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News Updates

Moin Khan to Pakistan's rescue

December 22, 2003 13:25 IST

Moin Khan led a spirited Pakistan recovery to avert the follow-on in the first Test against New Zealand on Monday.

The wicketkeeper hit 137, his fourth Test century, on the fourth day and figured in a 152-run partnership for the seventh wicket with Mohammad Sami (25) that eased Pakistan past the follow-on target of 364.

The tourists eventually reached 463 all out in their first innings, a deficit of 100 and at the close New Zealand were four without loss in their second innings.

Moin came to wicket at the fall of Inzamam-ul-Haq for 51, with 108 runs still needed to avoid the follow-on. When Abdul Razzaq went for 48 at 285, there was still a long way to go but Moin and Sami got on the front foot and batted aggressively.

Sami passed his highest Test score of 22, but fell soon after for 25, giving Robbie Hart behind the stumps his third catch of the innings. Sami's part in the recovery lasted 171 minutes and 115 balls.

Moin's century came off just 129 balls and when he was eighth out for 137, his highest Test score, he had faced 174 balls and hit 20 fours and two sixes.

Earlier Inzamam succumbed for 51, lbw to Daryl Tuffey, and Razzaq was caught behind off the same bowler to give the New Zealand bowler a five-wicket bag.

Mark Richardson and Lou Vincent faced two overs at the end of the day and New Zealand finished four without loss, a lead of 104, although a draw now looks the most likely outcome.


New Zealand (1st innings): 563 (S.Fleming 192, D.Vettori 137 not out; Shabbir Ahmed 5-117).

Pakistan (1st innings):
Imran Farhat c Hart b Oram 20
Taufeeq Umar c Butler b Tuffey 27
Yasir Hameed lbw b Tuffey 80
Yousuf Youhana c Vincent b Tuffey 28
Inzamam-ul-Haq lbw b Tuffey 51
Abdul Razzaq c Hart b Tuffey 48
Moin Khan lbw Oram 137
Mohammad Sami c Hart b Vettori 25
Shabbir Ahmed c Hart b Butler 8
Umar Gul c Vettori b Butler 3
Danish Kaneria not out 0

Extras: (nb-21, lb-4, w-11) 36

Total: (all out, 144.4 overs) 463

Fall of wickets: 1-47, 2-55, 3-134, 4-209, 5-256, 6-285, 7-437, 8-453, 9-462

Bowling: Tuffey 33-8-87-5 (nb-3, w-1), Butler 23.4-6-113-2 (nb-5, w-6), Oram 23-6-55-2 (nb-1, w-2), Cairns 17-0-60-0 (nb-5, w-1), Vettori 36-3-117-1 (nb-7), Styris 12-4-27-0 (w-1)

New Zealand (2nd innings):
M.Richardson not out 4
L.Vincent not out 0

Total: (for no wickets, 2 overs) 4

Bowling: Sami 1-0-4-0, Shabbir 1-1-0-0

To bat: S.Fleming, S.Styris, C.McMillan, C.Cairns, J.Oram, R.Hart, D.Vettori, D.Tuffey, I.Butler.


Murali spins another first

December 22, 2003 15:59 IST

Sri Lanka's ace spinner Muttiah Muralitharan added yet another feather to his cap when he became the first bowler in Test cricket to complete century of wickets on a ground.

Murali did so during the third and final Test against England, at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo, which Sri Lanka won by an innings and 215 runs.

At the end of the Test, Murali has 103 wickets in 16 Tests at the venue.

Murali has now taken more than 300 Test wickets on home soil – more than any other bowler in history.

He has also taken more than fifty Test wickets on two other grounds – Kandy and Galle. He is the first bowler to take 50 wickets on three different grounds. 

Ian Botham (England), Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose (West Indies), Richard Hadlee (New Zealand) and Abdul Qadir and Imran Khan (Pakistan) are the six other bowlers who have taken 50 or more wickets on two grounds.

