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Thursday, February 24, 2011

World Cup: South Africa rout West Indies by 7 wickets

AB de Villiers smashed
AB de Villiers smashed an unbeaten century and debutant Imran Tahir scalped four wickets as South Africa launched their World Cup campaign with a comfortable seven-wicket win over West Indies in a Group-B league match on Thursday.
The South Africans first bowled out the Caribbeans for 222 and then relied on de Villiers' unbeaten 107, his 10th ODI ton, to rattle up the runs with 43 balls to spare at the Ferozeshah Kotla. The Proteas scored 223/3 to garner two points.
The 31-year-old Pakistan-born Tahir also made a memorable World Cup debut to claim four key wickets and return with impressive figures of 10-1-41-4 while paceman Dale Steyn was the other successful bowler with 3/24.
Darren Bravo (73) was the top scorer for the West Indians who never really got to take control of the innings after being put in to bat by South African skipper Graeme Smith.
The Caribbeans failed to recover from the early jolt of losing their opener Chris Gayle in the very first over and although Devon Smith (36), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (31) and Dwayne Bravo (40) got the starts, they could not translate them into a big knocks.
After Tahir took the bowling honours, de Villiers took centrestage with a superb display of strokeplay on what appeared to be a good track at the Ferozeshah Kotla, hosting its first match since December 2009 after the India-Sri Lanka ODI was abandoned because of a "dangerous" pitch.
The South African innings began on a disastrous note as they lost opener Hashim Amla (14) and veteran Jacques Kallis (4) early to be reduced to a precarious 20/2 within five overs.  Paceman Kemar Roach drew first blood for the West Indians by dismissing Amla who edged the ball to wicket keeper Devon Thomas. The South Africans asked for a referral and the television umpire upheld the decision.
But the Proteas suffered a huge jolt when Kallis, who has been a vital cog in their batting, was snapped up by Sulieman Benn who began the bowling operations for his team.
It was a gem of a ball from Benn which accounted for Kallis' dismissal as the right-hander went for cover drive but only succeeded in edging the spinning delivery to Darren Sammy at the lone slip.
The dashing AB de Villiers, who joined his captain Graeme Smith after Kallis' dismissal, launched a counter-attack to unsettle the Caribbeans and the strategy paid dividends to some extent as the duo brought up the 50-run partnership in just 55 balls.
Both Smith and de Villiers played sensibly and soon added 100 runs for the third wicket without taking too many risks. While the captain played the anchor's role, de Villiers went for the runs at the other end. The third wicket partnership yielded 119 runs before Pollard provided the breakthrough by getting rid of Smith. Smith's 45 came off 78 balls and contained two boundaries.
After a brief rain interruption, de Villiers completed his century with a single off Pollard while J P Duminy also scored at a brisk pace at the other end.
Earlier, the Caribbeans could never recover from the early jolt of losing Gayle in the very first over. South Africa opened the bowling with spinner Johan Botha and the move paid dividends straightaway as he accounted for dangerous Gayle in the very third ball of the innings.
Gayle tried to play on the leg side but only succeeded in edging the ball to Kallis at the slip.
Smith and Bravo steadied the innings after the early jolt by playing cautiously but were quick to dispatch the loose deliveries to the boundary. While Bravo was the more aggressive of the two batsmen, unleashing a flurry of shots on both sides of the wicket, Smith was quite content in playing second fiddle and giving strike to his partner.
The duo brought up the 100-run partnership for the second wicket in 19.4 over and put the Caribbean innings back on track as the South Africans tried to break the stand.
Just when West Indies seemed to be cruising along, the Proteas struck three vital blows to unsettle them again with leg spinner Tahir doing the damage on two occasions.
Devon smith (36), Bravo (73) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (2) were the three batsmen who returned to the pavilion in quick succession as West Indies suddenly slumped to 120/4.
It was Botha who triggered the collapse by getting rid of Bravo who was looking quite comfortable at the middle.
Bravo looked to flick a well tossed up delivery but missed the line and was trapped leg before. He went for the referral but the television umpire also ruled him out.
Smith was the next to depart as he offered a simple return catch to Tahir who made no mistake while Sarwan was trapped leg before to the same bowler a few minutes later.
It was then left to Shivanarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo to do the repair work. Bravo played his natural game and clobbered three huge sixes early in his knock.
The pair put on 58 runs for the fifth wicket before Bravo was run out after Chanderpaul made the mistake of calling him for a non-existent run. Bravo's quickfire 40 came off 37 balls and contained one boundary and three sixes.
Chanderpaul could not sustain the tempo as he fell victim to Tahir with Peterson taking a well-judged catch at the long on region.  The hard-hitting Kieron Pollard, who joined the action after Chanderpaul's dismissal, did not trouble the scorer at all as he perished in the very first ball he faced.
score card 

