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Tony Greig dies: Patrick Collins tribute

Brash and tactless he may have been but Greig was also cricket's saviour

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 29 December 2012

The MCC flag on the clock tower at Lord’s is flying at half-mast in memory of Tony Greig.

The former England captain, who died aged 66 following a heart attack at his home in Sydney on Saturday, would have smiled at this tribute from Official England. For no cricketer ever attracted such vituperation from those who ruled the game. Yet no cricketer ever succeeded so completely in transforming the game they once ruled.

Brash and combative, truculent and tactless, Greig will be recalled as much for his role in celebrated controversies as for his status as one of cricket’s finest all-rounders.

66 and out: Former England captain and popular television commentator Tony Greig has died in Sydney at the age of 66

66 and out: Former England captain and popular television commentator Tony Greig has died in Sydney at the age of 66

Job well done: Greig, then captain of England, relaxes with a pint after a Test match at Old Trafford in 1972

Job well done: Greig, then captain of England, relaxes with a pint after a Test match at Old Trafford in 1972

There was his foolhardy promise to make
the 1976 West Indies tourists ‘grovel’. It was a crassly offensive term
in any circumstances; spoken by a white South African at a time when
apartheid still oppressed that benighted country, it was catastrophic.

There was the day in Trinidad when he threw down the stumps of Alvin
Kallicharran as the West Indies batsman walked off the field at the
close of play. Greig appealed, the umpire raised his finger and a major
riot ensued. On the following morning, the appeal was revoked. But the
memory lingered.

Then there was Packer. Most of all, there was Packer. Some 35 years on, it is impossible to convey the depth of the outrage.

All-rounder: Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20

All-rounder: Greig scored 3,599 Test runs at an average of 40.43 and was also more than handy with the ball, claiming 141 wickets at an average of 32.20

Mentor: Greig offers some words of advice for players of the future during a match for Brighton and Hove CC at Basingstoke in 1978

Mentor: Greig offers some words of advice for players of the future during a match for Brighton and Hove CC at Basingstoke in 1978

Leaders: Deposed England cricket captain Tony Greig (right) and his successor, Mike Brearley, during practice prior to the 1st ODI against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester on 22nd June 1977

Leaders: Deposed England cricket captain Tony Greig (right) and his successor, Mike Brearley, during practice prior to the 1st ODI against Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester on 22nd June 1977

In 1977, cricketers were seen as being fortunate to play the game. Their
wages were meagre, their financial prospects precarious. Greig had been
captain of England for two years, a popular figure who seemed capable
of regenerating English cricket. But he had signed a secret agreement
with Kerry Packer, the owner of Nine Network in Australia, to set up a
‘rebel’ troupe of international cricketers.

He then — while still captain — began to recruit English and foreign cricketers for the Packer ‘circus’.

The plot became public and, within a week, Greig had lost the captaincy.
He was retained for an Ashes series as an England player, but his
international career then expired. He threw his energies behind Packer’s
successful attempt to popularise the game, especially the one-day
version with its coloured clothing and tumultuous crowds. The sport was
truly transformed.

Meeting of minds: Greig chats with Pakistan cricketer of the sixties Saeed Ahmed in the United Arab Emirates in 1997

Meeting of minds: Greig chats with Pakistan cricketer of the sixties Saeed Ahmed in the United Arab Emirates in 1997

Controversial times: Greig as captain of the World Series Cricket World XI in the 1979 Supertest Grand Final match with Australia in Sydney

Controversial times: Greig as captain of the World Series Cricket World XI in the 1979 Supertest Grand Final match with Australia in Sydney

It all tended to obscure the fact that he was a blissfully talented
cricketer. Six feet six inches in height, he scored 3,599 Test runs at
40.43 and took 141 wickets at 32.20. Once in the West Indies, with
England needing to win to save the series, he experimented with
off-spin. He took 13 wickets, scored a six and three-quarter-hour
century and England won by 26 runs.

An extraordinary talent.

