Afridi New Twenty20 captain

Afridi named Pakistan's Twenty20 captain

Shahid Afridi sends back Herschelle Gibbs, Pakistan v South Africa, ICC World Twenty20, 1st semi-final, Trent Bridge, June 18, 2009

Shahid Afridi gets to lead the team for the first time © Getty Images

As had been widely expected for some time, Shahid Afridi has been named Pakistan captain for the Twenty20 game against Sri Lanka next month. He takes over from Younis Khan, who retired from the format after leading Pakistan to the World Twenty20 title last month.

Afridi was instrumental in that triumph, turning in Man-of-the-Match performances in both the semi-final and the final. Since Younis's retirement Afridi has been the leading candidate to take over, even as chairman Ijaz Butt initially said he would try and convince Younis to reconsider. Presently, he has only been appointed for the one game against Sri Lanka, but a more permanent decision is expected sooner rather than later.

It will be the first time Afridi will lead the national team in any format of the game, getting his chance nearly 13 years after making his Pakistan debut. The last five years have been the most productive of Afridi's career, where despite brief patches of indifference, he has established himself as a fixture in Pakistan's limited-overs set-up. His form has been particularly good this year, with impressive performances in the ODI series and Twenty20 against Australia in Dubai in May. That culminated with his critical role in leading Pakistan to the World Twenty20 title. Allied to his player-of-the-tournament contributions in the 2007 version, another indicator of his suitability to this format, his ascension became inevitable.

Whenever there has been a captaincy change over the last couple of years, Afridi's name has figured prominently among the contenders. He has plenty of captaincy experience at the domestic level, having been at the helm of Habib Bank Limited, Sind and Karachi Dolphins over the past few years.

The Best Foods for Healthy Hair


Feed your muscles and your mane at the same time

Hit the gym and eat right, and you'll build muscle, burn fat—and have thick, great-looking hair.

"Exercise increases the blood supply to your muscles as well as your hair, which stimulates growth," says Jim White, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "And the foods we eat for muscle also promote hair health."

Just be sure you're eating balanced diet. "Your body has a priority system," says Amy Newburger, M.D., director of Dermatology Consultants of Westchester in Scarsdale, New York. "If it only has a limited number of nutrients, your body sends those nutrients to the cells essential for life. So your hair is one of the first type of cells to go."


Keep your hair (and entire body) healthy by including these nutrients in your daily diet.


You know you need adequate protein to build muscle—and you also need it for healthy hair because hair is made primarily of protein. Low-quality protein can lead to weak, brittle hair or a loss of hair color—but chances are, if you're trying to add or maintain muscle, you already eat enough.

Good sources: Chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, low-fat dairy (cottage cheese, milk, yogurt)


Low iron levels can lead to baldness, according to a Cleveland Clinic review. Researchers looked at 11 studies on the relationship between iron intake and hair loss, and concluded that treating iron deficiency may help regrow hair.

Good sources: Lean red meat, turkey, egg yolks, dried beans, dried fruit, whole grains


Shedding more often? You may need to increase your intake of zinc. Studies show this mineral can affect levels of androgens, hormones associated with hair loss.

Good sources: Oysters, nuts (walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds), beans, beef, lamb

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

"Omega-3s are known to support scalp help—a deficiency can result in dry scalp and dull hair," White says. And no woman will want to run her fingers through that.

Good sources: Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, flaxseeds, walnuts


In a 6-month pilot study, Taiwanese scientists found that lignans—disease-fighting compounds found in flaxseed—may help slow hair loss. Nine of the 10 men in the study reported modest to much improvement in the number of hairs shed daily.

Good source: Flaxseed. Lignans are found in the flaxseed's shell, so buy ground whole seeds in your supermarket's health-food section. The men in the study consumed 1 1/2 tablespoons a day. Try adding flaxseed to oatmeal or smoothies.


If you have dry hair—or just want to prevent straw-like strands—drink more. "Hair is one-quarter water," White says. He recommends the typical eight glasses a day. Bring a water bottle to work so you don't spend the entire day refilling your mug at the fountain.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, so a deficiency can make hair dry and weak. You likely take in enough C from your diet, as long as you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily.

Good sources: Broccoli, leafy greens, green peppers, citrus fruit, strawberries


A lack of adequate biotin can lead to brittle hair, but deficiencies are rare, White says. This vitamin will help you have thick hair as well as strong nails. (That may not sound important, but women like guys with nice hands.)

Good sources: Brown rice, legumes, lentils, eggs, Swiss chard, nuts

5 Fast Stress-Busters

Take the edge off with these simple diet and lifestyle changes

Try some of these simple tricks when stress leaves you breathing harder than a bunch of frat brothers at a Girls Gone Wild shoot.

Reward your body. Regular exercise or relaxation techniques like yoga and massage will keep cortisol naturally in check by releasing beta-endorphins, brain chemicals that give you a calming effect.

Start strong. A recent study from Wales shows that regular consumption of breakfast cereal is associated with reduced stress and improved physical and mental health. Those who ate cereal daily had lower levels of cortisol. On the Abs Diet, that means oatmeal and bran cereals.

Snuff out the midnight oil. Regularly working overtime may inflate your weight. The stress of a string of 12-hour days can cause a spike in cortisol that stimulates hunger.

Fight with fish. That is, integrate more salmon and tuna into your life. When Swiss researchers fortified men’s diets with omega-3 fatty acids (fats found in fish), levels of cortisol remained unchanged during stress tests. (The placebo group’s cortisol rose by one-third.)

Get up and get out. A recent Australian study discovered that workers whose jobs require more than 6 hours of chair time a day are up to 68 percent more likely to wind up overweight or obese.

Perk Up Your Brain with Vitamin D


A new study shows higher levels may boost cognitive function

If you feel your mind has been a little sluggish lately, you might want to opt for seafood tonight: New research suggests that vitamin D, which is found in fish, may improve cognitive performance.

