have set a World Cup record for Pakistan for the opening wicket against West Indies.
# Shahid Afridi has become the first bowler to record two instances each of five-wicket and four-wicket hauls at the World Cup overall. Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan have produced four instances of four wicket-hauls at the World Cup.
# Afridi (4/30) registered his best bowling figures against West Indies in ODIs, bettering the 4 for 38 at Gros Islet on May 21, 2005.
# Hafeez's economy rate of 1.60 (10-3-16-2) is the best by a bowler in the present competition (minimum 30 balls).

Zardari, Gilani congratulate Pakistan cricket team on reaching World Cup semifinal

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani have congratulated the national cricket team on its big-margin win against West Indies in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal match at Mirpur, Bangladesh.
Both Zardari and Gilani commended all members of the Pakistan team on their excellent performance, and expressed the hope that they would play with the same zeal in the remaining World Cup matches, The Nation reports.
Pakistan Muslim League (N) Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, PML (Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and senior leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi also felicitated the Pakistan team for their brilliant performance in the match.
Skipper Shahid Afridi spearheaded a spin assault on West Indies on Wednesday, taking four wickets for 30 runs, leading Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory to reach the World Cup semifinal for the first time since 1999.
It has been a remarkable comeback for Pakistan, which had been knocked out in the first round of the last World Cup four years ago, and had been engulfed by a number of controversies- including the spot-fixing scandal that surfaced last August- that resulted in a ban on three key Pakistani players last month.
Cricket lovers in the country celebrated their team's victory as many of them came out on roads to celebrate the triumph, which coincided with the Pakistan Day.
Some of them were seen distributing sweets among the fans as they congratulated and greeted the Pakistan team on their superb and fantastic win against West Indies, hoping that their team will bring the World Cup trophy home and make the nation proud.

Does the Pakistan Cricket Team have the Goods to Really Win the Cup?

A devastating blow seemed to hit the Pakistani cricket team early on in their match on March 19. When Umar Gul pulled up with a what looked like a painful knee injury during the second over against Australia, Pakistan’s chances of beating the Aussies and clinching the number one spot in their group seemed to suddenly drop like a ball through Kamran Akmal’s fingers. And in a way, it was happening in the worst way possible: not by Australia outclassing them, but a cruel twist of fate. It looked like Ricky Ponting’s boys were being handed a gift from the cricket Gods.
Of course, just as quickly as Gul stuttered and stopped and black clouds swept over Pakistan, the skies miraculously cleared. After a bit of on-field medical attention by the physiotherapist, Gul was back. He kept the Aussies to just two runs in his first over and nabbed the first wicket of the match in his next over. Fortune was not on the side of the Aussies after all.
By now there should be no doubt now about the depth and talent in Pakistan’s bowling line-up. Pakistan has been cruel and miserly in giving up runs to Australia and the West Indies. The timing for this superb display of bowling prowess and intelligent captaining has been perfect: it allowed Pakistan to grab top spot in their group and thus face off against the weak Windies in Mirpur, allowing the Green Shirts to comfortably move into the semis

Friday, 18 March 2011

Pakistan 'spot-fixers' bailed to appear at Southwark crown court in May

The three Pakistan cricketers accused of spot fixing, and the agent accused of accepting £150,000 to arrange for no-balls to be bowled at specific points in a Test match, have been bailed to appear at Southwark crown court in May.
The former captain Salman Butt, 26, and the fast bowlers Mohammad Asif, 28, and Mohammad Amir, 18, attended Westminster magistrates court on Thursday accused of cheating and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.
The players – who gave addresses in Pakistan, although Asif is staying with friends in England – were given unconditional bail. The agent Mazhar Majeed, 35, of Croydon, south London, was told to surrender his passport and not to apply for international travel documents. All four are due to appear on 20 May.
The district judge, Howard Riddle, dismissed the Crown's application for conditional bail for the three men, despite the fact that Britain has no extradition treaty with Pakistan. "Failing to attend these proceedings would destroy any possibility of playing a cricket international in the future," he said. "Their reputation is of the utmost importance. They have a very strong incentive to attend trial and defend the proceedings."
Amir's lawyer Gareth Peirce said her client had to deal with problems with British immigration in order to attend hearing, proving his determination to defend himself against the charges.
Majeed is accused of accepting £150,000 from an undercover reporter from the News of the World to conspire with the players to bowl no-balls at specific points during the fourth Test at Lord's last August.
The allegations precipitated a crisis in the world of international cricket, the shockwaves from which are still reverberating.
The three players, who appeared in court wearing dark suits and dark open-necked shirts, and Majeed face up to seven years in prison if found guilty.
The players have already appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in Lausanne, against bans imposed by the International Cricket Council.

The World Cup in Cricket

The present World Cup scenario can be contrasted with that in 1987, when Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka sprang a surprising coup and snaffled the rights to hold the competition. Since then, India has risen to become a financial giant in the cricket world; therefore, the decision to hold the competition in this region was understandable.
This time around, due to security concerns Pakistan is no longer a part of the equation; Bangladesh now makes up the trio. Despite this and the loss of key players to the notorious spot-fixing betting scandal, the Pakistani squad displays significant talent. Their cricket so far has been as volatile as dangerous; their victory against Sri Lanka was highly accomplished, while their defeat against New Zealand was lamentable. They do have the advantage of playing all their first-round matches in Sri Lanka, and the grapevine indicates that they are pleased with these circumstances – presumably due to the considerable support from the substantial Muslim minority (eight percent of the population) in Lanka – even when pitted against the local team.
Politically, Pakistan and Lanka have a measured diplomatic relationship. On 3 March 2009, when the Sri Lankan cricketers were attacked inLahore, Pakistan was not whipped up to the degree that the other cricketing nations would have been. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was quick to send a Sri Lanka Airlines plane to evacuate the cricketers from Lahore. It is therefore possible that these cricketers received guidance from the highest office in the land, because Pakistan has been a staunch ally and supplier of military hardware to Sri Lanka during the recent Eelam wars.
Of course, India too has assisted Sri Lanka in specific ways on the military front.However, the question here is not about the trilateral relationship between India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan; but about whether cricket in general, and the World Cup in particular, can soften the long-standing Indo-Pakistani animosities and suspicions. The Pakistan tour by the Indian cricket team in March 2004 was a resounding success, both in the quality of cricket, the bonds forged and the political capital gained. Alas, the cricketing camaraderie has never been strong enough to circumvent the tensions associated with such knotty issues as Kashmir and the memories that sustain cancers of distrust among substantial and influential segments of both populations.
Whatever goodwill was generated by cricket in 2004was destroyed in one swoop by the high-profile extremist attacks on targets in Mumbai in November 2008. In return, the Indian authorities went so far as to debar Pakistani cricketers from gaining any spots in the last IPL series. Cricket can be a handshake at one moment and a slap at another.
Sports nationalism, as we know, cuts both ways. It can generate excess from both players and fans. During the present series, we could conceivably see the eruption of an incident similar to the one between Symonds and Harbhajan at Sydney a few years back, when the latter referred to the former as a ‘monkey’. The ripples arising from this contretemps went across the Indian Ocean.
But we can still hope, can we not? Maybe the razzamatazz of the World Cup will soften Indo-Pakistani relations, just as it might forge a variety of bonds among the cricketing fraternity. The thrill of regulated competition, the adrenaline of big hitting, the silkiness of elegant strokes, the gasps aroused by athletic fielding and the many thrills and spills on the field will produce joy. And joy is balm.
A series of nail-biting encounters during the first round in Group A has surely stirred fans all around the world. The England-India tie was enthralling, the Irish batting that stormed the walls of their old enemy quite fantastic, England’s success in defeating the Safs a tense affair, and the Bangladeshi victory over England as tense as it was marvellous. The high-scoring match on 14 March, which saw South Africa run down India’s solid total in the last over, was yet another mind-blowing affair. Who says 50-over ODI cricket is dead? This form of the game can serve up excitement.
On the back of such matches, then, the present World Cup can lessen the diverse prejudices about Southasia that continue to reside in the minds of the cricketers from the Caribbean and the West. The oversimplified perception this region as being mysterious, unpredictable, volatile and dangerous remains strong in Western societies. This World Cup could well encourage the dilution of such sentiments, among both the cricketers and their keen cricket fans.
A handful of Bangladeshis, though, have not assisted the prospects on this front. After the Bangladesh team disappointed them with a humiliating batting collapse against the West Indies, the Bangladesh team fans stoned the players’ buses. Nonetheless, the wide geographical spread of matches will expose cricketers and media teams to a range of fantastic landscape and personalities in the three host countries.
The franchise system of the IPL has already embedded friendships among players. As players from the West savour these lands, sexual liaisons will certainly be among the benefits they enjoy. A few strong ‘matches’ will emerge from cricket matches. Shaun Tait, that country lad from South Australia, now has a steady Indian girl friend, a model whose heart he secured during the IPL. The bonds are such that my effort to interview him has to wait till November, because cricket, mate and India will keep him away from our city of Adelaide. Ferocious to batsmen – ask Dilshan – he may be, but Tait is tall and handsome too. This friendship has all the makings of a handsome bond. So, this is as good a tale as one can get to place at the tail-end of a discursive spin on the Cricket World Cup, 2011.

