Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 4th 2014 Contents A47
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Amla is all too aware that the
performance of the India spin-
ners will go a long way to
deciding the World Twenty20
semifinal against South Africa
The challenge posed by
legspinner Amit Mishra and off-
spinner Ravichandran Ashwin,
who have each won two play-
er-of-the-match awards so far
in the tournament, compounds
the threat already posed by
India s powerful batting lineup.
India entered the World T20
in the midst of a form slump but
has peaked at the right time, and
is the only unbeaten team.
South Africa also has a bal-
anced lineup, including batsmen
adept at playing spin, but will
need to adjust quickly to the
Sher-e-Bangla Stadium pitch,
which has been playing slower
and lower than the Chittagong
wicket where the Proteas played
their group games.
"The wickets in Chittagong
had a bit more pace and bounce,"
Amla said ahead of the match.
"There is a bit of a difference
here and that s something we ll
have to look out for."
Also, while India captain
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is in line
to hold all three ICC titles simul-
taneously since he led the team
to the 2011 World Cup and the
2013 Champions Trophy, South
Africa has almost always faltered
at the knockout stage in big tour-
South Africa captain Faf du
Plessis said that India has shown
it can handle the pressure. .
"That (handling pressure) is
something India has done very
well over the past few days," du
Plessis said. "They have always
been a team that does well in
The South Africa skipper said
his team was working extra hard
to prepare for spin.
"We ve put in some really hard
practice on really abrasive sur-
faces, making sure that we
almost over-practiced against
the ball that is turning too
much," du Plessis said.
Yuvraj Singh s 43-ball 60
against Australia also gives con-
fidence to Dhoni since the left-
hander can decimate any bowl-
ing on his day.
Yuvraj, who missed a practice
session Wednesday after a foot
injury sustained during a football
session, was hoping to also chip
in with the ball despite the pres-
ence of another left-arm spinner
in Ravindra Jadeja.
"The pitch has helped spinners
more as the tournament has pro-
gressed," Yuvraj said. "The wicket
has been slow and I m working
hard on my bowling as well."
South Africa legspinner
Imran Tahir, who has bagged
11 wickets in the tournament
and has taken tips from Shane
Warne, faces his biggest chal-
lenge in the tournament against
the likes of Virat Kohli, Yuvraj
Singh and Dhoni.
South Africa s bowlers put up
superb efforts to ensure two wins
against New Zealand and the
Netherlands and allrouner JP
Duminy hopes the team can
repeat the performance against
the 2007 champion.
"The ways to win a game out
of nothing is definitely something
we will take confidence from,"
Duminy said. "But this is a new
game It s a big game---the semi-
final of a World Cup. It doesn t
get bigger than this." (AP)
S Africa prepares
for Indian spin
South Africa's Hashim Amla bats during a training session ahead of their ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup semi-final match against India
in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Wednesday. AP PHOTO
ISLAMABAD---Mohammad Hafeez quit as cap-
tain of Pakistan s Twenty20 team yesterday after
it failed to qualify for the semifinals of the World
Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
Hafeez announced the decision after meeting
with the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board
in Lahore and also said he will step down as vice-
captain of both one-day and Test teams.
"I accept the whole responsibility of poor per-
formance (in World Twenty20) and has stepped
down from the captaincy," Hafeez told reporters.
"I am available to represent Pakistan in all the
three formats and play under any captain."
Reigning champion West Indies eliminated Pak-
istan with an 84-run victory in the last group
match on Tuesday as the 2009 champions were
bowled out for just 82 while chasing 167.
Hafeez scored only 55 runs in four group matches
and took only one wicket in the tournament when
he got rid of dangerman Chris Gayle in the last
Pakistan defeated Bangladesh and Australia in
two group matches but missed out on a semifinal
spot for the first time with defeats against archrival
India and West Indies.
Hafeez replaced Misbah-ul-Haq as T20 captain
in May 2012, but often faced criticism over his
poor batting --- especially while facing fast bowlers.
He led Pakistan in 29 Twenty20s, winning 17
matches and losing 11 while one match against
Australia in the United Arab Emirates in 2012 was
"I want to give someone else a chance to take
the team forward and hope better decisions will
be made for the improvement of the team," Hafeez
Pakistan head coach Moin Khan, who replaced
Dav Whatmore before the Asia Cup in February,
and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas said their
short contracts of two months also ended with
the team s early exit from the World Twenty20.
"My assignment has ended, but I have told the
chairman (PCB) I am available if I be given a
chance again," Khan said.
PCB chairman Najam Sethi said he appreciated
Hafeez and the coaching staff taking the respon-
sibility and hoped new management will make a
difference in the team s performance.
Flamboyant allrounder Shahid Afridi said on
Wednesday he was ready to accept Pakistan s
Twenty20 captaincy but criticized Pakistan s top
order for the poor performance in the World
Former test cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and
Mohammad Yousuf said Hafeez made the right
decision in stepping down and asked him to con-
centrate on his batting. (AP)
HUMBLE, Texas---Phil Mickel-
son has shot a bogey-free four-
under par 68 in his opening
round of the Houston Open,
showing no effects of the muscle
pull that forced him to withdraw
from the Texas Open last week.
The five-time major winner,
who practiced at Augusta
National for two days this week
in advance of the Masters, is two
shots behind early leaders Keegan
Bradley and Matt Kuchar; both
finished at 6-under par 66. J.B.
Holmes is also at six under after
Mickelson and Bradley were
part of a threesome with Webb
Simpson, who also finished at four
All three players navigated the
7,441-yard Golf Club of Houston
layout without a bogey. Stewart
Cink finished his morning round
with a five-under 67. (AP)
Mickelson recovered, among leaders at Houston Open
Links Archive April 3rd 2014 April 5th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page