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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Watch South Africa v England, 2nd ODI Live Streaming

South Africa v England, 2nd ODI, Centurion

Kallis ruled out of one-day series

Match Facts

Sunday, 22 Nov 2009


South Africa flag England flag South Africa Vs England

Venue :2nd One Day International, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Live action starts from: 08:00 GMT (13:30 IST) ODI England Tour of South Africa 2009-10 One Day International Match


Jacques Kallis collects through the leg side during his 81, South Africa v Zimbabwe, 2nd ODI, Centurion, November 10, 2009
Jacques Kallis played purely as a batsman recently and his rib injury is more serious than first thought

Jacques Kallis has been ruled out of the one-day series against England with a fractured rib and is also doubtful for the opening Test at Centurion Park on December 16.

It is thought Kallis suffered the injury during last month's Champions League in India but the seriousness of the problem was only revealed in recent days when he underwent a scan after the pain hadn't disappeared.

"He just wasn't getting better from that injury," Mickey Arthur, the South Africa coach, said. "We had him re-scanned this morning and found there is a fracture in the cartilage of the rib - which clearly affects his performances for the next four weeks.

His absence will be a significant blow to South Africa and means they will need to adjust the balance of their side to cover for the loss of a batsman and a bowler.

Kallis was set to partner Graeme Smith at the top of the order in a reshaped batting line-up, but now there will have to be another rethink. Hashim Amla is the likely replacement as opener, but the selectors may be tempted to call up Loots Bosman after his exceptional performances during the Twenty20 series including a 45-ball 94 in the second match at Centurion Park.

The opening game of the series at the Wanderers was abandoned without a ball bowled on Friday but the forecast is better for Sunday's meeting at Centurion.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Watch Pakistan Vs New Zealand T20 Live Streaming

Cricket: Black Caps eye Twenty20 challenge


Tim Southee wants his side to carry their winning momentum from the ODI series into the Twenty20s against Pakistan. Photo / Getty Images

Tim Southee wants his side to carry their winning momentum from the ODI series into the Twenty20s against Pakistan.

Thursday, 12 Nov 2009

Pakistan flag New Zealand flag Pakistan Vs New Zealand

Venue :1st Twenty20 International, Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium
Live action starts from: 16:00 GMT (21:30 IST) T20 Pakistan and New Zealand in UAE 2009-10 Twenty20 International Match

In-form bowler Tim Southee believes New Zealand can carry the momentum of a one-day international series win over Pakistan into the Twenty20 series starting in Dubai on Friday morning (NZT).

Captain Daniel Vettori's men came back from losing the first match of the one-day series in Abu Dhabi by 138 runs to record back-to-back successes - by 64 runs and seven runs.

And even though Pakistan have beaten New Zealand in successive World Twenty20 events in 2007 and 2009, Southee believed the one-day result will provide a confidence boost for the Black Caps.

"Pakistan have proved they're a great Twenty20 outfit - they're the world champions - and they've got the wood over us in the last few outings," he said.

"But hopefully we can carry some momentum from the ODIs into the Twenty20 series and continue the form we've shown in the last couple of matches."

That series win almost didn't happen, of course, thanks to the remarkable 10th-wicket stand of 103 between Mohammad Aamer (73 not out) and Saeed Ajmal (33) yesterday.

Southee admitted that while logic said Pakistan should never win the match, there were doubts creeping in before Ajmal was dismissed in the final over.

"With them being nine down it was a question of saying it would only take one ball so we were pretty confident it would happen at some stage," said the 20 year-old who impressed with two for 26 in his 10 over-spell.

"Then again, when it got to within 20 or 30 runs, everyone was a bit nervous and it gave us a bit of a scare.

"If they had been eight down then it might have been a different story but we were only ever one ball away from that last wicket."

Southee has spent the series occupying the same slot as Ajmal, propping up the bating line-up at number 11 despite scoring 77 not out from only 40 balls on test debut against England in Napier in March 2008.

And he is keen to move up the order and realise his potential with the bat as soon as he can.

"I'd love to get as far as I can with my batting," he said

"You look at someone like Daniel Vettori, his batting over the last few years has been outstanding and it just shows you it can be done as he started at 10 or 11 when he was a youngster.

"It's not going to happen overnight and hopefully slowly it progresses.

"It's something I'm willing to work on as I don't want to be batting at number 11 too much longer."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Watch Pakistan v New Zealand, 2nd ODI Live Streaming

Pakistan v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi

Pakistan chase rare series win

November 5, 2009

Match facts

Friday, 06 Nov 2009

Pakistan flag New Zealand flag Pakistan Vs New Zealand

Venue :2nd One Day International, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi (D/N)
Live action starts from: 11:00 GMT (16:30 IST) ODI Pakistan and New Zealand in UAE 2009-10 One Day International Match

Friday, November 6
Start time 15:00 (11:00 GMT)


Shane Bond celebrates the dismissal of Younis Khan with his team-mates, Pakistan v New Zealand, 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi, November 3, 2009
Younis Khan's 0 was indicative of Pakistan's top order-blues

The ICC World Twenty20 apart, Pakistan have not been good at winning series or tournaments in recent years. They haven't won a Test series in three years and an ODI series for a year. Their win at the Sheikh Zayed stadium on Tuesday has, however, given them an ideal opportunity to change that statistic on Friday.

They are in good shape to do it as well; most of their bowlers looked sharp and took wickets, the fielding wasn't a mess either, the lower middle order was in the runs and Shahid Afridi is in irrepressible mood. The only real issue was Salman Butt's less than convincing return, though in fairness, Pakistan's lack of opening strength has been an issue for so long, it has become a non-issue. Younis Khan's duck will be a graver concern, as it represents a longer pattern of ODI indifference this year. If they win the series another low score might not hurt so much, but it will be gnawing away at him.

Though they were thumped, New Zealand have little reason to be disheartened. They know they were in the game for quite some time only really giving it away in the last 15 overs of their bowling. Kyle Mills and James Franklin are a handy pair to welcome back from injury; if Shane Bond's schizophrenic outing - his second spell was as poor as the first was magnificent - was just a one-off, then there exists a more than workable pace attack.

Of greater concern looked the batting; at times some of their batsmen looked genuinely out of their depth against Mohammad Aamer and Saeed Ajmal. In fairness that may also have been exacerbated by playing in unfamiliar conditions - Australia earlier this year also took time to adjust, but they eventually did so in the end. At least they have got the one obligatory Pakistan-induced collapse - the last six wickets fell for 30 - out of the way.

Form guide (most recent first)

New Zealand LLWWW
Pakistan WWLLW

Watch put for

The likely return of the world's top-ranked ODI bowler. If the surface is similar to the one on which the first game was played, Kyle Mills will enjoy it a fair bit. He is at his best when there is a little spice in the conditions, with the new ball, as he showed in his last ODI outing during the Champions Trophy final. Against a nervy top-order, it could be fun viewing.