Share your favourite Shoaib moment

Temperamental and injury-ravaged Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar announced his decision to retire from international cricket after the World Cup, bringing to end a tempestuous career marred by several controversies.
Shoaib Akhtar bids moving adieu
The 35-year-old speedster, regarded as one of the fastest bowlers in his prime, took 178 wickets in 46 Tests and 247 in 163 ODIs in a 13-year career which started against the West Indies  in December 1997.
"I have decided to retire. Mentally I wanted to go on forever but I have decided to make way for the youngsters," an emotional Akhtar, nicknamed the 'Rawalpindi Express' because of the devastating pace he generated in his best days, told reporters in Colombo on Thursday.
For most part of his career, Shoaib was portrayed as the problem child of Pakistan cricket, beset with ball-tampering allegations, disciplinary issues, hitting team mate Mohammad Asif  with a bat in 2007, doping accusations and several other controversies.
As he gets ready to hang his boots many memories of his best and worst days in the game come to mind. Sure you too have some. Share them.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Graeme Swann and Abdur Razzak: the match winners - ICC World Cup 2011

When the fast bowlers fail to bring the required results, the partnerships have stabilised and the conditions look helpless, the Captain can utilise the spinners from their armoury to bring instant changes with positive results. The spinners serve as a key component to the formation of any team and have opened the bowling in the shorter version of the game, with relative success.
A brief look at two prominent spinners in the modern game, Graeme Swann of England and Abdur Razzak of Bangladesh is as follows.
Graeme Peter Swann is a right-arm off break bowler and a useful right-hand lower order batsman. He has played for England, Nottinghamshire and the famous Northamptonshire County.
Swann started his career by posting a large amount of runs in county cricket, but diverted his attention to spin bowling. Within a short time, he excelled in his bowling and became a very important part of the English team. Swann is a tall lanky bowler and is expected to take a wicket in his first over when asked to bowl.
He is an integral part of the English side in all three forms of the game, as he has led them to many victories in different matches and was instrumental in bringing the Ashes back home on their visit to Australia in 2010-11.
Swann made his debut in One Day Internationals against South Africa on 23 January, 2000 at Bloemfontein, which England won comprehensively by 9 wickets. He has played 47 matches and has taken 69 wickets at an average of 24.59 runs per wicket with the best of 5 for 28 runs. Swann has contributed 339 runs with the bat at an average of 13.56 runs with the best of 34 runs.
He is playing his first World Cup and has played 4 matches, taken 7 wickets at an average of 24.28 runs per wicket with the best of 3 for 47 runs and has scored 40 runs in the 3 innings he played.
The spinners are proving very successful on the Subcontinent pitches, as Shahid Afridi of Pakistan is the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 15. This fact gives a tremendous amount of encouragement to all the spinners in the tournament and Swann is looking forward to putting in a good performance for his team.
Abdur Razzak is a slow left-arm spinner and a left-hand batsman. He has played for Bangladesh, Khulna Division, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Asia XI.
He is a left arm attacking spinner with the capability of breaking partnerships and useful in blocking the score, as the batsmen are playing freely. He was the fifth best One Day International bowler in 2010 International cricket with 29 wickets at an average of 32.00 runs per wicket with the best of 5 for 30 runs.
Razzak made his ODI debut on 16 July, 2004 against Hong Kong at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo, as Bangladesh won by 116 runs and he opened his account with 3 wickets. He has played 116 matches, grabbed 168 wickets at an average of 26.97 runs per wicket with the best of 5 for 29 runs. Razzak has scored 577 runs at an average of 13.41 runs with the best of 33 runs.
He has appeared in 12 World Cup matches and has taken 14 wickets at an average of 32.57 runs with the best of 3 for 20 runs.
Razzak will play an important role for Bangladesh as they try to make their mark in the tournament. The team will be counting on his ability to take early wickets and restrict the batsman.
The performance of both spinners is vital for their respective teams, as the Subcontinent pitches favour the batsmen. Their ability to turn the ball and contain the batsmen is crucial in keeping the score low. It will be interesting to see how the spinners take on the challenge and chase the ultimate trophy.

Netherland’s Peter Borren plays blame game – ICC World Cup 2011

Peter Borren, the captain of the Netherlands cricket team, has  blamed his batsmen for the poor show in their pool match of the ICC World Cup 2011 played against Bangladesh on 14th March at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong. The Dutch lost the match by a large margin of six wickets. Borren mentioned after the match that the Dutch batsmen did not perform up to their potential and in fact panicked when they went to the crease and could not establish a respectable score.
Borren was one of the four batsmen who were run out during the innings, which had a very negative impact on the outcome of the game for the Dutch. It’s always said that a Captain should lead from the front and should set an example for his team-mate. Borren was unable to do that during the match and was part of the batting line-up collapse that broke the Netherlands back.
On the other hand, the match was very important for the survival of the Bangladesh team in the tournament, losing the match meant they would have easily been kicked out of the event. This did not deter the Bengal Tigers and they played an excellent match and outclassed their opponents in all parts of the game.
The Netherland won the toss and elected to bat on a placid wicket, which was full of runs, they started off cautiously and the openers took the score to 28 runs before they lost Wesley Barresi at 9.1 overs. The next wicket contributed just nine runs, Tom Cooper joined Eric Szwarczynski at the crease and steadied the innings when the drama started. Szwarczynski was the first one who ran himself out after playing a patient knock of 28 runs scored in 87 balls followed by Cooper who was also out in the same manner for 29 runs.
Four of the top line batsmen were gone for 79 runs in 25.1 overs while Ryan ten Doeschate was keeping his end secure. He had a reasonable partnership of 34 runs with Alexei Kervezee for the fifth wicket before the later went left him at a score of 113 runs. ten Doeschate was the only one who gave the impression of a solid batsman as the wickets kept tumbling at the other end. He remained unbeaten on 53 runs while three out of five batsmen went for a duck, the other two could not get into the double digits and two of them were run out.
Abdur Razzak was the main wicket taker for Bangladesh with three scalps to his name while three other bowlers came out with a wicket each. Bangladesh chased the target easily in 41.2 overs with splendid batting from Imrul Kayes who remained unbeaten on 73 runs as Shahriar Nafees scored 37 runs and Junaid Siddique contributed 35 runs. Bangladesh won the match by six wickets and kept their chances alive for the quarter finals as they have yet to play a game against South Africa on 19th of March.
The Netherlands have appeared in five games in the tournament, losing all of them and they are currently at the bottom of the table in group B. They will play their last pool match on 18th March against the formidable Irish team who has shown class and courage by beating England.
Borren has appeared in all five matches played by the Duthch team and has scored 89 runs at an average of 22.25 runs with the best of 38 runs and has claimed two wickets. His performances have been mediocre so far, to say the least. He must lead his men from the front and should come out with his best against Ireland and win the one and only match for his nation to gain lost pride.

Pakistan capable of winning World Cup, says Aravinda de Silva

COLOMBO: Former Sri Lanka captain Aravinda de Silva believes that if Pakistan play consistently then the 1992 champions can go on to win World Cup-2011.
Legendary Test batsman de Silva said on Thursday that Pakistan has the firepower to go all the way in the 14-nation tournament.
"I think Pakistan are capable of winning the World Cup," said de Silva, who was one of the architects of Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup triumph.
"Their team has some good players but what Pakistan needs is to have more consistency in their game. I think if they can do that then they will have a very good chance of winning the title," he added.
De Silva, who scored 6,361 runs from 93 Tests and also amassed 9,284 runs from 308 One-day Internationals during an illustrious international career, stressed that there are no favourites in the World Cup.
"The results that we have seen so far in this tournament have made it clear that there are no favourites to win the World Cup.
"Any team that peaks at the right time and gives its best when it matters is going to win the title," said de Silva, who was Man of the Match of the 1996 World Cup final.
De Silva believes that a number of exciting matches in this tournament have proved that there is no danger to the one-day format.
"We have seen some really exciting matches in this World Cup and it's apparent that cricket fans are really enjoying this competition. It also shows that the one-day format is still very popular," he said

Shoaib Akhtar to retire after World Cup 2011

Pakistan's fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is set to retire from international cricket after the ongoing ICC World Cup 2011.
The Rawalpindi Express, who is presently in Colombo, is expected to announce his decision on Thursday (today).
The 35-year-old right-arm bowler made his first international appearance in December 1997 against West Indies.
He was involved in a number of controversies pertaining to his action, injuries as well as discipline.
Akhtar, who was recalled for the World Cup after being out of action for a major part of the last three years due to a spate of injuries, had tested positive for a banned drug nandrolone in 2006.
He was also amongst the first players to be taken for random dope testing ahead of this World Cup, according to a source.
A few days before the start of the 2011 World Cup, Akhtar expressed his determination to make an impression during the tournament, which he said would be his last.
"I am still bowling 145-150 (kilometres per hour). I am touching it easily, so look, it's my last World Cup and I am going to try to do well whatever it's in my ability to do well," Akhtar said.
"I am going to go out there to push it and I will push it to the limit and that's how it is going to be,"

Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar reveals he'll retire from international cricket after World Cup

Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar will retire from international cricket after the World Cup, bringing an end to one of the most colorful careers in the sport.
'I have decided to say goodbye,' said Akhtar. 'This World cup is my last and the coming matches in the tournament will  be last few of my international career.'
Akhtar, who made his international debut in 1997 in a test match against the West Indies, is regarded as one of the fastest bowlers ever to play the game. But his career has been plagued by injuries and, more recently, off-field issues with the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Akhtar's teammates hugged him in the dressing room before captain Shahid Afridi also embraced the paceman as they walked onto the field for a training session at R. Premadasa Stadium.
'I would have loved to continue, perhaps forever, but I must make way for the youngsters to take over,' Akhtar said, then added dramatically: 'With this announcement it feels like it's my first death.'
Pakistan play defending champion Australia at Colombo on Saturday in the last match in Group A. Both teams have already qualified for the quater finals.
Akhtar played in 46 test matches and took 178 wickets while in 163 one-day internationals he has captured 247 wickets.
Despite struggling with his fitness after knee surgery in Australia two years ago, Pakistan selectors picked Akhtar for the World Cup.
But his performance has been mixed in the tournament.
He has taken only three wickets in the three 2011 World Cup matches and was rested for the games against Canada and Zimbabwe.
His last over in the 110-run loss to New Zealand went for 28 runs when Ross Taylor hit the paceman for three sixes and two fours.
Pakistan team management fined Akhtar for breaking a team curfew when the team played two World warm-up matches in Bangladesh last month.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 SWOT analysis of Team West Indies

