Zimbabwe crushes hapless Kenya

Zimbabwean players celebrate after defeating Kenya in their last Group match.-ARUNANGSU ROY CHOWDHURY

Both the African nations were already out of contention for a place in the quarterfinals, but Zimbabwe had the consolation of ending its World Cup campaign with two wins in six matches.

Craig Ervine, Vusimuzi Sibanda and Tatenda Taibu cracked impressive half-centuries to set up Zimbabwe's crushing 161-run victory over hapless Kenya at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Zimbabwe showed its batting prowess to post 308 for six, its highest total of the tournament, with Man of the Match Ervine (66), Sibanda (61) and Taibu (53) all making the most of a mediocre Kenyan attack.

Kenya, which had lost all its earlier matches, put in another disappointing batting performance, slumping to 147 all out in 36 overs. Nehemiah Odhiambo (44 not out), Rakep Patel (24) and opener Alex Obanda (23) were the mainstays of its batting.

Left-arm spinner Raymond Price, who shared the new ball, off-spinner Greg Lamb and leg-spinner Graeme Cremer took two wickets apiece for Zimbabwe.

Both the African nations were already out of contention for a place in the quarterfinals, but Zimbabwe had the consolation of ending its World Cup campaign with two wins in six matches.

Earlier, Zimbabwe was struggling at 36 for two after electing to bat, but Sibanda steadied the innings with a 110-run stand for the third wicket with Taibu, who also completed 3,000 runs in ODIs during his half-century.

Ervine and skipper Elton Chigumbura (38) then added 105 for the fifth wicket as Zimbabwe plundered 104 runs in the last 10 overs, with Prosper Utseya (19 not out) smashing three fours and a six in seamer Elijah Otieno's final over.

Left-handed Ervine, who cracked nine fours and a six in his 54-ball knock, survived a stumping chance on 15 off James Ngoche as stand-in wicket-keeper Patel failed to collect the ball. Patel kept wickets for a brief spell in place of regular wicket-keeper David Obuya, who suffered an injury while trying to stop a wide delivery.

Veteran all-rounder Steve Tikolo, making his last World Cup appearance, led Kenya in the absence of Jimmy Kamande, who was ruled out of the match due to a knee injury.

Sibanda hit seven fours and a six in his 57-ball knock before being run out. Taibu hit seven fours before being trapped leg-before by Ngoche.

Bangladesh v South Africa (Group B)

Bangladesh was sent crashing out of the World Cup by merciless South Africa, with a humiliating 206-run defeat in Dhaka.

Bangladesh, chasing 285 to win, was bowled out for a paltry 78 in the 28th over, the ninth lowest World Cup total of all time and third lowest at the 2011 event, with only skipper Shakib Al Hasan (30) getting to double figures.

The co-host, which had high hopes of making the last eight after playing all its matches in favourable home conditions, finished on six points.

“Sorry,” was Shakib's message to the millions of fans in the country who had expected better from a team which had even been bowled out for just 58 by the West Indies earlier in the tournament.

“We missed a big opportunity because we have been performing well for the last 12 months and we thought we would have a very good opportunity to qualify for the quarterfinals.”

Lonwabo Tsotsobe grabbed three for 14 on his World Cup debut and spinner Robin Peterson claimed four for 12 to star with the ball after Jacques Kallis had made 69 and Faf du Plessis hit a run-a-ball 52 to lift South Africa to 284 for eight. Hashim Amla (51) and skipper Graeme Smith (45) also contributed to the South African total.

Tsotsobe, who was given a chance only because pace spearheads Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were rested ahead of the bigger matches, seized the opportunity in style. The 27-year-old left-arm seamer silenced a sell-out crowd of 25,000 at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium when he had Bangladesh's main batting hope, Tamim Iqbal, caught behind for five in his second over and the home side never recovered.

“We gave a few guys an extra couple of days to rest but it was fantastic to see other guys who came in, the motivation they had and the way they performed. That's always exciting to see,” said Smith.

