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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ICC World Cup : Duminy anchors South Africa into last eight

JP Duminy
JP Duminy agonisingly missed out on his first World Cup hundred by a run but his sparkling effort propelled South Africa into the quarter-finals with a crushing 131-run win over Ireland on Tuesday.
The 273-run target proved a bit too steep for the Irish as they never recovered from a couple of early jolts, and were ultimately shot out for a paltry 141. South Africa became the first team from Group B to reach the last eight.
"We wanted to qualify ... and have three good matches in the knockout phase. We've done the first part of that and we're excited to be there," captain Graeme Smith said during the presentation ceremony.
Speedster Morne Morkel and spinner Robin Peterson picked up three wickets apiece as South Africa made regular inroads to block Irish hopes of an upset.
Duminy also chipped in with a wicket with his part-time off-spin but it was definitely not enough to compensate his missing a deserved hundred while unselfishly trying to gather more runs for his team.
In the last over of the South African innings, the left-hander, on 99, skied the ball as Ireland's John Mooney ran back to complete a stunning catch to deny him the century.
Although he looked dejected to fall so close to the three figure milestone, Duminy had no regrets about his tactics.
"Definitely happy to try to hit it out of the ground (just before ton)," the 26-year-old said.
"In this sort of games, one or two runs can make a difference whether you win or lose so my goal was to try to hit it out of the ground."
On a cloudy day at Eden Gardens, the Proteas were struggling on 117 for five before the left-handed duo of Duminy and World Cup debutant Colin Ingram steadied the ship with a 87-run partnership off 79 deliveries.
Duminy (99 off 103 balls) then combined with Johan Botha and added 65 runs for the seventh wicket to take South Africa to a competitive 272 for seven.
Ireland, who have impressed all in the World Cup with their dogged performance, picked up regular wickets with some smart bowling and electric ground fielding, after opting to bowl first.
The run-outs of Smith (7) and Jacques Kallis (19) and the early dismissal of Hashim Amla (18) put the South African middle-order, without the injured AB de Villiers, under stern test.
Wicketkeeper Morne van Wyk, who was promoted to number three, survived two dropped chances for a 41-ball 42 and took good advantage of the fielding restrictions to hit seven boundaries and one six.
The Irish spinners - George Dockrell and Paul Stirling - were the most impressive as they stifled South Africa, giving away just 82 runs between their 20 overs, while picking up two wickets.
score card

South Africa innings (50 overs maximum) R M B 4s 6s SR
HM Amla c Dockrell b Rankin 18 20 17 1 1 105.88
GC Smith* run out (Mooney) 7 43 18 0 0 38.88
MN van Wyk† b Dockrell 42 48 41 7 1 102.43
JH Kallis run out (†NJ O'Brien/Porterfield) 19 43 31 3 0 61.29
JP Duminy c KJ O'Brien b Mooney 99 139 103 6 1 96.11
F du Plessis c Johnston b Stirling 11 21 19 0 0 57.89
CA Ingram b Johnston 46 55 43 7 0 106.97

J Botha not out 21 47 28 1 0 75.00

RJ Peterson not out 0 1 0 0 0 -

Extras (b 2, lb 3, w 4) 9

Total (7 wickets; 50 overs; 213 mins) 272 (5.44 runs per over)
Did not bat M Morkel, DW Steyn
Fall of wickets1-24 (Amla, 4.4 ov), 2-52 (Smith, 9.4 ov), 3-84 (van Wyk, 15.5 ov), 4-95 (Kallis, 20.3 ov), 5-117 (du Plessis, 26.3 ov), 6-204 (Ingram, 39.4 ov), 7-269 (Duminy, 49.4 ov)

Bowling O M R W Econ

WB Rankin 10 0 59 1 5.90 (1w)
DT Johnston 10 0 76 1 7.60 (1w)
JF Mooney 8 0 36 1 4.50

GH Dockrell 10 0 37 1 3.70

PR Stirling 10 0 45 1 4.50 (1w)

AR Cusack 2 0 14 0 7.00 (1w)

Ireland innings (target: 273 runs from 50 overs) R M B 4s 6s SR
WTS Porterfield* c Smith b Morkel 6 8 8 1 0 75.00
PR Stirling c Kallis b Morkel 10 15 11 2 0 90.90
EC Joyce lbw b Botha 12 46 24 2 0 50.00
NJ O'Brien† c †van Wyk b Kallis 10 23 16 0 1 62.50
GC Wilson lbw b Peterson 31 60 48 4 1 64.58
KJ O'Brien c Amla b Peterson 19 39 24 2 0 79.16
AR Cusack c Smith b Peterson 7 23 11 1 0 63.63
JF Mooney c †van Wyk b Kallis 14 49 28 1 0 50.00
DT Johnston c †van Wyk b Duminy 12 14 16 0 1 75.00
GH Dockrell c †van Wyk b Morkel 16 19 12 3 0 133.33