Every time we refer to the West Indian team in an international contest, all we have to lament about is the lost glory. The invincible of the past have been even given the underdog status this time at the WC. They are unpredictable and vulnerable as well. Since June 2009, they have managed authentic wins only against amateurs like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Ireland etc.
After letting out Adrian Bharath and pitching in Sarwan at the last moment, the final squad is as follows: Chris Gayle (capt), Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Andre Fletcher, Wavell Hinds, Nikita Miller, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Jerome Taylor.
1.Gayle, Gayle and Gayle "All eyes are on this man." West Indies batting has the capability to explode if they have it their way. This largely depends on the way their captain, Chris Gayle plays, and if he goes after the bowling successfully, the side usually ends up with a total to defend.
2.The 'IPL' force - Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo have proved their deadly skills in the recent IPL performances in India. Now this is another format of the game, but with their sheer talents they can unleash will be decisive for the team.
3.Final hook - The batting finally looks to be coming around with all holes being plugged and Sarwan & Chanderpaul's experience will be mightily useful in sub-continent conditions alias batting pitches.
1."Team" game - Their lack of taking it all the way with a collective effort is overshadowed. Whether they play as a united team or as individuals who impress is really bothersome for many.
2.Consistency - The only consistency this team has showed us recently is inconsistency. As things currently stand for the consistency level of bowling department, the West Indian bowling is rather fragile and easy to go after.

1.Given the way the West Indian side has played in the last six months, it is difficult to predict how worse their performance level can go, which in turn, can surprise the opposition if they strike out unexpected blows.
2.Darren Bravo, who has impressed cricket followers all over will be keen to cement his place at no.3, despite the return of Sarwan and the rock solid Chanderpaul.
3.Benn and Miller will have a task up their sleeves to help the side win games and get the ball rolling or rather spinning.
The West Indian squad looks the most unprepared of all teams, with no real openers to bat with Gayle and not too many quick bowlers coming through. Though spinners will play a role in the sub-continent, the quick bowlers will have a job too.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Pakistan vs New Zealand: Kiwis crush Pak by 110 runs

Pak vs NZ: Live scorecard
The Black Caps crushed Pakistan by 110 runs. Chasing a mammoth target of 303 runs, Pakistan was bowled out for 192 runs.
Pakistan, who was unbeaten in this World Cup, performed poorly with the bat, ball and fielding.
Abdul Razzaq was the top scorer with 62 runs. He made cruscial partnership with Umar Gul to reduce the defeat runs.
Birthday boy Ross Taylor smashed swashbuckling unbeaten hundred to guide New Zealand towards mammoth total of 302 runs against Pakistan.
Taylor scored unbeaten 131 off 124. His spectacular innings was studded with eight boundaries and seven massive sixes.
At one stage, New Zealand was struggling to reach the 240 total but it was Taylor, who was riding high on two drop opportunity.
Pak vs NZ: Live Commentary
Nathan McCullum (19) started the firework with Taylor after the dismissal of Scott Styris (28). After Nathan, Jacob Oram joined the party in middle. His 10 ball cameo also helped New Zealand to cross the 300 mark. Oram scored 25 runs.
Taylor was dropped by Kamran Akmal on duck and four. He whacked away Shoaib Akhtar and Abul Razzaq for 28 and 30 runs. New Zealand scored 92 runs in last four overs. Pakistan bowling attack shattered in the slog overs as New Zealand posted good target on the board.
Electing to bat first, New Zealand received first jolt in the very first over of the match when Shoaib Akhtar bowled out Brandom McCullum for six.
However, Martin Guptil was the architecture of Kiwis innings. He consolidated New Zealand with well composed 57 runs.
New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettorie won the crucial toss and elected to bat first against Pakistan here at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Kiwis have made two changes in the squad. Jamie How and Jacob Oram  are back in the side. Hamish Bennett and Jesse Ryder are out. Vettori said Ryder is unfit.

Paksitan has also made couple of changes for today’s match. Veteran pacer Shoaib Akhtar and spinner Abdur Rehman are  back in. Wahab Riaz and Saeed Ajmal will have to sit out.
NZ: Brandon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Jamie How, Ross Taylor, James Franklin, Scott Styris, Nathan McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Jacob Oram
PAK: Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar

Cricket World Cup 2011: Pakistan Vs New Zealand

While many experts are criticizing Pakistan's death bowling and the bowling performance in general, I see the predicament that Pakistan is in to have generated from two basic components.
I feel that Pakistan had this coming in the wake of the constant absurdity displayed by their team selection and captaincy.
To top it all off, Kamran Akmal dropped the easiest catch he could ever made in his career off the bowling of an in form, steaming Shoaib Akhter, who now is ironically being blamed for the thrashing that Pakistan received. In terms of the selection and captaincy decisions made by Pakistan, there are a couple questions that remain.
One question has been bugging me since the start of this world cup. With the pitches turning as they are, why is a flat, quickish spinner like Abd-ur-Rehman getting selected constantly ahead of Saeed Ajmal? Ajmal is a match winner and one bad performance should never cause a team to lose trust in a match winner. Another issue that I have is Afridi's lack of assessment of a situation. He took the second slip out when Shoaib had the Kiwis in a fix and Guptil's catch went through that very region.
The worst and the most astonishing decision was to give the new ball to Rehman when one knew that Razzaq can only bowl with a new ball and is just a medium up and down bowler with an older ball. When Rehman opened the attack I instantly told an acquaintance that Razzaq would be murdered at some stage in the match.

I sympathize with Shoaib Akhtar who was absolutely unplayable in the beginning and was robbed off of Taylor's wicket by the incapable Kamran Akmal.

I fear that this performance would result in Akhtar being dropped, which is really not the right way to go. I hope that the management sees how Pakistan needs Saeed Ajmal as an integral part of the team. Kamran Akmal should be left out and Umar Akmal should keep for the rest of the cup.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Canada Defeats Kenya by Five Wickets in Cricket World Cup Group A Match

Jimmy Hansra’s 70 runs led Canada to a five-wicket win over Kenya in their Group A Cricket World Cup match today in New Delhi.
Canada reached 199-5 in response to Kenya’s innings of 198 in the 50-over match. The victors reached the total with 27 balls left. Hansra was caught off Nehemiah Odhiambo. Canadian captain Ashish Bagai finished on 64 not out.
Neither team had won in three previous matches before today. The result leaves Canada with 2 points, behind Zimbabwe and above Kenya in the seven-team group. The top four teams in each of the competition’s two groups move into the quarterfinals.
Tanmay Mishra and Thomas Odoyo were each out on 51 runs to lead Kenya, which recovered from losing opening batsman Maurice Ouma for a duck on his second ball.

CAN v KEN 2011 23rd Match Result – Canada won by 5 wickets, Ashish Bagai hit 64*

In a battle to avoid bottom spot in the points table in Group A, Canada beat Kenya by 5 wickets with 27 balls remaining in the 23rd match of 2011 Cricket World Cup, on Monday, 7th March, 2011 at Delhi.
Kenya started poorly, lost 3-27 and wickets at regular intervals unable to move the tempo but somehow manged 198 runs as Mishra and Odoyo 51 runs each. Canada also struggling at 48-3 but 132 runs partnership between Hansra 70 runs and captain Ashish Bagai 64 not out helps to register their first win in world cup.
Match Summary:
Kenya - 198 all out in 50 overs (Mishra 51, Odoyo 51, Osinde 4-26)
Canada - 199/5 in 45.3 overs (Hansra 70, Bagai 64*)
Toss - Kenya won the toss and elected to bat first.
Man of the Match - Henry Osinde (Canada)
Result - Canada won by 5 wickets (with 27 balls remaining)
Points - Canada 2, Kenya 0

Canada beat Kenya by 5 wickets

Canada are finally off the mark with their first win in the tournament. They would be happy with the victory and their performance. They next meet New Zealand in their next match. Kenya on the other side, would be disappointed with their overall performance. They would want to do well against the Australian team when they meet them in their next encounter. That's all from us for today. Join us tomorrow for the game between New Zealand and Pakistan at 0900 GMT (1430 IST).
Henry Osinde has been declared the Man of the Match. He says that there was some swing for him today. He was looking to bowl wicket to wicket but after seeing the ball swing, he decided to pitch it up. He also says that the way second new ball reversed was surprising..

Canadian skipper Ashish Bagai says that the performance was good. Restricting Kenya to that total and chasing it was good. There was no pressure of the run rate. Jimmy Hansra got the odd boundaries and took away the pressure off him which made it a bit easy to chase..
Kenyan captain Jimmy Kamande says that they started off very badly and wanted more than 200 but later on thought that their total was enough to defend. Says that the bowling was not upto the mark to defend the total..
Canada have beaten Kenya by 5 wickets. Their batting was good and chased the total comfortably. Jimmy Hansra was the star batsman for them hitting a well made 70 and their captain Ashish Bagai stayed 64 not out till the end to steer his side to victory. Kenya on the other side tried their level best to get wickets but they couldn't apply pressure on the Canadian team. The best bowler for Kenya was Nehemiah Odhiambo with 2/45 in his 10 overs..

