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Bangladesh complete their target to clean up sweep

Saturday, October 16, 2010

'ICC warning a shame to Pakistan'

Imran Khan, the former Pakistan captain, has termed the ICC's warning to the PCB to clean up its act as a "shame", and reiterated his stance calling for an overhaul of the current administration. Imran also criticised the influence of politics on the affairs of the board.

Last week, the ICC, taking a notice of the continuing decline of governance in PCB, particularly since the spot-fixing controversy and the subsequent suspensions of three players :Butt, Amir,Asif, cautioned the board to fix its administration and introduce its own anti-corruption measures or face the consequences, potentially in the form of sanctions.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shakib stars in historic series win at Mirpur

A dominant all-round performance from Shakib Al Hasan helped Bangladesh secure a historic series win in Mirpur sere bangla stediam a mirpue, their first against a top-flight opposition. Shakib's fifth ODI century rescued the home team from the depths of 44 for 3 and lifted them to a formidable 241, a target that proved nine runs too many for New Zealand, who now trail 0-3 in the series, with one game to go. Shakib then struck with the ball and, despite a valiant maiden hundred from Kane Williamson who battled through injury during the latter part of his innings, slammed the door on the visitors with three wickets to lead Bangladesh to a famous victory.

New Zealand's top order had not fired as a unit so far in the tour, and their performance in today's must-win encounter was no different

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

History beckons Bangadesh's cricketers, who on Thursday could record their first series win against top-flight opposition. A team that has won only 14 of 155 ODIs against the current Test-playing nations, and only once before won two consecutive matches against such opposition (against a second-string West Indies side led by Floyd Reifer), can wrap up the series with a win in the fourth ODI.

There seem to be few problems for Bangladesh going into the game. Shahriar Nafees has been a revelation at the top of the order, ensuring that even Tamim Iqbal has not been missed. Shakib al Hasan has contributed with both bat and ball and the spinners have stifled New Zealand on the slow Mirpur surface

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Australia 478 and 202 for 7 (Ponting 72, Ojha 3-57) lead India 495 (Tendulkar 214, Vijay 139, Johnson 3-105) by 185 runs.

India is the only country in which Ricky Ponting has not won a Test as captain and despite the best efforts of Ponting the batsman, he needs something special from his bowlers to end that record on Wednesday. After a hard-fought four days, India hold the upper hand going into the final morning thanks to a fine all-round bowling effort led by Pragyan Ojha.

The hosts need only a draw in order to win the series, with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy already in their keeping, but this Test should finish in a victory. And for all the fight shown by Ponting in an innings of 72 - his third score in the seventies this series - it remained to be seen whether Australia's lead of 185 at stumps was enough.

A day that began with Sachin Tendulkar scoring his sixth Test double-century ended with some fraught moments for Australia's batsmen against spin and reverse-swing. Seven men succumbed before Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Hauritz survived until stumps, and the Australians will aim for at least 50 more runs on the final morning.Australia's innings had begun positively enough as Shane Watson and Simon Katich erased India's 17-run advantage and quickly set about building a lead of their own. But the match turned India's way when Ojha trapped Watson lbw for 31 with a ball that drifted on with the arm, and Harbhajan had Katich (24) caught behind with no addition to the total.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Bangladesh 173 for 3 (Nafees 73, Kayes 50) beat New Zealand 173 (Taylor 62*, 3-14) by 7 wickets

Bangladesh took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, and won two consecutive ODIs against top-flight opposition for the first time in their 232-match history, by cruising to a seven-wicket victory in the third one-dayer at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur. The stage was set for Bangladesh's batsmen after their spinners had decimated the New Zealand line-up - and they didn't disappoint, hunting down the meagre total of 173 in 40 overs, ensuring the visitors had to win both the remaining matches to draw the five-match contest.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

IPL T-20 scraps Punjab and Rajasthan Royel

The IPL governing council has ejected Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab from the league on charges of transgression of shareholding and ownership norms that threatened to "shake the very foundation of the tender process", while granting a temporary breather to the Kochi franchise to put its house on order.

