Champions Trophy 2009 Update-News, views , Discussion

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by Pintu, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    The Champions Trophy starts on 22nd October, tomorrow , therefore , this thread is created for an attempt to update on Champions Trophy news , views and Discussion.


    A Trophy That Will Test the Players, the Host and the Format

    Published: September 21, 2009

    The Champions Trophy, which begins in South Africa on Tuesday, is the unloved child of the cricket world. For most of its 10-year existence it has been, in theory at least, second only to the World Cup in importance.

    In practice it has been hamstrung by poor scheduling, fluctuating formats and, most of all, uncertainty as to exactly what it is for. This year the competition is significant for the host nation and for the tournament’s 50-over-per-side format.

    The Trophy continues to be dogged by cricket’s inability to produce rational schedules. In 2007, it was played only a few months after the World Cup. This time it is three months after one World Twenty20, played in England, and only six before the next, in the West Indies.

    The issue for South Africa is not its ability to host a decent tournament. Although next year’s soccer World Cup will offer a new scale in challenges it has already shown the ability to stage competitions — rugby union’s world cup in 1995 and the cricket version in 2003 — much larger than the Champions Trophy.

    Its problem is on the field, turning potential into trophies. Although it ranks No. 1 in five-day test cricket, that standing was secured by the actions of others — England reducing previous leader Australia’s rating by beating it in the Ashes series. When South Africa had the chance to take the lead through its own efforts earlier in the day, it lost at home to an Australian team it had only just beaten away.

    In one-day competitions it habitually starts well, only to trip up. The World Twenty20 in England this summer followed that pattern — though at least South Africa fell victim to an opponent, Pakistan, suddenly reincarnated as a force of nature, rather than adding to its list of bizarre and unlikely collapses.

    It has won the Champions Trophy, but at an inaugural tournament so low key that at the final there was not a single journalist from either of the two competing teams, South Africa and West Indies.

    Meanwhile, the 50-over, one-day format is caught between the greater variation and subtlety of the five-day test and the quick-fire appeal and big money of Twenty20, neither one thing nor the other. To many it is now dull and outdated, the natural sacrificial victim if cricket ever gets around, as it certainly should, to rationalizing its incoherent and overcrowded schedules.

    A tournament bringing together the world’s best players over a short, sharp competition over less than two weeks will be a test of its continuing appeal for players and fans.

    Having only eight teams should, in theory, prevent massacres of the overmatched, such as the short, unhappy World Cup campaign by the United States in 2005. But barring a last minute settlement, West Indies — which continues to be plagued by disputes between its players and its Cricket Board — will be represented by a team of replacements. It conceded nearly 400 runs to South Africa in a warm-up match Friday.

    While there will be interest in whether players who emerged in the World Twenty20, like South Africa’s brilliant 20-year-old fast bowler Wayne Parnell and Pakistan’s still younger Mohammed Aamir, continue to progress, they may be overshadowed by the prodigals.

    Shane Bond, sidelined while he was playing in the unofficial Indian Cricket League, is back to give added edge and venom to a New Zealand bowling attack otherwise heavily reliant on a clutch of fast-medium bowlers and the astute spin of captain Daniel Vettori.

    Pakistan is rarely short of talent, but should still be strengthened by the return of Mohammad Asif, its most dangerous fast bowler, after a one-year drug ban.

    This is a tough tournament to predict. The one-day ratings show Australia South Africa and India more or less tied at the top. Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand and England form one four-team group. West Indies, Pakistan, India and Australia are in the other. The top two in each proceeds to sudden-death semi-finals. A single off day at any stage may be fatal.
  3. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Ponting backs young brigade to shine in S Africa


    Chester-Le-Street (England), Sep 21 (AFP) Australia skipper Ricky Ponting believes his new-look side can shine at the Champions Trophy which gets underway in South Africa tomorrow.

    Australia lost the seventh and final ODI against England by four wickets here yesterday, but stil captured the series 6-1 to ease a little of the pain caused by the loss of the Ashes.

    "The last few weeks have been terrific for us. For someone like Cameron White to be the Man of the Series is a terrific effort for a young player," said Ponting.

    "(Tim) Paine has been terrific for us as well, so all in all, we can go to South Africa really happy with what we have achieved here and with a bit of confidence behind us."

    Graeme Swann believes inconsistent England could easily be the surprise package of this year's Champions Trophy despite captain Andrew Strauss warning drastic improvements are needed.
  4. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    AFP: Pressure on SA as Champions Trophy cricket rolls

    Pressure on SA as Champions Trophy cricket rolls

    By David Legge (AFP) – 1 day ago

    JOHANNESBURG — The pressure will be on South Africa and off Sri Lanka when they clash at Centurion Park on Tuesday in the opening 2009 ICC Champions Trophy fixture.

    South Africa need the cup to confirm what the world rankings have been saying for some time - that they are a class act when it comes to one-day international cricket.

    But playing hosts in a sporting event is a double-edged sword with victories galvanising a nation and defeats having the opposite effect, especially in a country like South Africa where expectations are invariably sky high.

    The least expected of the Graeme Smith-led Proteas is that they qualify for the October 5 final and many South Africans would dream that bitter rivals Australia provide the opposition and are conquered.

    While Sri Lanka are good enough to win the 14-day mini-World Cup, it is defending champions Australia, South Africa and India who are most commonly mentioned as potential winners of the two-million-dollar top prize.

    Supreme spinner Muttiah Muralitharan needs no introduction and fast medium-pacer Nuwan Kulasekara sat atop the world bowling rankings last week with his famous team-mate sixth.

    However, batting could be the Sri Lankan Achilles heel with senior figure Mahela Jayawardene conceding they have been "patchy and inconsistent" in that department at ODI level.