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Afridi wants ICC to use UDRS more

Pakistan's One-day captain Shahid Afridi wants the International Cricket Council ( ICC) to consider increasing the number of Umpire decision review system (UDRS) appeals allowed to a particular team.
Unlike his Indian counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is not happy with the UDRS, Afridi said the system had worked well for most teams in the World Cup.
"The use of the UDRS is a positive development and it would not be a bad idea if its use is increased in the remaining matches of the World Cup and even after that," said Afridi in his show 'Captain's corner' on a news channel.
Afridi pointed out that the system has ensured minimum errors on the field and most teams are satisfied with it.
Pakistan benefitted immensely from the use of the UDRS system during their tight game against Canada yesterday as many of the decisions taken by on field umpires, Darrel Harper and Nigel Long, were turned down on review.
The allrounder, who has taken 14 wickets in three matches in the tournament, said while he was happy to be playing a leading role as a bowler but added that he would like to see the other bowlers fire as well.
"They have bowled well but have been unlucky. I just think I am more lucky to have got the wickets. It feels good to be taking wickets for your team.
"I am pretty confident that as the others would also start taking wickets as the tournament progressed," he said.
Afridi admitted that Pakistan still needed to bring more consistency in its performances.
"I don't think the Canadian bowlers bowled any outstanding stuff we gave away our wickets and if we want to reach the final of this tournament we need to bring consistency in all three departments of our game," he said.
Pakistan's fielding was shoddy against Sri Lanka and against Canada they came up with dismal show with the bat.
Afridi said fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar had a slight groin problem and had decided to rest for the Canada game.
"We need to improve further to do well in the remaining matches, which are expected to be much tougher. I think the quarter-final will be the toughest test for the qualifying teams in this competition."
Pakistan coach Waqar Younis said while he was happy that Afridi was taking wickets but he also wants others to chip in.
"I don't think we can keep on relying on one bowler to take wickets all the time. I hope in the next games the other bowlers will also step up," said Waqar.

Ricky Ponting describes Pakistan as a very dangerous side, similar to Australia

Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has described Pakistan as a very dangerous side, predicting that the team will get better by the day as the 2011 World Cup progresses.
Speaking at a press conference in Colombo, Ponting drew comparisons between Pakistan and his own team, which is looking for a record fourth consecutive World Cup crown.
“They have some good bowlers. Their fast bowers have done well here. They have Shahid Afridi who is in terrific form. Then they have (Mohammad) Hafeez, who can bowl. Rehman is there and also Saeed Akmal. So in a way they are similar to Australia,” The News quoted Ponting, as saying.
He said Pakistan are a well-balanced side, and have made their presence felt at the World Cup by beating co-hosts Sri Lanka, one of the favourites for the title.
After Australia’s Pool A match against Sri Lanka was washed out by rain at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Ponting hoped that his team would be fully prepared to face Pakistan in their last group game on March 19 at the same venue.
Speaking on his team’s abandoned match against Sri Lanka, Ponting said that he was ‘surprised’ by the slowness of the wicket at the R Premadasa Stadium, adding that more than the players, he was disappointed for the crowd after the match was rained out.

I have put the controversies behind me, says Kamran Akmal

Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal feels that an allegation of his involvement in the spot-fixing saga is a thing of the past and he is now just trying to give his best in the ongoing World Cup.
"Those things are behind me now and I don't want to talk about those things. The fact that the selectors considered me good enough to play for Pakistan again in itself answers a lot of questions," Kamran said.
Kamran like Shoaib Malik and Danish Kaneria was not considered for the series against South Africa in UAE and the Test tour to New Zealand last year but made a comeback in the World Cup squad after being cleared by the integrity committee of the PCB.
The glovesman who has been given the responsibility of batting at no. 3 in the tournament said he was enjoying the challenge of batting up the order.
"I know I can still contribute bigger innings to the team. As the tournament progresses, I will try to bat for longer period as batting at no. 3 gives me a that time to settle down in a 50-over encounter."
He also refuted the suggestion that because of his batting responsibility, his keeping was being affected after he missed two stumping chances against Sri Lanka leaving spinner Abdul Rehman distraught.
But Kamran said there is no additional pressure on him to perform as he has earlier batted up the order in three formats of the game.
When asked about his shoddy show behind the stumps, Kamran reasoned, "Every player commits a few mistakes and faces difficulties during his career. I'm trying to get through this phase and improve my performance."

Pakistan dismiss concerns about balance

Pakistan may have a 100% record halfway into the group stage of the World Cup but concerns about the balance of the side refuse to go away. On Thursday, they completed an ultimately comfortable, but mostly tense, 46-run win against Canada, but their batting flopped under grey skies as they were bowled out for 184 in just 43 overs. In the end, Pakistan were indebted to captain Shahid Afridi, who ripped through Canada's chase, ending with his second five-for in three games.
The opening pair of Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad were separated early for the third straight game, but it was the inability of the lower middle order to rally that will be of greater concern. Pakistan have selected a deep batting line-up, with Abdul Razzaq coming in as low as number eight, to guard against precisely the kind of top order stutter they suffered against Canada. They have persisted with selecting only three specialist bowlers, relying on allrounders such as Razzaq and Hafeez to complete the fifth bowler's ten overs: so potent has Afridi been that he is increasingly a specialist bowler.
"Everyone has the right to give his opinion but we have not closed our eyes and ears," Intikhab Alam, the team manager, said on Sunday after a practice session. "The team management is doing its homework and whatever is in the best interest of the team they do it. In a cricket match 7-8 players do not perform every day. It is two, three players who get the job done."
The side takes on New Zealand in Pallekele on Tuesday and a win would all but ensure a quarter-final spot. The teams recently played a six-match ODI series in New Zealand, which Pakistan won 3-2 (one game was washed out) but conditions here will be starkly different to those in New Zealand in January. For one, the venue is at considerable altitude. "This place is 2000 ft above the sea level and altitude affects the breathing so we're working hard on that," Alam said.
"It's a tough game against New Zealand. We won the series against them but here the conditions are different. We will try to keep our 100 per cent record intact."
As has been the case through the tournament, Pakistan underwent another focused practice session. On Monday, Alam said, the team will do batting and fielding practice only in order to give some players enough recovery time. Abdur Rehman, who missed the game against Canada with a leg injury, did train with the side and will bowl on Monday, though Alam said, "It's too early to say with which combination we will go into the game against New Zealand."

Cricket World Cup 2011:secret of Kevin O’Brien's success for Ireland? 'Stump Test'

Stocky and red-headed, Ger O’Brien is so clearly drawn from the family gene-pool that if Ireland sent him out to bat against India on Sunday, no one would notice the difference.
O’Brien arrives at the Railway Union clubhouse clutching a pile of old photographs. The most poignant one shows his two younger brothers Kevin and Niall, aged seven and nine, as they watch Ian Botham walk out of the pavilion gate at Clontarf cricket club.
Ger still remembers how awestruck Kevin was at this moment, as he stood waiting to meet his idol. But you could hardly say that it represented a turning point in his childhood. The youngest O’Brien – who monstered England last Wednesday with one of the great World Cup innings – was already spending every day of his summer holidays at the Railway Union cricket ground in the upmarket Dublin suburb of Sandymount.
“We would be out of the house at nine,” says Ger, “and straight into a session of ‘Stump Test’ [a game they evolved with a tennis ball and a cricket stump]. The only break would be to dash home for lunch, because the ground is 500 yards from our house. There were six kids in the family, so we used to play three-a-side – at least until the arguments started.”
Cricket remains an anomaly within Irish sport, even if a second win against India on Sunday would continue its emergence from the shadows. There are only around 20,000 registered players, as compared to 150,000 for rugby. Its Gaelic name – Iomain Gallda, or “foreign hurling” – reveals its status as an interloper. And yet, the people who do follow the sport really follow it, with great intensity and devotion.
The O’Briens are perhaps the leading Irish cricket dynasty. But there are plenty of others: cricket-crazed families who spent the Seventies and Eighties throwing the kids into the back of the car, driving them to the local club, then turfing them out to run wild while the adults hit the pitch or the clubhouse bar. These were the days before Breathalyzers, after
For the purposes of Niall, Kevin and their three brothers, it helped that Sandymount is such a hot spot of the game. You can find four leading clubs within a couple of square miles, because it used to be a 19th-century garrison town with a high proportion of English gentry. And there are also English connections at the Bray Cricket Club, half an hour south of Dublin, where Ed Joyce and his eight siblings learned to play.
“Cricket was an absolute obsession in our family,” says Jemma Joyce, one of Ed’s four sisters. “I used to joke that I could come home and say ‘I’m pregnant,’ and my parents would reply ‘Did you hear that the fifths beat Clontarf by 127 runs?’
“It was just something that my dad took an interest in. We didn’t know anyone with any awareness of the game outside the club. When the boys got too good for Bray, they moved to Merrion CC, in the city. And on the journey into Dublin, on the DART train, they had to disguise their bats, because cricket was seen as snobby or ‘posho’. There were a couple of uncomfortable incidents when people rumbled them.”
This experience is familiar to Ger O’Brien, who remembers how “at school we certainly didn’t advertise the fact that we were into cricket, because most people thought it was all cucumber sandwiches and cream teas”.
It is true that the O’Briens grew up in a sought-after location. Sandymount counts as part of the D4 postcode, Dublin’s answer to Chelsea. But the family house was – and still is – a modest red-brick semi with a 30-foot back garden, and they are far from being gentry themselves.
Father Brendan (better known as “Ginger”) was a tax inspector, whose primary goal in life was to play as much sport as possible. Apart from his 52 appearances in the Ireland cricket team, he represented Leinster at hockey (as did all six of his children) and played semi-professional football for Shelbourne FC, once even travelling to the Stadium of Light for a European Cup tie against Sporting Lisbon.
Cricket, though, was always king. “One day in the late 1950s, my father went down the lane to Railway Union,” says Ger now. “You could say he never came back.” The family’s devotion to the sport matched that of the Joyces, to the point where the only daughter, Ciara, spent several years as the first-team scorer.
When Malcolm Gladwell writes of the 10,000 hours required to achieve true expertise in any field, he could have had the O’Briens in mind. While the four elder siblings all found respectable jobs in accountancy or real estate, the younger two have made a living from their favourite hobby.
Niall, always seen as the man most likely, won his first county contract at the age of 22. Meanwhile Kevin – who turned 27 on Friday – has spent the last 14 months as one of Ireland’s half-dozen full-time professionals. Even so, he still lodges with his parents.
Kevin’s financial independence may soon be guaranteed, if he picks up the Indian Premier League contract that many are predicting. The Indian media have already gone wild with excitement over his jet-powered innings, which cut fully 16 balls off Viv Richards’ record for the fastest World Cup hundred.
Back in Ireland, the sport is looking to benefit from this sudden surge in visibility, which found Brian O’Driscoll brandishing a bat and ball during a photo opportunity last week. More schools are taking up the game, such as Marian College. Warren Deutrom, chief executive of Cricket Ireland, says he wants to extend participation to 50,000 players by 2015.
Kevin O’Brien will make a terrific figurehead. His withering power and aggression have long been renowned at Railway Union. Judging by the 102-metre six he struck off James Anderson on Wednesday, it is hardly surprising that the club have erected a 30-foot fence between the cricket pitch and bowling green to prevent an unwary pensioner from being brained.
Now, though, the secret is out in the open. If Kevin can produce any more displays like the one that unseated England, he will be well on the way to becoming a sporting celebrity. All those games of “Stump Test” have proved to be time well spent.

