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Sep 24, 2009

Pakistan beat West Indies by 5 wickets

Fast bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Umar Gul shared 6 wickets as Pakistan beat West Indies by 5 wickets in their ICC Champions Trophy 2009 Group A match at the Wanderers on Wednesday.

West Indies, fielding a weakened lineup in the tournament, were dismissed for 133.

Umar Akmal and AfridiPakistan stumbled in their reply before an unbeaten stand of 58 from Umar Akmal (41*) and Shahid Afridi (17*) leaded them home with over 19 overs to spare.

West Indies winning the toss and electing to bat first, the West Indies batsmen fell flat as 17-year-old Aamer and Gul reduced them to 47 runs for seven.

Aamer c&b Dale Richards for a single at the end of the 1st over and then added the wickets of Travis Dowlin for a duck and David Bernard for six to finish with three for 24 in 7 overs.

Gul produced a probing spell of three for 28 in eight overs as he claimed the wickets of Devon Smith (18), captain Floyd Reifer (7) and Chadwick Walton (0), the latter two with consecutive deliveries.

There was fighting from the West Indies lower-order, however, as Darren Sammy scored 25 and Nikita Miller made 51, his maiden ODI half-century.

The Wanderers pitch, unlike the flat surface up the road in Centurion, always offered the pacemen some support and West Indian opening bowler Gavin Tonge made use of what was available to make Pakistan sweat in their run-chase.

He bowled Imran Nazir for five with his first delivery and then had Kamran Akmal (5), Shoaib Malik (23) and Mohammad Yousuf (23) all caught behind by wicketkeeper Walton.

Misbah-ul-Haq (6) was dismissed by David Bernard as Pakistan slipped to 76 for five.
But West Indies' hopes of a spectacular victory dimmed as Umar Akmal played an smart innings, the 19-year-old stroking six fours in his unbeaten 41.

Sep 23, 2009

India regaining the No.1 spot

The dedicated tussle at the top of the rankings for One Day International continued with India back No.1 spot after South Africa were crushed by Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy opener on Tuesday.

Indian Cricket TeamAfter the loss in Centurion, South Africa drooping to 3rd position with 123 points while Australia moved up one place to 2nd spot with 125 points. India has 126 points.

India earlier this month had reached the No 1 spot but for just 24 hours.

With just few points unscrambling the top three teams, more changes are expected as the Champions Trophy progresses.

Dilshan, Mendis inspired Sri Lanka victory

Inspiring performances from Tillakaratne Dilshan (106) and Ajantha Mendis (3-30) helped Sri Lanka make a 55-run victory over hosts South Africa in the opening game of the ICC Champions Trophy 2009 at SuperSport Park on Tuesday.

Tillakaratne DilshanDuckworth-Lewis method had to be applied as rain rashly ended South Africa’s run chase of 320. The Proteas were 206-7 after 37.4 overs when deep showers brought an end to the game with Albie Morkel (29) and Roelof van der Merwe (3) at the middle.

The hosts were shoring along at 90-1 until Ajantha Mendis show began. The heretical spinner removed Graeme Smith (58), Jacques Kallis (41) and JP Duminy (0) in the space of six overs, to go away the hosts in terrible straits.

Ajantha MendisWhile put into bat, Sri Lanka scored an impressive 319 for 8. Dilshan (106) continued his fine form and scored his third One-day International century and first against South Africa to help his team set a massive target of 320 runs for South Africa. The Sri Lankan innings was built around the 158-run stand among Dilshan and captain Kumara Sangakkara (54), and later a 116-run stand for the 4th wicket between Mahela Jayawardene (77) and birthday boy Thilan Samaraweera (37).

A recent change from the middle order, Dilshan struck 16 boundaries and one six in his 92-ball innings. He, finally, deceased on the first ball of the 29th over, caught at the boundary by Albie Morkel off the bowling of speedster Dale Steyn.

South Africa hadn't played any international cricket since the World Twenty20 in June and that was evident on Tuesday. Having set such high standards in the last 12 months, they were obviously below par and lacked necessity and sharpness in the field. Their bowling attack was led by Steyn (3-47), who didn't receive sufficient support, especially from Wayne Parnell, who conceded 79 runs from his 10 overs.

Sep 21, 2009

India rise to the 2nd place in the ICC ODI rankings

Australia's loss an expelled to be India's gain as Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men rose back to the 2nd spot following the world champions' return to the 3rd position in the ICC one-day rankings issued today.