After comparing over 3,000 men between the ages of 40 and 79 across Europe, University of Manchester researchers discovered those who had higher levels of vitamin D fared better in a cognitive test that measured how quickly they could process information.

To get your dose, try to eat more salmon and mackerel. The vitamins found in fish can help prevent prostate cancer. Fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, healthier fats than those found in meat like beef and pork—and it's full of muscle-building protein. Just two to three servings a week can provide you with health benefits. Read more on what fish to eat and the perks of omega-3 fats.

First Look of A Proper Prince Of Persia


While a preview poster went up last year for Jerry Bruckheimer's upcoming Prince of Persia flick, it was just a tease. A logo and not much else. Today, Empire gives us our first look at some real posters.

Not what you'd expect, are they? Really clean, and modern. No tacky "Persian" logo, no silly pose modelled off a game cover. Nothing tipping you off to the fact this is a movie based on a video game series.

Which, after Max Payne and Hitman, is probably a smart way of going about it.

Asif and Veena ties knot

We all know Muhammad Asif from being a good fast bowler tohis involvement in   the notorious drug scandal. Veena Malik became a household name after her acting skills in “Hum sab umeed sey hain”. She brought smiles all over for her parodies from playing Meera to Reema or Rice! Both these very different people have somehow not only come together but have also tied the knot. I wish them all the best in life. I just hope Veena makes Asif more sensable.

Asif and Veena ties knot

Cricketer Muhammad Asif and actress Veena Malik entered wedlock in London recently.

According to reliable sources, the wedding took place on May 28. Veena Malik had left for London with Asif while wearing a burqa from the Islamabad airport. Asif gave Veena a car as a gift on her birthday, while Veena bore Asif’s expenses including the fee of the lawyers he had hired in connection with cases relating to his cricketing career.

Flintoff ends England’s 75-year wait

Andrew Flintoff bowled with hostility and fire to take 5 for 92 in his final Lord's Test, as England took a 1-0 lead in the Ashes

Andrew Flintoff bowled with hostility and fire to take 5 for 92 in his final Lord's Test, as England took a 1-0 lead in the Ashes © PA Photos

Andrew Flintoff strikes a pose after his removal of Brad Haddin, England v Australia, 2nd Test, Lord's, 5th day, July 20, 2009

Andrew Flintoff strikes a pose after dismissing Brad Haddin on his way to a five-wicket haul on his final Test appearance at Lord's © Getty Images

LONDON: Andrew Flintoff took five wickets as England finally ended their 75-year wait for an Ashes victory at Lord’s with a 115-run win over Australia on the final day of the second Test here on Monday.
Victory saw England take a 1-0 lead in the five-Test series having clung on for a draw in Cardiff. Australia set a mammoth 522 to win — a target that had they achieved it would have surpassed the fourth innings Test world record victory total of 418 for seven made by the West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2002/03 — were bowled out for 406 shortly before lunch on the fifth day.
Fast bowler Flintoff, who before this match announced he would retire from Test cricket at the end of this series, took five wickets for 92 runs in 27 overs, including three for 43 in 10 overs on Monday.
It was only the third time in the 31-year-old all-rounder’s 77-Test career he’d taken five wickets in a Test innings. Off-spinner Graeme Swann provided good support with four for 87.
Michael Clarke did his best to deny England with a superb innings of 136 but ultimately could not prevent the hosts beating Australia in a Test at Lord’s for the first time since 1934, when they won by an innings and 38 runs. “To win an Ashes Test match at Lord’s feels very special but we’re not going to get carried away,” England captain Andrew Strauss insisted.
His Australian counterpart Ricky Ponting was magnanimous in defeat. “We are obviously disappointed to lose in this type of venue but we were outplayed from the first ball to the last ball.
“Now we have to bounce back, regroup and hit the ground running for the next Test at Edgbaston.” Australia resumed on 313 for five, 209 runs adrift of their target, with Clarke 125 not out and Brad Haddin 80 not out.
But starting again is never easy and they were unable to add to a stand worth 185 with Haddin out for his overnight score.
Haddin edged the 10th ball of the morning, fast bowler Flintoff’s fourth, straight to Paul Collingwood who took a good low catch at second slip.
Flintoff was now fired up and hit Clarke on the head with a bouncer, as the batsman took his eye off the ball, before beating him on the outside edge.
New batsman Mitchell Johnson was fortunate on four, after being completely deceived by a Flintoff slower ball that struck him on the pad, that veteran umpire Rudi Koertzen, standing in his 100th Test, had correctly called no-ball.
But it was Swann who, with his second ball Monday, took the wicket England craved when he beat Clarke in the air as the batsman went down the pitch and bowled him off-stump to end the Australia vice-captain’s innings of more than five hours.
Flintoff then bowled Nathan Hauritz for one as the batsman shouldered arms and Australia were 363 for eight.
Flintoff, the star of England’s 2005 Ashes series win, though then completed only the third five-wicket haul of his Test career when he bowled Peter Siddle, and celebrated by going down on one knee with his arms outstretched after leaving his side on the brink of victory.

Pakistan sets record planting mangroves

record_sm The Sindh Forest Department and the Federal Environment Ministry set a world record by planting 541,176 mangroves in less than 15 hours on a barren island near Keti Bandar, about 90km from Karachi, on July 15. The feat will be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records, it was announced at the event.

The planting was supervised by local observers and Mangroves International expert Tahir Qureshi. Also in attendance at the event were designated representatives of the Guinness Book administration, a number of government dignitaries, members of the media, folk performers, singers and residents of the coastal belt.

The mangroves were planted on roughly 750 hectares, and in the future could play a protective role in the context of the recent devastating South Asian tsunami. Additionally, “As part of the ongoing National Year of the Environment, we planned on breaking the previous tree planting record of 348,493 established by Mexico in August last year, but we had to change the plan as India set a new Guinness World Record in June,” Qureshi said. India set a new record last month with the planting of 447,874 saplings in 24 hours.