Cricket World Cup 2011: England v South Africa report

England (171 all out) beat South Africa (165 all out) by six runs in World Cup Group B match in Chennai. If England ever manage to work out how to get all their moving parts pulling in the same direction then they could suddenly become an unstoppable force at this World Cup.
For three matches the batsmen had been in easy mood rattling along with scores either in excess of 300 or not far short while the bowlers were being hammered by everyone from Sachin Tendulkar to Kevin O’Brien.
But on Sunday that form reversed as the bowlers saved the batsman to somehow leave England travelling to Bangladesh knowing that one more victory will seal a quarter-final place with a group game to spare.
South Africa were stunned and instead of reinforcing their standing as the tournament’s best side, Graeme Smith was forced to fend off familiar questions about his team choking with victory in sight.
At 124 for three with only 48 required from an ocean of overs, South Africa were coasting to a third consecutive win. But the match turned when James Anderson discovered a decent length delivery which deceived AB De Villiers into shouldering arms.
Hardly anyone noticed the bails lying on the floor, but what happened next grabbed everyone’s attention. It was the beginning of a devastating spell of four for three in 30 balls as South Africa’s middle order suddenly looked feeble.
Francois du Plessis was run out by Ian Bell at short leg as England rediscovered their touch in the field, before JP Duminy’s off stump was ripped out of the ground. It was not a great stroke from Duminy, he played around a full delivery, and one that showed a lack of match awareness.
Anderson was finding reverse swing but the ball was due to be changed at the end of the over, snuffing out the movement he thrives on.
All of a sudden England were in with a chance and wickets fell in clusters, a familiar facet of their Test cricket in Australia.
The match suddenly veered into Test mode as Andrew Strauss attacked. He has been criticised for his defensive tactics in the past but it is in low-scoring matches that captains can really make a difference in one-day cricket and on Sunday he acted.
Sensing South African wobbliness Strauss moved in, crowding the bat with fielders as Graeme Swann found prodigious turn. A silly point, gully and slip showed which team was in control and Robin Peterson was found wanting. Somehow he saw off Swann, but the pressure told and he drove loosely at a Mike Yardy slider with Matt Prior taking the edge.
South African resolve was stiffened by Morne van Wyk and Dale Steyn’s 33-run stand for the eighth wicket as Strauss reluctantly spent Swann’s final over searching for a breakthrough that would not arrive.
Once Swann ended his 10 overs, with only the early wicket of Smith as reward, Strauss turned to Tim Bresnan and his back of a length delivery hurried van Wyk into cutting onto his stumps.
With eight runs required from three overs South Africa only had to hold their nerve, working in singles, but Stuart Broad has spent a long time this winter watching others bask in glory and finally had his moment.
The first ball of his spell was full and straight and Steyn fell lbw, a decision upheld on appeal, before three balls later Morne Morkel nicked a big drive and the match was over.
England’s bowlers had begged for a different surface from the one that made life hard in Bangalore and their hopes were answered. This pitch was dry and crumbly but the skill of being successful in a vast country like India is learning how to adapt, a talent England’s batsmen still need to learn.
For the second successive innings Strauss was the master of his own demise.
Looking to be positive as South Africa opened with Peterson’s left-arm spin, a tactic becoming the norm in this tournament, Strauss played a stroke more suited to Bangalore’s predictable bounce, using his feet to go down the pitch but only succeeded in hitting a catch to deep midwicket.
Three balls later and Kevin Pietersen lunged forward but the ball turned and caught his outside edge to leave England two down in the first over. When Peterson deceived Ian Bell in the flight four overs later England were 15 for three and relying on Ravi Bopara, recalled in place of Paul Collingwood, and Jonathan Trott to add some solidity.
Trott was in his element chugging along and aiming to bat through the innings. A second consecutive half century was achieved but his former Warwickshire colleague, the Pakistan born leg-spinner Imran Tahir, beat him with dip and turn to take the first of four wickets.
Bopara smote a six off Duminy and showed he can apply his mind when necessary with a 98-ball 60 before Morkel nipped one off the seam. Tahir’s well disguised googly left England what felt like 30 runs short of a competitive total but predicting England is a foolish habit in this World Cup.

Yuvraj, Pathan take India to five-wicket win over Ireland

Yuvraj Singh snared his first five-wicket haul in one-day internationals as India dismissed Ireland for 207 in 47.5 overs in the World Cup Group B match on Sunday. Yuvraj ripped through the middle-order to finish with 5-31 as Ireland was left struggling to meet expectations after pulling off a stun ning three-wicket victory over England in its previous game at the same venue.
The left-arm spinner's dismissals included Ireland captain William Porterfield and Kevin O'Brien, who blazed the fastest hundred ever in the World Cup in his last innings.
Porterfield struck a cautious 75 and was involved in a 113-run stand for the third wicket with Niall O'Brien (46) but the Ireland batting lineup could not build significantly on that partnership. Porterfield, who had a reprieve off Zaheer Khan before he had scored a run, struck six fours and a 'free hit' six towards square-leg off Piyush Chawla before he was caught by Harbhajan Singh in the covers off Yuvraj.
Niall O'Brien's run out dismissal triggered a collapse as Yuvraj took charge with a controlled spell of slow bowling.
Niall O'Brien, who completed 1,000 runs in one-day internationals during Sunday's innings, was short of his ground following a throw from Virat Kohli at cover.
Ireland was cruising along at 122-2 in the 27th over at that point, but lost its last eight wickets for only 85 runs.
Part-timer Yuvraj made up for another disappointing performance by leg-spinner Chawla, who went for 15 runs in an over.
Earlier, Ireland lost two wickets to pace bowler Khan after being sent in to bat and was reduced to 9-2 in the third over.
Khan saw Yusuf Pathan spill Porterfield's catch at second slip off his third delivery, but struck with the very next ball as he bowled Paul Stirling through bat and pad. He then had Ed Joyce caught behind off an inside edge.

Cricket World Cup 2011: Yuvraj Singh helps India to comfortable victory over Ireland

India (210-5 in 46 overs) beat Ireland (207 in 47.5 overs) by five wickets in World Cup Group B match in Bangalore.
Yuvraj Singh's all-round performance guided India to a five-wicket victory over Ireland in their World Cup Group B match in Bangalore today.
Yuvraj scored 50 off 75 balls to back up his best World Cup bowling figures of five for 31, as India overhauled the giant killers' target of 207 for victory in 46 overs.
The left-hander added 67 with Mahendra Singh Dhoni (34), but Ireland gave India some anxious moments throughout by picking up some crucial wickets.
Earlier captain William Porterfield scored a workmanlike 75, but lack of contributions elsewhere meant Ireland were bowled out inside 48 overs.
Bowling first after winning the toss, Zaheer Khan gave India a terrific start by scalping Paul Stirling and Ed Joyce in successive overs.
Porterfield and Niall O'Brien then added 81 in 20 overs, but a piece of brilliance on the field from Virat Kohli saw off O'Brien, who made a patient 46.
By then Porterfield, who was dropped in the first over by Yusuf Pathan, had reached his second World Cup half-century off 67 balls and added 113 with O'Brien for the third wicket.
Wickets fell in a heap thereafter as Ireland batsmen were bamboozled by Yuvraj and the visitors crashed to 184 for eight from 122 for three in 26 overs.
In fact, Yuvraj took all the five wickets that fell during this period, including Kevin O'Brien, the hero of Ireland's sensational victory over England.
The fall of Porterfield then dashed the hopes of a late surge. The opener departed to a lose shot, but had dug deep for his 75 off 104 balls.
Yuvraj dismissed Cusack (24) in his final over and became the first left-arm spinner to pick up five wickets in a World Cup match.
Ireland inched past 200 in the 47th over, but Zaheer and Munaf Patel soon polished off the tail with 13 balls remaining. Zaheer finished with three for 30.
The visitors then gave India a scare by removing Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir early on with just 24 on the board.
But Tendulkar and Kohli eased the nerves by adding 63 in 15 overs, but soon George Dockrell had his big moment when he trapped the master-blaster for 38 (46 balls).
India reached 100 in the 24th over, but soon a mix-up with Yuvraj sparked Kohli's dismissal for 34, bringing Dhoni to the middle.
Yuvraj and Dhoni added 37 in next 10 overs to keep the chase on track, and denied any opportunity for Ireland to claw back.
India moved past 150 in 37, but had to endure another scare when Dockrell trapped Dhoni lbw for a 50-ball 34, but a couple of sixes from big-hitting Pathan brought the equation down to 25 runs off nine overs.
The duo rattled off the required runs with four overs to spare as Pathan scored the winning boundary to remain unbeaten on 30 off 24 balls.