If you can take your eyes off Afridi, there are a host of men: Kamran Akmal, his younger brother, Aamer, Ajmal, Gul. But the more discerning Pakistani will keep an eye on Khalid Latif. His maiden ODI fifty on Tuesday was slow, mostly unremarkable, but vital and it presented an interesting change of type: he is not, by nature, a sluggish player at all as one glance at his domestic feats will reveal. But he has long been talked about as a potential opener for Pakistan and so his progress, more than the others, will be keenly followed.

Teams

Mills and James Franklin are both in with a chance of playing and the former, if fit, is likely to walk straight back in. Jacob Oram didn't look too flash in the first ODI, with bat or ball, so Franklin's left-handed all-roundedness is a real option.

New Zealand (probable): Aaron Redmond, Brendon McCullum (wk), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Daniel Vettori (capt), Jacob Oram/James Franklin, Neil McCullum, Shane Bond, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee

Why change an XI that can do what it did in the first ODI? People will crib about Butt, but now that he is back, persisting with him for one more game makes sense.

Pakistan (probable): Salman Butt, Khalid Latif, Younis Khan (capt), Mohammad Yousuf, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamer, Saeed Ajmal

Pitch and conditions

The pitch for the first ODI was actually an ideal surface for the format. There was plenty of help for bowlers early on, movement for the faster ones and turn for spinners, but if they didn't get it right - as New Zealand's bowlers found in the second half of their innings - there were plenty of runs on offer. If the second match is played on a similar surface, there will be some more cracking cricket.

Stats and trivia

  • In 11 ODIs in the UAE against Pakistan, New Zealand have yet to register a single win
  • Afridi's Man-of-the-Match award in the first ODI was his third in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in only 13 games Pakistan have played at the venues
  • In his last 31 ODIs Daniel Vettori has conceded over six runs an over only twice and five runs just seven times

Quotes

"It is important that we keep the winning momentum, win the second after which we have a chance of a clean sweep."
Younis Khan is targetting an unassailable lead over New Zealand.

"Afridi has got to another level as a bowler and the partnership he is forming with Ajmal is real key to Pakistan's success. We played Ajmal in the Champions Trophy and know we can handle him."
Daniel Vettori is all praise for Pakistan's spin duo.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Watch India v Australia, 3rd ODI Live Streaming

India v Australia, 3rd ODI, Delhi

Reinforced Australia prepare to fight back

October 30, 2009

Match facts

Saturday, 31 Oct 2009
India flag Australia flag India Vs Australia

Venue :3rd One Day International, Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi (D/N)
Live action starts from: 09:00 GMT (14:30 IST) ODI Australia Tour of India 2009-10 One Day International Match


Saturday, October 31
Start time 14.30 (09.00GMT)


Ricky Ponting looks on during a training session, New Delhi, October 30, 2009
Ricky Ponting's resources have taken a severe hit in India

Big Picture

Ricky Ponting doesn't like the idea of a seven-match ODI series. It's too long, he believes. Now that the first two games in India are out of the way with one win each, he can pretend his team are about to embark on a five-match series. That of course ignores the question of momentum, which is firmly in India's favour after their 99-run victory in Nagpur. Not a lot went right for Australia on Wednesday and, with injuries still plaguing their squad, they haven't been able to enjoy a settled build-up to the third game in Delhi. Australia's main problem surrounds their attack and its inability to contain India's powerful batting line-up. An injured Brett Lee is flying home and an unfit James Hopes is expected to miss this clash, making India favourites to go 2-1 up.

For India, there isn't much they can improve on their Nagpur effort, although they'll be keen for Sachin Tendulkar to post his first decent score of the series. MS Dhoni's remarkable century in the second match, combined with strong efforts from Suresh Raina and Gautam Gambhir, have given Australia plenty of headaches leading into the Delhi encounter. The one key difference between Nagpur and Delhi should be the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch, which is not expected to produce a particularly high-scoring match.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

Australia - LWWWW
India - WLWLW

Watch out for ...

Gautam Gambhir: Yes, it was Dhoni who stole the show in Nagpur but in both matches so far Gambhir has contributed substantially at the top of the order. In Vadodara, his 68 from 85 deliveries steadied India after the early loss of the openers, and in Nagpur, he made 76 off 80 balls to set up the platform from which Dhoni launched his assault. The Australians will be desperate to remove Gambhir early at the Kotla; India will look to their No. 3 for another anchoring role.

Shaun Marsh: Indian viewers have seen the very best of Marsh during the IPL and Tim Paine's departure should ensure Marsh opens with Shane Watson for the remainder of the series. He's most comfortable at the top of the order and will be keen to re-establish himself as one of Australia's permanent one-day openers following a six-month lay-off that started when he hurt his hamstring during the series in the UAE against Pakistan.

Team news

With no injuries to speak of, India have no reason to alter their line-up. After a 99-run victory, why would you?

India (probable): 1 Sachin Tendulkar, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Gautam Gambhir, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Ashish Nehra.

The situation isn't so clear-cut for Australia. Lee's elbow injury has ended his series and Hopes remains on the sidelines. Australia's sub-standard bowling effort in Nagpur could bring Moises Henriques and Doug Bollinger into the equation, with Ben Hilfenhaus especially vulnerable having leaked 83 runs on Wednesday. Ponting wasn't happy with the team balance in Nagpur, which could mean a debut for Henriques, probably at the expense of Adam Voges. Graham Manou will replace the injured Paine but won't take his batting position and is likely to slot in at No. 7.

Australia: (probable) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Shaun Marsh, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Cameron White, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Adam Voges/Moises Henriques, 7 Graham Manou (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Nathan Hauritz, 10 Peter Siddle, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus/Doug Bollinger.

Pitch and conditions

The quality of the Kotla pitch in Delhi was slammed during the Champions League Twenty20, when slow, low bounce made it mighty hard to score runs. For the ODI the pitch is expected to be a bit better, but not much. Batsmen will need to be extra judicious in protecting against straight balls due to the low bounce. In short, don't expect a repeat of the 354 India posted in Nagpur.

Stats and trivia

  • During the Adam Gilchrist years, Australia's other wicketkeepers barely got a look-in as Brad Haddin held down the No. 2 spot. Things have quickly changed and Manou will be the fifth gloveman Australia have used in ODIs in just over 18 months, after Gilchrist, Haddin, Luke Ronchi and Paine.

  • Australia haven't played an ODI in Delhi since 1998, which means Ponting is the only man in their squad with international one-day experience there.

