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    Thumbs up Latest cricket news

    Latest cricket news

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    Thumbs up West Indies seek emphatic win

    It's been ten years since Brian Lara played in Jaipur and things have certainly changed at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium. Observing the face-lift at the ground, one of the journalists remembered the horror years - in the '90s, when pressmen were locked inside the media area, to prevent fans from forcing themselves into the zone. The door used to be opened only during the breaks and, just in case you had the bad luck of ending up with an upset tummy, you were doomed.

    Going by the indications from the Rajasthan Cricket Association, nobody is going to be jailed tomorrow. Worryingly, there aren't expected to be too many people dying to get into the stadium when West Indies and Bangladesh clash to qualify for the main draw of the Champions Trophy. Bangladesh showed a lot of promising signs in their opening game against Sri Lanka but tomorrow they'd need that and much more.

    Going by Dav Whatmore's assessment, the pitch here is likely to behave like a Sri Lankan sandpit. "It certainly looks different than the one at Mohali. I'm not sure of the history here - there hasn't been a lot of history in this oval - and I'm not sure if it will have the same amount of bounce. I'm also not sure about amount of turn in the pitch." Of the nine ODIs here, five have been won by the team chasing, including the last game when Mahendra Singh Dhoni's unbeaten 183 helped India hunt down 299. A factor that would play a role tomorrow is the dew but, considering that it's the first game under lights, one can only wait and watch.

    The toss may not matter too much for West Indies - considering the might of their batting line-up - but it's the fitness of their players that remained a worry. Ramnaresh Sarwan and Runako Morton - who had suffered a viral fever in Mohali - hadn't yet recovered while Dwayne Smith, who incurred the same problem here, missed the net session on match eve. Imran Khan, the media manager, stressed that none of them had been ruled out, adding that missing the nets is no indication of availability for the match. Bangladesh used three left-arm spinners in the previous game and they could serve them well if the track starts to take some turn tomorrow.

    Not only do West Indies need to win but also need to do so emphatically. Well, finishing the game even before the lights came on - as they did while whipping Zimbabwe at Ahmedabad - might have been stretching it too far but Lara reiterated the need to win with handicaps. "If you play against a team lower ranked than yourselves, you must be able to give yourself a handicap," he added. "Bangladesh can play very good cricket but it's important that we win emphatically, it's important that we put the distance between them and us. It's not about chasing down a target in a certain number of overs or anything, just that you would know when you're forcing yourself on the opposition. That's what we're looking to do tomorrow."

    But is anyone going to watch? The Rajasthan Cricket Association decided to provide an incentive for viewers. They sold three tickets in combination, for the two qualifying games along with the India-England game, and priced it at the same rate as one (almost equivalent to buy one, get two free). Unfortunately it didn't work and they finally began selling India-England single tickets today, which ended up being lapped up like hot cakes. There seems to be only one solution to eliminate the risk of empty stands. Turn back the clock, replace pressmen with public and lock them inside the stadium for a day. And just to cover all bases, don't even provide the break for lunch.

    Teams (probable)

    1 Chris Gayle, 2 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 3 Runako Morton, 4 Brian Lara (capt), 5 Ramnaresh Sarwan (vice-cap) 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Marlon Samuels, 8 Wavell Hinds, 9 Carlton Baugh (wk), 10 IDR Bradshaw, 11 Jerome Taylor.

    1 Shahriar Nafees, 2 Mohammad Ashraful, 3Aftab Ahmed, 4 Saqibul Hasan, 5 Habibul Bashar (capt), 6 Farhad Reza, 7 Khaled Mashud (wk), 8 Mohammad Rafique, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza, 10 Abdur Razzak, 11 Syed Rasel.

