Sri Lanka off to a solid start

Saturday, 17 September 2011

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Colombo – Sri Lanka made a steady start in reply to Australia's 316 in the third and final Test in Colombo on Saturday, reaching 86 for one by tea on the second day.
The hosts, seeking a series-levelling win, began slowly as the left-handed opening pair of Tharanga Paranavitana and Lahiru Thirimanne took 25 overs to put on 56 on the board.
Thirimanne, a 22-year-old playing only his second Test, scored a watchful 28 off 80 balls when he was bowled by seamer Peter Siddle just before tea.
Tharanga Paranavitana was unbeaten on 40 and Kumar Sangakkara, making his 100th Test appearance, was on 18 as the pair added 30
runs for the second wicket.
Michael Hussey, meanwhile, continued his prolific form in the current series with a second successive century to lift the tourists to 316 before they were all out 30 minutes before lunch.
Left-handed Hussey followed a match-winning 95 in the first Test in Galle and 142 in the drawn second game at Pallekele with a fluent 118 studded with 12 boundaries and two sixes.
The 36-year-old West Australian, playing his 62nd Test, passed 5,000 Test runs on way to his 15th century Ä the fourth against Sri Lanka.
Hussey was last man out, bowled by debutant seamer Shaminda Eranga, who finished with four for 65 after taking a wicket with his first delivery in Test cricket on Friday.
Left-arm seamer Chanaka Welegedara claimed three for 75, while new-ball partner Suranga Lakmal took 2-60.
Brad Haddin put on 75 for the sixth wicket with Hussey when Australia resumed the day at 235-5 before he was the first batsman to be removed in the morning session, caught behind off Eranga.
Hussey reached the 5,000-run mark with two consecutive boundaries off Welegedara that took his score to 99.
Hussey then watched from the other end as Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle were dismissed off successive balls by Welegedera, but Trent Copeland denied the seamer a hat-trick.
Hussey reached his century with a flick off Rangana Herath for a single, earning himself warm applause from his team-mates in the dressing room and 2,000 fans at the ground.
Welegedara picked up his third wicket when he had Copeland caught at second slip by Mahela Jayawardene as the Aussies slipped from 293-6 to 295-9.
Hussey scored 18 in a last-wicket stand of 21 with Nathan Lyon, including a reverse sweep off Herath to the third man fence after Sri Lanka had placed seven fielders on the leg-side.
Australia had been reduced to 22-2 in the ninth over on Friday after being sent in to bat by Sri Lanka skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Smashing win for England

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Debutant Jonathan Bairstow smashed 41 not out off 21 balls as England completed a 3-0 NatWest series win over India with a six-wicket victory in a rain-affected final game in Cardiff.
Bairstow joined Ravi Bopara in the middle in the 26th over with England floundering at 166-4 in pursuit of a 241 in 34 overs - a target that had been twice revised by rain delays.
What followed was a remarkable display of controlled hitting from both batsmen as an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 75 saw England home with 10 balls to spare.
Bopara, whose dismissal on 96 in the previous match at Lord's last Sunday meant the match ended in a tie on the Duckworth-Lewis method, this time saw the job through with 37 from 22 deliveries.
But he was overshadowed by the clean striking of Yorkshire's 21-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow, who hit three huge sixes in his quickfire contribution.
Virat Kohli (107) and Rahul Dravid (69) - the latter in his 344th and final one-day international - had earlier powered India to a total of 304-6, which also owed much to Mahendra Singh Dhoni's late hitting in a 26-ball, unbeaten 50.

Momentum

Opener Craig Kieswetter had contributed initial momentum to England's run chase against the new ball, before going lbw for 21 to a Vinay Kumar delivery which appeared to be heading past leg-stump.
Jonathan Trott, whose first straight six off Kumar was his maiden maximum in a 34-match ODI career to date - had a huge slice of luck on 16 when he drilled Munaf Patel for a catch straight to mid-off only to be reprieved by a no-ball call.
On an increasingly greasy outfield, Munaf slipped and injured his leg - an incident which caused a 10-minute delay before the seamer limped off and out of the remainder of the match.
Trott and Alastair Cook's stand of 79 ended when, the very next ball after Dravid dropped a straightforward catch at short fine-leg, Kohli bowled the left-hander for 50 with a skilful variation leg-cutter.
As Trott moved past a half-century of his own at better than a run-a-ball, Ian Bell (26) helped to bag three sixes in one Ravindra Jadeja over as England took on the short straight boundary, only to then fail to clear when he tried again off RP Singh.
Dhoni gambled by recalling Jadeja before Bopara had settled, and Trott (63) tried to engineer a boundary into the off-side and chipped a catch to point.
Bairstow was pitched into mission improbable yet marked his debut by slog sweeping his fifth ball in international cricket for six in a Jadeja over which conceded 15 - and after he and Bopara had plundered 42 in a three-over powerplay, they only had to keep their nerve, which they did admirably.
Transformed
Earlier, Kohli's sixth hundred at this level and his stand of 170 with Dravid had transformed India's innings after an uncertain start.
Ajinkya Rahane ought to have fallen to Steven Finn for only eight but was reprieved by Samit Patel's fallible catching, at third man, after Cook won his fifth successive toss.
The tall seamer nonetheless made sure England's, and especially his frustration did not last when - also at third-man - he made good ground to lunge in and take a fine catch after Rahane somehow managed to flick an attempted swipe to leg off Jade Dernbach in his direction.
Rahane's departure brought Dravid to the crease - and a large contingent of India support duly voiced their loud appreciation for one of their country's finest batsmen.
Patel was unable to keep him company for long, holing out to mid-on in Graeme Swann's first over of off-spin.
But that meant Kohli was in the match, and he and Dravid immediately found a fluency previously lacking. Their placement and timing helped them find handy boundaries - and with 10 overs remaining, India had the perfect platform for a total in excess of 300.
Dravid's only moment of fortune came when Dernbach was unable to hold a sharp return catch away to his left, on 51, and Kohli needed no luck until he was already past his hundred from only 87 balls.
Dravid fell to the very next delivery, after his 22-year-old partner had gone to three figures, losing his off bail advancing and trying to heave Swann to leg after a 79-ball innings which contained just four fours.
Kohli had nine fours - and a straight six off Patel - when he went shortly afterwards, again just dislodging a bail as his foot slipped in the crease, to go hit wicket off Swann (3-34).
The double breakthrough gave England some respite. But Dhoni then clubbed five fours and two sixes - the second to bring up the 300.



