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  • India vs Sri Lanka Finals ICC Cricket Wo...
    by cricketfan on April 3, 2011 at 3:20 AM
    5435 Views - 0 Comments

    Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni struck a dramatic six to bring the World Cup to India on Saturday after Sri Lanka had threatened to ruin their party . Dhoni finished with 91 not out as India , chasing a target of 275, won by six wickets with 10 balls to spare at the Wankhede Stadium to become the first host country to win the World Cup . They are also only the third side to win batting second , a feat that seemed beyond them when Lasith Malinga dismissed both openers in his first four overs. Left- hander Gautam Gambhir stayed calm among the storm to score a masterly 97 , sharing a fourth- wicket partnership of 109 from 118 balls with man- of - the - match Dhoni. Yuvraj Singh , who was named man - of - the - tournament , finished on 21 not out . Muttiah Muralitharan , playing his last international match, was accurate but rarely threatening and was clearly feeling the effects of a hamstring and knee injury . The world record holder for test and one - day wickets did not increase his tally . After Mahela Jayawardene had scored an unbeaten 103 in Sri Lanka ?s challenging 274 for six , Malinga reduced an exuberant crowd to a shocked silence. His second ball in the opening over skidded through low to Virender Sehwag who, playing across the line , was out lbw without scoring. Sachin Tendulkar looked in masterly touch, off - driving and square - cutting boundaries off Nuwan Kulasekara ?s second over . Kumar Sangakkara persisted with Malinga and was rewarded when Tendulkar ( 18 ) fended uncertainly outside the off- stump and edged a catch to the captain behind the stumps . Malinga raced the length of the pitch to receive the congratulations of his ecstatic team mates. Tendulkar , 37 , who was playing in what looks certain to be his last World Cup , still needs one more century to become the first man to score 100 international centuries. Gambhir and Virat Kohli began the rescue operation and received a huge slice of luck when the former was dropped at long- off by Kulasekara off off- spinner Suraj Randiv on 30 with the total on 68 . MAGNIFICENT CATCH Kohli batted enterprisingly to reach 35 when Tillakaratne Dilshan , took a magnificent one - handed catch off his own bowling flinging himself to his right with his arm fully extended. Gambhir was within three runs of a century when medium- pacer Thisara Perera knocked back his middle stump. He threw back his head in disgust but his 122- ball innings with nine boundaries had gone a long way to winning the World Cup for his country for the second time. After a brilliant opening spell from Zaheer Khan , who took one for six from his opening five overs in the Sri Lanka innings after starting with three maidens, Jayawardene guided the ball deftly into the gaps and ran swiftly between the wickets. Sangakkara ( 48 ) , who had negotiated his early overs carefully, appeared set to play a substantial innings when he attempted a cut against Yuvraj ?s left - arm spin and edged the ball straight to Dhoni who threw the ball gleefully into the air. Jayawardene kept the scoreboard ticking over before Sri Lanka took the batting powerplay in the 46 th over and the whole tempo of the game changed . Kulasekara swung across the line to smash Zaheer into the stands for the first six of the match. Jaywardene danced outside his leg- stump to slash Zaheer for four and bring up his second century of the tournament from 84 balls with 13 boundaries . Kulasekara was run out for 32 giving Perera the opportunity to crack 22 not out from nine balls with three fours and a six . Sixty- three runs came from the batting powerplay, Sri Lanka ? s best of the competition .

  • Team India on Cricket World Cup 2011 Win...
    by cricketfan on April 3, 2011 at 3:18 AM
    1073 Views - 0 Comments

    Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni struck a dramatic six to bring the World Cup to India on Saturday after Sri Lanka had threatened to ruin their party . Dhoni finished with 91 not out as India , chasing a target of 275, won by six wickets with 10 balls to spare at the Wankhede Stadium to become the first host country to win the World Cup . They are also only the third side to win batting second , a feat that seemed beyond them when Lasith Malinga dismissed both openers in his first four overs. Left- hander Gautam Gambhir stayed calm among the storm to score a masterly 97 , sharing a fourth- wicket partnership of 109 from 118 balls with man- of - the - match Dhoni. Yuvraj Singh , who was named man - of - the - tournament , finished on 21 not out . Muttiah Muralitharan , playing his last international match, was accurate but rarely threatening and was clearly feeling the effects of a hamstring and knee injury . The world record holder for test and one - day wickets did not increase his tally . After Mahela Jayawardene had scored an unbeaten 103 in Sri Lanka ?s challenging 274 for six , Malinga reduced an exuberant crowd to a shocked silence. His second ball in the opening over skidded through low to Virender Sehwag who, playing across the line , was out lbw without scoring. Sachin Tendulkar looked in masterly touch, off - driving and square - cutting boundaries off Nuwan Kulasekara ?s second over . Kumar Sangakkara persisted with Malinga and was rewarded when Tendulkar ( 18 ) fended uncertainly outside the off- stump and edged a catch to the captain behind the stumps . Malinga raced the length of the pitch to receive the congratulations of his ecstatic team mates. Tendulkar , 37 , who was playing in what looks certain to be his last World Cup , still needs one more century to become the first man to score 100 international centuries. Gambhir and Virat Kohli began the rescue operation and received a huge slice of luck when the former was dropped at long- off by Kulasekara off off- spinner Suraj Randiv on 30 with the total on 68 . MAGNIFICENT CATCH Kohli batted enterprisingly to reach 35 when Tillakaratne Dilshan , took a magnificent one - handed catch off his own bowling flinging himself to his right with his arm fully extended. Gambhir was within three runs of a century when medium- pacer Thisara Perera knocked back his middle stump. He threw back his head in disgust but his 122- ball innings with nine boundaries had gone a long way to winning the World Cup for his country for the second time. After a brilliant opening spell from Zaheer Khan , who took one for six from his opening five overs in the Sri Lanka innings after starting with three maidens, Jayawardene guided the ball deftly into the gaps and ran swiftly between the wickets. Sangakkara ( 48 ) , who had negotiated his early overs carefully, appeared set to play a substantial innings when he attempted a cut against Yuvraj ?s left - arm spin and edged the ball straight to Dhoni who threw the ball gleefully into the air. Jayawardene kept the scoreboard ticking over before Sri Lanka took the batting powerplay in the 46 th over and the whole tempo of the game changed . Kulasekara swung across the line to smash Zaheer into the stands for the first six of the match. Jaywardene danced outside his leg- stump to slash Zaheer for four and bring up his second century of the tournament from 84 balls with 13 boundaries . Kulasekara was run out for 32 giving Perera the opportunity to crack 22 not out from nine balls with three fours and a six . Sixty- three runs came from the batting powerplay, Sri Lanka ? s best of the competition .

  • India vs Sri Lanka Finals ICC Cricket Wo...
    by cricketfan on April 2, 2011 at 3:09 PM
    9807 Views - 0 Comments

    India win Cricket World Cup 2011 MUMBAI , India - Mahendra Singh Dhoni clouted a soaring six to secure India ' s first World Cup title in 28 years and the first for the great Sachin Tendulkar in six attempts with a six- wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Saturday ' s final . Skipper Dhoni scored an unbeaten 91 , sharing a 109- run stand with Gautam Gambhir ( 97 ) , as India chased down Sri Lanka ' s 274- 6 to win by six wickets. India became the first team to win batting second in a final since Sri Lanka beat Australia by eight wickets in 1996. There was no winning farewell to international cricket for Muttiah Muralitharan , the only survivor from Sri Lanka ' s ' 96 winning squad . Tendulkar didn ' t get his 100th international hundred, but earned a cherished Cup title and he was lifted onto the shoulders of his teammates for a victory lap . " It ' s the ultimate thing and I ' m experiencing it , " Tendulkar said. "I couldn ' t have asked for anything better. It ' s the proudest moment of my life ." Tendulkar was out for 18 but he ' s done enough in two decades for his teammates to dedicate the victory to him . " He carried the hopes of the nation for 21 years so it ' s time we carried him on our shoulders," batsman Virat Kohli said. Tendulkar , 37 and the leading runscorer in international cricket , praised his