Friday, March 30, 2007

Greg's offensive: Ian Chappell tells Tendulkar to quit cricket

Editor's note: Mumbai's Mid Day deserves all praise for carrying this no-nonsense piece from Ian Chappell, brother of the beleaguered Indian coach Greg Chappell.
Is it a part of the media counter offensive Greg has launched in the aftermath of India's World Cup exit? First it was Rajan Bala's SMS story, now in this hard hitting comment from his brother Ian, Greg has brought pressure upon Sachin Tendulkar who has been projected as the man to replace Rahul Dravid as Indian skipper. The message cannot be clearer than this--Tendulkar should go..

By Ian Chappell in Mid Day
IN the fallout from India’s early demise at the World Cup one of the major decisions will concern the future of Sachin Tendulkar. Before anybody else makes a decision on what will happen to Tendulkar the player himself has to have a good long look in the mirror and decide what he’s trying to achieve in the game.
At the moment he looks like a player trying to eke out a career; build on a glittering array of statistics.
If he really is playing for that reason and not to help win as many matches as he can for India then he is wasting his time and should retire immediately.
When you think that for a decade Brian Lara and Tendulkar went head to head in a wonderful battle of stroke play to establish who was the best batsman in the world, they are now worlds apart in effectiveness.
Lara’s quick-footed tip toe through a terrific innings against a good Australian bowling attack when the rest of the West Indies top order succumbed easily was in direct contrast to Tendulkar’s stumbling effort in the crucial Sri Lanka match.
The amazing thing about Lara’s brilliant career is the fact that he hasn’t changed his style at all over seventeen years. This is a credit to his technique and mental strength, as the aging process generally makes a player more progressively conservative.
Tendulkar hasn’t worn as well; his last three or four years have been a shadow of his former self.
His double century at the SCG in January 2004 was a classic case of a great player really struggling. He came to the crease out of form and despite amassing all those runs and batting for in excess of ten hours he was no closer to recapturing his best touch than he was when he started out.
It was a tribute to his determination but it was a sad sight to see; there are enough average players around that you don’t won’t to see a class one reduced to that level.
Tendulkar hasn’t been as lucky as Lara; the Indian batsman has suffered a lot of injuries in this period where his play has deteriorated and there is nothing that melts your mental approach quicker than physical handicaps. Lara has been relatively free from injury and he certainly doesn’t have the weight of numbers riding on his shoulders that Tendulkar does.
However, the population of the Caribbean might be small but they are extremely demanding. Despite all the fuss and the odd controversy that has surrounded Lara’s career he has remained himself; this is my game and that is how I play.
For whatever reason Tendulkar hasn’t been able to maintain his extremely high standards for the last few years and unless he can find a way to recapture this mental approach he’s not doing his team or himself any favours.If Tendulkar had found an honest mirror three years ago and asked the question; “Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the best batsman of all?”
It would’ve answered; “Brian Charles Lara."
If he asked that same mirror right now; “Mirror, mirror on the wall should I retire?”The answer would be; “Yes.”

Styris helps Kiwis beat the West Indies

ST JOHN'S, Antigua
New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris featured with both bat and ball on Thursday in a comfortable seven-wicket win for the Kiwis in their World Cup Super Eights match against West Indies.
Styris captured the wicket of captain Brian Lara for 37 during a spell of 10 overs for 35 runs in West Indies' 177 all out from 44.4 overs.
He then batted with the pragmatic assurance to score an unbeaten 80 as New Zealand easily reached their target with 10.4 overs to spare.
New Zealand join Australia on top of the Super Eights standings with four points while West Indies face an uphill struggle if they are to qualify for the semi-finals in the tournament culminating with the final in Barbados on April 28.
They have now lost both their second-round matches at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium before disappointingly small crowds.
Jacob Oram, who came to the World Cup nursing a broken finger, was New Zealand's early hero.
The giant all-rounder took three top-order wickets from four overs with his deceptive bounce and late movement off the seam after Shane Bond had made the early breakthrough.
The introduction of Oram on a pitch giving some assistance to the pace bowlers after a morning shower, which had persuaded captain Stephen Fleming to field first, proved the turning point.
He had Ramnaresh Sarwan (19) brilliantly caught by the diving Brendon McCullum who took an inside edge in his left glove.
Marlon Samuels (9) gloved a catch to the wicketkeeper before the dangerous Chris Gayle, who had scored 44 from 56 balls with eight fours, dragged a ball on to his stumps.
Lara, charged yet again with resurrecting his team's fortunes, elected to run a number of quick singles and could have been run out for eight if McCullum had hit the stumps at the bowler's end.
His dismissal, a smart catch by McCullum standing up to Styris, spelled the end of West Indies' prospects of posting a competitive total.
Daren Powell briefly raised West Indies's hopes when he bowled Peter Fulton second ball for a duck and induced Hamish Marshall (15) to hit straight to Lara at mid-off.
Fleming, who alternated patient defence with some flashing drives and cuts through the off-side, scored 45 before he was needlessly run out by a direct throw from Lara at mid-wicket.
The arrival of Craig McMillan accelerated the scoring rate and the New Zealanders began to play their shots freely against an increasingly dispirited West Indies' attack.
Styris reached his third half-century of the tournament from 72 balls with three fours then decided to conclude matters swiftly by clubbing Corey Collymore for three boundaries in an over.
He lofted Gayle's off-spin over mid-on for four to secure victory and bring up the 100 partnership with McMillan (33 not out).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

South Africa beat Sri Lanka despite Malinga magic

Georgetown, (Guyana), March 29
South Africa eked to a one-wicket win over Sri Lanka despite Lasith Malinga's unprecedented four wickets in four balls late in Wednesday's World Cup Super 8 match.
The South Africans had Jacques Kallis at the crease and were one stroke from victory at 206 for five, chasing Sri Lanka's modest 209, before Malinga struck.
He became the first bowler to take wickets with four consecutive balls in an international match.
``That was a pretty stressful last five overs, geez!'' South Africa captain Graeme Smith said. ``We knew it was going to be a difficult chase _ we were dominant for 95 overs ... at the end, we're happy to get away with that.''
Malinga removed Shaun Pollock (13) and Andrew Hall (0) on the last two balls of his eighth over _ the 45th _ and Jacques Kallis (86) caught behind and Makhaya Ntini bowled on the first two balls of his ninth.
That left South Africa needing three runs from 21 balls.
Robin Peterson edged Malinga for four down to third man to take South Africa to 212-9 with 10 balls to spare. Peterson jumped jubilantly as he ran down the pitch in celebration and then smashed the stumps at the non-striker's end with his bat.
``It was a good opportunity to win the game _ we needed only one more wicket. I bowled the next ball to take a wicket _ it missed,'' Malinga said. ``I'm just happy to take my first international hat-trick.''
Malinga returned 4-54 from 9.2 overs and Muttiah Muralitharan, who had a loud shout for a hat-trick turned down earlier in the innings, finished with 3-34.
``It's nice to get through with two points. Sri Lanka is going to be a tough one to beat in this tournament,'' Smith said.
It was a tie against Sri Lanka in the match of the group stage of the last World Cup that cost South Africa a place in the second round.
Another tie against Australia in the 1999 semifinal cost the South Africans a place in the final.
``In World Cups gone by, we've probably lost those close games,'' Smith said. ``This is probably the turn around we need.''
The win ensured South Africa of top spot in the season-ending international limited-overs rankings come April 1, regardless of whatever else happens in the World Cup.
A loss could have cost South Africa the top ranking, a week after losing to defending World Cup champion Australia in a pivotal Group A match.
After three big wins in the group stage, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said his lineup played well below par against South Africa.
``This was definitely a game for us to win, but the way we played we never had a chance of winning except for that last burst from Malinga,'' Jayawardene said. ``The good thing is, we know exactly where we have to improve for next time.''
Charl Langeveldt did the early damage for South Africa with a career-best 5-39 to restrict the Sri Lankans to their lowest total of the Cup.
Langeveldt took three wickets in his last over as Sri Lanka lost its last four wickets for one run in seven balls.
Coming in when AB de Villiers was bowled by Chaminda Vaas in the first over, Kallis scored 86 from 110 balls and shared a 94-run stand with Smith (59) that set up South Africa's chase.
Muralitharan caused a wobble in the middle when he dismissed Herschelle Gibbs (31) and Mark Boucher on consecutive balls to make it 160-4.
The Sri Lankan spinner missed a hat-trick when his next ball just missed the edge and bounced off Justin Kemp's pad into the hands of a close-in fielder.
Tillekaratne Dilshan (58) and Russel Arnold (50) shared a 97-run sixth-wicket to bolster the Sri Lanka innings after Ntini and Langeveldt had them struggling at 98-5.
Ntini had Upul Tharanga (12) caught at slip with the total at 13.
Sanath Jayasuriya took a liking to Pollock's bowling, however, hitting 26 from 27 balls before he was undone by a change in the attack.
Langeveldt replaced Pollock and removed Jayasuriya and Jayawardene (12), both misjudging the pace as Sri Lanka slumped to 65-3.
Sangakkara (28) gloved a legside catch off Hall to Boucher before the Sri Lankans lost their fifth wicket when Gibbs ran out Chamara Silva for nine. Fielding the ball right-handed in close, he raced a few paces and then lunged to knock down two stumps in a scene reminiscent of Jonty Rhodes' famous effort against Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup.
South Africa's plays Ireland next Tuesday, two days after Sri Lanka takes on the host West Indies in Guyana.

