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    Dada on test 
    Sehwag put on notice; Laxman made vice-captain

    New Delhi, November 30
    Former captain Sourav Ganguly’s long wait to return to the Indian team finally ended when he was recalled to the team for the Test series against South Africa, beginning on December 15. 

    Ganguly had strengthened his case after his fine display with both the bat and the ball in domestic cricket (Duleep Trophy and Ranji Trophy). After being rudely cast away from the Indian team, the former captain, instead of losing heart, kept himself match fit and also improved his batting performance to catch the attention of the national selectors. And to Ganguly’s luck, former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, after taking over as the chief national selector, had announced that the doors were still open for Ganguly to stage a comeback into the Indian squad. 

    Technically, Ganguly comes in place of the injured Yuvraj Singh, who is yet to fully recover from the ligament rupture he suffered during a kho-kho game prior to the selection of the squad for South Africa. 

    Vengsarkar would witness Ganguly’s performance in the Ranji Trophy match between Bengal and Mumbai in Kolkata this weekend.

    The national selectors, who met today under the chairmanship of Vengsarkar, also made V. V. S. Laxman the vice-captain, replacing the off-form Virender Sehwag. But Vengsarkar indicated that Laxman, who would be featuring in the remaining one-day match, would be the vice-captain “only for the Test team”. Pacer Zaheer Khan has been retained in the Test squad as well. He comes back into the Test team after a long hiatus as the selectors had taken note of his impressive bowling displays in the ODI series against South Africa. While Mohammed Kaif and Suresh Raina have not been included in the Test team, Delhi opener Gautam Gambhir has been reinstated in the Test squad, though the selectors have also retained Wasim Jaffar, who had a none too impressive one-day outings against the Proteas. 

    V. R. V. Singh has been brought back to bolster the medium-pace attack in place of an ineffectual Ajit Agarkar, who had been clobbered in the ODI series.

    Team: Rahul Dravid (capt), V. V. S. Laxman (vice-capt), Wasim Jaffar, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Kaarthick (wk), Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan, V. R. V. Singh, Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth

    Ganguly on selectors' radar for SA tour
    NEW DELHI, Nov 28: Nine months after being sidelined, former captain Sourav Ganguly appears to be on top of the list of players who will make it to South Africa for the three-Test series. 

    When the five-member selection panel, headed by Dilip Vengsarkar meets in Mumbai on Thursday, Ganguly along with left-handed opener Gautam Gambhir and seamer VRV Singh is likely to be chosen. It is learnt that the team management and selectors have run out of patience with the "grooming process" and will get back to "experienced players". 

    With Rahul Dravid injured and unlikely to play the first Test beginning on December 15 at Johannesburg, the selectors want to give some stability to the middle-order by picking Ganguly. Recently, he struck a century while playing for East Zone against North in the Duleep Trophy. If the left-hander is indeed selected in the final XI and does well, he may after all make it to the World Cup team too, sources said.

    BCCI gets Pawar-ful again
    MUMBAI, Sept 26: To borrow a phrase from the tennis action going on at the nearby courts at the Cricket Club of India, it was game, set and match for Sharad Pawar & Co on Tuesday. Hours before the 77th AGM of BCCI, Pawar's rivals pulled down the shutters and gave in without a fight, resulting in a clean sweep for the ruling group. 

    All talk of a possible surprise contest between candidates propped up by Jagmohan Dalmiya and Pawar proved to be a non-starter. Pawar, secretary Niranjan Shah, joint-secretary MP Pandove and treasurer N Srinivasan were the only ones to file the nomination before the 3 pm deadline for the office-bearers' post, thereby giving them a cakewalk. Now the only issue on Wednesday could well be who should be the next vice-president from East Zone. 

    Now, the Pawar group has two full years in office rendering the AGM on Wednesday and the one in September 2007 meaningless. Dalmiya's camp filed only one nomination and then later withdrew it because the lack of numbers on their side showed up quite clearly. 

    The only nomination from the Dalmiya camp was that by former joint-secretary Goutam Dasgupta for the treasurer's post which was faxed to the Board office in the morning. But even that was wrongly done because the proposer was the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB)'s Sardindu Pal and National Cricket Club's KP Kajaria. 

    "As per the rules the person attending the AGM has to propose and second. NCC's nominee is Kamal Morarka and Dasgupta himself is here for CAB. Also, nominations need to be presented in person and need to be stamped at the Board office. But they just faxed it," a senior Board official pointed out. 

    What the Dasgupta nomination fiasco showed was that there was no supporter willing to come forward and sign on behalf of the Dalmiya group. Not even regular supporters like Karnataka's Brijesh Patel or former Board chief Ranbir Mahendra or secretary SK Nair. 

    Nair's switch to the Pawar group, it is learnt, happened after he got an all-clear from the Board on the issue of money refunded to him from the sale of tickets for two ODIs at Bangalore and Hyderabad last year when he was secretary. 

    Recently Nair met with Pawar in Thiruvananthapuram to push for a place in his group, but the ruling group still views the former secretary as one sitting on the fence. 

    Mahendra also indicated his inclination when he reached Mumbai late in the day to attend a party thrown by the BCCI. 