He later moved to Australia and built a career as a commentator on
Packer’s television channel. The energy never dimmed until these last
few weeks, when he was diagnosed with lung cancer and his health swiftly
failed.

Memorabilia: Greig studies the ball used by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh when he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket at an auction in Bangalore in 2003

Memorabilia: Greig studies the ball used by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh when he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket at an auction in Bangalore in 2003

He has received a number of glowing obituaries, but many years ago his
former England colleague, Pat ‘Percy’ Pocock, wrote: ‘When the whole
Packer business erupted, the popular cry was that Tony Greig had
betrayed the game. I never believed that, and I think history will be
kind to him. Far from betraying it, I fancy he may just have saved it.’

Tony Greig would have appreciated the MCC flag on the clock tower. But I
suspect that Percy’s tribute would be the one he valued most of all.

WORLD OF CRICKET UNITES TO PAY TRIBUTE TO GREIG

England wicketkeeper, Matt Prior: 'Can't believe one of my heroes Tony Greig has passed away. One of the greatest voices in cricket and will be sorely missed. #RIPGreigy.'

England batsman Jonny Bairstow: 'Today we lost a fabulous man, a family friend and someone who was respected by all not only as a cricketer but a true gentleman RIPTonyGreig'

England opener, Nick Compton:
'Sad day – RIP Tony Greig a fantastic player and a good man, loved his
commentary was one of the best! Cricket world will miss u.'

Legendary Aussie fast bowler, Brett Lee: 'OMG Poor Tony Greig. I feel so sad and shocked right now. Can't believe it.'

England all-rounder, Luke Wright: 'Gutted to hear that Tony Greig has passed away. A legend on and off the field. Our thoughts are with his family and friends #RIPGreigy.'

Australia captain Michael Clarke on www.cricket.com.au: 'I was only speaking with Tony a couple of days ago so news of his passing is absolutely devastating.

'Tony has a long and decorated history with international cricket both as a player and commentator and cricket will be much poorer for his loss.

'Personally, he has also been a great mentor for me, providing great advice through the good times and the bad.'

Former Australian paceman Glen McGrath: My thoughts are with Tony Greig's family today. RIP Tony Greig'

Long-serving Nine Network cricket commentator and former Australia captain Richie Benaud recalled Greig's 'fearless' reaction to the English public following his decision to join the Packer team in 1977.
'There was an enormous amount of pressure on him,' Benaud told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'He was captain of England at the time and played against Australia at Lord's. The English people turned against him.

'He wasn't just a fearless cricketer but a fearless thinker as well. He would not just jump in boots first, but it wouldn't matter how much pressure it put on him, he would stick with it.'

Former Australia fast bowler Dennis Lillee told the same publication: 'Tony was a tough opponent who took on all opposition with aggression and a determination to win.

'We will not forget the way he stirred the viewers in a similar vein to the way he did to opposition teams.'

ICC chief executive David Richardson: 'This is extremely sad news for cricket and the ICC send their condolences to Tony's family and in particular his wife Vivian.

'Tony played a significant part in shaping modern cricket as a player in the 1970s and then provided millions of cricket lovers with a unique insight as a thoughtful and knowledgeable commentator – primarily for the Nine Network in Australia.

'I met with him on several occasions during the recent ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka where he was a senior commentator for our broadcast partner ESS.

'He was also a regular visitor to the ICC offices in Dubai when commentating for Ten Sports.

'I am sure that I will not be alone in saying that he and his wise words will be missed by cricketers, administrators and spectators around the world.

'His figures in Test matches show that he was one of the leading all-rounders of his generation with a batting average of above 40 and a bowling average around 32.'

England must beat India and leave them in turmoil: Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain: Don't let India off the hook now – win and leave them in turmoil

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UPDATED:

23:29 GMT, 11 December 2012

There is always the temptation in
cricket to set yourself targets and tick them off. For me it was beating
West Indies, for Michael Vaughan it was winning the Ashes at home and
for Andrew Strauss it was winning the Ashes both home and away.

