Rajan's Wrong-Un: 'Tasmanian Devil' proves less than a bat out of hell between the wickets

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The Independent Online

Pity poor Ricky Ponting. Australia's captain was run out yesterday by a wonderful direct hit from deep midwicket by Zimbabwe's Chris Mpofu. Alas for the Tasmanian Devil, he has a history of being run out by brilliant throws. At The Oval in the 2009 Ashes, Andrew Flintoff swooped at mid-on and smashed the stumps with a direct hit as Ponting scampered from the non-striker's end. And, of course, super-sub Gary Pratt, who couldn't make Durham's side but was England's star fielder in the 2005 Ashes, dismissed Ponting at Trent Bridge with a dazzling bit of work. Ponting met that dismissal with disgust. He was calmer yesterday. Pratt, incidentally, has sold his share in a self-storage company in Bishop Auckland, and is now a property developer.

Mendis finds range in early exchanges

This column will take a close interest in the spin department over the coming weeks. It was marvellous to see early success for two spinners whose careers threatened to disappoint after great beginnings. Jason Krezja bowled well for Australia yesterday, but was nearly lost to the game when he was called for chucking, after flirting with the Doosra in 2009. That delivery caused major problems for India's Harbhajan Singh and led to Saqlain Mushtaq, who did most to popularise it, losing his off-break altogether, and so retiring. Meanwhile Ajantha Mendis, the former Army officer who possesses a Carrom Ball, which skids away from the right-hander after being flicked out by the middle finger, looked good against Canada.

Internet crash or just instant karma for ICC?

The ICC's website, selling a mere 1,000 tickets for the final, crashed yesterday, seconds after going live. A mere 4,000 tickets are available to the public, the rest distributed to the ICC and Mumbai Cricket Association. Official ticketing partner Kyazoonga.com was inundated with complaints. Is it wrong to suggest this is bad karma at work, punishing the organisers for making the final such a corporate jamboree? Probably.

Game of the century still on for Tendulkar

A billion Indians breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday when an MRI scan on Sachin Tendulkar's left knee suggested he would be fit for India's next game. So the Little Master might yet score his 100th international century in his home town of Mumbai, where the final is played on 2 April.

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