    If Dalmiya still needed more proof that his innings as the czar of Indian cricket was truly over, it came from his oldest ally, former Board chief Purshottam Rungta. 

    No dramas this year? "Why should there be? They (Pawar & Co) are doing a good job. There is no point in just objecting for the sake of it. Let them continue doing their job, you must read the writing on the wall," Rungta told .

    MUMBAI, Sept 26: Kiran More was in an emotional mood on the last day of his four-year tenure as national selector. And as a parting gift, his panel handed out fresh leases of life to quite a few who have been out in the cold for a long time. 

    While a certain left-hander from Bengal continued to be focus of attention, it was the selection of Mumbai opener Wasim Jaffer for the 39-member Challenger Series for the NKP Salve Trophy that came as a surprise. 

    Jaffer, primarily considered a Test player, has been named in the Rahul Dravid-led India Blue side (formerly Seniors) giving fresh hope to the right-hander of finally being able to break out of the mould. "We do not want to put a stamp on him saying he is a Test player only. He needs to get some practice against the best in the country. Before he goes to South Africa this will be good chance for him," said More.

    Jaffer's new life as a man in blue is also because senior pro Sachin Tendulkar will be missing out on the first match against India Red to be led by Venugopala Rao. Tendulkar, who has been advised rest, will play the remaining part of the series to be held in Chennai. 

    Left-arm medium-pacer RP Singh, named in the India Blue side will also miss out on the opening game since he will be taking part in the Uttar Pradesh vs Sialkot match at Dharamshala. Also finally getting a chance in the list are discards like Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Hemang Badani, Reetinder Sodhi, Zaheer Khan. For veterans Laxman and Ganguly, the life on the comeback road will be under a junior Mohd Kaif. The selectors though do not see anything wrong in this. 

    Challenger Series Teams 

    India Blue: R Dravid (captain), V Sehwag, S Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, D Mongia, W Jaffer, MS Dhoni (wk), I Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, A Agarkar, Munaf Patel, RP Singh, Ravindra Jadeja. 

    India Red: V Rao (captain), G Gambhir, R Uthappa, S Badrinath, Rohit Sharma, TP Singh, D Kaarthick (wk), VRV Singh, S Sreesanth, R Powar, Zaheer Khan, M Kartik and C Raghu. 

    India Green: Md. Kaif (captain), S Ganguly, VVS Laxman, H Badani, S Raina, T Srivastav, P Chawla, P Patel (wk), S Lahiri, A Nehra, L Balaji, Praveen Kumar and RS Sodhi. 

    August 20, 2006
    The fourth Test between England and Pakistan has been forfeited in favour of England, after an extraordinary day of rumour, speculation, and high farce that brought the game to the brink of one of the biggest crisis in recent memory. The decision was finally made at 10pm London time, in a makeshift press conference hall in the bowels of the Oval pavilion. It was the first such forfeiture in 129 years of Test cricket. 

    Four long hours after play was called off for the day, and after protracted negotiations between the ICC, the ECB and the PCB, it was left to David Collier, the ECB's chief executive, to read out a statement that will doubtless raise more questions than answers. Though both teams and their boards were keen for the match to continue, it was the umpires, Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove, who were not willing to budge from their original decision. 

    "It was concluded with regret that there will be no play on the fifth day," read the statement. "The fourth npower Test match between England and Pakistan has therefore been forfeited with the match being awarded to England. In accordance with the laws of cricket it was noted that the umpires had correctly deemed that Pakistan had forfeited the match and awarded the Test to England." 

    It may have been the correct application of the letter of the law, but the decision made a mockery of a match in which Pakistan had made all the running from the very first morning, and had been bubbling towards a thrilling conclusion on the final morning, as England looked set to put at least a token target on the board. 

    According to Surrey officials, 12,000 tickets had been sold in advance - all of which will now have to be refunded, along with 40% of today's takings - a combined loss of about £400,000. And Pakistan will certainly not be content to return home with a 3-0 defeat to their name, not to mention the further implications of the forfeiture. As Bob Woolmer announced at the close of play: "The team is upset by the inference they have been accused of tampering with the ball and therefore cheating." The ICC, in a separate statement, confirmed that Pakistan has been charged under Level two of the Code of Conduct, 2.10, which relates to changing the condition of the match ball. 

    The initial incident took place in the 56th over, when umpires Hair and Doctrove deemed that the quarter seam on the ball had been raised and would therefore have to be changed. But the situation only really kicked off after tea, as the Pakistanis remained in their dressing-room in protest at the decision. 

    After waiting in the middle of the pitch for twenty minutes, the umpires went to the Pakistan dressing-room to ask whether or not Inzamam-ul-Haq would lead out his team or not before they went out, took the bails off and left, thus awarding the Test to England. 

    Bob Woolmer told Cricinfo that after Pakistan refused to come out after the tea break, both umpires, after waiting on the field, went to the Pakistan dressing room to ask whether or not they would continue to play. Inzamam countered by asking the umpires why they had changed the ball, which led to the Pakistan team protesting. 

    "We are not here to answer that question," Hair was reported to have said, and when Inzamam didn't provide any reply to their initial query, they walked back out again. By the time Pakistan were eventually led out onto the field by Inzamam, the umpires had already walked on, knocked the bails off and gone back inside, refusing to come out again. 