Now, for Alastair Cook, it is leading
an England team to a series victory in India for the first time in 27
years. The final Test frontier.

It would be, by anyone’s standards, a
fantastic achievement if England win or draw in Nagpur, particularly
after losing all three tosses so far, and for me these back-to-back wins
in Mumbai and Kolkata have surpassed even the last Ashes.

Leading by example: Alastair Cook has been sensational in India as both captain and batsman

Leading by example: Alastair Cook (right) has been sensational in India as both captain and batsman

But I hope England do not get carried
away with what has happened in India. I didn’t like it when they were
talking about becoming one of the best teams ever after they went to No 1
in the world, and I didn’t like it when they were talking of creating
some kind of legacy. It suggested to me they were looking too far down
the line instead of just the next game.

They just need to be the best they can
be, to keep winning as many series as possible. I’m sure that is what
Andy Flower and Alastair Cook will be thinking now because they will
remember that this has been a bad year. They won’t be getting carried
away but they will know that they stand on the verge of something very
special.

England have to be ruthless now. They
cannot soften their focus with the winning post in sight. They were
ruthless when they left Stuart Broad out of the third Test and they must
be prepared to change a winning side again if it feels the right thing
to do.

Will he get the nod Samit Patel faces pressure from Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow

Will he get the nod Samit Patel faces pressure from Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow

For instance, if the pitch does look as if it will be a raging turner they will not need to worry about Samit Patel’s bowling. He simply won’t be doing any with Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar around if it is a surface like Mumbai.

So then they need to decide whether Patel really is the sixth best batsman in England against quality spin on the subcontinent or whether Jonny Bairstow or Eoin Morgan would be a better pick.

And they must be ruthless in the way they play. I will be watching Kevin Pietersen closely. I don’t want Mumbai to be a one-off. I want him to repay the faith England have shown in him with another major contribution.

England cannot be preoccupied with India’s problems and whether or not this is the end of the road for Sachin Tendulkar. If England ease up in any way then, of course, India are capable of winning in Nagpur.

Don’t let them off the hook now, England. Don’t let them escape with a 2-2 draw and be able to say: ‘Well, we didn’t do too badly in the end.’ Make sure you leave India in turmoil when you come home.

For five more days, show them the mental toughness that you require for Test cricket. Then the transformation in this series will be complete.

England v India: Looking back to 1985

England will hope history repeats itself as Cook leads his men in India

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UPDATED:

00:25 GMT, 15 November 2012

Not since 1984-85, the winter of Alastair Cook’s birth, have England won a Test series in India.

In a parallel with the modern day, the tour followed a chastening home defeat to the world’s No 1 team the previous summer, while Indira Gandhi’s assassination took place within three hours of arrival.

Even though preparation was switched to Sri Lanka, and the itinerary revised, doubt was cast on whether the five-match campaign would actually take place at all when a second assassination, that of Percy Norris, the British Deputy High Commissioner, occurred on the eve of the opening contest in Mumbai.

Up for grabs: India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his England counterpart Alastair Cook

Up for grabs: India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his England counterpart Alastair Cook

But out of the chaos – star turn Sir Ian Botham had opted out of the trip, other high-quality players such as Graham Gooch and John Emburey were serving rebel South Africa tour bans and captain David Gower had not won any of his previous nine Tests in charge – developed one of England’s landmark away successes.

Here, Gower, Mike Gatting and Neil Foster, three of the protagonists of that 2-1 victory, relive their memories and offer their thoughts on how the 2012-13 vintage can forge a repeat:

Gower (first series win as captain): It was very satisfying because we had had a traumatic summer against the West Indies. It is never a straightforward process to win in India and defeat in the first Test was a mixture of surprise, some interesting umpiring and us not really being in the right frame of mind. Half the team had wanted to go home three days before it, so getting an XI on the field was an achievement.

We could cite various excuses for our poor start, a prime one being that we had not previously had a look at the leg-spinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan. He took a dozen wickets but people got used to him as the series went on.