WB Rankin not out 0 3 2 0 0 0.00

Extras (w 4) 4

Total (all out; 33.2 overs; 154 mins) 141 (4.23 runs per over)
Fall of wickets1-8 (Porterfield, 1.6 ov), 2-19 (Stirling, 3.3 ov), 3-35 (NJ O'Brien, 8.5 ov), 4-51 (Joyce, 11.5 ov), 5-92 (KJ O'Brien, 21.3 ov), 6-92 (Wilson, 21.5 ov), 7-107 (Cusack, 25.5 ov), 8-123 (Johnston, 29.5 ov), 9-137 (Mooney, 32.4 ov), 10-141 (Dockrell, 33.2 ov)

Bowling O M R W Econ

DW Steyn 4 1 13 0 3.25

M Morkel 5.2 0 33 3 6.18 (2w)
JH Kallis 6 1 20 2 3.33

J Botha 8 0 32 1 4.00 (1w)
RJ Peterson 8 0 32 3 4.00

JP Duminy 2 0 11 1 5.50


Blasts, fire escalate Japan's nuclear crisis

Explosions and a fire at Japan's quake-hit nuclear plant unleashed dangerous levels of radiation on Tuesday, sparking a collapse on the stock market and panic-buying in supermarkets.
Tokyo stocks, which were punished on Monday in a frantic sell-off that sent indexes around the world sliding, plummeted another 14 percent Tuesday before paring some losses and ending 10.55 percent down.
In towns and cities, fearful citizens stripped shelves of food and water, prompting the government to warn that panic-buying could hurt its ability to provide aid to areas devastated by Friday's massive quake and tsunami.
But scared Tokyo residents filled outbound trains and rushed to shops to stock up on face masks and emergency supplies amid heightening fears of radiation headed their way.
Radiation levels around the Fukushima No.1 plant on the eastern coast had "risen considerably", Prime Minister Naoto Kan said, and his chief spokesman announced it had reached the point where it endangered human health.
In Tokyo, 250 kilometres (155 miles) to the southwest, authorities also said that higher-than-normal radiation levels had been detected in the capital, the world's biggest urban area, but not at harmful levels.
Kan warned people living up to 10 kilometres (six miles) beyond a 20 km exclusion zone around the nuclear plant to stay indoors.
"I would like to ask the nation, although this incident is of great concern, I ask you to react very calmly," he said.
The fire, which was later extinguished with the help of US troops, broke out in the plant's number-four reactor, meaning that four out of six reactors at the facility were in trouble -- and temperatures were reportedly rising in the other two.
Radiation levels later dropped at both the plant and in Tokyo, chief government spokesman Yukio Edano said.
The UN weather agency said that winds were currently blowing radioactive material towards the ocean, and that there were "no implications" for Japan or countries nearby.
France's Nuclear Safety Authority said the disaster now ranked at six on a seven-point international scale of gravity for nuclear accidents, ranking the crisis second only in gravity to Chernobyl.
The disaster also prompted Russia and Germany to order immediate reviews of their atomic energy sectors, with Berlin saying it would provisionally shut down seven nuclear reactors for three months pending a safety assessment.
On top of the atomic emergency, Japan is struggling to cope with the enormity of the damage from the record quake and the tsunami that raced across vast tracts of its northeast, destroying all before it.
The official death toll rose to 2,414, police said Tuesday, but officials have said at least 10,000 were likely to have perished.
In the only country in the world to have experienced a nuclear attack -- two bombs dropped by the United States during World War II killed some 200,000 people -- Japanese citizens are gripped by fear of nuclear fallout.
"What we most fear is a radiation leak from the nuclear plant," Kaoru Hashimoto, 36, a housewife living in Fukushima city, 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of the stricken plant, told AFP by phone.
Hashimoto said supermarkets were open but shelves were completely empty. "Many children are sick in this cold weather but pharmacies are closed. Emergency relief goods have not reached evacuation centres in the city.
"Everyone is anxious and wants to get out of town. But there is no more petrol."
More than 200,000 people have already been evacuated from the exclusion zone around the crippled plant.
At one shelter, a young woman holding her baby told public broadcaster NHK: "I didn't want this baby to be exposed to radiation. I wanted to avoid that, no matter what."
The crisis at the ageing Fukushima nuclear plant has worsened daily since Friday's quake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems.
Explosions hit the buildings housing reactors one and three Saturday and Monday. On Tuesday, a blast hit reactor two at the plant and there was also an explosion at reactor four which started a fire.
Government spokesman Edano said radioactive particulates leaked along with the hydrogen.
The UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Tokyo had asked for expert assistance in the aftermath of the quake, which US seismologists are now measuring at 9.0-magnitude, revised up from 8.9.
But the IAEA's Japanese chief Yukiya Amano moved to calm global fears that the situation could escalate to rival the world's worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986.
"Let me say that the possibility that the development of this accident into one like Chernobyl is very unlikely," he said.
The devastation in tsunami-hit areas such as Sendai city in the northeast, however, is absolute.
At the once-bustling regional airport small planes jutted out at awkward angles from thick mud, amid the wreckage of clusters of wooden beachfront houses that were splintered into flotsam in an instant by the waves.
As far as the eye can see, the machinery of modern life has been crumpled almost beyond recognition -- cars are stuck incongruously into the few remaining structures or balanced on top of wrecked homes.
Aid workers and search teams from across the world have joined 100,000 Japanese soldiers in a massive relief push in the shattered areas.
Rescuers on Tuesday pulled two survivors, an elderly woman and a man, from underneath the rubble, four days after the earthquake, public broadcaster NHK reported.
Millions have been left without water, electricity, fuel or enough food and hundreds of thousands more are homeless and facing harsh conditions with sub-zero temperatures overnight, and snow and rain forecast.
The government expects a "considerable" economic impact from the disaster, which has plunged the nation into what Prime Minister Kan called its worst crisis since World War II.
Singapore's DBS Bank estimated that the twin disasters would cost Japan's economy about $100 billion, or about two percentage points of its annual gross domestic product.
Strong quake shakes Tokyo region
TOKYO. A strong quake was felt late Tuesday in Tokyo, shaking buildings in Japan's capital four days after a massive tremor sparked a devastating tsunami that ravaged the country's northeast coast.
The Japan Meteorological Agency put the magnitude of the quake at 6.0.
The epicentre was located in Shizuoka prefecture, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) southwest of the capital, and near Mount Fuji, which is prone to earthquakes.
The quake occured at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres.
The US Geological Survey put the magnitude at 6.1 and said it had been preceded a few minutes earlier by another 5.8-magnitude tremor. The epicentre of that aftershock was located 315 kilometres northeast of Tokyo.