    The decision was made according to Law 21, regarding the result of a match, which states, "A match shall be lost by a side which in the opinion of the umpires refuses to play." A further subsection adds, "If an umpire considers that an action by any player or players might constitute a refusal by either side to play then the umpires together shall ascertain the cause of the action. If they then decide together that this action does constitute a refusal to play by one side, they shall so inform the captain of that side. If the captain persists in the action the umpires shall award the match in accordance with above." 

    The three-match series between Sri Lanka and India, which has seen all of 22 balls of action, has been cancelled and will be played at a later date. 

    "After consultions with the Indian board, and bearing in mind the weather conditions, it has been decided to cancel the series and stage it at a later date," said Samantha Alagama, the media manager of Sri Lanka cricket. "It will be played as a tri-series, as originally planned, some time in 2007, most likely after the World Cup. That exact dates and itinerary will be decided after consulting with the Indian and South African cricket boards."

    A Sri Lanka Cricket official told Cricinfo: "The rain has already ruined two matches, and the forecast for the next few days is also not good. We have requested the Indian board to consider playing the matches at a later date when it's convenient for both countries." 

    The official expressed his gratitude at the Indian decision to stay on despite the South Africans packing their bags and going home, and said that the financial fallout from the cancellation of the tri-series would hit the board badly. 

    It has also affected Sri Lanka's preparations for the Champions Trophy to be played in India in October-November, with no other matches scheduled before the start of the tournament. Sri Lanka have to play qualifying games against West Indies, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh before they can take their place in the main draw for the competition. 

    Wright book at wrong time for Sourav
    NEW DELHI, July 29: In what could be music to CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya's ears, former Team India coach John Wright supported the Indian selectors decision to remove Sourav Ganguly from the captaincy. In his book Indian Summers Wright expresses his disappointment with the selection policy widespread during his stint as coach of the Indian team. 

    Copies of Wright's book will be arriving in India in the next couple of weeks, so that Sourav Ganguly can look up the unflattering references to himself. His detractors will pounce on Wright's observations as corroborative evidence for Chappell's accusations against the former India captain. 

    Wright writes: "As much as I respect Sourav Ganguly and acknowledge his record as captain and his contribution to Indian cricket, I believe there were sound arguments for a change in leadership towards the end of my stint." 

    "There might well have been times when he favoured a change in a coach. What really mattered was the two of us saw the bigger picture, worked as a partnership to provide leadership on and off the field and got results. In that last season, though, the results dried up," he adds. 

    Coming down heavily on the selectors, the former Team India coach says: "The first six or seven selections were straightforward. But when it got down to the marginal selections, those last three or four spots that determine the balance of the team and your ability to develop new players, the zonal factor kicked in and things would get interesting." 

    He reveals that VVS Laxman and Mohammad Kaif were the ones who felt the heat of the selectors' whims the most. "VVS Laxman and Kaif are examples of outstanding performers who always seemed to be only one or two failures away from having their places questioned." 

    In another context, Wright says Kaif had rubbed then England skipper Nasser Hussain the wrong way through his overzealous conduct during one of the matches. 

    "Kaif had managed to get under Hussain's skin... He clearly bugged Hussain when England were in India and during the game at Durham, he had a real go at Kaif telling him to shut up and calling him a bus driver." 

    Wright was also disappointed by the appointment of Sunil Gavaskar as a batting consultant for the Test series against Australia in 2004-05 and has revealed that it was done at the behest of Sourav Ganguly. 

    "Two days before the first Test (in Bangalore, against Australia 2004), I was notified that the legendary Sunil Gavaskar would be joining us as a batting consultant," he writes. 

    "I couldn't work out how it had happened. Gavaskar solved the mystery by revealing in a team meeting that he had a text message from Ganguly. I was far from happy because as the head coach I should have had the final say on support staff issues," Wright writes. 

    "...if the captain decides to bring someone into the camp two days out from a Test against the best team in the world, there's not a hell of a lot you can do about it." 

    Wright says there is still a reluctance in India to take tough decisions against the "superstars". 

    Wright also defends his approach to the job, saying he was cautious never to put his opinion on team composition and players' performance in writing, fearing that his views might be leaked to the media. 

    He also denies that he was soft with the players. 

    In September 2005, England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff says in his autobiography that Sourav Ganguly is a difficult person to get along with. 

    The beefy English all-rounder, who shared the Lancashire dressing room with the 'Prince of Kolkata' in 2000, makes such an observation in his autobiography Being Freddie . 

    Flintoff alleged that Ganguly was aloof in the side, something that prompted the British media to dub the Indian "Lord Snooty"'. 

    "He wasn't interested in the other players and it became a situation where it was 10 players and Ganguly in the team. He turned up as if he was royalty - it was like having Prince Charles on your side," Flintoff observed

    COLOMBO, July 29: Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara recorded a world record 624-run Test cricket partnership on Saturday as Sri Lanka took an imposing 587-run first innings lead in the series-opening match against South Africa. 

    At stumps on Saturday, the third day, South Africa were 43 without loss, still 544 runs behind with two full days to play on a deteriorating pitch that may assist Sri Lankan spin bowlers led by Muttiah Muralitharan. 