Kumar Sangakkara ...masterly knock against New Zealand in Mumbai.-S. SUBRAMANIUM

New Zealand v Sri Lanka (Group A)

Kumar Sangakkara struck his maiden World Cup century and Muttiah Muralitharan ran through the New Zealand middle order as Sri Lanka warmed up for the quarterfinals with a massive 112-run victory in its last Group A match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Riding on skipper Sangakkara's 11th ODI century, Sri Lanka posted 265 for nine and then stopped the Black Caps at 153 in 35 overs.

Legendary off-spinner Muralitharan, who will retire after the World Cup, was the pick of the bowlers and exploited the turn from the track to finish with four for 25. Ajantha Mendis took two for 24.

Chasing 266, New Zealand struggled against the spinners as it completely lost its way from 82 for two in 16.4 overs and crashed out in 35 overs. Skipper Ross Taylor (33) and Jesse Ryder (19) dug in their heels after New Zealand lost its openers Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill for 33 runs.

The two added 49 runs for the third wicket before Ryder, poking at a wider delivery from Mendis, edged to Sangakkara, who showed good reflexes in taking the catch. Promising youngster Kane Williamson (5) survived only eight balls before he was deceived by a doosra from Muralitharan and Sangakkara swiftly took off the bails.

Muralitharan then got Taylor with another beauty which trapped him leg before. Taylor went for a review but replays showed it was hitting the top of the middle stump. James Franklin (20) and Nathan McCullum (20) put up a brief resistance but did not last long. Lasith Malinga then knocked off the stumps of Hamish Bennett with a scorcher.

For Sri Lanka, Sangakkara's century before the knockout stage must have come as a relief. The skipper, whose last century came way back in June 2008 against Bangladesh, also reached 9,000 runs. Sangakkara shared a 145-run third wicket partnership with his deputy Mahela Jayawardene (66) after Sri Lanka lost both its openers Upul Tharanga and Tillekaratne Dishan for 19.

The runs came sluggishly for Sri Lanka after the two early wickets, with the second Powerplay producing only 17 runs. But Sangakarra and Jayawardene were quick to accelerate the scoring and brought up the century partnership in 153 balls.

Sri Lanka got a reprieve at 87 for two when Jayawardene was brilliantly caught and bowled by off-spinner Nathan, who flew to his right and seemed to have got his palms underneath the ball. But Jayawardene was not convinced and the third umpire was called to see whether the catch was taken cleanly. The third umpire gave the benefit of doubt to the batsman. New Zealand was unhappy with the decision and Nathan and Taylor rushed to have a chat with the on-field umpire.

Jayawardene, played an able foil to Sangakkara, who went after the bowling. The former captain brought up his 50 off 74 balls and looked poised to go far but was trapped leg before by Tim Southee, who was the best bowler for the Black Caps with three for 63.

Sangakkara's knock came in 90 balls with six fours. Sangakarra and Angelo Mathews, who struck an unbeaten 35-ball 41 with four fours, then scored at a furious pace and made ample use of the third Powerplay, taken in the 37th over, which leaked 45 runs.

Sangakarra came heavily on Southee and sent him for a six and two fours in the 39th over, which yielded 17 runs. He was bowled by Nathan when he tried to slog sweep.

Ireland v Netherlands (Group B)

Ireland made short work of the Netherlands' formidable target of 306 to register a comfortable six-wicket win at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Opener Paul Stirling (101) struck a blistering century and forged a 177-run stand with captain William Porterfield (68) to guide Ireland home in 47.4 overs and ended its World Cup campaign with a second win in the tournament.

Dutch all-rounder Ryan ten Doechate's second century (106) in the tournament went in vain as his team suffered its sixth successive loss and finished last in Group B. Chasing 307 to win, the Irish looked at ease, racing to 81 for no loss in the first 10 overs.

The Netherlands was never in the hunt in this high-scoring game as Stirling and Porterfield formed an ideal blend of caution and aggression to take the game away. Stirling attacked from the start, hitting 14 fours and two sixes to score his second ODI hundred.

Porterfield, while being at his tenacious best, lapped up his sixth ODI fifty in 66 balls. Wicketkeeper Niall O' Brien remained 57 not out and took Ireland home safely. Ed Joyce (28) and Gary Wilson (27) chipped in with cameos and summed up the clinical batting display by giant-killer Ireland.