teammates, too. " It ' s never too late as they say . Thanks to all my teammates. Without such fabulous performance and such consistency it would never have happened ," he said, adding that he wasn ' t too proud to shed a tear. " They were happy tears , so I wouldn ' t mind crying ." Muralitharan , the leading wicket taker in international cricket , was visibly hampered by niggling injuries that slowed him down and didn ' t allow him the spring he needs for the extra spin that has bamboozled batsmen for a generation . The result also made Mahela Jayawardene the first batsmen to score a century in a World Cup final and end up on a losing team . The match tilted twice , with India on top at the start before some late hitting led by Jayawardene and the middle order . Lasith Malinga removed both Indian openers in an express pace opening spell to keep the visitors on track , but India ' s long batting lineup remained calm enough to keep grinding the target down . Tendulkar was drenched in champagne by his teammates as the Indian squad carried the trophy around the Wankhede Stadium amid a scrum of cameras and fireworks blazing from the roof. There was traffic chaos on the adjoining Marine Parade , with the road jammed with cars and motor bikes honking horns, waving Indian flags and letting off firecrackers. Yuvraj Singh , who scored an unbeaten 21 in an unbroken fifth- wicket partnership with Dhoni and was voted player of the series, said the Indians " batted like champions ." " This is unbelievable . This is the most special one for whole of India , for Sachin , for the whole team . It ' s just amazing . We batted like champions . " Sangakkara said he was proud of the way his Sri Lankans pushed the tournament favourites to the limit , in the closest final since 1992. " I' m very proud of everyone , especially Mahela Jayawardene who rose to the occasion with a great hundred ," he said. "It ' s been a great tournament for us. " I must say the way India played they really deserved the tag of favourites. " When Malinga removed Virender Sehwag, lbw for a duck on the second ball , and Tendulkar India was 31 - 2 in the seventh over and the Sri Lankans were celebrating . But Gambhir and Kohli ( 35 ) combined to revive the innings in an 82 - run partnership which took some momentum away from the Sri Lankans . Gambhir was on 30 and the total at 68 - 2 when he played an ill - advised shot to Suraj Randiv ' s third ball and was lucky to survive as Nuwan Kulasekara was unable to take a catch at his feet near the long - off boundary . Tillakaratne Dilshan broke the partnership with a brilliant return catch . Dhoni promoted himself up the order with the total at 114- 3 when a captain' s steadying influence was required . He passed 6 ,000 runs in ODIs when he reached 42 and brought up his 50 with an imperious backfoot cover drive against Muralitharan . Dhoni and Gambhir combined for 118 balls before Thisara Perera finally ended the first century stand of the match when Gambhir succumbed to another rush of blood , stepping down the pitch in a bid to reach his hundred with a boundary , only to lost his middle stump . That left India requiring 52 runs from 52 balls with six wickets in hand . Not a problem for Dhoni . Earlier , Jayawardene scored a calm and composed 103 from 88 balls to post only the sixth century in a World Cup final. The 1996 champions made an uncharacteristically sluggish start after winning the toss , the top three of Upul Tharanga (2 ), Dilshan (33 ) and Sangakkara ( 48 ) slightly misfiring for a rare time in the tournament . Zaheer Khan bowled impeccably and didn ' t concede a run in his first three overs , taking a vital early wicket to remove Tharanga as the Sri Lankans crawled to 31 - 1 in 10 overs . But he was expensive toward the end when Jayawardene brought up his century with consecutive boundaries in the 48 th over . And while he finished as the equal leading wicket taker in the tournament with 21 , he' ll be disappointed with his last figures of 2 - 60 after his first five overs cost him just six runs . The Sri Lankans scored 63 runs in the last five overs in a batting powerplay , including 24 in the last nine balls . Nuwan Kulasekera (32 ) shared a valuable 66 - run sixth - wicket with Jayawardene and Thisara Perera pulled Zaheer for six on the final ball to finish unbeaten on 21 from nine balls . The match started amid some confusion when match referee Jeff Crowe ordered a second coin toss because he couldn ' t hear Sangakkara ' s call . Sangakkara won the second toss , a rarity in the international game , and was relieved to be batting first . Sri Lanka moved from 17 - 1 to 60 in the 17 th over and Dilshan had just taken his tournament- leading tally to 500 runs when he played a Harbhajan Singh delivery onto his stumps. When Sangakkara was out , Sri Lanka slipped to 122- 3 and India had done much of the hard work , removing three batsmen who were among the five leading scorers in the tournament . But Jayawardene marshalled the middle - order and progressively lifted the run rate with a mix of finesse and flourishing boundaries and at least ensured a contest.