The accompanying table lists the bowlers with 50 or more Test wickets on a ground:

Wkts Bowler For Ground Tests Ave WpT
103 M Muralitharan SL Colombo (SSC) 16 22.11 6.44
82 DK Lillee Aus Melbourne 14 21.92 5.86
76 RJ Hadlee NZ Christchurch 14 21.51 5.43
72 M Muralitharan SL Kandy 11 17.55 6.55
71 M Muralitharan SL Galle 9 14.45 7.89
71 HH Streak Zim Harare 16 23.95 4.44
69 IT Botham Eng Lord's 15 24.53 4.60
66 CEL Ambrose WI Port of Spain 12 13.28 5.50
63 FS Trueman Eng Lord's 12 22.12 5.25
59 Abdul Qadir Pak Karachi (National) 13 26.62 4.54
57 CA Walsh WI Port of Spain 14 20.71 4.07
56 Imran Khan Pak Lahore (Gaddafi) 11 17.62 5.09
56 WPUJC Vaas SL Colombo (SSC) 14 25.94 4.00
53 RJ Hadlee NZ Wellington 12 20.28 4.42
53 CA Walsh WI Bridgetown 12 25.32 4.42
52 CEL Ambrose WI Bridgetown 13 27.32 4.00
52 IT Botham Eng The Oval 11 26.51 4.73
52 LR Gibbs WI Port of Spain 13 31.65 4.00
51 Abdul Qadir Pak Lahore (Gaddafi) 12 26.43 4.25
51 AV Bedser Eng Manchester 7 13.45 7.29
51 Imran Khan Pak Karachi (National) 11 18.39 4.64
51 GD McGrath Aus Brisbane 10 22.17 5.10
51 SK Warne Aus Brisbane 8 21.00 6.38
Note: (WpT = Wickets per Test)


I saw fear in Tendulkar’s eyes: Waugh

December 22, 2003

Steve Waugh’s sacking as Australia’s one-day captain prevented him from defending his 1999 World Cup crown. But he seems to have watched the World Cup final last March closely enough to see something odd in Sachin Tendulkar’s eyes.

In his latest book ‘Never Say Die’, Waugh writes: “I did feel sorry for Tendulkar — he had the weight of expectation on his shoulders as he walked to open the batting, with his team needing 360 to win and with him no doubt knowing that he needed to score a big hundred for his team to have even a remote chance of winning.

“I think this was the first time I have ever seen fear in his eyes — not physical fear but a spirit crushed by the sheer weight of the hopes of a nation – and the result was that he didn’t follow his usual formula when he goes out to bat,” Waugh said.

Tendulkar scored four and was sent back by Glenn McGrath, who got the biggest caught and bowled wicket of his life.

“You could almost see his (Tendulkar’s) mind in overdrive, trying to calculate what he needed to do in the first 10 to 15 overs. It was almost unfair to expect him to take all responsibility, but normally that’s the way he likes it. This time, unfortunately for India, it was simply too big an ask,” he wrote of the final which Australia clinched by 125 runs.

Waugh’s best-selling book mainly focuses on his memorable hundred against England in Sydney last year before which critics wrote him off. The sub-title of the book is The Inspiration Behind An Epic Hundred.

He attributed India’s loss in Johannesburg to lack of belief. “The Indians would no doubt have felt let down by their performance. They started poorly, because of nerves and an apparent lack of self-belief,” Waugh says.


Cricket is not this important!

December 20, 2003

A few weeks ago, I read something that made my stomach churn. The Hindustan Times was reporting:

India's tour of Pakistan could be worth $20 million

All it will take to wipe out the Pakistani Cricket Board's huge losses is one visit from the Indian team, now scheduled early next year. India's tour in February-March is expected to rake in huge financial gains for the Pakistan Cricket Board, with one expert putting the figure at around $20 million.

I am one of the biggest cricket fans you'll ever meet, but something about this deal is just not right!!!

Why the stomach churn? 