Bairstow - Dream come true

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Jonny Bairstow described his England debut as a "dream come true" after his 41 off 21 balls set up a six-wicket victory over India in Cardiff.
The 21-year-old Yorkshireman smashed three sixes, two of them out of the ground, in an eye-catching performance that carried England to their revised target of 241 after rain had interrupted their innings.
"I got a call on Thursday and then to start off like this is a dream come true," Bairstow told Sky Sportsafter receiving his England cap from Geoffrey Boycott.
"He just said relax and enjoy it and that's all I tried to do. It's a positive outcome for the side and obviously they've played really well in this series.
"I wanted to enjoy the experience and hopefully we can go from here."
The result means England have completed a 3-0 series win over India, following on from their 4-0 Test series win, and they leapfrog India to go fourth in the ICC ODI Championship standings.
Captain Alistair Cook admits the team have exceeded their own expectations.
"Yes, we have," he said. "To stay unbeaten in this one-day series is a huge credit to our side and a fantastic effort from the lads.
"It's all about developing young players and giving them a chance, there are really encouraging signs for the future."

Journey

The Test series victory saw England go to number one in the world rankings but Cook admitted: "We're a long way off that but it's the start of a journey. But we know how hungry the lads are. It could have been easy after a few days off, we've already won the series, but to come and chase down that target is very satisfying."
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni collected the player of the series award for his own individual performances despite the problems his team suffered.
The weather hardly helped them but it is injuries that have blighted them throughout, with Munaf Patel hurt in this game.
"We can control the weather," Dhoni said. "Losing Munaf when he still had four overs left hurt us, he's a main bowler and it was a big blow to lose him.
"Definitely we need to manage our injuries, that's a big thing for us. We've lost nine or 10 players, every game we lost enough player, and that's a big blow for us."

Marsh impresses again

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Shaun Marsh compiled another impressive innings on Friday as Australia hit back after a shaky start in the third Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Marsh, who hit 141 on debut in the previous match, held the tourists' innings together with a confident 81 after openers Phillip Hughes and Shane Watson were both dismissed early.
The newcomer's efforts - together with those of Mike Hussey, who remained unbeaten on 63 when bad light brought play to a premature close - enabled Australia to reach 235 for five at the close on day one.
Sri Lanka, who need a win at the SSG to level the series, will be pleased with their efforts but slightly frustrated by their failure to make further inroads after the departures of Hughes and Watson left Australia teetering on 22 for two.
Marsh, surprisingly named at three in the batting order, and former skipper Ricky Ponting, back in the side after missing the Kandy Test to attend the birth of his child, steadied the ship before Hussey punished a tiring attack towards the close.
Suranga Lakmal was the pick of the bowlers with two for 39 while Shaminda Eranga claimed two for 52.

Uncertain

Watson looked uncertain from the off. He survived a leg before wicket appeal from Chanaka Welegedara from the second ball of the morning due to an inside edge but failed to keep out Eranga's first ball in Test cricket.
It was little more than a loosener but Watson pushed sloppily at it and presented Tillakaratne Dilshan a simple catch at backward point.
Hughes had already departed by then, the under-pressure youngster chopping on to his stumps to hand Lakmal the breakthrough.
Ponting took a while to get going and had only six to his name from 26 balls when Sri Lanka unsuccessfully reviewed a not out decision for caught behind off Welegedara.
The veteran hit 10 runs, including successive fours, off the left-armer's next over and there was no more danger as he and Marsh progressed steadily up to lunch as Australia reached 63 for two.
Sri Lanka wasted their second review trying to remove Ponting in the first over after the restart, but Australia started to get on top thereafter - picking up fours at a steady rate.
Lakmal widened his line as Ponting approached a half-century and the Tasmanian eventually took the bait, edging an attempted drive to Prasanna Jayawardene having made 48.
No surprise
Michael Clarke got off the mark after 12 balls but, one glanced boundary off Welegedara aside, the tourists' skipper was far from fluent.
It was no surprise when he eventually departed, to muted celebrations, having made six in 24 balls.
By then Marsh had moved serenely to 50 with a commanding stroke into the onside.
He looked set for successive tons when, having just made it into the 80s, he played for the spin to Rangana Herath and the ball went straight on, knocking back his off stump.
Brad Haddin joined Hussey and looked in good touch as he progressed to 21 not out by stumps.

