January 23rd, 2007

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Aussies beatable, say England and New Zealand

Australia’s shaky performances in their last two triangular series one-day matches have boosted England and New Zealand’s belief that the home side is beatable.

The Aussies are still on course for an unbeaten summer and their narrow two-wicket win over the Black Caps at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday was their eighth successive victory in One-day Internationals (ODIs).

But New Zealand arguably cost themselves an upset win with three fielding blunders. Australia’s uncertain performances, particularly their top order frailty in the last two games, have left New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming convinced that the right game plan can undo the World Cup favourites. England seamer Jon Lewis echoed Fleming’s sentiments and said his side believed they could beat Australia.

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Bob Woolmer keen on England job

Bob Woolmer has openly declared an interest in becoming England coach. The 58-year-old is currently in charge of the Pakistan team but his current contract expires at the end of the World Cup in April.

“I have always been proud of playing for England and just missed out on coaching them (in the past) because the timing was not right,” he said. “I was part of a side that beat Australia as a player and have a yearning to do so as a coach,” he added.

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Urooj five in vain as South Africa extend series lead

The Test series between South Africa and Pakistan men may be neck-and-neck, but on the evidence of the first two matches of this one-day series, the women’s teams are ill-matched.

South Africa completed a comprehensive 84-run victory at Pretoria for the second time in a week and are on course to take the five-match series in the next match on Wednesday. This match at Harlequins was a carbon copy of the last — South Africa racking up over 200 and then grabbing early wickets to puncture Pakistan’s confidence, leaving them unable to recover.

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Inzamam confirms arrival of Shabbir

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said on Monday that fast bowler Shabbir Ahmed was on his way to South Africa as a replacement after serving a one-year ban for having an illegal bowling action.

But Inzamam refused to confirm a report from Pakistan that injured fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar had been fined after a public confrontation with coach Bob Woolmer during the second Test in Port Elizabeth. “It is an internal team matter,” said Inzamam.

He also said a final decision would only be taken on Monday night about Shoaib and fellow injured bowler Umar Gul returning home. “We’ll decide tonight. The doctor’s report is coming and then we will decide.”

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Damien Martyn breaks

Damien Martyn has spoken for the first time about his shock decision to quit the Australian team midway through the Ashes series, saying he walked away because he had lost motivation and was worried he would let the team down.

“I just couldn’t go on. I was letting down my teammates,” the former middle-order batsman said in an interview broadcast on Australian television on Monday. Martyn announced his retirement in December after Australia won the second Test in Adelaide to lead the series 2-0, but the timing caught everyone by surprise

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Shoaib, Gul returning home to recover for World Cup

Injured pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul would return home from South Africa later this week to undergo treatment and rehabilitation ahead of March’s World Cup in the West Indies, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said on Monday.

Salim Altaf, PCB’s Director of Operations, told ëThe News’ in a telephonic conversation from Lahore that after considering medical reports of the two players the national team management has decided to send them back home.

“Shoaib and Umar Gul would return home and undergo rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (in Lahore),” Altaf said. He said that the team management would be requesting for a couple of replacements today (Tuesday).

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Shoaib fined for spat with Woolmer

Maverick fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has been fined by the Pakistan manager Talat Ali following his spat with team coach Bob Woolmer during the second Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth last week.

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official told this correspondent that Talat conducted an internal inquiry into the incident that was beamed across the world by sports channels and decided to fine Shoaib for misconduct. The official refrained from giving any further details.

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Younis, Akmal steer Pakistan to victory at Port Elizabeth

Younis Khan and Kamran Akmal took Pakistan to a series-levelling win on the fourth day of the second Test against South Africa here at St George’s Park on Monday.

The pair shared an unbeaten stand of 99 as Pakistan won by five wickets with more than a day to spare. Younis (67 not out) and Akmal (57 not out) rescued Pakistan from a precarious 92 for five.

Younis played a solid innings apart from a difficult caught and bowled chance low down to Shaun Pollock when he had five, while Akmal batted aggressively as South Africa’s hopes of a fourth successive Test win receded.

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England could make changes for New Zealand

England may be tempted to make changes for their one-dayer against New Zealand on Tuesday (today), with Ravi Bopara and Monty Panesar set to come into contention.

Having beaten the Black Caps in Hobart, victory could go a long way to sealing England’s place in the series final. And Panesar could be recalled given the traditional impact of spinners at the Adelaide Oval, while Bopara may debut at the expense of out-of-form Ed Joyce.

New Zealand will be without pace bowler Shane Bond who has a back problem. However, Jacob Oram is in contention after shaking off the hamstring problem that kept him out of Sunday’s narrow defeat to Australia.

Written by Team CricketViewer on January 23rd, 2007 with no comments.
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