Main man: Mike Gatting batting during his century against India

Main man: Mike Gatting batting during his century against India

The Indians then gave us half a chance at Delhi, which we took, thanks to getting Kapil Dev out in the nick of time in the final session, and even though we were missing people that you might otherwise have expected to be there, the ones that came in responded to being given responsibility. Graeme Fowler loved it out there, Gatt responded to the fillip of being made vice-captain, and I really liked having Philippe Edmonds and Percy Pocock around – two very good, experienced spin bowlers. As captain, they gave me control at good times. Everything and everyone came together. It was a happy bunch and that is no bad thing when you are away together for four months.

There is a new regime for this current England team, and new regimes tend to wipe the slates clean. You normally get a good response to a new captain, and when you look at India, yes, they always start favourites at home but they have their own niggles. It is certainly not all sweetness and light in their camp, and they have just picked an off-spinner (Harbhajan Singh) who’s been bloody ordinary for the past two years. So I reckon it’s not a bad time to play them.

Double century: Graeme Fowler

Double century: Graeme Fowler

Gatting (575 runs at an average of 95.83): It was a huge period in my career. David stuck his neck out just to get me on the tour, and then made me his vice-captain. I made my first hundred, trying to save the first Test match. It was a long time coming in my international career but the right things happened for me as opposed to the wrong ones for a change and the challenge of securing a draw put meaning on it for me

We might not have been one of the better England sides from that era but there was a deep-rooted desire to do well, we didn’t have the worst attack in the world and we went out on the field believing we had a decent chance.

There were some incredible efforts from the bowlers: Phil Edmonds completely lost his run-up in Delhi and ended up bowling off one pace, and Neil Foster came into the penultimate match of the series and took 11 wickets at Madras. Then, having gone in front, the whole team battled it out to seal things in Kanpur.

The fact that people are so fanatical about the game out there can work in your favour. They expect their own players to perform like superstars but they also appreciate the opposition doing well, so you know when you hear light applause or it goes deathly silent that you have done a good job. The othet thing that you learn about cricket in India is that batting and bowling well in pairs gives you a better chance of success.

Foster (took 11 for 163 in penultimate Test to send England into 2-1 lead): I have got a picture on the wall at home that is my favourite from my playing days. It is after that win in Madras and there are three faces – myself, Gatt and Foxy Fowler, those two sporting beards – all looking rather pleased with ourselves. We appear to have been sprayed with champagne, only it wasn’t champagne, it was water. We were rather wet but rather happy.

That performance was always likely to be my best one for England statistically but, unfortunately, it didn’t do me any favours because two Tests later, the first of the next summer, I wasn’t selected. I felt it was an opportunity missed on a personal level and also poor from the selectors not to give a 22-year-old, who had just helped win a game, a run in the side.

In hot countries, as a fast bowler, you have to keep plugging away and hope to finish the day somewhere close to where you started it in terms of your pace. It is not just a case of bowling flat out, taking opponents on, you have to bowl in tight areas to expose their limitations, because if you don’t then people like Virender Sehwag will take the game away from you. Stamina and patience are the key factors for me.

Usain Bolt nominated for 2012 IAAF Male Athlete of the Year but Mo Farah is snubbed

What about, Mo Bolt in line for another gong but two-golds Farah is snubbed for IAAF athlete of the year prize

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UPDATED:

11:25 GMT, 5 November 2012

Usain Bolt headlined the shortlist for the 2012 IAAF Male Athlete of the Year announced – but there was no place for double Olympic champion Mo Farah.

Bolt dismissed doubts over his form and fitness at London 2012 by sweeping to gold in both the 100 metres and 200m. He then played a key role as Jamaica smashed the world record in the 4x100m.

Bolt was one of three candidates still standing after the 10-man shortlist named last month was whittled down to three.

Gong: Usain Bolt (R) congratulates his coach Glen Mills after Mills received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of the West Indies at the weekend

Gong: Usain Bolt (R) congratulates his coach Glen Mills after Mills received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of the West Indies at the weekend

Aries Merritt and David Rudisha are also in contention with both men having a fine 12 months.