Indian Cricket TeamAustralia were powerless to complete an unprecedented 7-0 clean sweep over England yesterday as Ricky Ponting's men went down by four wickets in the 7th ODI of the series in Durham.

As a result, Australia's concise return to the top of the ODI Championship table ended with the team falling to 3rd again.

South Africa reclaimed the number-one position, the ICC said in a statement.

With just two ratings points separating Australia, India and South Africa, the rankings could be set for some more hacking and changing over the next weeks as the battle for the Champions Trophy 2009 begins in South Africa tomorrow.

England moved back ahead of New Zealand into 6th place in the ODI team rankings.

A reasonable performance in the ICC Champions Trophy could see Andrew Strauss' men make it as high as fourth because they are just four ratings points behind Pakistan in that position.

5-wicket Swann saves England from whitewash

"I didn't allow myself to think the unthinkable because I thought surely it couldn't happen."

Opposite number Ricky Ponting was delighted with the character his side showed to make a game of what was starting to look like a procession.

"It was disappointing to lose but we fought the game out exceptionally well after an horrendous start with the ball," he said.

"The boys dug deep and tried their hardest until the end. To get as close as we did was good."

Swann took the key wicket of Ponting to set himself on the way to career-best figures of 5-28 and precipitate an Australian collapse from 96-2 to 176 all out.

Ponting came to the crease in the first over after Shane Watson's four-ball duck and instantly looked in imperious form, punching Anderson through the covers for four while contributing 41 to a 59-run stand with Michael Clarke.

But Swann produced a wicket maiden from his first over to dismiss the captain for 53 and start the collapse.

Ponting mistimed a drive to Paul Collingwood at mid-on, the first of 3 wickets in 24 balls.

Clarke was run out by Eoin Morgan's throw from short fine leg and Cameron White played onto a ball which turned into him.

James Hopes played across the line and spooned a return catch to Swann and Mitchell Johnson tried to turn him to leg and was caught by Anderson to complete Swann's haul.

Only Mike Hussey offered any further resistance, the highlight of his 54-ball 49 a towering six into the top tier of the County Durham Stand before he was last out after 17 balls of batting powerplay.

England were 73 runs short of victory before Strauss reverse-swept to Ben Hilfenhaus on 47 to give Australia their first wicket and were further helped by some dreadful bowling from the visitors, who conceded 21 extras.

Joe Denly completed only his second ODI 50 in typical style, hitting eight fours.

But he became Ponting's third run-out victim in four days and was quickly followed by Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah and Matt Prior, all of whom would have benefitted from time at the crease after poor series and with the challenge of the Champions Trophy just around the corner.

Graeme Swann's maiden ODI five-wicket haul ensured England avoided the humiliation of becoming the first side to lose a one-day series 7-0 with a four-wicket win over Australia on Sunday.

World champions Australia still clinched the series 6-1, but surrendered their recently-regained status as the leading one-day side.

The Riverside win did little to paper over the cracks in England's line-up as Andrew Strauss's side head for South Africa and the Champions Trophy 2009 which starts on Tuesday.

Although James Anderson and debutant Graham Onions set the tone with some disciplined new-ball bowling, in complete contrast to the visitors' ragged efforts, Swann proved the match-winner on an unusually spin-friendly pitch.

Yet despite bowling Australia out for 176, the lowest score of the series and posting a 106-run opening stand, England managed to make a meal of chasing the total, losing four wickets in five overs and six in all.

"It's a bit of a relief to be honest," said England Captain Andrew Strauss.

"We're not going to get carried away with it because we still lost the series 6-1, but it was a good bowling performance.

"If you bowl them out for 176, you'd back yourself to chase that just about every time. We still made heavier weather of it than we should have done, but it's a win and something to move forward with.

Sep 18, 2009

Australia reclaimed number-one position in ICC ODI Rankings

Australia has reclaimed top spot in the ICC ODI Rankings after going 6-0 up with one match to play in the ODI series in England.

Australia Cricket TeamRicky Ponting's side beat England by 111 runs at Trent Bridge on Thursday and in the process has moved ahead of South Africa by a fraction of a decimal ratings point. Australia wants to win the one remaining ODI in the Natwest series 2009 to stay top and thus head into the ICC Champions Trophy as the number-one-ranked one-day side in the world. An England win in the 7th ODI of the series would relegate Australia back down to 3rd place.