Well, let me tell you the story of Beli Ram of Jammu, as the Tribune reported it:

'Mrs Shyama Devi, wife of Mr Beli Ram, an official of the MES, succumbed to the bullet wounds in the Medical College Hospital here today. His 11-year-old daughter Nancy and 12-year-old son Aman, were shot dead by the terrorist yesterday.' At

Shooting down an 11-year-old girl!!  Sadly, such happenings are now so common in India, that we even are ready to play cricket with the perpetrators. But, before we do so -- let us acknowledge what we're choosing to ignore:

  • Saddam, 2, who was shot to death along with his family, as a suspected informer. A 2-year-old informer!!
  • Little 9-year-old Nazia had her head bashed in because she did not know where her father was. She died that August night in Khabala -- unsung and unremembered.
  • Young Rehana Hamid of Arampora had her hopes and life cut short by a grenade as she walked to college to take her political science exam.
  • Then there were the Pakistanis who packed in bombs into a school-bus in Bandipora, grievously injuring five schoolgirls. Packing bombs into a school bus!
  • Karam Veer, 14, and Harpreet, 13, who were brutally killed at Vaishnodevi just as they stopped to get a bite to eat. Dozens of other children were injured that day and, of course, the terrorists proudly took ownership for this deed.

The list could go on and on -- since this happens almost every day. In many cases, the children receive yet another kind of sentence -- they lose their childhood, their parents and their futures. Savita Yadav, 15, orphaned on August 25, is trying to figure out how to raise her two younger siblings and who knows where Poornima, the little orphaned Bihari girl profiled in rediff, is today.

But simply put, every week, Indian parents have to scrape the bodies of their children off the streets or receive bullet-riddled bodies in body-bags, thanks to the Pakistanis -- and we're enthusiastic about seeing Tendulkar square up to Shoaib.

Remember, all this killing and debauchery does not come for free -- the Pakistani terrorists get good money for this. And, the money has to come from somewhere. Not surprisingly, The New York Times amongst others have consistently reported on the open fund-raising for jihad-e-Kashmir that goes on unabated in Pakistani mosques. While our Rotarians collect money to save Pakistani lives, Pakistanis proudly announce their accomplishments in raising resources for the terror in Kashmir.

No, no -- this is not the work of some lunatic fringe in Pakistan. All strata of Pakistani society are today underwriting this mayhem. As the Daily Times of Lahore reports on the touring 'jihad conferences' being held by the Jaish-e-Mohammad supremo:

LAHORE: Tehrik Khuddamul Islam Ameer Maulana Masood Azhar on Friday was given millions of rupees by businessmen from Lahore's posh and industrial areas for Kashmiri mujahideen. Maulana Azhar said he would personally deliver the donations to the mujahideen. "He took four sacks full of rupees with him," a TKI source told Daily Times. He met with businessmen after the Friday prayers and asked them to give zakat to mujahideen. He also visited the industrial areas of Lahore on Sheikhupura Road and addressed people at an iftar dinner at a factory. Mr Azhar later left for Gujranwala.

So, it would seem that some businessmen, who would benefit from our television revenues and access to our markets through selling their wares during the matches, may be willing to pay handsomely for killing our children. Rest assured that by advertising and gaining access to Indian customers, some of these same traders will gain many times more than the $20 million the PCB will earn. No prizes for guessing which 'charities' these traders will bequeath sacks of money to. And, we are stupid enough to believe we can buy the goodwill of the financiers and cheerleaders of the terrorist clans.

Doesn't make sense to me, any which way you look at it. In the past, the Samjhauta Express, life-saving medical treatment for dozens of Pakistani children, numerous peace-offers -- nothing, absolutely nothing, has tempered Pakistani society's innate bloodlust. So, why do we expect magic to happen this time? 

But, but, but -- say the die-hard peaceniks -- this has nothing to do with cricket! Not quite.

Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi's terrorist first cousin, a local commander for the Harkat-ul Ansar, was killed by the BSF in an encounter in Kashmir recently. Please note -- first cousin!! So, while the BCCI, Indian advertisers and the paying Indian public will bail out the now bankrupt Pakistan Cricket Board, close relatives of Pakistani cricketers are busily killing Indians. Also, let us not forget that officials of the very same army, that run the Pakistan Cricket Board, also run the organizations that regularly issue threats to the lives of our star cricketers -- nice people we are dealing with, aren't we?

