Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 22nd 2015 Contents A34
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McLaren s technical trou-
bles worsened yesterday,
while Pastor Maldonado
again steered Lotus to the
session s fastest lap in For-
mula One preseason testing.
A faulty seal on his
McLaren cut short Jenson
Button s shift behind the
wheel on Thursday.
Two days later, the team
said "similar issues" with its
new Honda engine were be-
hind the former champion
registering the session s
fewest laps, 24, and slowest
lap. Maldonado continued
to impress by clocking the
quickest lap to sit on top of
the timesheet for a second
time this week at the
cuit, where the Venezuelan
got his sole grand prix win in
Lewis Hamilton also put
Mercedes in front of a re-
vamped Ferrari for the first
time this preseason. (AP)
(Ext: 2213, 2711,
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-
Haq has said that his "players are
to blame" for the team s humil-
iating defeat against West Indies
in Christchurch which has now
forced them to sit tight at the bot-
tom of Pool B.
Misbah conceded that the side
thoroughly flopped in every
department, and that his 15-man
squad had to be rejigged for Pak-
istan s next four games.
The day started well enough for
Pakistan as they took two early
wickets, but ended in shambles,
with their top order crumbling to
1 for 4 - the lowest score at which
a team has lost four wickets in an
The previous lowest score was
4 for 4, by Canada, against Zim-
babwe in 2006. Pakistan s fielding
too left a lot to be desired, as they
dropped as many as six catches to
let West Indies post a commanding
310 for 6.
"We just lost in all three depart-
ments," Misbah said at the press
"We couldn t bowl well, there
were a lot of dropped catches, and
the batting totally flopped. At the
end of the day, you have to perform
as a batsman, bowler and fielder.
As a team, as players, we need to
pick ourselves up and we need to
Pakistan arrived in New Zealand
15 days before the start of the
World Cup in a bid to adapt to the
conditions, even playing two ODIs.
Misbah, however, suggested that
the conditions were "not easy" to
"We have to accept that con-
ditions here are not easy for our
players to adjust to and that s why
we are struggling. No matter how
much the coaches work with the
players, it eventually comes down
to the player individually to adjust
and perform accordingly. We being
the players are to be blamed
because we are the one who are
not playing well."
Pakistan made one change from
their previous XI, their loss against
India, bringing in a specialist open-
er Nasir Jamshed in order to push
Younis Khan down to No 3, and
dropped Yasir Shah.
They played with eight batsmen,
but five of them failed to get into
double figures, meaning that three
of their batsmen contributed 137
out of Pakistan s total score of 160.
Even their bowling attack, often
seen as Pakistan s biggest strength,
was punished badly.
Misbah, however, dismissed
suggestions that Pakistan did not
select a squad competitive enough
for the tournament.
"There is no margin for ifs and
buts as whoever is here is the best
we have. What is important is we
and the people back in the country
should not lose hope," he said. "
"As a player and as a team, we
have to improve our performance
and this is our chance. We are
obviously never going to do good
if we continue to play like this.
What we need is to think positive
and believe that we can win our
next four games. We always hope
for the best but it s all about click-
ing and believing."
Younis place in the team, in
particular, has become a talking
point, owing to his poor form in
the format. Since Pakistan persist
with Younis as well as a makeshift
wicketkeeper in Umar Akmal, it
means there is no place in the XI
for Sarfaraz Ahmed.
When asked if it was the right
time for Pakistan to decide the
future of Younis, Misbah rebutted
but hinted at a swift change.
"We don t need to decide in
haste. We will see what we have
to do. But right now it s a make-
"We really have to pull ourselves
together and see which combina-
tion we can make to win. It s not
a compulsion to stick with same
players but we will rather try to
make a team that can win." (ESP-
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA---Australia and
Bangladesh split the competition points after
heavy rain forced Cricket World Cup organisers
to abandon the Pool A match in Brisbane yes-
A cyclone which crossed the coast north of
Brisbane on Friday caused heavy rain for two
days. Organisers finally decided to cancel the
match at 4:45 pm local time, more than three
hours after the scheduled start.
Four-time champion Australia, which opened
the tournament with a 111-run win over England,
will next play co-host New Zealand in Auckland
The Australians will have had only one match
in two weeks by that stage. The New Zealanders
had three wins in the first week of the tourna-
ment, including a massive, eight-wicket win
over England in Wellington on Friday.
"It was obviously disappointing not to get out
there today," Australia batsman Steve Smith said.
"It s a place that we play really well...at the
"We ll take the point (and) hopefully continue
to play some good cricket throughout the tour-
It was Australia s only match scheduled in
Brisbane during the World Cup.
The point was a good result for Bangladesh,
which had only beaten Australia once in 19 pre-
vious one-day internationals---an upset in Cardiff
New Zealand leads the group with six points,
from its wins over Sri Lanka, Scotland and Eng-
land. Australia and Bangladesh, which opened
with a 105-run win over tournament newcomer
Afghanistan on Wednesday, are level on three
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said
the washout in Brisbane could have an impact
on the quarterfinal calculations, with only four
of the seven teams advancing from each pool.
"The point would help everyone, not only us,"
he said. "It s very disappointing not to play
cricket at the Gabba (but) you can t do anything
with rain. You have to accept it and look forward
to the next match. A point is very important."
Bangladesh will play 1996 champion Sri Lanka
in Melbourne on Thursday.
The category-5 Cyclone Marcia caused wide-
spread damage when it crossed landfall about
600 kilometres (400 miles) north of Brisbane,
but started to lose intensity quickly and was
downgraded as it tracked down the coast.
The match had been expected to be venue for
skipper Michael Clarke s return to the Australian
lineup for the first time since surgery on his
right hamstring in December.
The Australians didn t announce a starting
lineup, meaning speculation over who will lose
their spot to accommodate Clarke s return will
likely continue all week. (AP)
McLaren's troubles continue as Maldonado clocks fastest lap
PAK V WI, GROUP B, CHRISTCHURCH
officially a washout
'We are on the edge
won the man-of-the-
match award after
scoring an unbeaten
42 off 13 balls and
taking 3/33 in eight
overs in a 150-run win
over Pakistan in the
World Cup, yesterday.
"It was another
tough loss for us but
we're not going to
let it push us down."
says his team is still
confident of a solid
showing at the
Concacaf World Cup
two warm-up losses
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