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World Cup Match 9: Bangladesh squeeze past Ireland in entertaining encounter

abdur_razzakShafiul Islam picked up a career best 4 wickets for 21 runs to give Bangladesh their first win in the ICC Cricket World Cup. Playing in front of a massive home crowd, Bangladesh were bowled out cheaply for 205 runs but the bowlers rose to the occasion knocking over Ireland for just 178 runs in their chase. There were contributions from all the bowlers with Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Ashraful chipping in with 4 wickets between them and Abdur Razzak and Naeem Islam picking up one each. Earlier in the day a great fielding display combined with disciplined bowling helped Ireland to take control of the Bangladesh innings after Tamim Iqbal had imposed himself on the Irish with a flurry of boundaries. Bangladesh though were bowled out for 205 in the last over of the innings after a couple of fantastic spells from Andre Botha and George Dockrell.

After winning the toss, Bangladesh decided to bat first hoping to repeat the batting heroics that they showed against India and they did indeed start that way. Tamim Iqbal clobbered several boundaries off both opening bowlers - Boyd Rankin and Trent Johnston. Bangladesh were flying with 49 on the board after just 5 overs. Ireland captain William Porterfield rung the changes by bringing John Mooney and Andre Botha into the attack. Mooney got Imrul Kayes out for 12 off a wide ball with Naill O'Brien completing a brilliant stumping. Bangladesh lost the wicket of Junaid Siddique (3) off a direct hit by Ed Joyce. Tamim Iqbal made better than a run a ball 44 before he fell trying to play another expansive drive through the off side. The run rate had been slowing down consistently since the first wicket fell and regular wickets ensured that the Bangladeshis couldn't get quick runs.


World Cup Match 8: Australia too powerful for New Zealand in Nagpur

mitchell_johson_bowlOnly one team showed up for the trans-Tasman clash at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Friday, as Australia marched confidently to a 7-wicket win over a non-descript New Zealand. The Kiwi innings was cursed by excessive caution towards good bowling and ill-advised abandon towards the more wayward balls, while Australia's chase was fired up by a sweeping opening partnership, as they reached the target of 207 with 16 overs to spare.

If Ricky Ponting was excited to have won the toss so he could bowl under a considerable cloud cover, the assistance he got from the two-faced terrain was a welcome benevolence. The introductory overs from Brett Lee and Shaun Tait showed the pitch for its notoriety as deliveries which landed on the seam would make the wicket look fresh with carry, but ever so often one would hit a softer part of the wicket and turn a grubber. The New Zealand openers recognized this and started watchfully, but a front-foot no-ball from Shaun Tait shook the proceedings. Brendon McCullum's blood rushed to his head as he got the free-hit away over point, and a lucky French cut-boundary later, he holed out to deep third man off Shaun Tait for 16. Thus began the tumble, and very early at that.


UDRS – Undercooked and shrouded in doubt; Technology trouble for the Cricket World Cup

India is at it again – it is fast becoming a sorry habit for our nation and its administrators to blink in the lights with the consistency of a rabbit. Kalmadi's legion of CWG tricks are forever etched in the hall of shame and the ghosts of that mishap have returned to haunt the Cricket World Cup 2011. The ticket fiasco and the limited technology at the disposal of the umpires during the on field reviews are turning into an embarrassment to the tournament.

The website entrusted with ticket sales, KyaZoonga, crashed as soon as the tickets were opened to the public on Monday under the heavy load of madly scrambling fans. It is exactly the kind of contingency that shows up the character of people behind the logistics of a mega event of this nature. While there are barely enough tickets left for the general public anyways, the few that are available are going to be sold through a lottery system.


World Cup Match 7: De Villiers and Tahir lead South Africa to thumping win against the West Indies

ab_de_villiersSouth Africa made easy work of their World Cup opener against the West Indies, beating the former World Champions by 7 wickets at the Ferozshah Kotla in Delhi on Thursday. Imran Tahir made a dream debut for the Proteas, picking up 4 wickets and was ably support by Dale Steyn who chipped in with 3 of his own. The West Indies were bowled out for just 222 in their innings, and South Africa knocked off the runs in under 43 overs thanks to a fantastic century by AB de Villiers.