The IPL chose to invoke powers vested with it to terminate a franchise contract with immediate effect at an emergency meeting of the governing council held in Mumbai today. The notices seeking explanation why action shouldn't be taken again remained unsent to the franchises.

The two franchises are now considering their options. A statement from Rajasthan Royals pointed out that it had never received any notice from the BCCI and hinted at legal redress without explicitly mentioning it.

The Punjab franchise said its legal team was studying the BCCI's decision, which it called unfair and not in the IPL's collaborative spirit, and hoped for negotiations to settle the issue.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rain forces washout in Mirpur

Match abandoned Bangladesh v New ZealandScorecard

The second one-day international between Bangladesh and New Zealand was washed out without a ball being bowled in Mirpur. Incessant rain on the two days leading into the game had made the prospect of any play extremely unlikely, and the decision to abandon the match was taken at 11.05 am.

Bangladesh lead the five-ODI series 1-0 after Shakib Al Hasan's match-winning performance on Tuesday. The two teams will face off in the third ODI on October 10, but the chances of that game being played depend on the weather improving in Mirpur. The Bangladesh Cricket Board said the spectators who had bought tickets for the second ODI will be allowed entry for the third ODI on the same ticket.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

America reveals its sexual secrets

The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behaviour reveals a more adventurous streak to sexual activity than previous studies. Photograph: Edvard March/Corbis

There are 130 pages of it, most densely packed with statistics and the remainder couched in the kind of language that only the most erudite and obsessive of researchers could find remotely arousing. But the most comprehensive national survey of Americans' sex lives for nearly two decades – arguably the most revealing since Dr Alfred Kinsey's two now-celebrated reports some 60-odd years ago – throws up some fairly intriguing findings. And, as always with this kind of behavioural thing, if it's happening in the US, it's more than likely happening here too.

More than we ever used to, for example, we fancy a bit of this and a bit of that (or at least, we're prepared to own up to it). Not that we indulge in all 41 possible combinations of sex acts enumerated by the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behaviour (NSSHB), published yesterday in a special issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, every time we have sex.

Brilliant Shakib knocks down NZ

Bangladesh 228 (Shakib 58, Mills 3-44) beat New Zealand 200 for 8 (McCullum 61, Shakib 4-41) by nine runs (D/L method)

Bangladesh rode on an outstanding all-round performance from Shakib Al Hasan to beat New Zealand by nine runs in Mirpur, making Daniel Vettori's pre-match comments about his ability seem almost clairvoyant.

Shakib was scintillating with the bat in the latter part of Bangladesh's innings, unleashing a range of shots in the batting Powerplay to lift Bangladesh to a competitive 229. He then tormented the visitors with the ball, scalping four invaluable wickets including a double-strike in the 15th over to remove the rampant Brendon McCullum and Grant Elliott. He then returned to bowl a brilliant penultimate over in the rain-curtailed run chase, giving away just three runs and claiming the wicket of Nathan McCullum to give his side an unexpected 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Bangladesh's hopes of defending the smallish total suffered a huge dent when they lost their captain and strike bowler, Mashrafe Mortaza, to a sprained ankle after bowling just one over. The blow left the inexperienced Nazmul Hossain and the hosts' spinners to step up considerably, and vice-captain Shakib to take over the familiar captain's role for the rest of the match.

Brendon McCullum's devastating form at the top of the order exacerbated the problem for Bangladesh as he set about blasting the attack to all corners for 61 off 45 deliveries. He plundered boundaries at will, cutting and pulling short balls ferociously as well as slamming the fuller deliveries over cover and down the ground. Jesse Ryder too got in on the action, hitting three boundaries in his innings of 21, before chipping Shakib to short midwicket with the score on 53 in the seventh over.

Brendon McCullum used his feet against all the bowlers, with a particularly majestic straight strike off Naeem Islam in the eleventh over standing out. His fancy footwork, however, ultimately led to his undoing when he danced passed a dipping delivery from Shakib. Elliot followed two balls later to leave the visitors wobbling at 84 for 4 before the rain that had threatened through the day became heavy enough for the umpires to call for the covers.