West Indies innings (50 overs maximum) R M B 4s 6s SR
CH Gayle c Kallis b Botha 2 3 3 0 0 66.66
DS Smith c & b Imran Tahir 36 103 57 3 0 63.15
DM Bravo lbw b Botha 73 96 82 8 1 89.02
RR Sarwan lbw b Imran Tahir 2 15 10 0 0 20.00
S Chanderpaul c Peterson b Imran Tahir 31 73 51 1 1 60.78
DJ Bravo run out (Morkel/†de Villiers) 40 46 37 1 3 108.10
DC Thomas† c Duminy b Imran Tahir 15 29 26 1 0 57.69
KA Pollard lbw b Steyn 0 6 1 0 0 0.00
DJG Sammy* lbw b Steyn 0 7 4 0 0 0.00
SJ Benn c Morkel b Steyn 6 14 8 1 0 75.00

KAJ Roach not out 2 12 6 0 0 33.33

Extras (b 1, lb 3, w 11) 15

Total (all out; 47.3 overs; 205 mins) 222 (4.67 runs per over)
Fall of wickets1-2 (Gayle, 0.3 ov), 2-113 (DM Bravo, 23.1 ov), 3-117 (Smith, 24.4 ov), 4-120 (Sarwan, 26.1 ov), 5-178 (DJ Bravo, 37.5 ov), 6-209 (Chanderpaul, 42.2 ov), 7-213 (Pollard, 43.3 ov), 8-213 (Thomas, 44.6 ov), 9-213 (Sammy, 45.1 ov), 10-222 (Benn, 47.3 ov)

Bowling O M R W Econ

J Botha 9 0 48 2 5.33 (3w)
DW Steyn 7.3 1 24 3 3.20 (2w)

M Morkel 8 0 35 0 4.37 (2w)

JH Kallis 3 0 21 0 7.00

View wickets Imran Tahir 10 1 41 4 4.10

RJ Peterson 10 0 49 0 4.90

South Africa innings (target: 223 runs from 50 overs) R M B 4s 6s SR
HM Amla c †Thomas b Roach 14 14 15 2 0 93.33
GC Smith* b Pollard 45 116 78 2 0 57.69
JH Kallis c Sammy b Benn 4 5 7 0 0 57.14

AB de Villiers† not out 107 149 105 8 2 101.90

JP Duminy not out 42 54 53 1 0 79.24

Extras (lb 10, nb 1) 11

Total (3 wickets; 42.5 overs; 171 mins) 223 (5.20 runs per over)
Did not bat F du Plessis, J Botha, RJ Peterson, M Morkel, DW Steyn, Imran Tahir
Fall of wickets1-15 (Amla, 3.3 ov), 2-20 (Kallis, 4.6 ov), 3-139 (Smith, 28.3 ov)

Bowling O M R W Econ

SJ Benn 10 0 51 1 5.10

KAJ Roach 8 0 42 1 5.25

DJ Bravo 2.1 0 12 0 5.53

DJG Sammy 8 0 40 0 5.00

KA Pollard 7.5 0 37 1 4.72 (1nb)

CH Gayle 6 0 26 0 4.33

DS Smith 0.5 0 5 0 6.00

Libya's Gaddafi blames bin Laden for turmoil

TRIPOLI: Libya's Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday blamed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden for manipulating Libyans who have risen up against the veteran leader and taken control of large parts of the oil-producing country.
"Bin Laden ... this is the enemy who is manipulating people," Gaddafi said, speaking by telephone to Libyan television. "Do not be swayed by bin Laden."
Referring to violent clashes taking place in the town of Zawiyah, about 50 km (30 miles) from the capital Tripoli, Gaddafi said, "What is happening in Zawiyah is a farce. ... Sane men don't enter such a farce." He called on citizens to "leave the country calm."