Indian Parrot Predicted Pakistan as World Champion 2011-Times of India

Indian psychic Parrot who's name was Mali predicted Pakistan three times in a row as Cricket World Champion 2011.But his owner baba to make himself safe from Indian doggy party Shiv Sena killed his Parrot for predicting Pakistan.
It is also noted that Indian Media is hiding this Hot news which can show real image of Indian democracy to world.
Pakistani Nation is happy but mostly people express that they didn't belief on any Psychic.Mamu a psychic has also predicted in T20 World cup 2010 semis that Pakistan 'll win but Pakistan lost that match.So we only belief on self power and we will lift cup from Mumbai. And will beat any one except Shiv Sena with our bat.

England vs South Africa: Broad's fiery spell helps Eng win

England clinched cliffhanger against South Africa by six runs here at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Cheapuk, Chennai on Sunday.
Eng vs SA: Live scorecard and commentary
In a nail-biting encounter, South Africa was all out for 165 runs.
England bowlers defended the moderate total of 171 runs brilliantly and bundled out Proteas for 165 runs.
After getting good start, South African middle order collapsed like a house of cards. Hasim Amla was the top scorer with 42 runs.
Stuart Broad picked up crucial four wickets to guide his side towards victory. With this win, England has strengthened its position in Group B.
Earlier, South Africa restricted 171 runs in a Group B match here at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday.
Electing to bat, England has disastrous start as they lost openers in the very first over of the match. South African skipper Graeme Smith’s trick of opening the bowling with spinner Robin person proved fruitful. Peterson dismissed English skipper Andrew Strauss (0) and Kevin Pietersen (2) in his first over.
Later Peterson provided third jolt to England by scalping Ian Bell for 5 runs.
Tottering at 15/3, English middle order batsmen Jonathan Trott and Ravi Bopara started damage control work cautiously.
Bopara proved his inclusion worthy as he added crucial 99 runs with Trott. Trott scored 52 runs before dismissed by Imran Tahir.
England’s innings collapsed after end of Bopara’s sensual knock of 60 runs.
Imran tahir was the most successful bowler. He took four wickets and is second highest wicket (11) taker in this World Cup. Robin Peterson scalped three batsmen while Morne Morkel claimed two wickets. Dale Steyn took one wicket.

England has witnessed most ups and downs in the World Cup 2011. In the World Cup Opener, they faced Netherlands and Dutch team scored mammoth 292 against the English Side.
In the Second match of the Group B, they played a tie game against India followed by humiliating defeat against minnows Ireland.
However, nothing is lost for England in this World Cup but they have made their way rather complex. They have played three matches and have just three points. England has been playing South Africa on Sunday. Later, they will play West Indies and Bangladesh.
The confidence level of England team has been severely dented by Kevin O’Brien’s brilliant knock (113 off 63 balls). It will not be a cakewalk for England to win their three remaining games. Andrew Strauss-led English side needs two victories to secure the quarterfinal berth.
As far as England vs South Africa match is concerned, Proteas have registered clinical victories in their two first games against West Indies and Netherlands.
South Africa is one of the strong sides in this World Cup. It will be a big task for Coach Andy Flower and skipper Strauss to defeat South Africa here at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Cheapuk in Chennai.
Despite of chasing big total and scoring over 300 marks in the last three games, England’s middle order is struggling. The toothless bowling attack is another area of concern for the English team.
On the other hand, South African pacers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are firing with full cylinder and inclusion of Imran Tahir has added additional variety in their bowling department.
In batting department, AB de Villiers is carrying his superb form in the prestigious tournament. He scored two consecutive hundred against West Indies and Netherlands.
England has one reason to cheer that they defeated South Africa 2-1 in their last series in 2009-10.
In the 2007 World Cup, South Africa thrashed England by nine wickets.
Team report:
English pacer James Anderson has been struggling with form and it is expected that Ajmal Shahzad may replace him in the final XI.
South Africa may rest Robin Peterson to include experienced Johan Botha in the side.
Pitch report:
The pitch at Cheapuk stadium is believed to be a batting friendly track but it also helps spinners as the game progresses. Team should bat first after winning the toss.
Favourites: South Africa born English player Kevin Pietersen will prove instrumental against Proteas.

England beat South Africa by 6 runs

England are back on track after winning this close contest against South Africa. They next face England in their next encounter. Proteas on the other side would be very disappointed to lose the game after coming so near to win. They would be facing the Indian team in their next match and would want to win that one.

Preview: South Africa vs England Cricket World Cup 2011 match

IN THE last one week, the English team missed two golden opportunities to secure their berth for the quarter-final spot from group 'B' in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. First they tied with India from a match winning situation at Banglore and in the next match against Ireland at the same venue, they failed to defend 327 runs.

The Andrew Strauss-led England team started the ongoing cricket event with a six wickets victory over another European country Netherlands.
South Africa is one of the favourites in the World Cup. They are being touted as potential world cup winners because of their balanced batting, bowling and fielding abilities.

South Africa started their campaign of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 with a seven-wicket victory over West Indies. In the next match against Netherlands, the Proteas registered a 231-run victory. Their batsman AB de Villiers scored back to back hundreds against West Indies and Netherlands.
Out of the 42 ODIs played between South Africa and England, the record is in favour of South African by 23-18 (Tied 1 and No Result 2). In the past World Cups, both team have met five times, where the Proteas won three matches and the English team has won two matches. In the sub-continent conditions, South Africa has won on both the occasions.
The track at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium is good for the seamers as the bouncy wicket will help the seamers. The team, which wins the toss is likely to bowl first to take advantage of all the positive conditions.
Here are the squads of South Africa and England for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011:
South Africa: Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, AB de Villiers (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Morne van Wyk (wk).
England: Andrew Strauss (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior (wk), Ajmal Shahzad, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Sri Lanka vs Australia: Clouds ready to spoil party

COLOMBO: As Australia and Sri Lanka were battling each other at R Premadasa Cricket Stadium in a crucial Group A match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and cricket fans were getting top quality cricket, heavy clouds have come on top and all set to spoil the party in Colombo.
After an initial seizure of the game by Australians, Sri Lanka have sneaked past into the match with skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera adding 54 runs from 88 balls.
As the players took drinks break after 30 overs, Sri Lanka were 129 for the loss of four wickets. Weather was all set to disturb the game at any time as dark and heavy clouds were hovering over the RPS.

Aus vs SL ODI called off due to rain

Persistent rain forced umpires to abandon the Sri Lanka vs Australia ODI of Group B on Saturday.
SL vs AUS: Live
Earlier, Heavy downpour stopped the game between Sri Lanka and Australia here at R Premadasa in Colombo.
Sri Lanka was 146/3. Sangakkara was playing at 73 while Samaraweera was abtly supporting him on 34.
It is not good sign at this moment as the skay has gone absolutely dark at this moment.
Earlier, After loosing two quick wickets, skipper Sangakkara led from the front and scored fifty. Earlier, Australian pacer dismissed Sri Lankan openers Tilakratne Dilshan (4) and Tharanga (6.
Sri Lanka skipper Kumara Sangakkara won the crucial toss and decided to bat against Australia.
Sri Lanka has been playing with three spinners and one regular pacer Laisth Malinga. There are seven batsmen in the Sri Lankan side.
SL vs Aus: Live commentary
Australia has made no changes in the side.
SL: Upul Tharanga, Tilakratne Dilshan, Kumara Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, T Samaraweera, Chamara Silva, Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga, Muttaiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis
Aus: Shane Watson, Brad Haddin, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, David Hussey, Cameron  White, S Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait
One of the much awaited encounters of the World Cup is being played between Sri Lanka and Australia at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Saturday.
The intensity of the Group ‘A’ match between Sri Lanka and Australia will be equivalent to the 2007 World Cup final. However, Australia defeated Sri Lanka in the 2007 final to lift the third consecutive coveted trophy.