    Team India July 2006
    MUMBAI, July 20: Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday returned to India's one-day squad after a long injury layoff while all-rounder Dinesh Mongia earned a surprise recall for the upcoming cricket tri-series in Sri Lanka. 

    Tendulkar, out of action for close to four months following a shoulder surgery, expectedly found his way back into the 15-member team after being declared fit two days back. 

    Punjab all-rounder Mongia was rewarded for his fine show in English county with a berth in the squad announced by Cricket Board Secretary Niranjan Shah after a one and a half hour meeting of the five-member selection panel here. 

    Opener Robin Uthappa and middle-order batsman Venugopala Rao were left out of the squad that recently lost a one-day series to the West Indies 4-1.

    The national selectors also chose to ignore veteran leg spinner Anil Kumble who has been out of the Indian one-day scheme for long but was widely speculated to stage a comeback after emerging as the highest wicket-taker in the Tests in the Caribbean with 23 scalps. 

    However, Chief Selector Kiran More said that the selectors had a "right plan" in mind for the experienced spinner to make a comeback to the shorter version of the game. 

    Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, currently testing himself out for Northamptonshire in English county, continued to find himself out of favour. 

    Left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan, also seeking to make his way back into the team through the county route, was ignored despite a decent performance for Worcestershire. 

    More said Mongia was preferred ahead of Zaheer as the team needed a variety in the spin department. 

    "Mongia can be useful as a left-arm spin option since both Harbhajan and Powar are off-spinners," More said. 

    "We are looking towards the future. Mongia is an ideal all rounder. He also bowls left-arm. He had good county stints as well as domestic season." The tri-series, involving South Africa as the third team, and beginning in Colombo on August 14, will be the first international outing for the 29-year-old Mongia in more than a year. He had played his last one-day international against Pakistan in New Delhi in April, 2005. 

    Mongia is yet to do justice to his potential, having scored 1073 runs at an average of 27.51 in 51 matches so far. 

    On Tendulkar, More said, "we had called physio John Gloster for the meeting and he gave us the full report of his fitness. He was with Sachin for three days and he is absolutely satisfied with his condition. 

    "He has played five matches for Lashings. He has also bowled well and is certainly fit. Sachin himself is very keen to join the team in Sri Lanka. 

    More justified Kumble's exclusion by stating that the selectors had some plans in mind for the bowler's comeback. 

    "We have discussed it with him. He is OK with it and has taken it into his stride. We have some plans in our mind for him," he said, probably indicating that the bowler could be called at the bigger stage -- the Champions Trophy to be hosted by the country later this year. 

    Singnificantly, More said henceforth there would not be many changes in the team, other than the odd one or two but also added that the doors were not close on anyone "It is not that Uthappa and Rao are sidelined. The wickets in Sri Lanka are not very bouncy and not according to their game. 

    "We also considered Zaheer Khan but he did not fit into our plans. We have taken his performances in county and domestic matches into account. He can always come back to the team." 

    Asked about packing the squad with five fast bowlers, More said, "we have picked five fast bowlers because we want to try them out. They did very well in the West Indies, especially in the Te sts, and we are now trying them out here as well. 

    Irfan Pathan, going through a rough patch after an indifferent show in the Caribbean, received backing from More.

    "Pathan is a very good cricketer and three bad matches do not mean that he is a bad cricketer." More said the "biggest failure" in the West Indies was batting. 

    "But there is no problem because it was the only defeat in last one year and there is nothing to get panicky about. At the moment, tri-series and Champions Trophy are the most important things for us. 

    "Overall we are happy with the team's performances and the statistics have shown that," he added. 

    The Sri Lanka bound team will undergo a fitness camp in Bangalore from July 25 to August 1 followed by a cricket skills specific camp from August 6 to 10. The team will leave for the Sri Lankan capital on the night of August 10.

    Shah said Sanjay Jagdale will accompany the team as manager. 

    Squad: Rahul Dravid (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Irfan Pathan, Sreesanth, Rudra Pratap Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Romesh Powar, Munaf Patel, Ajit Agarkar and Dinesh Mongia

    Support staff: Greg Chappell (coach), Ian Frazer (bio-mechanic expert), John Gloster (physiotherapist) and Greg King (physical trainer).

    Harbhajan spoils England party
    New Delhi, March 28
    Harbhajan Singh came good with both the bat and the ball to play the sheet-anchor role as India scripted an incredible 39-run victory against England in the first of the seven-match one-day series at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground here today. 

    England, chasing India’s low score of 203, folded up for 164 runs in 38.1 overs after 170 minutes of batting to enable the hosts to go one-up in the one-day series. The turn-around came after Harbhajan’s magnificent second spell when he returned figures of 6-2-9-4 for an overall 10-2-31-5, which set India on course for victory.

    Harbhajan was expectedly conferred the man of the match award which fetched him a gleaming 150cc TVS bike. 

    Despite the victory, captain Rahul Dravid admitted that “we did not play well”. “The 200 odd runs were made due to the contribution from the lower order. We definitely need to look into it”, he added.

    But the prize-distribution function was marred by overcrowding at the arena which prompted former England captain David Gower at the mike to term it as “awful” in full view of the packed house. But such a jubilation was expected after India posted a dream win.

