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Monday, 4 February 2013

Michael Clarke wins Allan Border Medal, Test batsman award

Australian captain Michael Clarke's stunning batting in 2012 proved impossible to ignore and he duly won the Allan Border Medal and Australia's Test Player of the Year award in Melbourne on Sunday. It was the second year in a row that Clarke claimed the top two awards in Australian cricket.

After scoring 1080 runs at 77.14 during the voting period from February 25, 2012 to January 28 this year the awards were impossible not to win for Clarke. He took the Allan Border Medal with 198 votes to Shane Watson and Michael Hussey's joint 165 to become the second man after Ricky Ponting to win the prize four times. Clarke previous took home the award in 2005, 2009 and 2012.

AB de Villiers equals Test wicketkeeping record

When he held a thin edge off tailender Umar Gul during the first session of the fourth day's play, South Africa's AB de Villiers equaled former England wicketkeeper Jack Russell's record for most dismissals in a Test match, set against South Africa at this very venue in 1995. De Villiers held six catches behind the stumps in Pakistan's record low of 49 all out on day two of the first Test at The Wanderers and added five in the second as the visitors slumped to a 211-run defeat on Monday.
Following Russell's 11 dismissals in November 1995, de Villiers went past Bob Taylor and Adam Gilchrist's mark of 10 dismissals in a Test match when he held an edge from Saeed Ajmal off Morne Morkel during the first session on day four. He drew level with Russell soon after, off the last ball of the 98th over when he collected the ball after Umar Gul swished at it, but the umpire did not rule it out.

Coach Dav Whatmore lauds Pakistan's fighting spirit

A flatter Wanderers wicket and better application from their batsman allowed Pakistan to stay alive in the first Test against South Africa on Sunday, Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore said.
The Australian believes his side showed admirable fight to still be in the game after the disappointment of being rolled over for 49 in their first innings on Saturday, their lowest Test score.
Pakistan still need 297 runs to win the Test with six second innings wickets remaining, but a century stand from captain Misbah-ul-Haq (44 not out) and Asad Shafiq (53 not out) on day three has given them hope.

George Bailey says can do finishing job for Oz in middle overs like Hussey, Bevan

George Bailey has claimed he is not as good as former Australian players Michael Hussey or Michael Bevan, but he believes he can cement his position in the middle order of the one-day team with the help of his temperament.

Hussey's shock retirement last month left a gaping hole in Australia's middle-order and critics have widely debated who should fill the West Australian's giant shoes in all three forms, News.com.au reports.

Bailey jumped to the front of the queue in the shorter formats on Sunday after scoring his maiden ODI century in Australia's 54-run win over the West Indies at the WACA Ground.

Shane Watson returns to Australia one-day side

All-rounder Shane Watson returned to the Australia squad for the ongoing one-day international series against West Indies at the expense of Usman Khawaja on Monday.

Watson missed Australia's victories in the first two encounters in the five-match series because of a calf problem and has been recalled as an opener for the third and fourth matches in Canberra on Wednesday and Sydney on Friday.

"Shane Watson comes back into the squad ... as an opening batsman. Shane has recovered from his injury and we look forward to seeing him get back to his best," chief selector John Inverarity said in a news release.

Pakistan vs South Africa: Dale Steyn bowls SA to victory

Dale Steyn struck with the second new ball to secure a 211-run win for South Africa before lunch on the fourth day of the first Test against Pakistan at the Wanderers Stadium on Monday.

Steyn dismissed overnight batsmen Asad Shafiq and Misbah-ul-Haq inside his first three overs with the new ball to sweep away the last serious resistance by the tourists.

He also took the last two wickets to finish with five for 52 and match figures of 11 for 60.

IPL team fined for foreign exchange breaches

Owners of Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals were on Monday slapped with a fine of one billion rupees ($18.8 million) for alleged foreign exchange violations, officials said.

The enforcement directorate of the ministry of finance said it had given the owners, who include Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty and her businessman husband Raj Kundra, 45 days to pay the fine.

"The foreign investment in the franchise was made in flagrant contravention of Foreign Exchange Maintenance Act," the directorate said in a statement.

Australia defend rotation after Shane Warne attack

Australian cricket chiefs on Monday backed chief selector John Inverarity after stinging criticism from Test great Shane Warne and other ex-players over the controversial rotation policy.

Warne used his website to speak out against resting players -- particularly fast bowlers -- to guard them from breaking down as a result of the relentless demands of international cricket.