Maradona taken to hospital in Buenos Aires

Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona was taken to a Buenos Aires hospital in an ambulance on Wednesday after falling ill and was undergoing tests, the hospital said.
Maradona, who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, has battled cocaine addiction and in recent weeks appeared overweight.
A statement from the Guemes hospital did not specify what Maradona was suffering from, but said his hospitalization was "not related to an addiction to dangerous drugs."
Dr. Alfredo Cahe, Maradona's personal physician, told Radio Mitre the 46-year-old former star was "fine" but "has had problems for some time with food, (alcoholic) drinks and tobacco." Maradona was likely to remain hospitalized for several days, he added.
Maradona's return to a hospital was a reminder of the repeated health problems -- many of them drug-related --- he has faced since retiring from the game in 1997.
Cahe had said just days ago that Maradona had put on weight and smoked too many cigars, and was planning a trip to Switzerland to get himself back into shape.
Television images showed an ambulance pulling up to a back entrance at the hospital. Moments later, Maradona's two teen-age daughters entered the building.
In 2000, Maradona was hospitalized with a severe heart problem while vacationing in Uruguay and tested positive for cocaine before undergoing drug rehabilitation in Cuba.
Four years later, he spent 10 days in intensive care with heart and breathing problems and reentered rehabilitation.
He underwent a stomach-stapling operation in 2005, shedding around 30 kgs (66 lbs) and said he was fully recovered and went on to briefly host his own television program.
Since then, he has played in several promotional soccer games with other retired players from across Latin America.
Maradona was suspended for drugs while playing in Italy in 1991 and kicked out of the 1994 World Cup in the United States after failing a drug test, which he blamed on his coaching team for buying the wrong over-the-counter medicine.

Australia beat West Indies in Super 8

Sydney Morning Herald
Glenn McGrath ended within one wicket of the World Cup bowling record with his 3-31 in Australia's 103-run win over West Indies in their Super Eights match in Antigua.
McGrath now has 54 World Cup wickets in 32 games, one behind Pakistan great Wasim Akram's 55 in 38 matches.
Spinner Brad Hogg also took three wickets for Australia after the game was forced into a second day by rain on Tuesday.
Starting their innings chasing 323 to win, the hosts were bowled out for 219 in 45.3 overs with skipper Brian Lara making 77 and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin adding 52.
Australia's bowlers sliced easily through the West Indies top order, taking three for 20.
Shaun Tait struggled early with his radar but got one on target to have Shivnarine Chanderpaul out lbw for five.
McGrath replaced Tait for the eighth over and struck with his second delivery as Chris Gayle top-edged a pull shot to mid-on for two off 23 balls.
Marlon Samuels (4) fell to a wild slog which flew very high, but only as far as cover in McGrath's next over.
Ramnaresh Sarwan (29) put on 71 for the fourth wicket with Lara but ruined his good work with an undisciplined swipe to mid-wicket, charging at a full-toss from spinner Brad Hogg and smashing it straight to Ricky Ponting.
Hogg made the key breakthrough in the 36th over when he trapped Lara lbw after a brilliant rearguard effort off 83 balls with flashes of brilliance, including eight fours and one six over long-off.
Matthew Hayden's 158 - the highest score by an Australian in a World Cup game, powered his side's 6-322 from their 50 overs on Tuesday, before persistent rain forced the match into the reserve day.
The dashing knock added to records Hayden has been racking up since his recent return to the one-day side after being dropped in October 2005.
He also owns Australia's highest one-day international score (181no v NZ last month) and fastest ODI century (off 66 balls v South Africa last weekend).
Coach John Buchanan rated Tuesday's innings among the finest by Hayden, who also holds Australia's Test record score of 380.
Hayden averages 62.18 from 19 innings since being recalled in September last year against a career ODI average of 42.33.
Australia next play Bangladesh on Saturday in Antigua.
Hayden was named man of the match.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who made another good contribution with the bat with his 35 alongside Michael Clarke's 41, said his side's big winning margins so far in the tournament didn't concern him.

Dravid has leadership qualities: Vengsarkar

India's chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar has come to the defence of Rahul Dravid after the skipper came under fire for histeam's first-round elimination at the World Cup.
India, runners-up in 2003, lost two out of their threegroup matches, to Bangladesh and former champions Sri Lanka and exited the tournament.
"He is an experienced campaigner and has all the leadership qualities," Vengsarkar told Times of India.
Vengsarkar recalled former Australia captain Richie Benaud's comments on the role of the captain: "Captaincy is 90 percent luck and 10 percent ability."
"He(Dravid) has done quite well thus far. After all, as they say, a captain is only as good as his team."
Vengsarkar said the defeat to Bangladesh was a one-off.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bindra steps in to support Dravid and Chappell

By John Cheeran
This is something interesting. Inderjit Singh Bindra, the man who made Kapil Dev cry on BBC, by raising the match-fixing issue, has come to support the beleaguered the Indian team captain Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell.
Indian media, especially the television media, is so peeved at Indian team's exit from the World Cup that they have whipped up hysteria over the World Cup debacle.
And the man who is leading the witch hunt against Dravid and Chappell is Kapil Dev, who had signed a two-crore worth deal with India Today Group for his exclusive thoughts on the World Cup. Of course with India's exit even Kapil Dev stands to lose as an expert.
And Bindra could not have watched this farce go on.
Bindra, who is a former BCCI president, has lambasted media speculation that the board had already decided to sack both Chappell and Dravid. The BCCI has called former captains Sunil Gavsakar, Ravi Shastri for a brainstorming session on April 6 and 7 that will also hear Chappell's views on the team's dismal show in the World Cup.
Let me quote Bindra on the media trial of Dravid and Chappell.
"We are all disappointed but I can promise you there will be no knee-jerk reaction," Bindra said .
"We will hear both Chappell and Dravid and see how best we can find a long-term solution. By making sweeping changes we are not going to improve Indian cricket overnight."
"The meeting next week has been called to essentially extend our support to the team in this hour of despair," Bindra said. "We are appalled at the manner in which the media, especially TV channels, has reacted to the team's early exit, and the BCCI cannot just sit back and allow the players to be torn apart in public."
"The team never claimed it would come back with the World Cup. To suit their commercial interests, some of these TV channels first created unprecedented hype and now have been behaving in a regrettable manner."

Chappell's SMS bouncer hits Vengsarkar and seniors

Editor's note: Here is a brilliant forward defensive shot played by the Indian team coach Greg Chappell.
New Delhi:The fact that Team India Coach Greg Chappell was unhappy with the way some senior players went against the selection of youngsters for the World Cup has been disclosed by a veteran cricket journalist.
In an SMS sent to Rajan Bala on Feb 17, Chappell reportedly said that Selection Committee Chairman Dilip Vengsarkar had concurred with the seniors, TV news channel Times Now reported. The channel showed the journalist reading the text message from his mobile phone.
"The senior players fought against it and the chairman went with them out of fear of media, if youth did not perform," Chappell had reportedly said in his SMS to Bala.
In the same message, the Australian pointed out that wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Kaarthick had leadership material.
"Kaarthick will be a very good batsman and by the way, he is a potential leader. You are also very right about Yuvi," Chappell said, referring to an article written by Bala.
In that article Bala was not very complimentary about Yuvraj Singh.
The journalist had written: "He (Yuvraj) might or might not develop to be the country's best future batsman, but let it be known that the possibility of his not being fully fit during the World Cup cannot be discounted. It is a risk that is being taken. The problem with Yuvraj is that he believes he is a star when he is only a rising one."
Chappell had also informed the writer: "(Batsman) Suresh Raina is a must. But he was not wanted."

Swamy threatens to drag Pawar and co to court over World Cup

Maverick politician and Janata Party ( is it still alive) leader Subramanium Swamy has found a cause wrthy enough to fight.
Swamy has threatened to sue the BCCI if it failed to stop BCCI officials, including vice-President Rajiv Shukla, of planting stories against Team India captain Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell in the media.
"The BCCI has unfortunately made the selection process cricket players, team captain and coach a matter of public debate and discourse," Swamy said.
Charging the BCCI vice-President of planting stories against a select group of players, Swamy said the speculation surrounding the future of Dravid and Chappell proved that insiders such as Shukla were feeding the media.
"The media has pounced on selective leaks of individual members of the BCCI such as Rajiv Shukla, who have been regularly interacting with members of the press to get stories planted in favour or against certain cricketers," he said.
"The latest tnews in the media speculating the dismissal of both Dravid and Chappell bears the stamp of such a motivated campaign," he added.
Swamy said if the board did nothing to stop the campaign, he would be forced to drag it to the court.
"If the BCCI will not stop the selective leads and target inconvenient players who are otherwise performing under very difficult circumstances, I will have no alternative in the public interest but to approach the court and seek a full fledged inquiry into the working of BCCI," he threatened.
Is Sharad Pawar listening?