    Even minus injured Herschelle Gibbs, the Proteas boast a formidable array of run-getters with Smith, veteran Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy in the vanguard.

    Add the pace and swing of Dale Steyn, Wayne Parnell and Kallis and the spin of Johan Botha and Roelof van der Merwe, who captured four wickets in a warm-up win over the West Indies, and there are solid foundations for optimism.

    Pessimists will raise the word that makes Smith see red - chokers - and also express alarm that the team is going into the second biggest ODI tournament after the World Cup without a competitive fixture since April.

    The 'chokers' tag emanates from reaching eight ICC semi-finals and winning just one - by 92 runs against Sri Lanka in the inaugural Champions Trophy 11 years ago.

    Inspired by the batting of late skipper Hansie Cronje and a five-wicket Kallis haul, South Africa lifted the trophy with a comfortable victory over West Indies in Bangladesh.

    Since then they have departed at the semi-finals stage three times and failed to get even that far once - five years ago in England they came off second best against the men from the Caribbean in a group decider.

    "We have had a good break and the squad is feeling fresh and ready to go. I think freshness may be an important factor in a tournament involving a lot of cricket in a short time," is the Smith retort to fears of rustiness.

    Opposite number Kumar Sangakkara agrees: "Every team in South Africa is a professional unit and whether they have played recently or not won't matter because you are always in training and up to the challenge of playing."
  5. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    AFP: India stunned by Kiwis in Champions Trophy warm-up

    India stunned by Kiwis in Champions Trophy warm-up

    (AFP) – 16 hours ago

    JOHANNESBURG — New Zealand bounced back from a shock defeat to South African domestic side the Warriors to earn a commanding 103-run win over India in an ICC Champions Trophy warm-up match at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Sunday.

    In other games, Sri Lanka defeated the West Indies and Pakistan beat the Warriors.

    The Blacks Caps did well to reach 301-9 after winning the toss and opting to bat with opener Jesse Ryder, who made 57 off 48 balls, and Martin Guptill, who compiled 63 from 79, laying the foundation of the innings.

    Neil Broom contributed a superb 66 off 46 down the order.

    Yusuf Pathan was the most successful bowler in the Indian attack, returning 3-46 and bagging the key wicket of Guptill.

    In reply, India's top three all made starts but failed to build on them.

    Abhishek Nayar put together a fighting 41 off 36 balls, but the rest of the order crumbled as they were dismissed for 198 runs in the 41st over.

    Black Caps skipper Daniel Vettori, Shane Bond and Jacob Oram bagged two wickets each.

    Pakistan again showed they are in top form, cruising to their second warm-up win.

    They wrapped up a six-wicket victory over the Warriors with 19 balls to spare at Willowmoore Park in Benoni.

    Warriors opener Justin Kreusch made 96 after they lost the toss and were sent in to bat, sharing a 79-run opening stand with Michael Smith, who contributed 42.

    Arno Jacobs pitched in with 54 as they reached 261-6.

    But Shoaib Malik smashed an unbeaten 130 off 133 deliveries in reply and Misbah-ul-Haq made 58 from 67 as Pakistan cruised to 264-4 in the 47th over.

    Earlier, at the LC de Villiers Oval in Pretoria, Sri Lanka recovered from their loss to Pakistan on Friday to defeat a struggling West Indies side by five wickets with 15 balls to spare.

    After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the West Indies got off to a good start with Dale Richards, who made 59 off 60 balls, and Devon Smith, who hit 67 from 102, sharing 82 for the second wicket.

    But with no other significant contributions they were bowled out for 201 in the 46th over.

    Sri Lanka's spinners led the attack with Muttiah Muralitharan taking 3-17 and Ajantha Mendis bagging 3-31.

    In reply, Mahela Jayawardene made 67 off 93 and Thilina Kandamby contributed an unbeaten 44 from 67 as the Sri Lankans cruised to 202-5 in the 48th over.

    The Champions Trophy gets underway on Tuesday when South Africa face Sri Lanka.
  6. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    The Press Association: Strauss relishing trophy trip

    Strauss relishing trophy trip

    (UKPA) – 6 hours ago

    Andrew Strauss is relishing England's trip to the Champions Trophy despite his side limping away battered and bruised from their one-day mauling by Australia.

    Strauss and his team-mates will open their campaign against Sri Lanka in South Africa on Friday hoping to maintain what little momentum they managed to establish by fending off a 7-0 NatWest Series whitewash at Chester-le Street on Sunday.

    He said: "It's the Champions Trophy, it's one of the big events, to be honest. I think there's something very exciting about being in the same couple of hotels as all the best players in the world. It's quite intoxicating and it's an event everyone wants to win."

    He added: "The schedule is tough, there's no doubt about that, but that's international cricket.

    "By the looks of things, it's not going to be changing in the near future, so as players, you need to be as fit as possible and when you have got opportunities to have a rest, you need to take them and make sure you can maintain a consistent level of performance."

    Having bowled out the tourists for just 176, thanks in large part to Graeme Swann's career-best haul of five for 28, he and fellow opener Joe Denly had guided England to 106 without loss when the skipper fell three short of his 50.

    His departure signalled a depressingly familiar batting collapse - at one point, four wickets fell for only 12 runs in the space of 27 balls - and it took Durham all-rounder Paul Collingwood and Tim Bresnan to guide England home with 60 balls to spare.

    But bowling hero Swann is convinced a change of scenery can help to revitalise the team and particularly the likes of struggling batsman Ravi Bopara, who managed just 13 runs.

    He said: "I firmly believe that. Just thinking about Ravi, just the fact that it's a different bowling attack coming will serve him well and will serve the team well.