    England skipper Andrew Flintoff seemed to have done the right thing in the morning when he asked India to bat after winning the toss. He made judicious use of the bowling resources at his command — five pacers and one spinner — to tie up the Indian batsmen in knots, and knock them out for 203 in 46.4 overs. The Indian total would not have reached the 200-run mark but for the cameo knock of 37 by Harbhajan Singh, which came off 46 balls in 49 minutes with three fours and one six.

    The victory target of 204 at the rate of 4.1 runs per over looked very much reachable for England, despite suffering two numbing blows in the opening over when Irfan Pathan, bowling like a man possessed, sent back dangerous opener Andrew Strauss and Owais Shah within the space of three deliveries. 

    England were put back on the rail through a 50-run partnership between Matt Prior and Kevin Pietersen. Though three wickets fell in a heap for the addition of just three runs as the visitors slumped from 117 for three to 120 for six, England could still have pulled off a victory, but for Harbhajan’s destructive second spell.

    Indian skipper Rahul Dravid brought back Harbhajan from the far end when Sreeshanth was caned for 16 runs — two sixes and one four — by Pietersen in the 19th over during his second spell. And the spinner struck deadly form to put England on the mat.

    Though England skipper Andrew Flintoff said the “wicket did not have as much juice as I thought, though our bowlers did well” he conceded that Harbhajan’s batting and bowling made all the difference. “Harbhajan made the difference by scoring a valuable 30 plus runs,” noted Flintoff, and it indeed was the case after the top-order batsmen came unstuck. 

    Irfan Pathan’s searing initial spell, the vital break-throughs achieved by make-shift spinner Yuvraj Singh, the three brilliant catches cupped by Gautam Ghambhir at mid-wicket, and last but not the least, the bowling of Harbhajan, all contributed to the amazing Indian win. 

    An Indian victory looked a remote possibility following the inept batting display by the top order. Virender Sehwag was the first to go when he ballooned an Anderson delivery for Liam Plunkett to cup a catch at mid-wicket. Gautam

    Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Mohd Kaif fell in the space of 12 runs as India tottered at 4 for 68. Rahul Dravid tried to keep the score-board moving after getting an early reprieve, when he was dropped at first slip by Owais Shah off Kabir Ali before the Indian skipper had opened his account. He kept one end going while wickets crashed at the other end though even Dravid could not anchor India to safety as he was clean bowled by Liam Plunkett for 34. 

    Eventually, it was due to Harbhajan’s rapid-fire knock that the hosts could do the spin trick on a slow track and make the visitors bite the dust.

    Gambhir c Jones b Ali 25

    Sehwag c Plunkett b Anderson 7

    Dravid b Plunkett 34

    Yuvraj b Ali 1

    Kaif run out 4

    Raina c Collingwood b Blackwell 24

    Pathan c Plunkett b Anderson 28

    Dhoni c Collingwood b Plunkett 20

    Harbhajan c Flintoff b Ali 37

    R.P. Singh not out 2

    Sreesanth c Pietersen b Ali 0

    Extras (lb-3, nb-3, w-15) 21

    Total (all out, 46.4 overs) 203

    Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-56, 3-58, 4-68, 5-80, 6-138, 7-146, 8-201, 9-203, 10-203.

    Bowling: Anderson 10-1-41-2, Ali 8.4-1-45-4, Flintoff 8-0-31-0, Plunkett 8-2-42-2, Collingwood 2-0-17-0, Blackwell 10-0-24-1.


    Strauss c Dhoni b Pathan 0

    Prior c Gambhir b Harbhajan 22

    Shah lbw Pathan 4

    Pietersen c Gambhir b Yuvraj 46

    Flintoff lbw Harbhajan 41

    Collingwood c Kaif b Harbhajan 8

    Jones b Harbhajan 0

    Blackwell c Gambhir b Harbhajan 10

    Plunkett c Dhoni b Pathan 14

    Ali lbw Yuvraj 0

    Anderson not out 12

    Extras (lb-4, nb-2, w-1) 7

    Total (all out, 38.1 overs) 164

    Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-4, 3-57, 4-117, 5-117, 6-120, 7-137, 8-141, 9-142.Bowling: Pathan 7.1-1-21-3, Sreesanth 5-0-39-0, R. P. Singh 4-0-32-0, Harbhajan 10-2-31-5, Yuvraj 10-2-32-2, Sehwag 2-0-5-0.

    South Africa shock Aus, create one-day history
    NEW DELHI: Astounding. It's beyond belief but it is a fact now. South Africa accomplished the highest target set to win a one-day international to cap an unforgettable day of cricket and to win the five-match series 3-2. After the Aussies had shattered the record score in 50-over internationals with 434-4 they looked to be in an invincible position at the Wanderers. But the hosts, led by Herschelle Gibbs' remarkable 175 off in 111 balls, refused to be cowed and fought back strongly. 
    The winning hit was secured by Mark Boucher off the penultimate ball. He hit Brett Lee for four, sending the home crowd delirious after they had seen nearly 900 runs scored in the day.Earlier, no team had ever reached 400 before and this match will go down in history as one of the finest ever staged. 
    Australia captain Ricky Ponting's 164 off 105 balls in Australia's innings was left almost forgotten at the end of the day. 
    Australia won the toss on a perfect batting wicket at the Wanderers and were given an ideal start by Adam Gilchrist (55) and Simon Katich (79). 
    They put on 97 in barely 15 overs for the first wicket as an attack missing Shaun Pollock, Andre Nel and Charl Langeveldt struggled from the off. 
    The opening stand was only ended by a stunning one-handed catch by Andrew Hall at mid-on - but that was soon forgotten in the carnage that followed. 