Earlier, Doeschate struck a fluent century while skipper Peter Borren hit 84 to propel the Netherlands to its highest total in the tournament. Doeschate and Borren were involved in a 121-run stand for the fifth wicket after the team was reduced to 113 for four.

Put in to bat, Dutch opener Wesley Barresi had to leave the field in the second over after receiving a blow on the back of the head by a return throw from Kevin O'Brien. Barresi batted for a while before deciding to retire hurt. Eric Szwarczynski (1) and Tom Cooper (5) left early and the Netherlands was soon two wickets down for 12 runs.

Doeschate and Alexei Kervezee then put on 41 runs for the third wicket before John Mooney removed Kervezee. Barresi (44) then returned and added 60 runs with Doeschate.

Doeschate and Borren then joined hands for a splendid partnership. The two played their strokes freely even as Ireland seamers got good bounce from the wicket. Doeschate hit 13 fours and a six while Borren hit 10 fours. The partnership was broken when Mooney dismissed Doeschate, who came down the track to clear long off, but was caught by Kevin. Atse Buurman made 26 with the help of four boundaries to take the Netherlands past 300.

Brett Lee...superb spell against Canada.-K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Australia v Canada (Group A)

The World Cup bandwagon chugged out of Bangalore as Australia posted an eventually-comfortable seven-wicket win over Canada, despite another ordinary bowling performance. Shane Watson (94, 90b, 9x4, 4x6) and Brad Haddin (88, 84b, 11x4, 2x6) flexed their arms to make short work of the 212-run target.

Uncharacteristically torpid to begin with, Man of the Match Watson exploded, ironically, the immediate over after the batting Powerplay period ended. He whacked the first ball of the Balaji Rao over into the stands beyond midwicket before repeating the feat off the last. He rounded on John Davison, playing his farewell match, next, hitting the cover off one that sailed into the top-tier over long-on to become the tournament's biggest six. “I hardly hit one out of the middle to start with,” he explained afterwards. “So I felt like I had to do something to try and speed up the game a little bit.”

Earlier, however, Ponting was again made to fret by some of his side's bowling. Canada opener Hiral Patel (54, 45b, 5x4, 3x6) went after Lee and Tait with a fury few anticipated. The squat Ahmedabad-born right-hander threw his bat at anything wide, scoring a flurry of boundaries in the area between cover and backward-point. “They got us on the hop with the way they started,” Ponting later admitted. “I think we were just a little bit off with the new ball, to one batsman (Patel) in particular who was pretty savage on anything wide. Against better teams and deeper batting orders, we have to make sure we do better.”

Canada's good start, though, was undone by a middle-order collapse that cost the side five wickets for 19 in under nine overs. From 150 for two in 28.1 overs, the side could manage only 211. “We won the toss, got to bat on a good deck, and built a decent foundation,” skipper Ashish Bagai said. “So, I'm disappointed with our total after that. With a little more experience, we would have got to 280 or 290. We need to get more exposed at this level.”

— Shreedutta Chidananda South Africa v Ireland (Group B)

Jean-Paul Duminy's resolute batting came in the way of Ireland's hopes of realising its giant-killing reputation as South Africa affirmed its rich cricketing lineage with a comfortable 131-run win in the end.

Duminy waged a sole battle to resurrect South Africa from a top-order collapse with an authoritative 99, an innings that virtually helped determine the outcome of the contest at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The 26-year-old left-hander showed the right application and temperament that his team's top-order sadly lacked, in taming a spirited Irish pace attack. A brief drizzle at the start made the Eden pitch even nippier giving the quicker bowlers an extra advantage. Remaining unperturbed in the face of his team's batting debacle Duminy inspired a 87-run sixth wicket partnership with Colin Ingram (46) to help the South African score reach 272 for seven in 50 overs.

The Irish reply then was limited to 141 in 33.2 overs as the South African bowlers showed greater consistency. “J.P. (Duminy) held the innings superbly. It was also great to see Colin (Ingram) getting some runs under his belt,” said a relieved South African captain Graeme Smith after the win. “It is fantastic to qualify from a tense group. It shows we have adapted well playing in different conditions and on different kinds of soils in India. It is nice for us to be cruising along at this stage,” Smith added.