As a result of Australia's rise, India drops to 3rd position while England stays in 7th position, three ratings points behind New Zealand in 6th. The ICC Champions Trophy 2009 gets underway in South Africa on 22 September and with just a single ratings point separating Australia in 1st position from India in third place, it looks like a rankings battle is on the cards over the next couple of weeks.

Sep 15, 2009

Short Lists are announced for ICC Awards 2009

Short-lists of nominees:

Individual Awards

Cricketer of the Year
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Ind)
  • Gautam Gambhir (Ind)
  • Mitchell Johnson (Aus)
  • Andrew Strauss (Eng)

Test Player of the Year

  • Gautam Gambhir (Ind)
  • Mitchell Johnson (Aus)
  • Thilan Samaraweera (SL)
  • Andrew Strauss (Eng)

ODI Player of the Year

  • Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI)
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Ind)
  • Virender Sehwag (Ind)
  • Yuvraj Singh (Ind)

Emerging Player
  • Ben Hilfenhaus (Aus)
  • Graham Onions (Eng)
  • Jesse Ryder (NZ)
  • Peter Siddle (Aus)

Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year
  • Rizwan Cheema (Can)
  • Ryan ten Doeschate (Ned)
  • William Porterfield (Ire)
  • Edgar Schiferli (Ned)

Twenty20 International Best Performance of the Year 2009

Shahid Afridi (Pak) for scoring 51 runs off 34 balls and taking 2-16 against South Africa during the ICC WorldTwenty20 semi-final in Nottingham on 18 June.

Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL) for scoring 96* runs off 57 balls against the West Indies in the semi-final of the ICC WorldTwenty20 at The Oval on 19 June

Chris Gayle (WI) - for hitting 88 runs off 50 balls against Australia during the ICC WorldTwenty20 at The Oval on 6 June

Umar Gul (Pak) for taking 5-6 against New Zealand during the ICC WorldTwenty20 at The Oval on 13 June

* - Not Out

Women's Cricketer of the Year

  • Charlotte Edwards (Eng)
  • Shelley Nitschke (Aus)
  • Claire Taylor (Eng)

Umpire of the Year
  • Aleem Dar
  • Tony Hill
  • Asad Rauf
  • Simon Taufel

Spirit of Cricket
  • Australia
  • England
  • New Zealand
  • Sri Lanka

India broken the Lankan Lions

Indian Cricket TeamSachin Tendulkar hit his 44th One-day International century to lead India to a 46-run win over Sri Lanka in the final of the tri-series here on Monday.

Tendulkar, the world's leading Test and one-day run scorer, made 138 runs off 133 balls as India piled up 319-5 after batting 1st in the day-night match at the Premadasa stadium.

Sri Lanka made a heroic chase after the stiff target, floated by a blistering opening stand of 64 in 7.5 overs by Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya, before they were all out for 273.

Dilshan hit 42 runs off 29 balls when his dismissal in the 8th over, bowled by Harbhajan Singh, triggered a theatrical collapse in which five wickets fell for the addition of 67 runs.

Sachin TendulkarOff-spinner Harbhajan ended with 5-56 to signal India's morale-boosting win ahead of the eight-nation Champions Trophy which opens in South Africa on September 22.

Skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Thilina Kandamby recharged Sri Lanka with a 51-run stand for the sixth wicket, when India earned a lucky break to make it 182-6.

Sangakkara, who made 33, saw his bat fly out of his hands and break the stumps as he attempted to pull a full toss from Rudra Pratap Singh.

Kandamby and Chamara Kapugedara terrified the Indians by adding 70 for the seventh wicket, but both batsmen fell in the space of 12 runs, derailing the Sri Lankans.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who did his team a favors by winning the toss on a wicket that slowed down, made 56 from 62 balls during a second-wicket stand of 110 with Tendulkar.

Harbhajan SinghYuvraj Singh remained unbeaten on a quickfire 56 off 41 balls as India plundered 85 runs in the last 10 overs.

The 36-year-old Tendulkar battled cruel heat and humidity to bat for 46 overs despite developing leg cramps in the later part of his innings, necessitating the help of a runner.

He hits 10 boundaries and a six before being leg-before to Ajantha Mendis after smashing a six and 2 fours earlier in the over.

