Sun, Nov 04, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Aussies reveal new trophy ahead of series

AP , BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Yousuf, center, is escorted by police during a practice match against a Delhi XI at the Ferozshah Kotla ground in New Delhi on Friday.

PHOTO: AFP

Australia and Sri Lanka will play for the new Warne-Muralitharan Trophy, named after the two teams' -- and cricket's -- greatest wicket takers.

Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne retired in January with a record 708 Test wickets. Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan goes into the first Test at the Gabba in Brisbane with 700, needing nine wickets to pass his rival's world mark.

"The announcement celebrates the 25th anniversary of Australia-Sri Lanka Test cricket, with the silver trophy featuring casts of Warne and [Muralitharan's] right hands and match-used cricket balls bowled by both players during their careers," Cricket Australia said in a statement yesterday.

Sri Lanka Cricket chief executive Duleep Mendis said his team was "proud of the rivalry between our nation and Australia and think this trophy will help add to the sense of occasion every time we do battle."

Warne said Sri Lanka has always meant "something special to me."

"It was where I first achieved success as a Test bowler and it also moved me when I saw the courage with which the people of Sri Lanka responded to the tragic tsunami during my visit there immediately afterwards," Warne said.

Muralitharan said he considers it a "great honor to have a trophy named after both of us."

The first Test starts in Brisbane on Thursday and the second is in Hobart from Nov. 16-20, where Warne and Muralitharan will unveil the trophy.

Salman Butt struck an aggressive 83 as Pakistan warmed up for the limited-overs series against India with a seven-wicket victory on Friday against a Delhi XI.

Batting at No. 3, Butt slammed 13 fours and a six off 84 deliveries before retiring when Pakistan was on course for victory.

Chasing Delhi's 50-over total of 213 for nine, Pakistan coasted to 215 for three in 42.5 overs with Misbah-ul-Haq (39) and Yaseer Hammed (33 not out) lending support to Butt.

Winning the toss, Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik asked the Delhi XI to bat first.

Vice-captain Younis Khan (2-24) was the most successful bowler of the match, being the only one to claim two wickets in the game. Pace spearheads Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul took a wicket apiece.

Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik was pleased at the way his players used the only warmup game ahead of the series against India.

"We had a good practice game today, our bowlers had a decent workout," Malik said.

"It's great to have Akhtar back in the team," Malik said.

AFP, POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa

New Zealand's top order batting failed again as the tourists struggled on the second day of a four-day match against South Africa A at Sedgars Park on Friday.

Replying to the home side's imposing 443, the Black Caps crashed to 192 all out. Despite having a lead of 251, South Africa A did not enforce the follow on. They were 20 for two at the close.

For the second successive match captain Daniel Vettori, batting at number eight, was his side's top scorer. He made 83 off 74 balls.

Fast bowler Friedel de Wet and swing bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe did most of the damage for South Africa A. De Wet took six for 50 and Tsotsobe three for 67.

The Black Caps face South Africa in the first of two Tests in Johannesburg on Thursday.

In three completed innings on tour, only one top order batsman -- Craig Cumming -- has made a half-century. Vettori hit 99 in the first innings in his team's 216-run win in the opening match.

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