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WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

Posted: 23 September 2007 at 4:19am | IP Logged
ICC World Twenty20
Lawson delighted to reach Twenty20 final

New Zealands Lou Vincent
Lou Vincent was the first Kiwi batsman to give his wicket away
New Zealand captain Dan Vettori said his team had produced a "pretty inept" display after their ICC World Twenty20 semi-final defeat by Pakistan.

Electing to bat first at Newlands, the Black Caps managed just 143-8, a total picked off with some degree of comfort.

Vettori said: "We've been pretty radical with our batting, but can't put a decent performance together."

Pakistan's Shoaib Malik said: "I want to thank my team-mates, all Pakistani people and our fans around the world."

Malik, leading his side with distinction, now faces the prospect of a final against the winners of the India v Australia match in Durban.

He added: "It's a great win. Our bowlers are bowling brilliantly at the moment and contained [New Zealand's batsmen] so well.

"When we came back after the first rain break [with New Zealand on 44-0 in the seventh over] I was saying to the guys 'Come on, this is our day, we have to contain them and keep them to 140,' and we did that."

Vettori also noted that his batsmen had produced a good start, which they were unable to back up.

"We were always chasing out tail after that," he added.

"It just wasn't to be. It's bitterly disappointing and I know the guys are going to be hurting a lot."

Malik said he hoped Pakistan "could be number one very soon."

Umar Gul, the team's match-winner with 3-15 from four overs, added: "We have done a lot of hard work, and had a lot of practice at bowling yorkers and bouncers."

WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

Posted: 23 September 2007 at 4:21am | IP Logged
Last Updated: Sunday, 23 September 2007, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
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Adams proud of Sussex's title win
Chris Adams
Adams's decision to stay with the club paid off with another trophy
Sussex captain Chris Adams has hailed the team's third title win in the past five years as the best of the lot.

"They've all been different - the first was just momentous, the second was just gruelling and a relief to get there.

"This is perhaps the most satisfying because we've done it against the odds," Adams told BBC Sport.

"We've had four players called up for England and we've had to deal with injuries to key players - and we only operate a small squad."

Sussex's triumph was confirmed on Saturday when they beat Worcestershire by an innings and 14 runs and rivals Lancashire lost to Surrey after a brave attempt to score 489 for victory.

But they will now have to look to strengthen their squad with Pakistan paceman Rana Naved leaving the club because they can only field one overseas player next summer, and opening batsman Richard Montgomerie retiring.

Adams could have left last winter when he was offered the chance to become director of cricket at Yorkshire, a post he initially accepted but then rejected after a change of heart.

"It was two hellish weeks of my life - but I think both clubs have done well out of that little equation.

"Yorkshire offered me a very tempting position but I knew it would be horrendously difficult for me to play alongside other players in another team. I couldn't do it - that's the bottom line, " the 37-year-old said.

"I'm delighted Sussex were able to keep the door open and I've had a great year with the bat and enjoyed the contest more than any other. It's been awesome.

"We haven't played our best cricket but the true test of a champion is when you don't play your best but still come out on top."

Leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed was once again a leading figure for Sussex, taking 13 wickets in the game against Worcestershire to take his total for the summer to 90.

And afterwards he thanked the club for their support after a traumatic experience in the Caribbean earlier this year when Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer died during the World Cup.

Mushtaq was working with the team at the time as Woolmer's assistant.

"[Manager] Mark Robinson and Chris Adams understood my situation and cricket was the only way for me to forget what happened in the West Indies," he said.

"Luckily I could deliver my best but we are lucky to get through this time because five teams could have won. It's a very special moment for Sussex but we've had to work hard for our win."

WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

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Posted: 23 September 2007 at 4:25am | IP Logged
Last Updated: Sunday, 23 September 2007, 08:14 GMT 09:14 UK
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Lancashire promise to bounce back
Lancashire captain Mark Chilton
Captain Mark Chilton reflects on what might have been
Lancashire manager Mike Watkinson has backed his side to bounce back strongly next summer after narrowly missing out on the County Championship title.

Sussex were crowned champions after Lancashire narrowly failed to score 489 to beat Surrey at The Oval.

"We have got a fantastic team spirit," Watkinson said afterwards.

"It was an outstanding effort. I don't think there are many sides that would be chasing 490 on the last day and get within 25 runs."

Lancashire have not won the Championship outright since 1934 - although they did share the title with Surrey in 1950 - and fought to the bitter end to try and end their long wait.

VVS Laxman (100) and Stuart Law (79) were the main contributors to their run-chase and it looked as if Dominic Cork might complete the job despite only having last man Gary Keedy for company until Cork played on to spin bowler Murtaza Hussain.

"We had belief and tried to put some strategy in the game of how many runs we could get in each session." explained Watkinson.

"We swapped the order around to give Laxy as much chance as possible to bat through the day and he really had his teeth into the challenge. That gave us the impetus to keep going right down to number 11."

We are absolutely gutted we have not won the Championship
All-rounder Glen Chapple

Watkinson added: "This is one of the lowest feelings after a game - the history of the club and what it would mean to so many people was just wrapped up in the emotions in the dressing room at the end of play."

Long-serving all-rounder Glen Chapple, who made 29, hailed an "amazing effort" by the team.

