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Thursday, Jan 19th

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Test Cricket

Opportunity for England to win jackpot in series against Pakistan

England will have a chance to the win the US$175,000 jackpot for topping the Reliance ICC Test Championship table when it goes head to head with Pakistan in a three-Test series starting in Dubai on Tuesday. The award is presented on an annual basis to the side which finishes the Reliance ICC Test Championship table on the 1 April cut-off date.

England is currently on 125 ratings points and is ahead of its closest rivals, India and South Africa, by seven and eight ratings points, respectively. With India all set to drop in the Championship table, which will be updated after the Adelaide Test, South Africa can rise to as high as 119 ratings points should it be successful in its series against New Zealand in New Zealand from 7-27 March.

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Dhoni banned for one Test as India are fined for maintaining a slow over-rate in third Test

The India team has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the third Test against Australia in Perth, Western Australia, and as this is the second offence within 12 months India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been suspended for the next Test match in line with the ICC Code of Conduct.

At its meeting in June 2011 in Hong Kong, the ICC Executive Board had discussed the issue of slow over-rates and accepted the recommendation of the ICC Cricket Committee that a captain of an international side should be suspended for one match if his side is guilty of two minor over-rate offences in the same format over a 12-month period.

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Australia rout India by an Innings and 37 runs to win series 3-0

ben_hilfenhausThe Indian Cricket team slumped to yet another shameful defeat at the hands of the Australians in Perth on just the 3rd day of the third test of the series after being bundled out for 171 in their second innings. The Australians needing just 6 wickets to gain an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series, finished things off in style with Ben Hilfenhaus( 4/54) and Peter Siddle (3/43) wrecking the Indian batting yet again in the series. The Indians did show some fight with Dravid (47) and Kohli (75) in the first hour of play before eventually undoing the hard work due to a toothless batting effort from the tail that saw them lose four wickets for no runs just 4 overs into the afternoon session.

Beginning the day on a hopeless 88/4 the overnight duo of Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli showed a lot of fight and determination as they got through a tough period in the first hour of play. The Australian bowlers got the ball  to move both ways with the assistance of the breeze and kept the pressure on the Indians. Young Virat Kohli finally lived up to his potential, as he not only kept the scoreboard moving with some delightful strokes but also put a heavy price on his wicket with a dogged defense. Dravid kept him company in trademark fashion as he showed immense grit and resolve in the first hour to keep the Aussies at bay. The Indians added 41 runs before drinks without the loss of a wicket and ignited hopes of averting an innings defeat.

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Australia on the verge of another win at Perth as India slump to 88/4 in 2nd Innings

sehwag_fallsDespite a strong fightback from the Indian seamers on Day 2, led by young Umesh Yadav who took a brilliant 5-fer, it is still Australia who are very firmly in the driver's seat at the WACA, and are on the verge of closing in on a thumping three day win. Resuming from their overnight score of 149 for no loss, the Aussies were bowled out for 369 in their first innings. None of the Australian batsmen made a significant contribution with the exception of the two openers, with David Warner falling for 180. The Indian batsmen replicated the Aussie effort with the willow, meandering to 88/4 at the close of play, still 120 runs behind from the first innings. With the Indians boasting a rather long tail in this game, it looks unlikely that the game will go beyond Day 3, and an Aussie win to seal the series looks all but certain.

After being humiliated, battered and bruised on the first day of the 3rd test at Perth, the Indian team took to the field on 2nd day, staring down the barrel, looking at yet another long and hard day in the field with Australia on the brink of eclipsing the paltry Indian total of 168 with still all 10 wickets standing.

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India bowled out for 161 on Opening Day of Perth Test, Warner century then takes Australia to 149

sehwag_fallsIndia's dismal form on their Tour of Australia showed no signs of abating as the the visitors were comprehensively thumped on the Opening Day of the third test at Perth on Friday. Australia won the toss and put India in on a far from typical bowler's paradise at the WACA. India though had their customary opening session woes and this time there was to be no rescue act from the lower-middle order as the Indians collapsed to a rather disgraceful 161 all out. The only semblance of fight was shown by young Virat Kohli, who top scored with 44 and shared a 68 run 5th wicket partnership with VVS Laxman (31). The Australian bowlers hunted in packs with Ben Hilfenhaus once again the pick of them taking 4 wickets. Australia's response in their first essay was earth shattering as they raced to 149/0 in just 23 overs with David Warner scoring an incredible century from just 69 balls, the fourth quickest in Test history.

After being comprehensively beaten in the first 2 tests of the series, team India went into the 3rd test at the WACA, Perth, looking to repeat the performance they put up 4 years ago in 2008 which saw them get back into the series after being 2-0 down. On what was a green top at the WACA, the hosts captain Michael Clarke won the toss and chose to take first use of the pitch by having a bowl. Australia went in again with 4 fast bowlers at this venue like four years ago with Ryan Harris coming in for the injured James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon dropped for the left armer Mitchell Starc. India too surprisingly went in 4 quicks for the first time since Perth way back in 1992 with Vinay Kumar replacing Ravichandran Ashwin.

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