American Merritt clinched gold in London in the 110m hurdles and then smashed the world record with a blistering run of 12.80 seconds in the second of two Samsung Diamond League finals in Brussels in September.

Rudisha also achieved an Olympic gold and world record double.

What about, Mo Farah has been overlooked from the IAAF shortlist for Male Athlete of the Year despite winning two gold medals in London

What about, Mo Farah has been overlooked from the IAAF shortlist for Male Athlete of the Year despite winning two gold medals in London

The Kenyan blitzed the field in the final of the 800m at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford to cruise to victory in a best-ever time of 1:40.91.

Farah was cut from the expanded list despite an emotional summer of success.

The Somali-born star first landed the 10,000m and then rode a tidal wave of support to clinch the 5000m title the following Saturday.

The winner of the 2012 award will be announced during the IAAF's Centenary Celebrations in Barcelona on November 24.

Up for grabs: Kenyan 800m Olympic champion David Rudisha is also in contention

Up for grabs: Kenyan 800m Olympic champion David Rudisha is also in contention

West Indies win World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka

West Indies battle to glorious win over hosts Sri Lanka to win World Twenty20 title

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UPDATED:

17:08 GMT, 7 October 2012

Marlon Samuels inspired a West Indies fightback from the brink to deny Sri Lanka a home win and triumph themselves instead in the ICC World Twenty20 final.

Samuels' memorable 78 revived the Windies, after it appeared they had fluffed their lines terminally, on the way to an improbable 36-run victory at the Premadasa Stadium.

In a showpiece match which saw the majority of bowlers excel themselves, and almost all the batsmen stumble on centre stage, Samuels bucked the trend emphatically with a 56-ball innings containing six sixes and three fours on a fair pitch. How the West Indies needed him, though, after an embarrassing false start to their innings in which master blaster Chris Gayle could make only three from 16 balls.

On top of the world: West Indies players celebrate after winning the World Twenty20 final

On top of the world: West Indies players celebrate after winning the World Twenty20 final

We've only gone and done it: Dwayne Bravo celebrates as he holds a catch to clinch victory for the West Indies

We've only gone and done it: Dwayne Bravo celebrates as he holds a catch to clinch victory for the West Indies

Even after Samuels had transformed
proceedings, it seemed West Indies had almost certainly fallen short of a
winning score with their 137 for six. But it was to be Sri Lanka who
truly froze as what appeared a near routine chase featured a mid-innings
collapse of six wickets for 21 runs – for a final product of 101 all
out in the 19th over, and just the Windies' second International Cricket
Council global trophy since the 1979 World Cup.

But the match had started ominously
badly for them. Their famed big-hitters were simply nowhere to be seen
for the first half of their innings, as initial caution went to extremes
– and Ajantha Mendis (four for 12) took most advantage.

Delight: Sunil Narine celebrates with teammates after the run out of Jeevan Mendis

Delight: Sunil Narine celebrates with teammates after the run out of Jeevan Mendis

Angelo Mathews and Nuwan Kulasekera
used the new ball well, but it was still bizarre that the West Indies
should take until the fifth over to reach double-figures.

Their achingly slow start was under
way with four dot-balls from Mathews to Johnson Charles, who reacted to
the fifth by mistiming a catch to mid-off. After that wicket-maiden –
number three Samuels let the sixth ball, his first, go – there was not a
run on the board until Kulasekera bowled a wide halfway through the
second over.

All smiles: Denesh Ramdin celebrates with Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle after running out Thisara Perera

All smiles: Denesh Ramdin celebrates with Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle after running out Thisara Perera

Around 40 was probably par in
powerplay. But after Gayle took nine balls to get off the mark, with a
scampered single to mid-off – and was eventually lbw pushing forward to
Ajantha – the Windies could muster only 14 for two in their first six
overs.

