Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sports News 16.01.2009(B)


8.CHITTAGONG: India vice-captain Virender Sehwag has said Bangladesh are an “ordinary side” and cannot beat his world number-one team in a two-Test series starting here on Sunday.

“I don’t think so,” Sehwag said on Saturday when asked whether Bangladesh could beat India in Tests.

Bangladesh can surprise anybody in one-day matches, but not in Tests. It’s an ordinary side.”

The hosts have won just three of their 61 matches since gaining Test status in 2000, losing 52 and drawing six. They have lost four of their five Tests against India, the lone draw coming in a rain-hit match here in 2007.

Bangladesh beat an under-strength West Indies 2-0 in an away Test series last year, but Sehwag said the hosts did not have the bowlers to put pressure on a strong Indian batting line-up.

“The kind of batting line-up we have, I think it’s difficult for Bangladesh to take 20 Indian wickets. Even Sri Lanka can’t do that. So it’s very, very difficult for Bangladesh,” said Sehwag.

India’s batting has been strengthened with the return of veterans Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Venkatsai Laxman, who were not part of the side that lost a tri-series in Bangladesh recently.

India became the top-ranked team in Tests when they beat Sri Lanka 2-0 in a home series last year, but Sehwag said his side were focused more on playing good cricket than rankings.

“We are playing a Test match tomorrow and we’re not thinking that we are number one, number two or number three. Yes, we have a Test against Bangladesh and we have to do well to win the match,” he said.

Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan said his side were capable of giving a good account of themselves.

“I think we have a very good chance in this Test match. Hopefully, our boys will come up with their best,” said Shakib.

India have been ranked number one only recently. I think South Africa and Australia are much better than them. It’s true that the Indians are playing very good cricket but still they are human.

“They can always make mistakes. If they make mistakes and we capitalise on them, we will be a very good team.”Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said his side were keen to prove that they were improving.

“We are not an extraordinary side. But we have proved in recent history that we are an improving side. We will take the Test day by day and hopefully prove Sehwag wrong,” he said.

“Obviously, we have not got the attack that Australia or other Test-playing nations have at the moment. But we have got a spinner (Shakib) who is world class. We also have some good, honest fast bowlers.”Siddons also said the team could opt for a three-pronged pace attack because India were very good against spin.

It means Shafiul Islam, a 22-year-old seamer who made his one-day debut in the tri-series, is likely to win a Test cap.

Bangladesh will be without fast bowler and regular skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, who is recovering from a knee injury.

The second and final Test will begin in Dhaka on January 24.

Bangladesh (from): Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful, Raqibul Hossain, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Shahriar Nafees, Shahadat Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Enamul Hossain, Mahbubul Alam, Shafiul Islam.

India (from): Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatsai Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay, Dinesh Karthik, Sudeep Tyagi.

9. Pakistan self-destruct with two run-outs
Saturday, January 16, 2010

HOBART: Pakistan were left with a mountain to climb after Ricky Ponting struck his fifth double century and Michael Clarke hit a career-best 166 to propel Australia to 519-8 declared on the second day of the third and final Test here at the Bellerive Oval on Friday.

As if a record 352-run stand between Ponting and Clarke was not enough, Pakistan scored a couple of own goals at the closing stages of the game to shoot themselves down from 63-0 to 94-4 at stumps.

Salman Butt ended the day unbeaten at 34 from 99 balls but he emerged as the villain for Pakistan after getting involved in the run-outs of his captain Mohammad Yousuf (7) and the in-form Umar Akmal (8).

At stumps, the tourists were 425 runs behind and facing a tough challenge of saving this Test over the next few days and avoid their 12th consecutive defeat at the hands of the Aussies.

It was the same old story for Pakistan, who have no one else but themselves to blame.

If Mohammad Aamer made the mistake of the day on Thursday by dropping Ricky Ponting on nought, Yousufs run-out came as second days lowest point for the visitors.

Yousuf, Pakistans key man in this Test and perhaps the only one capable of saving it, seemed to be settling down for a big knock on what is a flat wicket.