Since it was not necessary to dig pits for planting mangrove trees under a new ruling set by the Guinness Book, planters were able to finish the newest record-breaking task in less than 15 hours.

Besides establishing an entry in the esteemed world record book, the project succeeded in involving nearby residents in eco-conservation. Experts say that while oil spills and the cutting of mangroves for firewood have led to a decline in their numbers in Pakistan, the project will aid in raising awareness about forest conservation and rehabilitation.

Shahid Kapoor receive Best Actor

Shahid Kapoor to receive the Rajiv Gandhi award for Best Actor

Shahid Kapoor With the kind of flight that the cutie-pie has taken to stardom these days, its not surprising that is showcase will be full of awards and rewards galore. The latest one in his kitty will be in the form of the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Awards that is given to a person who shows eminence in his chosen field. The award function will be held in the second week of August, just around the release of Shahid's most anticipated film till date - Kaminey.
Talking about the award, an excited Shahid said "I was pleasantly surprised to get the news about my being chosen for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi award. I'm only 28 years old and it's really early in my career. I feel humbled and honoured to be chosen by the jury."
For the uninitiated, the earlier recipients for this award have been the likes of legendary greats like Sunita Williams, Sachin Tendulkar, Mukesh Ambani and Amitabh Bachchan among others.

No sympathy for careless Australia

The visitors carried on batting as though still in Cardiff, without realising different conditions needed a change in attitude and style

Michael Hussey hits through square leg, England v Australia, 2nd Test, Lord's, 2nd day, July 17, 2009

Mike Hussey played the pull shot well, but it brought the downfall of five team-mates © Getty Images

There are times when natural games are not enough and attitudes must be altered to cope with certain bowlers and conditions. England swung the ball under heavy cloud cover at Lord's and the Australians were disrupted by a handful of rain breaks, but they played as if it was a risk-free, sunny day in Cardiff. This time a 600-plus total was not guaranteed.

The hosts are not carrying a spluttering fast man, a sick one and an injured offspinner, and they exposed the mental weakness in the visitors' attitude as they dropped them to 156 for 8, 70 short of the follow-on mark, when the weather intervened. It was the only relief the tourists received on a testing afternoon, but don't feel sorry for a side in which the young and old fell employing similarly destructive methods.

Phillip Hughes left before lunch to an ill-judged hook when a leave or sway were the safest options, while Simon Katich missed a half-century by pulling Graham Onions to fine-leg, a repeat of his dismissal in Worcester two weeks ago. Marcus North, failing for the first time in a crisis, pulled James Anderson on to his stumps, the third specialist to curse a horizontal bat.

After watching that trio fail Mitchell Johnson avoided hooking a couple of times to Stuart Broad, but quickly gave in and found deep-backward square. He slumped off in the gloom, wondering when the game became so hard following his troubles with the ball. Soon it was Brad Haddin proving it is impossible for him to use the brake, miscuing a similar stroke to midwicket.

"The pull shot is a very instinctive shot," Michael Hussey, who used it successfully in his half-century, said. "You try to pick up the length as quickly as you can and instinct takes over. Unfortunately we had a few dismissals with the cross-bat shots. Maybe that was a plan of theirs. They seemed to bowl a lot of short balls with two back and a short leg. It's something we're going to have to rectify."

The theory of playing straight and staying a long time was ignored universally. Ricky Ponting, unlucky to be caught at first slip when he should have been lbw, was attempting to hit across the line and Michael Clarke chipped Anderson to midwicket and Alastair Cook, the only man threatening to catch him on the legside. That the wickets fell in clumps was even worse: two were gone when they reached 10 and another six were lost as they tumbled from 103 for 2.

Batsmen exited at this speed here four years ago, when Australia were dismissed in the first innings for 190, but back then they were not starting 425 behind. Only when Hussey and Katich chipped away in a stand of 93 did Australia look like a team acting responsibly in reply. The visitors imploded instead of leaving, deflecting and crawling towards the total.

The atmosphere was bowler friendly and the stands shuddered with each breakthrough, but Australia still wanted to blast instead of out-last. The only person who deserves some sympathy is Hussey, who showed encouraging signs of emerging from his slump, particularly with his cover drives, until he lapsed against Andrew Flintoff and lost his off stump. Even after 51 runs and two hours and nine minutes in the middle, he couldn't depend on his previously impeccable judgment as the ball straightened with his bat raised to leave.

"I wasn't confused at all," Hussey said. "I felt very clear in my mind exactly how I wanted to get through. The ball I got out on, I can still see clearly in my mind. He gets quite a lot of bounce so I thought that the ball, if it did move, would move down the hill and away from the stumps, and his bounce would take it over them. Unfortunately I judged wrongly."

Teams can afford a couple of mistakes like that in a match, but salvaging an innings when every batsman has erred is impossible. England are on top and Australia can't to do anything about it.


Lockerbie outlines plans for US-style IPL

Lockerbie outlines plans for US-style IPL

Don Lockerbie

Don Lockerbie: 'We're going to do it well, we're going to do it smart, we're going to do it best' © Cricinfo Ltd

There was a certain irony that on the day plans for a major Twenty20 tournament in the USA were announced, the USA Cricket Association's chief executive, Don Lockerbie, was at Lord's watching an Ashes Test, a format many seem to think is growing less relevant by the year.

Lockerbie was in town to meet with leading administrators to advance his plan to make the USA a major cricketing destination. While he wants to build the USA into a leading cricketing power, he also believes Twenty20 cricket is a format made for the American audience.

"I'd like to see a successful, world-class, best-players-in-the-game tournament, an invitational franchise league or something like that, in the near future," he said. "That would be the dream. It's too early to say what kind of format that would be, but we're putting out a tender for proposal."

