Thursday, March 22, 2007


New Zealand had few problems securing their place in the next stage as they gave Kenya a reality check with a 148-run victory in St Lucia. An injury-hit Ross Taylor struck an elegant 85 and Craig McMillan a brutal 48-ball 71, as the Kiwis compiled their highest World Cup total (331 for 7). Kenya's top order then fell in a heap for 183 with Ravi Shah's determined 71 only delaying the inevitable.

Final score
New Zealand (7 wickets; 50 overs) 331
Kenya (all out; 49.2 overs) 183


Ross Taylor 85
Craig McMillan 71 (off 48 balls)
Scott Styris 63
Stephen Fleming 60

Ravi Shah 71
Thomas Odoyo 42


Imran Nazir's career-best 160 was crucial to Pakistan's defiant 93-run victory over Zimbabwe under the Duckworth-Lewis method, ending on 349. It was a day full of emotion as they took the field for the first time since the death of Bob Woolmer, none more so than when Inzamam-ul-Haq's final ODI knock ended and he walked off in tears. Pakistan powered to their highest World Cup total before Zimbabwe, already in a hopeless position, collapsed in a heap after a lengthy rain delay, in the end only amassing 99 all out. Nazir's blistering century set a series of landmarks. It was comfortably the highest score of the tournament - overtaking Jacques Kallis's 128 against Netherlands - and is also the highest individual ODI total in West Indies. The eight sixes he struck equals the World Cup record for a batsman's innings, set by Ricky Ponting in the 2003 final against India at Johannesburg.

Final score:
Pakistan: (all out; 49.5 overs) 349
Zimbabwe: (all out; 19.1 overs) 99


Imran Nazir 160 (off 121 balls)
Inzamam-ul-Haq 37
Iftikhar Anjum 32 (off 16 balls)
Shahid Afridi 3 for 20

Elton Chigumbura 3 for 50
Gary Brent 3 for 68


Despite hoping for another upset, Bangladesh were overwhelmed by Sanath Jayasuriya and a confident Sri Lankan side is the Group B clash in Port-of-Spain. The match was, for all practical purposes, sewn up when Sri Lanka scored 318 after being put in to bat, but even the second half, interrupted by rain as it was, gave Bangladesh little hope as they caved in to a 198-run loss.

Final Score:
Sri Lanka: (4 wickets; 50 overs) 318
Bangladesh: (all out; 37 overs, D-L system) 112


Sanath Jayasuriya 109 (off 87 balls)
Kumar Sangakkara 56
Chamara Silva 52 not out
Lasith Malinga 3 for 27

Mohammad Ashraful 45 not out

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


The hosts on World Cup 2007 overcame a late, but determined challenge from Zimbabwe, winning by 6 wickets and securing their place in the Super Eights. Despite the loss, the Zimbabweans are still in the competition - they need to beat Pakistan on in their final Group D match and then rely on having a better run-rate than Ireland.

Zimbabwe batted first and within three overs Zimbabwe were 2 for 2 and it looked to be an early finish. But the African team settled, dug in and they eventually posted 202 for 5 thanks to Brendan Taylor (50), who played a vital anchoring knock when the innings was coming apart at the seams. Sean Williams finished with a career-best 70 not out, and Elton Chigumbura, whose boldness yielded 30 off 29 balls took them over the double century.

West Indies took the crease and despite some anxiety when Marlon Samuels (28) drove loosely to point and West Indies were 129 for 4 chasing 203. But Brian Lara (44 not out), aided by Dwayne Bravo (37 not out), steadied the ship and then eased West Indies home scoring 204 and winning by 6 wickets. Even so, Zimbabwe had chances: Twice Lara should have been run-out, Elton Chigumbura spilt a tough return catch and substitute Gary Brent dropped Bravo at third man. The only area that Zimbabwe could compete was in the field, and while their commitment was unquestionable, they fell short when it mattered.

Final score:
West Indies: (4 wickets; 47.5 overs) 204
Zimbabwe: (5 wickets; 50 overs) 202

Sean Williams
Full Name: Sean Colin Williams
Born: 26/09/1986, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Age: 20 years
Team: Zimbabwe
Batting Style: Left-hand bat
Bowling Style: Slow left-arm orthodox

Regarded as being one of Zimbabwe's most promising youngsters, Williams is a left-hand top-order batsman and more than useful left-arm spinner. He was the pick of Zimbabwe's batsmen with 157 runs at 31.40, as well as five wickets, in the Under-19 World Cup in 2004. With just one first-class match under his belt, he was drafted into the Zimbabwe squad to tour South Africa and was selected to represent his country in the World Cup 2007.