Hafeez stars in Pakistan win

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An impressive all-round performance from Mohammad Hafeez saw Pakistan canter to an 85-run victory over Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 international at Harare Sports Club.
Hafeez plundered 71 off 48 balls to lead the tourists to an imposing total of 198-4.
He then starred with the ball as well, claiming 4-10 in 2.2 overs as Zimbabwe were skittled out for 113.
Pakistan were asked to bat after Brendan Taylor won the toss, but the Zimbabwe captain must have been questioning his decision when Hafeez struck the second and third balls of the game for four.
Things got worse for the bowler, Chris Mpofu, when Asad Shafiq hit four successive boundaries in his next over.
Elton Chigumbura came in for similar treatment with two fours and a six hit in his first over, which cost 15, while the home bowlers were not helping themselves as they contributed a total of 15 runs through wides.
Ray Price was the chief offender, but he saw Shafiq run out for 38 off 23 balls in his next over with the score on 74.

Gifted

The blow did not slow Hafeez down though, as he whipped a four and a six of Hamilton Masakadza's first over, and was then gifted another maximum off the same bowler when Mpofu pushed the ball over the boundary.
Hafeez finally perished with the score on 147, but debutant Rameez Raja and Umar Akmal both got past 20, while Sohail Tanvir hammered an unbeaten 17 from five balls.
Sohail Khan dismissed Vusi Sibanda and Cephas Zhuwao in the second over of Zimbabwe's reply and when Sohail Tanvir got rid of Taylor with the score on 37, Pakistan were well on their way to victory.
Hafeez then took over with three quick wickets and, fittingly, returned to finish the game off by bowling Price.
Only Charles Coventry (30 off 13) and Chamu Chibhabha (28 off 26) made meaningful contributions for Zimbabwe, who will try again at the same venue on Sunday.

Big Bash tempts Warne

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Shane Warne has said he is ready to return from retirement to take part in Australia's Twenty20 competition the Big Bash.
The 42-year-old announced he had played his final professional game after leading the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League earlier this year. However, Warne has now said he wants to have a swansong in his home nation.
The leg-spinner, who appears in better physical condition now than at the end of his international career in 2007, suggested he would be prepared to turn out for one of the two Melbourne-based franchises in the domestic T20 league in an interview on Australian television.
He subsequently used Twitter to confirm his ambitions.
Warne wrote: "Re Big Bash - yes keen to be with a team, play a few games - help off field and help the younger players learn the game - could be fun!!!!!
"My number one priority is my children and everything works around that. But if all things fall into place re scheduling etc big bash - yes!"

Dravid wants winning send-off

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Rahul Dravid is more concerned with helping India beat England for the first time this summer rather than his final ODI appearance.
The 38-year-old admits this summer has been a "bitter-sweet" experience, as he has continued to churn out runs in vain while India first of all lost their number one Test status to England in an unexpected 4-0 series romp for the hosts, then were second best in a one-off Twenty20 and are 2-0 down with only one to play in the NatWest Series.
He has decided to call time on his 50-over career and could be playing his last game in Britain in Cardiff on Friday.
"I would like to sign off with a win. It would be lovely for India," he said.
"We have had a tough tour, and it would be lovely to finish with a win - irrespective of what I get."

Determination

Dravid, famously nicknamed 'The Wall' for his determination and watertight technique in Test cricket, adapted his game effectively to the 50-over format.
The results have been laudable, and he will leave the ODI stage rightly at ease that he has been such a high achiever.
"It does not feel like I am finishing, or retirement, or the end, because I will be playing Test cricket.
"But it is a nice time to reflect on what I think was a pretty pleasing and satisfying one-day career.
"I don't think there is going to be anything different in my life from tomorrow onwards.
"My wife did mention there were some very nice things written about me during the Test series, back in India.
"It was a bit bitter-sweet in the sense there was a lot of satisfaction personally against a tough attack and scoring runs, but it has been a disappointing tour for us.
"I am still truly humbled by some of the nice things said about me in the last few weeks."
Pleasure
With characteristic modesty, Dravid cites an event in which he himself played no part as perhaps the proudest moment of his cricketing life.
He was not selected in the squad which this year won India's second World Cup, on home ground, yet he took more pleasure in that collective success than in any of his own personal glories.
He added: "I'm not dreading quitting.
"You just recognise that the time has got to come at some stage when you have got to move on.
"I am happy and I am comfortable with that.
"I have had some highs and lows in both forms of the game.
"That is life, that is cricket - and it has taught me a lot about myself as a person and how to deal with a lot of things.
"I have absolutely no regrets.

England send for Bairstow, Buttler

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England have called Jonathan Bairstow and Jos Buttler into their NatWest Series squad after Ben Stokes suffered a recurrence of a finger injury.
Durham batsman Stokes has played in each of England's four matches so far against India.
England are already 2-0 up, after a no-result at Chester-le-Street and then a tie at Lord's on Sunday, but have been disrupted by two other injuries already, which reduced them to 12 fit men to choose from - before Stokes was hit during batting drills on Thursday.
Eoin Morgan and Stuart Broad both succumbed to shoulder problems, and Stokes took a blow to the right index finger he broke earlier this year and which has prevented him bowling since.
Uncapped Yorkshireman Bairstow is thought to be the most likely to replace Stokes, if necessary - while Buttler, who was playing in the final day of Somerset's match against Lancashire at Taunton on Thursday, is called in as more general cover.