"Everyone has played terrifically well - Laxman had a brilliant knock, Stuart as well and the youngster Paul [Horton] was very unlucky with a dodgy decision.

"When you are chasing four and a half an over all day long, things are going to happen and it was so close at the end - it was just a remarkable day's cricket.

"We know we are a good team and we are absolutely gutted we have not won the Championship," Chapple said.

WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

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Posted: 23 September 2007 at 4:43am | IP Logged
Last Updated: Saturday, 22 September 2007, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
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NZ v Pakistan as it happened
WORLD TWENTY20 semi-finals, Cape Town:
Pakistan 147-4 (18.5 overs) bt New Zealand 143-8 (20 overs) by 6 wickets


By Mark Mitchener


1535: A stunning nine sixes from Pakistan in that innings. That's it from Cape Town - we await the second semi-final, which sees Australia play India in Durban. I'm off for a sandwich - why not check out Paul Fletcher's live coverage of this afternoon's Premier League football, as by the time those games which kicked off at 1500 BST are over, we'll be ready for our second semi-final, which starts at 1700 BST. Make sure you're back by then!


18.5 overs - Pkn 147-4
Goochie on TMS wants Pakistan to be aggressive in this over, so they aren't left high and dry by the end. Misbah comes down the track but can't get Patel away. 12 off 11. Misbah then hoists one over long-off for six - is that game over for the Kiwis? Six needed off 10. That six looks to have broken Misbah's bat, but a replacement is brought on. He nudges one behind square for a single - five needed off nine. Misbah tries to end it in one ball, hoisting Patel to midwicket, where substitute fielder Nathan McCullum gets both hands to it but puts the chance down. Two runs are taken - three needed off eight balls. Malik then hoists a six over midwicket - and Pakistan have reached the final. The other Pakistan players invade the pitch, and one of their backroom staff even runs on doing backflips!

18th over - Pkn 132-4
Vettori back for his final over - another loud LBW appeal against Misbah is turned down by Simon Taufel. Misbah then takes a hard-run two to leg, and nudges a quicker ball to cover for a single. Malik flicks one to midwicket for a single, and Misbah works another one away in a similar manner - five from the over. 12 needed from 12 balls.

17th over - Pkn 127-4
Patel's back on, and the batsmen nudge some easy singles before Malik flat-drives him past wide long-on for a second-bounce four. He then prods a single to the same area, and Misbah is kept in his crease by some tidy wicket-keeping from McCullum. Yet another single to long-on leaves them needing 17 from the last 18 balls.

Graham Gooch
"As a neutral, a two-wicket maiden would give the game a lot more spice!"
Former England captain Graham Gooch on TMS

16th over - Pkn 119-4
Misbah works the recalled Styris away for a single - Vettori's keeping an over of himself up his sleeve. Vettori is panther-like at short extra cover, pouncing on anything prodded into the off side to prevent any quick singles. So Misbah steps away to the off-side and nudges one to leg for a single, and captain Malik adds another to round the over off. Just four runs from the over, though.

15th over - Pkn 115-4
With Nelson having struck, as Goochie on TMS observes, Misbah-ul-Haq emerges as the new batsman. A bouncer from Bond to Malik is signalled as an aerial wide. Malik then goes deep but it falls safely between two fielders.

"It loosk like an interesting game if Pakistan start losing their wickets"
Farhan Hussain, Mississauga, Canada

Wicket falls
14.3 overs - WICKET - Afridi c Fulton b Bond 6 - Pkn 111-4
Bond is back for his last over - and Malik drives him into the covers for a single. Afridi's lofted drive over cover brings his first boundary. He then goes for another big hit - and it goes straight to Two-Metre Peter at mid-off. Unlike Taylor earlier, he makes no mistake.

14th over - Pkn 106-3
Afridi is the new batsman. An astonishing sight as Patel throws the ball in from the boundary, and it hits team-mate Vincent from about 20 yards away. That's gotta hurt! Just four runs from the over. Vincent looks a bit groggy but is carrying on.

Wicket falls
13.3 overs - WICKET - Younus Khan c McCullum b Vettori 4 - Pkn 104-3
Oram's off after one expensive over, and skipper Vettori has changed ends. Pakistan need a run a ball at this stage, but Vettori finds the edge with a superb slider and Younus is caught behind.

13th over - Pkn 102-2
Shoaib Malik arrives at the crease in his own right (after the earlier spell as Nazir's runner), and he's off the mark too, as Pakistan bring up their century. Malik confidently works Patel away to conclude the over.

Wicket falls
12.2 overs - WICKET - Nazir lbw b Patel 59 - Pkn 96-2
Younus tries a reverse sweep off Patel, misses and gets a leg bye. Nazir is then hit on the pad, on the full when he tries to sweep - and the LBW laws say you can't infer any spin if the ball hits the pad on the full, so that's the end of Nazir. A matchwinning innings?

Thats 50
12th over - Pkn 95-1
After a disappointing second over from Styris, he is replaced by fellow medium-pacer Jacob Oram - and when Nazir lifts him to long-on, Taylor puts the chance down. "An abysmal drop", says my gaffer Paul Grunill. Nazir then brings up his 50 off 38 balls with another straight six which Taylor can't do anything about. A fortunate top-edge then brings another six - his fifth - over third man. 16 off the over.