Ireland's impressive fielding also added to the initial woes of South Africa, which saw Smith (7) and the ever-dependable Jacques Kallis (19) caught short of the crease. Opener Hashim Amla (18) also went to a brilliant fielding effort, a diving catch from Geroge Dockrell in the third man. With the South Africans tottering at 117 for five at one stage Duminy and later Ingram steered the team out of the woods. Playing some finely timed shots Duminy pushed the score to respectability and fell in the process without completing his century. “I was not at all disappointed at missing the century. I was more focussed on getting as much runs as possible,” Duminy, who was later adjudged Man of the Match, said.

The South African bowling looked solid in all departments as speedster Morne Morkel and spinner Robin Peterson shared six wickets to run through the Ireland innings. Gary Wilson (31, 48b) provided the lone resistance for Ireland, which kept losing wickets at regular intervals and folded up before reaching 150.

— Amitabha Das Sharma Pakistan v Zimbabwe (Group A)

Former champion Pakistan sailed into the quarterfinals with a seven-wicket win over Zimbabwe in a rain-affected match at the Pallekele Stadium.

Pakistan, set a revised 162-run target in 38 overs under the Duckworth-Lewis formula, successfully achieved that in 34.1 overs on the back of an unbeaten 78 by Asad Shafiq and Mohammad Hafeez (49).

Pakistan's target looked tricky as Zimbabwe bowled a tight line and length. Left-arm spinner Raymond Price (2-21), opening the attack, dismissed opener Ahmed Shahzad in his second over. Price and Utseya then bowled two maiden overs before Hafeez and Shafiq — playing his first World Cup match in place of injured Umar Akmal — opened up with some attractive drives. Hafeez fell one short of his half-century, caught off Utseya after hitting six boundaries during his 65-ball knock.

Shahid Afridi promoted himself to No. 4 but managed just three runs. Shafiq and Younis Khan (13 not out) saw Pakistan home. Shafiq hit seven boundaries during his sedate 97-ball knock.

Earlier, seamers Umar Gul (3-36), Abdul Razzaq (1-24) and Wahab Riaz (1-21) removed Zimbabwe's top four for just 43 after Elton Chigumbura won the toss and chose to bat in overcast conditions.

Spinners Afridi and Hafeez, with a wicket each, further derailed Zimbabwe, which, at the first rain break, was at 96 for five.

Left-hander Craig Ervine fought a lone battle, hitting a patient 52 off 82 balls with five boundaries for his third ODI fifty, before Hafeez bowled him in his first over. Chigumbura (32 not out) and Prosper Utseya (18) added 48 for the seventh wicket.

Zimbabwe made a disastrous start, losing in-form Brendan Taylor off the fifth ball of the innings, caught off Razzaq by wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.

Gul made it five for two when he dismissed Regis Chakabva off the last ball of the second over, before removing Vusimuzi Sibanda shortly afterwards. Ervine and Tatenda Taibu added 30 for the fourth wicket before Wahab Riaz, in for Shoaib Akhtar, had Taibu caught off a miscued drive at mid-off by Afridi for 19.

Bangladesh v Netherlands (Group B)

Imrul Kayes stroked an unbeaten 73 as Bangladesh overwhelmed the Netherlands by six wickets in a World Cup Group B match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong. The Netherlands was bowled out for 160 and Bangladesh reached the target in 41.2 overs.

Kayes shared a 92-run stand for the second wicket with Junaid Siddique (35) after pacer Mudassar Bukhari bowled Tamim Iqbal in the very first over for a duck. Siddique hit four boundaries in his 53-ball 35 and was caught by Pieter Seelaar off Peter Borren in the 21st over. Shahriar Nafees chipped in with 37 runs off 60 balls with four boundaries.

Bangladesh bowled a disciplined line. Abdur Razzak, who took three wickets for 29 runs in his 10 overs, led the Bangladeshi attack, which dismissed the Dutch in 46.2 overs. Ryan ten Doeschate remained unbeaten on 53 off 71 balls which included two fours and a six.