  • India vs Sri Lanka Finals ICC Cricket wo...
    by cricketfan on April 2, 2011 at 2:56 PM
    2871 Views - 0 Comments

    Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a captain ' s knock of 91 not out after left- handed Gautam Gambhir made a masterly 97 to lead India to their second cricket World Cup triumph at the Wankhede Stadium here tonight, 28 years after they first won the title at Lord ' s in 1983 under Kapil Dev . Chasing 275 for a win , India made 277 for four wickets in 48 . 2 overs in a closely - contested final during which fortunes swayed first this way and then that. . Dhoni walloped a full delivery from Kulasekara over long- on for a mighty six for the winning runs that had the entire roaring in delight after some anxious moments . The team dedicated the victory to star batsman Sachin Tendulkar who, at 38 , has played his last World Cup match after a brilliant career during which he has notched up every conceivable batting record . The Indian players carried Tendulkar and coach Gary Kirsten on their shoulders as they did the victory lap around the stadium . There was also a touch of poignancy , with another great player, spinner Muttiah Muralitharan , also bowing out after a brilliant career that saw him emerge as the highest ever wicket - taker. The Sri Lankan team had wanted to win today especially as a parting gift for Muralitharan , but it was not to be . Earlier, seasoned campaigner and former Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene hammered an unbeaten 103 off 88 balls with the help of 13 fours to steer his side to a formidable 274 for six from their allotted 50 overs , and it was a pity that, despite that superb effort , he ended up on the losing side. At the end of 45 overs , India had made 245 four four and still needed 30 runs from 30 balls and the match could have gone either way . The asking rate went up a little, with 27 runs needed from the last four overs . Clearly, both sides were under enormous pressure, but Dhoni eased things a bit for himself by blasting Kulasekara for a four past mid - off . In the same over , Yuvraj slapped a full toss from the bowler to the mid - wicket fence for another four. Eleven runs had come off that over , and India now needed 16 runs from the last 18 balls . Dhoni picked up a slower one from Lasith Malinga and sent it to the square - leg boundary for four and despatched the next one , a full toss , to the same area for another four. With two overs to go , India needed five more runs. Dhoni settled the issue with that mighty six off Kulasekara . Dhoni was chosen Man of the Match for his oustanding innings under tremendous pressure. And , not surprisingly , the Man of the Tournament award went to India ' s left - hander Yuvraj Singh , who had been chosen Man of the Match four times during the tournament and had a great time with both the bat and the ball during this edition of the World Cup . India began the chase in disastrous fashion , losing opener Virender Sehwag ( 0 ) off the second ball of the innings, trapped leg before wicket by pace bowler Lasith Malinga . Sehwag was attempting to flick the ball but missed and got hit on the pads. The batsman immediately asked for a review , but television replays showed that he was well and truly a goner and there was no trace of the suspected inside edge . The other opener Sachin Tendulkar , looking for his 100 th international century before a home crowd , made 18 off 14 balls , with two fours , before he edged Malinga to the safe hands of Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara behind the stumps . He was trying to steer the ball through the offside. His departure made it 31 / 2 for the home team in 6 . 1 overs . Gambhir and Kohli had the responsibility of repairing the Indian innings and they put their heads down and went about their task with a sense of the burden that rested on their shoulders . The pair put on 83 for the third wicket before Kohli departed , caught and bowled by Tillakaratne , who literally plucked a blinding shot literally out of the air. India were 114 for three in 21 . 4 overs . Dhoni joined the well - set Gambhir at this stage and the two managed to keep the scoreboard moving with singles and twos and waiting for the loose deliveries to punish . Bit by bit , the two mounted what was India ' s highest ever partnership in a World Cup final . A single by Gambhir off Muralitharan took the side to 200 , and the batsman into the 90 s . At that juncture , India needed 75 from 73 balls for victory . Dhoni spanked the bowler past extra cover for a four that brought up his own 50 . A wide delivery by Muralitharan brought up the 100 of this crucial partnership and Dhoni celebrated by smashing the next ball to the wide long - off fence for four. At the end of 40 overs , India were 221 for three . Gambhir slowly moved towards the three - figure mark , but it was not to be today . In the 42 nd over , when he was on 97 , he went for a needless shot and paid the penalty. He came down the wicket to Perera , moved outside leg and tried a big hit , missed the ball and had his stumps uprooted . His 97 came off 122 balls and inclued nine hits to the fence . By any standard , it was a superb knock and came at a vital juncture for the team in the most important of matches , but his exit in this fashion left the side a bit vulnerable at 223 / 4 in 41 . 2 overs. He and Dhoni had put on 109 for the fourth wicket . Yuvraj Singh signalled that he was not going to be cowed down by the situation as he pulled a short one from Perera through mid - wicket for four . In Perera ' s next over , Dhoni slashed the first ball , a short one , over point for a superlative six . In the end , Dhoni remained unbeaten with 91 that came off 79 balls with the help of two sixes and eight fours . Yuvraj remained not out with 21 off 24 balls , inclusive of two fours . In the Sri Lankan innings , staying unbeaten with Jayawardene at the end was Thisara Perera who rattled up 22 runs off just nine balls that included three fours and a huge last - ball six . Though the Sri Lankans started out on a tentative note , after opting to bat first on winning the toss , they did manage to step up the scoring rate in the later stages and added as many as 63 runs in the final five powerplay overs for the loss of just one wicket . The Indians were left with the not - so - easy task of making 275 or 5 . 5 runs an over for a win . Sangakkara ( 48 ) , Tillakaratne Dilshan ( 32 ) , Nuwan Kulasekara ( 32 ) and Thilan Samaraweera ( 21 ) were the other Sri Lankan batsmen who got among the runs today . For the Indians , Zaheer Khan took two for 60 and Yuvraj Singh two for 49 . Khan , who was very economical in the early overs , came in for some punishment in the later stages of the game . Harbhajan Singh took one for 50 . S Sreesanth , who came in for the injured Ashish Nehra and was preferred over spinner R Ashwin in the team, conceded 52 runs from 8 overs without taking a wicket . Opener Upul Tharanga could make only two before he fell , caught at slip by Virender Sehwag off Zaheer Khan in a total of 17 in the seventh over . Tharanga had prodded at a ball that had been pitched on a length around the off- stmp and edged it to Sehwag ' s right. The other opener , Tillakaratne Dilshan , who has been among the runs in this tournament , made 33 off 49 balls with the help of three fours before he was bowled by Harbhajan Singh . Dilshan attempted a sweep of a leg - side delivery and the ball hit his gloves and got deflected on to the stumps . Sri Lanka were 60 for two in 16 . 3 overs when he left . Skipper Kumar Sangakkara appeared to be in control as he compiled 48 off 67 balls with the help of five hits to the fence . But he was out just two runs short of a half - century , caught by wicket - keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni when he tried to cut Yuvraj Singh and got an edge. Once again , Yuvraj had got India an important breakthrough and the Sri Lankans were 122 for three in 27 . 5 overs . Jayawardene , who had added 62 runs for the third wicket with Sangakkara, put on another 57 runs for the fourth wicket in the company of Thilan Samaraweera ( 21 ) . Samaraweera was trapped leg before wicket by Yuvraj Singh when the total was 179 in 38 . 1 overs . The appeal was initially turned down by umpire Simon Taufel but the Indians sought a review . Samaraweera, who had gone down on his knee for a mighty sweep , had missed the ball and television replays suggested it would have hit the middle stump. Taufel changed his decision. Chamara Kapugedera faced only five deliveries and made just one before he offered a weak push to a slower one from Zaheer Khan to offer Suresh Raina at short extra cover the easiest of catches . The Sri Lankans were 182 for five in 39 . 5 overs at this stage . Nuwan Kulasekara made a quick 32 off 30 balls with the help one six and one four before he was run out . The batsmen tried to steal a quick single but Dhoni , from behind the stumps , ran down the leg side and hit the stumps with an under - arm lob that found Kulasekara short of the crease . The Sri Lankans were 248 for six in 48 overs. Sri Lanka made four changes from the side that won the semi - final against New Zealand . Mathews , Mendis , Herath and Chamara Silva are out , and Perera , Randiv, Kulsaekara and Chamara Kapugedera have been brought in . Their idea clearly is to bolster their middle order . India made just one change , with the injured seamer Ashish Nehra making way for S Sreesanth . President Pratibha Patil and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa are among the dignitaries and celebrities who had turned up to watch the match.