    "Having won, we are going away thinking at least we don't have to play Australia again in the next game, and you never know."
  7. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    AFP: Hungry men raring to go at Champions Trophy

    Hungry men raring to go at Champions Trophy

    By Manoj Vatsyayana (AFP) – 1 day ago

    NEW DELHI — The Champions Trophy is set to hail the comeback kings as Shane Bond, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Asif and Ashish Nehra return from the international wilderness.

    The quartet will be playing their first major one-day tournament after spending more than a year on the sidelines.

    New Zealand paceman Bond has already shown in a couple of recent one-dayers in Sri Lanka that he had been sorely missed, rattling the home side with three wickets in his comeback match.

    Injuries and a stint with unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL) forced Bond out of action for more than two years before he returned for a tri-series in Sri Lanka -- only to prove he had not lost his sharpness.

    "It's been a long time coming and it's something I never thought would happen again," Bond said ahead of the triangular series.

    "It feels like I am starting all over again. I think I set myself pretty high standards and it's up to me to meet those. I always strive to be the best bowler in the world, nothing's changed there."

    Dravid, 36, was axed in favour of youngsters soon after Mahendra Singh Dhoni led a young side to the Twenty20 World Cup trimph in South Africa two years ago.

    Nicknamed "The Wall" for his solid technique and sound temperament, Dravid has been the mainstay of India's batting for more than a decade, having scored more than 10,000 runs in one-day internationals.

    The selectors felt the need of an experienced batsman in the middle order after some of the younger players looked vulnerable against short-pitched deliveries in the Twenty20 World Cup in England this year.

    Dravid, who figured in a recent tri-seies in Sri Lanka, said he had nothing to prove at this stage.

    "I have never played my cricket that way, wanting to prove a point," Dravid said after being recalled in nearly two years.

    "All I can say is that I will do my level best for the team's cause. I have always believed in preparing well before a match or a competition and it will be no different this time."

    Pakistan's attack has been strengthened with paceman Asif's return after serving a one-year drugs-ban because he has the ability to test the best with his sharp seam and swing bowling.

    With Pakistan missing fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, Asif is expected to provide early breakthroughs with Umar Gul.

    "You can say that it's a sort of rebirth for me. I was performing well but then suddenly my career derailed and it was tough to get over those difficult days," Asif said.

    "I am fit and have been bowling in the best rhythm. South Africa is my favourite place and I did well when we went there to play a Test series in 2007, so this time around, again I want to help my team win the trophy."

    India's left-arm fast bowler Nehra has been making the most of every chance since returning to the one-day side in June after nearly four years.

    Nehra, considered one of the best Indian bowlers in death overs, will have added responsibility on his shoulders in the absence of injured paceman Zaheer Khan.

    "The perception was that I couldn't make a comeback at the age of 30, but in Indian cricket you cannot write anyone off. It's just a matter of grabbing your opportunities and I did that," he said.

    "I like bowling with both the new and old ball. I enjoy the responsibility that comes with bowling in the death overs and in the powerplays."
  8. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Champs Trophy '09: 'India’s bowling attack is the weakness'

    Champs Trophy '09: 'India’s bowling attack is the weakness'

    Soubhik Mukherjee
    Posted: Sep 17, 2009 at 1431 hrs IST

    New Delhi: The battle lines have been drawn and Thursday was the official bugle blowing ceremony to announce the beginning of some serious cricketing action.

    Amidst clearing doubts over the survival of the 50 over format, ex-players Wasim Akram and Sanjay Manjrekar – along with ace commentator Harsha Bhogle – unveiled the official gold and silver trophy that the winners of the ‘ICC Champions Trophy 2009’ will get their hands on.

    Speaking at an event held in New Delhi, Harsha spoke about how T20 cricket (despite the promise of “incessant action”) could never match the drama and thrills that the 50 overs format has to offer.

    ICC General Manager Campbell Jamieson, representing the sports’ governing body, was a bit guarded on his views but supported the fact that the 50 overs format will thrive and survive.

    "Champions trophy will be the acid test for the format and the verdict should be reserved till the culmination of the event," he said.

    Edge of India-Pak contest

    India will take on Pakistan on September 26at the Centurion in a Group A clash, and with Australia and a second-string West Indies being the other teams in the group, the winners of India-Pak clash is likely to book a ticket to the semis.

    Add to this the fact that it’ll be the first time the sub-continent giants will meet since the Mumbai terror attacks, you’ve a nerve wracking contest, where the ‘war minus the shooting’ phenomenon of old will return to haunt the players taking the field.

    A veteran of many such clashes, Wasim Akram tried to play it down by suggesting that it’s good for both the countries to play against each other again. But he agreed that the pressure would be manifold as compared to any other match and for the young players in both the sides, a good performance in this match would go a long way in enhancing their career.

    The favourites

    Sanjay Manjrekar sounded an ominous note by saying that, “India’s bowling attack is the weakness” of the squad, with Harbhajan Singh being the only bowler who’s going in to the championship with wickets in his pocket. With the South African pitches expected to offer a lot of zip and bounce, the onus would be on the Indian batsmen to get the runs and compensate for the bowling shortcomings of the team.

    Wasim seconded Manjrekar’s point and suggested that for India to perform well, young Ishant Sharma would have to rise to the occasion to fill in for Zaheer Khan’s absence.

    Wasim didn't put his money on Pakistan’s success in the tournament, as time and again he pointed towards their lack of match practice in the run up to the tournament. He, however, stuck his neck out to support the hosts South Africa, but only till the semi finals!