  • MS Dhoni's 124 in Nagpur was the highest score by any captain against Australia in an ODI, beating Sanath Jayasuriya's 122 in 2003.

Quotes

"Although we were soundly outplayed the other day, the positive of that was we were one-nil up in the series, so we're back to level pegging now, back to a five-match series really."
Ricky Ponting wants to start afresh in what is effectively a five-match contest now.

"We will try to carry the confidence from Nagpur and build on that rather than think about injuries to the Australians. Of course it's a big problem for them ... but we are focussing mainly on what we have to do well, and of course fielding is a major part."
MS Dhoni isn't placing much importance on Australia's problems.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Watch India Vs Australia 2nd ODI Live Streaming

India v Australia, 2nd ODI, Nagpur

India out to hurt injury-hit Australia


Match facts

Wednesday, 28 Oct 2009
India flag Australia flag India Vs Australia

Venue :2nd One Day International, Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Jamtha, Nagpur (D/N)
Live action starts from: 09:00 GMT (14:30 IST) ODI Australia Tour of India 2009-10 One Day International Match


Wednesday, October 28
Start time 14.30 local time (09.00GMT)

Big Picture


Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli go through the fielding drill, Vadodara, October 24, 2009
Yuvraj Singh's impending return means Virat Kohli would go back to warming the bench
Australia's lead-up to their second clash against India in Nagpur will be more structured than the approach to the first, when their pre-match plans were affected by the late arrival of the New South Wales players participating in the Champions League final and their game-time strategy hit by the loss of Brett Lee and James Hopes during India's chase. This time their bad news has come in advance - Lee and Hopes are out with elbow and hamstring problems, and there are doubts over Mitchell Johnson, who hurt his ankle, as well, although coach Tim Nielsen was hopeful about his participation - yet they will be challenged to repeat the win they recorded at Vadodara.

India, on the other hand, are likely to be boosted by the return of Yuvraj Singh, who had broken his finger during the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa. Among the several problems India faced in Vadodara - a scattergun bowling attack, a mis-firing top order, and a less-than-electric fielding unit - was inexperience in the middle and lower order. Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja are promising emerging talents but fielding both players in the same XI doesn't inspire much confidence. Yuvraj's inclusion will solve that problem.

Wedneday's game will be the first one-day international in Nagpur since the new stadium was built on the city's outskirts in Jamtha. It had hosted the deciding Test of the India-Australia series in 2008 but that match was blighted by poor crowds largely due to the inaccessibility of the venue. One-day cricket, however, is a far bigger draw than the five-day version and only the commute, especially back to the city after the match ends at night, could prevent a packed house at the one of India's best stadiums.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

Australia - WWWWW
India - WWLWL

Watch out for ...

Virender Sehwag: He hadn't played international cricket since the tour of New Zealand earlier this year and his first two balls in Vadodara reminded everyone of what India had missed. Sehwag cracked Lee through point and midwicket for fours and added another boundary, against Peter Siddle, a ball later. However, he didn't carry on and his brief innings - 13 off 11 balls - would have merely whetted his appetite.

Yuvraj Singh: On his day, Yuvraj is among the most destructive one-day batsmen, and his days tend to happen more often at home than abroad. Yuvraj averages 43 at a strike-rate of nearly 95 while playing in India, compared to an average and strike-rate of 39 and 84 overseas. In his last one-day series in India, he devastated England, hammering 325 runs in five innings at a strike-rate of nearly 130.

The batting Powerplay: Both teams struggled after taking it in Vadodara. Australia managed only 33 runs off theirs, taken between 43 and 47, and lost three wickets. India were worse. They opted for it in the 35th over, lost Gautam Gambhir first ball, and scored 32 for 3 during the fielding restrictions.

Nathan Hauritz: Watch out for Hauritz? Really? His seemingly gentle offbreaks are always under-rated but he bowled a valuable spell in the first ODI. He kept the run-rate down during the Dhoni-Gambhir partnership and had figures of 7-1-15-1 before getting hit by Harbhajan Singh towards the end of the game. He was not the most heralded spinner in the series but he was the best one on show in Vadodara.

Team news

India have a few changes to ponder over. If Yuvraj returns, it will be at the expense of either Kohli or Jadeja. However, Yuvraj's return adding strength to the middle order could also result in India fielding the extra specialist spinner in Amit Mishra if the pitch is conducive for slow bowling. In that case, both Kohli and Jadeja could miss out. The other player likely to miss out could be Praveen Kumar, who leaked 77 runs off ten overs in the first game. Despite his success with the bat, his spot could go to Munaf Patel.

India: (probable) 1 Sachin Tendulkar, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Gautam Gambhir, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Praveen Kumar/Munaf Patel, 11 Ashish Nehra.

Assuming Johnson will be passed fit, Australia have to replace Lee and Hopes. The contenders are Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus, Jon Holland and Shaun Marsh. Either Bollinger or Ben Hilfenhaus is a certainty for the third fast bowler's spot, and considering Australia got by with Hopes bowling only two overs in the first game, they could strengthen their batting and give his spot to Shaun Marsh.

Australia: (probable) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Tim Paine (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Shaun Marsh, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Adam Voges, 7 Cameron White, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Nathan Hauritz 10 Doug Bollinger/Ben Hilfenhaus, 11 Peter Siddle.

Pitch and conditions

Deciding what to after winning the toss in India is usually a no-brainer. Most teams prefer to bat, and take advantage of a slowing pitch as the game progresses. However, the decision in Nagpur may not be so clear cut. The pitch is expected to be flat and excellent for run-making but dew in the evenings could make captains think twice before batting first, especially if there are a few slow bowlers in the line-up. Dhoni said that one of the matches during the recent Challenger Trophy was severely affected by dew and he said the organisers were trying to minimize its effect on the game by spraying the ground with chemicals.

"It looks like a good wicket. And if there is dew, they will spray the outfield, may be use the super-sopper as well during the drinks break," Nielsen said. "But yes, it will be a bit more difficult with dew around especially for spin bowlers who will find it hard to grip the ball. It will have an impact. For the team batting second, the difficulty in chasing will be reduced a bit with dew around so the team batting first needs to make a competitive total."

Stats and trivia

  • Ricky Ponting is the highest run-scorer in ODIs in 2009, having scored 1005 runs in 24 matches with two centuries and seven fifties. Michael Hussey is third with 926 at an average of 42.

  • MS Dhoni has the best average for anyone who's played atleast 10 matches in 2009. Dhoni's scored 768 runs in 21 matches at an average of nearly 70.

  • Shane Watson has the distinction of having scored the most hundreds and ducks in 2009. He's scored three centuries to date, and also been dismissed for duck four times.

  • Mitchell Johnson is the leading wicket-taker in 2009, with 39 wickets in 26 matches at an average of nearly 30 apiece.

