Fri, 09/28/2012
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Tailender Umar Gul became an unlikely batting star as he helped Pakistan pull off a thrilling two-wicket win over South Africa in their World Twenty20 Super Eights match on Friday.
 
South Africa laboured against Pakistan's spin attack to post a modest 133-6 in 20 overs, then looked like it might be able to defend it.
 
Pakistan's chase was precariously placed at 76-7 in the 15th over, when Gul joined Umar Akmal with 58 needed for victory in five overs.
 
Gul, who'd hit double figures only five times in five years, launched three sixes and two boundaries in scoring a T20 career-best 32 off just 17 balls. He and Akmal, 43 not out, combined for 49 in 28 balls.
 
When Gul was finally out, caught on the boundary with an over to go, Pakistan was left with a gettable 9 to win over 6 balls. Akmal smashed Morne Morkel for his first six and Saeed Ajmal edged a boundary past the wicketkeeper for the winning runs at 136-8 with two balls to spare.
 
"Umar brought out something special for Pakistan," captain Mohammad Hafeez said.
 
Gul said Akmal, less experienced but a better batsman, boosted his confidence.
 
"When I went to bat, Umar (Akmal) said, 'You can get 15-20 runs, we can do it,"' Gul said.
 
Hafeez said they were rapt to restrict South Africa to a reachable target, but fortunate in the end.
 
"Anyone could have won this, Pakistan was lucky," he said.
 
Surprisingly South Africa captain AB de Villiers chose to operate his seamers almost to their whole quota of overs on a dusty pitch at R Premadasa Stadium, while two of his successful spinners -- Johan Botha and JP Duminy -- received just two overs each.
 
Fast bowler Dale Steyn took 3-22 while left-arm spinner Robin Pietersen returned 2-15 in his four overs.
 
Pakistan openers Hafeez and Imran Nazir got off to a good start sharing 24 runs at a run rate of eight runs per over.
 
But after Steyn had Nazir caught behind by de Villiers for 14 with the total on 24, Pakistan slumped. Pietersen justified his selection with two wickets four deliveries apart in his first over. It didn't look for Pakistan until Gul and Akmal joined up.
 
Earlier, Duminy top-scored for the Proteas with 48. Offspinner Hafeez and seamer Yasir Arafat picked up two wickets each.
 
 
 

SPORTSNET WORLD | AUSSIES HAMMER INDIA BY 9 WICKETS

Fri, 09/28/2012

 

The franchise based T20 leagues around the world have recently had their fair share of the publicity and hype in the media but there is a different feeling in the air when a World Cup comes around, whether 50 or 20 overs. For the players, there is a lot more than money on the line: the pride of a nation, the expectations of the people and the right to call themselves ‘World Champions.’
 
While most of us could have predicted which teams would advance to the Super Eights with some degree of certainty, predicting what will follow in the next few days will require some sort of supernatural powers. The tournament is now set up to be one of the most open and captivating global ICC tournaments held in recent history. As we enter the ‘business end’ of the tournament, the question now becomes –What is it that will determine this year’s World T20 champion?
 
Thu, 09/27/2012

Global management consultants Deloitte and Touche will visit Cricket Canada's office on Friday as part of their global impact day.    

IMPACT Day is Deloitte's annual celebration of commitment to community involvement when they encourage all employees across the country to set aside their work for the day to contribute their time and talent to benefit local nonprofits. Approximately one third of the volunteer projects are “skills-based,” so nonprofits benefit from Deloitte people’s business knowledge and experience.
 
In April 2012, Deloitte undertook a 4 month review and refresh of Cricket Canada's strategic plan. The findings as well as the work done included the most wide ranging and comprehensive study of cricket in Canada that has ever been produced. The work was done as part of Deloitte's pro-bono work program and served as a sizeable sponsorship to Cricket Canada
Thu, 09/27/2012

 

The phony war is over. Finally the tournament proper can kick into top gear and the real business of becoming ICC World Twenty20 champions can begin in earnest.
 
Enough with the one sided blowouts. They hold little value for players or spectators.
 
Of course the minnows need to test themselves against better opposition in order to improve. But embarrassing losses serve only to perpetuate their status as ill prepared, under financed nations who lack the traditional infrastructure to develop.
 
Throwing them in at the deep end once every couple of years and expecting them to compete is completely unrealistic. Afghanistan and Ireland are serious about their cricket and are head and shoulders above the rest of the second tier countries - Canada included. However the gulf between the ICC's Full members and the Associates remains cavernous and it will take many more years before they can hold their own among cricket's elite.
 