Will that, as has been rumoured, be another IPL? "The IPL as I look at it now is a remarkable, fantastic model to follow. Look at what it's been able to do. Our hat is off to Lalit [Modi] and the people behind this fantastic sports property.

"So, of course, you want to look at it as a model to emulate, or as a model to partner with, or at least to come up with something that has its own fresh appeal.

"The USA is a country that wants to see the superstars, and that's what we have to focus on. We have to invite them to come and play in the USA, and eventually we hope to develop our own superstars."

The USA already has one major venue, in Florida, and Lockerbie said more are planned, either in new areas, such as Indianapolis, or by expanding existing facilities in California and New York.

"The proof will be, is the USA ready to undertake these type of events? When the US was announced back in the late 1980s as the host for the 1994 [football] World Cup, the world laughed and said 'what are they going to do with our game'. And yet we still hold the record for the most tickets sold at a football World Cup.

"Before the world laughs at the US taking on cricket, it's important to say we're going to do it well, we're going to do it smart, we're going to do it best and with the world's experts and put together a programme that will be successful."

And he added that his plans were very much in tune with the ICC and would fit in with the existing international calendar. "We're going to make sure what we do has ICC backing. That's the promise we made when we did a presentation to the ICC in Dubai [in April].

"We made a commitment we will be a significant contributor to the world of cricket and a good partner. I don't see us as a competitor, I see as being a partner in something that will make sense to the game as it continues to evolve."

Unlike many previous comets who have blazed into US cricket with bold ideas only to disappear without trace, Lockerbie has the professionalism and drive to make you think he really can pull off these plans. A highly-regarded sports organiser and event administrator, he was venue director at the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean and is well connected in not only the game but also the corporate world, something vital for the backing he seeks.


Planting rice in Pakistan

Rice is one of the major exports of pakistan. Pakistan produces worlds most favorite rice. the Basmati Rice. There are also many other types of rice grown in the country.

The crop of rice is completly done manually. It is a culture feast to see the different stages of rice while travelling in Pakistan. Here is some photos of rice planting.







Muscle Building:Abs


Trade Fat for Muscle

Use this 4-week workout to melt your flab and unveil your abs

If you want to lose your gut, don't think of lifting weights as an option; consider it a requirement. Why? When dieters don't pump iron, 22 percent of their weight loss comes from losing muscle, according to a Penn State study. So if you drop 20 pounds without lifting, almost 5 pounds will be from muscle.
That won't happen with this program. It's designed to work your muscles intensively 4 days a week so you can banish your belly but keep your biceps. In fact, scientists discovered that men using a similar approach lost 37 percent more fat than those who didn't hit the weights. The end result: the lean, muscular body you want.
Perform these workouts 4 days a week. Do the upper-body and lower-body workouts on consecutive days, rest a day, and repeat. For your first upper-body day, use the low-rep workout. For your first lower-body day, follow the high-rep workout. Then switch for your second 2 days of training, so every week you end up performing both high and low reps for your upper and lower body.
For the upper-body workout, alternate between the exercises that have the same number (1A and 1B, for example). Do 1 set of the first exercise and rest, followed by 1 set of the second exercise, and rest again. Complete all your sets for each exercise pair and then move to the next pair (2A and 2B).
For the lower-body workout, do 1 set of exercise 1, rest, and repeat until you've finished all the sets.
Do the same with 2. Then perform 3A and 3B as pairs, alternating between them as you did with the upper-body workout. Do the same for exercises 4A and 4B.
Low-rep workout
Complete 5 to 8 repetitions of each exercise, resting 60 seconds between sets.
Upper body: Do 2 or 3 sets of each exercise
Lower body: Do 2 or 3 sets of each exercise*
High-rep workout
Perform 12 to 15 reps in each set. For exercises 1 and 2, rest 60 to 90 seconds between sets. For 3A, 3B, 4A, and 4B, rest 30 to 45 seconds between sets.
Upper body: Do 2 or 3 sets of each exercise
Lower body: Do 2 sets of each exercise*
*Do just 1 set of the Swiss-ball plank

Days 1 and 3: Upper Body

1A Dumbbell bench press
On a flat bench, lie faceup holding a pair of dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight. Lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest, and then push them back up to the starting position. Press the dumbbells together without letting them touch.


1B Wide-grip pullup

Grab the bar with an overhand grip that's about one and a half times shoulder width, and hang at arm's length. Pull yourself up until your upper chest hits the bar. Pause and slowly lower yourself to the starting position. Squeezing your shoulder blades emphasizes your back muscles.


2A Dumbbell push press

Stand holding a pair of dumbbells just outside your shoulders, your arms bent and palms facing each other. Bend your knees slightly to dip your body, and then push up with your legs as you press the dumbbells straight over your shoulders. Keep your torso upright throughout. Lower the dumbbells to the starting position, and repeat. Don't let your elbows flare out to the sides as you perform the exercise.


2B Barbell bent-over row

Grab a barbell with an overhand grip that's just beyond shoulder width, and hold it at arm's length. Lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor. Let the bar hang at arm's length. Pull the bar to your upper abs as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Pause, and slowly lower the bar back to the starting position. That's 1 rep. Use a full range of motion by bringing the bar all the way up to your body.


Days 2 and 4: Lower Body

1 Barbell front squat
Cross your arms in front of your chest and rest a barbell on the front of your shoulders. Your elbows should be held high, with your upper arms remaining parallel to the floor as you perform the move. Set your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back, and lower your body until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Pause, and push your body back to the starting position. Stay on your heels and make sure you don't rise onto your toes as you press back up.


2 Barbell Romanian deadlift

Grab the bar with an overhand grip that's just beyond shoulder width, and hold it at arm's length in front of your thighs. Keep your knees slightly bent. With your lower back naturally arched, bend at your hips and lower your torso until it's parallel to the floor. Pause, and then rise back to the starting position. As you lower the bar, keep it as close as possible to your body.