  • India vs Pakistan 2nd Semi-Finals Full M...
    by cricketfan on March 31, 2011 at 12:52 AM
    11584 Views - 0 Comments

    India kept alive a billion dreams after sinking Pakistan by 29 runs in their World Cup semi-final on Wednesday to set up an all-Asian final against Sri Lanka. The 1983 champions posted 260-9 and then returned to bowl out their neighbours for 231 in 49.5 overs to spark jubilant celebrations at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. Opting to bat first, India got off to a rollicking start and Sachin Tendulkar (85) got a series of let-offs as well but Wahab Riaz's (5-46) five-wicket haul restricted the co-hosts to a rather modest total. Pakistan got off to a decent start too but losing wickets at regular intervals denied them any significant partnerships and batsmen such as Mohammad Hafeez (43) and Asad Shafiq (30) were guilty of throwing away their wickets at the most inopportune time. Misbah-ul-Haq (56) offered some late resistance but the moment he heaved the ball high into the air, only to see it fall into Virat Kohli's hands, a deafening roar shook the 28,000-seater stadium and reverberated around the rest of the country. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was attending the match with his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani, was seen applauding the men in blue while Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi punched the air in delight after watching the closing stages of the match in the midst of the crowd. "Obviously this was like a final, when Pakistan play the pressure is double. Today was a big match not just for us but for the Pakistani team. We fielded very well and deserved the win today," spinner Harbhajan Singh said after India extended their World Cup record against Pakistan to 5-0. "We played some good cricket and we are very happy and excited to be going to Mumbai." For India, Yuvraj Singh (2-57) made amends for his batting failure, while Harbhajan (2-43), Ashish Nehra (2-33), Zaheer Khan (2-58) and Munaf Patel (2-40) also impressed with the ball. Earlier, India's pace spearhead Zaheer sent down an uncharacteristically ordinary first spell and with Hafeez and Kamran Akmal (19) regularly finding the boundaries, Pakistan began their pursuit in earnest. IRRESPONSIBLE SHOTS Zaheer returned to remove Akmal but Hafeez and Shafiq maintained the good work until Yuvraj decided to make amends for his first ball duck at his home ground. The local favourite removed Shafiq and Younus Khan in successive overs to change the match's complexion and his bowling colleagues drove home the advantage. Like most of his team mates, Umar Akmal (29) got the start too but could not convert and whatever hopes Pakistan had was dashed when Shahid Afridi made a mess of a Harbhajan full toss. Misbah was the last man out after playing some lusty hits before holing out in the final over. "They played better than us. We played some irresponsible shots," summed up Afridi. "I want to say sorry to our nation. We tried our level best." There was considerable pressure on the players from both sides and the presence of the two prime ministers hardly helped their cause in a match that forced a virtual lockdown in this tiny north Indian town. Pakistan looked particularly overwhelmed by the hype around the high-octane match and the 'cricket diplomacy' surrounding it as they dished out a sloppy fielding display of which Tendulkar was the main beneficiary. After India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had opted to bat first, openers Virender Sehwag (38) tore apart the Pakistani attack during a 25-ball cameo. Riaz brought some relief in the Pakistan camp, removing the swashbuckling opener for the first of his five victims but not before his sloppy team mates gave a poor account of themselves on the field. Misbah, Younus Khan and Umar Akmal dropped Tendulkar at different stages of the Indian's innings, while stumper Kamran Akmal also missed a half-chance. Afridi, also the hapless bowler on three of those four occasions, could only hold his head in dismay as his team mate squandered opportunity after opportunity. Afridi eventually took the catch to remove Tendulkar, who had earlier used a review to successful overturn an lbw decision that had gone against him, who fell 15 run short of his 100th international century.