England aiming for whitewash

Friday, 16 September 2011

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London – England captain Alastair Cook is hoping to complete a miserable tour for India on Friday by wrapping up a 3-0 one-day series victory over the tourists.
India are yet to taste victory over England this summer, having been whitewashed 4-0 in the Test series and trailing 2-0 ahead of Friday's final one-dayer in Cardiff.
However India came agonisingly close to pipping England at Lord's last weekend, and Cook remains wary of the threat posed by the wounded tourists heading into the match.
“The last two games have been very close, and have shown what a talented side India are,” Cook said.
“We're going to have to play at the top of our game to try to win, and finish the summer on a high as a one-day team.”
Cook however is satisfied with England's form in his first season in charge as skipper of the limited overs side, which also included a 3-2 series win over Sri Lanka.
“It's been a good start, and I'm very happy with the way the lads have taken to me as captain and bought into the ideas,” Cook said.
“I'm very happy with winning both series. We know how tough it's going to be in the next two months or so (in a return series in India), but this side has always responded well to challenges.”
Cook also believes England's one-day squad can improve.
“We are a very young side trying to make progress,” he said. “The exciting thing is I don't think we've played as well as we can.
“We have been put under pressure in this series, but have still won the games. That is very encouraging.
Meanwhile Cook paid tribute to India batsman Rahul Dravid, who will be playing his 344th and final one-day game.
“He's scored 10,000 runs in both forms of the game. He's managed to adapt his game to every surface,” Cook said. “He is an all-time great.”

Pakistan whitewash Zimbabwe

Thursday, 15 September 2011

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Harare, Zimbabwe – Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by 28 runs in the third one-day international on Wednesday to complete a clean sweep of the three-match series.
Pace bowler Aizaz Cheema claimed a career-best 4/43 as Zimbabwe was restricted to 242/9 in 50 overs after Pakistan posted 270/5.
Cheema mixed up his deliveries well to remove Brendan Taylor (6), Malcolm Waller (19), Elton Chigumbura (9) and Ray Price (10).
Spinner Yasir Shah picked up two wickets as Zimbabwe collapsed after posting a century first-wicket partnership between openers Vusi Sibanda (59) and Chamu Chibhabha (62).

Pakistan set Zim 271 to win

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Harare – Zimbabwe were set a winning target of 271 runs by Pakistan after containing the tourists' acceleration towards the end of innings on the third of three ODI at Harare Sports Club Wednesday.
Pakistan won the first two internationals and got off to a spectacular start with Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat scoring 32 runs off the first three overs.
However on a batsmen friendly pitch Zimbabwe managed to turn the screw and slow Pakistan's run rate, which climaxed at 270 in their 50 overs.
Despite their promising start Hafeez and Farhat both mistimed attempts for boundaries and were caught, Hafeez by Malcolm Waller off Brian Vitori for 23 and Farhat by Chamu Chibhabha off Elton Chigumbura for 37.
With the score standing at 76/2 and the run rate dropping to about five an over from then on, Zimbabwe held the fort well although Assad Shafiq and Younis Khan put on 97 for the third wicket without undue haste as the score steadily mounted.
Shafiq made 51 – his fifth half-century – before being stumped by Tatenda Taibu off Ray Price. Taibu fumbled the ball but Shafiq was so far down the wicket he was able to recover.
Khan was looking to secure his seventh ODI century but he was caught and bowled Kyle Jarvis with a diving effort for 81. It was his 44th half century in internationals.
Zimbabwe had hopes for a breakthrough at that stage and Shoaib Malik only accrued 14 before being caught and bowled by Chigumbura, who made amends for dropping Khan when he was on 56.
Misbah ul Haq and Adnan Akmal in his unorthodox fashion moved the scoreboard briskly along to the final 270-5 with 29 and 24 respectively.
Apart from a poor start the Zimbabwe bowlers were better than in recent matches, Chigumbura especially tight and successful with 2/36 in nine overs.
Zimbabwe need to produce at least a score that comes close to the Pakistan total in order to satisfy their critics, who have been vocal in the last few days. A win would quickly turn their fortunes around – and their status at this level.

Swann to skipper for Windies T20s

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London – Graeme Swann was Wednesday named captain of England's squad for two Twenty20 internationals against West Indies.
With injured captain and vice-captain Stuart Broad and Eoin Morgan currently unavailable, England had been hesitating over who would lead the team at The Oval next week.
Both one-day international captain Alastair Cook and regular Tim Bresnan made it clear over the past two days that they would jump at the chance to take over.
But Test and ODI opener Cook remains outside the Twenty20 squad, having not featured in the shortest format for almost two years.
There is also no Kevin Pietersen in the 14-man list, meaning England will start with a youthful squad which includes two potential debutants in Yorkshire batsman Jonathan Bairstow and Hampshire spinner Danny Briggs.
There is a return to Twenty20 for fast bowler James Anderson, inked in for Tests and ODIs – while young Durham leg-spinner Scott Borthwick is the other addition to the squad from the one which beat India by six wickets last month.
National Selector Geoff Miller said: “We have once again selected a blend of experienced international performers, along with exciting young players with a great deal of talent.
“We have had a successful summer to date and will be looking to continue our form during the Twenty20 series against West Indies and finish the summer with two strong performances.
“We have selected 10 of the players who were involved in last month's Twenty20 victory over India, while the injuries to Stuart Broad and Eoin Morgan and the continued period of rest for Kevin Pietersen means we bring four players into the squad.”
Off-spinner Swann, who has never captained his country before, will become the fifth man to lead them this summer.
Miller added: “Graeme Swann is a highly-respected member of the England side, and his experience and leadership qualities will be invaluable when he leads a young England team next week – a role he is very much looking forward to.”
England play the West Indies at The Oval on September 23 and 25.
SQUAD
GP Swann (capt), JM Anderson, JM Bairstow, RS Bopara, SG Borthwick, TT Bresnan, DR Briggs, JC Buttler, JW Dernbach, ST Finn, AD Hales, C Kieswetter (wkt), SR Patel, BA Stokes.

Aleem Dar wins the David Shepherd Trophy for ICC Umpire of the Year 2011

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

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Umpire Aleem Dar has won the David Shepherd Trophy for third time after being named ICC Umpire of the Year at the LG ICC Awards in London tonight.

