Pak square series
Christchurch: A maiden century by Mohammad Hafeez and a blistering 65 by Shahid Afridi set up Pakistan for a 43-run win over New Zealand in their ODI on Saturday. The batting heroics,which rescued Pakistan from a disastrous start,were complemented by the fielding exploits of Umar Akmal who featured in three crucial New Zealand dismissals.
The result levelled the six-match series at 1-1,with one game washed out and three to play. New Zealand won the toss and put Pakistan into bat,and had them two for eight by the fourth over. But Pakistan worked their way up to take control,compiling 293-7,with Afridi starring in a 126-run charge over the last 10 overs. New Zealand lost wickets at regular intervals and were hanging on grimly at the end to be 250-9.
Sydney: Cricket Australia confirms Australia and England will play 10 consecutive Tests in back-to-back Ashes cricket series in 2013 and 2014. England will host Australia in 2013 and Australia will hold the return series in 2014 under a reorganized scheduled which avoids clashes with other major events. Initial schedules had England hosting a series in 2012,which would have clashed with the London Olympics,and Australia playing host in 2015 when it will also host the Cricket World Cup.
Visa problems for Canada
Toronto: Canada have pleaded with the ICC to help their three Pakistan-born players obtain visas to enter India for the World Cup. Vice-captain Rizwan Cheema,Khurram Chohan and Hamza Tariq are all still waiting for their India visas. The delay has prompted Cricket Canada to demand that the schedule,which has the team playing four of their six group games in India,be altered so that matches are switched to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Sydney: Australian limited-overs specialist Nathan Bracken announced his retirement from cricket on Saturday. The New South Wales left-armer cited knee injuries for his decision to call it quits at the age of 33. Bracken said he had investigated ways to continue playing,but received medical advice that he should retire.