They had a solitary boundary at that
point, punched past cover by Samuels off Kulasekera. It was not until
the 12th over, after Kulasekera had dropped Samuels at long-off on 20
off Jeevan Mendis, that birthday boy Dwayne Bravo added a first six to
go with the four – over midwicket off Akila Dananjaya.

Hitting out: Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene batting in Colombo

Hitting out: Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene batting in Colombo

But Samuels clubbed consecutive sixes
off the returning Lasith Malinga, over midwicket and extra-cover, and
then a third in the over, beyond long-on. The 13th over therefore cost
21 runs.

Bravo was to go to lbw, even though
bat might have been involved, pushing forward to Ajantha to end a
third-wicket stand of 59. Yet when Samuels brought up his 50 with his
fourth six, over long-on off Jeevan, West Indies were at last striking
to their potential.

Bowled: Tillakaratne Dilshan loses his wicket in Colombo

Bowled: Tillakaratne Dilshan loses his wicket in Colombo

It seemed too much had been left too
late, though, an impression underlined after Ajantha put himself on a
hat-trick – Kieron Pollard cutting, and well-held at backward point, and
Andre Russell lbw sweeping.

Samuels was eventually sixth out,
caught in the leg-side deep off Dananjaya, but captain Darren Sammy gave
his team a late lift by taking 16 off Kulasekera's final over. That
feelgood continued for the Windies when Ravi Rampaul produced an
excellent first delivery, knocking out Tillekeratne Dilshan's off-stump
to see him off for a duck.

Cheer we go: Sri Lankan bowler Ajantha Mendis celebrates after taking the wicket of West Indies batsman Andre Russell

Cheer we go: Sri Lankan bowler Ajantha Mendis celebrates after taking the wicket of West Indies batsman Andre Russell

The early breakthrough was a
necessary starting point for Sammy's men, but scoreboard pressure
appeared minimal while home captain Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar
Sangakkara were sharing a second-wicket stand of 42.

Not until Sangakkara picked out deep
midwicket with a pull at Samuel Badree did the Sri Lanka wobble kick in.
Mathews somehow managed to be bowled round his legs, off-stump, trying
to sweep Sammy.

Having a go: Kieron Pollard in batting action for the West Indies

Having a go: Kieron Pollard in batting action for the West Indies

The lynchpin himself, Jayawardene,
had already been dropped twice but could not make it count when he
reverse-swept Sunil Narine into Sammy's hands. Then the collapse went
into overdrive as Jeevan and then Thisara Perera were both haplessly
run-out.

There was no way back – despite some
late hitting from Kulasekera – after Lahiru Thirimanne, the last
specialist batsman, also bowed to the pressure by holing out in the
deep. A shell-shocked home crowd of 35,000 capacity had assembled to
cheer Sri Lanka all the way to their first 'World Cup' success since
1996.

Instead, they witnessed the
unlikeliest of denouements as West Indies got their hands on some
silverware to add at last to the Champions Trophy of 2004.

Showpiece: Sri Lanka face West Indies in the final

Showpiece: Sri Lanka face West Indies in the final

Hair we go: Sri Lankan fans cheer on their side at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo

Hair we go: Sri Lankan fans cheer on their side at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo

World Twenty20 2012: West Indies beat Australia to reach final

Gayle storm carries West Indies to World Twenty20 final after victory over Australia

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UPDATED:

16:47 GMT, 5 October 2012

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle led his side to the Twenty20 final after they beat Australia in Colombo.

Gayle was impregnable at the crease, and hit 75 not out as Darren Sammy's side notched up a total of 205 to set up a meeting with hosts Sri Lanka in the final.

Australia came no way near that total when their turn came at the crease and were beaten by 74 runs – despite a late stand from George Bailey, who hit 63 from 29 balls.

Gayle storm: Chris Gayle hit 75 not out against Australia

Gayle storm: Chris Gayle hit 75 not out against Australia

WEST INDIES V AUSTRALIA

Click here for the full scorecard

More to follow.