Money and Murder: The Making of a Bloodsport

By M.J. Akbar, Editor, Asian Age
Cricket, tea and murder in the vicarage were the three archetypal metaphors for the British empire: Dennis Compton (Brylcreem and straight drives), Rupert Brook (tea at four at Grantchester) and Agatha Christie are the architecture on the cultural landscape of an empire sleepwalking its way towards new nations that would throw out Britain but keep cricket and tea.
Who would have thought that Hercule Poirot would be needed as the third umpire at the West Indies World Cup? Cricket is dead, murder is alive, and the game is no longer my cup of tea.
The ironies would leave Christie breathless. Bob Woolmer is an Englishman who served the progeny of empire, and was killed by the new culture spawned by independent nations, a mindset controlled by crime and greed.
Crime has maimed Pakistan, and greed is crippling India. Cricket is only one symptom of an all-pervasive cancer. India and Pakistan can take comfort in the fact that the only difference between them is that India defeated a joke called Bermuda, and Pakistan couldn’t.
Gentility began to ebb out of the gentleman’s game a long while ago, being shoved aside in rough stages by intensity. The British began to mix metaphors first, when the masters of the world were defeated by the minions of the world. Their first defeat by Australia created such heartburn that they declared cricket dead and preserved its ashes in an urn.
It was intensity that led to bodyline, in which an English bowler, with the full approval of his captain and a typically weasel-MCC, turned a ball of leather into a lethal weapon aimed at the head of Australia’s immaculate batsmen. The two nations still go to war over the Ashes, as evident in the triumphs accorded to victors.
When England last won the Ashes, even the Queen lost her reserve and handed out gongs. The star, Andrew Flintoff, arrived, so it was said, drunk to the gong ceremony and relieved himself on the regal lawns. What a jolly good lark, cheered everyone, for stupidity is the homage worshippers pay to idols.
But of course, idols are perched on oily pedestals, as Flintoff found out when he drank after defeat and ended up in the ocean. He was pilloried by the most dangerous jury in the world, a press conference.Cricket is a family game, hence the intensity. Would Cain have killed Abel were he not his brother? Unlikely. There is no ‘world’ in this World Cup.
There cannot be, when you need seven joke teams to make up a tournament of 16. Bermuda was led by a sumo wrestler who defied the laws of gravity just once to take a magnificent catch against India, but confirmed that science cannot be dismissed lightly on a hundred occasions. India’s defeat was evident during the victory against Bermuda.
You could see the smugness return into the eyes of our spoilt, overpaid, pampered, immature dead duck cricketers as they hammered Bermuda’s jokers.
Sachin Tendulkar, who cannot be allowed to retire because so much advertising rides on the memory of what he used to be, had the look of a man who had won the World Cup after he made a few runs.
Rahul Dravid, who now believes that cricket should not be front page news, should retire from press conferences. I could go on, but what is the point: how many synonyms can you find for pathetic?
But why blame an Uthappa alone, when we all conspire to convert him from unknown extra to divinity on the basis of just one innings in Chennai?
Everyone is to blame, not least being the politicians, from Bengal to Jharkhand to Maharashtra to Kerala, who have muscled into cricket space in the hope that it will get them votes, and of course because they want a stake in the huge monies that have destroyed the game.
Pakistan looked a team in distress even before they had played a match.
Their captain, Inzamamul Haq, could triple his personal endorsement revenues if someone eased that look of permanent pain on his visage. He also has the slightly irritating habit of confusing the Almighty with a cricket coach (irritating, I am sure, to the Almighty as well, which might explain the results).
Apparently, he thought that massive quantities of ghee-strewn parathas and meat followed by a long sermon on religion from a cleric were adequate preparation for a World Cup match. It was entirely appropriate that a ‘joke’ team, Ireland, ended the fun.
Crime and corporations are the godfathers of Indian cricket. The two keep their distance from each other, but both know that they are linked by the cricketer. Crime got its opportunity because governments imbued with false morality have refused to permit licensed and regulated betting on cricket.
For some obscure, fundamentalist reason, it is perfectly moral in India to bet on the performance of horses, but not on the performance of men. There is no point arguing that men can be corrupted and horses can’t, because the shenanigans of the race course would put any decent mafia to shame.
Cricketers might even fetch a higher price from illegal bookmakers. Bribes are also race- and colour-neutral, as South Africa has shown.Everyone knows that a cricket team on tour lives two lives. One is on the playing field that you see on television, and the other is in hotels with groupies who cajole and bribe their way to the penumbra of cricket celebrities.
That is where the stench of corruption begins. It is in the interest of cricket’s administrators to pretend that they cannot smell the stink, since cricket has given them budgets that are beyond their wildest fantasies. But it has always been understood that this malicious odour would not waft into the public domain. Criminals have broken this implicit rule with the murder of Bob Woolmer.
The culprits have surely left enough clues. Woolmer recognised his murderers, or he would not have allowed them into his room. That tightens the circle of suspicion. It is very likely that the murderers were seen by others when they knocked on Woolmer’s room or after they left.
Woolmer was living in the team hotel, not in a monastery. If the murder is linked to betting syndicates, then either the game finds the will to change its structure or it will die an ignoble death. Corporations may be guilty of no worse a crime than hysteria, but it is time to check what price their artificially injected mania has begun to demand. It is always a trifle risky to place nationalism in the custody of multinationals.
Multinationals never get the balance of nationalism right, since their functioning ideology is non-patriotic. You do not have to scream like a banshee in order to sound like an Indian.
That Jharkhand fan who broke a wall or two of Dhoni’s new home, being built on land gifted by a stupid government, was absolutely right when he alleged that Dhoni was much more interested in modelling than in cricket. Even if this is not completely true, since that modelling contract will not come without performance, it is fair to suggest that the Indian cricketer has acquired a split personality.
A new, young and semi-tried fast bowler whose name I prefer to forget makes millions out of a war dance on the field, and is honoured by his state government after his idiocy: on which rational axis would you expect his brain to function?
And it might be a good moment to ban all those ho-ho-ho cricket commentators who glamorise absurdity in order to keep on the right side of their paymasters.
The purge of Indian cricket can start with a simple decision. Sack the whole team and select a completely new eleven. After all, they would still defeat Bermuda. Naturally, this will not happen.
The leaders of Indian cricket will not dare risk accountability, since they would also have to resign on that principle. The world’s administrators will try and dismiss Woolmer’s murder as a one-off crime, rather than a malign disease on the body of the game.
Greed will screen the truth. How do you convert a sport into a bloodsport? Mix greed, megalomania, nationalism, God, politicians, advertising and murder.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Clippings: Bangladesh beat Bermuda to reach Super 8

Mohammad Ashraful drove a boundary down the ground to secure Bangladesh's place in the Super Eights at the World Cup with a seven-wicket win over Bermuda.
In a match interrupted four times by rain, and reduced to 21 overs a side, Bangladesh reached the victory target of 96 with almost four overs to spare.
Ashraful was unbeaten on 29 from 32 balls and Saqibul Hasan was not out 26, the pair steadying Bangladesh after a brief wobble had them at 3-31.
India, the 1983 champions and runners-up at the last World Cup, needed Bermuda to upset Bangladesh to reach the Super Eights.
Instead, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and co. will be heading home with India's worst record at a World Cup since 1979.
It was the first time Bangladesh had advanced beyond the first round at the quadrennial tournament.
After winning the toss and sending Bangladesh in, Bangladesh restricted Bermuda to 9-94 in 21 overs with Abdur Razzaq taking 3-20.
After a stop-start innings, Dean Minors led the scoring for Bermuda with 23 runs from 25 balls, including a six in the last over.
Only four batsmen reached double figures, with Bermuda's only professional player, David Hemp, out for a duck.
Bermuda, a country of less than 65,000 people, were the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup.
They had two big losses to India and Sri Lanka and the chances of pulling an upset over Bangladesh were remote.
Sri Lanka advanced unbeaten from Group B, while Bangladesh upset India by five wickets and finished second in the group with two wins from three.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Will Pawar strip Dravid of Indian team's captaincy?

By John Cheeran
Will the Board of Control for Cricket in India strip Rahul Dravid of Indian team’s captaincy after the debacle in the World Cup?
As the custodians of the game in the country, the BCCI and its President Sharad Pawar will have to act after the shock and awe the side was subjected to in the Caribbean.
Pawar has already spoken of bringing youngsters to the team. But before doing that will he change the coach and captain?
As Dravid was quick to point out his brief as captain is already over after the game against Sri Lanka. Ditto for Greg Chappell. The BCCI will, however, have to wait till the end of the Bermuda-Bangladesh game in Group B to make up their mind. Technically, that game gives India a slender hope.
All ruling regimes want to save their skins so it is quite likely that Chappell will go. And already desi jokers such as Syed Kirmani, Madan Lal, Anshuman Gaekwad and Mohinder Amarnath are salivating at the prospects of becoming the national coach.
Once Chappell leaves the scene, it may be possible that a majority in the board may want a fresh start by replacing Dravid as captain. Dravid, however, remains by far India’s best batsman. The leading contender for captain’s job, the vice-captain Sachin Tendulkar is finished as a one-day batsman.
On the two occasions when Tendulkar was given the responsibility of leading the side, India’s record was not all that impressive. Not just that Tendulkar’s own run-scoring suffered as a consequence. Beyond all that, only a senseless team of managers will give Tendulkar the reins of the side after he failed abjectly to come to the rescue of the side by failing to open his account both against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Mind you, though it is quite unfortunate, the most vilified cricketer in private conversations all over India and wherever Indian come together, is none other than Tendulkar. How can a man who struggles to stretch is international career can come to the rescue of the side?
He did not when it mattered at Port-of-Spain. Anointing Tendulkar as captain will not be the right signal if Pawar actually wants to look ahead and bring in fresh blood.
And Yuvraj Singh, another name bandied about, hardly fits the bill. Except in the minds of a few acolytes, this brash cricketer from Punjab is yet to command a place in the side.
You cannot stop Bengalis from wanting Ganguly to comeback as captain of the side. But apart from his arrogance, he cannot bring anything good to the side. Ganguly, it should be conceded that, excels in the art of self-preservation, as he did during the game against Bangladesh. Not just that, the major players in the board games do not want to return to Ganguly as skipper.
That leaves VVS Laxman as the only practical choice for the board to fall back as captain.
Missing the World Cup, after all, might turnout to be a blessing in disguise for Laxman.
And for all that, If I were the BCCI President I would have retained Dravid as captain.
Captaincy has not diminished this man’s appetite for hard work and runs. And from the old guard, only Dravid looks set to last the distance of, at least, the coming two years.
And I would have retained Chappell as coach since I know the limitations of the role of coach at the national level. And I simply admire this Aussie’s guts.
Unless, Sunil Gavaskar, Chappell’s bete noire, is ready to stop preaching and become India’s coach.