Sri Lanka, who lost its last match against Pakistan by 11 runs, will try to settle the score with Australia. On the other hand, Ricky Ponting-led Australia is remained unbeaten in the world. The co-host will also try to stop Australia’s 31-match unbeaten run in World Cups.
It is expected that Sri Lanka will play with the three spinners to check Aussies run flow whereas Kangaroos will once again rely on their pace battery.
However, it will be the first acid test for Australia in this World Cup
Stats and Trivia:
Australia has lost one world cup encounter against Sri Lanka out of seven. In 1996 World Cup final, Sri Lanka had defeated Australia to lift the title for first time.
Ricky Ponting is remained unbeaten in the World Cup as a captain. Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga has magnificent record in the World Cup. He has taken 24 wickets in nine World Cup matches.
Pitch report:
The pitch is expected to be slow and low. Spinners will get turn and bounce in the second innings. Team should bat first after winning the toss.
Clash of the titans:
Sri Lanka skipper Kumara Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene will be the key players against Australian pace trio of Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Cricket World Cup

In no mood to brook any Dutch mischief, South Africa steamrollered the Netherlands to top the group.
If Ireland’s win against England had rekindled hopes of a similar upset, Graeme Smith and his men quickly snuffed them out.
To begin with, the Proteas rode the marathon 221-run third wicket stand between Hashim Amla (113) and AB de Villiers (134, inset) and JP Duminy’s 40 off 15 balls to post 351-5 after batting first. Defending the highest ever total at the Punjab Cricket Association Ground, South Africa mowed down the Dutch top half by the time they reached the 100-mark and polished off the rest for a further 20 runs inside 35 overs. “We’re looking forward to playing England on Sunday,” an elated Smith said.
Scores. South Africa 351-5 (AB De Villiers 134, H Amla 113; R ten Doeschate 3-72); Netherlands 120 all out (I. Tahir 3-19)
Shahid Afridi will have gone to bed last night safe in the knowledge that Pakistan are probably one win away from securing a place in the World Cup quarter-finals but he knows his men were given a timely wake-up call by Canada.
In a tournament where most of the challengers are posting 300-plus scores on the dead sub-continental pitches, Umar Akmal was top scorer on 48 as Pakistan’s batsmen spluttered along for 43 overs before being bowled out for 184.
At the half-way mark, Afridi admitted memories of the 2007 defeat by Ireland came flooding back – but at the same time spurred his men to avoid defeat.
“I must say that was a poor batting performance and poor shot selection. I think if we want to play good cricket against good teams we should improve on this,” Afridi said after he took five wickets to ensure Pakistan’s 46-run win. “It’s a good wake-up call for us. The game against Ireland in 2007 was definitely on my mind. When we started the second innings I just told my boys ‘listen are we going to play this game for a win? Don’t think negative. We will definitely win this game’.” While the batting was a bit of a letdown, the bowlers more than made amends – with Afridi leading from the front. He now sits on top of the wicket-takers’ leaderboard with 14 victims.
Scores. Pakistan 184 all out (H.Baidwan 3-35); Canada 138 all out (Shahid Afridi 5-23)

New Zealand recorded their second 10-wicket triumph of the World Cup with an emphatic victory over Zimbabwe.

Opener Brendan Taylor top-scored with 44 for Zimbabwe but when he was out, they were in trouble at 86-6.
Prosper Utseya (36) and Graeme Cremer (22) added useful runs but Tim Southee, who finished with 3-29, bowled Utseya to close the innings on 162.
Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum both hit half centuries as New Zealand cantered home with 99 balls to spare.
The Africans chose to bat first in the Group A match at the Sardar Patel Stadium and were quickly in trouble when Hamish Bennett ran out Charles Coventry for a duck with a direct hit in the second over.
Tatenda Taibu (eight) was dropped at cover by New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori but he fell next delivery, trapped leg before by Southee.
Vettori made amends by removing Elton Chigumbura (one) and Regis Chakabva (nought) in his first over as Zimbabwe slumped to 46-5.
Taylor added 40 for the sixth wicket with Greg Lamb before he was adjudged lbw to Scott Styris six short of his half century.
And Greg Lamb followed soon after, run out by Guptill for 18 to leave the score 89-7.
Utseya and Cremer's resistance took Zimbabwe past 100 but Kyle Mills ended their 33-run partnership with his second wicket of the match before Southee cleaned up Ray Price (11) and Utseya.
Guptill began New Zealand's reply in explosive fashion, hitting two boundaries and a six in the first over.
The duo's partnership was New Zealand's highest opening stand in World Cup matches and the highest of any team in this tournament, with Guptill contributing 86 runs and McCullum 76.
They shared four sixes and hit 13 boundaries between them as they swatted Zimbabwe's bowlers to all corners of the pitch.

West Indies Beats Bangladesh by 9 Wickets at Cricket World Cup; Kiwis Win

The West Indies defeated co-host Bangladesh by nine wickets in their Group B match in Dhaka after nine Bangladeshi batsmen failed to reach double figures.
Chris Gayle was 37 not out, combining with Devon Smith, out for 6 runs, and Darren Bravo, 9 not out to achieve the win with 226 balls remaining in the 50-overs match.
Bangladesh was all out for 58 after 18.5 overs. Only Junaid Siddique, out on 25, and Mohammad Ashraful, caught on 11, reached double figures for the co-hosts. Bangladesh’s score was the lowest total ever by a full-member nation in the history of the tournament. Top batsman Tamim Iqbal was dismissed for a duck on the third ball.
The West Indies is now in second place in Group B, behind South Africa, while Bangladesh is in sixth place.
In an earlier Group A match, New Zealand defeated Zimbabwe by 10 wickets as Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill combined for 166 runs.
Guptill ended on 86 and McCullum reached 76 after 33.3 overs. Zimbabwe was all out for 162 in 46.2 overs at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera.
New Zealand’s Tim Southee took 3-29 as seven of Zimbabwe’s batsmen failed to score more than 12 runs.
New Zealand moves to fourth place in Group A, with Zimbabwe in fifth. The top four from two groups of seven teams advance to the quarterfinals of the event, co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The tournament ends April 2.

West Indies bus attacked after win over Bangladesh

(CNN) -- The West Indies team bus has been attacked by Bangladesh fans, following the side's one-sided victory over the co-hosts at the Cricket World Cup.
The West Indies secured a nine-wicket victory in 12.2 overs in the Group B game in Mirpur on Friday.
Bangladesh scored just 58 runs -- their lowest ever total in a one-day match --which led a group of angry fans to throw stones at the West Indies bus as it traveled back to the team hotel.
Should minor nations play at the Cricket World Cup?
"Bangladesh stoning our bus," Windies opener Chris Gayle -- who hit his 8000th one-day run during the match -- wrote on social networking site Twitter during the incident."Glass break. Can't believe...what next bullets!"
The former national captain continued: "This is ridiculous. World Cup with so many security and this happens. Big Joke. Trust me I'm not keen here."
The Deputy Commissioner of Police in the capital Dhaka claimed that disappointed fans had in fact thought the bus belonged to the Bangladesh team.
"They thought it was the Bangladeshi team bush and they hurled stones at it," Imtiaz Ahmed told news agency AFP. "The window panes were shattered, but no one was injured."
The West Indies' win over Bangladesh marked their second consecutive victory in the World Cup following their win over The Netherlands, and the team now lie second in the table behind South Africa.
Sulieman Benn claimed four wickets, while Kemar Roach and Darren Sammy took three each for the West Indies -- encouraging performances for the Caribbean side ahead of their upcoming fixtures against England and Ireland.
For Bangladesh the loss means they now find themselves placed sixth out the seven teams in their group, and must beat England in their next tie on March 11 to have any chance of qualifying for the quarterfinal stage.
Meanwhile, in the Group A clash at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmadabad, India earlier on Friday, New Zealand defeated Zimbabwe by 10 wickets to claim their second win of the tournament
After bowling out their opponents for just 162 runs, the Kiwis cantered recorded up two half-centuries courtesy of Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum with 99 balls to spare.
New Zealand are fourth in their group behind Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia, and Zimbabwe lie in fifth place.

Does Canada belong at the Cricket World Cup?