Quotes

"Brett is certainly out of tomorrow's game but Mitchell Johnson's woken up a lot better today morning than we thought he would be when we drafted the media release yesterday evening. We will see how he pulls up through the training session today and all the indications are that he might well be available tomorrow morning. At this stage, Mitchell is not completely out."
Tim Nielsen is keeping his fingers crossed on Johnson.

"We have not been great with our death bowling. If you see the last game, the first few overs - 42nd over onwards - it was good and in the 50th we gave away one run. In between there was a span of four overs when we gave away 50-52 runs."
MS Dhoni knows India's bowling at the end of the innings is a problem.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Watch Bangladesh Vs Zimbabwe 1st ODI Live Streaming

Tuesday, 27 Oct 2009

Bangladesh flag Zimbabwe flag Bangladesh Vs Zimbabwe

Venue :1st One Day International, Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur (D/N)
Live action starts from: 07:30 GMT (13:00 IST) ODI Zimbabwe Tour of Bangladesh 2009-10 One Day International Match

Zimbabwe avenged their opening match loss to BCB XI, with a massive 192 victory over the same opponents in their second tour match. Batting first, the Zimbabwean batsmen got good batting practice as they put up a huge total of 355 for the loss of only 5 wickets.

Brendan Taylor topscored for Zimbabwe with a rapidfire 137 ball 139 composed of six sixes and nine fours. He was responsible for a 188-run partnership for the second wicket with Tatenda Taibu that laid the foundation for a massive total. Taibu added 68. In return, BCB XI began on the wrong foot when they lost their opener Imrul Kayes off the first delivery of the innings from Chris Mpofu. Zimbabwean bowlers continued to chip at the BCB XI batsmen who limped to 143 runs before being all out in the 37th over.

The first ODI of the five match series will be played on October 27 at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Watch Diamond Eagles Vs New South Wales CLT20 Live Streaming

Friday, 09 Oct 2009
Diamond Eagles flag New South Wales flag Diamond Eagles Vs New South Wales

Venue :2nd Match Group B, Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
Live action starts from: 10:30 GMT (16:00 IST) T20 Champions Twenty20 League 2009-10 Twenty20 match Match

Watch Delhi Daredevils Vs Victorian Bushrangers CLT20 Live Streaming

Friday, 09 Oct 2009

Delhi Daredevils flag Victorian Bushrangers flag Delhi Daredevils Vs Victorian Bushrangers

Venue :3rd Match Group D, Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
Live action starts from: 14:30 GMT (20:00 IST) T20 Champions Twenty20 League 2009-10 Twenty20 match Match

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Watch Bangalore Royal Challengers Vs Cape Cobras live Streaming

Steyn, Dravid lead RCB to convincing win

Thursday, 08 Oct 2009
Bangalore Royal Challengers flag Cape Cobras flag Bangalore Royal Challengers Vs Cape Cobras

Venue :1st Match Group C, M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
Live action starts from: 14:30 GMT (20:00 IST) T20 Champions Twenty20 League 2009-10 Twenty20 match




A fiery spell of fast bowling by Dale Steyn, in which he picked up four wickets, helped the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat Karnataka State Cricket Association XI (KSCA XI) by 15 runs in a warm-up match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.

Chasing a target of 146, KSCA XI did not have any momentum going for them and were bowled out for 130 in 19.1 overs. Bhuvanesh Kumar scored 35 which was the top score of the KSCA XI innings.

Steyn took the bowling honours for RCB with figures of 4 for 14, while R Vinay Kumar and Roeolf van der Merwe chipped in with two wickets apiece.

Earlier in the evening, RCB, led by Rahul Dravid's unbeaten 64, posted a competitive 145/4 in their allotted 20 overs. Dravid had only just returned from the Champions Trophy in South Africa and barely had had any time to recover from his jet lag. His knock came off 47 balls and consisted of three sixes and two boundaries. Virat Kohli made 24.

Gautam (2/31) took the bowling honours for KSCA XI, while Bhuvanesh Kumar and medium-pacer SL Akshay chipped in with a wicket each.

RCB, who have won both their warm-up matches, are due to take on Cape Cobras in the opening clash of the Champions League T20 in the M Chinnaswamy on Thursday evening.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Watch Australia v New Zealand, Champions Trophy, Final Live Streaming

Australia v New Zealand, Champions Trophy, final, Centurion

Underdog tale reaches tough climax

October 4, 2009


Match facts

Monday, October 5, 2009
Start time 1430 (1230 GMT)

Big picture


Daniel Vettori leads New Zealand out for the semi-final, New Zealand v Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy, 2nd semi-final, Johannesburg, October 3, 2009
Leader of men: Daniel Vettori has got the most out of the resources available to him

Underdogs in films make a mockery of the form book. Exhibit 1: New Zealand come to the Champions Trophy, sans superstars, sans high ICC rankings, and after being well and truly battered for more than a month in the sapping heat of Sri Lanka. They are - it is fair to say - the outsiders in this tournament.

Underdogs in the movies start out of their depth, find the happy knack of winning, and then start liking what they feel. Exhibit 2: New Zealand are outclassed by South Africa on a true Centurion pitch. Then Sri Lanka, fooled by the earlier two pitches at the Wanderers, put New Zealand in, and discover they have given their opponents first use of a batting beauty. Against England, New Zealand get a spitting beauty of a pitch, call right at the toss, and run through the batting.

Underdogs in the movies are hit by injuries, handicaps, and miseries, but every setback inspires them. Exhibit 3: New Zealand lose Jacob Oram before their campaign starts. Jesse Ryder pulls his left abductor muscle during the Sri Lanka game, but before leaving plays the kind of innings that must have led to the coining of the phrase "beware the wounded batsman". Then Daryl Tuffey, at the time looking their best bowler, breaks his hand while fielding and is ruled out for the rest of the tournament. Next up, Grant Elliott, hero of the win against England, breaks his thumb, but braves the injury to score a heroic unbeaten 75 in the semi-final.

The real villains start appearing only in the later stages of underdog movies. Exhibit 4: On paper Pakistan have everything they need to end this underdog tale, but their occasional overconfidence and exceptional play from the underdogs take New Zealand to the final.

Underdogs in the movies meet the biggest, scariest villain right at the end. Exhibit 5: It is always Australia's fate, or that of any champion team, that their excellence, consistency, their hard work, will always be seen as villainous in romantic underdog stories. We can also conveniently forget that they too lost three of their most important players - Nathan Bracken, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin - in the lead-up to the tournament. Champions, though, don't deserve such considerations. Every good underdog story needs a mean villain, and Australia have rarely failed to oblige at world events.