Dar, who is 43 and from Pakistan, was voted to this award by the 10 Full Member captains as well as the eight-man Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, based on his decision statistics and officiating skills over the past 12 months.

It is the third year in a row that he has received the ICC award which was renamed last year after the late England umpire David Shepherd*.

Dar accepted his award from ICC Hall of Fame 2011 inductee Alan Davidson and said: "It's a great honour and I'm thankful to everyone at the ICC and also my colleagues on the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires along with the Pakistan Cricket Board. I'd like to also thank all my family for all their support since I'm away nearly eight months of the year umpiring."

Dar beat off strong competition from his colleagues on the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires Steve Davis, Ian Gould and five-time ICC Umpire of the Year Simon Taufel.

Dar, who made his international debut as an umpire in 2000, joined the Emirates Elite Panel in 2004. In the voting period of these awards, Dar stood in five Tests and 13 ODIs. He stood in the ICC Cricket World Cup in the India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, where he was an on-field umpire in eight of the matches, including the final between India and Sri Lanka.

Based on the period between 11 August 2010 and 3 August 2011, the LG ICC Awards 2011 ? presented in association with FICA ? take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game.

For all the individual awards (with the exceptions of the Women's Cricketer of the Year and the Umpire of the Year), a long-list compiled by the selection panel was forwarded to a 25-person Voting Academy made up of former players, respected members of the media, an elite umpire and an elite match referee. They voted on a three, two, one basis (with three being the highest value) and the winners emerged.

That period includes such high-profile events as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the ICC Intercontinental Cup final, several ICC World Cricket Leagues as well as several bilateral Test and ODI series.

The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its eighth year and this year it will be held in London, England. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008) and Bengaluru (2010).

Stafanie Taylor wins ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year 2011

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West Indies all-rounder Stafanie Taylor has been ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year at the LG ICC Awards in London.

During the voting period Taylor played 10 ODIs for the West Indies scoring 610 runs at the top of the order at an average of 76.25, while the off-spinner also claimed 15 wickets. She also scored 49 runs and took five wickets in Twenty20 Internationals in the period.

The 20-year-old took the accolade ahead of England duo Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway and last year's winner of the title, Australia's Shelley Nitschke.

The accolade rounds off a successful year for Taylor who was part of the West Indies side that was victorious as the ICC Women's Twenty20 Cricket Challenge in South Africa.

Taylor was unable to attend the ceremony to collect her award in person due to finishing a series against Pakistan yesterday in Guyana.

Upon hearing the news of her win, Taylor said: "It is a fantastic honour to be named the ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year.

"I said before the awards that my goal was to be the number one women's cricketer in the world and I'm on my way there with the rankings and to be named the winner of this award makes me extremely happy.

"I would like to thank my team-mates and coaches from the West Indies team and also my domestic side Jamaica and also my family for all the support they continue to give me and I hope I can continue to represent the West Indies with pride."

The Women's Cricketer of the Year Award was one of 10 individual prizes given at this year's LG ICC Awards.

The nominations for the Women's Cricketer of the Year were decided after a committee of former players, current administrators and journalists created a long-list. This in turn was broken down into a short-list by a separate 25-person voting academy.

Based on the period between 11 August 2010 and 3 August 2011, the LG ICC Awards 2011 – presented in association with FICA – take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game.

That period includes such high-profile events as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the ICC Intercontinental Cup final, several ICC World Cricket Leagues as well as several bilateral Test and ODI series.

The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its eighth year and this year it will be held in London, England. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008) and Bengaluru (2010).

Ryan ten Doeschate wins ICC Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year 2011

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Netherlands all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate has become the ICC Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year for the second successive year at the LG ICC Awards in London.

The voting academy chose ten Doeschate over other top Associate and Affiliate players including Afghanistan?s Hamid Hassan and the Ireland duo of Paul Stirling and Kevin O?Brien. It is the third time ten Doeschate has claimed the award, the first time he picked up the title was in 2008 while he also won the award last year.

During the 12-month voting period, all-rounder ten Doeschate played for the Netherlands in six ODIs making two centuries and one half-century. His batting average was 61.40 for the period with a strike rate of 89.24.

The 31-year-old Essex player scored both his ODI centuries during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, the first against England in Nagpur and the second against fellow Associate side Ireland in Kolkata.

Ten Doeschate, who was unable to attend due to playing commitments, said upon winning the third ICC award of his career said: ?I?m really sorry I couldn't be there tonight. It's obviously a great privilege to win this award and I'd like to thank all the coaches and my team mates who have helped me during what has been a very good year for the Netherlands cricket team. I hope everyone has a good night and again sorry I can?t be there.?

The Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year Award was one of ten individual prizes given at this year?s LG ICC Awards. It was announced by Hashim Amla of South Africa.

The Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year award serves to recognise and reward the efforts in all international matches of the outstanding cricketers from the teams outside the ICC Full Members.

Based on the period between 11 August 2010 and 3 August 2011, the LG ICC Awards 2011 ? presented in association with FICA ? take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game.

For all the individual awards (with the exceptions of the Women?s Cricketer of the Year and the Umpire of the Year), a long-list compiled by the selection panel was forwarded to a 25-person Voting Academy made up of former players, respected members of the media, an elite umpire and an elite match referee. They voted on a three, two, one basis (with three being the highest value) and the winners emerged.

That period includes such high-profile events as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the ICC Intercontinental Cup final, several ICC World Cricket Leagues as well as several bilateral Test and ODI series.

The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its eighth year and this year it will be held in London, England. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008) and Bengaluru (2010).

Tim Southee wins ICC Twenty20 International Performance of the Year 2011

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New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee has won the ICC Twenty20 International Performance of the Year in recognition of his five wickets for 18 runs against Pakistan in New Zealand.