"Pakistanis are capable of winning this but do not underestimate their abilities to screw things up either. It could be all over in a couple of overs. Thank you and have a great day"
Azar Malik, Wichita, Kansas, USA, in the TMS inbox

11th over - Pkn 79-1
With Pakistan in charge at the halfway stage, off-spinner Jeetan Patel replaces Vettori but Nazir and Younus add a single apiece.

10th over - Pkn 77-1
A full-toss from Styris is whacked back, baseball-style, by Nazir and the ball sails over the bowler's head and way over Vincent at long-on. A short one is pulled to cow corner for a single, while Arlo White on TMS spots yet another train.

9th over - Pkn 69-1
A game of cat and mouse sees Vettori tie Nazir down for the first three balls, while shuffling his field. Then, Nazir gets hold of the fourth ball and hoists it over long-off, where the ball lands about 10 rows back. He then sweeps for a single to leg. Seven from the over.

8th over - Pkn 62-1
Just two singles are possible off the rest of Styris's dibbly-dobbly medium pace - a much better over for the Kiwis.

Wicket falls
7.1 overs - WICKET - Hafeez lbw b Styris 32 - Pkn 60-1
Scott Styris makes the breakthrough with his first ball as Hafeez attempts a scoop to fine leg. Confusingly, Hafeez is out - but will stay out in the middle as Nazir's runner, and Shoaib Malik departs. New batsman is Younus Khan.

7th over - Pkn 60-0
Captain Daniel Vettori, sporting a thick covering of stubble, brings himself into the attack for some orthodox left-arm spin. Nazir prods forward to the first ball, but he then launches the second delivery into the second tier of the stand for another straight six - his first. Vettori then slides a quicker one in which hits Nazir on the pad, but it's not out - that was a close one. That six is the only scoring stroke from the over.

"Does all the new technology run to an assessment of how happy Geoff Lawson is going to feel if Pakistan beat Australia in the final?"
David Wallace, Toledo, Spain, in the TMS inbox

6th over - Pkn 54-0
It's still Gillespie, who sends down a legside wide as Younus Khan, scheduled to come in at number three, jumps up and down on the spot in the Pakistan dugout. Hafeez strikes one to the cover boundary where a good diving stop by Vincent and a relay throw by Patel restricts them to three. A wild heave through the vacant slip area goes to third man for a single, and Pakistan are taking the singles well at this stage - no sign of chaos with the runner yet, either. A slower ball by Gillespie is despatched for a straight six by Hafeez to bring the fifty up. That's it for the fielding restrictions.

5th over - Pkn 42-0
Bond beats Nazir's outside edge with a good slower ball. The opener seems a little becalmed since calling for a runner. He's hit on the pad but the ball was going down the leg side, and as Nazir remains still, the other two batsmen trot through for a leg-bye. Another slower ball beats Hafeez. He lifts the next ball wide of the deep backward square leg fielder for six, before pinching the strike with a single off the last delivery.

4th over - Pkn 33-0
Nazir lofts one to square leg, where it drops just in front of Taylor and they take a single. Gillespie appears to have a problem with one of the studs in his boot, while a Mexican wave encircles the ground. Hafeez takes a slightly hesitant single, and Nazir clubs the final ball away for another single to Taylor on the square leg boundary.

"Nothing is easy, especially as Pakistan's middle order is a little dicey... Bond, Vettori and Patel are my hope. If Gillespie is on song... watch out!"
Walgert on 606

Geoffrey Boycott
"Pakistan have enough talent to win this - they just have to keep their heads"
Geoff Boycott on TMS

3rd over - Pkn 29-0
Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik enters the fray as a runner for Nazir - might we see a run-out here? Hafeez steers Bond between gully and backward point for four, and then hooks a short ball to fine leg with the same result. Malik gets his first chance to run as Hafeez takes a single.

2nd over - Pkn 20-0
Mark Gillespie takes the second over, and Nazir flashes at one outside off-stump which keeper McCullum and slip Styris inexplicably leave for each other, and it sails through for four. A handsome cover-drive brings another four, and a slightly streaky swipe beats McMillan's despairing dive at third man. Three boundaries from the over.

Geoffrey Boycott
"That was a typical Pakistan over - two good shots and we nearly had a run-out. It's never boring with them"
Geoff Boycott on TMS

1st over - Pkn 6-0
Hafeez gets going with a bang as he cover-drives Shane Bond's first ball for four. Ross Taylor then nearly redeems himself for the two run-outs in the NZ innings by nearly running Hafeez out. He then works one to fine leg where they take a comfortable two.

"Tricky total for Pakistan to chase down. They will need a solid start. Rugby is boring by the way, waiting for the Arsenal game to start"
Nasr, SA, in the TMS inbox

1411: Umpires going back out there again. Regular opener Imran Nazir is joined this time by Mohammad Hafeez, despite Afridi having opened in their last game. Remember, the tortoise-paced Salman Butt was dropped for this game.