If more context is needed, New Zealand have historically seen Australia as big brothers, and have always sought to bring their best against them. Moreover, New Zealand are yet to beat Australia in a tournament final, and have lost six times (tournaments with more than one final have been considered as one). Centurion will not provide them with a freak pitch either. It's all stacked up against New Zealand this time, and no self-respecting underdog story would have it any other way.

How good this story is will be known by Monday evening, or rather early on Tuesday morning in Australia and New Zealand.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

Australia - WWWLW
Ominously they are peaking at the right time. Even more ominously they have survived the one token scare that champion sides face, in the game against Pakistan.

New Zealand - WWWLL
Their weakened line-up has made the rest even more determined. They will rely a lot on their bowlers and fielders to find a balance between defence and attack, and restrict Australia like they did Pakistan.

Team news

Both teams gave satisfactory performances in the semi-finals, and both are more or less settled - even if not entirely by design.

Australia (probable): 1 Shane Watson, 2 Tim Paine (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Cameron White, 6 Callum Ferguson, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Nathan Hauritz, 11 Peter Siddle.

A discussion on allrounder Brendon Diamanti has its merits - Neil Broom hasn't had much to do in the tournament - but New Zealand are not likely to tinker with a winning combination. And the way Elliott came through the semi-final, a big worry for them has been taken care of.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Aaron Redmond, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Neil Broom, 6 Grant Elliot, 7 James Franklin, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Kyle Mills, 10 Shane Bond, 11 Ian Butler.

Watch out for...

Daniel Vettori is definitely in the running for the Player-of-the-Series award. Against Sri Lanka he rescued a floundering middle order, and against Pakistan he promoted himself to No. 6 and guided a nervous side through to the final. And that's besides his routine job, during which he has taken seven wickets at an average of 17.71 and an economy-rate of 3.97. He is now four wickets short of the leading wicket-taker of the tournament, Wayne Parnell.

Ricky Ponting has a habit of turning it on on the big day. But he is a bruised captain, too, the only Australian leader since time immemorial to have lost the Ashes twice. He has also led them to successive unsuccessful campaigns at ICC events. When was the last time they failed to win three majors in a row?

Shane Watson is a threat to Vettori for that series award. He has taken six wickets at 16.83, and put behind him the lean run with the bat that he experienced at the end of the England series and at the start of this event. If he bats like he did in the semi-final, we could be in for a swift finish.

Pitch and conditions

Centurion, apart from the Pakistan-Australia game, has had flat batting pitches, which could made it harder for New Zealand to pull off an upset. A 30% chance of precipitation means we should get a complete game.

Stats and trivia

  • New Zealand have entered 13 tournament finals before this, and have won four of those.

  • Since their 1999 World Cup triumph, Australia have reached 19 tournament finals, and have lost only three: in 1999 to Sri Lanka in Colombo, and two CB Series finals to England and India in 2006-07 and 2007-08 respectively.

  • The whole New Zealand team has scored six ODI centuries between them (Ross Taylor 3 and Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill and Grant Elliott one each), Ponting has 28.

  • Australia have beaten New Zealand in six tournament finals. This will be their first meeting in a final at a neutral venue.

Quotes

"We are playing at a level which would win us the big games. We look to play best cricket when it matters. We are peaking at the right time for the finals."
Ricky Ponting can feel what those wanting a close contest are dreading.

"But once you reach that level, you realise there is an immense desire to go all the way and I think there's no relief in the camp. It was all about how we're going to win tomorrow as opposed to it's great the we've made it"
Reaching the final was once New Zealand's goal, but not anymore, says Daniel Vettori.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Watch New Zealand v Pakistan, Champions Trophy Semi-Final Live Streaming

New Zealand v Pakistan, Champions Trophy, semi-final, Jo'burg

Injury-hit NZ face volatile opponents

October 2, 2009



Younis Khan: "We need two more good days"

Match facts

Saturday, 03 Oct 2009

New Zealand flag Pakistan flag New Zealand Vs Pakistan

Venue :2nd Semi Final Match, New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg (D/N)
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) ODI ICC Champions Trophy 2009 One Day International Match

Saturday, October 3, 2009
Start time 1430 (1230 GMT)

Sri Lanka will now be a distant memory for these two teams. Leading into this tournament, both Pakistan and New Zealand took turns in getting battered and bruised in the heat and humidity of Sri Lanka. They came to South Africa with doubts looming over their ability to stick it out with other teams in formats longer than Twenty20. Both duly won their Twenty20s in Sri Lanka, and lost both Tests and ODIs comprehensively.

The weather in South Africa has been different, and so have been the results. New Zealand extracted swift revenge, knocking Sri Lanka out. But with every passing match they seem to be losing one player to injury. During their must-win game against England, Grant Elliot joined Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder and Daryl Tuffey on the injured list, and Scott Styris has been flown in as a stand-by. Their travel agent won't mind flying another man in, if that means making it to the next stage.

Their opponents have no such problems. Unlike their famous triumphs, the 1992 World Cup and the World Twenty20 earlier this year, Pakistan have looked solid from the off in South Africa. They have looked more like the Pakistan of the 1999 World Cup. Their bowling attack has appeared the most settled, the most varied, and the most skilful of the lot in this tournament. Their batting is the weak link - it has fluctuated from very good, against India, to circumspect, against Australia and West Indies. If Pakistan lose the toss and are put in at the Wanderers, that passage of play will be New Zealand's best chance of making this a close contest.

On paper Pakistan are favourites, and over the years they have used New Zealand as a stepping-stone in big tournaments. In 1992, New Zealand's first defeat in the World Cup opened doors for Pakistan's progress to the semi-final, where they were beaten by the same opposition. The semi-finals of the 1999 World Cup and 2007 World Twenty20 were a repeat. In the World Twenty20 in 2009, it was against New Zealand that Pakistan discovered momentum, and never lost it. New Zealand supporters, though, would want to look back at the semi-final of the Champions Trophy in 2000, when they beat Pakistan, and went on to win the final too.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

Pakistan - LWWWW
New Zealand - WWLLL

Team news

Imran Nazir is fit and should take Misbah-ul-Haq's place. The difficult problem is one that other teams would kill for: does Mohammad Asif go out for Mohammad Aamer? Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Umar Gul will be difficult to keep out too. If the Wanderers pitch looks especially green, they could go in with four fast bowlers too. What a throwback it would be but that's unlikely to happen if the pitch is dry.

Pakistan: (probable): 1 Imran Nazir, 2 Kamran Akmal, 3 Younis Khan (capt), 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Mohammad Yousuf, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, 9 Mohammad Aamer, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Umar Gul.

