• CWC news round-up

    Tamim Iqbal came agonisingly close to scoring Bangladesh’s first Cricket World Cup century as his side completed a six-wicket win over Scotland in their Pool A clash at Saxton Oval in Nelson on Thursday.

    Iqbal scored 95, while Mohammad Mahmudullah (62) and wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim (60) also contributed as Bangladesh achieved 322-4, their highest successful run chase in one-day internationals.

    Shakib Al Hasan (52 not out) and Sabbir Rahman (42 not out) guided Mashrafe Mortaza’s side home with 11 balls to spare to cap off the perfectly timed run chase.

    The victory put all the pressure on England for their showdown with Eoin Morgan’s side on March 9 in Adelaide, with Bangladesh now on five points and level with third-placed Australia, while England have two.

    Both have just two games remaining to play. – Reuters


    Veteran all-rounder Shane Watson admits he’s only got himself to blame after being dropped for Wednesday’s 275-run mauling of Afghanistan at the WACA Ground.

    Watson was forced to make way for the returning James Faulkner, and he faces a fight to break back into the squad for Sunday’s clash with Sri Lanka at the SCG.

    The 33-year-old has averaged just 22.3 from his past 11 ODI innings, and his form in the Test arena has also been patchy.

    Watson has been an automatic selection by Australia, but struggled in the first two matches against England (duck and 0-13) and New Zealand (23 and didn’t bowl). He might have played his last one-day international for Australia.

    ‘I believe in myself and my own abilities. If an opportunity comes along, I’ll be ready to go,’ Watson said on Thursday.

    ‘I know I haven’t scored enough runs, so I’ve only got myself to blame. That’s the way it goes.’

    ‘Watto handled the decision well,’ skipper Michael Clarke said. ‘He has been fantastic around the team today. He’s taken it really well.’

    When asked about Watson’s future, Clarke said: ‘It is up to the selectors to make that decision.’ – APP


    United Arab Emirates captain Mohammad Tauqir says his side only had one way of stopping South Africa from piling up their third 400-plus World Cup total – bat first.

    South Africa have posted two 400-plus totals in their emphatic wins over the West Indies and Ireland and look in threatening form.

    Asked what will be their strategy to stop South Africa in Wellington on March 15, Tauqir quipped: ‘It seems the only way they cannot score 400 runs is (we) win the toss and bat.’

    ‘The way they are going, they’re scoring 400 runs against West Indies and Ireland. I think we need to bowl well, need to field well to restrict them.

    ‘Now even considering 400 is not an embarrassing total, you know. So, yeah. We will be putting in a lot of effort against South Africa.’ – AFP


    Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar has blasted proposals to slash the 2019 World Cup to just 10 nations, describing it as ‘a backward step’ and suggesting the tournament be expanded to 25 teams.

    Tendulkar, an ambassador for the World Cup on behalf of the International Cricket Council said the ICC should be expanding the frontiers of the game with Test teams encouraged to pit their ‘A’ sides against Associate nations such as Afghanistan and Ireland.

    ‘I found out the next World Cup would only be ten teams which is disappointing because as a cricketer I want the game to be globalised as much as possible and, according to me, this is a backwards step,’ Tendulkar told a private dinner in Sydney in remarks reported by www.espncricinfo.com.

    ‘We’ve got to find ways of encouraging the lesser teams.’