1400: Don't forget, it's the usual action-packed Saturday of sport. Elsewhere, Charlie Henderson is your man for the live text on South Africa v Tonga if rugby is your thing, while Ian Hughes is in the chair for the England v USA showdown at the women's football World Cup. And Sam Lyon is showing his versatility by adopting the "c'mon Tim" role for the Davis Cup tennis.


20th over - NZ 143-8
Taylor must be nervously awaiting his own return to the dug-out, having now run out two of his team-mates. Mohammad Asif returns for the last over, and Taylor clubs him down the ground for four. He then lifts Asif over cow corner for six. A more orthodox on-drive also sails away for four - that's 14 off the first three balls. The fourth ball is a swing-and-a-miss, the fifth is an off-side full toss from which they scamper two. He swipes the last ball high into the air, and keeper Kamran Akmal misses an easy chance. 17 from the over. Jeetan Patel adds a "0 not out without facing a ball" to his batting CV. But will that last over prove costly for Pakistan?

"Running Vettori out like that, makes up for the idiotic way Salman Butt got run out against Bangladesh"
Naz in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
19th over - WICKET - Bond run out 5 - NZ 126-8
Tanvir returns as Bond pushes a single. Taylor is then caught at short fine leg... off a no-ball, which means another free hit. Anticlimax though, as Bond prods away for another single. Taylor then slogs at a shorter one, but it goes straight to the long-on fielder for another single. Bond digs out a yorker which keeps the score down, before driving to long-off where yet another mix-up sees the pace bowler run out by half the pitch.

18th over - NZ 120-7
Taylor takes a single before a useful prod by Bond brings the main man back on strike. But more hesitancy prevents a run as Gul again fields well off his own bowling. Just one more single from each batsman is possible as Gul ends a superb spell with figures of 4-0-15-3.

17th over - NZ 116-7
Taylor manages to clear the ropes - just - with a swipe to cow corner, before a single brings the new batsman on strike. His name's Bond - Shane Bond. But he can't get the last ball away.

Wicket falls
16.2 overs - WICKET - Vettori run out 0 - NZ 107-7
Sixth bowler Mohammad Hafeez replaces Alam, and races to field off his own bowling against Taylor, who then works one to fine leg, goes for a second run but new man Daniel Vettori hadn't moved. Both batsmen end up at the same end, and Vettori is run out without facing a ball. At least he selflessly makes a token effort to run, making sure he is dismissed and Taylor, the established batsman, remains.

Wicket falls
16th over - WICKET - Oram c Akmal b Gul 1 - NZ 106-5
Left-hander Jacob Oram joins Taylor, and nurdles a single to get him off the mark. Geoff Boycott on TMS criticises the Kiwi pair for their running between the wickets - not that Boycs was ever involved in many crazy run-outs in his playing career, of course. Oh no. More economy from Gul restricts the Black Caps to just two runs from the over - Oram goes for the big one off the last ball and is caught behind.

"Cmon Pakistan, oh and Boycs will be pleased to know that the SA rugby team are 3-0 down against Tonga!"
Tim Hayward in the TMS inbox [SA now 7-3 up - MM]

Wicket falls
15th over - WICKET - McMillan c Younus b Alam 12 - NZ 104-5
With Afridi having bowled his four overs, Alam takes up the attack and Taylor nudges one behind square leg for two. They then rush through for a quick single but McMillan makes his ground. McMillan then brings the Kiwi hundred up with a huge straight six. He then attempts the same catch and is well held at long-off. 12 off six balls for McMillan, but he's gone.

Geoffrey Boycott
"I'm twice as old as these Pakistan players and I could run quicker than them. One or two of them are like camels in the field, they're very slow"
Geoff Boycott on TMS

14th over - NZ 91-4
The new batsman is the pugnacious Craig McMillan, and he ducks a bouncer first ball. He punches the next one through third man for four as the TV picture momentarily vanishes.

Wicket falls
13.3 overs - WICKET - Fulton c Malik b Gul 8 - NZ 87-4
Ross Taylor is the new batsman, he advances down the track to Gul but his lofted drive falls just short of a fielder. Fulton then lifts a low full-toss straight to extra cover.

Wicket falls
13.1 overs - WICKET - Styris c Tanvir b Gul 19 - NZ 85-3
Styris gets a top edge and Tanvir makes up for his fielding slip in the last over by holding the catch.

13th over - NZ 85-2
With NZ's big hitters still yet to bat, Fulton works Afridi away for a single, as does Styris, before Afridi strays with another wide. More comedy fielding, this time from Sohail Tanvir who falls over when he tries to throw the ball in, allowing another overthrow. Fulton nearly plays on, but when Styris cracks one to Younus Khan at cover point, the dawdling Fulton is lucky not to be run out at the striker's end.

12th over - NZ 78-2
Yet again, Pakistan have held fifth bowler Umar Gul back. Boycs on TMS again pours scorn on the tactic, despite a superb economy rate of 17 runs from 3.4 overs in their last game against Bangladesh. Which Boycs was commentating on. Hmm. But Fulton can't get Gul away until the fourth ball, where he works Gul through midwicket for two. Arlo White on TMS tries to prove his "strawberry blond" credentials to Boycs, despite being nicknamed "ginger" at university. He gets a single to fine leg, but judging by that over, Pakistan will be happy to keep him on strike.