Come on India and Pakistan; You are the World!

By John Cheeran
You cannot control the events, but you can control the way you react to them.
India have lost the World Cup. So too have Pakistan.
And what’s World Cup without India and Pakistan? Those who take pride in claiming that center of cricket has shifted to India, and in a larger sense, Asian continent, should handle this crisis in the most imaginative way.
The BCCI President Sharad Pawar should talk to the only man who matters in Pakistan, General Pervez Musharaff and organize a one-day series between India and Pakistan teams that exited World Cup without losing much time. They should ensure that the same 15 cricketers should take part in this series, to be played out in two segments, first in Pakistan and then India.
And to keep the excitement at fever pitch, Pawar and Musharaff should appoint an official match-fixer to the series. There will not be any dearth of talent in that area.
Such a series that involves superstars from India and Pakistan should get more TRPs than the devalued World Cup that is being played out in the Caribbean.
The series should take care of the disappointment of television executives and a public that worship brand billboards.ICC’s Malcolm Speed may issue some statements how the BCCI and PCB are hurting the game by holding the parallel series. Let the ICC be damned. Cricket is what happens in India and Pakistan. Yes, we can let Bangladesh join the fun some other time.

Incredible Indians and World Cup

By John Cheeran
Rahul Dravid and his boys have emerged as truly incredible Indians.
None would have believed that Indian team would not progress into the Super 8, before India played their first match in the 2007 World Cup against Bangladesh. India reaching Super 8 was a given.
Two losses against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have changed all that. It is disaster in terms of runs and wickets. We all believed, justifiably so, that India will make into the semifinals.
For a change, the Indian cricket board had given the side a professional coach in Greg Chappell and a no-nonsense captain was handed a long-term brief for the World Cup. Skipper Rahul Dravid, along with coach Chappell should share the responsibility for India’s premature exit from the World Cup.
Dravid has said that he takes the responsibility for the Indian defeat. He has not spoken about any individual letting the team down, but has expressed disappointment the way his batsmen spent time at the crease.
Captain Dravid has failed in his World Cup mission. But as a cricketer he still stands tall among India’s World Cup ruins. Who else played when chips were down against Sri Lanka in Port of Spain?
Yes, Dravid, despite chairman of selector Dilip Vengsarkar’s betrayal, can take credit for asking for Virender Sehwag and having partially vindicated for standing u for his belief.
It is interesting that Vengsarkar, a man who could not resist Karan Thapar during the CNN-IBN interview, has not uttered a single sentence in the wake of India’s stunning reverse in the World Cup.
India lost this World Cup, I must say, largely because chairman of selectors Vengsarkar sold the team management his theory of how important experience in winning matches. Vengsarkar used experience conveniently to bring Sourav Ganguly back and to retain Sachin Tendulkar.
Ganguly preserved himself while letting Bangladesh bowlers dominate and in the crunch game against Sri Lanka played a silly shot to get out for 7. And what about the most experienced campaigner in the Indian side, Sachin Tendulkar? How can Team India progress beyond the group stage when Tendulkar scores ducks against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Tendulkar, who was peeved and jumped to speak to media in Pakistan when he was denied the opportunity for getting a Test double century by skipper Dravid, should tell the world he is quitting at least playing one-dayers, owing responsibility for his utter failure to score even a single run in two games that turned out to be crucial, against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
But the billboard that is Sachin Tendulkar, seems to have swallowed the cricket balls that rattled his stumps against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and has not said a single word.Team India, however, is not Ganguly or Tendulkar. If experience has failed, so too has the youth brigade. Those who had seen shades of Kapil Dev in Mahendra Singh Dhoni must be busy disowning the six-maker. Dhoni, at least, equaled Tendulkar in scoring blobs against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.And Robin Uthappa, having got the luxury of playing all three matches, proved the biggest disappointment of the tournament. And what good Yuvraj Singh can be to Indian cricket if he cannot get his judgment right for stealing a single?
Leave alone Chappell, not even God can teach dudes such as Yuvraj, who has arrived much too early as a star, anything. It has been a collective failure and each one of the Indian team members fully deserve the abuses that are heaped on them now.

Clippings: England reach Super 8s

Opener Ed Joyce hit 75 to help England into the Super Eights with a seven-wicket win over Kenya in a rain-affected World Cup Group C decider on Saturday.
Dublin-born Joyce, who made 66 against Canada last Sunday, combined with Kevin Pietersen (56 not out) to eliminate the Africans with 10 overs to spare and set up their first Super Eight match against Ireland in Guyana next Friday.
England's Andrew Flintoff, back after being dropped from the win over Canada because of a drinking scandal, had earlier grabbed two wickets to help limit Kenya to 177 all out.
The match, which started two hours late, was reduced to 43 overs-a-side because of overnight rain but Kenya captain Steve Tikolo sprung a surprise by electing to bat.
"We were good today. When you come up against a potential banana skin you just want the basics done right and be very professional," England captain Michael Vaughan told a news conference. "Bowling first was want we wanted to do."
Kenya's Tikolo defended his decision to bat.
"I thought the wicket looked fairly good for batting," he said. "The decision to bat was valid we just didn't get partnerships going, we lost wickets at regalr intervals."
Tikolo's choice though backfired when a James Anderson delivery kept low to bowl opener Ravi Shah for four in the fifth over.
Clever field placings from England then contributed to the downfalls of Maurice Ouma and Tony Suji, who came into the side for opener David Obuya.
Another low delivery from Paul Collingwood undid Tanmay Mishra, who chopped a cut on to the stumps for a duck taking the score to 74 for four.
A mix-up with Tikolo led to Collins Obuya being run out for 10 before all-rounder Flintoff trapped Thomas Odoyo lbw.
Flintoff nearly had two more wickets with another excellent lbw shout and Tikolo being badly dropped by Joyce at mid-on before Jimmy Kamande was bowled by Collingwood's slower ball.
Tikolo struck 76 before being yorked by Flintoff and two late run outs wrapped up the innings.
"When you have your premier all-rounder back in your team you look a better team for that," Vaughan said of Flintoff.
Despite bowling out a side for the first time in this World Cup, England's attack was again inconsistent though and leaked 22 extras including eight no balls.
Fast bowler Sajid Mahmood, included in place of Liam Plunkett, threw in many slower deliveries but they were largely ineffective.
England's run chase had a stuttering start with captain Vaughan out for one as he again struggled with his one-day form.
The 32-year-old, who has recovered from long standing knee and hamstring problems, was surprised by some extra bounce and cut Peter Ongondo to backward point where Obuya took a superb diving catch.
England's nerves were then frayed by Ian Bell falling for 16 and Pietersen being dropped on seven by wicketkeeper Ouma off Hiren Varaiya's first ball after drinks.
But Vaughan's men, who lost to fellow qualifiers New Zealand in their first group game, then easily completed their task despite former Ireland batsman Joyce being bowled by Tikolo late on.

Aussies lord over South Africa

Chloe Saltau in Basseterre, St Kitts in Sydney Morning Herald
Matthew Hayden's devastating century - the fastest in World Cup history - helped Australia triumph over South Africa on a ground roughly the size of an Eastern Caribbean dollar in St Kitts overnight.
Beating the team that recently stole their number one ranking is a massive boost for the world champions. They will now carry two points through to the Super Eight round that could be crucial in qualifying for the World Cup semi-finals, and have proven some other points in the process.
Hayden seemed to fill tiny Warner Park from the moment he strode out to bat, and broke the record claimed four years ago by Canada's John Davison with a hundred plundered from a mere 66 balls. His century came up with a towering six, one of the four that decorated his innings.
Australia's 83-run victory, though, had as much to do with the discipline of its bowlers to recover from an early South African onslaught.
After Australia posted 6-377, the third-biggest World Cup total in history, openers Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers raced to 0-154 from the first 20 overs. But Shane Watson's direct hit from the deep square leg boundary to run out de Villiers for 92 completely changed the complexion of the chase.
The Proteas' run rate slowed, Smith went down with cramp and had to retire hurt on 72 and the bowlers worked their way back on top.
This was no mean achievement on a ground so small that anything that missed by a fielder went for four, unless it was in the air in which case it went for six. This was cricket played in a different dimension.
Australia ensured there was no repeat of South Africa's famous 2006 chase in Johannesburg by dismissing danger man Herschelle Gibbs for 17. Brad Hogg ripped out a googly to fool Gibbs and Adam Gilchrist whipped off the bails.
Shaun Tait roared back into the game after an expensive beginning to knock over Mark Boucher and Justin Kemp and claim 2-61, and there was little urgency about Jacques Kallis's 48 from 63 balls.
As impressive as Australia's batting performance was, with both Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke falling just short of centuries, it was the bowlers' effort to rein South Africa in that would have done most to restore confidence after the recent troubles in defending big totals.
In addition Andrew Symonds came through his return game, with a quick 18 at the end of the Australian innings and two overs of off-spin, to warm up for the first Super Eights outing against the West Indies on Tuesday. He dived and threw without worrying about his recently recovered biceps.
South Africa, bowled out for 294 in 48 overs and knocked off kilter, faces a tough task to rectify its World Cup campaign, needing to come from behind to make the top four.
For Australia, stage one of the mission is accomplished.