It was Tendulkar's 86th international century -- 42 in Test Match and 44 in one-dayers -- to complement his world record 12,773 Test and 16,895 one-day runs in a brilliant 20-year career.

Tendulkar put on 95 for the first wicket with Rahul Dravid, who contributed 39 after being asked to open the batting in place of the axed Dinesh Karthik.

Sep 10, 2009

Gautam Gambhir ruled out of tri-series in Sri Lanka

India's tri-series cricket campaign received a jolt on Thursday with left-handed opening batsman Gautam Gambhir ruled out of the series because of a groin injury.

"Gautam Gambhir has stressed his groin muscle and has been advised rest for 10 days," BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said in a statement.

Gautam Gambhir"He will be returning to India. The All India Selection Committee will name his replacement for the tri-series in Sri Lanka curtly," he added.

Gambhir's return means India will be without both their regular openers since Virender Sehwag is already out of battle since he is recovering from a shoulder surgery.

In the absence of Sehwag, Gambhir was expected to open with the seasoned Sachin Tendulkar and shoulder largeness of the responsibility.

India will play their 1st game of the tournament tomorrow against New Zealand.

Cameron White stuff sees Australia to victory against England

Australian batsman Cameron White scored a maiden one-day international century to consign England to a 6 wicket defeat in the 3rd one-day international in Southampton on Wednesday.

Cameron WhiteChasing England's 228 for nine, White (105) put on 143 for the 3rd wicket with skipper Michael Clarke (52) to take Australia to the brink of victory and the tourists rounded off the win with 9 balls to spare.

Australian opener Tim Paine contributes with 29 and Callum Ferguson (20 not out) conserved the result as England's bowlers struggled to get wickets under the floodlights.

England skipper Andrew Strauss once again led from the front with a solid 63 though he was unsuccessfully supported by the top order, and only Eoin Morgan (43) batting at six and Tim Bresnan (31 not out at eight) truly took any fight to the Australian attack.

Mitchell Johnson bowled a controlled 10 overs, taking two wickets for 39 runs, while Shane Watson picked up 3 wickets later on in England's innings.

The tourists now lead the seven-match ODI series 3-0 and a win in the fourth one-day international at Lord's on Saturday would clinch the series.

Man of the Match: Cameron White

Sep 9, 2009

India eye number one ranking in Sri Lanka

Virender SehwagIndian Coach Gary Kirsten said Wednesday India wanted to be consistent in the ongoing tri-series in Sri Lanka to become the world's best one-day team.

India, who have won five successive bilateral series, will top the one-day rankings if they win both Sri Lanka and New Zealand in the league stage and also beat the final on September 14.

"We have set our goals," Kirsten said ahead of the team's departure for Colombo. "One of them is to be the top team in the world. We are headed that way and we are very excited.

"We have to perform well as we continue the quest to be the best. We won the last two series in Sri Lanka and we are confident."

Sachin TendulkarIndia are without injured opener Virender Sehwag and paceman Zaheer Khan, but Kirsten said the team had the strength to do well.

"Obviously, missing a player like Sehwag is vast," the former South African opener said. "He is an excellent batsman, but we have got a lot of intensity in our cricket at the moment.

"We have done well in Sri Lanka and are well-known with the conditions. We know we are playing against two good teams, but we have been performing well and we need to maintain our performance."

India open their fight against New Zealand on Friday and play the hosts the next day. Each side will play 2 league matches before the top two make it to the final.

Kirsten said the toss would be very important on low, slow Sri Lankan pitches, where chasing a target under lights was not easy.

New Zealand start runs hard to come by on Tuesday when they were bowled out for 119 in reply to Sri Lanka's 216-7 in the opening match.

Gary Kristen"Winning the toss is quite important," said Kirsten.

"But if you are going to be a world-class team, you need to win from any situation or condition. We have a good batting line-up which is flexible in the middle order."

He said Rahul Dravid's return to one-day cricket after nearly 2 years also augured well for the team.

"It is good to have him in the team. With that sort of experience, he is always going to help the team," said Kirsten.

Dravid is only the 2nd batsman in the current team after Sachin Tendulkar to have completed 10,000 runs in one-day internationals.

Azharuddin questions Dravid's inclusion

Disparaging the selectors' decision to bring Rahul Dravid back in the One Day International squad, former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin said that a youngster should have been preferred instead.