3A Swiss-ball hip extension and leg curl

Lie on your back with your lower legs on a Swiss ball. Extend your arms to your sides, palms up. Raise your hips so your body is straight from shoulders to knees. Pull your heels in, bringing the ball toward your butt. Pause for 1 second, and reverse the motion. Lower your hips to the floor and repeat. As you pull your heels in, keep your hips elevated and your torso straight.


3B Jump squat

With your feet hip-width apart, squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor, and then jump as high as you can. Allow your knees to bend 45 degrees when you land, and then immediately drop back down into a squat, and jump again. Perform this exercise as quickly as possible, to build explosive strength and power.


4A Swiss-ball plank

Place your forearms on a Swiss ball and raise your chest so your elbows are under your shoulders. Your legs should be extended behind you on the floor, and your body should form a straight line from ankles to head. Pull your shoulder blades back and down and brace your abs. Hold that position for 30 to 60 seconds. That's 1 set. Keeping your upper back flat maximizes the effectiveness and safety of the exercise.


4B Swiss-ball jackknife

Start in pushup position (your hands set slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders), and rest your shins on a Swiss ball. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Roll the Swiss ball toward your chest by raising your hips and slightly rounding your back as you pull the ball forward with your feet. Pause, and then return the ball to the starting position by rolling it backward. Don't allow your hips to sag at any point during the exercise.


Shoaib Akhtar in doubt

Shoaib Akhtar in doubt for Sri Lanka ODI

by AFP

The chances of controversial paceman Shoaib Akhtar staging a comeback in Pakistan's one-day series against Sri Lanka plummeted after an official said Thursday he failed to show for a fitness test.

"He could not come because of his mother's illness and since his fitness and match form was not ascertained the status will be conveyed to the team management," Wasim Bari, Pakistan's interim chief selector, told AFP.

Bari said he would consult members of a newly appointed selection committee before leaving Friday for Sri Lanka, where he will seek input from team management on announcing the one-day squad.

Bari was appointed interim committee chief after the Pakistan Cricket Board disbanded the senior and junior selection committees last month.

A five-man selection committee, bolstered by two co-opted members and announced earlier this week, will start working from August 1.

Pakistan, 2-0 down in a three-Test series in Sri Lanka, will play the third Test in Colombo from July 20. The five-match, one-day series starts July 30.

The series will be followed by a Twenty20 match.

Akhtar, who was withdrawn from Pakistan's World Twenty20 squad last month after he developed genital warts, claimed he was ready to stage a comeback in the one-day series against Sri Lanka.

The 33-year-old paceman has been plagued by injury and disciplinary problems, and has not been a regular team member since 2007.


(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)

Strauss ton holds England together

Andrew Strauss drives, England v Australia, 2nd Test, Lord's, 1st day, July 16, 2009

Andrew Strauss's 18th Test century guided England on the opening day and became even more important as the middle order faded © Getty Images

Andrew Strauss launched a stirring riposte to Ricky Ponting's 150 in Cardiff, carrying his bat through the first day to hand England the early ascendancy in the second Test. Strong off his pads, and stronger through the point region, Strauss (161 not out) moved within 16 runs of his highest ever Test score and beyond the 5,000-run career barrier. But the significance of this innings lay not in personal milestones but in its impact on an England team which, after the tea break, looked decided shaky against the enigmatic Mitchell Johnson and the consistent Ben Hilfenhaus.

Profligate in the first session, potent in the last, Johnson personified a day of fluctuating fortunes at Lord's. The foundations built by Strauss and Alastair Cook during an historic 196-run opening stand were eroded by a middle order stumble that drew Australia back into the contest. And, in both cases, Johnson was the pivotal figure.

Through his first 11 overs Johnson conceded 77 runs, including 15 boundaries, to allow England the opportunity to build on the bonhomie of their Cardiff escape. Whether overawed by the occasion of his first Lord's Test, upset by the ground's pronounced slope or just shy of form and confidence, Australia's spearhead appeared decidedly blunt in his exchanges with Strauss and Cook, guilty of straying both sides of the wicket and failing to find a consistent length in the period before tea.

But with a change of session came a change of fortune. The ball, which stubbornly refused to swing while still coated in lacquer, suddenly found its arc, with Johnson its pilot. His reverse swing slowed a scoring rate that had threatened to spiral out of control, and eventually accounted for the wicket of Matt Prior, bowled to a beautiful, tailing delivery.

Were it not for the stoic batting of Strauss, who ground his way to his highest Test score on home soil, Johnson, Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle may well have seized back all the initiative surrendered in the earlier sessions. As it was, England headed to stumps in a position of strength, though perhaps not quite as strong as they might have hoped, after a final session in which four wickets fell for the addition of 109 runs.

Together with Cook, Strauss forged the highest first wicket partnership by an England combination at Lord's (196) in an Ashes Test, bettering by 14 runs the 83-year-old record held by Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe. Though Cook fell just five runs short of his century, becoming Johnson's 100th Test scalp in the process, Strauss thrust forth into the evening, denying the probing offerings of Johnson and Hilfenhaus with both old and new balls

Prior to the final session, England's cause had been helped no end by an Australian attack that lurched from the lamentable to the horrendous, and one temporarily without the services of Nathan Hauritz. Hauritz, in dropping a powerfully struck return catch by Strauss, dislocated the middle finger on his bowling hand and was immediately taken from the field for treatment. So savage was the force of Strauss's drive that Hauritz, upon viewing his contorted finger, immediately signalled to the dressing room in distress and almost vomited on the pristine playing surface.

Scans cleared Hauritz of a fracture, and the off-spinner resumed his place in the field in the final session. But the Australians will nonetheless harbour significant concerns over Hauritz's effectiveness over the final four days - both for variation, and also the workload of their fast bowlers, who are playing the second of back-to-back Test matches.