  • India vs Pakistan Sachin Tendulkar 85 IC...
    by cricketfan on March 30, 2011 at 4:58 PM
    2911 Views - 0 Comments

    India kept alive a billion dreams after sinking Pakistan by 29 runs in their World Cup semi-final on Wednesday to set up an all-Asian final against Sri Lanka. The 1983 champions posted 260-9 and then returned to bowl out their neighbours for 231 in 49.5 overs to spark jubilant celebrations at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. Opting to bat first, India got off to a rollicking start and Sachin Tendulkar (85) got a series of let-offs as well but Wahab Riaz's (5-46) five-wicket haul restricted the co-hosts to a rather modest total. Pakistan got off to a decent start too but losing wickets at regular intervals denied them any significant partnerships and batsmen such as Mohammad Hafeez (43) and Asad Shafiq (30) were guilty of throwing away their wickets at the most inopportune time. Misbah-ul-Haq (56) offered some late resistance but the moment he heaved the ball high into the air, only to see it fall into Virat Kohli's hands, a deafening roar shook the 28,000-seater stadium and reverberated around the rest of the country. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was attending the match with his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani, was seen applauding the men in blue while Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi punched the air in delight after watching the closing stages of the match in the midst of the crowd. "Obviously this was like a final, when Pakistan play the pressure is double. Today was a big match not just for us but for the Pakistani team. We fielded very well and deserved the win today," spinner Harbhajan Singh said after India extended their World Cup record against Pakistan to 5-0. "We played some good cricket and we are very happy and excited to be going to Mumbai." For India, Yuvraj Singh (2-57) made amends for his batting failure, while Harbhajan (2-43), Ashish Nehra (2-33), Zaheer Khan (2-58) and Munaf Patel (2-40) also impressed with the ball. Earlier, India's pace spearhead Zaheer sent down an uncharacteristically ordinary first spell and with Hafeez and Kamran Akmal (19) regularly finding the boundaries, Pakistan began their pursuit in earnest. IRRESPONSIBLE SHOTS Zaheer returned to remove Akmal but Hafeez and Shafiq maintained the good work until Yuvraj decided to make amends for his first ball duck at his home ground. The local favourite removed Shafiq and Younus Khan in successive overs to change the match's complexion and his bowling colleagues drove home the advantage. Like most of his team mates, Umar Akmal (29) got the start too but could not convert and whatever hopes Pakistan had was dashed when Shahid Afridi made a mess of a Harbhajan full toss. Misbah was the last man out after playing some lusty hits before holing out in the final over. "They played better than us. We played some irresponsible shots," summed up Afridi. "I want to say sorry to our nation. We tried our level best." There was considerable pressure on the players from both sides and the presence of the two prime ministers hardly helped their cause in a match that forced a virtual lockdown in this tiny north Indian town. Pakistan looked particularly overwhelmed by the hype around the high-octane match and the 'cricket diplomacy' surrounding it as they dished out a sloppy fielding display of which Tendulkar was the main beneficiary. After India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni had opted to bat first, openers Virender Sehwag (38) tore apart the Pakistani attack during a 25-ball cameo. Riaz brought some relief in the Pakistan camp, removing the swashbuckling opener for the first of his five victims but not before his sloppy team mates gave a poor account of themselves on the field. Misbah, Younus Khan and Umar Akmal dropped Tendulkar at different stages of the Indian's innings, while stumper Kamran Akmal also missed a half-chance. Afridi, also the hapless bowler on three of those four occasions, could only hold his head in dismay as his team mate squandered opportunity after opportunity. Afridi eventually took the catch to remove Tendulkar, who had earlier used a review to successful overturn an lbw decision that had gone against him, who fell 15 run short of his 100th international century.

  • Sri Lanka vs New Zealand Dilshan 73 ICC ...
    by cricketfan on March 30, 2011 at 4:50 PM
    1007 Views - 0 Comments

