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Villiers blasts 162 as South Africa demolish Windies by 257 runs

villiers-blasts-162-as-south-africa-demolish-windies-by-257-runs-1425068466-5256SYDNEY: South Africa captain AB de Villiers hammered the second-fastest century in World Cup history as he led his side to a crushing 257-run victory over the West Indies at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday. De Villiers finished on an unbeaten 162 off just 66 balls as South Africa raced to the second-highest World Cup total of 408 for five, behind only the 413-5 made by India against Bermuda, a non-Test nation, in Trinidad in 2007.
The Proteas’ skipper’s innings was also the fastest 150 in ODIs and de Villiers now has the fastest fifty, hundred and 150 in ODI cricket – all coming against the West Indies. South Africa’s second win of the tournament put them firmly back on track for the quarterfinals after their abject 130-run loss to India and revived their bid for a maiden World Cup title.
On a night for the statisticians, this result also equalled the biggest winning margin, in terms of runs, at a World Cup match set when India beat Bermuda by 257 runs in 2007. De Villiers demolished the West Indians with eight sixes and 17 fours and was particularly savage on West Indies captain Jason Holder, clouting four sixes off the pace bowler’s final over. The fastest-ever World Cup century was made by Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien, off 50 balls, against England in Bangalore during the 2011 tournament.
Gayle blown away: It was a miserable effort in reply by the West Indies as they tumbled to 151 all out off 33.1 overs, with their big guns Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels succumbing early on to Kyle Abbott. Gayle, who blasted a World Cup record 215 with 16 sixes in his last innings against Zimbabwe, exposed his stumps, swung his bat and was bowled middle stump by Abbott for three in the second over. Samuels, who made an unbeaten 133 in the same match, got an outside edge and was caught behind for a duck.
The West Indies lost any remote chance they had with the pair’s exit. Jonathan Carter (10), Dwayne Smith (31) and Lendl Simmons (nought) all fell in the space of seven balls to leave their side at 53-5. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir triggered the collapse and finished with 5-45 from 10 overs. De Villiers, who made his century off 52 balls, teed off late on, plundering 34 off Holder’s penultimate over – two sixes, three fours and a two – and then 30 off his last over. Holder finished with one for 104 off 10 overs.
Apart from the spectacular de Villiers show, there was a solid supporting cast from the South African top order with Hashim Amla contributing 65 off 88 balls, Faf du Plessis 62 off 70 and Rilee Rossouw slamming 61 off 39 balls. Off-spinner Gayle struck in the 30th over with two wickets in three balls, removing du Plessis caught behind for 62 attempting a shot through extra cover and then trapping Amla leg before for 65. But de Villiers and Rossouw began to dramatically up the tempo, raising their hundred stand off 60 balls.
The skipper brought up his 50 off 30 balls and Rossouw’s half-century came off 31 balls. De Villiers unfurled some remarkable shots in the closing overs, easily clearing the ropes. In the last 10 overs the Proteas piled on 150 runs. Rossouw was caught behind off Andre Russell, having struck six fours and a six. Jerome Taylor claimed the catch of the day to dismiss David Miller for 20 with a splendid one-handed effort on the boundary that

Govt bid to bring amendment against horse trading falls flat

PPP and JUI-F refuse to support ‘show of hands’ proposal for Senate elections g Nawaz urges both parties to rethink their stance by today1425082394-5802

ISLAMABAD: The ruling PML N on Friday failed to garner consensus amongst allies and opposition parties to bring in the 22nd Constitutional Amendment, which would have allowed open ballot, or “show of hand”, in the upcoming Senate elections.

This despite the fact that the opposition and government allies are convinced that the feared horse trading in the Senate elections would bring a bad name to parliament. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his part tried hard, but was not successful in convincing the leadership of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal (JUI-F) to support the proposed constitutional amendment. He, however, urged both the PPP and JUI-F to rethink their stance by today (Saturday), as he plans to meet some allied and opposition parliamentary leaders in a likely follow-up meeting.

Officials, however, believe that the draft law, preliminary discussed in the meeting on Friday, will most likely be presented in parliament on Monday or Tuesday in case back-channel diplomacy with opposition and allies works. The draft suggests that elections to the Senate will be held through open voting instead of the secret ballot, the current practice. The proposal also carries suggestion to devise a mechanism to track votes of legislators to establish that the pattern follows party lines, a mechanism being opposed by some political parties.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, meanwhile, called upon the parliamentary leaders to play their role in stopping horse trading before the Senate elections. “We have a joint obligation to check this corrupt practice of buying votes with money and ensure sanctity of the Upper House,” the prime minister said in a meeting with parliamentary leaders, at the PM’s House. Talking to the participants, he said that the Senate, being the Upper House of parliament, is sacred and it is binding upon all political parties to preserve and enhance its sanctity, making the process of its election fully transparent.

However, PPP is said to have opposed the open balloting proposal in the meeting as former PPP prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf described maligning all the members of national and provincial assemblies in “selling and buying of votes” as unfortunate, adding that the PPP not only wanted transparent elections of Senate, but wanted to come up with comprehensive electoral reforms related to national and provincial assemblies. He said that a political consensus should be achieved first and should employ the options that would address all the concerns regarding horse trading in elections of Upper House.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazalur Rahman reportedly opposed the new constitutional amendment for secret balloting on the pretext his party was already unhappy by the 21st Constitutional Amendment that established military courts. “We were bitten by the 21st Constitutional Amendment. How would you expect us to extend the favour on the new constitutional amendment?” Fazal asked.