Now we're down to the serious contenders - the eight teams who harbour genuine hopes of lifting the trophy in early October. There are no surprises - but we never expected any. Bangladesh acquitted themselves well against Pakistan but, in the final analysis, an eight wicket defeat is what it is. Zimbabwe, a test playing nation for twenty years, continues to struggle badly on the international stage.
 
 
 
Sat, 09/22/2012

South African and Sri Lanka look to finally be tested in the first match on Saturday at the World T20 as both teams come off easy wins against Zimbabwe. Also on Saturday, West Indies makes their tournament debut as they take on Australia. 

Sunday will see the most talked about opening round match as England take on India and Pakistan take on New Zealand. 

Four mammoth contests on the cards for this weekend. 

SPORTSNET CRICKET | FARAZ SARWAT ON PAKISTAN | CURRENT STANDINGS

Fri, 09/21/2012

 

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Luke Wright hammered an unbeaten 99 to steer defending champion England to a crushing 116-run win over Afghanistan in their World Twenty20 match on Friday.

England made a formidable 196 for five in its 20 overs after being sent in to bat, and then bowled out Afghanistan for 80 in the 18th over at R. Premadasa Stadium. Wright and Alex Hales joined in a 69-run stand, and Wright shared 72 runs with Eoin Morgan.

The game ended Afghanistan's short campaign in the tournament after losing to India by 23 runs in its first Group A match on Wednesday.

Wright said that England knew Afghans were a dangerous team after watching their spirited effort against India on television. But he added: "The way we came back and bowled them out was a superb effort."

Wright played down his disappointment at missing out on England's first Twenty20 century by a single run.

MATCH REPORT  | NEW ZEALAND HAMMERS BANGLADESH

Fri, 09/21/2012

Abbotsford Cricket Club and PakCan Cricket Club do battle in the BCMCL Finals on Saturday. A live stream is available on punjabisports.com. 

In Toronto, the TDCA semi-finals and finals with Centurions, TCSCC, Vikings and Brampton Masters vying for positions in Sunday's final. 

 

Thu, 09/20/2012

 

HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka -- Jacques Kallis produced the best bowling performance by a South African in the 20-over format with 4-15 as the Proteas hammered Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the World Twenty20 on Thursday.

The latest defeat eliminated Zimbabwe from the tournament, after it lost the team's first match in Group C by 82 runs against Sri Lanka.

Kallis led the seam attack as Zimbabwe was restricted to 93-8 and South Africa openers Richard Levi (50) and Hashim Amla (32) eased to 94-0 in only 12.4 overs at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.

South Africa will meet Sri Lanka in the last Group C match on Saturday with both teams already qualified for the Super Eights.

Levis and Amla were untroubled by the Zimbabwean bowlers. Levi hit six fours off 43 balls while Amla rotated the strike well, facing 33 balls and hitting three boundaries.

"(I'm) very happy with the start. I back our pace bowlers to do well on this kind of deck. Hopefully it's the same for the next game," South African captain AB de Villiers said.

 

SPORTSNET CRICKET  | MATCH REPORT |MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Wed, 09/19/2012

 

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Virat Kohli scored a half-century while Lakshmipathy Balaji and Yuvraj Singh combined for six wickets to propel India to a 23-run win against Afghanistan at the World Twenty20 on Wednesday.
 
The lowly ranked Afghans, who reached the tournament through qualifying, put up a challenge in patches against one of the favourites to win the trophy. However, their inexperience meant they couldn't sustain the pressure in the Group A match.
 
Afghanistan captain Nawroz Mangal won the toss and sent in India, which made 159-5 in 20 overs. Kohli hit two sixes and four boundaries for 50 off 39 balls. He shared a 46-run stand with Suresh Raina after the Afghans had reduced India to 68-3.
 
In reply, Afghanistan was bowled out for 136 runs in the final over. Mohammad Nabi top-scored with 31. Balaji claimed 3-19 while Yuvraj took 3-24.
 

DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS | MATCH REPORT | AUSTRALIA DEF IRELAND  | 

Tue, 09/18/2012

 

HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka -- Finger spinner Ajantha Mendis broke his own record for the best bowling figures in cricket's shortest format Tuesday, taking 6-8 to lead Sri Lanka to an 82-run win over Zimbabwe in the World Twenty20 opening match.

Mendis surpassed his previous mark of 6-16 against Australia last year with his miserly four-over spell, helping bowl out Zimbabwe for 100 in 17.3 overs after Sri Lanka had totalled 182-4.

The performance by Mendis was particularly remarkable for being his first international after an eight-month layoff because of a back injury.

Namesake Jeevan Mendis claimed 3-24 to add to his 43 not out. Kumar Sangakkara top-scored for Sri Lanka with 44 while Tillakaratne Dilshan hit 39.

FULL ARTICLE | SPORTSNET CRICKET | HIGHLIGHTS