    Sri Lanka overcame a late wobble to battle past New Zealand by five wickets and book their place in the World Cup final. The co-hosts were coasting to victory while Tillakaratne Dilshan (73) was continuing his prolific form in a 120-run stand with Kumar Sangakkara (54).Dilshan deposed England's Jonathan Trott as the tournament's top runscorer in what appeared a straightforward chase of 217 all out under lights at the Premadasa Stadium. But the second-wicket pair were both among the batsmen to go as Sri Lanka stumbled and stalled from 160 for one in the 33rd over to 185 for five in the 43rd. Some strong nerves were therefore required from the late middle order to haul them through - with a flattering 13 balls to spare - to an all-subcontinental showpiece decider in Mumbai on Saturday, against either Pakistan or India. It will be a third, and second successive, final for today's winners - while New Zealand have now appeared in six semis yet have still not managed to take the next step. Sri Lanka restricted their opponents to a below-par total, despite Scott Styris' first half-century of the campaign. Styris (57) shared an important stand of 77 for the fourth wicket with Ross Taylor to raise New Zealand hopes after they won the toss. But the Kiwis lost momentum at crucial stages, and their last six wickets fell for 25 runs as they were bowled out in the 49th over. On the same strip, England's 229 for six had proved emphatically inadequate in last weekend's quarter-final. Dilshan played largely against type, more subdued than his habitual tempo, but still finished with 10 fours and a six from 93 balls - to his captain's seven and one from 79. A wonderful diving catch by Jesse Ryder at point off an Upul Tharanga square-drive at Tim Southee brought New Zealand's first wicket. But Dilshan and Sangakkara knew crease occupation and strike rotation would suffice - and try as New Zealand might, they did not quite have enough runs to defend. There was nonetheless a sizeable flutter in the capacity home crowd when three more wickets fell for only nine runs. The Southee-Ryder combination struck again to spoil Dilshan's fun; then Mahela Jayawardene was lbw on the forward-defence to Daniel Vettori for a single, and Sangakkara upper-cut Andy McKay straight to third-man. Chamara Silva chopped Southee (three for 57) on to his stumps, but Thilan Samaraweera and Angelo Mathews kept their cool to get Sri Lanka over the line. New Zealand's top three had each got started, but little more. Brendon McCullum was bowled by a Rangana Herath arm ball, attempting to repeat the dose after slog-sweeping the same bowler for six in his previous over. Muttiah Muralitharan got one to turn and bounce to have Ryder caught behind cutting - and Lasith Malinga (three for 55) returned, after just one over with the new ball, to york Martin Guptill with a trademark inswinger. Styris' first task was to keep out a clutch of devilish Malinga yorkers, and he survived to drive well against both pace and spin in a 77-ball innings which contained five fours. But when Taylor pulled a rare bad ball from Ajantha Mendis straight to deep midwicket in the 40th over, the Kiwis began to subside. Master off-spinner Muralitharan marked his final international delivery in his native country with a big off-break to have Styris lbw on the back foot, and then Mendis (three for 35) clicked into gear.

  • Sri Lanka vs England 4th Quater Finals I...
    by cricketfan on March 28, 2011 at 2:30 AM
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    Sri Lanka crushed England by 10 wickets on Saturday to reach the World Cup semi - finals. The 1996 champions will tackle New Zealand at the R . Premadasa stadium on Tuesday for a place in the final . Brief scores England 229 for 6 ( Jonathan Trott 86 , Eoin Morgan 50 ) v Sri Lanka 231 for 0 ( Tillakaratne Dilshan 108 not out , Upul Tharanga 102 not out ) Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets

  • New Zealand vs South Africa 3rd Quater F...
    by cricketfan on March 28, 2011 at 2:24 AM
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    South Africa's reputation as cricket ' s perennial chokers returned to haunt them as New Zealand pulled off a dramatic 49 - run win on Friday to qualify for the World Cup semi - finals . The Black Caps , restricted to 221 - 8 after taking first strike , bundled out South Africa for 172 in an exciting finish in front of 23 , 000 fans at the Shere Bangla Stadium .

  • India vs Australia 2nd Quater Finals ICC...
    by cricketfan on March 25, 2011 at 2:43 AM
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    India ended Australia's 12-year World Cup domination Thursday, with Sachin Tendulkar leading a star-studded batting lineup to a five-wicket victory which set up a semifinal classic against archrival Pakistan. The Australians, unbeaten in 34 consecutive World Cup matches until back-to-back defeats to Pakistan and India within six days, slumped to their worst run at the marquee limited-overs event since 1992. Captain Ricky Ponting answered the critics who called for him to retire or be fired as captain, grafting 104 from 118 balls to anchor Australia's 260 for six, but it wasn't enough to save the defending champions. Instead, it was the brilliant but sometimes brittle Indian batting lineup that won out over Australia's raw pace trio of Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait. Tendulkar (53) and Gautam Gambhir (50) set the course but in a seesawing match, India almost conspired to lose it in a jittery middle-order slide before Yuvraj Singh guided the hosts home with an unbeaten 57.