    On a more serious note, almost everybody on the panel agreed to the fact that facing Graeme Smith’s men, in their own backyard, would be a formidable task.
  9. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    AFP: Wright doubtful for Champions Trophy

    Wright doubtful for Champions Trophy

    (AFP) – 5 days ago

    NOTTINGHAM, England — Sussex all-rounder Luke Wright was ruled out Wednesday for the remaining two games of England's one-day series against Australia and is now doubtful for the upcoming Champions Trophy.

    Wright sustained an injury to the big toe of his left foot while batting in the nets against a bowling machine at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough, central England, on Monday.

    He was subsequently ruled out of Tuesday's four-wicket loss to Australia in a day/nighter at Trent Bridge, a result that left England 5-0 down in their seven-match series against the world champions, with his place taken by late call-up Dimitri Mascarenhas, the Hampshire captain.

    Wright has now been declared unfit for Thursday's sixth one-day international, another day/night clash at Trent Bridge, and Sunday's series finale at north-east county Durham's Chester-le-Street base.

    An England spokesman said Wednesday that Wright's availability for the Champions Trophy in South Africa, where England's opener against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg on September 25 is just over a week away, would be made after the end of the Australia series.

    However, that leaves England with not much time to select a replacement should they decide to bring in someone from outside their current squad.

    England are already resigned to being without star men Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen at the Champions Trophy because of knee and Achilles tendon injuries respectively.
  10. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    After warm-up loss,Ind face Gambhir fitness dilemma


    Ashish Shukla

    Johannesburg, Sep 21 (PTI) The humiliating loss to New Zealand in their only warm-up game coupled with uncertainty over opener Gautam Gambhir's fitness has marred India's build up to the Champions Trophy which gets underway here tomorrow.

    After staying briefly on top of the ICC rankings and clinching the triangular series in Sri Lanka recently, Indians were humbled by 103 runs by a side that had lost to a local team in its previous match.

    Off the field, nobody has an answer if Gambhir, who missed yesterday's warm-up tie at Potchefstroom, has really recovered from his groin strain.

    It could well be a race against time for the left-hander as India take on Pakistan in their tournament opener in Centurion.

    So would be the concern about the striking prowess of pace duo of Ishant Sharma and R P Singh, from whom the side would expect some timely breakthrough during the tournament.
  11. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    AFP: We are unmatchable, boasts South Africa star Steyn

    We are unmatchable, boasts South Africa star Steyn

    By David Legge (AFP) – 12 hours ago

    JOHANNESBURG — Fast bowler Dale Steyn has delivered a 2009 ICC Champions Trophy challenge by saying no team will match hosts South Africa in the two-week tournament starting Tuesday.

    South Africa regained first place in the world one-day rankings Sunday after Australia lost to England and the Graeme Smith-led side confront Sri Lanka at Centurion Park in the opening match.

    "I believe that this team has played fantastic one-day and Test cricket in the last year and we have really hit our straps," Steyn told reporters ahead of the second most prestigious ODI tournament after the World Cup.

    "If the team play to their potential, and this might sound cocky, I really believe no side can match us at the Champions Trophy."

    Steyn does not give a Sri Lankan team, considered dangerous outsiders in the race for the two-million-dollar first prize, much hope of causing an upset in a day-night fixture.

    "They have not been here for a long time apart from those players who came for the Indian Premier League and that was during winter when the ball was not doing a lot and it was Twenty20 cricket."

    South Africa crave success in the Champions Trophy to confirm what the rankings have been saying for some time - that they are a class act when it comes to the 50-over game.

    The least expected of Smith and his squad is that they qualify for the October 5 final and many South Africans would dream that bitter rivals Australia provide the opposition and are conquered.

    Sri Lanka are good enough to lift the trophy even if it is title holders Australia, South Africa and India who are most commonly mentioned as likely winners.

    Supreme spinner Muttiah Muralitharan needs no introduction and fast medium-pacer Nuwan Kulasekara sat atop the world bowling rankings last week with his famous team-mate sixth.

    However, batting could be the Sri Lankan Achilles heel with senior figure Mahela Jayawardene conceding they have been "patchy and inconsistent" in that department at ODI level.

    Minus injured Herschelle Gibbs, the Proteas still boast a formidable array of batsmen with Smith, veteran Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and JP Duminy in the vanguard.

    Add the pace and swing of Steyn, Wayne Parnell and Kallis and the spin of Johan Botha and Roelof van der Merwe, who captured four wickets in a warm-up win over the West Indies, and there are solid foundations for optimism.

    Pessimists will raise the word that makes Smith see red - chokers - and also express alarm that the team is going into the tournament without a competitive fixture since April.

    The 'chokers' tag emanates from reaching eight ICC semi-finals and winning just one - by 92 runs against Sri Lanka in the inaugural Champions Trophy 11 years ago in Bangladesh.
  12. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Trinidad News, Trinidad Newspaper, Trinidad Sports, Trinidad politics, Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago News, Trinidad classifieds, Trinidad TV, Sports, Business

    Sri Lanka win by five wickets in 'Champions' warm-up
    South Africa

    Monday, September 21st 2009

    Big swing: New Zealand wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum reacts as India
    batsman Rahul Dravid is bowled during a warm-up match ahead of the
    Champions Trophy at Potchefstroom, South Africa, yesterday. New
    Zealand (301/9) beat India (198 all out) by 103 runs. -Photo: AP

    Devon Smith and Dale Richards stroked fighting half-centuries but Sri Lanka emerged comfortable five-wicket winners over West Indies with 15 balls to spare in their ICC Champions Trophy warm-up match yesterday.

    Choosing to bat first, West Indies scored 201 all out off 45.1 overs and Sri Lankan replied with 202 for five off 47.3 overs at LC de Villiers Oval.