When play resumed, New Zealand were left chasing 210 from 37 overs: a target Ross Taylor and Daniel Vettori set about hauling in systematically. Vettori was adjudged out after pulling a chest-high full toss straight to deep square leg, though the third umpire ruled it as a no-ball after the batsman asked for a referral. That was the second controversial umpiring incident of the day, following a stumping that should have been given during the Bangladesh innings, when Junaid Siddique survived after being caught out of his crease.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Luke Davis of the US competes in his heat during the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach, California on August 4, 2010. The event celebrates its 51st year beside the historic Huntington Pier which is considered the birthplace of California's surfing culture.Yesterday in Huntington Beach, California, the third annual multi-faith Blessing of the Waves event was held to honor the ocean and protest coastal pollution. Several thousand reportedly attended the event, in part to recognize a spiritual aspect of man's relationship to water, the coastline, and the surf. Whether it's massive rolling ocean waves, or standing waves in rivers, or wind-driven lakewater, people around the world find a way to get out and ride on belly boards, kiteboards, longboards, wakeboards and more. As summer rolls to a close, find here a collection of recent photographs of these waveriders around the world over the past several months.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Japan issues travel alert for Europe after US and UK raise terror threat

Soldiers patrol the Gare du Nord railway station in Paris after UK and US raised the terror threat level Photograph.

Japan today issued a rare travel altar for Europe, The warning came a day after similar alerts from the US and Britain, with the US state department saying that public transport systems and tourist attractions could be targeted, and Britain raising the threat level for travel to Germany and France.The announcements follow speculation that al-Qaida was planning a adding to fears that al-Qaida or other groups are planning a terror attack.

Iran to get its own Come Dine With Me

The UK version of Come Dine With Me. Photograph: Channel 4

An Iranian version of Come Dine With Me filmed in the UK is to be broadcast in Iran.

ITV Studios has sold the format to a UK-based satellite broadcaster Marjan Television Network, which will broadcast the show in Iran on new channel Manoto 1.

The new channel is scheduled to launch at the end of the month and Marjan has ordered 30 episodes of Come Dine With Me. Manoto 1 will make the shows in the UK featuring Iranian diners.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Muralitharan picked for Australia tour

Muttiah Muralitharan has been included in the squad for the limited-overs tour of Australia in November as Sri Lanka build their team for the 2011 World Cup. Aravinda de Silva, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, said Murali remained an important part of the one-day set up, though he had retired from Tests and didn't play the recent tri-series in Sri Lanka which also involved India and New Zealand.

"Muralitharan is definitely part of our World Cup plans and we have included him to give him some international exposure ahead of the big event," de Silva said. Murali had retired from Tests during the home series against India in July but said he would be available for the World Cup if selected. He recently played an important role in Chennai Super Kings' victory in the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa.

Suraj Randiv, another offspinner, was also picked in the 16-man squad but de Silva said only one spinner was likely to play on Australian pitches. "Jeevan Mendis, who bowls legspin, and Tillakaratne Dilshan's offspin can also be utilised," he said.

The squad has five seamers - Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dammika Prasad and Thisara Perera - to suit Australian conditions. Allrounder Angelo Mathews' selection is subject to fitness as he recovers from an injured left knee and Thilina Kandamby has been put on standby.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Afghanistan, August, 2010

With four months left in the year, 2010 is already the deadliest year yet for U.S. troops in Afghanistan. 321 have been killed so far (out of 485 total coalition deaths), compared with 313 deaths in all of 2009. As coalition troop size has increased, and moves have been made into Taliban strongholds, attacks are on the rise, and, according to General David Petraeus, "the footprint of the Taliban has spread". As combat operations in Iraq have now ended, the Obama administration says it will focus even more of its attention on the nearly 9-year-old conflict in Afghanistan. Collected here are images of the country and conflict over the past month, part of an ongoing monthly series on Afghanistan. This month marks the 12th entry in the series - I've been putting these together for one year now, and see no reason to stop any time soon.

Animals in the news

Today we have a recent roundup of animals making the news - from the study of newly identified species to genetic modification, to racing, hunting, play, rescue and preservation. From a minuscule frog to an albino whale, fluorescent fish to a deep-sea Chimera, collected here are a handful of recent photographs of animals and our interactions with them, as companions, caretakers, observers, hunters and stewards.

