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Mar 31, 2011

India in Final; Beat Pakistan by 29 runs

Disciplined bowling by India saw them beat Pakistan by 29 runs on Wednesday to set-up a World Cup final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai on Saturday.

Pakistan, chasing 261 for victory, were dismissed for 231 with a ball to spare after all of India's five bowlers took two wickets apiece.

Misbah-ul-Haq, who top-scored for Pakistan with 56, helped take them from 208 for nine to a situation where an unlikely 30 was needed off the last over.

But Zaheer Khan held his nerve, bowling four dot balls before Misbah holed out to Virat Kohli to the delight of a capacity crowd.

India's 260 for nine after winning the toss against their arch-rivals was built around man-of-the-match Sachin Tendulkar's 85.

But they might have made considerably less had not the star batsman been dropped four times in an innings that still left him one short of a hundred international hundreds.

Tendulkar was dropped again, on 45, when Younus at mid-off failed to hold on to a mistimed drive off leg-spinner Afridi.

Riaz, however, had Kohli caught by Umar Akmal at backward point and next ball clean bowled Yuvraj with a swinging full toss.

Tendulkar was given a third reprieve by Pakistan on 70 when wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal failed to hold a tough chance off an edged Afridi leg-break.

And he was on 81 when a leaping Umar Akmal at short mid-wicket dropped a checked drive against off-spinner Hafeez.

Mar 29, 2011

Ponting Quits as Australia's Test and ODI Captain

Ricky Ponting quit as Australia's Test and one-day skipper Tuesday, just days after the champions were knocked out of the World Cup 2011, but said he remained available for selection as a batsman.

The 36-year-old, who led Australia in 77 Test matches for 48 wins -- the most of any Test Captain -- 16 losses and 13 draws. In his 228 one-day matches in charge, he returned 164 wins and 50 losses, insisted he was "not tapped on the shoulder" to give up the captaincy, and endorsed deputy Michael Clarke as his successor.

Ricky Ponting"I have resigned as skipper of both the Test Cricket and one day Australian teams, Ponting told a press conference." I will continue to play and am available for selection in both the one-day and Test teams.

"I have thought long and hard about what Australian cricket needs. Now is the right time for the next captain to assume the responsibility for both the Test and one-day teams," he added.

Ponting said Australia's exit in the quarter-finals of the World Cup last week in India prompted his decision to stand aside.

"The fact that we went out of the World Cup when we did was the main reason," he said, while denying he had been forced out by Cricket Australia.

"Today is a new start for me and I am very excited about the future. I will give my complete support to our new captain and continue to do my best to set the best possible example for my team-mates and emerging cricketers alike." Cricket Australia chairman Jack Clarke paid tribute to Ponting's "outstanding" leadership.

"Ricky Ponting has been an outstanding batsman, one of the best to wear the baggy green," he said.

"His leadership as captain has been outstanding and I sometimes think his brilliance with the bat has overshadowed his fine work as captain.

Mar 28, 2011

3rd Semi-Final: NZ won by 49 runs, SA are eliminated

South Africa woes at the World Cup seems never ending, their humiliating loss today ensured they would have to live with the Chokers tag for another 4 years. They have made a habit of coming into the World Cup as favorites and then going back after losing from a winning position and it was no different today as they wasted an opportunity from a very promising position.

Jesse Ryder and Ross TaylorAfter the early loss of the openers, Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor ensured there were no further setbacks for the New Zealanders with a healthy stand of over 100. The going was slow initially, but what was most important from the Kiwis' point of view was that they did not lose further wickets. The duo batted for 25 overs putting on 114 runs to take NZ to a good position at 130/2 in the 32nd over.

The fall of Rossco, against the run of play, to the increasingly impressive Imran Tahir for 43 opened the floodgates for the Proteas. With a solid platform set by the right hand-left hand duo and New Zealand batting deep, SA's best chance to restrict the Kiwis was to pick up wickets as quickly as possible. The bowlers ensured just that for South Africa. From a solid 130/2, New Zealand had slumped to 156/5. From a position of strength in the 32nd over, NZ had slipped to damage control in the space of 36 balls.

Earlier, South Africa had opened the bowling with left-arm spinner Robin Peterson and soon rewarded through the wicket of Brendon McCullum (4). His new ball partner, Dale Steyn dismissed the struggling Martin Guptill for one soon after.

Ryder smashed six fours en route to completing his fifty with a single off Kallis. His well paced innings ended when Colin Ingram took a catch at deep mid-wicket off Morkel with more than 11 overs to go.

Morkel took three late wickets to finish with three for 46 while Kane Williamson helped NZ end with a defendable total on the board with a fine innings of 38. The young right hander made the most of his good memories at the ground when he got to a hundred against Bangladesh.

Jacob OramSouth Africa were setback early, chasing the sub par total in the very first over in bizarre fashion. Hashim Amla chopped a ball straight onto Brendon McCullum's boot and the ball popped up for Daniel Vettori to complete an easy catch. Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis consolidated the innings with a steady stand 61 and with the likes of AB de Villiers and the in-form JP Duminy to follow it looked like South Africa would canter to victory.

Smith's wicket came against the run of play to give Jacob Oram his first wicket. Kallis nearing his fifty went for a pull that was brilliantly snapped up by Oram. Kallis' wicket turned out to be the moment that turned the match in New Zealand's favour.

Duminy departed after adding 13 with de Villiers while their main man, who was also on wicket-keeping duties today, was run out thanks to a sharp piece of work by Martin Guptill. Johan Botha and Robin Peterson were out in quick succession as whispers of SA and their now-famous-act of choking started doing the rounds.