    A. Gilchrist c Hall b Telemachus 55
    S. Katich c Telemachus b Ntini 79
    R. Ponting c Dippenaar b Telemachus 164
    M. Hussey c Ntini b Hall 81
    A. Symonds not out 27
    B. Lee not out 9
    Extras (lb-4 nb-10 w-5) 19
    Total (for 4 wickets, 50 overs) 434
    Fall of wickets: 1-97 2-216 3-374 4-407

    M. Ntini 9 - 0 - 80 - 1 (w-1)
    A. Hall 10 - 0 - 80 - 1 (nb-2)
    J. van der Wath 10 - 0 - 76 - 0 (nb-1 w-1)
    R. Telemachus 10 - 1 - 87 - 2 (nb-7 w-3)
    G. Smith 4 - 0 - 29 - 0
    J. Kallis 6 - 0 - 70 - 0
    J. Kemp 1 - 0 - 8 - 0

    South Africa

    G. Smith c Hussey b Clarke 90
    B. Dippenaar b Bracken 1
    H. Gibbs c Lee b Symonds 175
    A. de Villiers c Clarke b Bracken 14
    J. Kallis c&b Symonds 20
    M. Boucher not out 50
    J. Kemp c Martyn b Bracken 13
    J. van der Wath c Ponting b Bracken 35
    R. Telemachus c Hussey b Bracken 12
    A. Hall c Clarke b Lee 7
    M. Ntini not out 1
    Extras (b-4 lb-8 nb-4 w-4) 20
    Total (for 9 wickets, 49.5 overs) 438
    Fall of wickets: 1-3 2-190 3-284 4-299 5-327 6-355 7-399 8-423 9-433

    B. Lee 7.5 - 0 - 68 - 1 (nb-3 w-1)
    N. Bracken 10 - 0 - 67 - 5
    S. Clarke 6 - 0 - 54 - 0
    M. Lewis 10 - 0 - 113 - 0 (nb-1 w-1)
    A. Symonds 9 - 0 - 75 - 2

    Dalmia in dock over misuse of funds
    New Delhi, February 21
    The wranglings in the cricket board took a serious turn today with the new regime headed by Sharad Pawar accusing former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya of misappropriating funds.

    BCCI treasurer N. Srinivasan said former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmia has been given a show-cause notice for misappropriation of the PILCOM funds. He said though Dalmia has been given a week's time to reply to the BCCI notice, a decision on what action should be taken against him, has been left to the discretion of board president Sharad Pawar.

    He said PILCOM (Pakistan-India-Lanka Committee), which was created to host the 1996 World Cup cricket, jointly hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, has not yet given the statement of accounts to the BCCI though Dalmia was the convenor-secretary of PILCOM. Mr Srinivasan said when the new set of BCCI office-bearers took charge, they were handed over only the accounts of the past 12 months, and nothing regarding the PILCOM account, in which a lot of discrepancies have been detected.

    Though Srinivasan was restrained in his reaction to Dalmia's involvement in the financial irregularities of PILCOM, which he termed as official, BCCI vice-president Modi said a big financial "fraud" has been committed by the former BCCI chief though the quantum of amount was not clear. But Modi unofficially put the amount as Rs 40 lakh. Interestingly, Niran Shah, who was the secretary when Dalmia was the BCCI president, noted that he was unware of whether the PILCOM account issue was ever raised in the BCCI meetings during his previous tenure.

    India Cruise To Victory
    Sat 11 Feb, 2006
    India cruised to a seven-wicket victory with 41 balls to spare in the second One-Day International against Pakistan.
    The visitors reached the target of 266 for the loss of three wickets after Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh all hit half-centuries. Earlier in the day, Pakistan had relied on 95 from Shoaib Malik and 81 from Younis Khan as the rest of their batting order struggled. 
    Openers Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar took India to 105 before the first wicket fell when Tendulkar edged an Abdul Razzaq delivery to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal to be out for 42. 
    India added another 18 runs before Sehwag followed for 67, run out by a direct throw from Umar Gul when looking for a third run. 
    The next pairing of Dravid and Yuvraj then piled on another 118 runs to take the score on to 241 before Dravid was the last man out, caught and bowled by Malik for 56. 
    However, the hard work had already been done, and Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj steered the visitors to victory. Yuvraj finished 82 not out, while Kaif had five. 
    Pakistan's innings had been much less convincing. 

    Opener Salman Butt went for a duck with only one run on the board, edging Irfan Pathan's delivery to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. 

    That brought Malik to the crease, but as he began to make progress, he lost his partner Akmal, who was bowled by Pathan for 14, sending a bottom edge onto his own stumps. 