US experts say Japan tragedy should not stop India from pursuing nuke energy options

Two American principals who were instrumental in pushing the US-India civilian nuclear deal said on Monday that New Delhi could not afford to forsake nuclear energy even in the wake of the tragedy in Japan although the disaster will have a salutary effect on India's choice of sites and technology.
Carnegie Endowment's Ashley Tellis and US-India Business Council's Ron Somers, who propelled the nuclear agreement within the American strategic and business community respectively, maintained that India must and will continue to embrace nuclear power given the enormous energy deficit the country faces, shortage that cannot be met from any one source.
"India does not have the luxury of renouncing nuclear power," the Mumbai-born Tellis said at a conference on "The Rise of India," hosted by the American Enterprise Institute. "What India will push for is to be more careful about where plants are sited...that is salutary. It will insist that (nuclear reactor) designs are validated a lot more. I don't think there will be a downward revision (of nuclear power targets)."
India plans to increase its nuclear power production from its current 4000 MW installed capacity to 20,000 MW by 2020 and 40,000 MW by 2030 in one of the largest expansions in the world. The earthquake-induced tragedy in Japan has opponents of nuclear power up in arms over a source and technology that is seen by them to be of a catastrophic nature.
But USIBC's Somers maintained that the Japanese designs were of 1972 vintage and current technology would have coped better with the circumstances. "In that sense, it is a blessing India is getting its civilian nuclear program started now because new technology in the event of such an earthquake would automatically shut down (the reactor) and there won't be a possibly of meltdown," Somers said.
Critics of this line of argument, who have already been venting about India considering untested technology for its new projects, say there is no way to insure against catastrophic incidents. That's something even proponents of nuclear power agree, even as they point out that Indian plants have withstood temblors and a tsunami. Already, there is a surge of risk aversion towards nuclear energy across the world, with Germany announcing on Monday that it was taking seven pre-1980 nuclear power plants offline.
But Carnegie's Tellis said that while the Japan tragedy is going to "give India pause" it won't lead to any fundamental revision of targets. "The reason for that is India needs more of everything fast. It needed it yesterday," he said. "Even if all the sources of power were produced on time and very efficiently, India will be confronted with a deficit in terms of power generation. There is no way the arithmetic of demand and supply add up."
Somers too agreed that the Japan tragedy "will it be a setback for nuclear renaissance" and will cause people to think twice about nuclear power as an energy source, but said India should not back down from the nuclear power option. India's energy needs are 70 per cent dependant on hydrocarbons and rising oil prices among other factors spelled danger for food price inflation, which was a potent political issue in India.

