Warner, Harris move to `career-high` spots in ICC Test player rankings

David Warner Ryan HarrisSydney, Mar 7  : Australian opener David Warner and veteran fast bowler Ryan Harris have moved up to career-high positions in the ICC Test player rankings following their impressive contributions in Australia's series-winning third Test defeat of South Africa in Cape Town.

In the Test bowler rankings, Harris - with a match haul of 7-95 - moves up two places to second position, behind only Dale Steyn, to overtake South African Vernon Philander and Australian teammate Mitchell Johnson.

England need to adjust to new conditions quickly: Broad

England need to adjust to new conditions quickly: BroadNorth Sound (Antigua), March 7 - England captain Stuart Broad says the key to his side's success in the upcoming Twenty20 Series against West Indies, will be how well they adjust to new conditions in Barbados.

The tourists pulled off a 25-run victory in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) here Wednesday to take the series 2-1. They face the hosts against Sunday in the first of three T20s at Kensington Oval, reports CMC.

Johnson to miss T20s against South Africa

Mitchell-JohnsonMelbourne, March 6 : Cricket Australia's national selection panel Thursday said Mitchell Johnson will return home to rest ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh and will not take part in the Twenty20 Series against South Africa beginning Sunday.

All-rounder Moises Henriques will stay on in South Africa as a replacement for Johnson, CA said in a release.

I am still India's number one off-spinner: Harbhajan

Harbhajan-SinghNew Delhi, March 6 : After 15 years of international cricket, Harbhajan Singh is still enjoying playing in domestic cricket. The 33-year-old rates himself the best off-spinner in the country and says it is a matter of time before he is recalled to the national side.

You ask him about the motivation for toiling on the nondescript grounds, the veteran of 694 international wickets snaps back.

"What could be a bigger motivation than striving here to get back into the Indian team," Harbhajan, who is relishing captaining Punjab, told IANS on the sidelines of the North Zone Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Ferozeshah Kotla here.

Smith signs off in 16th position in ICC Test Rankings

Graeme-SmithDubai, March 6 : South African captain Graeme Smith signed off on his impressive cricket Test career in 16th place in the ICC Rankings for batsmen announced Thursday.

Smith reached a career high of second position after his match-winning century against England in Johannesburg in January 2010. That was also when he achieved a best-ever 843 ratings points.

He ends his ODI career in 42nd position on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI Batsmen. Smith spent 57 matches and 160 days as the top-ranked batsman in ODI cricket between March and August 2008. He achieved a best-ever ratings points of 784 in November 2005.

De Villiers unsure of taking over as Test captain

ab-de-villiersCape Town, March 5 : World's No. 1 batsman AB de Villiers is not sure he would take over as the South African Test captain succeeding Graeme Smith, who will be retiring from international cricket after the third and the final Test against Australia.

De Villiers is the obvious choice to take charge of the world's top-ranked Test side but he remains unsure.

De Villiers, who is the Test vice-captain and ODI captain, said he will have to take a call after a discussion with coach Russel Domingo.

Proteas legends hail 'unrivalled' Test captain Smith following retirement announcement

Graeme SmithJohannesburg, Mar 5  : Former South African stars have reportedly hailed current Test captain Graeme Smith, who recently announced his intention to retire from international cricket after the Newlands Test against Australia.

Smith's late Monday announcement caught South African cricket off guard after saying only three days before that he still had international cricket goals to achieve.

According to Sport24, former captains Kepler Wessels and Shaun Pollock have hailed Smith, saying that even though the captain is not the most technically gifted batsman, his leadership and fighting qualities were unrivalled.

Bravo wants more from batsmen in last ODI

Bravo wants more from batsmen in last ODISt. John's (Antigua), March 5 - West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo wants more runs from his batsmen when they take on England in the third and deciding One-Day International (ODI) here Wednesday.

England levelled the series one-all after holding their nerve to clinch a three-wicket win in the second ODI Sunday after the West Indies won the first by 15 runs at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here, reports CMC.

Afridi's 'record' 50 boosts Pak's three-wicket win over Bangladesh in Asia Cup

Shahid AfridiJohannesburg, Mar 5 - Pakistan has entered the Asia Cup finals following a three-wicket win over hosts Bangladesh on Tuesday, a victory which was boosted by the second fastest ever ODI half-century by veteran Shahid Afridi and Ahmed Shehzad's century.

Afridi, who overshadowed a brilliant 123-ball 103 by opener Ahmed Shehzad and a sedate 74 by Fawad Alam, helped Pakistan overcame a tough resistance from the hosts and led the visitors' chase of their highest-ever target of 327 in 49.5 overs in Dhaka.

Kohli trending more than Dhoni

Virat-Kohl-dhoniNew Delhi, March 4 : A series of losses overseas for Team India saw skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's popularity taking a hit on internet and Virat Kohli's fan following rising.

A study by search engine Google showed that Dhoni's last minute withdrawal from the Asia Cup and Kohli's century as a captain has impacted the ranking of these two cricketers on Google Search Trends.

While Kohli ended 2013 with more endorsements than Dhoni, a search trend analysis over the past 30 days revealed how online search on Kohli is on the rise leaving the popular Dhoni at second spot.