Jayawardene looks for more success

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, March 24, 2007
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has told team-mates not to rest on their laurels after qualifying for the World Cup second round with an emphatic win over India.
"There is still room for us to improve. I think the conditions will be different at different venues and we have to make sure we don't sit back on what we have achieved now," he said.
"We now need to work much harder, improve ourselves and adapt to the other conditions. We had a set of plans for this group stage, how we wanted to play our cricket, especially in Trinidad, and we executed them very well."
"Any side at home is stronger. If you take us in Sri Lanka, we are much stronger than anybody. So it is just a home advantage. You know the wickets and you have the support of the crowds," he said.
"When India are playing at home,they have 30,000-40,000 in most of the stadiums, and in Kolkata you have 80,000 shouting for you. So it is totally different.
"That is why I said when you guys asked me in India that we are playing India in the World Cup and I said 'Yes, but not in India. We are playing in the Caribbean'."
Jayawardene said his team's good performances away from home in recent times had stood them well in this tournament.
"What we tried to do over the last year or so is that we tried toplay a lot of cricket away from home. We wanted to compete away from home, improve ourselves and see where we can be," he said.
"The practice that we have been doing over the last 12 months has groomed us to compete abroad, get adjusted to wickets and conditions quickly and play some smart cricket."
"We knew how strong the Indian side was. They are a brilliant side, but any team can go through a day like this. Obviously, they have a class batting line-up. We also thought that 254 was probably short," he said.
"But we managed to get a couple of early wickets and that put pressure on them. When you are chasing, it's important that you have wickets in hand and I think that's where they went wrong.
"Rahul Dravid managed to keep one end intact, but Murali bowled really well and Vaasi bowled really well upfront. A lot of credit should go to our young guys as well for the way they batted in really tough conditions."
"Our chances are pretty good once you carry two points from the group we were in. When westarted, everyone was talking about this being the 'Group of Death'. So, tocarry two points is brilliant," said Jayawardene.
"There are some tough games.We just have to make sure we take one game at a time, like we did in this group.
"I reckon three or four wins will probably secure a spot in the last four. Butwe don't want to look at it that way because if you are winning, it is a very good habit to have. We just want to continue that."

Chronicle of Indian defeat against Sri Lanka

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, March 23, 2007 (AFP)
Sri Lanka stormed into the World Cup Super Eights after virtually knocking India out of the tournament with an emphatic 69-run win here on Friday.
Mahela Jayawardene's Sri Lankans qualified with an all-win record in the four-team group, meaning theywill also carry forward two crucial points in the next round.
India's batting crumbled in the must-win game as they were bowled out for 185 chasing a 255-runtarget on a good pitch to put in their worst performance in the event since the1979 edition in England.
They were the champions in 1983, semi-finalists in 1987and 1996, and runners-up in 2003. This time, they could manage just one win inthree matches, against debutants Bermuda.
Skipper Rahul Dravid, batting with a runner in the later part of his innings due to cramp, top-scored with 60 but that was not good enough for his under-performing team despite enjoying the crowd support.
Bangladesh, who shocked India in their opening match, now have a chance to make it to the next round for the first time since their Cup debut in 1999 as they face Bermuda in their last Group B game here on Sunday.
Sri Lanka had more than one hero in their victory, with Upul Tharanga (64) and Chamara Silva (59) scoring solid half-centuries and off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and seamer Chaminda Vaas tightening the screws on India.
"I'm very happy and all credit to the boys. We batted in difficult conditions and then we bowled and fielded well," said Sri Lankan captain Jayawardene.
"Vaas and Muralitharan were brilliant. We knew we could put pressure on them by getting early wickets."
Man-of-the-match Muralitharan (3-41) also held a superb running catch at mid-off to account for Sourav Ganguly (seven). Veteran left-arm fast bowler Vaas began it when he reacted sharply to hold a return catch to remove Robin Uthappa and then dismissed Ganguly in his disciplined opening spell.
Batting star Sachin Tendulkar also failed to sparkle as he fell for a duck, inside-edging a Dilhara Fernando delivery on to his stumps to leave his team tottering at 44-3.
Virender Sehwag sustained India's hopes with a 54-run stand for the fourth wicket withDravid before being caught at lone slip by Jayawardene off Muralitharan. Sehwag offered a difficult chance to wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara off Fernando whenon 39, but failed to capitalise on it.
He hit one six and five fours in his 46-ball 48. The roof fell in on India when Yuvraj Singh was run out going for a risky single and Mahendra Dhoni was trapped leg-before by Muralitharan at the same total of 112.
"We didn't have a good partnership. We lost too many earlywickets and that put us under pressure. They played very well," said Dravid.
India earlier bowled well for a major part of the innings before losing their way in the closing 10 overs which yielded 75 runs, thanks to Silva's third successive half-century. Silva put on 83 for the fifth wicket off just 80 balls with Tillakaratne Dilshan (38), ensuring his team crossed the 250-mark.
Seamers Zaheer Khan (2-49), Munaf Patel (1-46) and Ajit Agarkar (1-33) all bowled tightly on a pitch which offered movement and bounce early in the innings. Dravid elected to field after winning the toss and his new-ball bowlers did not let him down as both Zaheer and Agarkar exploited the conditions superbly.
Veteran Sanath Jayasuriya (six), Jayawardene (seven) and Sangakkara (15) all fell cheaply before Silva and Dilshan succeeded in neutralising India's early advantage with their sensible knocks.

Pawar now wants more youth

Indian cricket board president Shard Pawar said it was time to encourage younger players.
"The time has come to sit, discuss and take future course of action," he told reporters.
"Start encouraging younger players, and provide them more opportunity to play in international games, which will ultimately be helpful in building team, and we will follow this process," added Pawar, who is also an influential Cabinet minister.

You build them..and you wreck them..

Former players, board officials and the national media were united in condemning an Indian team that had all but crashed out of the World Cup in the Caribbean on Friday.
Winners in1983 and finalists in the last tournament, India suffered a 69-run defeat intheir crunch Group B match against Sri Lanka and their slim hopes of progressing now hinge on an unlikely defeat for Bangladesh by debutants Bermuda on Sunday.
"It is disappointing. This is not what we deserve," former test batsman and coach Aunshuman Gaekwad said.
"But mistakes made earlier turned out to be very costly," he said, referring to the shock defeat to neighbours Bangladesh last Saturday led to this predicament.
"They didn't play well at all. No partnerships. You don't win matches unless there is a team effort," said the former coach of India's woeful batting display against formerchampions Sri Lanka.
India were skittled out for 185 in their attempt to chase a challenging total of 254-6.

"CAPITULATION", ran the page one headline in national daily Hindustan Times witha picture of a dejected Sachin Tendulkar walking back to the pavilion after being dismissed for a duck. "Super Flop, not Super Eight," screamed the page one headline of the Times of India as it asked, "Bermuda win over Bangla can save us, but do we deserve it?"The World Cup-frenzy in the country had been fuelled by a multitude of television channels and media houses who have touted the team as favourites and were tracking the action minute-by-minute since the team arrived in the Caribbean.
Television channels reported that Zaheer Khan's restaurant in Pune was stoned while police said told that security had been beefed up outside the residences of Sachin Tendulkar and Ajit Agarkar in Mumbai.

India reacts to World Cup disaster

New Delhi (AP)
Hundreds of cricket fans across India burnt effigies, defaced posters and held mock funeral processions of the national team, a day after their defeat to Sri Lanka in the World Cup match in the Caribbean.
Winners in 1983 and finalists in the last tournament, India suffered a 69-run defeat in their crunch Group B match against Sri Lanka and their slim hopes of progressing now hinge on an unlikely defeat for Bangladesh by debutants Bermuda on Sunday.
Cricket is taken very seriously in India, where players are treated as huge celebrities, paid big money to endorse major commercial brands and put on pedestals by cricket-crazy fans.
But on Saturday, television pictures showed furious cricket fans in towns and cities across India taking to the streets to show their outrage at their national team's defeat.
In the northern city of Kanpur, dozens of residents held a mock funeral procession where people dressed as the 11 cricket players were carried on stretchers through the streets. "Everyone should leave this cricket team, we should have new youngsters with much more power and more aggression and all these old team members should retire," said one angry fan. In other places, fans burnt effigies, stamped on glossy posters of players and daubed their faces with black paint.
Others lashed out at pictures with their shoes.
"It was such a waste of time to see India lose one wicket after another and finally lose the match, I don't want to even talk about it," said Jatin Panchal, a businessman in the western city of Ahmedabad.
Security has been stepped up outside the residences of some of the cricketers, including captain Rahul Dravid's home in the southern city of Bangalore, for fears of an attack orstone-pelting by fans.
The World Cup-frenzy in the country has been fuelled by a multitude of television channels and media houses who have touted the team as favourites and are tracking the action minute-by-minute since the team's arrival in the Caribbean.
In Kolkata, travel agents said many fans planning to travel to the Caribbean to watch India compete in the Super Eight --the last eight remaining teams -- had cancelled their bookings.
"At least a dozen persons, who had booked their tickets to the Caribbean to watch Indiabattle in the Super Eights next week have already called to cancel their trip,"travel agent Anil Punjabi said, adding travel agents stood to lose millions of rupees from booking cancellations.
Sumanta Banerjee, 41, was planning to fly to the Caribbean next week to watch India play in the next round, but changed his plans immediately after India's defeat.
"I would rather go to Thailand for holidays now," he said.

A report from Ranchi
Policemen were deployedoutside the home of Indian wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in eastern India on Saturday as angry cricket fans took to the streets to protest the team'sprobable exit from the World Cup.
Another house belonging to Dhoni, currently being built, was the target of disappointed fans last Sunday after India's shock defeat against Bangladesh. "Four policemen have been posted outside his house. Another two are at the other house under construction, which was attacked earlier," said M.S Bhatia, police superintendent in Ranchi, Dhoni's home town.
The house being built is also in Ranchi. India were virtually eliminated from the World Cup after a 69-run loss against Sri Lanka on Friday in Port of Spain, Trinidad, upsetting legions of fans in this cricket-crazy nation.
"We had great expectations from Dhoni, but he scored zero in two matches," said protester Amit Kumar.
Posters of Dhoni were burned in Ranchi, while cricket fans organised mock funerals and beat pictures of the Indian team in nationwide protests.
In Lucknow --where Hindus and Muslims had organised special prayers for India's victory --protesters blocked roads and burned effigies of players and coach Greg Chappell.
An angry mob pelted stones at a restaurant owned by bowler Zaheer Khan in Pune city, Headlines Today television network reported.
A mobile phone text message doing the rounds read: "It is a requiem for Indian cricket that breathed its last in Port of Spain. Last rites will be performed on Sunday."