Australia slightly ahead after 428


India 110 for 2 (Sehwag 59) trail Australia 428 (Watson 126, Paine 92, Ponting 71, Zaheer 5-94) by 318 runs

Virender Sehwag delivered a brutal response to stun Australia with a quick half-century as India finished the second day of a two-paced Test on a high. Sehwag raced to a 38-ball fifty but was undone by Mitchell Johnson shortly before the close for 59, walking off frustrated by his error.

India finished at 110 for 2 at stumps in reply to the visitors' 428, with Rahul Dravid unbeaten on 21 and the nightwatchman Ishant Sharma on 0. Both the local openers showed the positive intent that was often missing in the field when they put on 81 in 13.2 overs to build on Zaheer Khan's 10th five-wicket haul. Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir (25) and Dravid quickly changed the value of Australia's total during a breathless finish to a day that had previously followed a sombre tempo.

After Australia had sweated to score at 2.82 an over, the Indians were soon careering along at a run a ball to upset a visiting attack that battled to regain control. Sehwag started biffing through the offside, hitting two boundaries from a Doug Bollinger over, and then crashing three off Ben Hilfenhaus. Nathan Hauritz's first ball went over mid-off, his next sped along the ground in the same region for the same result, and the over cost 11.

But, Amir, Asif tough to replace..


Mohsin Khan, Pakistan's chief selector, is concerned about finding replacements for Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, the trio suspended by the ICC in the spot-fixing scandal, for a tough, upcoming series against South Africa.

The three players were served notices on September 2 after the ICC felt they had "a case to answer", and were initially given two weeks to respond, though this has been extended on the players' request. Of the three, only Salman Butt has filed a formal appeal, while the other two have until October 15 to do the same.

The series of two Twenty20s, five ODIs and two Tests will be played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and kicks off on October 26; Pakistan are scheduled to leave on October 23. It is highly unlikely any of the trio will be cleared - if at all - in time to take part in the series. In any case, Asif would not have played at all, as he is barred from entering the UAE after he was detained at Dubai airport in June 2008 for being in possession of a banned substance.

Butt's suspension leaves Pakistan without a Test captain as well and contemplating the prospect of appointing a fourth different captain for Tests this year. "They are three of our key players, and will be in the squad if cleared to play," Mohsin said. "It will be really tough for us to find their replacement in case they are not available to play against South Africa.

"We are waiting for the chairman [of the PCB, Ijaz Butt] to return from England," Mohsin said. "He is expected to return later this week after which we will sit down and finalise the team."

The absences mean that former captain Shoaib Malik, who was dropped for the ODIs against England after a poor show in the Tests, can realistically harbour hopes of another return. "I know my form was not very good in the Test matches but I will be back to playing domestic cricket and I am sure I can convince the selectors to give me another chance against South Africa," Malik said.

With the World Cup around the corner, Malik said Pakistan had to identify a core group for the showpiece event. "I think the time has come for the selectors to decide on a nucleus of say 18 to 20 players who can play in the World Cup. We don't have much time now to experiment, we need to start forming the World Cup combination."


Pakistan in need

The devastating floods that have rolled through Pakistan for over a month now have left a disaster of massive scale in their wake. For a time, an area the size of England was submerged - one fifth of all the land in Pakistan. Although immediate loss of life remains relatively low (near 2,000 according to reports), damages from loss exceed $43 billion, almost one quarter of Pakistan's GDP. As the waters recede Nearly 9 million acres (3.6 million hectares) of existing crops are gone, 1.2 million livestock and 6 million poultry killed, and 17 million of Pakistan's 167 million people affected. It can be difficult to imagine individual stories of need when presented with such huge numbers, to see oneself in another's shoes when their overall predicament seems so vast and dire. Hopefully this collection of photographs from just the past week in Pakistan can help convey some of the stories behind the numbers. One way you can help is by texting "SWAT" to 50555 from your mobile phone to give $10 to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) - more ways to help linked below entry.