He had taken 23 balls to reach seven when he drove Doug Bollinger through mid-off and thought he could get three. But Butt said no to his call for the third run even as Yousuf kept running for it and was halfway down the pitch before finally deciding to retreat. But a good throw from Mitchell Johnson from deep mid-off went straight to Haddin and the keeper made no mistake.

That was not all. Butt had a role in another run-out just four overs later when Umar went back in similar fashion.

Umar, who had warmed up with two fours in a Johnson over, pushed Nathan Hauritz to mid-off and raced for a single only to see Butt glued at the other end. The youngster tried to dash back but a Peter Siddle throw was converted into yet another dismissal by Haddin.

Pakistan were gasping at 84-4 and hoping for a miracle to avoid yet another 3-0 whitewash against the Aussies.

They could have been better off after racing to 63-0 in the 23 overs but Imran Farhat and Khurram Manzoor just threw away their wickets, both falling to Siddle while playing poor shots.

Farhat, who seemed in fine nick as he cruised to 38 off 68 balls, nicked one to Haddin while Khurram (0) survived just fours balls before flashing at a delivery outside his off stump only to edge it straight to Ponting in the second slip.

Butt and Shoaib (Malik) then batted out the last 15 balls as Pakistan ended yet another day on a frustrating note.

Earlier, Ponting and Clarke almost batted Pakistan out of the Test by sharing a 352-run stand for the fourth wicket.

The duo did it with an enviable ease. It is the biggest fourth-wicket partnership by an Australian pair on home soil and eclipses the 336-run stand between Bill Lawry and Doug Walters against the West Indies in Sydney in 1968-69. The highest fourth-wicket stand for Australia anywhere in the world is the 388 put on by Bill Ponsford and Don Bradman at Headingley on the 1934 Ashes tour.

Resuming their innings at 302-3, the hosts just cruised to 393 at lunch with both Ponting and Clarke in sublime form.

The only time the visitors came close to breaking the partnership in the first session was when Clarke survived an anxious moment on 113 when Umar Gul was convinced of an edge and used Pakistans last referral for the innings by challenging Rudi Koertzens not-out decision. Koertzens call was upheld by the TV umpire when Hot Spot presented no evidence of a bottom edge even though there was a noise.

Ponting, meanwhile, was back to his brilliant best. He cut, drove and pulled with supreme confidence and was particularly harsh on Danish Kaneria. But the leggie did come close to scalping the Aussie skipper, who drove him through the covers where Imran Farhat was unable to catch it.

Ponting, who was then at 167, raced to his first double hundred in five years with a superb cover drive off Kaneria and then raised his bat to an adoring home crowd that included his father, mother and sister. It was his first double hundred at the Bellerive Oval and came off 342 balls with 25 fours.

But before that, Pakistan took their first wicket in almost 102 overs when Kaneria bowled Clarke but only after the Australian vice-captain had reached a career-best 166. It surpassed his previous best of 151 on debut back in 2004 in Bangalore.

Ponting was the next man to go when he spooned a catch to Yousuf off the bowling of Aamer.

Brad Haddin then smashed a whirlwind 41 off just 34 balls with five fours and a six, adding 55 off 56 balls for the sixth wicket with Marcus North (21). Haddin miscued an attempted big hit off the bowling of Kaneria to Gul at deep mid-on before North fell to Asif, edging him to gloveman Sarfraz Ahmed.

Johnson and Nathan Hauritz added 20 more runs in three overs as the Aussies tried to step up on the gas. The fall of Johnson, who gave debutant Sarfraz his third catch of the innings, forced Ponting to declare at the stroke of tea.

Kaneria was Pakistans most successful bowler though his figures of 3-189 from 15.2 overs hardly look impressive. The tall legspinner was unable to trouble the Aussies much and got his first wicket after having conceded 124 runs from 33 overs.