Kapil, Gavaskar lash out against Indian cricketers

New Delhi, March 24, 2007
Former India great Kapil Dev lashed out at Rahul Dravid's under-performing team on Saturday, saying they did not deserve to progress in the World Cup.
Another great Sunil Gavaskar hinted coach Greg Chappell's future was on the line after India were virtually knocked out of the World Cup following the 69-run defeat against Sri Lanka on Friday.
Only an unlikelyvictory by first-timers Bermuda over Bangladesh on Sunday will ensure India's back-door entry into the Super Eights, a prospect Dev did not welcome.
"It is shameful that we have to rely on Bermuda to stay in the tournament," the 1983 World Cup winning captain said on Aaj Tak television. "I hope that does not happen because Bangladesh deserve to go into the second round since they had also defeated India.
"All credit to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. India were pathetic and not good enough to remain in the tournament."
Gavaskar, speaking on ESPN, said he doubted if former Australian captain Chappell's contract as India coach will be renewed after the World Cup. "I think there is a big question markon Greg's future," said Gavaskar, who was on the panel which appointed Chappell for a two-year term in 2005.
"He was brought in with the specific aim of taking India to the top two teams in the world and that has not happened. His position will be debated."
Gavaskar urged the Indian cricket board to act quickly since India are due to tour Bangladesh for two Test matches and three one-day internationals in May. Gavaskar, however, hoped that Dravid would remain captain despite the World Cup debacle.
"Rahul is 34 and you do not sack captains at 34 when they are peaking," he said.
"I don't see any reason for a change because Dravid has not shown any sign of pressure. His batting has not faltered."
Disappointed Indian fans did not react violently as they had done last week after the defeat by Bangladesh when miscreants attack wicket-keeper Mahendra Dhoni's unfinished house in the eastern town of Ranchi.
"Of course I am disgusted by the way the team played, the whole lot should be sacked," said Delhi student Shaumik Bose. "But damaging homes is no way to go about it."
Dev blamed lack of commitment by the senior players for the defeat, while Gavaskar said the team did not have the temperament to deal with crunch situations.
"To raise the game when it matters most requires discipline and temperament and theplayers did not show it," said Gavaskar.
"This is nothing new. Indian cricketers have lacked these qualities since a long time, ever since I began playing in the early 1970s'."

Time for introspection: Chappell

Port of Spain, Trinidad, March 24, 2007
India coach Greg Chappell has said he is not too concerned over the repercussions of his team's dismal performance in the ongoing World Cup in the Caribbean. India virtually bowed out of the tournament after suffering a 69-run defeat against Sri Lanka in their last game here on Friday, leaving millions of their fans back home in a state of shock and despair.
Their surprise five-wicket defeat against Bangladeshin the first game has already sparked unrest in some parts of the country.
"You've got to be concerned in light of the recent incidents, but I am quite confident the systems are in place to look after the security of the team and individuals involved," he said.
"When India wakes up tomorrow, there will be a lot of disappointment and anger, but they should realise it's just a game."
India skipper Rahul Dravid said he hoped the players would not be harmed when they returned home. "I'm not really worried about security and I hope the players wouldn't be under any physical danger. To be honest, I don't expect that to be the case. I am sure people will be disappointed," he said.
"They have invested a lot of hope in this team and we haven't delivered. So, they are entitled to be disappointed. But I just hope that no-one in is in any physicaldanger."
Chappell said he was willing to own up some responsibility for his team's failed campaign, which saw India put in their worst performance since the 1979 edition in England.
India were the champions in 1983, semi-finalists in1987 and 1996, and runners-up to Australia in the 2003 edition in South Africa.
"I've to take some responsibility as a coach. Nothing's wrong with the support coaching staff and the players who worked very hard," he said. Chappell also admitted his team failed to live up to expectations after having prepared well for the tournament.
"We came here with huge expectations, but didn't live up to them. The dressing-room is a quiet place at the moment," said the former Australian Test batsman who took over as India coach in 2005.
"The team was under pressure and I think the pressure had a bearing on what happened today. The pressure built up after the Bangladesh game.
"Our bowlers did well today, but we did not have any good partnerships. We could not perform when the time came."
India were bowled out for 185 chasing a 255-run target on a good battingwicket at the Queen's Park Oval, with skipper Rahul Dravid (60) and Virender Sehwag (48) alone defying the Sri Lankan attack.
When asked what India were taking away from the World Cup, Chappell said: "A lot of disappointment. It's one of the most disappointing days in Indian cricket.
"There's a cause for serious introspection, but I believe it should not start today."

Blame it on me, says Dravid

Port of Spain, Trinidad, March 24, 2007
India skipper Rahul Dravid said he was willing to take full responsibility for his team's miserable World Cup campaign.
"I am not sitting here and trying to shirk responsibility. I am the first one to stand up and say that we should have done better and it starts with me," said Dravid.
India virtually bowed out of the World Cup after suffering a 69-run defeat to Sri Lanka here on Friday, their second in the four-team Group B.
The loss means India are left hoping that a hapless Bermudacan beat Bangladesh here on Sunday to hand them a World Cup lifeline.
"I am not trying to put the responsibility on anyone. Until about 24 hours ago, I trulybelieved that we would still be in this tournament. I take full responsibility for the fact that we haven't progressed to the next round."
It was India's worstperformance in the event since the 1979 World Cup in England.
They were the champions in 1983, semi-finalists in 1987 and 1996, and runners-up in 2003. Sri Lanka qualified for the next Super Eight stage with an all-win record, while Bangladesh are on the verge of making it to the next round.
Despite the loss, Dravid would not speculate on his future.
"I was appointed captain till the World Cup. So, I am not even the captain at this point of time. It's not my decision to make," said Dravid, whose side won just one of their three games, against Bermuda.
Dravid said he was hugely disappointed with his team's virtual exit from the tournament as they had preparared well.
"It's very disappointing. It's not a nice thing to lose in the early part of the World Cup. We have invested a lot of time and effort in it and it has not gone our way," he said.
"It's a big event and you really want to do well, but sports is like that. Sometimes, your best plans and all your ideas just don't work. We did not play well in this tournament and did not deserve to go into the second round."
Dravid said the players were disappointed because they had worked hard for the event. "Nobody realises the enormity of the defeat than the players themselves. The players are the ones who put in a lot of time. They worked really hard for this. It is an opportunity they get once in four years," he said.
"It is something that you really look forward to in your career. So no-one understands the enormity of this more than the players. Definitely, there is a lot of introspection and disappointment in the dressing-room."
It's a lot of their dreams, a lot of their hopes that go into tournaments like this. When it doesn't work out, they feel more than anyone else."Dravid conceded that his team'sfive-wicket defeat in the opening game against Bangladesh affected their chancesof making it to the second round.
"We had a bad game against Bangladesh where we did not really bat well upfront. That sort of put pressure on us. Today again,we did not play well enough," he said.
"The way the tournament is structured you have one banana skin game and you can be out of the tournament quite quickly. In the first game against Bangladesh, we did not play anywhere near our potential.
"In a tournament like this, you have one bad day and you could be in big trouble and that's what happened to Pakistan and India."
Dravid said it was hugely disappointing that he and senior team mates such as Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and Anil Kumble might end their careers without a World Cup medal.
"It is not an ideal scenario," he said. "If you were writing a fairytale, you wouldn't write it this way. That is the beauty and cruelty of sports sometimes."