Meanwhile, MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar said that his party will support the the amendment, while PTI leader Dr Arif Alvi said that party chairman, Imran Khan, had already welcomed the government’s move. Also, Jamaat-e-Islami’s parliamentary leader Sahibzada Tariqullah and Federal Minister for Textile, Abbas Khan Afridi said that they will support the PML N move in this regard.

The prime minister said that it is a matter of concern for all the democratic forces in the country that votes of parliamentarians are being bought and sold. He urged the political parties to put an end to horse trading and save the Senate from corruption, so that democracy could flourish in the country. He said that in the past too parliamentary parties’ leaders were invited to deliberate upon matters of national significance. The prime minister strongly condemned horse trading and termed it “an act of disgrace” for all parliamentarians. He said some people, even without any party affiliation, wanted to contest the Senate election on the basis of money.

“This is not about buying votes, but about buying a parliamentarian’s conscience,” he said. Nawaz referred to media reports about the use of money before the Senate election and said all political parties need to work together to stop this practice.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq summoned up the spirit of Imran Khan

BRISBANE: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq summoned up the spirit of Imran Khan and his 1992 World Cup warriors on Saturday as the strife-hit Asian giants look to salvage their 2015 campaign.

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Pakistan, engulfed by a series of on and off-field controversies, have lost both of their opening two games — by 76 runs to India and 150 runs against the West Indies.They are bottom of Pool B and defeat by Zimbabwe at the Gabba on Sunday will virtually condemn them to an early exit.

But Pakistan have been down this road before.Twenty-three years ago, when the World Cup was last played in Australia and New Zealand, Imran Khan´s team were also staring at early elimination.They lost by 10 wickets to West Indies, beat Zimbabwe, had a no-result when about to be defeated by England before two more losses to India and South Africa.They then went on a roll, seeing off Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand to make the semi-finals.New Zealand were defeated again in the last-four before the title was clinched in Melbourne courtesy of a 22-run win against England.”The important lesson is never give up,” said Misbah.”That´s what you need to do as a player and as a team. That´s what Imran Khan usually says about 1992. Even when the team was in difficult times, they never gave up.”They just kept trying, kept trying, and kept trying. At last they just managed to do what they really wanted to do in that World Cup.”So, that´s what we are trying to do. We just have to do the things and we have to work hard, and that´s what we´re trying to do”.

Misbah insists that his team are trying to forget their two defeats as well as off-field diversions which have seen eight players fined for breaking a curfew, reports of a bust-up in training and chief selector Moin Khan being sent home in disgrace for visiting a casino.”It´s always like that,” said Misbah, when asked to reflect on the deluge of criticism his team has endured for their woeful form.”They always say that they are with the team all the time, but never do it. You could say it´s always like that in Pakistan. We are always with the winning team, but when our team is in difficult times, we´re here (on their own.)”Misbah added that Pakistan´s slow start could be partly attributed to the damage caused by the late withdrawals of three key men — spinner Saeed Ajmal, veteran batsman Mohammad Hafeez and seamer Junaid Khan. As a result, Pakistan´s tactics and strategy had to be tweaked. “We are playing with a different set-up. We were relying on spin and different bowlers, especially Junaid Khan. He was a main bowler for us,” said Misbah.

Russian opposition leader Nemtsov shot dead

MOSCOW: Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, a fierce critic of President Vladmir Putin, was shot dead in central Moscow late Friday ahead of a major opposition rally this weekend, investigators and police said

russia-moscow-BorisNemtsov_2-28-2015_176615_l“In central Moscow, a man with documents in the name of Boris Yefimovich Nemtsov was killed,” an interior ministry spokesman told AFP early Saturday, declining to give further details.Russia´s Investigative Committee confirmed the death, saying it had opened a criminal probe.”According to preliminary information, an unidentified person shot at Boris Nemtsov no fewer than 7-8 times from a car as he was walking along the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky bridge,” investigators said in a statement.

The committee, which reports directly to Putin, said that “experienced” investigators had been put on the case.Nemtsov launched his political career as the governor of Nizhny Novgorod region in central Russia and became a vice prime minister in the late 1990s under the presidency of Boris Yeltsin.After leaving parliament in 2003, he helped establish and led several opposition parties and groups.Nemtov´s murder comes ahead of a major opposition rally scheduled to take place on March 1.The murder “bears the hallmarks of a contract killing,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.Another interior ministry spokesperson, Yelena Alekseyeva, told reporters at the scene that Nemtsov was walking with a woman when he was shot.

The woman, who is from Ukraine, was now being questioned, she added.Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev has taken charge of the criminal probe, she said.Mikhail Kasyanov, a former prime minister turned opposition leader, told reporters after viewing the scene: “This is payback for the fact that Boris consistently for many, many years fought for Russia to be a free democratic country.”agency.

Team and I need support, says Misbah

BRISBANE: Pakistan’s skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has appealed that he and the cricket team need support.

Pakistan-Cricket-Misbah_2-28-2015_176646_l (1)

Misbah said on Saturday that the team was under immense pressure following their losses to India and West Indies.“Those who are maligning the Pakistan team are not patriots,” Misbah said. The skipper said the squad for the match against Zimbabwe had been decided but he did not provide any further details.Pakistan play a crucial match which many are calling a must win for the team against Zimbabwe on Sunday. The team is at the bottom of Poll B in the World Cup after losing to India and West Indies.