    Smith (67) and Richards (59) were the only significant scorers in the West Indies' innings as spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis equally shared six wickets to torment West Indies just three days before their opening Champions Trophy match against Pakistan.

    West Indies recovered from an unsteady start when opener Richards and Smith added 80 runs in 14 overs for the second wicket after Andre Fletcher went cheaply in the third over.

    Pacer Nuwan Kulasekara bowled Fletcher (8) with just nine runs on the board but Richards and Smith lifted the score to 89 before Richards fell to pacer Lasith Malinga, ending a near run-a-ball knock.

    Richards thumped ten fours and two sixes in scoring his 59 off 60 balls in 83 minutes.

    Left-handed Smith stood firm while the Sri Lankans celebrated a flurry of wickets in a steady middle-order decline for the Caribbean side.

    Without their top-flight players absent because of a contracts dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board, the Windies plunged to 158 for seven after losing five wickets for 37 runs.

    Magic spinner Muralitharan cheaply dislodged Travis Dowlin (9), captain Floyd Reifer (2) and Kieran Powell (0) in a three-wicket burst, while Dave Bernard (6) and Chadwick Walton (0) also departed for single digit scores.

    Darren Sammy (20) added 32 for the eighth wicket with No.3 batsman Smith, who was eighth out for a top-score 67 that included six boundaries.

    Smith, the most experienced player at international level in the current West Indies set-up, faced 102 balls and batted 179 minutes.

    Muralitharan finished with tidy figures of three for 17 off six overs, while his spin partner Mendis claimed three for 31 and Malinga picked up two for 45.

    West Indies put up some resistance when the Sri Lankans chased and the 1996 World Cup champions were tested early before pulling off their victory.

    Sammy bowled Tillakaratne Dilshan (2) with just three runs on the board in the second over and the St Lucian medium pacer also sent back veteran Sanath Jayasuriya (21) at 39 for two in the tenth over.

    Captain Kumar Sangakkara and ex-skipper Mahela Jayawardene then linked up for a 44-run third-wicket partnership that ended when pacer Tino Best had Sangakkara caught behind for 35 off 44 balls.

    Jayawardene went on to score 67 off 93 balls with six boundaries, setting up the victory.

    Thilina Kandamby carved out a steady 44 not out off 67 balls with four boundaries to formalise the victory, a result that dipped the West Indies warm-up record to one win against three losses.

    After losing by three wickets to Cape Cobras last week Saturday, West Indies rebounded last Monday to defeat North West Dragons by 103 runs against club sides before losing to South Africa and now Sri Lanka in official ICC warm-up fixtures.

    South Africa had beaten West Indies by 188 runs on Friday.

    West Indies, tournament winners in England 2004 and runners-up two years later in India, are in Group A of the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy alongside Australia, India and Pakistan, who they open against on Wednesday.

    Their other first-round fixtures are against Australia on Saturday September 26 and India on Wednesday September 30.

    Group B is made up of South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and England.

  13. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

    Jul 28, 2009
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    hope india will atleast reach semifinals as it in 2nd spot:wink:
  14. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Sri Lanka Breaking News-Daily Mirror Online

    Spinners to fore at tournament opener

    By Ken Borland

    CENTURION, South Africa, Sept 21 (Reuters) - South Africa and Sri Lanka are set to play two frontline spinners apiece on what promises to be a turning wicket at Centurion Park for their Champions Trophy opener on Tuesday.

    The hosts, the International Cricket Council's top-ranked one-day team, have off-spinner Johan Botha and left-armer Roelof van der Merwe while Sri Lanka will counter with off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and the unorthodox Ajantha Mendis.

    “In the last year-and-a-half, Johan Botha has become one of the best one-day bowlers in the game and he's an integral part of our team. He and Roelof make a good combination,” South Africa captain Graeme Smith told a news conference on Monday.

    “Murali has troubled a lot of teams and he has an incredible record, but it will be interesting to see how Sri Lanka fit both him and Mendis into their combination.

    “But our record speaks for itself on how we have played spin around the world in the last few years and we have some good ideas about Mendis. Other teams have been very aggressive against him and that seems like a good tactic.” Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said his side had a potent bowling attack that did not rely solely on spin to create problems for batsmen.

    “We have two of the best spinners in the game, one of them the best ever (Muralitharan), but we also have good fast bowlers, who are regularly bowling over 140km per hour, and all-rounders.“The batsmen are in form, the bowlers are all firing well, so we just need to produce some match-winning performances,” Sangakkara said.

    Hashim Amla is set to replace injured South African opener Herschelle Gibbs, who strained a rib muscle trying to avoid a straight drive by Smith in a warm-up match against West Indies on Friday.

    The Champions Trophy features the world's top eight teams, split into two groups of four. The top two in each group progress to the semi-finals. The final is at Centurion on Oct. 5.

  15. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Sports | Younis Khan: I will play against India

    Younis Khan: I will play against India
    - After nets, pak captain relaxes by watching ash’s mistress of spices


    Younis Khan

    Johannesburg: Back in his hotel room after a decent hit at the afternoon nets, Younis Khan was watching Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s Mistress of Spices, a Hollywood production, before the evening namaaz and an early dinner.

    The Pakistan captain, who is nursing a hairline fracture on the little finger of the right hand, couldn’t have been more relaxed. That, too, with the Champions Trophy match against India a mere two days away.

    But, then, that’s Younis — a Pathan with a difference.

    “The pain has almost gone and, while some discomfort is there, I’ll play on Saturday... I’ve decided to take a chance, taki baad mein koi kuch na bole,” Younis told The Telegraph at the Sandton Sun.