India and Pakistan get their comeuppance

By Scyld Berry in Sunday Telegraph
The ninth World Cup has not panned out as planned.
The Super Eight phase begins on Tuesday without the involvement of some major cricket-playing countries. The match scheduled between India and Pakistan on Sunday, April 15 was going to be a highlight, an 'iconic' event, a 'marquee fixture' or whatever the marketing drivel. Bangladesh v Ireland does not have quite the same ring.
So the next five weeks are going to be far from 'super' for the official tournament sponsors, most of whom signed up to exploit the Asian market. It is an absolute disaster for the television broadcaster in India, assuming Bangladesh beat the tubby Bermudan amateurs today.
Nobody is going to watch the advertisements designed for the hundreds of millions of Indian viewers aspiring to a mobile phone, a motorbike, a fizzy drink or a refrigerator.
For cricket followers as well it is going to be a lesser tournament than planned.
This was going to be the best World Cup since 1992 because it was going to be the first World Cup since then in which the top eight countries faced each other: or so this correspondent believed.
Now it threatens to be almost as damp a squib as the last one in South Africa, when Kenya and Zimbabwe got into the Super Six stage instead of two out of England, Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies, who all went home early.
This time as last, or so it appears, the holes in the net are too big: minnows have been allowed through into the second phase, when they should have been filtered out by the end of the qualifying round. It seems absurd that Bangladesh and Ireland should squeeze through essentially on the strength of one upset victory apiece, Bangladesh enjoying a rare field-day to beat India, and Ireland dogged enough to knock out the talented rabble known as Pakistan. The next World Cup should be designed so that the lesser countries need to win more than one match if they are going to be party-poopers.
Or is it so wrong that Ireland have qualified, while only Bermuda's Glamorgan batsman David Hemp stands between Bangladesh and the next round?
Well, yes it is wrong, because they cannot claim to be ranked among the best eight countries in the world at one-day cricket: if either of them played 10 matches against India, or even Pakistan once their immediate troubles are over, Ireland would surely not win more than one match and Bangladesh two. But their qualification for the Super Eight phase does serve one very useful purpose: it will teach India and Pakistan not to appear at the next World Cup without a team who are far better at fielding and running between wickets.
India and Pakistan have got their come-uppance because they have had the arrogance of superstars who felt they had to do nothing more than turn up to qualify for the Super Eights. Their fielders have to start throwing themselves around, however many personal sponsorships they may have. Pakistan first got into trouble in their opening game when, after keeping West Indies to a gettable total, Inzamam ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf batted so sedately, mindful of their dignity, oblivious to quick singles.
Ireland have fielded as robustly as a South African side, trained by Adrian Birrell, the former coach of Eastern Province. Fielding is not just an end in itself. It indicates that a team makes the most of what it has and is more than the sum of its parts. Ireland have contested every ball, made the most of themselves, and done their 3,000 or so travelling supporters proud. Their success so far has raised the profile of cricket in Ireland to unprecedented heights, but the thumping which they are going to receive in most of their Super Eight games will surely lower it again as they run out of reserve players and steam.
Ireland have had novelty on their side, but not any more. When asked if they had studied any videos of the Ireland team, the Pakistan management replied loftily: "They are not the sort of team that we study."
The teams left in this tournament will not make the same mistake as Pakistan. Ireland's dogged but limited cricketers will have those limitations exposed.
Bangladesh are different. Ireland will struggle to win another match because their batsmen are not used to facing the extremes of pace and spin which the best countries have: Jeremy Bray and Eoin Morgan have not faced Shaun Tait or Shane Bond or Muttiah Muralitharan. Nothing in their experience has prepared Ireland for the Super Eight stage.
But Bangladesh have faced such bowlers and are more or less prepared. They could easily win a game or two from here on if they dispose of Bermuda and play with the verve they summoned to defeat India in Port-of-Spain.
Bangladesh, indeed, are the most exciting team in the world at present.
Never before has there been an international side of so many teenagers so full of boldness. They have some delightful imps, scallywags bursting with the bravado of youth, at the opposite end of the spectrum to their Asian superiors with their languor and ennui. Tamim Iqbal, the 17-year-old opening batsman, played like nobody else has done in any of the eight previous World Cups when he hit 53 to set up their reply against India. He skipped down the pitch to pace bowlers and played the game with the panache and joy of youngsters who have never been pampered and overpaid.
When Bangladesh toured England in 2005 they were overwhelmed in the Tests but it was clear they had the ability to turn the corner. Mushfiqur Rahim is a prodigy, an amazingly wise old head on 18-year-old shoulders, the veteran they have been looking for to bat through an innings - and he keeps wicket too.
Saqibul Hasan, Aftab Ahmed and Mohammad Ashraful are all flamboyant stroke-players aged 20 or little more. If they can find more pace bowlers like Mashrafe Mortaza, they can be a gale of fresh air in Test cricket too as their spirit is so willing.
The other countries which have qualified will be playing dog-eat-dog to reach the semi-finals. The three southern hemisphere countries have been preparing quietly in St Kitts and St Lucia away from the glare which has enveloped Jamaica. It has already been a disastrous tournament for Asia; it is a highly promising one for the Antipodes, especially Australia.

Clippings: Chandepaul stars as Windies beat Ireland

Shivnarine Chanderpaul struck an impressive unbeaten century as World Cup hosts West Indies beat surprise package Ireland by eight wickets in the final Group D match at Sabina Park on Friday.
Ireland made 183 for eight in 48 overs after rain stopped play and under the Duckworth-Lewis rules West Indies were set a target of 190 which they knocked off comfortably with 9.5 overs to spare.
With both teams having already secured their places in the Super Eights stage, the win allows Brian Lara's men to carry two points into the next phase.
Chanderpaul's sixth one day century, his first in a World Cup, came in 108 balls and included 10 fours and four sixes.
He was rarely troubled by a harmless Irish attack on a good batting wicket but the Guyana-born opener showed the full range of his shots in an innings of controlled aggression.
After the hosts lost Chris Gayle early on for 18, Chanderpaul was well supported by Ramnaresh Sarwan (36) and Marlon Samuels (27 not out) as the hosts clocked up their third consecutive win in the competition.
Lara's side will face a much tougher test on Tuesday though in Antigua when they come up against holders Australia in the opening Super Eights match.
It was a sobering game for Ireland who were second best throughout the contest -- struggling with the bat against the combination of pace and spin offered by the West Indian bowling attack and then unable to penetrate with the ball.

Although the Irish, without their injured Australian-born captain Trent Johnston, took a lap of honour at the end of the game to applaud their supporters it will be the memory of their exciting tie with Zimbabwe and shock victory over Pakistan that motivated the applause.
The highlight of their day was another aggressive innings from their Australian-born opening batsman Jeremy Bray who struck his side's top score of 41.
But once Bray had gone, driving Jerome Taylor straight to sub-fielder Lendl Simmons, Ireland were in trouble at 82 for four.
Kevin O'Brien and Andre Botha steadied the ship taking the total to 129 before O'Brien was caught in the deep by Ramnaresh Sarwan off spinner Chris Gayle.
Gayle, who went for only 23 off his 10 overs, had succeeded in slowing down the run-rate though and the lower order failed to provide any boost for Ireland with West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo taking two wickets in two balls towards the end.
The reply was all about Chanderpaul who showed no mercy - crashing four consecutive fours off Boyd Rankin's fifth over and then he took on Andre Botha -- hitting him for two fours and one six in the South African seamer's fourth over.
Chanderpaul said that the lack of pressure and the need to take a good run-rate with them into the next stage had motivated his free stroke-play.
"Chasing a decent total and knowing that we were already through I could go out and play my game," he said.
"We had a long discussion last night and we decided to try and keep up the run rate," said Chanderpaul.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Clippings: Indians cave into Sri Lanka

India set themselves up for elimination in the first round of the World Cup after they suffered a shattering 69-run defeat in their crunch Group B match against Sri Lanka on Friday.
A stunning batting collapse on a good Queen's Park Oval pitch condemned India to a total of 185 all out and allowed Sri Lanka to top the group with a maximum six points.
The 1983 champions were skittled in the 44th over as they failed miserably in their attempt to chase Sri Lanka's challenging total of 254 for six.
India's slim hopes of progressing now hinge on an unlikely defeat for Bangladesh in Sunday's final group game against debutants Bermuda.
The team, who have won just one out of their three games in Trinidad, paid the price for a shock defeat against Bangladesh last Saturday and look set to join Pakistan on an early flight out of the Caribbean.
Both openers Robin Uthappa (18) and Saurav Ganguly (7) threw away their wickets by hitting out against experienced paceman Chaminda Vaas before India were reduced to 136 for 7.
Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan dismissed the well-set Virender Sehwag (48) and the dangerous Mahendra Dhoni, for a first ball duck, to kill any Indian hopes of a fightback.
Sachin Tendulkar was out for a third ball duck in possibly his last World Cup innings after playing fast bowler Dilhara Fernando on to the stumps.
Skipper Rahul Dravid, batting with a runner in the late stages due to a calf injury, top-scored with 60 before being the eighth batsman to be dismissed.
The Indian defeat somewhat took away attention from Sri Lanka's magnificent showing in the World Cup so far. They will carry two points into the Super Eights for beating a fellow qualifying side.
The result left millions of fans dejected in cricket-mad India as well as thousands of supporters in the stadium.
Muralitharan took three for 41 and Vaas 2-39.
Sri Lanka's authoritative batting display was in start contrast to India's meek surrender.
Opening batsman Upul Tharanga (64) and Chamara Silva (59) struck fifties to guide Sri Lanka to 254 for six after being asked to bat first in seaming conditions by Dravid.
Silva struck his third successive fifty before he was dismissed for the first time in four matches.
The 27-year-old, who had scored 107, 55 and 52 without being out before Friday's match eventually fell, nicking Zaheer Khan behind the stumps in a bid to step up scoring.
Tharanga steadied the innings by scoring his sixth one-day fifty after pacemen Zaheer and Ajit Agarkar removed the dangerous Sanath Jayasuriya (6) and skipper Mahela Jayawardene cheaply.
He hit six fours in his 90-ball knock.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Clippings: The Netherlands beat Scotland

Paceman Billy Stelling returned a career-best 3-12 and Ryan ten Doeshate hit a half-century to help the Netherlands race to an easy eight-wicket World Cup Group A win over Scotland on Thursday.
Ten Doeshate hit an unbeaten 68-ball 70 and added 103 for an unbroken third wicket stand with Bas Zuiderent (43no) as the Netherlands achieve the 137-run target with more than half of their overs left with consummate ease at Warner Park.
Earlier, Stelling grabbed 3-12 off eight economical overs as the Scots were bundled out for 136 in 34.1 overs.
Ten Doeschate hit off-spinner Majid Haq for three consecutive boundaries for the winning runs to loud applause from some 1,000 Dutch fans who had come to see their team's last match in cricket's showpiece tournament.
The win was the Netherlands' second in three World Cups after they beat Namibia in 2003, while the Scots finished win-less in their second Cup appearance.
John Blain had given the Scots a good start by dismissing Darron Reekers (nine) and Eric Szwarczynski (12) by the sixth over but ten Doeschate and Zuiderent were clinical and avoided any more losses.
Doeschate hit 13 boundaries and a six during his knock.
Earlier, Stelling dismissed Navdeep Poonia with the second ball of the innings before accounting for Gavin Hamilton (four) and Dougie Brown off successive deliveries in his fourth to rout the Scotland.
Stelling missed the Netherlands' second match against South Africa last week but came into his own right from the start to laid foundation for his team's win.
Tail-ender Glenn Rogers top-scored for Scotland with 26 which included five boundaries while Neil McCallum (24) and Colin Smith (19) gave their team's total some respectability by adding 38 for the sixth wicket after they were reeling at 39-5.
Ryan Watson (16) John Blain (18 not out) and Colin Smith (19) also made double figures. The Netherlands bowled accurately after their stand-in captain Jeroen Smits won the toss and elected to field.
The Netherlands' regular captain Luuk van Troost dropped himself on lack of form after his team went down to Australia and South Africa, the two top-ranked sides in the world, by 229 and 221 runs respectively.
South Africa and Australia, who have already qualified for the next round of Super Eight from the group, meet each other in a high-profile match here on Saturday.

