Compiled by SDNP
India's bowling a worry: Wright
The Bangladesh Observer
RAWALPINDI, March 15 (Reuters) - A frail
bowling attack is top of India's concerns after they only just held on
for victory over Pakistan in the thrilling first one-day international
at Karachi on Saturday.
Set a mammoth 350 target, Pakistan ran the
Indians mightily close by racking up 344 for eight including a masterly
102-ball 122 from Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq.
India, missing frontline spinners Anil
Kumble and Harbhajan Singh due to injury, had scored 349 for seven.
"We need to work on our bowling," Indian
coach John Wright told reporters on Sunday.
"Winning was a mixture of delight and
relief. In the end, despite getting 349 runs, it became a little too
close for comfort."
Experts felt India's bowlers, led by
left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan who is just back from a hamstring injury,
had allowed Pakistan to gain the psychological advantage from the match
because of their heroic run chase.
"Kumble and Harbhajan are not here and
there's no point thinking about how useful they could have been," Wright
"We have to make do with the resources we
Left-arm paceman Ashish Nehra finally
bailed India out with an extraordinary last over, giving away only three
runs with some accurate full-length deliveries.
"Nehra was exceptional. We need more of
that," Wright said.
Zaheer went for 66 from his 10 overs and
seamer Lakshmipathy Balaji for 56 but it was left-arm spinner Murali
Kartik who was the real concern, costing 74 from his 10 overs.
Pakistan's bowling was also punished in
the high-scoring match but manager Haroon Rashid said they were
confident the pace battery of Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami and Abdul
Razzaq would bounce back in the second match at Rawalpindi on Tuesday.
"It was a tense match between the two
teams on Pakistani soil after a long time. Our bowlers were a bit
over-eager," Rashid told reporters.
"We're confident Shoaib and Sami will get
their act together. They know everyone is banking on them and they have
to protect their reputations as world-class bowlers."
India are in Pakistan for a full test
series for the first time in 14 years. The five-match one-day series
will be followed by three tests.
The Indian government had banned all home
and away cricket against Pakistan in 2000 due to political tensions over
the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
The current tour is seen as a symbol of
improving relations between the two south Asian neighbours.
Top of the page
The Bangladesh Observer
HARARE, March 15 (AFP) - Heath Streak
played a captain's innings to pull Zimbabwe back from the brink of a
potential humiliating series defeat here as the home side defeated
Bangladesh by three wickets in the final one-dayer to take the series
Chasing a modest Bangladesh total of 183
all out, Zimbabwe got off to flying start as Grant Flower and Barney
Rogers put on 112 for the first wicket before they collapsed to 157-7.
But Streak, whose side came back from 1-0
down in the series to clinch victory after the first two matches were
washed out, hit an unbeaten 37 as he teamed up with Gary Brent to see
his side home in the 43rd over, much to the relief of the Harare Sports
"It was a hearts in mouths affair,"
Zimbabwe could so easily have lost, to
give Bangladesh its first ever series win.
Batting first after winning the toss,
Bangladesh amassed 105 runs for the first wicket, with Hannan Sarker
hitting 59, and Manjural Islam, a fluent 63, giving their side a
But the tourists collapsed in disarray
once they had gone.
From 153-2 the last eight wickets went for
just 30 runs and their final score of 183 seemed to be a gift for
The rapid succession of victims included
captain Habibul Bashar, whose two runs added to a dismal sequence that
included four ducks in the series
Zimbabwe's reply was almost a mirror
Openers Flower and Rogers with Flower
registering his 40th in one-day internationals.
Standing on 112-1 the match appeared to be
theirs for the taking, but Khaled Mahmood, having dismissed Flower, sent
Stuart Carlisle, Stuart Matsikenyere and Tatenda Taibu back to the
pavilion with not a single run between them.
Mahmood's final figures of 4-19 not only
won him the man of the match award but it went into the record books as
Bangladesh's best bowling performance in any international.
When Sean Ervine followed his colleagues
with just one run, Zimbabwe's collapse was far worse than Bangladesh's
earlier in the day.
From 112-1 they found themlves on 124-6,
still 60 runs short of target with four wickets left.
Streak, named man of the series, once
again rescued his side.
He engineered a 33-run partnership with
Dion Ebrahim and another of 27 with tail-ender Brent.
"I must congratilate my team for hanging
in there under heart-stopping circumstances," said Streak.
"Bangladesh gave us such an exciting
fight. They are much improved and will cause other countries a lot of
Bangladesh skipper Habibul Bashar said his
side were still learning the harsh realities of international cricket.
"We have learned a great deal on this
tour, which we hope to put to good use. Zimbabwe are a gritty side," he
However, their battling performance was
overshadowed by having spin bowler Mohammad Rafique sent home for
disciplinary reasons before the match.
He took the first plane out of Harare
Manager Latif Khan confirmed to AFP that
Rafique had had a row with Bashar in circumstances "that were
Top of the page