    Younis injured himself in the build up to the tournament and didn’t play Pakistan’s opener, against an under-strength West Indies, here on Wednesday.

    Earlier in the day, on Thursday, coach Intikhab Alam had left it to Younis to decide on playing the India match. “He’s shaping up well, but I’ve left it to him... He’ll have to take the call,” Intikhab said.

    The Younis-Intikhab partnership, it may be recalled, helped Pakistan win the World T20 in June and, clearly, they understand each other well.

    In Younis’s absence, Shahid Afridi led Pakistan to a five-wicket win. Given the quality of the opposition and the target (134), it should have come easier, though.

    Afridi, the T20 captain, won his first match in that role in the shortest form, too — in Sri Lanka, at the start of this season.

    “Yes, I’ve got an all-win record... Jeetna sabse zaroori hota hai... Am I looking forward to being the regular captain in all forms? I’ll only say that I’m happy playing under Younis,” Afridi maintained, speaking exclusively.

    At 29, Afridi is a veteran and would like to make the most of all opportunities. He’s been around for 13 years.
  16. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    The Canadian Press: PCB: Younis Khan available against India

    PCB: Younis Khan available against India

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (CP) – 11 hours ago

    ISLAMABAD — Younis Khan will lead Pakistan against India in a crucial Champions Trophy match after missing the opening group game against West Indies due to fractured finger on his right hand, the Pakistan Cricket Board said in a statement Thursday.

    Younis picked up the injury during a practice match last Saturday and Shahid Afridi led Pakistan to a five-wicket win over the West Indies on Wednesday.

    Pakistan takes on archrival India on Saturday at Centurion before meeting defending champion Australia in the last group match Sept. 30.

    "He (Khan) could have been available for the match against West Indies, but team management decided not to take the risk so that he could be fully fit and available for the crunch game against archrivals India," the PCB statement said.
  17. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    DAWN.COM | Cricket | I was given a free hand at the crease: Umar Akmal

    I was given a free hand at the crease: Umar Akmal

    By Faras Ghani
    Friday, 25 Sep, 2009

    Umar Akmal once again showed maturity beyond his age in his team’s opening game at the
    Champions Trophy.—Photo by Reuters

    JOHANNESBURG: A fine unbeaten, match-winning innings on Wednesday against the West Indies further cemented dashing Umar Akmal’s place in the Pakistan one day side as the young batsman once again showed maturity beyond his age in his team’s opening game at the ICC Champions Trophy.

    Countering a seemingly-innocuous bowling attack that had threaded through Pakistan’s strong batting line-up chasing a small total, Umar, playing only his fifth ODI, blended caution and aggression aptly and even left his captain, Shahid Afridi, subdued and in admiration.

    ‘I was delighted to be part of the team and playing my first match in an ICC tournament,’ Umar, who already has a century and a half-century in ODIs to his name, said after his 51-ball 41.

    ‘Our bowlers did a very good job but we struggled slightly with the bat. However, I must thank the team management for all the support as even before coming into bat, I was given a free hand and told to play my natural game.’

    Umar, with a career strike-rate of almost 100, did curb his natural ways initially with Pakistan reeling at 61 for 4, Gavin Tonge having taken a career-best four wickets.

    Easing into his stay onto the pitch gradually, lofted, drove and flicked Pakistan towards the target, hitting six boundaries and carrying on the scintillating start to his international career.

    ‘It was a difficult pitch with uneven bounce and light grass and the batsmen couldn’t hit freely,’ Intikhab Alam, Pakistan’s coach, said.

    ‘We created problems for ourselves. Most of our dismissals were due to reckless strokeplay as you had to wait for the ball to come onto you and play in the gaps. However, we bowled a good line after losing the toss and that ensured we were not chasing a mammoth total.

    ‘I was impressed with the way Afridi captained the side too. It was a good decision by the board to appoint him captain following Younus Khan’s resignation after the World Twenty20 and that decision was part of future planning. Afridi showed a lot of maturity and responsibility and I’m sure he will get more chances in the future to show more of the same.’

    Intikhab also reserved praise for Umar, who got hit on his finger by a beamer from Tino Best, while reminding the youngster of bigger tests that await — Pakistan’s next match at Centurion on Saturday which is against India.

    ‘Umar has done a great deal of work and performed well in a very short space of time. We expect great deal from him as he has a great future. However, we must not get complacent since we have a very important match coming up against India.’

    While Younus looks all set to return from injury to play that crucial game — India’s opening match of the tournament — their opponents have injury concerns of their own.

    Already without the services of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, India also lost Yuvraj Singh to a finger injury thus tilting the balance slightly in favour of Pakistan.

    ‘Yuvraj has done wonders for Indian cricket and his services will be severely missed by the team,’ Intikhab said.

    ‘However, these things happen in cricket and for it to matter in the end, we must ensure we don’t have hiccups as this is a great chance to beat India in an ICC tournament.’

    Pakistan’s Mohammad Asif trained with the squad for the first time on Wednesday following the completion of a twelve-month ban for doping offence.

    Asif, despite the competitive-cricket drought, is match-fit and in contention of a place in the starting line-up for Saturday, according to Intikhab.

    ‘Asif is completely match-fit as he has been training with the academy and club sides in Pakistan. It’s good to have him back and it will provide us with a welcome dilemma whether to include him or not in the team since our bowlers performed really well against West Indies.’

    While the initial jitters and poor-starters tag was put to place in a flimsy manner, three points ensure Pakistan go to Centurion on Saturday beaming with confidence. A win will ensure Pakistan make it to the last four of the Champions Trophy for only the first time.