Everyone loves an underdog, not so a whipping boy. So which is it Canada? Should we empathize with this group of resolute triers, or be embarrassed that our national team is demonstrably out of its depth at the Cricket World Cup.
There is no baseball style 'mercy rule' in cricket. A shellacking is just that. It must be taken on the chin and accepted with dignity. The etiquette of cricket demands a degree of decorum regardless of the imbalance between the contestants.
Forget cricket's traditional image. The World Cup, currently taking place on the Indian subcontinent, is as far removed from tea, cucumber sandwiches and the village green as you can imagine. This is kill or be killed in an arena with no hiding place.
In South Asia, cricket is akin to religion. The top players are worshipped as rock stars, sport's answer to Bollywood if you will. Their legions of face-painted fans are young, boisterous and partisan. They demand their energy and fanaticism be reflected on the field.
Inside the ropes there's a hostile environment. Protocol dictates the fielding team clap the incoming batsman. That's where the pleasantries end. When someone's throwing a hard leather ball at you at 90 miles an hour, you better know what you're doing.
The sooner they can get you making that long, lonely walk back to the pavilion the better. Humiliation is the name of the game. The bowling team wants to see the back of you before you've had a chance to get your eye in. Any batsman is most vulnerable in the early moments of his innings.
Cricket's version of intimidation is nothing new. Students of the game will know all about the infamous "Bodyline" series of the 1930s. The bowling tactics employed by England captain Douglas Jardine against Australia led to a diplomatic incident and a change in the rules.
Trash talk is par for the course. In cricketing circles, vocal intimidation is known as 'sledging'. A batsman, surrounded by a ring of five or six fielders must be mentally strong enough to block out the taunts. There is a fine line between good humoured banter and personal abuse.
It is a form of legal bullying. In no other sport can an entire team focus on an individual member of the opposition from such close quarters. In many respects cricket's origins, as a game played by gentlemen, have been lost at the elite, professional level.
The case against CanadaSo is Canada strong enough to compete at the World Cup? Not according to the game's governing body. The International Cricket Council has ruled that Canada, and three other non-Test playing nations, be excluded from the next World Cup in 2015.
The cricketing minnows have little ammunition to support their future participation. Canada, for example, has never progressed beyond the initial group stage in three previous World Cup tournaments and has won just a single game.
None of these semi-pro cricketing nations harbour any hope of winning the World Cup. All have a sprinkling of individual talent but a lack of resources and an absence of regular exposure to first class opposition limit their collective potential.
The ICC argues neither Canada, nor its fellow associate members, will be missed in Australia and New Zealand four years from now. These teams do not help sell World Cup tickets and, generally, do not contribute to exciting matches for armchair fans around the world.
Cricketing miracles are few and far between. Ireland's shocking victory over England is proof that 'Cupsets' can happen but it will cut little ice with the sport's overlords. Never mind a victory for the little guy, the Irish will be out of luck four years from now.
The Cricket World Cup will contract for the second consecutive edition in 2015. Only ten nations will participate, four less than at present and a far cry from the 16 countries which battled for supremacy in the West Indies back in 2007.
The decision makes financial sense for the ICC. It could spell disaster for cricket's wannabes. It's a classic 'chicken-and-egg' scenario. Canada may not be good enough to compete on the world stage, but how does it up its game and increase revenue if denied the chance to face superior opposition?
The ICC, it appears, is not bothered. It got its fingers burned in 2007 for a variety of reasons and will not go down that road again — at least not in the foreseeable future. It wants every game to be compelling viewing for its global audience and its corporate partners. Cricket in Canada is an alien concept to many Canadians, never mind the rest of the world. The climate, of course, doesn't help but that doesn't mean the sport is not played. There are hundreds of active League clubs in Ontario alone.
All those clubs have players, umpires and administrators. They all have families who enjoy, understand and participate in the game at the grass roots. The numbers add up quickly, but not quickly enough for the International Cricket Council.
John Davison's record breaking World Cup century for Canada has been quietly forgotten. Canada's battling performance against Pakistan's heavyweights was clearly a fluke. Canada, and others, are seen as an unnecessary expense.
It's a shame for the growth and prosperity of a sport too often dismissed as too long and too boring by those who fail to appreciate its appeal.

Imran Khan sees World Cup as most open yet

Pakistan's former World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan has said this year's tournament is the most open he has seen.
Imran, who skippered Pakistan to victory in 1992, said the opening matches in the Feb 19-April 2 tournament being held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had highlighted the fact that no team stood head and shoulders above the rest of the field.
"This is perhaps the most wide open World Cup I have seen and after the results of the India and England match and the way Ireland upset England I don't think there are any clear favourites," he told Reuters on Friday.
Ireland pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the 36-year history of the event by beating England by three wickets on Wednesday in Bangalore after being set 328 to win. England and co-hosts India tied on Sunday.
"The pitches in all three countries will support the batsmen more as the month progresses and it is very hot and humid at this time of the year. So you need to have maximum wicket-taking bowlers in your side to do well," he said.


He pointed out that India's bowling was exposed in their game against England.
"Teams which don't have variety and pure pace in their bowling and prefer to rely more on batting all-rounders are already facing problems," he added.
The former cricketer-turned politician felt that Ireland were capable of causing more upsets in Group B before the quarter-finals. Kevin O'Brien scored the fastest ever World Cup century in 50 balls.
"The century by Kevin O'Brien was one of the best one-day innings I have seen in my life. The Irish are a fighting unit and I don't think you can rule them out of contention by any stretch of the imagination," Imran said.
"Teams which have the mental strength to chase down 300 plus totals have to be respected."
He said Pakistan's shoddy performance against Canada on Thursday which they only won by 46 runs was a wake-up call for the players but still backed his compatriots to make the quarter-finals.
"To me the real contests will start from the knockout stage. I think the International Cricket Council (ICC) need to rethink the format for future World Cups."
Imran said the ICC needed to help associate members build up domestic structures in their countries rather than just providing them opportunities to play in international competition.
"Unless these minnows don't have proper domestic cricket they can't come up," he said.
The ICC said before the tournament started that it would reduce the number of teams playing from 14 to 10 for the next edition in Australia and New Zealand in 2015.

Fri, 04 Mar 2011 - Bangladesh vs West Indies, World Cup 2011, 19th match West Indies Won the Match

Bangladesh playing XI: Tamim Iqbal,Imrul Kayes,Junaid Siddique,Mushfiqur Rahim (wk),Saqibul Hasan (c),Raqibul Hasan,M Ashraful,Naeem Islam,Abdur Razzak,Shafiul Islam,Rubel Hossain

West Indies playing XI: Devon Smith,Chris Gayle,Darren Bravo,Ramnaresh Sarwan,S Chanderpaul,Kieron Pollard,Devon Thomas (wk),Darren Sammy (c),Nikita Miller,Sulieman Benn,Kemar Roach


Saqibul Hasan, Bangladesh skipper has won the toss and has no hesitation in opting to bat first on Mirpur pitch that is expected to be good for batting.
Saqibul reckons pitch will get slower during West Indies chase and says his decision to bat first was helped by the fact that his side defended the target against Ireland in the last match.
West Indies captain, Darren Sammy would have also batted if he had won the match and feels his side is up for the match.
Both teams are unchanged for this game.
Darren Sammy and his West Indies team will go in search of back-to-back wins at the ICC Cricket World Cup when they take on Bangladesh at Dhaka.
West Indies recovered from a defeat to South African in their opening match to thrash Netherlands in the second and will look for the same favorable results against the co-hosts.
Kemar Roach captured a hat-trick in his last match for the Windies and he will lead the attacking line once again as the Caribbean side looks to move closer to the quarter-finals.
The hard-hitting Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard are expected to cause major problems for Bangladesh with the bat.
But Bangladesh, in the meantime, will be no pushovers – with several bookies already picking them as the dark-horses, one who should brush aside this inconsistent West Indies side.
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan is eyeing a win: “Obviously we want to go to the next round.
“It is not as if we have to win tomorrow because we will have three more matches but a win will surely take us a step forward.”
Sammy wants his team to play to their reputation and forget about rankings.
“You can say Bangladesh are ranked higher than us, but we have to go out and play to the best of our ability,” Windies captain Sammy said.
“We won’t be taking them lightly, but at the end of the day, they are beatable, we have done it before. We have a game plan and we will go out and execute it.”
They are expected to name an unchanged team for Friday’s clash. The West Indies are also expected to field the same team that beat the Dutch.

New Zealand vs Zimbabwe - 18th Match, New Zealand won by 10 wkts

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 squad for New Zealand
Daniel Vettori, Hamish Bennett, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Jamie How, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Luke Woodcock

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 squad for Zimbabwe
Elton Chigumbura, Charles Coventry, Graeme Cremer, Craig Ervine, Sean Ervine, Greg Lamb, Shingirai Masakadza, Chris Mpofu, Ray Price, Edward Rainsford, Tatenda Taibu, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams, Regis Chakabva
New Zealand openers completed another 10-wicket comfortable win for their side in this tournament as Brendon Mcullum and Martin Guptil chased down the target of 163 comfortably with both remaining undefeated.
This was second 10-wicket win for the Black Caps after chasing down Kenyan total of 69 runs without losing any wicket in their first game of the tournament.
The target was achieved in 34th over with Mcullum and Man of the Match Guptil remaining not out on 76 runs including six fours and two sixes and 86 runs punctuated seven hits to the fence and two towering sixes respectively.
Both were in tremendous form and didn’t do anything silly mixing aggression with level-headed batting to make life difficult for hapless Zimbabwean bowlers. They attacked fast bowlers and handled spinners with authority putting the loose balls away and defending the good ones to round off the professional performance their bowlers had given during Zimbabwean batting.
The pair played some crisp shots using their feet against spinners and putting them off line to complete Kiwi all-round brilliance in the match. It was, earlier, New Zealand bowlers, aided by terrific fielding display, who helped their side to fold Zimbabwe for 162 runs in the first inning.
After losing toss, Kiwi bowlers kept taking wickets regularly and bowled according to a well thought plan to thwart any ambitions of Zimbabwean players of posting a big score on a batting beauty.
Good work from fast bowlers upfront was backed by their spinners with fielders diving around to prevent Zimbabwe to get easy runs and running two batsmen out.
Zimbabwe had a bad start to the innings with their opener Charles Coventry run-out in the first over followed by fall of wickets in a quick succession.
All the Kiwi bowlers bowled their heart out with Tim Southee claiming three wickets and skipper Daniel Vettori and Kyle Mills playing his first match of the tournament getting two wickets each.
Gentle medium pace of Scott Styris also worked for New Zealand chipping in with an important wicket of Brendon Taylor.
It was Brendon Taylor at the top and Prosper Utseya in the lower order who prevented Zimbabwe from further embarrassment by putting up a resistance against Kiwi bowling.
Taylor scored 44 runs off 57 balls with four hits to the fence while Utseya fought hard for his 65-ball 36 to give bowlers something to bowl at Kiwi batsmen. Zimbabwean batsmen appeared to be defensive against Kiwi bowling making it easy for New Zealand to get on to the top.
Vettori was brilliant and immaculate with his flight and variations getting his both his wickets in his firsts over and running out Lamb in his next over thanks to nifty work in front of wickets at non-strike end. Fast bowlers were on the spot with their line and length making it difficult for batsmen to score freely.
Man of the Match: Martin Guptil (New Zealand)