11th over - NZ 75-2
New batsman is "Two-Metre" Peter Fulton - and Afridi has another LBW shout, although Hawk-Eye suggests it might have hit. Fulton gets off the mark with a single to fine leg.

Wicket falls
10.3 overs - WICKET - McCullum lbw b Afridi 26 - NZ 74-2
McCullum tries to work Afridi to leg when he sees a ball short of a leg, but misses and he's gone.

10th over - NZ 72-1
Alam trots in off a very short run-up, and Styris and McCullum are taking singles off every ball, before Styris carefully slog-sweeps one over midwicket for six. An attractive New Zealand fan in the crowd holds up a sign exhorting NZ All Blacks rugby star Ritchie McCaw to marry her. We've reached the halfway stage.

9th over - NZ 61-1
Styris's plan is clearly to accelerate - and he square-drives Afridi for four, working the ball right around the field as they take 10 from the over. Afridi looks annoyed.

8th over - NZ 51-1
New batsman is Scott Styris. "The Penguin" has been promoted up the order and pinches the strike with a single off his first ball.

Wicket falls
7.5 overs - WICKET - Vincent c & b Alam 28 - NZ 50-1
Fawad Alam comes on for this first action of the tournament. Arlo White on TMS reveals that Alam is the highest scorer and wicket-taker in Pakistan's domestic Twenty20. Yet another overthrow allows Vincent to run a second. Then, Vincent strikes the ball back to Alam who takes a diving return catch.

7th over - NZ 46-0
We're back on - three balls of Shahid Afridi's over still to be bowled. McCullum turns the first (= fourth) ball to fine leg for two. Ump Simon Taufel then calls for the third umpire, rather needlessly as McCullum is well in when he is sent back by Vincent.

"Good conversation and comments chaps! Keep going! I am missing this hot semi, as stuck in work, but at least getting a spicy minute by minute update!"
Danish in the TMS inbox

"Ooh, can I have a little danish? I haven't had breakfast"
Nadia Kamil in the TMS inbox

"Given the level of fame or perhaps even infamy achieved by some of the regular contributors to this live text, I was curious as to how many hits the average cricket live text receives"
Sarah, Bucks in the TMS inbox

My "gaffer" Paul Grunill, never one to shy away from a statistical challenge, has given me a few figures. Obviously, if England are playing on a weekday during office hours, the figures are appreciably higher - nearly 2.5 million page views for England-Australia, nearly 2.7m for Eng-NZ. Other recent figures include 1.2m (SA-NZ), 975,000 (Eng-Ind), 725,000 (Aus-Pkn), 521,000 (SA-Ind).

1250: The waterhogs (or, as Henry Blofeld calls them, "warthogs"), are starting to remove the surface water off the covers, while a burly member of the ground staff (who could rival Bermuda spinner Dwayne Leverock in a pie-eating contest) co-ordinates the removal of the covers.

"Mark, I'm sitting in the library reading your text. Don't write anything outrageously funny, got me?"
Rahul, sitting adjacent to a lovely Danish girl, Copenhagen

Rahul, I'm sat next to BBC cricket website colleague Oliver Brett. No offence Olly, but given the choice, and in the spirit of closer European integration, I wouldn't mind getting to know a little Danish either. (And I don't mean Danish Kaneria).

Kylie Minogue
Geoffrey Boycott
"I like most of Kylie's music, I think she's a nice lass"
Former England batsman Geoff Boycott on TMS

Arlo White
"Because we're now into the semi-final stage, we now have an extra two hours to complete the match"
Arlo White on TMS

"Leave Inzi alone, he was one hell of a sportsman. And yeah, Pakistan are guranteed to win. Just wish I wasn't stuck at work, and could watch it. 8-hour shift, try a 12.5-hour shift!"
Naz in the TMS inbox

Rain delay
6.2 overs - RAIN STOPPED PLAY - NZ 44-0
The umps consult with the batsmen and Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik - but amazingly, they're carrying on despite the light rain. Shahid Afridi enters the attack and his first ball is a legside wide. McCullum works one away for a single, before Vincent opens the face to tickle one down to third man for one. Afridi then throws the ball to umpire Daryl Harper, and they're off.

6th over - NZ 41-0
Vincent hoists Tanvir to leg again, but Imran Nazir makes an athletic stop on the boundary and they run two. Tanvir's response is to go round the wicket, but bowls a no-ball which gives the Kiwis a free hit. He sends down a (marginal) wide, which begats another free hit. The next one is outside the off-stump but isn't called a wide, despite being further out of the batsman's reach than the previous ball. More careless fielding allows another overthrow, and Boycs on TMS has noticed the rain too. Both batsmen scamper singles, and the umbrellas are going up as the ground staff get ready to rumble.

"I have always hated Inzi but his lack of foot movement and stand and deliver style might have done well in this tournament! Not denying he's big though!"
Rajiv Dattani in the TMS inbox

5th over - NZ 33-0
While Geoff Boycott on TMS confuses South African batsman Justin Kemp with distinguished actor Jeremy Kemp, some loose fielding allows McCullum a second run when no-one backs up a throw which hits the stumps but richochets away. Pakistan then think they've got Vincent when Umar Gul hits the stumps with another direct hit, but they're nowhere near. Worryingly, it looks like there could be rain in the air.

