Munaf told to return from movie
With back-to-back matches coming up for India, Munaf Patel decided to take a breather on Thursday and go for a movie -- Vishal Bhardwaj's Saat Khoon Maaf -- with his wife.
However, he could watch only two of the seven promised murders, as he was called back from the theatre and asked to join the team in watching the video of Ireland's upset victory over England.
"I was called back to the hotel to watch Ireland. I saw only two murders in the theatre, but ended up watching many more during the Ireland-England game," Munaf said.
Minnows Ireland overhauled England's total of 327-8 with five balls to spare. The highest successful chase in World Cup history was powered by a destructive 63-ball 113 by Kevin O'Brien.
India meet Ireland in the Group B match in Bangalore on Sunday.
Image: Munaf Patel
Cricket paraphernalia of Dhoni, Gambhir auctioned
Ahead of their Group B match against giant-killers Ireland on Sunday, the Indian cricket team did their bit of charity. Cricket paraphernalia of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir was auctioned in Bangalore to raise funds for the disabled.
The auction was organised by a charitable institution, Mathru Foundation, and attended by Dhoni, Gambhir, Munaf Patel, Piyush Chawla and pacer Praveen Kumar, who was ruled out of the World Cup at the last minute due to an injury.
Former India fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad and Ashwini Nachappa are involved with the foundation.
Image: Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni
Afridi wants more use of UDRS
Pakistan's captain Shahid Afridi wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to consider increasing the number of Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) appeals allowed to a particular team.
Unlike his Indian counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is not happy with the UDRS, Afridi said the system works well for most teams in the World Cup.
"The use of the UDRS is a positive development and it would not be a bad idea if its use is increased in the remaining matches of the World Cup and even after that," said Afridi in his show Captain's corner on Geo channel.
Afridi pointed out that the system has ensured minimum errors on the field and most teams are satisfied with it.
Pakistan benefited immensely from the use of the UDRS system during their tight game against Canada on Thursday as many of the decisions taken by on field umpires Darrel Harper and Nigel Long -- were turned down on review.
The all-rounder, who has taken 14 wickets in three matches in the tournament, said he is happy to be playing a leading role as a bowler but would like to see the other bowlers fire as well.
"They have bowled well but have been unlucky. I just think I am more lucky to have got the wickets. It feels good to be taking wickets for your team.
"I am pretty confident that as the others would also start taking wickets as the tournament progressed," he said.
Afridi admitted that Pakistan still needed to bring more consistency in its performances.
"I don't think the Canadian bowlers bowled any outstanding stuff we gave away our wickets and if we want to reach the final of this tournament we need to bring consistency in all three departments of our game," he said.
Pakistan's fielding was shoddy against Sri Lanka and against Canada they came up with dismal show with the bat.
Afridi said fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar had a slight groin problem and had decided to rest for the Canada game.
"We need to improve further to do well in the remaining matches, which are expected to be much tougher. I think the quarter-final will be the toughest test for the qualifying teams in this competition."
Pakistan coach Waqar Younis said he is happy that Afridi is taking wickets but also wants others to chip in.
"I don't think we can keep on relying on one bowler to take wickets all the time. I hope in the next games the other bowlers will also step up," said Waqar.
Image: Shahid Afridi
UDRS will help weaker teams
He found himself on the rough end of the UDRS but Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura still feels it is good system and would prove advantageous for the weaker teams in the World Cup.
Chigumbura was given out leg before after he stepped down the track and got rapped on the pad by Daniel Vettori. He asked for a review of the decision and though the distance between the point of impact and the stumps was well over 2.5 metres, umpire Marias Erasmus stuck to his original verdict.
"It was one of those decisions that went against me," Chigumbura said after New Zealand beat Zimbabwe by 10 wickets at the Sardar Patel Stadium.
"I was very down the wicket when given leg before. Sometimes the decision goes against you. But it is a good system for some of the teams that are weaker as it could go your way and you can take advantage," he explained.
Image: Elton Chigumbura
Smith braces for Lankan attack on his tweakers
Leg spinner Steve Smith believes that the form of Australia's pace attack of Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson could prompt Sri Lanka to have a guarded approach to the pacers and then move on to pick up scoring rate against support bowlers.
Smith said he is prepared for an attack on his leg-spinners in Australia's World Cup clash against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
'We've got the firepower up top with the quicks all bowling at about 150 clicks,' the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Smith as saying.
'When I come on, a team like Sri Lanka is going to come quite hard at me. Because of the quicks we've got in the side, I think they'll take it a bit easier against them and go hard at me, so I think I've got a chance to take a few wickets as well,' he said.
Commenting on Sri Lankan pace spearhead Lasith Malinga's six wickets against Kenya at the R. Premadasa Stadium, Smith said: 'He's bowling pretty well. It was his first game back and he did pretty well, he took a hat-trick and six wickets.
'The [pitch in that] game was a bit different against Pakistan; it seemed to turn quite a bit. I think the wicket's going to be a bit more like that against us. Obviously, there's been a lot of talk of us playing spin, so I'm sure they're going to have quite a few spinners in their side and will prepare a wicket that's going to turn,' he said.
Smith, 21, is on his third tour of the subcontinent, after stints with NSW during the 2009 Champions League and the Australian Test and ODI teams on the tour to India in September-October last year.
Image: Steven Smith
Banned Aamir wants to complete education
Pakistan's banned fast bowler Muhammad Aamir has decided to complete his education and stay away from cricket as he is not eligible to play the game for the next five years because of his involvement in spot-fixing.
Aamir, who will turn 19 next month, said he had always wanted to finish his education.
"Because of cricket and especially after I was selected to represent the Pakistan junior and senior teams I never got the chance to concentrate on my studies properly.
"But now I feel it is the best time to complete my education," he said.
The anti-corruption tribunal of the International Cricket Council (ICC) last month had banned Aamir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif for different periods on charges of spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at Lord's last year.
The trio have appealed against their bans with the international court for arbitration for sports in Geneva.
They would have to appear before a magistrate in Westminister London on March 17 to face charges for accepting bribes and trying to defraud.
Aamir said he would be going to London to attend the magistrates hearing in the Scotland Yard case.
Image: Mohammad Aamir
Sammy praises Gayle for motivational speech
West Indies skipper Darren Sammy heaped praise on former captain and teammate Chris Gayle for his pre-match motivational speech that charged up the Caribbean side to demolish Bangladesh by nine-wicket in Mirpur on Friday.
Gayle had given a motivational speech just before the match and his teammates responded by bowling out Bangladesh for their lowest ODI total of 58 in just 18.5 overs and then chased down the target easily in the 13th over.
"It was a brilliant performance by my teammates. Chris Gayle wasn't feeling well today but I thought he came out and showed how committed he is to the cause," said Sammy, who scalped three wickets to help the team's cause.
"He said 'do not take Bangladesh lightly'. We were a little flat in the warm-up and he didn't like that so he encouraged us to go out there and remember Bangladesh would be coming hard at us," he said.
Sent into field, West Indies bowlers exploited the conditions well and reduced Bangladesh to 25 for three in 5.1 overs and Sammy said it was a kind of start that they had fancied about going into the crucial match.
"We went out there. We knew how crucial this game was for us. We've always fancied ourselves but it's up to us to go out there and play competitive and consistent cricket," he said.
Image: Chris Gayle