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    Default Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe (ICC Champions Trophy - 3rd Qualifying Match)

    Played at Sardar Patel (Gujarat) Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad (neutral venue), on 10 October 2006 - day/night (50-over match)

    Result Sri Lanka won by 144 runs




    Sri Lanka innings (50 overs maximum) R M B 4s 6s SR
    WU Tharanga b Matsikenyeri 110 158 130 13 1 84.61
    ST Jayasuriya run out (Chigumbura) 9 39 15 0 0 60.00
    DPMD Jayawardene c Taylor b Ireland 4 14 10 0 0 40.00
    KC Sangakkara c Matsikenyeri b Chibhabha 80 110 86 7 0 93.02
    MS Atapattu not out 33 50 30 2 0 110.00
    TM Dilshan c Kamungozi b Utseya 6 11 6 0 0 100.00
    MF Maharoof lbw b Kamungozi 13 16 18 1 0 72.22
    M Muralitharan c Matsikenyeri b Kamungozi 10 6 6 2 0 166.66
    SL Malinga not out 5 7 5 0 0 100.00
    Extras (b 3, w 6, nb 6) 15

    Total (7 wickets; 50 overs; 209 mins) 285


    Did not bat CRD Fernando, PDRL Perera


    Fall of wickets1-38 (Jayasuriya, 8.1 ov), 2-49 (Jayawardene, 10.5 ov), 3-214 (Tharanga, 38.3 ov), 4-219 (Sangakkara, 39.4 ov), 5-235 (Dilshan, 42.1 ov), 6-259 (Maharoof, 46.4 ov), 7-273 (Muralitharan, 48.2 ov)



    Bowling O M R W Econ
    AJ Ireland 10 0 53 1 5.30 (1nb, 1w)
    T Mupariwa 6 0 31 0 5.16 (2nb, 1w)
    E Chigumbura 4 0 24 0 6.00 (1w)
    HP Rinke 3 0 21 0 7.00
    CJ Chibhabha 5 1 25 1 5.00 (1nb)
    P Utseya 10 0 58 1 5.80 (2nb, 1w)
    T Kamungozi 10 0 55 2 5.50
    S Matsikenyeri 2 0 15 1 7.50 (1w)



    Zimbabwe innings (target: 286 runs from 50 overs) R M B 4s 6s SR
    TV Mufambisi c Jayawardene b Malinga 5 10 9 1 0 55.55
    HP Rinke b Perera 1 7 3 0 0 33.33
    CJ Chibhabha c Dilshan b Malinga 4 25 12 0 0 33.33
    H Masakadza c Sangakkara b Maharoof 30 86 56 5 0 53.57
    BRM Taylor b Fernando 30 59 40 4 0 75.00
    S Matsikenyeri c Jayasuriya b Fernando 2 26 11 0 0 18.18
    E Chigumbura run out (Maharoof/Perera/Sangakkara) 2 3 2 0 0 100.00
    P Utseya c Jayawardene b Muralitharan 20 60 45 3 0 44.44
    T Mupariwa b Malinga 20 68 67 2 0 29.85
    AJ Ireland c Sangakkara b Muralitharan 0 30 8 0 0 0.00
    T Kamungozi not out 0 12 10 0 0 0.00
    Extras (lb 1, w 18, nb 8) 27

    Total (all out; 42.3 overs; 189 mins) 141


    Fall of wickets1-7 (Rinke, 1.5 ov), 2-7 (Mufambisi, 2.1 ov), 3-23 (Chibhabha, 6.5 ov), 4-86 (Taylor, 18.5 ov), 5-86 (Masakadza, 19.2 ov), 6-89 (Chigumbura, 19.3 ov), 7-107 (Matsikenyeri, 22.6 ov), 8-126 (Utseya, 35.4 ov), 9-134 (Ireland, 39.2 ov), 10-141 (Mupariwa, 42.3 ov)



    Bowling O M R W Econ
    SL Malinga 9.3 0 25 3 2.63 (6w)
    PDRL Perera 6 1 27 1 4.50 (3w)
    CRD Fernando 9 1 28 2 3.11 (5nb, 1w)
    MF Maharoof 4 0 37 1 9.25 (2nb, 2w)
    M Muralitharan 10 2 20 2 2.00 (1nb, 1w)
    ST Jayasuriya 4 2 3 0 0.75 (1w)