    When Mohammad Yousuf was then run out for just one, Pakistan were struggling on 46 for three, and they had added only 22 more runs when captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was the next man out, mis-timing his shot off Zaheer Khan to send an easy catch to Sreesanth at mid-wicket. 

    But together with Younis, Malik was able to make significant progress, moving the score on to 170 before being run out trying to make two off a shot to deep point. 

    With Malik gone, India began to make progress again, and removed Shahid Afridi (18) and Razzaq (14) before getting the crucial wicket of Younis, who mis-hit a drive off Ajit Agarkar to give Kaif a simple catch. 

    That left Pakistan on 242 for eight, and the final two wickets soon followed, Rana Naved caught by Suresh Raina off Agarkar for six and Mohammad Asif run out for two. Gul was unbeaten with 17. 

    Pathan was the best of the Indian bowlers, taking three for 43.

    Pathan confuses India
    India's famed bowler Irfan Pathan is now an all out all-rounder according to the ICC. Irfan's impressive batting display in the first one-day international against Pakistan at Peshawar has lifted him to be among the top five ODI all-rounders in the latest ICC rankings.

    Irfan, who has been giving consistent performances with the bat, scored 65 to be the third best scorer for the side after Sachin Tendulkar (100) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (68) on Monday.

    Pak legend Imran Khan however believes that his batting workload is affecting his bowling. It sure is catch-22 for India because they want Irfan the bowler more than Irfan the batsmen. Chappell who has great faith in Pathan now has a peculiar problem in his hands, Pathan began his ODI career with a bang picking up 26 wickets in his first year in international cricket in 2004-05. In the second year it dipped a bit when he bagged 24 in 13 matches, the same number of matches as his debut year. Problems cropped up in the last season when injury and loss of confidence did him in, Pathan managed just seven wickets in eight matches and looked like a shadow of his former self.

    He rediscovered his form and fitness when he went to England for the County Championships but somewhere down the line he has sacrificed pace altogether preferring to go with swing, a dangerous ploy in international cricket where every batsmen is looking for a chink in the bowlers armor just like bowlers do for batsmen.

    Sehwag and Dravid fail to break record in drawn Test
    LAHORE, Jan 17: Indian batsmen Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid on Tuesday failed to break the 50-year-old world record of opening wicket partnership in bad light as the first cricket Test against Pakistan ended in a draw. 

    Medium fast bowler Rana Naved had Sehwag caught behind when the Indian pair was just four runs short to break countrymen Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy's record of 413-run -- made against New Zealand at Madras in 1956. 

    India was 410 for one in 2.2 overs and added seven more runs to the overnight 403-0 before bad light took the players off the field in the afternoon session on the fifth and final day. The match was called off at 3:20 p.m. local time (1020 GMT). 

    Pakistan posted a formidable score of 679 for seven declared in its first innings. Dravid was not out on 128 off 233 balls and hit 19 fours with VVS Laxman yet to get off the mark.

    Sehwag, 247 overnight, drove Naved to cover boundary for his 47th four of the innings before he got a big edge as he tried to slice the ball over the slips but gave a head high catch to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal. 

    Sehwag's blistering knock of 254 off 247 balls dominated the 410-run partnership with his captain as he hit 47 boundaries and a six in his six and a half hour innings. 

    Sehwag and Dravid needed just 11 runs to break the record and Indian captain Dravid preferred to go after it despite poor visibility as the overnight rain and bad light kept the players off the field for four hours on Tuesday.  Bad weather over the past three days badly disrupted the first Test of the three-match series. Only 15 overs were bowled on the third day due to overcast conditions. Another 47 overs were possible on Monday before rain and bad light once again badly disrupted the play Tuesday. 

    The second Test will be played at Faisalabad (January 21-25) and the Karachi will host the third Test (January 29-Feb. 2) before both teams play five limited-overs series.

    Dungarpur does a volte face; all praise for Ganguly
    Barely hours after making a scathing attack on Sourav Ganguly by describing him as the "laziest and possibly the worst fielder", the manager of the touring Indian team Raj Singh Dungarpur on Saturday sought to control the damage, saying the former captain was a "tremendous batsman" and his experience would help the team during the series against Pakistan.
    Apparently aware that his stinging remarks against Ganguly on Friday night could have serious repercussions ahead of the crucial series, Dungarpur spoke highly of the left-hander and sought to put the lid on the controversy.

    "Sourav is a tremendous batsman and his offside play is simply great. His vast experience should help the Indian team in the series against Pakistan," he told reporters at the picturesque Bagh-E-Jinnah ground where the visitors are playing their only warm-up game before the Test series.

    "My integrity to Indian cricket has never been questioned in the 30-year-long association I have had as an administrator. Ask any of these journalists who know me," he fumed at the scribe.

    "If someone known to me comes and asks some questions I might have said something in private, but to show it on TV seems like the instructions have come from the Eden Gardens (headquarters of Cricket Association of Bengal president Jagmohan Dalmiya)," he said. 

    In the controversial television comments on Friday night, Dungapur had called Ganguly as one of the laziest cricketers and even claimed that former coach John Wright did not want him as captain but could not get him removed.

    "Sourav is not a student of the game. He is also not a role model of a captain. A captain cannot be the laziest and possibly the worst fielder of the side", Dungarpur had said. 