The Dutch innings was also marked by four run outs. Electing to bat, the Netherlands was off to a slow start with openers Wesley Barresi (10) and Eric Szwarczynski (28) putting up just 28 runs in nine overs before Barresi was trapped leg before by Shakib Al Hasan in the 10th over. Razzak soon got Mudassar Bukhari (6) in the 13th over.

Szwarczynski and Tom Cooper (29) were then run out within three overs to further arrest the Dutch progress. Szwarczynski found himself stranded at the non-striker's end while Cooper ended up having a terrible mix up with Doeschate.

Left-arm spinner Suhrawadi Shuvo dismissed Alexei Kervezee (18) to reduce the Dutch to 113 for five in 33.3 overs. The Dutch had barely recovered from the loss when Razzak struck twice within two balls of the 38th over to send Tom de Grooth (4) and Atse Buurman (0) back to the pavilion.


March 20: Kenya vs. Zimbabwe (Group A), Kolkata.

Result: Zimbabwe won by 161 runs.

Zimbabwe 308 for six in 50 overs (B. Taylor 26, T. Taibu 53, V. Sibanda 61, C. Ervine 66, E. Chigumbura 38) bt Kenya 147 in 36 overs (N. Odhiambo 44 not out).

March 19: Bangladesh vs. South Africa (Group B), Dhaka.

Result: South Africa won by 206 runs.

South Africa 284 for eight in 50 overs (H. Amla 51, G. Smith 45, J. Kallis 69, F. du Plessis 52, R. Hossain 3-56) bt Bangladesh 78 in 28 overs (Shakib Al Hasan 30, L. Tsotsobe 3-14, R. Peterson 4-12).

March 18: New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka (Group A), Mumbai.

Result: Sri Lanka won by 112 runs.

Sri Lanka 265 for nine in 50 overs (K. Sangakkara 111, M. Jayawardene 66, A. Mathews 41 not out, T. Southee 3-63) bt New Zealand 153 in 35 overs (R. Taylor 33, M. Muralitharan 4-25).

March 18: Ireland vs. Netherlands (Group B), Kolkata.

Result: Ireland won by six wickets.

Netherlands 306 in 50 overs (W. Barresi 44, R. ten Doeschate 106, P. Borren 84, A. Buurman 26) lost to Ireland 307 for four in 47.4 overs (W. Porterfield 68, P. Stirling 101, E. Joyce 28, N. O'Brien 57, G. Wilson 27).

March 16: Australia vs. Canada (Group A), Bangalore.

Result: Australia won by seven wickets.

Canada 211 in 45.4 overs (H. Patel 54, Z. Surkari 34, A. Bagai 39, B. Lee 4-46) lost to Australia 212 for three in 34.5 overs (S. Watson 94, B. Haddin 88).

March 15: South Africa vs. Ireland (Group B), Kolkata.

Result: South Africa won by 131 runs.

South Africa 272 for seven in 50 overs (M. van Wyk 42, J. P. Duminy 99, C. Ingram 46) bt Ireland 141 in 33.2 overs (G. Wilson 31, M. Morkel 3-33, R. Peterson 3-32).

March 14: Pakistan vs. Zimbabwe (Group A), Pallekele.

Result: Pakistan won by seven wickets on Duckworth-Lewis method.

Zimbabwe 151 for seven in 39.4 overs (C. Ervine 52, E. Chigumbura 32 not out, U. Gul 3-36) lost to Pakistan 164 for three in 34.1 overs (M. Hafeez 49, A. Shafiq 78 not out).

The match was reduced to 43 overs a side after first rain interruption before a second break ended Zimbabwe's innings after 39.4 overs. Pakistan's target under Duckworth-Lewis formula was set at 162 in 38 overs.

March 14: Bangladesh vs. Netherlands (Group B), Chittagong.

Result: Bangladesh won by six wickets.

Netherlands 160 in 46.2 overs (E. Szwarczynski 28, T. Cooper 29, R. ten Doeschate 53 not out, A. Razzak 3-29) lost to Bangladesh 166 for four in 41.2 overs (I. Kayes 73 not out, J. Siddique 35, S. Nafees 37).