    Toss Sri Lanka, who chose to bat first
    Points Sri Lanka 2, Zimbabwe 0


    Player of the match WU Tharanga (Sri Lanka)


    Umpires Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Asad Rauf (Pakistan)
    TV umpire RE Koertzen (South Africa)
    Match referee JJ Crowe (New Zealand)




    Match notes


    Reserve umpire: MR Benson (Eng)
    Sri Lanka innings
    Power Play 2: Overs 10.1 - 15.0
    Sri Lanka: 50 runs in 10.6 overs (70 balls), Extras 5
    Drinks: Sri Lanka - 68/2 in 14.0 overs (WU Tharanga 42, KC Sangakkara 7)
    Power Play 3: Overs 15.1 - 20.0
    WU Tharanga: 50 off 62 balls (7 x 4, 1 x 6)
    Sri Lanka: 100 runs in 18.4 overs (118 balls), Extras 9
    3rd Wicket: 50 runs in 49 balls (WU Tharanga 31, KC Sangakkara 16, Ex 4)
    3rd Wicket: 100 runs in 125 balls (WU Tharanga 52, KC Sangakkara 41, Ex 7)
    Sri Lanka: 150 runs in 31.1 overs (196 balls), Extras 12
    KC Sangakkara: 50 off 66 balls (4 x 4)
    WU Tharanga: 100 off 120 balls (12 x 4, 1 x 6)
    Drinks: Sri Lanka - 180/2 in 35.0 overs (WU Tharanga 100, KC Sangakkara 55)
    Sri Lanka: 200 runs in 36.6 overs (231 balls), Extras 12
    3rd Wicket: 150 runs in 162 balls (WU Tharanga 76, KC Sangakkara 70, Ex 7)
    Sri Lanka: 250 runs in 44.6 overs (281 balls), Extras 14
    Zimbabwe innings
    Power Play 2: Overs 10.1 - 15.0
    Zimbabwe: 50 runs in 13.6 overs (90 balls), Extras 7
    Drinks: Zimbabwe - 58/3 in 15.0 overs (H Masakadza 22, BRM Taylor 13)
    Power Play 3: Overs 15.1 - 20.0
    4th Wicket: 50 runs in 68 balls (H Masakadza 17, BRM Taylor 25, Ex 10)
    Zimbabwe: 100 runs in 21.6 overs (145 balls), Extras 18
    Drinks: Zimbabwe - 114/7 in 29.0 overs (P Utseya 15, T Mupariwa 3)

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    Default Gilchrist waits for full-time partner

    Australia's opening batting experiments will continue during the Champions Trophy as the selectors decide who will partner Adam Gilchrist at the World Cup. Gilchrist is preparing to return to international action in the tournament after missing the short trip to Malaysia, where Phil Jaques, Matthew Hayden, Simon Katich and Shane Watson were considered for the top of the order.

    Hayden was the most consistent with 49 and 54, but Watson produced a superb 79 against India and is a candidate to open during the Champions Trophy. Katich, who held the role for most of last season, again failed to cement his spot in Kuala Lumpur and continues to fight for his position.

    "We've got several options, it's as simple as that," Gilchrist told AAP in India. "We're just trying a few combinations, not just in the opening role but the whole balance of the team and which way we want to go with the number of bowlers, the number of batters, and who bats where."

    Gilchrist's position has not been questioned since he stormed back into form during last summer's VB Series, but he said there was a "bit to sort out" with the other opening spot. "There's good competition around," he said. "'Kat' was applying himself well again, Matty Hayden is back into the fold, so it has meant they have had some strong competition, which will bring out the best in all the guys. I'm sure we'll make the right decision."

    Australia fly to Mumbai today to continue their preparations for the opening match of the tournament against one of the four qualifiers next week. The squad will play two practice games on Thursday and Sunday.

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    Thumbs up 'Panesar is a must' (latest)

    Mike Gatting insists England would be "mad" to embark on their Ashes defence at the Gabba on November 23 without Monty Panesar in the side.

