Category Archives: Cricket

Scotland beat Kenya

The World Twenty20 qualifier is well under way now and Scotland opened up their account by defeating Kenya by 14 runs in their opening World Twenty20 qualifier in Dubai. The tournament is staged across the United Arab Emirates from 13-24 March, with two of the 16 nations progressing to the finals in Sri Lanka later this year.

The Scots made a very impressive 178 thanks to top scores from Calum MacLeod (55) and Kyle Coetzer (46).

Kenya led by skipper Collins Obuya could never get on terms with the run rate required. The Captain had led the charge with an impressive 50 but the Scots made short work of the Africans’ lower order batsmen.

Gordon Drummond was the pick of the Scottish bowlers, taking three wickets for 20 from his four overs.

MacLeod scored 55 off 35 balls hitting 7 4s along the way as Scotland hit 178 for the loss of seven wickets.

Coetzer scored 46 from 36 deliveries and there were also valuable contributions from Richie Berrington (28) and an unbeaten 22 from Preston Mommsen.

James Ngoche was the leading Kenya bowler with two for 31.

Collins Obuya led the way in Kenya’s reply but when he fell for 50, made from 36 balls, the momentum was lost.

Alex Obanda scored 35 and Rakep Patel also made 21 before he was run out by Berrington.

When Ngoche and his brother Shem were run out off the last two balls, both by Berrington, Kenya were all out for 164.

Elsewhere in the tournament:

     P.N.G. 112/6 v Afghanistan 113/4 (19/20 ov)
Afghanistan won by 6 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
     Namibia 160/8 v Ireland 156/9 (20/20 ov)
Namibia won by 4 runs
     Oman 89/9 v Italy 90/1 (14/20 ov)
Italy won by 9 wickets (with 36 balls remaining)
     U.S.A. 123/8 v Uganda 124/6 (19.2/20 ov)
Uganda won by 4 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)
     Bermuda 116/7 v Denmark 117/3 (19.1/20 ov)
Denmark won by 7 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
     Netherlands 135/6 v Canada 93 (16.4/20 ov)
Netherlands won by 42 runs
     Nepal 130/6 v Hong Kong 102/9 (20/20 ov)
Nepal won by 28 runs

Pakistan v England: Kevin Pietersen ton seals series win

Courtesy of BBC Sport:

England took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four-match one-day international series with Pakistan following an emphatic nine-wicket victory in Dubai.

Kevin Pietersen, who averaged 11 in the Test series, hit two sixes in 111 not out, his first ODI hundred since 2008.

Pietersen shared 170 with skipper Alastair Cook (80), England’s highest opening partnership against Pakistan.

Shahid Afridi (51) and Umar Akmal (50) put on 79 as Pakistan mustered 222 but England won with 76 balls remaining.

As quickly as England’s confidence began to evaporate in the 3-0 Test whitewash earlier this month, their complete dominance of the one-day matches has reduced Pakistan to a team bereft of answers.

It also continues a timely return to form for the limited overs team following their 5-0 whitewash in India late last year.

Cook, combining touch with controlled power he was once thought not to possess, looked certain to become the first England batsman to score three successive ODI hundreds but got a thin edge behind off Saeed Ajmal.

The renaissance of Pietersen, who had scored only 107 runs in eight international innings on the tour, is a significant bonus, and after successive half century stands he took his fledgling partnership with Cook at the top of the innings to new heights.

For once Cook lost the toss but his star fast bowler Steven Finn quickly put England in command.

Finn, who had taken 4-34 in both the first two matches, again displayed an exemplary line and length, collecting 2-14 from his first six overs, drawing Imran Farhat into an edge and trapping Mohammad Hafeez lbw with a full delivery that nipped back.

Stuart Broad’s spell began in horrific fashion, spraying short and wide, and four boundaries came off his opening over, including one from a free hit following a no-ball which denied him the wicket of Hafeez when he had been caught at backward point.

Three wickets fell in as many overs, Broad finding far greater reward when pitching the ball up and forcing catches behind and at slip.

A partnership of 47 from 67 balls revived the innings but the fifth wicket fell when replays showed Asad Shafiq’s bat was in the air as he dived for the crease after being sent back.

That brought in Afridi in the 22nd over and one more wicket could well have sparked a rapid end to the innings.

The severity of the situation did not affect the former skipper’s approach, and he played his usual array of outrageously cavalier strokes, although not always making contact.

Such was the crowd’s desire to see their hero they cheered on the rare occasions he chose to play defensive shots but he quickly found his touch and launched Graeme Swann for a gargantuan six down the ground as the fifty stand came up in 68 balls, Afridi’s contribution 32.

The purposeful Umar took advantage of a dropped catch by unpredictable wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter when on 28 – much to the chagrin of Broad – to provide the ideal foil for the charismatic Afridi.

England brought back Finn to break the partnership during the batting powerplay but Afridi took the only boundary off the giant fast bowler with a lofted drive.

It was a sensational catch that made the breakthrough in the 40th over.