New Zealand don't have such problems of plenty. The batting looks amazingly thin in Ryder's absence. Aaron Redmond, who was too jetlagged to play the previous game, should come in. "Grant took part in training this morning and the injection to see how it's going - the injection works when he bats but not when he bowls," Daniel Vettori said. "We'll leave it till the last possible minute before making a decision."

New Zealand (probable): 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Aaron Redmond, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Neil Broom, 6 Grant Elliot/Scott Styris, 7 James Franklin, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Kyle Mills, 10 Shane Bond, 11 Ian Butler.

Watch out for...

Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor are two of the most experienced batsmen in the New Zealand line-up. How well they strike a balance between attacking and anchoring will be key to their team's chances.

Younis Khan has stalled his team's momentum twice in the two matches he has batted. He is the kind of captain who wants to earn respect as a player first, and will be under pressure to set that record straight on a pitch that is likely to test the techniques of Pakistan's batsmen.

Pitch and conditions

Vettori expects a pitch similar to the one New Zealand scored 300-plus on against Sri Lanka. "Looks like the Sri Lanka wicket, lots of runs in it. If so we're going to have to step up with the bat." There's only a 40% chance of rain but if the match is washed out, New Zealand will go through by the virtue of having topped Group B.

Stats and trivia

  • Both teams have made it to at least the semi-finals of three of the last four world events. New Zealand lost in the semi-finals of the 2007 World Cup and the World Twenty20 in the same year. Pakistan lost the final of the 2007 World Twenty20, and won the next edition of the same tournament.

  • Pakistan have met New Zealand nine times in ODIs in world events, and have won six.

  • All four day-night matches at the Wanderers in this tournament have been won by the chasing team.

  • Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi have bowled 51.2 overs between them in this tournament, for 203 runs and 10 wickets.

Quotes

"In the semi-final, it doesn't matter who you play against, or where you play, because it is a big game. Pressure is not only on us, but also on New Zealand. If we get through two more games we are the champions."
Younis Khan knows the importance of the occasion.

"Momentum is with us I think. It's a much preferable way to go into the semi-final, knowing we've won two big games, qualified top - where in the past we have scraped through - and go into the Pakistan game with confidence."
Daniel Vettori draws confidence from the same ground and conditions where his team has won two in a row.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Watch Australia Vs England Champions Trophy Semi Final Live Streaming

Australia Vs England Champions Trophy Semi Final 2 Oct Live


Friday, 02 Oct 2009
Australia flag England flag Australia Vs England

Venue :1st Semi Final Match, SuperSport Park, Centurion (D/N)
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) ODI ICC Champions Trophy 2009 One Day International Match


Paul CollingwoodAustralia will face England in the first semi-finals of the Champions Trophy at Centurion. In what will be a repeat of the seven game series leading up to the start of the tournament, the two sides will be meeting each other, in a more important game than the rest, as the winners will get a chance to play the winners of the Pakistan-New Zealand game next day.

The Aussies have had a reasonable tournament so far. In fact, apart from a stutter in the game against the lowly West Indies, they look like they are reasonably well-oiled and disciplined enough. It was a pleasant surprise to find Brett Lee bowl the manner in which he did against Pakistan, because he is usually a costly bowler and leaks many a runs. His bowling would augur well for the Aussies in the semi-finals, against an opposition which hasn't had the best of experiences playing him.

However, it will be the batting that would be looked up to get the necessary runs on the board. So far, the batting has not been tested under pressure in the competition; they batted first against India and West Indies, whereas against Pakistan they were chasing a very low total for a win. England will look to put the side under pressure by batting first and piling on the runs and then having them chase the target.

The English batting will heavily rely on two of their middle-order men, Paul Collingwood and Eoin Morgan. Collingwood hadn't had an extended run in the ODI series against Australia, while Morgan was still getting his eye in international cricket, but in this series, they have looked good and should take on the challenge head-on. And if Andrew Strauss or Joe Denly does come good, then life would be much easier for the middle order.

It will remain to be seen how the pitch behaves because that may dictate the strategy that the English side uses for their bowlers. If there is a decent chance of the tracks assisting the spin bowlers, and playing slower and lower as the day progresses, then the chances of having an additional spinner in the form of Adil Rashid are very high. Else, Graham Onions will prop the bowling up behind James Anderson and Stuart Broad, with Collingwood filling in a few overs as well.

All said and done, the match will be won by the side which will hold its nerves, and with the Aussies having won the preceding series, they will carry a huge advantage while playing against the English side.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Watch Australia v India Live Streaming, Champions Trophy

Australia v India, Champions Trophy, Group A, Centurion

India in battle for survival

September 27, 2009



Ricky Ponting raises the bat after getting his half-century, Australia v West Indies, ICC Champions Trophy, Group A, Johannesburg, September 26, 2009
A big Ponting score can be the difference between mediocrity and dominance from Australia

Match facts

Monday, 28 Sep 2009

Australia flag India flag Australia Vs India

Venue :9th Match Group A, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) ODI Australia Tour of England 2009 One Day International Match

Monday, September 28, 2009
Start time 14.30, 12.30 GMT

Big picture

There are all sorts of scenarios and permutations about which teams could make it through to the semi-finals in Group A but the simplest is this: if Australia beat India, it will be Pakistan and Australia who progress. The group will be done and dusted with two games to go. Things become more complex if India win. They will be in prime position due to their remaining game against a weakened West Indies and Australia's fixture against an unbeaten Pakistan. However, should India and Australia either both win or both lose their last group game, net run-rate will be required to determine the semi-finalists.

It means that there's a lot riding on this day-night encounter and neither team enters the match in peak form. India have the advantage of familiarity with the conditions at Centurion, where they lost to Pakistan on Saturday. Australia are coming off a win but it was a scratchy and in parts unconvincing victory against an under-strength West Indies in the different conditions at the Wanderers. It's hard to predict a winner, though the bookmakers favour Australia.

Australia will be most concerned about breaking India's opening partnership early; Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar have troubled Ricky Ponting's men in the past and Australia's fast bowlers lacked penetration against West Indies. The presence or absence of the stiff and sore Michael Clarke looms as another potential key. Unlike India, Australia aren't automatically out if they lose but it will be a hard road back. The teams meet for seven one-dayers in India in October and November but none will matter as much as this game.

Form guide


(last five completed matches, most recent first)

Australia - WLWWW

India - LWLWW

Team news


Clarke's stiff back ruled him out of the game against West Indies and Australia will be hoping he can get up for what should be a much tougher contest with India. Should Clarke prove his fitness, Australia must decide who to leave out and it's not an easy decision. Callum Ferguson, Cameron White and James Hopes are the likely contenders to drop out of the side and despite an excellent start to his international career, Ferguson could be the unlucky one as he does not offer a bowling option.

Australia (possible): 1 Shane Watson, 2 Tim Paine (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Callum Ferguson/Michael Clarke, 6 Cameron White, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Nathan Hauritz, 11 Peter Siddle.