Such direct family and personal connections to terrorists are not at all uncommon in Pakistan -- a country where doctors, nuclear scientists, cricketers, PhDs from MIT and government officials regularly consort with terrorists.

So, if you and I refill the coffers of Pakistani cricket and with our hard-earned money, there's a very good chance some of it will find its way back to India -- as bullets into the heads of Indians!! Is this the right way to invest our money? Do we really want to finance the people who're anxious to bash in the heads of our children?

Sure some of you want to see us treat Pakistani children -- great go for it!! Some want to make sure that relatives can visit each other across the border -- nothing wrong with that! That's all very Indian and very humane. But do we really have to subsidize the war on our children, our neighbors and our extended families?

Sure, cricket is important to us Indians -- but not this important!!

I'm sure Beli Ram would agree.


Lee recalled for third Test

December 22, 2003 09:34 IST

Fiery pace bowler Brett Lee, fit again after ankle and stomach injuries, has been rushed back into the Australian team to play India in the third Test in Melbournewhich starts on Friday.

Lee, who has played in 35 Tests, proved his fitness during three matches for state side New South Wales and is the only change in the 12-man team named by the Australian selectors on Monday.

India lead the four-Test series 1-0 after winning the 2nd test in Adelaide by four wickets last week.

Brett Lee"Brett is an established Test player and has demonstrated that he is back to full fitness following injury," chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said in a statement.

"Brett always adds some zest to the attack and will be supported by our other bowlers who we felt, despite the loss, served the side well in Adelaide."

Lee returns for the first time since the 2nd test win in October.


Australia's depleted bowling stocks were reduced even further when injury-prone fast bowler Jason Gillespie broke down with a groin strain during the second Test against India and was ruled out of the traditional Boxing Day match in Melbourne.

Gillespie will travel to Melbourne with the side to continue treatment on the injury.

Fast bowler Brad Williams, a possible candidate for the 12th-man spot which will be announced later this week, has proved his fitness after injuring his shoulder in Adelaide. Left-arm paceman Nathan Bracken was 12th man in the second Test.

Strike bowler Glenn McGrath has been ruled out of series while he recovers from ankle surgery. Leg spinner Shane Warne is also unavailable while he serves a 12-month doping ban.

But it was Australia's batting which drew most critisism from John Buchanans side in Adelaide.

Buchanan described his side's performance as "soulless" and "immature" after they were bowled out for 196 in the second innings.

Australia team: Steve Waugh (captain), Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Simon Katich, Adam Gilchrist, Andy Bichel, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Brad Williams, Nathan Bracken (12th man to be named).


Injured Williams to miss out remaining match

December 15, 2003 06:24 IST

Injury-plagued Australia were dealt another blow on Sunday when paceman Brad Williams was ruled out of the second Test against India at Adelaide with a shoulder injury.

Williams strained his left shoulder joint while gliding to save a four on the boundary on the 3rd day of the Test.

"I landed pretty solid on my shoulder and apparently I have got a Grade One strain in my AC joint and I will see what happens with treatment overnight," said Williams who had replaced left-arm pacer Nathan Bracken for the Adelaide Test.

"It is an injury you pick up in contact sports like football and obviously I am very disappointed.

"Hopefully everything would be alright in a week's time," he said.

With Williams unable to take further part in the match, Australia would have to rely on their three frontline bowlers -- Jason Gillespie, Andy Bichel and Stuart MacGill -- for defeating India in the match for a 1-0 lead in the series.

Australia's disappointment at missing out on yet another strike bowler was evident with coach John Buchanan saying it affected the team in the field today.

"We were a bit depleted today so that was a bit unfortunate. We would try to dismiss the last three batsmen as quickly as possible and set a target we feel would be sufficient to bowl India out on the last day," he said.

Also Mcgill and Gillispie are In the Team




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