This is the fourth year the award has been given to recognise the most impressive performance by a player in Twenty20 Internationals during the 12-month voting period and it continues to mark the advent of this exciting format of the game at international level.

On 26 December 2010, during the Black Caps' Twenty20 International match against Pakistan in Auckland, Southee ripped through the Pakistani top order in a performance that saw him take 5-18 in his four overs including one maiden. He also claimed a catch to dismiss the then Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi and the side went on to win the game by five wickets.

According the LG ICC Awards' 25-person voting academy Southee's effort was the most impressive of the voting period from 11 August 2010 to 3 August 2011.

It beat competition from England's Tim Bresnan for his four wickets for three runs against Pakistan in Cardiff in September 2010; South Africa's JP Duminy for his 96 not out in 54 balls against Zimbabwe in Kimberley on 10 October 2010 and Australia's Shane Watson for his 59 runs in 31 balls against England in Adelaide 12 January 2011.

The 22-year-old from Whangerai was unable to attend the awards but upon hearing the news he said: "I'm sorry I'm unable to attend the awards and it's a great privilege to accept the ICC Twenty 20 Performance of the Year. Looking at the nominees it's a great achievement to have even been nominated and to win it is something I will never forget.

"Looking back at the game which has won me the award, it was Boxing Day in a full house at Eden Park and it was a big game for us as we'd been going through a rough patch of losing, something like 12 or 13 games lost on the trot and it was our first win in a long time. It was great to be able to contribute to that win and also put in a great performance."

The Twenty20 International Performance of the Year was one of 10 individual honours handed out during the LG ICC Awards in association with FICA. The event, held at Grosvenor House Hotel, London recognises cricket's star performers over a 12-month period.

Based on the period between 11 August 2010 and 3 August 2011, the LG ICC Awards 2011 – presented in association with FICA – take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game.

That period includes such high-profile events as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the ICC Intercontinental Cup final, several ICC World Cricket Leagues as well as several bilateral Test and ODI series.

The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its eighth year and this year it is being held in London, England. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008) and Bengaluru (2010).

Kumar Sangakkara claims the LG People's Choice Award

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Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara has become the second-ever recipient of the LG People's Choice Award at the LG ICC Awards in London.

Sangakkara was voted to the award by the general public and beat off strong competition for the award from South Africa's Hashim Amla, England's Jonathan Trott, West Indies' Chris Gayle and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The award, which was introduced last year at the LG ICC Awards in Bengaluru, was chosen by cricket fans around the world who, over the course of four weeks had the opportunity to vote for their favourite player. Sangakkara was unable to collect the award in person due to current playing commitments in the Sri Lanka Test series against Australia in Colombo.

Andy Mackay, LG Electronics UK Commercial Director, announced that the Sri Lankan had scooped the prize at the ceremony in London.

Upon hearing the news of winning the award, Sangakkara said: "It's a great privilege having won this award especially since it was voted for by the fans. I would like to thank all of you, not just those who voted for me but everyone who come, day in and day out, to watch us play.

"We will continue doing our best to entertain you and keep attracting more and more fans to see this wonderful sport."

The cricketers were selected on the basis of some really innovative parameters, in sync with the values that embody brand LG, by a five-man ICC selection panel. This panel was chaired by former West Indies captain and current chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee Clive Lloyd and includes former international players Zaheer Abbas of Pakistan, Mike Gatting of England, Paul Adams of South Africa and Danny Morrison of New Zealand.

The values by which the winner was judged include innovation, dynamism, strength in decision-making, performing well under pressure and executing a plan to distinction. The winner of this award should demonstrate an ability to engage spectators and should also embody the game's unique spirit, both on and off the field.

Based on the period between 11 August 2010 and 3 August 2011, the LG ICC Awards 2011 – presented in association with FICA – take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game.

That period includes such high-profile events as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the ICC Intercontinental Cup final, several ICC World Cricket Leagues as well as several bilateral Test and ODI series.

The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its eighth year and this year it will be held in London, England. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008) and Bengaluru (2010).

Dhoni's gesture earns ICC Spirit of Cricket Award

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India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni has won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2011 at the LG ICC Awards in London.

Despite being wrapped up in an intense and difficult Test series in England, the India captain showed the right spirit in agreeing to allow England batsman Ian Bell to continue batting when he was run out in controversial circumstances during the second Test at Trent Bridge in July 2011.

On what was the last ball before tea on the third day, Bell hit the ball towards the boundary. He mistakenly thought it had gone for four, left his crease and headed towards the pavilion assuming the session was over and the ball dead. Meanwhile the ball, which had not reached the rope and therefore was still in play, was returned to the middle, the bails removed and Bell was correctly given run out.

Upon reflection during the tea interval and following a request from the England team, Dhoni withdrew the appeal and recalled Bell thus turning boos into cheers from the appreciative Nottingham crowd.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: "While the initial appeal and umpire decision were correct to the letter of the law, the decision by Mahendra and his team to withdraw the appeal shows great maturity. To see players and officials uphold the Great Spirit of cricket, which has underpinned the game for more than a century, is very special."

This award is voted by the members of the Emirates Elite Panels of ICC Match Referees and Umpires. Dhoni's gesture was voted as the winner ahead of that of South Africa's Jacques Kallis, who twice demonstrated such spirit during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 by walking once he had clarified with opposition fielders directly that they had caught the ball cleanly rather than waiting for the umpires to decide.

Based on the period between 11 August 2010 and 3 August 2011, the LG ICC Awards 2011 – presented in association with FICA – take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game.