MS Dhoni said he felt three bowlers short at times, such was the ease with which runs were scored in the middle of Pakistan's innings, and India are certain to play five specialist bowlers on Monday. Harbhajan Singh did not bowl well against Pakistan but he is a bogey player for Australia and regularly lifts against them. The other bowling options in India's squad are Praveen Kumar and the legspinner Amit Mishra, who is a strong contender. Praveen could edge in ahead of RP Singh, who took 1 for 59 in nine overs against Pakistan.

India (possible): 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Yusuf Pathan/Amit Mishra, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 RP Singh/Praveen Kumar, 10, Ishant Sharma, 11 Ashish Nehra.

Watch out for...


He might have retired from Twenty20 internationals but Ricky Ponting remains Australia's most important player in ODI cricket. He was magnificent in compiling 79 against West Indies in difficult conditions and a big Ponting score can be the difference between mediocrity and dominance from Australia. He has made plenty of runs against India, but Harbhajan and Ishant Sharma have caused him problems. As always with Ponting, the key is piercing his defences within his first couple of overs at the crease.

Ishant Sharma was one of the better bowlers against Pakistan with figures of 2 for 39, but he has struggled for consistency. But he has enjoyed success against Australia in the past and has nine ODI wickets at 19.33 against them. Importantly for India, he has a bit of a hold on Ponting, having dismissed him six times in international cricket. The ball angling in to the top of off stump troubles Ponting early and Ishant will be a key man for India for that reason alone. He has also dismissed Clarke six times, so Ishant may be hoping Australia's vice-captain passes his fitness test.

Pitch and conditions


India have the advantage of having just played in Centurion, where the conditions are different to the Wanderers. The surface is much slower and provides more assistance to the spinners. Runs are available if the bowlers fail to adjust and Australia will need to sharpen their efforts after struggling to run through West Indies on a cracking and helpful Johannesburg pitch. There is also a strong chance of showers in the evening, so the teams should bear that in mind at the toss.

Stats and trivia


  • Australia and India seem to play each other so often that it's hard to believe they haven't met in an ODI for 18 months, when India wrapped up the CB Series at the Gabba. It's so long ago that Adam Gilchrist was still playing

  • India have won four of eight ODIs they've played in Centurion; Australia have won four of seven. Both teams have lost their past two one-dayers there

  • Not since 2003 have India won a one-day international in South Africa; in the meantime they've lost six

  • The last time these teams met at Centurion, India were walloped by nine wickets, during the 2003 World Cup

Quotes

"We all know we need to play better than we did today against India"
Ricky Ponting after Australia's scrappy win over West Indies

"From now on it's like a knockout tournament for us. If we don't play well we can pack up our bags and go home."
MS Dhoni after India's loss to Pakistan

Friday, September 25, 2009

Watch India v Pakistan, Champions Trophy Live Streaming

India v Pakistan, Champions Trophy, Group A, Centurion

Less hype, more context

September 25, 2009


Match facts

Saturday, September 26, 2009

India Vs Pakistan

Venue :6th Match Group A, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) ODI ICC Champions Trophy 2009 One Day International Match


Start time 1430 (1230 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar shares a joke during training, Bangalore, August 30, 2009
No sleepless nights for Tendulkar this time


For once, India and Pakistan will not be playing on an island. India-Pakistan matches are usually separate events within the main event, oblivious to the larger picture of the tournament, but this game doesn't seem to be the usual matter of life and death. For once, this match, though the first big clash of the Champions Trophy in terms of traditional rivals coming face to face, is more about the cricket.

What's helped is the tight draw in the tournament format. Pakistan, who have been more vocal in setting up the match (Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul and Younis Khan have been quoted on how badly they want to beat India), will know only net run-rate can keep them out of semi-finals if they win this match. India, blighted by injuries to Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan, have a year and a half of good work done in ODIs to defend. A loss in their opening match will leave them needing to beat Australia and possibly run-rate calculations to go their way.

The build-up for this match, though, has been different from the last time the two teams met at the same venue, in the 2003 World Cup. Sachin Tendulkar then lived the match a year in advance. Everywhere he went, he was reminded of the match. He said he couldn't sleep properly for 12 nights leading into the game. March 1 was a day people of two countries lived for. If you had asked Tendulkar of this match six months ago, he would have - rightly - not known of any such fixture. Before March 1, 2003, the teams had not played each other for three years. In last three years now, they have played 17 ODIs, six Tests and two Twenty20s.

Hype or no hype, once the match begins, Centurion - and the rest of world, wherever the match is telecast - will be engrossed. Albeit slowly, the atmosphere will build. It can't be such a bad thing if a cricket match is a cricket match and not a war.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

India - WLWWL
Coming off a tri-series win in slow-and-low Sri Lanka, they will need to quickly adjust to livelier pitches in South Africa. Centurion, though, has assisted spin and makes for a smooth transition.

Pakistan - WWWLL
The bowling unit looks almost perfect, as it showed in the win over West Indies. Batting is the weak link, and they need bigger contributions from senior batsmen.

Team news

Gautam Gambhir and Younis are fit and ready. But for India the good news is offset immediately by the injury to Yuvraj. They should go with the same batting line-up that won in Sri Lanka, except for Gambhir replacing Yuvraj and Rahul Dravid moving down the order. They will be tempted to play two spinners at SuperSport Park, which has brought much joy to Ajantha Mendis and Roelof van der Merwe in the first two matches. The bowling has been cause of worry for India, and those last three slots will be the most discussed.

India (probable) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 6 Virat Kohli/Dinesh Karthik, 7 Yusuf Pathan, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9, 10 and 11 three out of Ishant Sharma, RP Singh, Ashish Nehra and Amit Mishra.

Who does Younis replace? Misbah-ul-Haq seems the most likely candidate; Umar Akmal would like to think he has earned another match after his Man-of-the-Match performance against West Indies. There seems no need to tinker with the bowling combination.

Pakistan (probable) 1 Imran Nazir, 2 Kamran Akmal (wk), 3 Younis Khan (capt.), 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Mohammad Yousuf, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, 9 Mohammad Aamer, 10 Umar Gul, 11 Saeed Ajmal


Watch out for...

Pakistan bowlers v Indian batsmen: As has so often been the case, this is the deciding mini contest. Pakistan have three different kinds of fast bowlers, and two different kinds of spinners, who will need a perfect show from opposition batsmen, if they are to be outdone.

Gautam Gambhir and Shahid Afridi Last checked they had to be physically separated from a mid-pitch altercation, in Kanpur. Since then Afridi has become a different man, so mature he seems almost possessed. Will he able to keep his calm when he comes to bowl to Gambhir? Will Gambhir survive for that long?

Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Aamer Tendulkar knows all about pressure, playing Pakistan, and playing Pakistan in pressure games. Will he try to bully and unsettle a 17-year-old opening the bowling against him?

MS Dhoni and Younis Khan Two men seemingly above negative emotion and most likely to stay composed in tense circumstances, and rightly the captains. Are they too cool for an India-Pakistan match?

Stats and trivia

  • Pakistan have beaten India only once in an ICC tournament, in the 2004 Champions Trophy. India have won in the World Cups in 1992, 1996, 1999 and 2003, and also twice in the 2007 World Twenty20.

  • Umar Akmal and Mohammad Aamer have never played India in an international. Neither have Virat Kohli, Amit Mishra and Abhishek Nayar played Pakistan.

  • Tendulkar, with 2381 runs to his name, is 22 short of Inzamam-ul-Haq's record aggregate in India-Pakistan matches. In current teams, Dravid (1823) and Afridi (1404) are the other leading run-getters.

  • In 14 ODIs against Pakistan, Harbhajan Singh has taken nine wickets at an average of 71.11 and a strike rate of 90.6 balls per wicket.

Quotes

"I was told four weeks rest but I want to take my chance tomorrow, playing against India. Maybe if it wasn't India I would've skipped this match"
Younis Khan forgets his injury to take on traditional rivals

Watch Australia v West Indies, Champions Trophy Live Streaming

Australia v West Indies, Champions Trophy, Group A, Johannesburg

More mismatch than rematch

September 25, 2009


Match facts

Saturday, 26 Sep 2009

Australia flag West Indies flag Australia Vs West Indies

Venue :5th Match Group A, New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Live action starts from: 07:30 GMT (13:00 IST) ODI ICC Champions Trophy 2009 One Day International Match

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Start time 9:30 am, 07:30 GMT




Brett Lee celebrates the dismissal of Adil Rashid, England v Australia, 4th ODI, Lord's, September 12, 2009
Brett Lee found form in England and will be one of the keys for Australia

In theory this is the rematch of the most recent Champions Trophy final. In reality, it looms as a serious mismatch. In 2006 in Mumbai, an Australian side featuring Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Damien Martyn, Brad Hogg and Andrew Symonds polished off a disappointing Brian Lara-led West Indies outfit to take the title. Flash forward three years and Australia, the defending champions, have lost much of their aura and sit second on the ODI rankings. They are by no means favourites to hold the title but they should kick off their tournament with victory over a mish-mash of second-string West Indians who were beaten at home by Bangladesh but did give Pakistan a scare this week.

Australia have just beaten England 6-1, so their form is impressive. However, they have only just arrived in South Africa and without any warm-up matches they must resist the temptation to treat this game as a centre-wicket practice. A resounding win is required to give them momentum ahead of their matches against India and Pakistan - the teams are competing for two semi-finals spots. Weariness could be a factor and Ricky Ponting said this week the squad featured a lot of tired bodies after a four-month tour of England. Australia are also without their one-day specialist Nathan Bracken, although there is plenty of pace-bowling backup in the squad.

For this replacement West Indies side it's business as usual - they enter the game as severe underdogs with no expectations on their shoulders. Gavin Tonge, who starred against Pakistan, forms part of a handy attack along with Darren Sammy and, if he plays, Kemar Roach. But the batting is fragile and West Indies' best hope could be to bowl first and hope for early-morning swing and seam to upset Australia's top order.

Form guide


(last five completed matches, most recent first)

Australia - LWWWW

West Indies - LLLLNR

Team news


Australia have lost their highest-ranked one-day international bowler, Bracken, who has been sent home due to an ongoing knee problem. It means a reshuffling of the attack, which will be led by Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson. All the bowlers were given a run during the series in England and Peter Siddle appears the likely immediate beneficiary of Bracken's absence. Australia will also be without their vice-captain Michael Clarke, who was suffering from back pain after the flight from England to South Africa. He missed Thursday's practice but the coach Tim Nielsen said his condition was "improving". His spot could go to the allrounder James Hopes.

"Since arriving here and having had to travel from Durham down to London and London to Johannesburg, he's stiffened up quite considerably," Nielsen said. "At the moment it's a day-by-day proposition for us and he's improving, but with the whole tournament in mind we're taking a conservative approach, so he won't play tomorrow."

Australia (possible): 1 Shane Watson, 2 Tim Paine (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Callum Ferguson, 6 Cameron White, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Nathan Hauritz, 11 Peter Siddle.

Neither the fast bowler Kemar Roach nor the batsman Kieran Powell played in the loss to Pakistan and they could strengthen the West Indies line-up. The real team news, of course, has been well documented before the tournament began. Not much was expected of the side and they put in a commendable effort in the opening game. But regardless of which XI they put out on the field, they should be far too weak for Australia.

West Indies (possible): 1 Dale Richards, 2 Andre Fletcher, 3 Devon Smith, 4 Travis Dowlin, 5 Floyd Reifer (capt), 6 David Bernard, 7 Darren Sammy, 8 Chadwick Walton (wk), 9 Nikita Miller, 10 Tino Best, 11 Gavin Tonge.

Watch out for...


Having sat out of the entire Ashes series, Brett Lee had a point to prove in the one-dayers in England. What he confirmed was that he remains a fearsome force in one-day cricket with his fast, accurate bowling and mastery of the yorker. It was enough to rattle England and if he finds his rhythm, the weakened West Indies top order will have a major challenge on their hands.

West Indies have found a quality bowler of their own in Tonge, whose 4 for 25 against Pakistan gave his team a sniff in a low-scoring match. West Indies' batting does not look threatening, so their best chance may be if Australia's batsmen don't give the Caribbean attack due respect. If that is the case, Tonge has the ability to pounce.

Pitch and conditions


The Wanderers was the venue of the low-scoring Pakistan-West Indies match, and the early-morning start will add to the assistance for the fast bowlers. The forecast for Saturday is sunny and 28 degrees.

Stats and trivia


  • The 15 men in the West Indies squad between them have played 130 one-day internationals; Australia's 14 remaining players have a combined 1094 ODI caps

  • Australia's recent form at the Wanderers is good. They beat South Africa there in a one-day international in April, having also triumphed in the Test match there earlier in the tour

  • Australia and West Indies met in the final of the previous Champions Trophy in Mumbai three years ago. It is likely only five players from that match will take part in this game: Ricky Ponting, Lee, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey and Shane Watson

Quotes

"West Indies will get the respect they deserve from us. There is nothing we can do about the contractual dispute."
Ricky Ponting.

"Hopefully [the pitch] will be behaving the same way when we meet Australia. I will put the ball on the same spot and let the pitch do the same."
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