Score board

Australi won toss

Australia 1st innings

S R Watson c Imran Farhat b Gul 29

S M Katich lbw b Asif 11

*R T Ponting c Yousuf b Aamer 209

M E K Hussey c Sarfraz b Aamer 6

M J Clarke b Kaneria 166

M J North c Sarfraz b Asif 21

B J Haddin c Gul b Kaneria 41

M G Johnson c Sarfraz b Kaneria 8

N M Hauritz not out 12

Extras (b1, lb3, w5, nb7) 16

Total (8 wickets dec, 142.5 overs) 519

Did not bat: P M Siddle, D E Bollinger

Fall: 1-28, 2-52, 3-71, 4-423, 5-443, 6-498, 7-499, 8-519

Bowling: Mohammad Asif 36-8-104-2; Mohammad Aamer 31-7-97-2 (2nb, 5w); Umar Gul 25-4-98-1 (4nb); Danish Kaneria 42.5-2-189-3; Shoaib Malik 8-0-27-0 (1nb);

Pakistan 1st innings

Imran Farhat c Haddin b Siddle 38

Salman Butt not out 34

Khurram Manzoor c Ponting b Siddle 0

*Mohammad Yousuf run out (Johnson/Haddin) 7

Umar Akmal run out (Hussey/Haddin) 8

Shoaib Malik not out 4

Extras (b1, w1, nb1) 3

Total (4 wickets, 36 overs) 94

To bat: Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Mohammad Asif

Fall: 1-63, 2-63, 3-74, 4-84

Bowling: Bollinger 6-2-13-0 (1w); Siddle 10-3-20-2; Johnson 7-1-32-0; Hauritz 13-4-28-0 (1nb)

Test debut: Sarfraz Ahmed (Pakistan)

Umpires: E A R de Silva (Sri Lanka) and R E Koertzen (South Africa). TV umpire: B R Doctrove (West Indies). Match referee: R S Madugalle (Sri Lanka)

10.Captain takes a swipe at lazy Salman Butt
Saturday, January 16, 2010

HOBART: Mohammad Yousuf on Friday labelled Salman Butt as a lazy runner and also accused him of selfishness after the Pakistan opener was involved in two run-outs, leaving the tourists in neck-deep trouble at the end of the second day of their third Test against Australia.

(There were) easy three runs there (but) if somebody is not coming out of box, what can I do or anyone can do? He (Butt) must come out, or shout that he doesnt want to come. Not like this.

We are not playing for self, we are playing for country. I am 35 years old and if I can get three runs, he is 25 years old, why cant he take the runs? We both fielded for the same 140 overs. We play for country here not for self, said Yousuf after Pakistan ended the second day at 94-4 in reply of Australias 519-8 declared.

Butt ignored Yousufs call as the Pakistan captain ran for a third run and fell way short after being forced to retreat.

Just ten runs later, Umar Akmal was ran out after Butt ignored his call for a single, leaving Pakistan at 84-4.

Yousuf believes that it was again Butts fault again. He is a little lazy runner everybody knows that, said Yousuf.

However, he decided against saying anything to the batsman in the dressing room at the end of the days play since he is still unbeaten.

Its not good to talk to him straight away after he comes back because we are still playing and are still not out of the match. Maybe they (Butt and Shoaib Malik) both will play till tomorrow evening.

Yousuf said that Pakistan will try to boost Butts confidence. We will try to lift him so that he can play the whole day tomorrow.

Yousuf, who took his time before heading back to the dressing room after his dismissal, said that he was wondering why a 25-year-old cant go for a third run.

I just stopped, not saying anything, just very sad because he (Butt) is 25 and he cant run. That is why I was standing there but I cannot say anything to him. I can only back him to play a long innings. On a flat wicket, two run-outs are very disappointing.

Yousuf conceded that it was now difficult for Pakistan to save this Test. It is tough. But it is a very flat wicket and if we played for the country and try to survive sessions instead of going for runs maybe we can save the game.

Yousuf believes that his bowlers who conceded too many runs were also responsible. When you lose, it is because every discipline goes bad. Bowlers have also given 500 runs.

But Yousuf defended his legspinner Danish Kaneria who gave away 189 runs for his three wickets.

If Danish bowls so many overs he will give away runs. Leggies are wicket-taking bowlers not containers. There is nothing in the pitch for him here.

It is quite a batting paradise here at the Bellerive Oval and there was a big chance that Yousuf could have scored a big one here. I cant say about runs but the plan was to bat long on this pitch. This match can be saved. It is difficult but not impossible. We cannot give up on it.

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