Saturday, March 17, 2007

World Of Cricket 'News'

Gibbs troubles Dutch as Kiwis see off England

by Kalm

BRIDGETOWN (AFP) - Herschelle Gibbs smashed his way into the record books as the World Cup witnessed another heayweight nation deliver a brutal knockout blow to a hapless contender on Friday. Gibbs became the first man to hit six sixes in an over in a one-day international as the Netherlands were bludgeoned into a humiliating 221-run defeat at the hands of world number one South Africa in St Kitts.

South Africa piled up 353-3 off just 40 overs in a rain-restricted Group A tie with Jacques Kallis making an unbeaten 128 and Mark Boucher finishing not out on 75.

Boucher joined Gibbs, who was eventually out for 72, in the record books by making the fastest World Cup half-century reaching the mark in just 21 balls, two quicker than the previous best of Brian Lara.

Skipper Graeme Smith contributed 67 before the Dutch crawled to 132-9 in their 40 overs.

"It's up there with the best things I've done," said Gibbs.

"I never thought about getting six in a row, but if it's your day, it's your day."

It was the third embarrassing result of the first week of the World Cup following Sri Lanka's 245-run win over Bermuda and defending champions Australia's 203-run triumph against Scotland.

Meanwhile, New Zealand beat England by six wickets in a crucial Group C clash at St Lucia in a game featuring the two probable qualifiers from that section for the second round Super Eights.

The Black Caps' win also means they will carry two extra points into the next round should England, as expected, edge Kenya and Canada to second spot.

Chasing 210 for victory, New Zealand finished on 210 for four with nine overs to spare after having recovered from 19 for three in five overs.

They were still in trouble at 72 for four before an unbeaten stand of 138 between all-rounders Scott Styris (87 not out) and Jacob Oram (63 not out) saw them home.

Earlier, Kevin Pietersen top-scored for England with 60 but England were undone by a middle order collapse which saw them slump from 133-3 to 138-7.

"It's not the ideal start but we will have to pick ourselves up in time to face Canada on Sunday," said England skipper Michael Vaughan.

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming praised his team.

"It was a crucial game and both teams were battling for the points," said Fleming.

"Important players put their hands up at the right time - Shane Bond and then Styris and Oram. It's a big win and we're on the board."

Bangladesh, who face India in their first game on Saturday, were in mourning after Test player Manjarul Islam Rana and fellow cricketer Sajedul Islam Shetu were killed in a road accident.

Manjarul and Sajedul died when the motorcycle on which they were travelling collided with a bus in the southwestern Bangladesh city of Khulna.

"I am deeply shocked. He was our team-mate and we played together for a long time," said Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar of Manjarul who played six Tests and 25 one-day internationals but missed out on the World Cup squad.

Left-arm spinner Manjarul, who was just 22, made his ODI debut in November 2003 at the age of 19 and took the wicket of England skipper Vaughan with his third ball.

Saturday's other World Cup match sees Pakistan take on Ireland with the Irish buoyed by their last-ball tie with Zimbabwe in their opening game and determined to celebrate St Patrick's Day in style.

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