Rajan's Wrong 'Un: Can Pakistan tame ruthless Windies?

World Cup Diary
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Of all the quarter-finals, today's between West Indies and Pakistan is hardest to call. The Windies have shown ruthlessness recently, but Pakistan must be marginal favourites on paper. Then again, the best that can be said for the Pakistanis is that they are consistently inconsistent. Saeed Ajmal may be recalled as his alleged stock ball, the off-break, will threaten the Windies' predominantly left-handed top order. But Ajmal's case rather collapses because overuse of the doosra has mostly deprived him of the off-break. Meanwhile, the romantics among us hope Shoaib Akhtar is given a swansong, if indeed this turns out to be Pakistan's last game.

Clarke closes in on Aussie captaincy

The Sydney Morning Herald has been told by senior sources at Cricket Australia that Ricky Ponting will face "stiff opposition at boardroom level" to his leading Australia in Bangladesh next month. Selectors have noted that vice-captain Michael Clarke's stock has risen sharply in recent weeks, much as Ponting's has fallen.

World Cup schedule

Quarter-finals (GMT):

Today Pakistan v West Indies, Dhaka 8.30am

Tomorrow Australia v India, Ahmedabad 9am

Fri New Zealand v South Africa, Dhaka 8.30am

Sat Sri Lanka v England, Colombo 9am

Semi-finals (BST):

New Zealand or South Africa v Sri Lanka or England, 29 Mar Colombo 10am

Pakistan or West Indies v Australia or India, 30 Mar Mohali 10am

Final 2 Apr Mumbai 10am