Sri Lanka enters Asia Cup finals following 129-run win over Afghanistan

Kumar SangakkaraJohannesburg, Mar 4 - Sri Lanka has defeated minnows Bangladesh by 129 runs to reach the final of the Asia Cup in Dhaka on Monday.

The four-time champions scored a challenging 253-6 with in-form Kumar Sangakkara hitting a solid 76 before they bowled their rivals out for a poor 124 in 38.4 overs.

According to Sport24, Afghanistan, which beat Bangladesh by 32 runs in their second match, found Sri Lanka's pace-cum spin attack too hot to handle and only captain Mohammad Nabi (37), Asghar Stanikzai (27) and Noor Ali Zadran (21) were among the runs.

Giles says Pietersen-Prior spat to have `no impact` on England's chances in World T20

Ashley-GilesLondon, Mar 2 : England coach Ashley Giles has urged sacked batsman Kevin Pietersen and his former teammate Matt Prior to patch up their relationship privately, although he insisted that their 'bickering' will have no impact on the well-being of his ICC World Twenty20 squad.

Under Giles and stand-in ODI captain Stuart Broad, England lost against West Indies on Friday and must battle back to stay in the three-match series at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Sunday.

Afghanistan beats Bangladesh by 32 runs in Asia Cup

Johannesburg, Mar 2 - Afghanistan cricket team has defeated hosts Bangladesh by 32 runs in their Asia Cup clash at Fatullah on Saturday, marking its first win over a Test playing country in four one-day matches.

Afghanistan, which is playing the Asia Cup for the first time, previously lost both their one-day internationals against Pakistan and one against Australia.

According to Sport24, an impressive unbeaten career best 90 by Asghar Stanikzai and a punishing 69-ball 81 by Samiullah Shinwari led Afghanistan to post a challenging
254-6 before bowling out their rivals for 222 in 47.5 overs.

Shrinking spin talent worries Harbhajan

Harbhajan-SinghNew Delhi, March 1 : India's most successful off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is worried about the dwindling spin talent in the country.

Harbhajan, who is busy playing domestic cricket for Punjab after being sidelined from the national team, says he has not spotted a quality spin bowler lately.

Smith hopeful of sporting wicket in deciding Newlands Test

Graeme SmithJohannesburg, Mar 01 : South Africa captain Graeme Smith expects a different type of wicket at the third Test against Australia at Newlands and hopeful that it would have something for both 'bat' and 'ball'.

The wicket has reportedly been a key factor in the first two Tests, with the first Test seeing a lively pitch in Pretoria and a slower and more abrasive surface in the second Test in Port Elizabeth.

Windies beat 'wasteful' England by 15 runs in first ODI

Sydney, Mar 1 - West Indies has defeated England by 15 runs in the first ODI on Friday in the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium at St. Peter's after the visitors wasted an excellent platform that had put them in position to take the lead in the three-match series.

In reply to the hosts' competitive total of 6-269, England was restricted to 6-254, with Michael Lumb (106) becoming only the second England player after Dennis Amiss to make a century on ODI debut .

Sangakkara's ton boosts Sri Lanka's two-wicket win over India in Asia Cup

Kumar SangakkaraJohannesburg, Mar 1 - Sri Lanka has secured their second victory in the Asia Cup by defeating India by two wickets in a thrilling last-over finish on Friday at Fatullah, boosted by an impressive 103 from wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara.

Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 216-7 in the 44th over when Thisara Perera helped Sangakkara add 42 crucial runs for the eighth wicket, although Sangakkara, who hit 12 boundaries and a six in his 18th one-day century, fell in the penultimate over when just seven runs were needed for victory.

Watson fit for 'deciding' third Test against Proteas

Shane WatsonJohannesburg, Feb 28 - Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has reportedly confirmed his fitness for the third Test against South Africa at Newlands as the visitors attempt to bounce back from its first defeat in six Test outings and clinch a series win over the world's top-ranked Test side.

Australia was made to pay for going into the second Test in Port Elizabeth with just three seamers, who laboured for 133 overs in a 231-run defeat.

Warner fined 15 pc match fee for accusing De Villiers of 'ball tampering'

David WarnerMelbourne, Feb 28 - Australian opener David Warner has reportedly been fined 15 per cent of his match fee- an amount of 2900 dollars, for accusing South African batsman AB de Villiers of ball tampering during the second Test at Port Elizabeth .

The ICC charged Warner under its code of conduct with 'public criticism of, or inappropriate comment in relation to an incident occurring in an international match or any player, player support personnel, match official or team participating in any international match'.

'Defensive' Lehmann says Oz batting collapse in Port Elizabeth 'not as bad as Durham Test'

Darren-LehmannSydney, Feb 25 : Australian head coach Darren Lehmann has defended the visiting bowlers for failing to exploit reverse swing like the South Africans in the second Test and said that Australia's dreadful batting collapse was not as bad as in Durham during the fourth Test of last year's Ashes tour.

Australia lost 10-90 to be bowled out for 216, losing the second Test by 231 inside four days, with no batsman making more than six after an opening stand of 126 between Chris Rogers (107) and David Warner (66).

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