January 25th, 2007

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Pakistan can overcome Aussies in World Cup

Cricket legend Imran Khan said here on Wednesday that Pakistan could overcome Australia in the upcoming World Cup if their fast bowlers continue to excel in the coveted tournament as they are firing in their ongoing South African tour.

Talking to reporters at the Karachi Press Club, Imran, who led Pakistan to their only World Cup triumph in 1992, said Pakistan will be the main hurdle for the Aussies as they contain world’s best pacers.

Praising the fast bowlers, Imran said Pakistan have the best bowling attack in the world as well as the best attack the country ever had saying that the bowlers will play a key role for the country in the World Cup starting from March in the West Indies.

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Growing injury list major cause of concern for Pakistan

Pakistan are concerned over the growing injury list in their camp ahead of March’s World Cup in the West Indies and would take all the possible steps to assure that all the top string players are ready for the quadrennial spectacle in the Caribbean islands, a PCB official said on Wednesday.

“Some of our key players have unfortunately got injured and it is one major area of concern for us in the build-up to the World Cup,” Dr Ahsan Hameed Malik, PCB’s Director of Communications, said here at the National Stadium.

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Imran Khan backs injured Shoaib Akhtar

Former Pakistan bowling great Imran Khan on Wednesday backed fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, saying he should have been kept with the team despite his injury problems.

“You keep your match winners with the team and Shoaib’s only two bursts put Pakistan in the match winning position in the Port Elizabeth Test,” Imran told reporters, referring to the series in South Africa.

Shoaib capped his return to Test cricket with a magnificent 4-36 in the second Test against South Africa last week before tearing his hamstring muscle.

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Hayden searches for one-day runs

Matthew Hayden admitted his return to the one-day team had yielded disappointing results and he was looking for a big score against England at Adelaide on Friday (tomorrow).

But Shane Watson’s comeback for Queensland on Thursday (today) could mean the race to partner Adam Gilchrist in the World Cup is back on in earnest.

Watson, who was given the role of opening for the Champions Trophy in India, was named in Queensland’s limited-overs team for their match against Western Australia but will play as a specialist batsman.

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Gibbs waiting on appeal decision

South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs is expected to find out on Thursday (today) whether his two-Test ban for making racist comments will be upheld.

Former Australia captain Richie Benaud heard his appeal via telephone on Wednesday and must make a decision by the following day. The teleconference also involved Gibbs, the International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Chris Broad and their legal representatives.

The third Test against Pakistan begins here in Cape Town on Friday (tomorrow).

Benaud, one of the longest-serving members of the ICC Code of Conduct Commission, has the power to increase or decrease Gibbs’ ban and his decision is final and binding.

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South Africa romp to series victory over Pakistan women

South Africa romped to an expected third win in three to take the five-match one-day series against Pakistan in style.

They needed just 35.5 overs to race to their target of 157 to win by six wickets.

Pakistan batted first for the first time, and started steadily enough, with 36 on the board after 12 overs. But when the opening stand was broken on 40, they continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and were eventually dismissed for 159.

Cri-Zelda Brits continues to flourish in her role as fill-in South Africa captain, striking 57 to put them firmly on course for their target after the openers put on 60.

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India go 2-0 up in spite of Chanderpaul effort

India clinched a tense 20-run victory over the West Indies in the second one-dayer on Wednesday, giving them a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul scored a defiant 66 but the visitors were eventually bowled out for 169 in 48.2 overs as off-spinner Ramesh Powar and Sachin Tendulkar shared five wickets on a turning pitch.

Dinesh Karthik struck his maiden one-day fifty (63) to help India recover to 189 all out also in 48.2 overs after paceman Daren Powell’s four-wicket burst left the hosts reeling at 81-6 after 27 overs.

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