Libyan rebels lose last stronghold west of Tripoli

TOBRUK, Libya.
Witnesses say Moammar Gaddafi's forces have captured Zwara, the last rebel-held city west of Tripoli to fall back under government control.
Tuesday's victory solidifies Gaddafi's hold on the western stretch of coastline from the capital to the Tunisian border even as the Libyan leader advances against rebels in their eastern strongholds. A cacophony of gunfire could be heard on the telephone Tuesday as army troops celebrated, but rebels promised to regroup and fight back.
Zwara was one of the first towns seized by the rebels as they made gains early in the monthlong uprising against Gaddafi's rule. Rebels in Zwara say government troops retook the town after battering it with heavy tank and artillery fire, but sporadic street battles are ongoing.

Germany eyes first nuclear plant closures

Germany moved on Tuesday to shut down its oldest nuclear reactors as Chancellor Angela Merkel convened crisis talks on the future of atomic energy in Europe's top economy in light of events in Japan.
On Monday Merkel had announced a three-month freeze on a postponement of more than a decade until the mid-2030s the date when the last of Germany's 17 nuclear reactors are switched off, pending a safety review.
"We cannot just go back to business as usual," Merkel had said. "Events in Japan ... teach us that risks that were thought to be completely impossible cannot in fact be completely ruled out."
Japan's government has said radiation levels near the Fukushima nuclear plant have reached levels harmful to human health, with four reactors having overheated and sparked explosions after Friday's earthquake and tsunami.
Merkel's announcement means that some of the country's oldest reactors, in operation since the mid-1970s, were set to be turned off.
The Neckarwestheim 1 reactor near Stuttgart in southwest Germany would already have been taken out of service if Merkel had not defied public opinion and extended last year operating times.
Others that could be shut down imminently include Biblis A south of Frankfurt and Isar I in Bavaria.
On Monday large numbers of people worried about nuclear safety -- more than 100,000 according to organisers -- took to the streets around the country.
A survey by public broadcaster ARD published on Tuesday had 53 percent of respondents saying all reactors should be taken out of service as soon as possible.
Seventy percent thought that an accident similar to that in Japan could happen in Germany, and 80 percent want Merkel to reverse the government's extension of operating times, the poll of 909 voters showed.
On Tuesday Merkel had talks in Berlin with premiers of the German states where there are nuclear plants, as well as the economy and environment ministers. They were due to address reporters at 11:30 am (1030 GMT).

Russia bans 'Putin-Medvedev' vodka brand: Report

Russia has banned a firm from registering as a trademark a brand of vodka whose name appears to play on the names of its ruling duo, Vedomosti business daily reported on Tuesday.
Russia's patent agency refused to allow a company to register as a trademark the name "Volodya and Medvedi," with Volodya a diminutive of Vladimir, and Medvedi, or bears, sounding similar to the surname Medvedev, it reported.
The bear is also the symbol of the ruling United Russia party.
The brand name "is assessed as a contemptuous attitude to the authorities," the agency said, turning down an appeal by the company, Royalti, which argued the name referred to Russia's most popular name and to fairytales.
The brand name has already been registered in Ukraine by a different company, and will shortly go on sale in Russian supermarkets, the newspaper reported, citing a vice-president of the company, Vineksim.
Vineksim already sells a popular vodka brand called Putinka.
The flamboyant leader of the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, launched a vodka brand named after himself in 1994, but it is no longer on sale.

Bahrain declares state of emergency after unrest

Bahrain has declared a state of emergency following weeks of unrest on the island kingdom, state television announced on Tuesday, saying the country's security forces would take charge for the next three months.
An order by the king "authorised the commander of Bahrain's defence forces to take all necessary measures to protect the safety of the country and its citizens," said a statement read out on television.
The royal order would come into force on Tuesday and would apply to all parts of the Gulf state, an oil and banking centre which has been roiled by protests pitting the Shi'ite Muslim majority population against the ruling Sunni elite.
"These measures will be implemented by the Bahraini defence forces, the general security forces, the national guard and any other forces if necessary," the televised announcement said.
It referred to the state of emergency as "an act of national safety", adding that it had been imposed after Bahrain's institutions, economy and citizens had come under threat.
On Monday, more than 1,000 Saudi troops rolled into the kingdom at the request of Bahrain's Sunni rulers, who have failed to quell the country's worst unrest since the 1990s.
Sectarian clashes broke out in different parts of Bahrain overnight, with both Sunnis and Shi'ites trading accusations that they had been attacked by gangs of youths.