Extras, misfields and overthrows all blighted Australia's morning effort, but by far the biggest disappointment was Johnson, who arrived on these shores trumpeted as the best paceman in international cricket. In a portent of what was to come, Johnson began the day with a full, leg-side delivery that Cook duly clipped to the square-leg boundary. His errant ways continued in the first half-hour, at one stage conceding four boundaries in six deliveries to Strauss, prompting Ponting to replace him with Siddle after four expensive (26 runs) overs.

Siddle, too, was awry, failing to contend with the slope of the Lord's pitch and making life difficult for Brad Haddin. Australia's only saving grace was Hilfenhaus, who began the match with three consecutive maidens and was rewarded after lunch with the wicket of Ravi Bopara. He might also have had Strauss earlier in the second session, if not for the small detail of his no-ball and Haddin's turfed catch. Strauss went onto raise his 18th Test century moments before tea. It was that kind of day for the Australians.

The confidence of England's openers visibly lifted over the course of the first session. Cook, the chief aggressor, enthralled the capacity Lord's crowd in the lead-up to lunch by pulling Johnson at every opportunity - not all of them from bad deliveries - en route to a half-century raised from just 73 deliveries. Strauss, save for a bright flurry against Johnson, was happy to steadily accumulate as part of a partnership that rocketed along to 125 by the lunch break.

Eight minutes prior to lunch, Cook and Strauss bettered their highest ever opening partnership against Australia, eclipsing their stand of 116 from the Perth Test two years ago. They advanced that total to 196 - England's highest opening stand in an Ashes Test since 1956 - before Cook fell in the 48th over to a fuller, straighter Johnson delivery that rapped him on the back pad.

England's day tapered thereafter. Bopara's cheap dismissal was compounded by that of Kevin Pietersen, whose aura is dimming with each innings at present. The prodigiously talented batsmen tried mightily to surrender his wicket before the tea break, and succeeded just after by playing inside a shorter Siddle delivery. Paul Collingwood, the rock of Cardiff, then fell to the loosest of strokes off the bowling of Michael Clarke, and was soon followed by Andrew Flintoff, the departing hero, who edged a Hilfenhaus offering to Ponting at second slip.

The onus fell to Strauss to save the day for England, and the captain duly obliged. He saw off both the reverse-swinging old ball, and the harder new one to ensure advantage remained with the hosts heading into the second day.


'No chance of factionalism in team' - PCB chairman


of the Pakistan Cricket Board, does not agree with many former Pakistan players that the team's Test series defeat against Sri Lanka was caused by poor team spirit and an inability to cooperate with the captain, Younis Khan. Butt said it was too early to think of a change of captaincy, given that Younis took over a few months ago.

"There can be no chance of factionalism in the team as I believe Younis has good relations with seniors like Misbah-ul-Haq and others," Butt said in Lahore. "It is not a joke to change the captain again and again."

Three batting collapses over the two Tests contributed to Pakistan's series defeat. In the first Test in Galle, Pakistan needed 97 to win with eight wickets in hand on the fourth day, only to lose by 50 runs. In the second match at the P Sara Oval in Colombo, they crashed to 90 all out after opting to bat first. After a commendable recovery in the second innings, the batting crumbled again as Pakistan lost their last nine wickets for 35 runs to be dismissed for 320, thereby setting Sri Lanka a less than challenging target of 171 in the fourth innings.

Former players, ranging from Abdul Qadir to Inzamam-ul-Haq, have blamed factionalism for the defeat. Qadir said the fault lay with the players for not cooperating with Younis.

"When I resigned as chief selector, I am on record as saying that Shoaib Malik should be punished for letting captain Younis Khan down and I maintain that there is factionalism in the team," Qadir told AFP. "What I said was on the basis of what I saw during the series against Australia in UAE two months ago and I said that seniors were not co-operating with Younis.

"I said this before and I reiterate that the coach and manager's reports of this Sri Lanka tour should be made public. Had the UAE series report been made public, things would have been sorted out by now."

His opinions were echoed by Inzamam, the former captain. "The situation in the team is not good," Inzamam said. "I can smell factionalism within the team and Younis is not doing his best to keep the team united, and that does not augur well for our cricket."

Former fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz, often an outspoken critic of Pakistan cricket, said the former captain Shoaib Malik should take responsibility. He also slammed Younis, despite Pakistan winning the ICC World Twenty20 in England under his captaincy less than a month ago. Younis said after the defeat that Pakistan had been caught short due to the lack of exposure to Tests over the last two years.

"Malik, along with four senior players, is doing politics," Nawaz said. "Misbah-ul-Haq should be excluded from the team as he has failed and should be replaced by new players.

"Younis doesn't have leadership qualities," Nawaz said. "If a captain is not able to handle his players' batting failures and comes out with lame excuses of playing less Test cricket, he doesn't have the qualities of a good captain."

Give this team time before you judge us - Younis


Younis Khan wonders what went wrong, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Colombo, 3rd day, July 14, 2009

Younis Khan: "I am not looking for excuses but for reasons" © AFP

Younis Khan has responded to Pakistan's first Test series defeat in Sri Lanka by pleading for more time to rebuild the team after "very little cricket over the last 18 months". Speaking after a game in which Pakistan's batting collapses tilted the balance towards Sri Lanka, Younis said he didn't want to put blame on any individual - the team was lacking by just 20%, failing to stay focused throughout the games and while facing pressure situations.

"It's very easy right now to write this team off," he said, "But how many Tests have we played in the last 14 months? For one full year we didn't play at all. As and when we start playing more regularly, we will learn to adapt. I think it's not about the technique, not about the bowling, not about the weather.

"Give this team some time, don't point fingers too early. It will be very easy for me too to blame particular players, even myself. But the reality is, we haven't been playing any Test cricket. It's very easy for me to give up, to say I can't captain this team. But somebody will have to stand up and fix the situation."