"I'm from NZ and am hoping that the Black Caps win! They always falter in other tournaments so here's hoping they can get their gear together and actually make a final!"
Nick in the TMS inbox

4th over - NZ 29-0
Vincent takes two to third man, before crashing a huge slog-swept six out of the ground over square leg. He tries the same shot which carries to fine leg and bounces just inside the boundary for four. A huge over for the Kiwis.

3rd over - NZ 15-0
More singles before a delightful shot by McCullum brings the first four of the innings as he carefully steers one to the midwicket boundary. The next ball is more of a bludgeoned slash to third man, which is also rewarded by four runs.

"Thank the lord for 20-20 commentary to try and drag me through a boring 8-hour shift at the Press Association with a rip-roaring hangover! I'll have a tenner on Pakistan"
Dan, sufffering in Howden, in the TMS inbox

As you may or may not know, the Press Association supply the statistics which go on to the BBC Sport website and Ceefax - so the next time the county scores stop working, feel free to blame it on Dan's hangover.

2nd over - NZ 4-0
Left-armer Sohail Tanvir slants one across McCullum who prods away for a single. The rest of the over is uneventful, before Vincent steers one past point for a single.

"'Big Boys'? Is Inzi back?"
Wahid Anwar in the TMS inbox

1st over - NZ 2-0
Mohammad Asif takes the new ball as per usual, and the first ball to Lou Vincent is down the leg side. Will New Zealand or Pakistan get caught out by the hour-earlier-than-usual start time - which nearly caught out a few of us here, including (ahem) me. (Many thanks to Paul Grunill and Pranav Soneji for kicking things off). Openers Vincent and McCullum take a single each from a fairly sedate opening over.

1158: The cry is "Come on big boys" as Pakistan emerge from their huddle.

1155: Right you lot, don't just sit there guffawing at my brilliant prose, we need you to get involved via the TMS inbox (the email address is above) or using the 606 website.

1145: A few changes to both teams. Pakistan have dropped the snail-like Salman Butt, bringing in the relatively unknown Fawad Alam, a left-handed batsman who can bowl left-arm spin.

New Zealand have made two changes - off-spinner Jeetan Patel comes in for Chris Martin while 'Two-metre' Peter Fulton is back in the XI for Nathan McCullum.

New Zealand: Vincent, B McCullum, Fulton, Taylor, Styris, McMillan, Oram, Vettori, Bond, Gillespie, Patel.

Pakistan: Imran Nazir, Mohammad Hafeez, Younus Khan, Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir.

1143: New Zealand have won the toss and will bat first, which suits Shoaib Malik just fine. The Pakistan captain said he would have bowled first if he had won the toss, so everyone's a winner.

1135: Morning all, it looks a glorious day in the Cape so we're in for an absolute crackerjack of a semi-final at Newlands.

We've got the man who has hit the biggest six of the tournament - Misbah-ul-Haq - going head-to-head against the man who has hammered the most sixes - Craig McMillan.

WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

Posted: 23 September 2007 at 4:49am | IP Logged

India ready for biggest match, says Dhoni

Reuters Sunday, September 23, 2007 2:48:49 AM

Durban: Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said India were ready for their "biggest match" after they reached the final of the ICC World Twenty20 on Saturday.

India beat Australia by 15 runs in their semi-final to set up a showdown with traditional rivals Pakistan in Johannesburg on Monday.

"It's the biggest stage and the biggest match you can play," Dhoni told a news conference.

"It's a match that needs to be played with intensity and I think we are ready to do that."

Despite the interest that will be generated by the match in the sub-continent, Dhoni said the Indians would not feel the pressure.

"The pressure will be immense, not on us though because I don't believe in taking pressure and none of my team do either," Dhoni said.

"Taking the pressure on board will not help you perform. It will bring down your confidence."

Yuvraj Singh, who spurred India to victory with an aggressive 70 off 30 balls, agreed with his captain.

"India versus Pakistan is a dream final, the whole world is going to be watching," Yuvraj said.

Australia, champions of the 50-over World Cup earlier this year, have dominated world cricket for more than a decade but on Saturday they were left to dwell on a rare defeat.

"We'll go away and talk about it, we'll realise this format is probably going to have a big impact on world cricket," Gilchrist told a news conference. "We need to analyse and put some thought into it.

"There's no-one up there in our dressing room who doesn't care about it.

"It's annoying and frustrating if you go into a competition hoping to win it and you don't."

WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

Posted: 23 September 2007 at 4:55am | IP Logged

Vivacious India defeats Australia by 15 runs

G Rajaraman (Sportz Interactive) Saturday, September 22, 2007 9:11:46 PM

Durban: Nobody dared move an inch from the edge of their seats at the Kingsmead Cricket Ground lest they miss any action and man, wasn't that some action in the ICC World Twenty20 semi-final! India held its nerve against a brave charge by Australia to win the spectacle by a handsome margin of 15 runs to set up a marketing man's dream – a final against Pakistan.

And on Saturday, the Indian cricketers showed that they were brave hearts. First it was Yuvraj Singh and company with the bat as they powered India to 188 for five with 128 runs in the final 10 overs. Then Sreesanth and Harbhajan Singh who led the bowling attack with their calm demeanour to help India extend its stupendous showing and give itself the chance to win the top prize on Monday.