Mohammad Azharuddin"It would have been better if instead of Dravid, a young player was given an occasion to play for the Indian team," Azharuddin told reporters during an Iftaar party here.

"The conclusion of the Selection Committee on the issue is wrong," he said.

The veteran of 99 Test matches and 334 ODIs threw his weight after champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar and said there was no question of his retirement as he was playing well.

He said that both VVS Laxman and Yuvraj Singh impressed him a lot.
Azharuddin said the game would advantage if more players are involved in running sport associations.

However, he said that the BCCI was an exception in this regard as it was committed towards the endorsement of cricket in a professional manner.

Sep 5, 2009

Australia rises from the Ashes with ODI win

Australia skipper Michael Clarke praised two of the newcomers to the tour of England as his side put their Ashes defeat after them with a anxious four-run win in the first one-day international.

Callum Ferguson won the man-of-the-match award for an unbeaten 71 here at the Oval on Friday and Cameron White with 53 as Australia, returning to the scene of their 197-run fifth-Test Ashes losing defeat, went 1-0 up in this seven-match series.

Ferguson's innings was the centerpiece of Australia's 260 for five, a total that just proved too much for England to renovate as they finished on 256 for eight.

The 24-year-old South Australian's score was his best in 15 matches at this level and took just 75 balls.

"We've got a lot of new players in our team that didn't take part in the Ashes," Clarke, deputising for the resting Ricky Ponting, told reporters.

"One-day cricket is a lot different to Test cricket, I'm taking a lot of positives out of tonight.

"Callum Ferguson played beautifully," Clarke added ahead of Sunday's 2nd match at Lord's.

"But for Cameron Wright get chance at No 3 and play the way he did was fantastic. It shows he's a good all-rounder and can bat in any position."

Clarke, whose 45 was passive by his normally fluent standards, admitted: "I thought we were maybe 15, 20 runs short but that was mainly down to my batting. I took too many balls to score the runs I did.

"But the way we bowled and fielded was very good. We were very disciplined," he said after seeing left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson take three wickets for 24 runs.

England fell just short with Ryan Sidebottom unable to score the six required off the last ball from Nathan Bracken.

However, things must not to have been so tight.

Ravi Bopara, who was drop for the Ashes finale after averaging just 15 in the first four Test. He made 49 but take 88 balls and hit only three fours before he was stumped after off-spinner Nathan Hauritz beat his forward defensive stroke.

The experienced Paul Collingwood also couldn't grab the initiative, his 23 taking 39 balls and featuring a solitary boundary.

Owais Shah (40 in 48 balls) and Luke Wright (38 in 27 Balls) upped the tempo but by then England were behind the required run-rate.

"When you're chasing 260-odd you need one of your batters to get a big score," said England skipper Andrew Strauss, himself out for 12.

"There were bounty of contributions but no one made a sizeable enough one to turn the game in our favour."

One comfort for England was the form of 21-year-old Adil Rashid.

"We've always known Adil was a very talented individual with ball and bat," said Strauss. "Today, in a big game for him, I thought he was exceptional with the way he bowled.

"That's encouraging. He's got the capability to be a genuine all-rounder."

Sep 3, 2009

India can top the ICC One-day rankings

A clean-sweep in the limited-over tri-series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand will hurl India to the number one spot in the ICC ODI rankings for the first time.

India will plays the tri-series in Sri Lanka later this week and if Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men can win all the matches then India will go on top of the table for the first time since the rankings were introduced in 2002.

Meanwhile, England, who knocked off Australia from the top in Tests, will have another chance to leapfrog their arch-rivals in the ODI ranking during the 7 match ODI series which begins at The Oval this Friday.

Andrew Strauss's men can exceed the visitors if they win 5-2 or better in the series, while for Ricky Ponting's side, it will also be an opportunity to reclaim the number-one position.

Aussies currently occupy the third place with 119 ratings points, one place ahead of England, who have eight points.

South Africa leads the ladder with 127 ratings points followed by India on 126. However, England can move ahead of Australia if it wins the series 7-0, 6-1 or 5-2.

If the hosts wins 7-0, it will move Australia to as low as seventh place, depending how the tri-nation series in Sri Lanka to be held from September 8-14 pans out.

A 5-2 series result in England's favour will put it on 118 ratings points and four ahead of Australia.

For Australia to regain the number-one spot not only they will have to win all the matches against England but will also need either New Zealand or Sri Lanka to beat India at least once in Colombo.