B’desh knock Windies out

Johannesburg, September 13:

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful smashed the fastest half-century in Twenty20 cricket to throw the West Indies out of the World Championships.

Ashraful pounded seven fours and three sixes in 61 off 27 balls as Bangladesh overtook the West Indian total of 164-8 with 12 balls to spare. Aftab Ahmed chipped in with an unbeaten 62, sharing a rollicking stand of 109 for the third wicket with Ashraful.

Ashraful reached his half-century off 20 balls by hooking Fidel Edwards for a six, surpassing Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya’s 23-ball 50 against New Zealand at Wellington in 2006. The West Indies were knocked out of the 12-nation tournament with their second successive defeat. The West Indians struggled to 104-3 in 15 overs before the lower order added 60 valuable runs in the last five overs.

England Vs Zimbabwe

CAPE TOWN: Kevin Pietersen lashed 79 off 37 balls as England beat giant-killers Zimbabwe by 50 runs at Newlands. Pietersen and captain Paul Collingwood were mainly responsible for England’s total of 188-9. Pietersen and Collingwood (37) put on 100 for the fourth wicket.

Pietersen batted with power and invention in an innings which included four sixes and seven fours. Zimbabwe briefly threatened when Vusi Sibanda (29) and Brendan Taylor (47) put on 74 for the first wicket. But Zimbabwe’s innings lost momentum against the medium pace of Dimitri Mascarenhas (3-18) and the leg spin of Chris Schofield (2-15).

Today’s matches

• Sri Lanka vs Kenya @ 1:45pm

• Australia vs England @ 5:45pm

• India vs Pakistan @ 9:45pm

Australia upset

Cape Town: Minnows Zimbabwe upset tournament favourites Australia in the first shock of the World Twenty20 Championships.

Opener Brendan Taylor guided Zimbabwe to a five-wicket win after Australia limped to 138-9. Tight bowling by Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson pulled Australia back and Zimbabwe lost crucial wickets before rain stopped play with Zimbabwe on 74-4 after 11.5 overs. Taylor (60 not out) slammed two big sixes off spinner Brad Hodge as Zimbabwe went into the last five overs needing 37 to win. Lee and Nathan Bracken bowled tightly and Zimbabwe needed 12 off the last over. A leg glance for four by Taylor off the first ball and four leg byes off the fifth got Zimbabwe home. — AFP