The Australians, as is their wont, were game for the challenge. Skipper Adam Gilchrist set the tone with his big hitting against Rudra Pratap Singh. And it was when Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds came together for a stand of 66 runs that the thousands of tricolour-waving fans fell quiet but Sreesanth delivered them from their agony.

Sreesanth was focussed on the task at hand and unmindful of the mayhem unleashed at the other end. He produced 140 kmph corkers to send back Gilchrist, and when he came back to bowl the crucial 15th over, Hayden. His spell of 4-1-12-2 will be etched in the minds of all those who watched it for its intensity and 16 dot balls!

Harbahajan Singh was control and variation personified as he brought in Test match quality bowling to the crease under pressure. The others like RP Singh, Irfan Pathan and even Joginder Sharma showcased an ability to take a beating and bounce back strongly. Each of them accounted for at least one over each.

You could reach out and touch the electricity in the air as a charged up Yuvraj Singh led an India resurgence to a comfortable 188 for five in 20 overs. For the second time in five nights, he creamed the opposition attack to make a breezy half-century. His knock of 70 off 30 deliveries (five fours and five sixes), coupled with spirited efforts by Robin Uthappa (34, 28 balls, one four, three sixes) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (36, 18 balls, four fours and a six) strengthened the dreams of thousands in the stadium and millions in the sub-continent – a juicy India-Pakistan final.

Before the start of the match, the question on top of everyone's mind was whether Yuvraj would be fit to play the game. The explosive left-hander had sat out of the match against South Africa with a sore elbow but he ruled himself fit to take on the Australians. And he engineered so much electricity in the atmosphere that the stadium lights could have been powered by that.

Yuvraj Singh walked in at the fall of Gautam Gambhir's wicket at 41 after the opener had made 24 but eight overs had already been played and Australia was on top of its game. He pulled the second ball he faced over square-leg and announced his intentions of leading an India fightback in a knock that reminded many of his innings against Australia in Nairobi back in 2000.

His clinical aggression negated the many dot balls that Uthappa was forced to play in his quest to ensure that India would not lose more wickets and come under additional pressure.   India raced from 60 in the 10th over to finish with 188 – a whopping 128 runs in the second half of the innings. Yuvraj can take credit for giving direction to the 84-run stand with Uthappa.

Gilchrist, leading the side in Ricky Ponting's absence, and Stuart Clark – man of the match in the team's sensational win over Sri Lanka a couple of days ago challenged Yuvraj with a strong leg-side. The Indian vice-captain picked up the gauntlet and creamed the pace bowler for 20 runs, including a pulled six over mid-wicket and two fours over the cover fielder.

One thing became sure. T20 cricket is not for the weak-hearted. Not it if packs in so much excitement in one evening.

Australia Squad
Adam Gilchrist (Captain and wicket-keeper), Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Brad Hodge, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark, Nathan Bracken.

India Squad
Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain and wicket-keeper), Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Joginder Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Rudra Pratap Singh, S Sreesanth

WillSmith456 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 27 September 2006
Posts: 6442

Posted: 24 September 2007 at 10:14am | IP Logged
ICC World Twenty20

ICC World Twenty20 final, Johannesburg:
India 157-5 (20 overs) bt Pakistan 152 (19.3 overs) by five runs

By Paresh Soni

India fought back superbly to become the first World Twenty20 champions
India fought back superbly to become the first World Twenty20 champions

India beat Pakistan in the World Twenty20 final by five runs to clinch their first major trophy since 1983.

They were up against it when Umar Gul (3-28) helped restrict them to 157-5, which Gautam Gambhir's 75 dominated.

But RP Singh struck twice early on and Irfan Pathan took 3-16 as a succession of Pakistanis gave away their wickets.

Misbah-ul-Haq (43) rallied them with three sixes off Harbhajan Singh and another in the final over, but fell to Joginder Sharma to end an amazing game.

It brought a hugely entertaining tournament to a fitting climax, which was always likely - after all, the teams tied their group game.

There was a similar frenzied atmosphere when the latest instalment in their rich rivalry commenced at a packed Wanderers.


Gambhir was a figure of calm assurance, however, after debutant Yusuf Pathan and Robin Uthappa perished with mis-timed heaves during a frenetic opening.

He placed and timed the ball elegantly, particularly through the covers, in bringing up his fifty in 38 balls.

The left-hander put India on course for a formidable total, but Yuvraj Singh - the hero against England and Australia - never got going as Gul exerted control with his clever variations in pace and length.

Gul took a return catch after Yuvraj top-edged a pull and sent skipper Mahendra Dhoni's leg-stump flying as the scoring slowed dramatically between the 14th and 18th overs.

Umar Gul celebrates a wicket
Umar Gul pegged the India back during an impressive spell

Gambhir quite literally hurt Gul's figures by smashing the ball into the scoreboard over the mid-wicket fence but Gul had the last word by having him snapped up at short fine-leg to become the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 13.

Rohit Sharma collected successive fours off Yasir Arafat, while Mohammad Hafeez helped a swipe off Sohail Tanvir over the wide long-on boundary to take the score past 150.

