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Cricket
Aussies lose again in buildup
South Africa win by seven wickets while Pakistan beat Bangladesh and Sri Lanka down Windies in World Cup warmups.
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 19:29 GMT
Hashim Amla hit 60 before retiring as the only wicket claimed by the Australians was a run-out [AFP]

Half centuries by the South African openers set up a surprisingly easy seven-wicket victory over holders Australia in a Cricket World Cup warmup match in Bangalore.

Chasing a modest 218 for victory, South Africa's captain Graeme Smith (65 retired) and Hashim Amla (60 retired) survived a barrage of leg-before and caught-behind appeals by Brett Lee and Shaun Tait early on before settling down to put on 131 runs.

Smith then retired undefeated followed by Amla to give their teammates some batting practice and JP Duminy (47 not out) duly anchored the innings to take his team home inside 45 overs.

No Australian bowlers took wickets, with Mitchell Johnson running out the other batsman, Francois du Plessis.

Although the match was only a friendly, the result which comes hot on the heels of Australia's 38-run defeat to World Cup hosts India on Sunday will concern Ponting ahead of the tournament opening on Saturday.

Ponting's 53 and vice-captain Michael Clarke's 73 were the highlights of the Australian innings as openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin fell for ducks.

Morale boost

Ahmed Shehzad and Misbah-ul-Haq helped to put Pakistan's recent troubles behind them as the duo hit centuries to steer their team to a morale-boosting 89-run victory over tournament co-hosts Bangladesh.

Pakistan's win in Dhaka will have helped to put the players in the right frame of mind for the Feb 19-April 2 tournament after their recent on-field exploits were overshadowed by the ban handed to three former teammates for spot-fixing.

Pakistan scored 285 for nine in their 50 overs before skittling out Bangladesh 196 in the 42nd over, with the hosts losing their last three wickets for the addition of just two runs.

Bangladesh were put on the back foot from the start as they lost opener Tamim Iqbal when Abdul Razzaq knocked over his bails with the very first delivery.

Shehzad made the most of benefitting from two dropped catches to hit 103 from 122 balls with a six and nine boundaries while Misbah smashed a 100-ball century with four sixes and eight fours.

Suhrawadi Shuvo and Abdur Razzak dropped Shehzad while he was on 42 and 56 respectively, which allowed the match to swing Pakistan's way.

"I am not disappointed with the (dropped) catch by Razzak as he has never been our best fielder but the other catches which went down were disappointing," said Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera stroked impressive half centuries to propel Sri Lanka to a four-wicket victory over West Indies in their warm-up in Colombo.

Dilshan belted 62 off 50 balls, including five fours and three sixes, while Samaraweera also punished the West Indian bowlers by flaying the ball to all corners of the ground as he notched up 55 off 56 balls.

Captain Sangakkara top scored with 71 off 89 balls as Sri Lanka chased down the target to win with 15 balls to spare.

The tourists were all out for 281.

Cricket World Cup 2011 begins with Bangladesh against India in Dhaka on February 19.

Source:
Reuters
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