    Panesar has enjoyed a startling year on the international stage since making his England debut in March and claiming Sachin Tendulkar as his first Test wicket.

    England head coach Duncan Fletcher remains unconvinced and harbours concerns that Panesar's lack of batting upsets the balance of the side.

    Ashley Giles, who is returning from a long-term hip injury that has kept him out since the Ashes victory 13 months ago, would be a more rounded selection.

    But Gatting believes the last thing Australia want to see coming over the hill is the 'Montster'.

    "I think he is a fine bowler and I think they are worried about his bowling,'' said Gatting, the last England captain to win an Ashes series Down Under.

    "Monty has done extremely well, not just here but against India in India. That is a huge feather in his cap.

    "As much as we all love Ashley for what he is and what he has done, Monty has come in and got wickets on a regular basis, bowled against the best in the world and got them out.

    "I think he has got to play and I would say they would be mad to leave him out of the first Test match. And even Ashley would agree with that.''

    Gatting's England retained the Ashes with a 2-1 series win Down Under in 1986-87.

    And he has seen chinks in the Australian armoury that make him confident Andrew Flintoff's side can repeat the feat this winter.

    Former Test batsman Greg Ritchie stated captain Ricky Ponting "doesn't know what's going on'' when out in the field and that Australia would win the Ashes if Shane Warne was captain.

    Warne recently criticised the methods used by Australia coach John Buchanan.

    And that brought a stinging rebuke from ex-player Kim Hughes who said: "He would have been an embarrassment if he had captained our country. From an

    English point of view, he has given them a real free-kick for this Ashes series.''

    And Gatting tends to agree.

    "They seem to have a lot of in-fighting at the moment, which is interesting,'' Gatting said at the launch of the MCC's Ashes exhibition, in association with Travelex.

    "I don't think they know quite who their fourth bowler is going to be.

    "They have always had the Jason Gillespies, the Michael Kasprowicz's - people who can come in and join Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Shane Warne.

    "Now they are talking about Shaun Tait, Mitchell Jonson, Nathan Bracken -

    they are in a quandary a little bit. Do they play five bowlers? Do they play four?

    "For the first time they really haven't got a settled side.

    "A lot of their best players are two years older but our guys are two years wiser and still learning and that is very important.

    "I think our side is more settled, providing it is injury-free, with Matthew Hoggard, Flintoff, Steve Harmison and Panesar.

    "The platform is good for our side. We played well against Pakistan and we beat Australia here last time.

    "I think we will go over there in a very good frame of mind.''

    The Ashes exhibition will take the famous urn on a three-month tour Down Under.

    The urn visited Australia in 1988 for the bicentennial Test but this time it will be displayed in six cities across the country.

    Now let's hear what you have to say about this article... or anything else happening in the world of Cricket.post ur comments. (D.J.Hassoo)

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    Thumbs up 'I've just got to work my socks off'

    James Anderson is itching to unleash his revised bowling action on England's opponents in the ICC Champions Trophy.

    The Lancashire seamer is almost fully recovered from the back injury that sidelined him for much of the summer and has also been using his rehabilitation to tinker with his technique.

    "I'm getting fitter and I think my action is now stronger as well. They've just tickled with it a little bit," he told Sky Sports News.

    Anderson's international career has been hampered by a succession of injuries and inconsistent performances, and was criticised in some quarters for producing too many wayward deliveries.

    Now armed with a remodelled action, the 24-year-old is prepared to put in the hours to reclaim his place during the tournament in India.

    "I've just got to work my socks off and hopefully get some cricket in out here," he said.

    "I might have fallen behind a bit but the lads did really well this summer so I'm not expecting a place in the side automatically."

    Anderson burst onto the scene at the 2003 World Cup and was also England's best one-day bowler during the tour of India earlier this year.

    However, a 5-1 series thrashing is something he would rather forget, despite his encouraging displays.

    "Not particularly fond memories, obviously," he said. "I think I went okay in the games but it doesn't really mean that much when you lose 5-1."

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