Pakistan prosecutors withdraw plea seeking Ajmal Kasab's fugitive status

Pakistani prosecutors today withdrew a petition they had filed in the Lahore high court to declare Ajmal Kasab and Fahim Ansari as "proclaimed offenders" or fugitives in connection with the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks case. Prosecutors representing the Federal Investigation Agency withdrew the review petition on the orders of a high court bench comprising justices Sheikh Rauf and Ijazul Hasan.
The bench observed that Kasab had been given the death sentence in India for his role in the attacks and questioned how he could be brought to Pakistan for trial.
The FIA's petition, filed last year, has held up the trial of seven Pakistani suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks by an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.
The FIA had wanted the trial of Kasab and Ansari to be separated from that of the seven suspects, including Lashker-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
After the anti-terrorism court rejected the FIA’s request to declare Kasab and Ansari as proclaimed offenders, the agency had approached the Lahore high court.
The anti-terrorism court has said it could not proceed with the trial of the seven suspects till the high court gave its verdict on the FIA's petition.
During today's proceedings in the high court, the FIA's lawyer again argued that the case of Kasab and Ansari should be separated from that of the other seven accused.
The prosecution informed the high court that the anti-terrorism court had already issued arrest warrants for Kasab and Ansari and thus they should be declared proclaimed offenders.
The high court bench observed that if the anti-terrorism court had issued arrest warrants for the duo, it would be better if the prosecution pleaded its case there.
It then directed the FIA to withdraw its petition and take its matter to the anti-terrorism court.
A member of the FIA's team of prosecutors, who did not want to be named, told PTI that the matter would be taken up with the anti-terrorism court.
The next hearing in the trial of the seven accused is scheduled for February 26.
Pakistani national Kasab was sentenced to death by a court in Mumbai his role in the attacks on India’s financial hub that killed 166 people in November 2008.
Ansari, an Indian national, was acquitted by the same court but continues to be in custody in connection with other cases.

3 Navy ships to set sail for Libya to evacuate Indians


NEW DELHI: Having woken up belatedly to what it called "sharp and unprecedented deterioration" in the situation in Libya, the government on Thursday was scrambling to launch evacuation operations for the around 18,000 Indians stuck in the violence-hit country.

Three naval warships — large amphibious warfare ship INS Jalashwa and two Delhi-class destroyers — will now head for Libya to supplement the evacuation operation.
Though it will take around 10 days for them to sail the 4,000 nautical miles to Libya, the three warships are needed to ferry around 9,500 Indians from Libyan ports like Tripoli and Benghazi to Malta and Alexandria ( Egypt), from where they can be airlifted to India.
A passenger ferry 'Scotia Prince', hired by the government to evacuate Indians, is expected to reach Libya only by Sunday. As of now, evacuation is being arranged by air and sea but New Delhi is still awaiting clearance from Libyan authorities to initiate operations in both the cases. The ministry of external affairs on Thursday said Scotia Prince, which has a seating capacity of 1,200, will sail to Benghazi which will be the initial focus of rescue operations. MEA personnel and medical teams will be on board to assist the evacuees.
"Scotia Prince is expected to reach Benghazi by February 27 and bring at least 1,200 persons to Alexandria (Egypt) by March 1. They would be flown home from Alexandria thereafter by special Air India flights, which are being arranged," the ministry said. While in Tripoli the focus will be on air evacuation, aircraft are still on standby as landing clearance has not yet been received. "Preparations are also on for evacuation of our nationals from cities in the interior where air access is possible subject to Libyan clearance," it said.
While China managed to evacuate close to 3,000 people by road on Wednesday, government officials said New Delhi was not focusing on the land route because it was not safe as local militias had check-points all over the place. The move to get the three warships ready for sailing to Libya came after the MEA sought the defence ministry's cooperation on Wednesday evening. By the time the warships reach Libya, it is hoped the MEA would have set in place a mechanism to get Indians to the ports in Tripoli and Benghazi for the to-and-fro ferry runs planned for them.
While the 6,900-tonne destroyers can ferry only around 300 people each at one go since they are packed with weapon and sensor systems.