Faf du Plessis was South Africa's last hope and he kept the Proteas in the hunt till he was out for 36 to hand NZ the match.

Oram ended the match with 4 wickets and 2 superb catches.

Man of the Match: Jacob Oram

Mar 25, 2011

India end Australia dominance at World Cup Cricket

Yuvraj Singh was India's hero yet again as the hosts ended Australia's 12-year reign as World Cup champions with 5 wicket quarter-final win on Thursday.

Yuvraj Singh 's unbeaten 57 -- his 4rth fifty of a tournament where he is averaging over a hundred -- saw his team home after they'd been wobbling at 187 for five.

India reached their target of 261 with 14 balls to spare and victory set up a dream semi-final against Pakistan in Mohali on March 30.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting scored his 1st international century in over a year in a total of 260 for six.

But it wasn't enough to maintain his team's bid for an unprecedented fourth straight World Cup title and fifth in all.

Ponting credited Yuvraj and Suresh Raina for the win.

India, aiming for a first World Cup title since 1983, needed 54 to win off the final 10 overs.

Yuvraj eased fraying home nerves with a square-driven four off Brett Lee and, with erratic speedster Shaun Tait conceding 13 runs in the 41st over, the target became well under a run-a-ball.

Raina struck a brilliant straight six off Lee then Yuvraj ending the match with a four off Lee.

He was well-supported in an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 74 by Raina (34 not out).

Opener Sachin Tendulkar had earlier looked in sublime touch.

But Australia denied him his 100th international hundred when he was caught behind off Tait for a fluent 53 during which he became the first batsman to score 18,000 one-day international runs.

Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli batted steadily in a stand of 49 before Kohli (24) slapped a full toss from part-time spinner David Hussey straight to Michael Clarke at short mid-wicket.

Now the question was could the remaining batsman avoid panic. Unfortunately for India, left-hander Gambhir couldn't. One ball after surviving a run-out, he set-off for a non-existent single and was well-beaten by Cameron White's throw to David Hussey having made 50.

Instead, at 168 for four, the pressure was back on India and that only increased when captain Dhoni fell for seven after a cut off Lee was well caught by a diving Clarke at point.

Mar 22, 2011

ICC Cricket World Cup: Quarter-Final Schedule

DateMatch DetailsTime (IST)Place
Mar 23, WedPakistan v West Indies
Pak won by 10 wickets
Mar 24, ThuIndia v Australia
Ind won by 5 wickets
Mar 25, FriNew Zealand v South Africa
NZ won by 49 runs
Mar 26, SatSri Lanka v England
SL won by 10 wickets

ICC World Cup 2011: Team Standings

Group A
Sri Lanka641 012.589
New Zealand642001.138

Group B
South Africa651002.0310
West Indies633001.076

Mar 5, 2011

West Indies won by 9 wickets against Bangladesh

West Indies took a massive stride towards the World Cup quarter-finals by pounding lackluster Bangladesh by 9 wickets in a key Group B match on Friday.

Lanky spinner Sulieman Benn grabbed 4-18, and fast bowlers Kemar Roach and skipper Darren Sammy claimed three each, to bowl out Bangladesh for their lowest ODI Cricket total of 58 in 18.5 overs.

The West Indies surpassed the small target in 12.2 overs even before the lights came on for the day-night game at the packed Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka.

Chris Gayle, who had been ill at the start of the game, remained unbeaten on 37 off 36 balls, while Darren Bravo was on nine after Devon Smith was bowled by off-spinner Naeem Islam for six.

With only their 2nd win in the last 11 one-day internationals, the West Indies have four points from three matches, the same as group leaders South Africa, who have played one match less.

Bangladesh, with one win from three games, was left with a mountain to climb to stay in contention for the quarter-finals.

The hosts must win their remaining league matches against England, South Africa and the Netherlands to ensure a place in the last eight.

Man of the Match: Kemar Roach

Mar 1, 2011

Kemar Roach hat-trick, Windies won by 215 runs

Kemar Roach taken six wickets, including a hat-trick, and Kieron Pollard cracked 60 off 27 balls to help West Indies thrash the Netherlands by 215 runs in the ICC World Cup on Monday.

Kemar RoachKieron Pollard built on the platform laid by Chris Gayle, who made 80, as West Indies posted 330-8 before bowling out their hapless opponents for 115 off 31.3 overs in the Group B game at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.

The Caribbean’s total was the highest at the ground, which is coming off a 12-month suspension over a dangerous playing surface.

The Netherlands hardly posed any threat in the lop-sided encounter, crumbling to 36-5 by the 11th over after early strikes from Roach, who took 6-27, and left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn (3-28).

The 22-year old Roach then returned to collect only the 6th World Cup hat-trick and the first of this tournament, when he sent back Pieter Seelar, Bernard Loots and Berend Westdijk.

Dutch hope Ryan ten Doeschate, who scored 119 against England, failed to repeat his magic, trapped leg before wicket for seven by Benn. Tom Cooper provided the only resistance for Netherlands with an unbeaten 55 off 72 balls.

For the West Indies, Chris Gayle put on 100 runs for the opening wicket with Devon Smith (53) after the West Indies were put in to bat on a placid wicket in the day-night clash.

Kieron Pollard, who plays for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, hammered five fours and four sixes on his way to the third-fastest World Cup half-century before Ramnaresh Sarwan chipped in with a 42-ball 49.