But India still had a lot of work to do to clinch their first major silverware since the 1983 World Cup final and deny their neighbours the chance to emulate their 1992 50-over triumph.

Their prospects looked brighter when Hafeez guided RP Singh's fifth ball to Robin Uthappa at slip and Kamran Akmal lost his off-stump to an inswinger from the left-arm paceman.

As long as Imran Nazir stayed at the crease the run rate was never likely to be an issue.

He battered two fours and two sixes off an atrocious first over from the erratic Sree Santh which cost 21 runs.

Younus Khan was nowhere near as convincing, although he managed to get bat on ball to collect successive leg-side fours off Santh to take the team past 50 in the sixth over.

The innings then capitulated from 52-2 to 77-6 as Dhoni's bowling changes took the pace off the ball.

Nazir, who went into the game with a groin problem and was refused a runner, was short of the crease when Uthappa's throw from mid-off hit the stumps.

RP Singh took three wickets as India fought back
RP Singh took three wickets as India fought back

Younus holed out to mid-on, while skipper Shoaib Malik and dangerman Shahid Afridi, who went first ball, tossed their wickets away with ambitious heaves off Irfan Pathan.

The seamer cleaned up Yasir Arafat to end a brief revival but Misbah swung off-spinner Harbhajan between cow corner and long-on for three thumping sixes, and Tanvir flicked the returning Santh for two more maximums to provide a massive twist in the tale.

Crucially, Santh knocked out the tail-ender's off-stump and RP Singh cleaned up Gul with his penultimate delivery.

The inexperienced Joginder Sharma was entrusted with the final over and began with a horrible wide and when Misbah battered another six down the ground the game looked up.

But Misbah's gamble of trying to loft the ball over the keeper's head backfired horribly and handed a stunning victory to India.

farisss4 IF-Dazzler

Joined: 10 November 2006
Posts: 2585

Posted: 30 September 2007 at 4:47am | IP Logged
am willing to do anything for Pakistan - Yousuf

Cricinfo staff

September 27, 2007

Mohammad Yousuf and Nasim Ashraf address the assembled media AFP

Mohammad Yousuf has agreed to cancel his contract with the Indian Cricket League (ICL) and opted instead to represent Pakistan after talks with Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

"I had a fruitful meeting with Yousuf today and he has signed a central contract with the PCB after agreeing not to play in the ICL," Ashraf said. "He is now available to represent Pakistan. He is the backbone of Pakistan's batting and we are happy that he is back."

Yousuf, together with Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imran Farhat and Abdul Razzaq, signed on with the league over a month ago. Though it wasn't said at the time, the decision was thought to be a result of his axing from Pakistan's squad for the ICC World Twenty20. Razzaq, who was also axed, announced his retirement from international cricket, a decision he has yet to take back.

"Whatever I have achieved is because of my country and I am willing to do anything for Pakistan," Yousuf told Cricinfo. "I didn't know this clause in the ICL contract that priority had to be given to the league instead of Pakistan when international matches are happening simultaneously."

Yousuf was unwilling to say what the legal repercussions might be of opting out of the ICL contract, saying the board would handle all such issues.

However, the executive president of the ICL, Ashish Kaul, clarified to Cricinfo that the ICL would not object to Yousuf playing for Pakistan if matches clash. "We will not object. Our contract with Yousuf does not stop him from playing for Pakistan."

Kaul also said that the ICL has not received any intimation from Yousuf about cancellation of the contract. "As per the contract between Mohammad Yousuf and ICL, he will play for ICL as per mutually agreed terms and conditions. We have no information that states otherwise. As far as ICL is concerned, Yousuf is playing for ICL."

Though no similar moves have been made for the other three, the development represents a considerable coup for the Pakistan board, who have made no secret of their desire to lure Yousuf back. With the first Test against South Africa to begin on Monday, it means he is at least available to shore up a thin-looking middle order, which already has to fill the considerable gap left by Inzamam.

Yousuf was recently selected ICC's Test player of the year for an outstanding 2006, in which he scored a world record 1788 Test runs with nine hundreds.

gr8 newzz....but...sad to follow..

Afridi pulls out of South Africa Tests

Cricinfo staff

September 27, 2007

Shahid Afridi played a major role in helping Pakistan reaching the final of the ICC World Twenty20 AFP

Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan allrounder, has opted out of the Test series against South Africa, indicating he did not want to play while fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.

Salahuddin Ahmed, chief selector confirmed that Afridi had asked to be rested for the Test series and his request had been accepted. "Afridi asked the board to give him a rest because he wanted to fast during the remaining part of Ramadan," Salahuddin said. "We have decided to accept his request and allowed him a rest. He will be in consideration for the one-day series."

"I asked the Pakistan board to allow me to skip the two Tests against South Africa because it would be difficult to fast and play in Ramadan," Afridi told AFP.

Afridi dismissed suggestions that he had withdrawn because of his poor show in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 against India. "We lost the final due to poor batting and I apologised to the fans for not doing my part in the final but that did not influence my decision of not playing Tests."

Afridi was named Player of the Tournament in South Africa with 91 runs at a strike rate of 197.82 and 12 wickets at an economy rate of 6.71.

Pakistan's squad for the first Test against South Africa is scheduled to be announced on Friday.

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