Clippings: New Zealand beat Canada by 114 runs

Opener Lou Vincent found form with a century and Brendon McCullum hit the fastest World Cup fifty in New Zealand's 114-run win over Canada in their final Group C game on Thursday.
New Zealand had already qualified for the Super Eights and go through with three wins from three while Canada had previously been eliminated. Kenya play England on Saturday to decide who follows New Zealand into the next stage.
Vincent put two successive ducks behind him by smashing 101 and McCullum hammered a half-century in just 20 balls to help New Zealand to 363 for five, which was their second highest one-day score and biggest total in World Cups.
McCullum's knock of 52, which included five sixes, was also the quickest fifty by a New Zealander.
Canada got off to a flier in their chase with captain John Davison nearly emulating McCullum with a a 23-ball fifty, the joint-third quickest in a World Cup, but they ran out of steam and were all out for 249 with four balls left.
The Kiwi pace attack was lacklustre with Daryl Tuffey, brought in for rested paceman Shane Bond, going for 40 off six overs. However, spinners Daniel Vettori and Jeetan Patel were back in the groove with three wickets each.
Canada's total was their best effort in World Cups, surpassing the 228 for seven hit in Sunday's defeat by England.
Vincent was under pressure after first-over ducks against England and Kenya in their previous group matches and he narrowly avoided a third in an excellent opening over by Canada's former West Indies bowler Anderson Cummins.
Cummins, 40, produced some good away swing and had an lbw appeal turned down before Vincent finally scored his first World Cup runs in style when he smashed the first ball off Cummins's second over for six through extra cover.
The right-hander never looked back on his way to 101 before offering a simple caught-and-bowled chance to Davison two balls after completing his third one-day international hundred.
Captain Stephen Fleming also contributed 66 while Peter Fulton, playing instead of the injured Ross Taylor, made 47 as New Zealand racked up 11 sixes against a slack Canada attack who bowled 17 wides.
Another sparse crowd attended the Beausejour Cricket Ground but New Zealand's score meant they were also treated to a record one-day score at the venue.
Fleming's men open their Super Eights campaign against West Indies in Antigua on March 29.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

India's current Net Run Rate = +2.51

By John Cheeran
India's Net Run Rate after playing two matches is at +2.51
After Sri Lanka routed Bangladesh, Bangladesh's Net Run Rate has plunged to -1.56.
Sri Lanka enjoys a huge Net Run Rate of +3.3
Sri Lanka's brutal win over Bangladesh has helped India's campaign to enter Super 8. India must beat Sri Lanka on Friday to get into Super 8 with a better net run rate. Bangladesh are likely to beat Bermuda in the last match of the Group B to be played on March 25.
That will leave three teams -- India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh -- in the group with four points each. The Net Run Rate attains importance in that context. Also, it is important to note that the points from the match between the Super 8 qualifiers in the group stage will be carried forward.
So there is only one way left for Rahul Dravid's boys, slay Sri Lanka.

Clippings: Pakistan clobber Zimbabwe by 93 runs

Pakistan, on the back of 160 from Imran Nazir, clobbered Zimbabwe by 93 runs in a rain-reduced contest Wednesday at the Cricket World Cup at Sabina Park.
The result confirms that Ireland will join the West Indies as qualifiers for the Super 8s round of the tournament while both Pakistan and Zimbabwe head home.
The Pakistanis honored the memory of coach Bob Woolmer, who died the day after an upset loss to Ireland, as Nazir set up a mammoth total of 349 all out off 49.5 overs.
The right-hander lashed 14 fours and eight sixes off 121 balls.
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq contributed a classy 37 off 35 balls in his 378th and final one-day international.
After an emotional few days, left the field in tears and was given a guard of honor by his teammates and received handshakes from all the Zimbabweans.
``We dedicate this game to Bob because he's a wonderful person,'' Inzamam said. ``He's not in this world now and every Pakistani and every cricket lover is sad. I'm also very sad and what's why I'm emotional, also after playing 16 or 17 years.''
Younis Khan said the circumstances made the win over Zimbabwe more important.
``It was very difficult for us, like playing without our father, he was like that for us.'' Khan said. ``It has been a bad two days. Everybody is hurting and nobody knows what's happening next.''
Zimbabwe, the youngest squad on average in the tournament, had a chance to advance with a win over Pakistan. Instead, Prosper Utseya's squad finished last in Group D.
``We are going to have to go back and correct our mistakes and see if we can improve,'' he said. ``We need to play more games and get more exposure.''
Zimbabwe's pursuit was already struggling at 30 for three off 10.2 overs when light rain caused a delay of 2 1/2 hours.
Their victory target was reduced to 193 off 20 overs on resumption and Zimbabwe was eventually bowled out for 99 off 19.1 overs.
Elton Chigumbura hit four sixes, including three off consecutive deliveries from legspinner Danish Kaneria, on his way to a topscore of 27 off 11 balls.
Shahid Afridi collected his 200th one-day international wicket and earned figures of three for 20.
Earlier, Nazir's second one-day international century lifted Pakistan to its highest ever World Cup total. The total was also the highest ever at the venue.
The 25-year-old Nazir endured a scratchy start but blossomed to play some majestic strokes all around the ground.
He and Kamran Akmal added 31 for the first wicket before Chigumbura had Akmal caught behind.
Nazir shared successive half century stands with Shoaib Malik and Inzamam to ensure Pakistan built a solid platform.
Malik contributed 21 before he slapped a Sean Williams delivery to point.
Inzamam, given a rousing entrance from the few hundred spectators, was keen to go out on a high. The right-hander did not disappoint, with three sweetly-timed sixes and two fours before he skied a catch to extra cover.
Inzamam's class shone through and Nazir at the other end could not match his fluency.
When Mohammad Yousuf fell to Gary Brent at 170 for four in the 31st over, Zimbabwe sensed a revival.
But Nazir and Younis Khan quickly doused hopes with a brilliant fifth wicket partnership of 82 off 57 balls.
Nazir, dropped badly at deep square leg by Friday Kasteni off Brent when 81, collected his century off 95 balls with 11 fours and two sixes.
The slim right-hander upped the tempo after that and his last 60 runs spanned just 22 deliveries.
He had a double century in his sight when he fell to a tumbling catch at extra cover with six overs remaining.
Rao Iftikhar rallied the tail with a career-best 32 off 16 balls.
Jamaica police said Woolmer's death was ``suspicious'' and were continuing investigations in the hotel room where he was found unconscious Sunday, the morning after Pakistan's loss to Ireland.

Clippings: Sri Lanka crush Bangladesh uprising

Opener Sanath Jayasuriya hit a brilliant century to propel Sri Lanka to a 198-run win over Bangladesh in their World Cup Group B match on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka posted 318 for four and then routed Bangladesh for 112 in 37 overs for their second victory.
The target was revised to 311 in 46 overs after rain forced a second 30-minute break in the match.
For now, Sri Lanka are top of the group B. There could be, however, a three-way tie for points if India and Bangladesh triumph in their final matches.
Sri Lanka clash with India in their final group game on Friday. India must win this match to keep alive their Super 8 chances.
The 37-year-old Jayasuriya struck 109 off 87 balls, having limped off clutching his left leg on 83 in the 25th over soon after returning from a 30-minute rain break in the morning.
Opening bowler Lasith Malinga grabbed three wickets as Bangladesh never recovered from a top order collapse. Mohammad Ashraful was 45 not out.
Sri Lanka produced sparkling all-round cricket in bleak conditions after play had to be stopped twice due to rain.
Bangladesh shocked India by five wickets on Saturday but showed none of the spirit they displayed against the 1983 champions. They can still advance further in the competition if India lose and they beat Bermuda on Sunday.
Jayasuriya hammered seven fours and seven sixes, including hoisting one against spinner Abdur Razzak over midwicket to reach his second World Cup hundred in his fifth appearance.

His 24th century allowed him to nose ahead of Australian skipper Ricky Ponting to second in the list for most one-day hundreds. Sachin Tendulkar holds the record with 41.
Jayasuriya dominated a 98-run opening partnership with fellow left-hander Upul Tharanga (26) before Kumar Sangakkara (56) and Chamara Silva (52 not out) notched their second successive fifties in the tournament. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene hit a chancy 46.
Bangladesh paid a heavy price for sloppy fielding and catching with skipper Habibul Bashar, who put in the opposition at Queen's Park Oval, dropping two of them.
Syed Rasel and stumper Mushfiqur Rahim missed direct run out attempts against Tharanga and Jayawardene before they had touched double figures.
Jayasuriya was eventually caught reverse-sweeping in the 48th over after hitting Razzak for two consecutive sixes.
If three teams are tied on points then the two with better net run rate would progress in the tournament which concludes with the final in Barbados on April 28
John Cheeran at Blogged