  • Pakistan vs West Indies 1st Quater Final...
    by cricketfan on March 25, 2011 at 2:39 AM
    958 Views - 0 Comments

    Pakistan?s fairytale World Cup journey continued as they stormed into the semi-finals of the ongoing Cricket World Cup by inflicting a humiliating defeat on the West Indian team by 10 wickets in the first quarter-finals at Mirpur on Wednesday. After dismissing the Caribbean team for a paltry 112, the Pakistani openers made a mockery of the chase, overcoming the West Indian score in just 20.5 overs, setting up a possible mouthwatering semi-final clash with India at Mohali. Pakistan openers Kamran Akmal and Mohd Hafeez, carrying the much needed momentum with them, gave a flying start to their team, scoring 30 in just 3 overs. With the West Indies bowlers, be it spinners or fast bowlers, struggling in line and length, Pakistan reached 50-run mark in no time, adding salt to the Windies misery on a day when nothing went right for them. After his superb bowling, Hafeez batted like a man on mission, scoring a classy half-century. He remained unbeaten on 61 off just 64 balls while his opening partner Kamran Akmal was unconquered on 47. Earlier, Pakistan spinners came up with a superb show to bundle a hapless West Indian side out for a meager 112 runs. Pakistan spin trio of Mohammad Hafeez (2/16), Shahid Afridi (4/30) and Saeed Ajmal (2/18) created panic in the West Indies dressing room as soon as they got their hands on the ball, picking up wickets at will, forcing the West Indies top and middle-order to surrender meekly in front of a superb show of spin bowling. In between them they picked up eight West Indian wickets. Old warhorse Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnaraine Chanderpaul tried to pull them out of trouble by stitching together a fighting 42-run partnership in the middle. But Shahid Afridi brought the end of Ramnaresh Sarwan?s stubborn knock of 69-ball-24, opening the floodgates. Afridi again struck as he baffled the dangerous Kieron Pollard for 1 to have West Indies on the mat. On the very next ball, he outwitted wicketkeeper Devon Thomas for a duck. Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, included for this match, at the other end, did not let the West Indies off the hook as he got the wickets of skipper Darren Sammy and leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo to wreck the West Indies batting order. Such was the domination of the Pakistan spinners that West Indies lost four wickets for just 2 runs, losing wicket number 8 with just 71 runs on the board. Medium pacer Abdul Razzaq removed tailender Kemar Roach for 16. Roach, who lent good support to experienced Chanderpaul and forged a crucial 40-run stand with him, finally went while trying to hit through the on-side. Afridi, then, bowled number 11 Ravi Rampaul for a duck to wrap up West Indies innings for 112 in 43.3 overs. Afridi was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up 4 wickets for 30 runs. Meanwhile, Chanderpaul, playing his first match of this World Cup, negotiated the Pakistani spinners well and did not buckle under pressure, remaining unbeaten on 44. It all started with Chris Gayle being dismissed for just 9 in his customary fashion off Umar Gul after looking to take the Pakistan bowlers apart from the word go.

  • India vs West Indies ICC Cricket World C...
    by cricketfan on March 20, 2011 at 11:53 PM
    1116 Views - 0 Comments

    Yuvraj Singh scored his maiden World Cup century and took two wickets as India beat the West Indies by 80 runs on Sunday to set up a quarterfinal against defending champions Australia . West Indies , set 269 to win , finished on 188 all out with seven overs left. India ?s victory in the last match of the group phase means they will face Australia , bidding for a fourth straight World Cup title and fifth in total , in Ahmedabad on Thursday. West Indies , whose run of one - day international defeats against leading nations was extended to 18 by this reverse , will face Pakistan in Bangladesh in their last eight clash on Wednesday . While Devon Smith , doing his best to compensate for the absence of injured fellow left - handed opener Chris Gayle , was making 81 the West Indies were in the hunt . But Smith ?s exit sparked a collapse that saw the last eight wickets lost for 34 runs as the Caribbean slumped from 154 for two . When Zaheer Khan returned to the attack Smith looked uncomfortable and he was bowled by a fine ball from the left- arm quick that cut in a touch . India ?s spinners then took over . Big - hitting Kieron Pollard tried launching Harbhajan Singh only to find Yusuf Pathan at long- on . West Indies , on the ground where just days earlier they had surrendered a winning position in an 18 - run defeat by England , then saw Devon Thomas stumped by wicketkeeper and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni off a well - flighted delivery from left - arm spinner Yuvraj , who took two for 18 . And West Indies captain Darren Sammy was then run out before Yuvraj dismissed Andre Russell for a duck. Earlier, Yuvraj ?s 113 was the cornerstone of India ?s 268 but the host nation lost their last six wickets for just 36 runs . Ravi Rampaul marked his World Cup debut with a career - best five for 51 including the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar . That surpassed the fast bowler?s 4 - 37 against India in Kingston in June 2009 ? the last time the West Indies beat a top nation in a one - dayer . Yuvraj ?s innings revived a 38 , 000 capacity Chidambaram Stadium crowd stunned into silence by the early loss of Sachin Tendulkar for two . Yuvraj and Virat Kohli ( 59 ) shared a third- wicket stand of 122 after India were reduced to 51 - 2 following an early double strike by Rampaul, in for Kemar Roach. Yuvraj faced 123 balls and hit two sixes and 10 fours in an innings that ended when he was caught and bowled by Pollard. India were already in the quarterfinals and many fans hoped to see Tendulkar score his 100th international century. But Rampaul had Tendulkar , undone by a lifting delivery , caught behind off the last ball of the first over . Australia umpire Steve Davis rejected Rampaul?s appeal but tendulkar walked off anyway.


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