Samit Patel belied critics of his physique to swoop superbly at mid-wicket and scoop up a looping chance one-handed millimetres from the turf to dismiss Umar.

Much to the dismay of the crowd Afridi succumbed in the next over, bowled through the gate and off the pad trying to whip James Anderson through the leg-side.

Finn returned to collect his third wicket, his 11th of the series, and though Umar Gul hit two sixes Pakistan’s total looked inadequate, which was borne out by the fluent start to England’s reply.

Gul sent down a 10-ball over and was pulled for six by Cook as England raced to 40-0 from five overs, prompting Pakistan to turn to spin.

Cook and Pietersen continued in positive vein, however, and recorded their third successive fifty partnership, with 60 scored in the first 10 overs.

Pietersen, beginning to return to his swaggering best, danced down the wicket to smash Afridi over his head for six and the century stand arrived in 102 balls.

He was reprieved on 45 when Azhar Ali spilled a routine chance in the deep but passed 4,000 ODI runs with a magnificent straight six and was soon clipping the ball through mid-wicket and driving on the up in vintage fashion.

Despite the loss of his captain in the 29th over, Pietersen ended a run of 36 ODI innings without a hundred and England will look to complete a 4-0 whitewash when the series concludes on Tuesday.

England v Pakistan 2nd One Day International

After the first one day international, in which the English side batted and bowled in an impressive manner to claim a huge victory, much of the same was expected from them.

Alistair Cook, as captain of the side, bated supremely in the last match for a score of 137 and he followed that up with a history making 102. Becoming the first English player to score back to back one day centuries. Kevin Pietersen and Jonathon Trott again failed to impress with the bat, however Ravi Bopara who is often on the edge of the squad batted with great confidence and support to Cook by claiming his 2nd successive 50. Eoin Morgan also got to bat and after a very slow and nervy start he managed to hit Englands only 6 of the innings. Morgan who struggled for form in the Test series still seems to be struggling with the bat but there were clear signs some of his form is coming back. Pakistan meanwhile relied heavily on their spin attack and although they often kept it tight they were unable to take regular wickets. From Englands 50 overs they reached a respectable score of 250 on a slow track that did not offer the batters too much help.

As Pakistan set about on their run chase Englands bowlers kept things tight and Pakstans top order struggled to score. Throughout the innings Pakistan were always behind in the run chase. With the score at 179-5 Shahid Afridi came to the crease to join captain of the side Misbah-ul-Haq. Everyone knew that this partnership could win or lose the match for Pakistan. Things started to look good for Pakistan as Boom Boom Afridi scored at a run a ball hitting a 6 and then a four off successive balls from Samit Patel. However Patel then tightened up and the scoring stopped and just an over later as the pressure began to tell Afirdi swing to hard and was bowled by Anderson (2-36). After Afridi had departed Pakistan were never in the game and Englands bowlers, led by the again impressive Steve Finn, who finished with figures of 4-34, bowled the remaining pakistan team out for 230 in 49 overs.

Full scorecard from Cricinfo:

England claimed victory by 20 runs. A very comfortable result again as they look to regain the winning form that eluded them during the test match series.

India v Sri Lanka

What a game!!

Woke up to watch this fantastic game between these two teams. Sri Lanka batted first Chandimal led the way with a fine 81. The highly influential Jayawardene added 43 to the score before being trapped LBW by the highly talented Vinay Kumar. Kumar claiming match figures of 3 for46 which included a maiden in his 10 overs. Sri Lanka ended their innings with what seemed to be a low score of 236 for 9.

As Indias innings got underway all eyes were on Sachin Tendulkar, the little magician still looking for his 100th 100 in international cricket. However, today brought further disappointment, Sachin was caught behind by Sangakara off the bowling of Perera for 15. For the second match in a row Gautum Gambhir was a stalwart in the Indian batting line up. The opener again falling in the 90s with a score of 91. As the match developed MS Dohni was left with the task of bringing India home again. As the run rate was raised from around 6 an over to more than 7.5 the math looked to be swinging in Sri Lankas favour. As the wickets fell things were getting tighter and despite some flashy shots from Ashwin and Pathan India still looked to be coming up short. Then Dhoni stepped in. A no-ball from Kulasekra in the penultimate over, that came at him more like a baseball delivery, was smashed over leg side for 6. This left the Indians needing 9 for victory off the last over. The first four balls of this last over from Malinga went for 2, 1, 1, 1. The fifth however ended in disaster for India as Angelo Matthews calmly runs out Vinay Kumar as they try to get Dhoni back on strike. Despite the run out it did mean Dhoni was on strike for the final ball requiring 4 to win. As the final ball was delivered the crowd held their breath. Dhoni struck the ball and it flew off onto the leg side, Senanayake at sweeper cover ran round to cut the ball off and parries it to Kulasekara who fires the throw, that gave India enough time to take three runs and tie the match.

What a fantastic and nail-biting match. Everyone is surely hoping for more of this as this tri series which also includes Australia develops over the next week.