    A loss, however, will not only need a win against Australia in their final group match but also incur the fans’ wrath, especially with the support both teams are expected to have in the stands on Saturday.
  18. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Sports | Pakistan limp to victory

    Pakistan limp to victory
    - Afridi & Co. given run for their money as Windies pacer Gavin Tonge bags 4/25

    West Indies’ Nikita Miller steals a
    single as Pakistan’s Umer Akmal
    attempts a catch during the
    Champions Trophy match at the
    Wanderers on Wednesday. (AFP)

    Johannesburg: Pakistan overcame a jittery start to defeat the West Indies by five wickets in their opening match of the Champions Trophy here on Wednesday.

    After losing both the openers — Imran Nazir and Kamran Akmal — cheaply, the World T20 champions struggled initially in front of some inspired bowling by Windies pacer Gavin Tonge.

    Tonge, who bombarded the Pakistan batsmen with some aggressive fast bowling, finished with figures of four for 25 in his 10 overs.

    But his effort was not enough to stop Pakistan from clinching the match as youngster Umar Akmal and stand-in skipper Shahid Afridi shared a 58-run sixth wicket partnership to see the side through in 30.3 overs.

    Umar, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, was the top scorer for Pakistan with 41 runs which included six hits to the boundary.

    Earlier, Pakistani pace duo of Mohammed Amir and Umar Gul ran havoc, bowling out a depleted West Indies side for a paltry 133 in 33.4 overs.

    The Wanderers pitch, unlike the flat surface in Centurion, always offered the pacemen some assistance and that was aptly reflected from the exploits of the faster bowlers of both the sides.

    The professionals stuck to the basics: Mohammed Amir found a bit of seam movement, Naved-ul Hasan swung it gently and varied his pace, and Umar Gul hit the deck hard to apply the chokehold.

    Electing to bat, a rag-tag West Indies side had a terrible start to their innings, losing both their openers with the scorecard reading 11 after 3.6 overs.

    The inexperienced West Indies batting line-up never seemed in a position to counter the fiery Pakistan bowling attack as youngster Amir, ex-Indian Cricket League player Naved-ul Hasan and Gul ripped through the Windies resistance.

    Left-arm pacer Amir struck as early as in the final ball of the opening over, getting Dale Richards (1) caught and bowled off his own bowling and then Naved-ul Hasan got the better of Andre Fletcher (7) caught by Imran Nazir with West Indies reeling at 11 for two.

    Travis Dowlin was the next man to depart without opening his account, edging one to Kamran off the bowling of Amir.

    Devon Smith (18) and captain Floyd Reifer (7) did try to put up some resistance, adding 22 runs for the fifth wicket before Reifer was caught by Misbah-ul Haq off Gul in the 15th over.

    After the initial hiccup, the West Indies batsmen never got their footing into the match, losing wickets at regular intervals.

    Darren Sammy (25) and Nikita Miller (51) tried their best to get the West Indies innings back on track, adding 38 precious runs for the eighth wicket.

    But their efforts were short-lived as off-spinner Saeed Ajmal struck in his first over, dismantling the stumps of Sammy.

    Miller and Tino Best put on 36 runs for the ninth wicket to lend some respectability to the West Indies score before Best was stumped by Kamran off the bowling of Ajmal.

    Miller was the last to depart going for a big hit over the long-on boundary off Afridi, only to find Shoaib Malik. His innings off 57 deliveries included six fours and one six.
  19. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    AFP: Clarke to miss Australia clash with W.Indies

    Clarke to miss Australia clash with W.Indies

    (AFP) – 1 hour ago

    JOHANNESBURG — Batsman Michael Clarke will be missing when Australia launch their 2009 ICC Champions Trophy campaign against the West Indies at the Wanderers Saturday.

    A team spokesman said Friday the vice-captain of the defending champions suffered back pain on a flight from England to South Africa and his omission was precautionary.

    "We are assessing Michael day by day and and there is improvement, but taking the whole tournament into consideration we have adopted a conservative approach and he will not play tomorrow," he said.

    This is the second blow to Australia in as many days with star bowler Nathan Bracken withdrawing from the two-week tournament because of an on-going right knee problem.

    Deprived of their best cricketers by a long-running contract dispute, the West Indies crumbled to 133 all out against Pakistan in the opening Group A match Wednesday at the same venue and lost by five wickets.

    The match is a repeat of the 2006 final in Mumbai which Australia won by eight wickets on the Duckworth-Lewis method after scoring 116-2 in reply to the Windies 138 all out.
  20. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    The Canadian Press: England beats Sri Lanka by six wickets to open Champions Trophy event

    England beats Sri Lanka by six wickets to open Champions Trophy event

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (CP) – 15 hours ago

    JOHANNESBURG — England, fresh off a 6-1 home series defeat from Australia and without the injured Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff, surprised Sri Lanka by six wickets to start the Champions Trophy cricket event Friday.

    Sri Lanka crushed South Africa on Tuesday to open the tournament, and its stunning follow-up defeat left Group B wide open.

    England, Sri Lanka and South Africa have one win each, and New Zealand's still a threat. Only two teams proceed to the semifinals next week.

    England's bowlers did an admirable job after captain Andrew Strauss won the toss and fielded at Wanderers Stadium. Although Sri Lanka recovered to 212 all out in the 48th over, England was seldom flustered in its run chase and reached 213-4 in the 45th over.

    "This is a fast-scoring ground and we had to keep sensible and not do anything too rash," Strauss said. "It was a sensible and professional chase."

    Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara complimented his side's fightback at the crease.

    "To reach 212 was fantastic," he said. "We are probably firing on about 80 per cent. We have a lot of homework to do before the next game. We played well ... but we need to be flexible."