Before the start of the series, Younis had said that being undercooked should not be an excuse for international teams. But three heart-breaking collapses later, Younis said it was time to analyse the situation, and that he concluded thus not as Pakistan captain but as an analyst. "Out of the four matches we have played, one was stopped midway, one we drew, and lost two," he said. "And that too it felt like we were not beaten, we lost them ourselves. So I am not looking for excuses but for reasons. And this is one of the major reasons."

The irony of the situation, though, is that it was not the youngsters, the debutants, who let the team down. It was the experienced pros who failed all three times to arrest the collapses. Younis saw that as one of the positives from the series. "This team is in a rebuilding phase," he said. "We had three debutants in the last match, and one in this. But if Saeed Ajmal is putting up a fight, if Abdur Rauf is putting up a fight, if Fawad Alam is putting up a fight, if Mohammad Aamer is putting up a fight, that gives me some solace. I will have to give them some time. So too the media and the fans."

Younis reiterated that the problem came from not finishing matches. "There is only 20% that we are lacking. If we play to our potential - everybody knows about us - we will start winning. It is all about concentration and how to adapt to conditions."

Over six and a bit days, Pakistan have had three disastrous sessions, while the other sessions have been full of heartening performances from their youngsters. Their bowling attack looks in good health, especially with an impending comeback of Mohammad Asif, and Ajmal and Danish Kaneria fighting for the spinner's slot. Yet they have lost the series, which can be a very demoralising experience.

Younis, though, wants to look ahead immediately, to the next Test. "What can I do? I can only ask them to focus for longer durations. After Tests we have to play one-dayers too. It will be every difficult if we go 2-0 down or 3-0 down. If we push more, keep pushing, we can win the last Test, which should give us a lot of motivation before the one-dayers. And if we can win both, we will get some satisfaction at least."


Intelligent ways to loose fat


After few blogs on HIT and principles of HIT I thought that I should write a blog on the most important concern of common people as well as a bodybuilders. So I chose the topic of fat loss.

I don’t want to give you an illusion regarding easy ways of fat loss. Had they been really easy we would not have so many heart attacks and obesity problems on the planet.So let us not go behind the misleading easy ways but let is look at fat loss from a intelligent vision. So that we can optimize out fat loss and attain our health goals. This blog is fully about diet and lifestyle.

Don’t starve while you diet

Drastic weight loss can cause issues with your body's metabolism and muscle mass. When you lose a lot of weight quickly, you really need to strictly monitor where the weight is coming from. Is it water weight, body fat or muscle mass? The majority of the time, it unfortunately comes from lean muscle mass and this is exactly what causes serious issues with your metabolism. Muscle is your body's most potent and active tissue for burning calories and body fat. It's basically your body's "furnace" and you always want to keep it burning hot. When someone loses a lot of weight, which usually comes from crash dieting or some other unhealthy way of dropping the weight, the body's lean muscle mass is eaten up and the person loses some of the most powerful tissue for keeping a lean body.

Drink lots of water

Adequate water consumption provides the main foundation for any weight loss program. It is probably the most overlooked and underrated strategy there is… Our bodies are over 70% water and it needs a large amount of this liquid to maintain its daily functions. Water helps to flush our systems and remove harmful toxins.

Water is useful in a variety of bodily functionalities like,

-Regulating body temperature

-Lubricating the joints

-Nutrition transportation

-Removal of waste from body

-Aids proper digestion

-Maintains the texture of the skin

It provides various benefits such as

-Helps in proper kidney function, which increases the ability of liver to burn fat efficiently.

-Acts as a appetite suppressant

-It helps body function at its optimum, which makes fat burning a easy process for the body.

Increase your protein intake

Make sure to include a lean protein source at every meal. Shoot for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

The benefits of high protein diet is amazing. Here are a few

-By eating enough protein, you will keep your nitrogen levels high which supports muscular repair and growth.

-Protein has a thermogenic effect of 30% which makes it the highest thermogenic food compared to all other nutrients. This means that for every 100 calories of protein you eat, 30 calories are burned by your body to digest the food leaving you with a net 70 calories

Eat thermogenic foods

Thermogenic foods are the ones your body uses maximum energy (calories) in order to properly digest. Some of the greatest thermogenic foods are vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, squash, celery, zucchini, peppers, lettuce and green beans. These foods are very low in calories which allow you to include a large quantity of them in your diet.

Build lean muscle mass

Weight training builds lean muscle mass. By building muscle you will be adding the most potent fat burning tissue to your body. Muscle tissue is the most metabolically active tissue in your body, so make sure to build as much as possible.

Studies on thermogenic effect of muscle:

Studies have estimated that for each pound of muscle you add to your body, you burn an additional 35 to 50 calories per day.

So, an extra 10 pounds of muscle will burn approximately 350 to 500 calories per day, or an extra pound of fat every 7 to 10 days.

Eat frequent small meals

Many people who are trying to lose body fat believe that you must eat less often to get rid of those extra pounds. Sure, you may need to lower your daily caloric intake to burn more calories then you're taking in, but you should actually eat more often per day to help burn fat. Instead of 2 or 3 larger meals per day. you should try to eat 5 or 6 smaller meals every day.

If you eat 3 large meals per day you'll have a long time in between meals. The larger amount of calories and food consumed at each meal combined with longer periods between meals will put the body in a state where it tries to hold on to that extra body fat. It's human nature - if the body is put through a period of time (even 5 or 6 hours) between meals after you consume half or a third of your daily caloric intake in one meal, it will go into a small starvation mode that'll make it keep the fat on your body from being burned. Your metabolism will be slower between meals as well. Waiting too long between meals will also cause you to be hungrier when you eat again, which means that you may may take in more calories than you should at that meal. Eating too much at a meal will likely make you lethargic and unenergetic afterwards - not good if you're trying to keep your metabolism high to burn fat.