India turned their shock defeat against Bangladesh around and thumped a totally mismatched Bermuda side at the Queens Park Oval in Trinidad, winning by 257 runs. It was a display of creative and powerful batting, where four of India’s big six racked up 413, a record total in World Cups and the bowlers then did their job, bundling Bermuda out for 156. Bermuda’s David Hemp resisted with an unbeaten 76, but lacked support from the rest of his side in a one-sided contest.

Virender Sehwag, pushed down to the middle-order, began badly, slashing and missing outside the off stump. But soon he settled down, and his half-century came off only 43 balls, with 11 fours. While Sehwag was roaring back to his run-scoring ways, Sourav Ganguly was sedately keeping his end going. When Sehwag was dismissed for 114 (87 balls, 17 fours, 3 sixes) India were 205 for 2, in under 30 overs, with Ganguly on 76 from 94 balls. Soon after, Ganguly too fell, stumped after coming down and having a mighty heave, for 89.

Bermuda never had any realistic chance of chasing 414, Zaheer Khan provided the opening pressure with the help of Anil Kumble, playing in place of Harbhajan Singh. Dean Minors and David Hemp added 43 for the sixth wicket, the best stand of the innings, but Bermuda only managed 156, handing India victory by 257 runs.

Final score:
India: (5 wickets; 50 overs) 413
Bermuda: (all out; 43.1 overs) 156


Virender Sehwag
Full Name: Virender Sehwag
Born: October 20/10/1978, Delhi, India
Age: 28 years
Team: India
Batting Style: Right-hand bat
Bowling Style: Right-arm offbreak

Virender Sehwag is a primal talent whose rough edges make him all the more appealing. By the time he had scored his first centuries in one-day cricket (off 70 balls, against New Zealand) and Test cricket (on debut, against South Africa, from 68 for 4), he was already eliciting comparisons with his idol Sachin Tendulkar. Career highlights include 80 and 100 in consecutive matches on the tour of England in 2002. Sehwag bowls effective, loopy offspin, and is a reliable catcher in the slips.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Pakistan coach and former England player Bob Woolmer died in a Kingston hospital at 58. Woolmer was found unconscious in his hotel room after his side’s World Cup match against Ireland. Woolmer is known to the cricket community as the coach pf Pakistan leading up to the 2007 World Cup as well as serving as the ICC's High Performance Manager and coaching South Africa. He also played 19 tests for England. Woolmer played English county cricket for Kent, initially as an all-rounder. He graduated to Test cricket with England in 1975 again, at first, as an all-rounder, having taken a hat-trick for MCC against the touring Australian cricket team with his fast-medium bowling. He was dropped after his first Test, only reappearing in the final match of the series at The Oval where he scored 149, batting at number five, then the slowest Test century for England against Australia. Further batting success followed over the next two seasons, including two further centuries against Australia in 1977. Woolmer was also a regular in England ODI cricket from 1972 to 1976. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1976.

But Woolmer's international career stalled after he joined the World Series Cricket break-away group run by Kerry Packer. Though he appeared intermittently in the Test team up to 1981, he never recaptured the form of the mid 1970s. He also took part in the South African rebel tours of 1982, a move that effectively ended his international career.

Woolmer had obtained his coaching qualification in 1968. After retiring from first class cricket in 1984, he emigrated to South Africa where he coached cricket and hockey at high schools. He returned to England in 1987 to coach the second eleven at Kent. He went on to coach the Warwickshire County Cricket Club in 1991, the side winning the Natwest Trophy in 1993, and three out of four trophies contested the next year.

Woolmer was appointed coach of South Africa in 1994. In the next five years, South Africa would win most of their test (5 out of 10 series) and One-day International matches (73%). However, the side failed narrowly in their bid to make the final of the 1999 World Cup and Woolmer resigned. He was appointed coach of the Pakistan team in 2005 and steered them to the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, where he tragically died.

Pervez Mir, the Pakistan team media manager said that Woolmer had suffered from an un-named medical condition although Naseem Ashraf, the Chairman of the PCB, later said that Woolmer had complained of breathing difficulties before the team left for the World Cup, and also revealed that he had been a diabetic. His son speculated that Woolmer may have died as a result of stress brought on by his job or from a heart attack.


Despite the much publicized disciplinary problems of the previous day England managed to keep their focus, dispatching Canada by 51 runs and scoring 279 in St Lucia, to open their World Cup account. Ed Joyce and Paul Collingwood were the pick of England’s batting lineup hitting sixties. However Canada showed they could score runs racking up a double century.

Final score:
England: (6 wickets; 50 overs) 279
Canada: (7 wickets; 50 overs) 228


Ed Joyce 66
Michael Vaughn 45
Paul Collingwood 62 not out

Ashif Mulla 58
Abdool Samad 36
Desmond Chumney 27 not out