    The English overcame a bad start. Joe Denly played across a Nuwan Kulasekara ball to be trapped lbw for 5 in the fourth over, while Strauss, on 9, pulled Kulasekara fiercely only to be well taken at short midwicket by Thilan Kandamby.

    But three good partnerships followed.

    Allrounder Paul Collingwood, who hit 46 off 51 balls including five fours and three sixes, added 63 for the third wicket with Owais Shah before he edged the ball onto his stumps off fast bowler Lasith Malinga.

    Shah contributed 44 off 74 balls, scoring slowly but steadily. After Collingwood's dismissal, Shah put on 76 in 15.2 overs for the fourth wicket with left-hander Eoin Morgan.

    Morgan stayed until the target was reached. He finished 62 not out beside wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who was 28 not out. The pair added 55.

    Strauss said the aggressiveness of man-of-the-match Collingwood lifted England's spirit, and he also praised Shah and Morgan.

    "Morgan has played a lot of innings like that over the years at Middlesex but it is nice to see him transfer that into the international format," Strauss said.

    Kulasekara took 2-42, Angelo Mathews was the most economical with 26 conceded off eight overs, and Muttiah Muralitharan was pounded for 60 off his 10.

    Collingwood said England handled spinners Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis well.

    "It was going to be difficult chasing because the ball was doing a bit," he said, "but Morgan did very well to see the boys home."

    Earlier, Kandamby scored 53 and shared in two half-century partnerships to help Sri Lanka recover from 17-4 to 212.

    After England opening bowlers Jimmy Anderson and Graham Onions took two wickets each by the sixth over, Kandamby put on stands of 64 with Thilan Samaraweera (30) and 72 with Mathews (52) on a lively pitch.

    First-change bowler Stuart Broad claimed 3-49 off 10 overs. Anderson finished with 3-20 off 9.3 overs, and Onions 2-58 off 10.

    At the start of the match, there was considerable bounce and movement in the pitch that troubled opening batsmen Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya.

    Jayasuriya was caught behind for a second-ball duck off Anderson on the 11th delivery of the innings. Four balls later, Dilshan was caught by Morgan for 2, leaving Sri Lanka at 7-2.

    Anderson trapped Mahela Jayawardene in front for 9 in the fifth over with the total on 17, and Sri Lanka was in even more trouble two deliveries later when Sangakkara inexplicably drove at a very wide ball from Onions and was out for 1.

    Kandamby and Samaraweera began rebuilding the innings, and Samaraweera was out driving Broad to point where Collingwood took an easy catch at head height at 81-5. Samaraweera hit four boundaries in 48 balls.

    Kandamby and Mathews more than doubled the score before Kandamby was run out in a mid-pitch mix-up thanks to Luke Wright's accurate throw to Prior. Kandamby faced 82 balls, hitting five fours, and Sri Lanka was 163-6.

    Mathews was controversially run out then called back on 51 with the total on 170-6. He bumped into Onions in going for a second run, and it was debatable whether he would have completed the run safely.

    Strauss called him back, however, and Mathews was caught behind five balls later.

    On Saturday, India plays Pakistan, and Australia meets West Indies.
  21. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    AFP: South Africa beat N.Zealand in Champions Trophy

    South Africa beat N.Zealand in Champions Trophy

    By David Legge (AFP) – 1 day ago

    CENTURION, South Africa — South Africa bounced back into contention for 2009 ICC Champions Trophy glory with a five-wicket triumph over New Zealand at SuperSport Park on Thursday.

    Upset by Sri Lanka in the opening match of the ODI tournament two days ago, the Proteas had to win and did so with relative ease before a large, holiday crowd.

    New Zealand were all out for 214 in 47.5 overs and South Africa cruised to 217-5 in 41.1 overs and another win Sunday over England would virtually assure the hosts of a place in the knockout phase.

    The 'Black Caps', who may have erred in excluding Jeetan Patel for a match on a spin-friendly pitch, face Sri Lanka and England at the Wanderers stadium and a couple of victories would bring them back into the frame.

    AB de Villiers was a fitting matchwinner, sealing success with a four having top scored for the Proteas with an unbeaten 70 in 76 balls, including nine boundaries.

    Once again South Africa skipper Smith won the toss and once again he opted to field on a dry, slow, uneven early season track that gave the spinners assistance in warm, partly cloudy conditions.

    New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori stressed the need to build partnerships, but his plea fell largely on deaf ears with the 71-run stand between Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott a notable exception.

    The stubborn 95-ball stand ended when South Africa-born Elliott chose the wrong line and his middle stump was pushed back by a deceptive delivery from spinner Roelof van der Merwe.

    Taylor was the top Kiwi scorer with 72 off 106 balls before missing a low full toss and being trapped leg before by revitalised Wayne Parnell, who was voted man of the match.

    Opener Brendon McCullum was the only other New Zealand batsman to make an impact, scoring 44 before trying a sweep off Johan Botha and getting a top edge to JP Duminy at short fine leg.

    Parnell, rebounding from a nighmare outing against Sri Lanka, finished with five wickets, impressive Van der Merwe and speedster Dale Steyn claimed two apiece and Botha one.

    Set a 4.30-runs-an-over target, Smith managed just seven before departing because he played a Daryl Tuffey too early and Vettori took a simple catch at mid-on.

    Jacques Kallis was next to go, adding 52 runs for the second wicket with Hisham Amla before an attempted drive off Shane Bond was snapped up by wicketkeeper McCullum.

    Although ahead on run rate, South Africa were also struggling to build big partnerships and much-improved Amla returned to the pavilion having made 38 after being trapped leg before by Vettori.

    Duminy did not last long, scoring just 11 off 13 balls before becoming the victim of a spectacular McCullum catch after trying a cut that took a bottom edge.

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