NRI dentist in UK faces charges of seducing patient

An NRI dentist, once the face of Oral B toothpaste and appears on a British TV show, has been accused of seducing a patient on the couch of his dental clinic and marital home, a disciplinary hearing was told.
Surinder Hundle (44), whose name can be struck off over the charges, also said to have forced the patient to stay in a dark room for five hours in his house because the nurse was outside one night. He was allegedly afraid of being caught by his 'psycho' nurse, with whom he was also having an affair, the Daily Mail reported.
The woman -- a teacher referred to as Patient A at the hearing -- said the relationship began in November 2000 after Hundle during a consultation made some inappropriate but flattering statements.
The disciplinary panel was told after the meeting, Hundle and Patient A made regular appointments for the purpose at the Lund Osler clinic, where he worked, a stone's throw from Harrods in Knightsbridge.
Sean Larkin, for the General Dental Council, said Hundle's behaviour had left Patient A "intimidated and vulnerable."
Hundle admits he had sex with Patient A at his home, but denies anything took place at his surgery. He accepts she went to his house for sex on September 24, 2008, but declines the incident with his nurse.
According to the report, he has accepted his behaviour was inappropriate, but not that it was sexually motivated or an abuse of his position.
Hundle regularly features on Channel 4 show Ten Years Younger in which participants are given a makeover in an attempt to make them look more youthful. He has also appeared on Tomorrow's World and GMTV.

Wikileaks reports suggest 'pro-US shift' by UPA: Oppn

Publication of Wikileaks reports suggesting that a 'US tilt' was visible in the Indian Cabinet reshuffle of 2006, prompted the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha to allege that the pro-American shift by the UPA government was a 'shameful' act.
CPI-M members in the Rajya Sabha raised the issue and said the Wikileaks cable quoted the US Ambassador in India David C Mulford as saying that there was "undeniable pro-American tilt" in the then Cabinet reshuffle.
The CPI-M members, led by P Rajeeve and Brinda Karat, said Mulford had described change in the petroleum portfolio as a "determination to ensure that US-India relations continue to move ahead rapidly."
The matter was raised during Zero Hour by Rajeeve, who said that Mani Shankar Aiyar, seen by the US as "contentious and outspoken Iran pipeline advocate", was replaced by "pro- US" Murli Deora.
He said a chain of US embassy cables reveal the pro-US position of the Indian government on several issues.
Amid shouts of "shame" Rajeeve said America felt the net effect of the cabinet reshuffle was "likely to be excellent for the US goals in India (and Iran)."
The CPI-M member, supported by his party colleagues and BJP and Shiv Sena, said there was also a reference in the cables to the inclusion of Saifuddin Soz, Anand Sharma, Ashwani Kumar and Kapil Sibal "with strong pro-US credentials".
They revealed that India was not ready to share the details of investigations into 26/11 Mumbai attack with Pakistan initially. But after continuous pressure (from the US), the Home Minister agreed to share the information, he said.

Exiled Tibetan Parliament urges Dalai Lama to stay on as leader

The Tibetan parliament-in-exile is debating the Dalai Lama's decision to give up his political role, with some members pleading for the Buddhist holy man to reconsider.
Tibetan prime minister-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche says about one-third of the 43 members who participated in the debate proposed that the Nobel peace laureate remain as leader.
He said, ``It is very likely that parliament will not accept his suggestion to step down.''
Last week, the Dalai Lama said he would give up his political role in the Tibetan government-in-exile and shift that power to an elected representative.
He asked the parliament-in-exile to amend the constitution to allow this to happen in the current session, which ends March 25.

CBI questions Kalmadi

The CBI on Tuesday questioned Commonwealth Games Organising Committee's former chief Suresh Kalmadi in connection with massive financial irregularities in the Games.
Kalmadi is at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi.
Forensic evidence linking Suresh Kalmadi to contracts being investigated for alleged corruption, delivery deficits and manipulation of tender terms had come to light recently.
Details of Kalmadi's links to dubious decisions taken during his tenure as chief organiser are with the V K Shunglu committee probing an array of Games-related irregularities. The evidence was turned up by private experts engaged by the committee who examined computer and email records at the OC office.
Sources said the experts did not find it easy to scour through the electronic records, many of which were obliterated and others fudged or tampered with. But despite being able to look at the record weeks after the Games concluded, they have hit on Kalmadi's footprint.