    'Dungarpur not fit to be manager' 
    New Delhi 
    Former BCCI President Ranbir Singh Mahendra on Saturday slammed Indian team manager Raj Singh Dungarpur for his remarks against Sourav Ganguly, and demanded his immediate "recall" from the tour of Pakistan.
    "The Board President should intervene and Raj Singh Dungarpur should be recalled. He does not fit into the shoes of manager," Mahendra told a TV channel.
    Throwing his weight behind the left-hander, Mahendra said that it is no less than playing with the career of an individual.
    "I feel that to say something repeatedly and then to retract later just lowers the morale of a individual," he said.
    "People are playing with his career and in overall they are playing with the team," he said.
    Dungarpur made a scathing attack on Sourav Ganguly by describing him as the "laziest and possibly the worst fielder" in the Indian team.

    KOLKATA, Jan 07: Taking strong exception to team manager Raj Singh Dungarpur's attack on former skipper Sourav Ganguly ahead of the Pakistan series, Cricket Association of Bengal president Jagmohan Dalmiya on Saturday said he would raise the matter at the BCCI's Working Committee meeting. 

    "This is a serious issue. There is no need for giving any personal comment on it, but the issue would be raised in the working committee meeting," the former Board president said. 

    While Dalmiya and former Board joint secretary Gautam Dasgupta both declined to air their personal reactions on Dungarpur's outburst against Ganguly on Friday, CAB joint secretary Saradindu Paul said, "This is unfortunate for Sourav to get such a verbal attack from a man of the stature of Dungarpur".

    Ponting tops rankings
    Australia Captain Ricky Ponting's twin centuries in his 100th match have reinforced his position as the world's top Test batsman in the LG ICC Player Rankings. 
    Ponting's scores of 120 and 143 not out in Australia's eight-wicket win against the Proteas in Sydney has lifted him through the 900 point threshold in the rankings 

    Lara, the greatest run-scorer of all-time in Test cricket 

    Saturday, 26 November , 2005, 09:47 
    Adelaide: West Indian batting superstar Brian Lara on Saturday became the greatest run scorer in Test cricket during his epic double-century in the third cricket Test against Australia at Adelaide Oval. 
    The 36-year-old Trinidad great, 12 runs off the record on his overnight score of 202, went past Allan Border's world record aggregate of 11,174 runs early on the second day's play. 
    Lara's 405-minute masterpiece was finally ended when he was bowled by Glenn McGrath for 226, leaving him with a Test aggregate of 11,187 runs at an average of 54.04 in his 121st Test match. 
    Lara went into cricket folklore when he flicked a McGrath delivery off his hip to fine leg some 20 minutes into the day's play.
    'The Prince', with his flourishing high backlift and classic strokemaking, raised his bat to the appreciative crowd and was hugged by batting partner Daren Powell in tribute to his achievement. 
    The Australian players walked over to him to shake his hand and pat him on the back for breaking the record. 
    Border paid tribute to the dazzling left-hander for ending his reign as Test cricket's greatest run-getter. 
    "Brian is just in a different league to what I was. That's not false modestly. It's just the facts," Border said. 
    "He had more shots and scored at a much faster rate than I did. There is a tinge of sadness there but I was surprised to hold the record in the first place. I say good luck to him. He deserves it. 
    "He will remembered as one of the top three or four batsmen of all time and you could argue that apart from Don Bradman he could be the next best." 
    Lara looked dismayed when he was finally out playing away from his stumps to play a cut shot and losing his off-stump some 42 minutes into the day's play. 
    Lara boosted the struggling West Indian team to a challenging first innings total of 405 in his 298-ball knock embedded with 22 boundaries. The rest of his team contributed just 162 or 40 percent towards the total. 
    "It's testimony that I've been batting for 15 to 16 years in Test cricket. Anybody who spends that sort of time and is any sort of a decent batsman is going to be in and around certain records," Lara said on Friday about the approaching world record. 
    Lara's statistics back up his cricket eminence. It was his eighth double-century, 31st Test century and ninth against Australia. 
    Only three players have scored more centuries in Tests than Lara: Indians Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar with 34 and Australian Steve Waugh with 32. 
    Lara has the highest Test score of 400 not out against England in Antigua in April last year and also the third-best score of 375 against England also in Antigua in 1994. 
    The West Indian great also holds the highest first-class score of 501 not out for English county Warwickshire in 1994. 
    It was his fifth Test hundred of the year following knocks of 196 and 176 against South Africa and 130 and 153 against Pakistan. 
    Former Australian captain Border took 156 Tests to set the old record and had held it since his final Test year in 1994.

    India v South Africa, 4th ODI, Kolkata, 
    November 25, 2005
    Preceding the one-dayer at Kolkata, where India were obliterated by South Africa, there had been considerable public demonstrations against the exclusion of former captain and local favourite Sourav Ganguly from the team. On Thursday Ganguly was included in the Test squad to play Sri Lanka at Chennai, starting on December 2, though reports from today's match indicate that it wasn't enough to placate a boisterous Eden Gardens crowd. 
    Neither Chappell nor the BCCI has yet commented on the incident. However, a number of television channels replayed the incident through the evening.



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