There were some interesting team selections announced at the toss today with South Africa going into the game with just the 2 frontline seamers in Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel and picking a three-pronged spin attack of Tahir, Botha and Peterson. West Indies too shocked the fans by choosing only two bowlers in a line-up that listed Kieron Pollard to bat ridiculously low at no.9. In fairness to them, they did pick all their available allrounders, but the absence of quality bowling options would undoubtedly be felt. Graeme Smith won the toss and elected to field as he did not want to expose his spinners to the evening Delhi dew.


Ponting reprimanded for ICC Code of Conduct breach in Ahmedabad

Were not even a week into the ICC Cricket World Cup and we have a controversy brewing already. Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been reprimanded for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during his team's ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 match against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad.

Ponting accepted the Level 1 charge and the proposed sanction from Roshan Mahanama of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees after an incident was brought to the ICC's attention through the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the Gujarat Cricket Association.


World Cup Match 6: Pakistan power to easy win against Kenya

kamran_akmalIt was half-centuries galore from the Pakistani top order as they crushed Kenya by 205 runs in their ICC Cricket World Cup opener at Hambantota in Sri Lanka on Wednesday. Pakistan, a true dark horse at this year's event, recovered from a disappointing start to reach to reach a strong score of 317 on the back of fifties from both the Akmal brothers and sometime skippers Younus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. They then backed up their batting effort with an efficient performance in the field to knock Kenya over for just 112 runs in 33.1 overs. Skipper Shahid Afridi led the way on the field picking up 5-16 to lead the rout.

Winning the toss and batting first, Pakistan started slowly as their openers struggled to come to terms with the pace of the track at Hambantota. Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shahzad fell cheaply after spending a fair bit of time at the crease and Pakistan were struggling at 12 for 2 after 7 overs. A much needed partnership came with Kamran Akmal and Younus Khan putting together 98 runs for the 3rd wicket before the former was stumped for 55 off the bowling of left arm spinner Shem Ngoche.


Graeme Smith: West Indies have match winners, they are dangerous

graeme_smithSouth Africa will be looking to build on the big points they won in recent ODI series against Pakistan and India when they launch their ICC Cricket World Cup campaign against the West Indies at Delhi's Feroz Khotla Stadium on Thursday.

The Proteas have won their last 10 ODIs in a row against the West Indies but captain Graeme Smith acknowledged the threat they represent at his pre-match Presser.


Australia and New Zealand to contest Chappell-Hadlee Trophy at World Cup

scott_styrisCricket Australia and the New Zealand Cricket will add extra spice to their ICC Cricket World Cup Group A clash this Friday by also contesting the Chappell-Hadlee trophy during the game in Nagpur, India. The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy has been contested annually since 2004-05 and the ICC World Cup is the only chance Australia and New Zealand have to play against each other in 2010-11.

The trans-Tasman rivals will square up with plenty on the line. Both captains will be keen to ensure pole position in Group A and New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori will be keen to wrest back the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy from Ricky Ponting's grasp.


World Cup Match 5: England squeeze past Netherlands despite Ten Doeschate ton

ryan_ten_doeschateEngland survived a tough challenge from the Netherlands in their World Cup opener at Nagpur on Tuesday, edging past the minnows by 6 wickets with 8 balls to spare. Batting first, the Netherlands posted a par score of 292/6 thanks to an outstanding century from star batsman Ryan ten Doeschate (119 from 100 balls) and useful contributions from most of the other batsmen. England though were on the money right from the start in their chase as half-centuries from skipper Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott meant that they were always in touch with the asking rate. Paul Collingwood and Ravi Bopara did the dirty work at the end, guiding England home with just about enough breathing room to spare. 

Netherlands won the toss and got a quick start from their openers. Wicketkeeper batsman Wesley Barresi smashed the English bowlers all round the park and got good support from Alexei Kervezee (16) before the latter fell to a short ball from Tim Bresnan. Swann got Barresi stumped for 29 in the first over he bowled, the 12th of the innings, however the batsman had done his job as Netherlands had blunted the England pace attack while scoring at a healthy pace of just above 5 an over.


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