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Thursday, Jun 21st

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The Proteas pulled off a sensational one-run victory over Pakistan at Sharjah on Wednesday to go 1-0 in the five-match ODI series.

It was the fourth time that the Proteas had won by such a narrow margin, the last occasion being when Charl Langeveldt took a hat trick against the West Indies at Bridgetown in 2005.

On this occasion the Proteas looked easily out of the picture as Pakistan needed 19 runs for victory with six wickets and 55 balls in hand at one stage. But they proceeded to lose their last six wickets for 17 runs off 31 balls.

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Marlon Samuels hit a fifth One-day International hundred in vain, as Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq combined to lead Pakistan to a six-wicket victory under the Duckworth-Lewis Method in the rain-affected fourth ODI against West Indies today here. Samuels struck nine fours and four sixes in a typically languid 106 off 104 balls, as the Windies piled up 261 for seven from their rain-reduced allotment of 49 overs at the Beausejour Cricket Ground. But a rain delay lasting close to an hour and 20 minutes upset the home team’s plans and left the Pakistanis to chase a revised target of 189 off 31 overs.

The West Indies bowling lacked penetration and Hafeez with the top score of 59, Misbah with 53 not out and Umar Akmal with 29 not out led the visitors to victory with six balls remaining.

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West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo has been suspended for one match after his side was fined for a second minor over-rate offence within 12 months during Friday’s match against India at Port-of-Spain.

The West Indies side was ruled to be one over short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration. As such, Jeff Crowe of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed a 20-per-cent fine on Bravo, while each of his players received 10-per-cent fines.

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India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday received the prestigious Reliance ICC ODI Championship Shield and a cheque of US$175,000 for leading his side to the top of the Reliance ICC ODI Championship table on the annual 1 April cut-off date. This is the first time since the current ranking system was introduced in 2002 that India has finished as the number-one ranked ODI side on the 1 April cut-off date.

David Morgan, former President of the International Cricket Council (ICC), presented the Shield to Dhoni, who also collected the cheque of US$175,000 from Pramod Garg, Financial Controller – Reliance GlobalCom Europe (VP), after India’s training session at the Cardiff Wales Stadium in Cardiff.

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Pakistan opener Nasir Jamshed has made the biggest move in the latest Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen. The latest rankings were released today, a day after the conclusion of the three-ODI series between traditional rivals India and Pakistan.

Nasir has jumped 45 places to 31st spot, while India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has returned to the top five after putting up a consistent performance with the bat in the series, which was won by Pakistan by 2-1. In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers, Pakistan’s duo of Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan have also made gains, while Mohammad Hafeez has now become the number-one ranked ODI all-rounder for the first time in his career.

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India announced their squad for the first three matches of their 5-match ODI Series against England yesterday. Despite the call for heads to roll after a poor year of cricket from India, only one senior member of the team was axed, out of form opener Virender Sehwag. The Delhi run machine's place was taken by Cheteshwar Pujara with the selectors naming an otherwise unchanged side from the series against Pakistan.

Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane will both proably open the batting for India. Gambhir’s form has also been deteriorating for quite a while, and he needs to pull up his socks or might find himself unceremoniously dropped like his opening partner.

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younis_khanPakistan has announced their ODI and T20 squads for their upcoming tour of India. With two T20s and three ODIs set to be played between the two nations, both teams will be looking to field their best possible sides in an attempt to get one up on their arch rivals.

Coming off their exit from the World T20 championships in the semis, a few players who did not deliver in the tournament have been axed. Opener Imran Nazir is one of the players to be dropped, his rather poor performance in domestic T20 matches has also contributed to this decision. Veteran allrounder Abdul Razzaq and Yasir Arafat have also been excluded.

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