That period includes such high-profile events as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the ICC Intercontinental Cup final, several ICC World Cricket Leagues as well as several bilateral Test and ODI series.

The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its eighth year and this year it will be held in London, England. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008) and Bengaluru (2010).

Alastair Cook named Test Cricketer of the Year 2011

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England's Alastair Cook has been named Test Cricketer of the Year 2011 at the LG ICC Awards.

During the performance period, he played 12 Tests and in 18 innings, he compiled 1,302 runs at an average of 51.74, including six centuries and four half-centuries. His highest score of 235 not out against Australia at Brisbane helped his team towards series victory as it won the Ashes away from home for the first time since the 1986-87 season.

The independent voting academy of 25 highly credentialed cricket experts put Cook first, ahead of an impressive group of players that had been short-listed, including England team-mates Jonathan Trott and James Anderson, as well as Jacques Kallis of South Africa, who previously won this award in 2005.

Cook received his trophy from West Indies ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Curtly Ambrose and said: "I think the highlight of year was when we won in Sydney, to beat Australia and Chris Tremlett to take that final wicket it was truly a great year. This award is about the rest of the team not just me."

Based on the period between 11 August 2010 and 3 August 2011, the LG ICC Awards 2011 - presented in association with FICA - take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game.

For all the individual awards (with the exceptions of the Women's Cricketer of the Year and the Umpire of the Year), a long-list compiled by the selection panel was forwarded to a 25-person Voting Academy made up of former players, respected members of the media, an elite umpire and an elite match referee. They voted on a three, two, one basis (with three being the highest value) and the winners emerged.

That period includes such high-profile events as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the ICC Intercontinental Cup final, several ICC World Cricket Leagues as well as several bilateral Test and ODI series.

The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its eighth year and this year it will be held in London, England. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008) and Bengaluru (2010).

Kumar Sangakkara named ODI Player of the Year 2011

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Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara has been named ODI Player of the Year 2011 at the LG ICC Awards in London.

During the performance period, he played 25 ODIs and compiled 1,049 runs at an average of 55.21, including one century and seven half-centuries. As wicketkeeper, he also took 36 victims comprising 26 catches and 10 stumpings. Despite that busy workload, he still managed to lead his country to the ICC Cricket World Cup final in Mumbai where they lost narrowly to home team India.

The independent voting academy of 25 highly credentialed cricket experts put Sangakkara first, ahead of such talented and in-form players as Australia's Shane Watson, Gautam Gambhir of India and South Africa's Hashim Amla.

Sangakkara was unable to attend the awards due to playing in the recently completed Test match against Australia in Pallekele. Upon hearing the news he said: "It's a great honour first of all to have been nominated for this award and a great honour to have actually won it.

"I would like to thank the rest of my teammates, they have done a great job over the years in one-day cricket and I am privileged to be part of this and led these guys for just over two years. I thank you again, I feel very very proud."

Based on the period between 11 August 2010 and 3 August 2011, the LG ICC Awards 2011 – presented in association with FICA – take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game.

For all the individual awards (with the exceptions of the Women's Cricketer of the Year and the Umpire of the Year), a long-list compiled by the selection panel was forwarded to a 25-person Voting Academy made up of former players, respected members of the media, an elite umpire and an elite match referee. They voted on a three, two, one basis (with three being the highest value) and the winners emerged.

That period includes such high-profile events as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the ICC Intercontinental Cup final, several ICC World Cricket Leagues as well as several bilateral Test and ODI series.

The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its eighth year and this year it will be held in London, England. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008) and Bengaluru (2010).

Jonathan Trott named ICC Cricketer of the Year 2011

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England's Jonathan Trott has been named ICC Cricketer of the Year 2011 at the LG ICC Awards after an extraordinary 12 months for the batsman.

In 12 Tests, he compiled 1,042 runs at an average of 65.12, including four centuries and three half-centuries. In addition, he played 24 ODIs, hitting 1,064 runs at an average of 48.36 with two centuries and nine 50s. In that time he has helped his team retain the Ashes in Australia, reach the quarter-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and also register other Test series victories against Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan.

The independent voting academy of 25 highly credentialed cricket experts put Trott first, ahead of a formidable group of players that had been short-listed, including England team-mate Alastair Cook, last year's winner Sachin Tendulkar and South Africa opening batsman Hashim Amla.

Trott follows in the footsteps of India's Rahul Dravid (2004), Andrew Flintoff of England and South Africa's Jacques Kallis (joint winners in 2005), Ricky Ponting of Australia (2006 and 2007), West Indies' Shivnarine Chanderpaul (2008), Mitchell Johnson of Australia (2009) and India's Sachin Tendulkar (2010) to take the top award.

Trott accepted the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy from ICC President Sharad Pawar at a glittering ceremony in London and was clearly thrilled with the accolade.

He said: "It's fantastic to be part of a successful team and I never envisaged winning this award and it's a brilliant feeling to be recognised."

Based on the period between 11 August 2010 and 3 August 2011, the LG ICC Awards 2011 ? presented in association with FICA ? take into account performances by players and officials in a remarkable period for the game.

For all the individual awards (with the exceptions of the Women's Cricketer of the Year and the Umpire of the Year), a long-list compiled by the selection panel was forwarded to a 25-person Voting Academy made up of former players, respected members of the media, an elite umpire and an elite match referee. They voted on a three, two, one basis (with three being the highest value) and the winners emerged.

That period includes such high-profile events as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the ICC Intercontinental Cup final, several ICC World Cricket Leagues as well as several bilateral Test and ODI series.

The LG ICC Awards ceremony is now in its eighth year and this year it will be held in London, England. Previous ceremonies were held in London (2004), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008) and Bengaluru (2010).