Gotcha: Samuel Badree celebrates after dismissing Shane Watson (right)

Gotcha: Samuel Badree celebrates after dismissing Shane Watson (right)

Almost: Kieron Pollard dodged a bouncer during his innings for the West Indies

Almost: Kieron Pollard dodged a bouncer during his innings for the West Indies

Oh no: David Warner looks back as his bails are toppled

Oh no: David Warner looks back as his bails are toppled

Off you go: David Warner had to walk past the gloating West Indies players after being bowled

Off you go: David Warner had to walk past the gloating West Indies players after being bowled

Job done: Ravi Rampaul bagged the wicket of David Hussey early on in the innings

Job done: Ravi Rampaul bagged the wicket of David Hussey early on in the innings

Women"s World Twenty20: England beat New Zealand to make final

Taylor has final word as she guides England past New Zealand with dominant display

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UPDATED:

18:35 GMT, 4 October 2012

England's women cruised into the World Twenty20 final with an utterly dominant display against New Zealand in Colombo.

England have lost only one of their past 24 completed Twenty20 internationals and it was no surprise that they reached Sunday’s final with a seven-wicket victory, achieved with almost three overs to spare. They will meet West Indies or Australia in the final, and will be favourites to regain the trophy they won in 2009.

Into the final: Sarah Taylor (right) and Lydia Greenway (left) celebrate England's victory over New Zealand

Into the final: Sarah Taylor (right) and Lydia Greenway (left) celebrate England's victory over New Zealand

The team have been given increased coaching support in the past year and it is evident in their brilliant catching and fielding — areas in which they can claim to be near the equal of the men. They were far too sharp for a New Zealand side who managed only 93 for eight in their 20 overs.

Charlotte Edwards, the England captain, earned the player-of-the-match award for her innings of 33 at the top of the order in reply and for the way she marshalled her efficient and professional team.

Danielle Wyatt

Sarah Taylor and Danielle Wyatt celebrate

Good feeling: Danielle Wyatt celebrates with Taylor

‘It was another good team performance from us and our best with the ball so far,’ said Edwards. ‘It turned a lot here and it was tough but we pride ourselves on playing spin.’ If only the men’s team could say the same.

England beat New Zealand in the inaugural women’s final at Lord’s three years ago but surprisingly went out in the group stages of their defence in 2010 – against the West Indies – and are keen to make amends this time.

In Sarah Taylor they have the best player in the world of women’s cricket and she scored the winning run to finish unbeaten on 21.

World Twenty20 2012: India crash out despite beating South Africa

India crash out of world T20 despite beating South Africa as Pakistan seal semi spot

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UPDATED:

17:46 GMT, 2 October 2012

India failed to reach the World Twenty20 semi-finals despite beating South Africa by one run in a gripping final Super Eight Group Two match on Tuesday.

India's total of 152 for six was not enough because in the 17th over eliminated South Africa passed the target of 121 runs that ensured Australia and Pakistan would move into the last four.

Hosts Sri Lanka will meet Pakistan in the first semi-final in Colombo on Thursday and Australia take on the West Indies on Friday in the same stadium. The final is on Sunday.

Dejected: India are out of the world Twenty20 despite beating South Africa in Colombo

Dejected: India are out of the world Twenty20 despite beating South Africa in Colombo

Scrambling: India batsman Suresh Raina dives for the crease during his innings of 45

Scrambling: India batsman Suresh Raina dives for the crease during his innings of 45

India scratched their way past 150, boosted by a late burst from Suresh Raina (45) and captain MS Dhoni (23 not out).

South Africa lost in-form opener Hashim Amla second ball but thanks to Faf du Plessis's rapid 65 they threatened a first Super Eight victory before falling just short, Zaheer Khan claiming figures of three for 22 for India.

Lakshmispathy Balaji was twice hit for six in the final over but he bowled Albie Morkel and his brother Morne to seal victory with one ball to spare.

