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Friday, Aug 22nd

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Ajmal, Jamshed lead Pakistan to easy 7-wicket win

saeed_ajmalAn excellent 97 from Nasir Jamshed and another fantastic bowling effort from Saeed Ajmal (4-32) capped an outstanding all round Pakistan performance as Australia were comprehensively beaten by 7-wickets in the 2nd ODI of the series at Abu Dhabi. Batting first, Australia posted what proved to be a significantly under par 248-9 with the two Pakistani off-spinners proving to be virtually unplayable once again. A much improved batting display from Pakistan, led by Jamshed and rounded off by Azhar Ali (59*) enabled the hosts to notch up a comfortable win to draw level in the series.

The flip of the coin went Australia's way today, and the series leaders opted to put runs on the board today as opposed to their attempt at chasing in the first ODI. They opted though to stick with the same eleven players who won them that game. Pakistan made two changes to their side with left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman coming in for the injured Shahid Afridi, while Junaid Khan replaced Aizaz Cheema.

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Morgan, Trott lead England to 4-wicket win at The Oval

eoin_morgan_odiEngland picked up their first win of the summer against the visiting South Africans, squeezing out a comfortable 4 wicket win in a low scoring affair at The Oval on Friday. Batting first, the Proteas stumbled to 211 all out, well inside their 50 overs with James Anderson and Jade Dernbach doing the bulk of the damage, sharing 7 wickets between them. What was disappointing from a South African perspective was that almost every batsman got a start, but no one went on to make a half-century. Despite losing 6 wickets, England chaseed down the target with relative ease with a pair of 70s from Jonathan Trott (71) and Eoin Morgan (73) getting the job done for the hosts. The result meant that England moved to the top of the ODI Rankings, displacing South Africa after just one game. With two matches still left in this series though there is plenty to play for.

South Africa won the toss and opted to make first use of what looked like a good batting deck at The Oval. There were chances to both sides with Dale Steyn returning to the Proteas playing eleven in place of Ryan McLaren after a well deserved rest, while England brought in James Tredwell and Jade Dernbach for Graeme Swann and Tim Brensnan respectively.

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Taylor ton puts New Zealand on top on Opening Day of Bangalore Test

ross_taylor_nz_2New Zealand recovered handsomely from the hammering they received at the hands of the Indian spinners in Hyderabad by getting the better of their hosts on the Opening Day of the Bangalore test. Skipper Ross Taylor led the way for his side, scoring an attractive century, while half centuries from Martin Guptill (53) and Kruger van Wyk (63*) meant that there was no shortage of battlers in the Kiwi line-up today. New Zealand made their way to 328-6 when an evening shower brought an early end to the day's play. Pragyan Ojha was the only Indian bowler to work his magic today, ending the day with 4 wickets to show for his efforts.

New Zealand made their way over to Bangalore for the second Test of this short series trailing 1-0, and won a crucial toss, giving themselves the opportunity to make the most of beautiful batting conditions at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. With the pitch not yet a rank turner, the Kiwis had an opportunity to get a lot more runs on the board than they managed in Hyderabad. The hosts came into this match unchanged, while New Zealand tinkered with their side marginally, bringing in Tim Southee for veteran seamer Chris Martin.

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Amla, Clarke, Philander and Sangakkara in running for both ICC Cricketer of the Year and ICC Test Cricketer the Year awards

South Africa duo Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander, Australia captain Michael Clarke and Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara have all been short-listed for the top honour at the LG ICC Awards 2012. The votes have now been casted by the independent 32-person academy and these four men are the ones in the running to receive the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year at a glittering ceremony in Colombo on 15 September 2012.

In addition, all four cricketers are also short-listed for the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year at the ninth LG ICC Awards.

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ICC Test Team of the Year 2012 announced, No Indians make the cut

The ICC today announced its Test Team of the Year, as chosen by a specially appointed selection panel chaired by West Indian batting legend Clive Lloyd. Six countries are represented in the 12-man line-up and South Africa's Dale Steyn has earned a place in the ICC Test Team of the Year for the fifth successive year.

It is the third year in a row that South Africa's Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis and Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara feature in the side, while England's Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad appear for the second year in a row. Australia's current captain, Michael Clarke, is named as captain of the team.

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England Test Captain Andrew Strauss announces shock retirement, Cook takes over captaincy

andrew_strauss_tEngland Test captain Andrew Strauss today announced his retirement from professional cricket with immediate effect. The 35 year old Middlesex and England opening batsman who led England to two Ashes victories and to the top of the Test rankings is retiring after 14 years in the professional game. Strauss will be replaced as Test captain by Alastair Cook who will also continue to lead the one day side.

Strauss made his England debut in a one day international against Sri Lanka in 2003 and was awarded his Test cap a year later in 2004 against New Zealand scoring a century on debut. The England opener has gone on to win 100 Test caps captaining the side in 50 of those Tests, 124 ODI caps and four T20 caps in an international career that has spanned eleven years. He has scored 21 Test centuries and six ODI centuries.

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Clarke, Bailey lead Australia to 4-wicket win against Pakistan in 1st ODI

michael_clarkeAustralia nicked a low scoring thriller on Tuesday night to kick-off the ODI Series in Sharjah. Batting first on winning the toss, Pakistan stuttered to 198 all out, despite attractive half-centuries by Asad Shafiq (56) and Umar Akmal (52). But a lower order collapse triggered by Mitchell Starc meant that the hosts failed to make their way past 200. Australia had their own troubles batting, stuttering to 67-4 before Michael Clarke (66) and George Bailey (57*) rescued the innings. A cameo 38 from Glenn Maxwell though was the crucial innings at the end which pushed Australia closer to the finish line before Bailey took the side home.

Earlier in the day, James Pattinson removed Mohammad Hafeez (4) and Azhar Ali (5) in successive overs to put Pakistan on the backfoot before Mitchell Starc claimed the first of his 5 victims by removing opener Nasir Jamshed for 23 as Pakistan slumped to 40-3. Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq added 59 runs for the fourth wicket before the skipper was bowled by Dan Christian for 26. 

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