AB, Steyn make ODI Team of the Year

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

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AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn have been named in the International Cricket Council ODI Team of the Year, which was announced in London on Monday.
De Villiers and Steyn also made the ICC Test Team of the Year, announced a fortnight ago.
“This has been an outstanding year for 50-over cricket. I think everyone saw in the ICC Cricket World Cup how exciting this format can be,” said ICC Awards selection panel chairman Clive Lloyd.
“The ICC Cricket World Cup was rightly applauded as one of the greatest in history and no one who was in Mumbai will forget that remarkable evening,” he said.
Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy will also be up for top honours at the 2011 ICC Awards.
Amla is nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC, Cricketer of the Year and for ICC ODI Player of the Year.
Kallis is up against the English trio of James Anderson, Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott for the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year, as well as the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award.
Duminy is nominated for the ICC T20 International Performance of the Year.
ICC ODI Team of the Year (in batting order): Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL), Virender Sehwag (Ind), Kumar Sangakkara (SL), AB de Villiers (SA), Shane Watson (Aus), Yuvraj Singh (Ind), MS Dhoni (Ind, wicketkeeper/captain), Graeme Swann (Eng), Umar Gul (Pak), Dale Steyn (SA), Zaheer Khan (Ind), 12th Man Lasith Malinga (SL)

Broad injury blow confirmed

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Stuart Broad will miss at least eight matches for England after it was confirmed that he has suffered a torn muscle in his right shoulder.
The Twenty20 captain has been ruled out of two 20-over contests against West Indies at the end of next week, as well as the last match of the one-day series against India at Cardiff on Friday.
But the England and Wales Cricket Board have also said that Broad, who hurt himself bowling in the fourth one-dayer at Lord's on Sunday, will miss the return leg of five ODIs in India in October.
England will therefore be searching for a replacement to captain the team against the Windies in their final two matches of the summer, with vice-captain Eoin Morgan ruled out after shoulder surgery.
An ECB statement read: "England bowler Stuart Broad will miss the final ODI against India and the NatWest Twenty20 series against West Indies, as well as the ODI leg of the India tour, with a muscle tear within his right shoulder.
"Broad may be fit to join the England squad for the Twenty20 fixture scheduled for October 29 in Kolkata."

Weeks out

ECB chief medical officer Nick Peirce added: "Stuart has a muscle tear within his shoulder and will require an initial period of rest and rehabilitation.
"Exact timescales will be determined in due course, but he is likely to be ruled out of cricket for a number of weeks."
There is the prospect of England employing a fifth captain of an arduous summer. Broad, Morgan, and Test and one-day international leaders Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook have all been in charge so far.
Alternatively, Cook, cast for so long as an out-and-out Test batsman who would not be able to adapt adequately to the shorter formats, could be pressed back into action as captain to resume a 20-over career which appeared to have terminally stalled after only his fourth cap almost two years ago.
Broad wrote on Twitter: "Bad news on the shoulder, torn a muscle, I know which one, just can't spell it."
Steven Finn had to complete the stricken Broad's bowling duties - and dosed up with pain-killers and after an uncomfortable net on the nursery ground it was decided he would be able to bat if necessary as England chased 280-5.
Broad's number eight position was filled instead by Graeme Swann, however, and he was held back to 11, not required in the end as bad weather resulted in a dramatic Duckworth-Lewis tie which meant England clinched the series.

Australia, Sri Lanka draw

Monday, 12 September 2011

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Pallekele, Sri Lanka – Resolute Sri Lankan batting and bad weather frustrated Australia's bid for a series-clinching win as the second Test ended in a draw in Pallekele on Monday.
Just 35.3 overs were bowled on the final day, in which Sri Lanka moved from their overnight score of 223/2 to 317/6 in the second innings, an overall lead of 80 with four wickets in hand.
Three half-centuries led a determined batting display by the hosts, who had faced defeat after being shot out for 174 in their first knock.
Seamer Ryan Harris finished with 3/54 as the tourists chipped away at the Sri Lankan middle order, but rain did not leave enough time for Michael Clarke's men to force the result that would have given them the series.
Angelo Mathews was unbeaten on 11 and Suraj Randiv was on four when play was halted midway through the post-lunch session. The match was finally called off two hours before the scheduled close.
Australia lead the three-match series 1-0 after their 125-run win in the first Test in Galle, with the final Test starting at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo on Friday.
Sri Lanka, who trailed by 14 runs at the start of the day, lost both their overnight batsmen, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, within the first hour.
Australia removed the two star batsmen with the second new ball, which was taken as soon as it was due after one over from Trent Copeland with the old ball.
Sangakkara failed to add to his overnight score of 69 when he was squared up by a lifting delivery from Harris and edged a waist-high catch to Clarke at second slip.
The dismissal broke a threatening 101-run stand for the third wicket between Sri Lanka's main batting hopes.
Clarke then dived to his left to snap a stunning low catch in the slips and send back Jayawardene for 51 off the bowling off Copeland.
Jayawardene stood his ground as the umpires debated whether the ball had touched the ground before landing in Clarke's hand, but replays confirmed it was a clean catch.
Sri Lanka were 288/4, a lead of 51 runs, when a sharp shower drove the players back to the pavilion and the umpires ordered lunch 30 minutes early.
When play resumed, Australia grabbed two wickets in the space of six runs to reduce Sri Lanka to 307/6.
Harris picked up his third wicket of the innings when he forced Prasanna Jayawardene (21) to edge a catch to wicket-keeper Brad Haddin.
Thilan Samaraweera made a dogged 43 when he was dismissed in similar fashion by Shane Watson in the post-lunch session.

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