Top scorer: South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis hits out on his way to making 65

Top scorer: South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis hits out on his way to making 65

Roar: India seamer Zaheer Khan (left) celebrates after dismissing Hashim Amla (right)

Roar: India seamer Zaheer Khan (left) celebrates after dismissing Hashim Amla (right)

World Twenty20: New Zealand crash out

West Indies win Super Over to send New Zealand tumbling out of World Twenty20

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UPDATED:

14:36 GMT, 1 October 2012

New Zealand crashed out of World Twenty20 after a Super Over defeat by West Indies in a Super Eight match in Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Monday.

With the scores level, New Zealand scored 17 runs off the Super Over sent down by Marlon Samuels.

West Indies scored 19 off the first five deliveries bowled by Tim Southee to win the contest and keep alive their chances of a semi-final place.

Leading the way: Chris Gayle top scored for the West Indies as they beat New Zealand

Leading the way: Chris Gayle top-scored for the West Indies as they beat New Zealand

West Indies were bowled out for 139 in 19.3 overs with Chris Gayle top-scoring with a fluent 30 off 14 balls.

New Zealand seam bowlers Doug Bracewell (3-31) and Southee (3-21) shared six wickets between them.

Chasing the target, New Zealand struggled against the spin of Sunil Narine (3-20) but skipper Ross Taylor's unbeaten 62 helped them to finish on 139 for seven and force the Super Over.

Nowhere to hide: Tim Southee looked gutted as the West Indies players celebrated

Nowhere to hide: Tim Southee looked gutted as the West Indies players celebrated

World Twenty 20: Sri Lanka beat West Indies in Super Eights

Semis loom for Sri Lanka as Jayawardene oversees nine-wicket win over West Indies

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UPDATED:

17:19 GMT, 29 September 2012

Hosts Sri Lanka put one foot in the ICC World Twenty20 semi-finals with a nine-wicket trouncing of the West Indies at Pallekele.

A capacity and partisan crowd celebrated every run as captain Mahela Jayawardene (65no) oversaw a composed run chase after the Windies had made 129 for five.

Jayawardene always had things under control, in a 45-ball half-century containing eight fours, to ensure Sri Lanka completed their straightforward task with almost five overs to spare.

In control: Sri Lanka romped to an easy win thanks to some cool batting from Kumar Sangakkara (left) and Mahela Jayawardene

In control: Sri Lanka romped to an easy win thanks to some cool batting from Kumar Sangakkara (left) and Mahela Jayawardene

Sri Lanka v West Indies

Click here for a full scorecard

He shared an unbroken century stand
with Kumar Sangakkara and Sri Lanka therefore lead Super Eight Group E
as the only team with two wins to their name.

Marlon Samuels (50) and Dwayne Bravo
were largely responsible for the Windies mustering as many as they did
after Darren Sammy unsurprisingly chose to bat first on an awkward, used
surface.

Skilful seamer Nuwan Kulasekera
conceded only seven runs in his first three overs, but 21 to Samuels and
Andre Russell when he came back for his last.

Up in the air: Denesh Ramdin and Jayawardene look to the skies

Up in the air: Denesh Ramdin and Jayawardene look to the skies

Kulasekera was still in credit,
having picked up the key wicket of Chris Gayle when the West Indies'
dangerman edged behind as he chased an attempted cut at a wide ball.

Number three Samuels bided his time,
in a stand of 65 with Bravo, as Ajantha Mendis continued to make life
difficult and returned figures of two for 12 in favourable conditions
for his brand of slow bowling.

Samuels upped the ante in the later overs – apart from the penultimate, in which Lasith Malinga proved tough to get away – to complete a 34-ball half-century containing four fours and two sixes.

Strike bowler: Ajantha Mendis recorded figures of 12 for two

Strike bowler: Ajantha Mendis recorded figures of 12 for two

One of those maximums was a straight
one off Kulasekera which carried more than 100 metres to become the
biggest hit of the tournament so far.

But Samuels and his team must hope
they have more than that to celebrate when they return here on Monday,
to face New Zealand, in search of their second Super Eight victory – and
a shot after all at a place in the knockout stages in Colombo.