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Dharmasena, Kettleborough to officiate India-Australia semifinal
Adelaide: Sri Lanka’s Kumar Dharmasena and England’s Richard Kettleborough were on Saturday named the on-field umpires for the India vs Australia cricket World Cup semi-final to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday. Marais Erasmus and Richard Illingworth have been chosen as the third and fourth umpires while Ranjan Madugalle will serve as the match referee, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Saturday. For the first semi-final between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park, Auckland, on Tuesday, England’s Ian Gould and Australian Rod Tucker will officiate on the field. While Nigel Llong and Bruce Oxenford will serve as the third and fourth umpires, David Boon has been appointed the match referee. (IANS)

Misbah tips India to prevail against Australia in the semis
Adelaide: Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul Haq has placed his money on India to prevail over Australia in the cricket World Cup semifinal as he believes the home team will struggle for spin options at the SCG that is traditionally helpful to the slower bowlers. Four-time winners Australia, who defeated Pakistan in a last-eight clash here yesterday, will lock horns with defending champions India at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the second semifinal on March 26. “Playing in Sydney they will miss a good spinner. That could be the difference, because spinners have had a lot of success in Sydney and Imran Tahir did well the other day. So that could be a problem for Australia,” said the 40-year-old Misbah. He also said the tournament co-hosts will feel the absence of a quality spinner in their last four clash. “They might just be in trouble there, although it will be a tough game because both sides are playing good cricket,” said Misbah. (PTI)

India know the conditions quite well: Michael Clarke
Adelaide: Captain Michael Clarke says India’s thorough knowledge of Australian conditions mean the tournament co-hosts will have to be at their best when the two teams face off in the cricket World Cup semifinals in Sydney on March 26. Clarke, whose team defeated Pakistan by six wickets at the Adelaide yesterday to make the semis, conceded that playing India in a semi-final would be a challenge. “They are obviously playing a lot better than they were throughout the start of the (Australian) summer. I said leading into the World Cup that I thought India were going to be an extremely tough team to beat. “They are a very good team and because they have spent so much time in Australia, they know the conditions quite well. The game on Thursday is going to certainly be a challenge. “We definitely have to be at our best to beat them. We look forward to that challenge,” Clarke said. India have been on a roll winning seven straight matches, in a dramatic turnaround following their winless Test and ODI tour Down Under prior to the mega-event. “Thursday becomes our World Cup final. We look forward to it.” (PTI)

Watson has answered his critics fittingly: Brett Lee
Sydney: Former Australian pacer Brett Lee believes all-rounder Shane Watson has finally answered his critics after playing a match-winning knock in Friday’s six-wicket World Cup quarter final win over Pakistan. Watson remained not out on 64 as he ensured his team got over the line after being put under pressure while chasing 214. Lee also credited Watson for the innings as he successfully countered a hostile spell from Wahab Riaz. “I think he’s made plenty of people eat their words,” Lee was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald Saturday. “His batting (on Friday) night was one of the best innings I’ve seen under pressure. You need to realise Riaz was bowling serious pace and it was one of the best spells of fast bowling – especially from Pakistan – I’ve seen in a long time,” said Lee. (IANS)

Watson, Riaz fined for altercation
Adelaide: AWatson and Wahab Riaz have both been fined for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during their sides’ cricket World Cup quarter-final here on Friday. Watson and Wahab were fined 15 and 50 percent of their match fees respectively by match referee Ranjan Madugalle on Saturday morning, the International Cricket Council announced. The incident happened in the 33rd over of Australia’s innings when Watson ignored the umpires’ instructions and verbally engaged with Wahab, who, at the end of the over, followed through towards the batsman and used aggressive and abusive language. Both the players admitted the offences and accepted the sanctions proposed by Madugalle and, as such, there was no need for a formal hearing. (IANS)

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