Eat fiber

Fiber will give you a feeling of fullness with a limited amount of calories. Fiber also helps to reduce constipation, indigestion, gallstones and cholesterol, and assists in combating heart disease and some cancers. Eat a variety of fibers (soluble and insoluble). A varied, high fiber, healthy diet will provide both. Soluble fiber comes from fruits and insoluble fiber comes from whole grains. Fiber rich foods include oat bran, beans, lentils, fruit, vegetables, whole wheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal.

Decrease your sugar intake

One of the best things you can do to drop excess body fat is to decrease your intake of sugar. Start gradually decreasing high sugar foods. If you want to cure a sweet tooth, try frozen grapes. By decreasing your sugar intake, you will be able to control your insulin levels which will help unlock your body's ability to start burning stored body fat.

Eat good fats

By right fat, I mean non-saturated fat - both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. This type of fat or oil has numerous health benefits.

It transports fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K throughout the body.

It cushions and protects internal organs.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs), benefit your heart, metabolism and immune system.

Some EFAs are used by the body for structural, hormonal and electrical functions rather than for energy. These EFAs increase metabolic rate and increase fat burn off resulting in loss of weight.

Here are some basic guidelines for how to choose the best type of fat.

- For cooking, choose extra virgin olive oil

- For salads, choose from flax oil, canola oil, soy oil, extra virgin olive oil, wheatgerm oil, walnut oil, hemp seed oil.

- Eat regular helpings of oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna.

Please don’t skip your breakfast

Always try to eat a very nutritious breakfast Eating a healthy breakfast is crucial for providing the correct fuel to get you going. Your body has been fasting for 6-10 hours from sleeping and is primed for re-fueling.

Researchers have found that people who ate breakfast every day were 1/3 times less likely to be obese compared to those who skipped the meal. In addition, they were half as likely to have blood-sugar problems, which increase the risk of developing diabetes or having high cholesterol, which is a known risk factor for heart disease. The researchers believe that eating first thing in the morning may help to stabilize blood sugar levels, which regulate appetite and energy. They suggest people who eat breakfast are less likely to be hungry during the rest of the day and are, therefore, less likely to overeat.

Four hundreds in an innings

Four tons in an innings, and starting big but losing

Four-thirty-five and losing, Pakistan's lowest Test totals, and the most prolific Australian

Andrew Flintoff congratulates Michael Hussey after Australia's remarkable win, Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, December 5, 2006

Adelaide 2006 is one of 14 occasions in Ashes Tests when a side lost after making 435 in the first innings © Getty Images

How often have four Australians made centuries in the same innings of an Ashes Test? asked Rob Broughton from Leicester
Australia's four centuries in the first Test in Cardiff was actually the first time they had ever made as many in one innings in an Ashes Test - although there was a very near miss at Lord's in 1993, when Mark Taylor, Michael Slater and David Boon all made hundreds, then Mark Waugh was out for 99. England have also done it once in an Ashes Test - at Trent Bridge in 1938, when Charles Barnett, Len Hutton, Eddie Paynter and Denis Compton were the centurions. There have been two instances of five centuries in a Test innings - by Australia (the only other time they have had more than three) against West Indies in Kingston in 1954-55, and by Pakistan against Bangladesh in Multan in 2001. For a full list of the most hundreds in a Test innings, click here.

How many times have England lost to Australia (or vice versa) after scoring as many as 435 in the first innings of the match? asked Anura de Kretser from Melbourne
I suspect you asked this when England looked like losing in Cardiff, which somehow they avoided! On only 14 occasions in all Test cricket has a score of more than 435 in the first innings of a match (not necessarily either side's first innings) not been sufficient to avoid defeat. Five of those came in Ashes Tests, including the highest of all - Australia's 586 in Sydney in 1894-95, when England won by 10 runs after following on. On the last tour Down Under, in 2006-07, England declared at 551 for 6 in the first innings in Adelaide but went on to lose; in the final Test in Melbourne in 1928-29 England made 519 but lost by five wickets; at Headingley in 1948, England lost despite scoring 496 in the first innings (that was the match in which Australia made 404 for 3 on the last day to win); and also at Headingley, in 2001, Australia lost after scoring 447 in the first innings of the match. Australia also lost the final Test of the 1932-33 Bodyline series in Sydney despite a first-innings score of 435 - the same as England in Cardiff.

Pakistan were bowled out for 90 by Sri Lanka - is that their lowest against them? And is it their lowest against anyone? asked Hafeez Ahmed from Islamabad
Pakistan's first innings of 90 in the second Test in Colombo was indeed their lowest total against Sri Lanka, beating their 117 in the previous match in Galle. It was the 10th time Pakistan had been bowled out for less than 100 in a Test. Their lowest two totals - 53 and 59 - both came in the same match, against Australia in Sharjah in 2002-03. For a list of Pakistan's lowest Test totals, click here.

When was the last time England won a live Ashes Test match when Glenn McGrath played (he was injured for the two England won in 2005)? asked Duncan Davies from Australia
The last one was in 1998-99, when England won the fourth Test in Melbourne, to make the series score 2-1 to Australia, despite the presence of the formidable Glenn McGrath. If you take the view that that was also a dead rubber, as the Ashes had already been decided even if the series hadn't, the answer is the first Test of 1997, at Edgbaston. England also won at Headingley in 2001, but they had already lost that series.

What is the highest score by someone in their first match as a Test captain? asked S Srinivasan from Chennai
Two players have made double-centuries in their first Test as captain: Shivnarine Chanderpaulhit 203 not out for West Indies against South Africa in Georgetown in 2004-05, but the highest score is 239, by New Zealand's Graham Dowling, against India in Christchurch in 1967-68.

Who has the most first-class runs by an Australian? (No Australians make it onto Cricinfo's records list.) My guess is Stuart Law, Darren Lehmann or Justin Langer? asked Alex Thalis from Australia
All good guesses - but actually the top Australian at the moment is none other than Don Bradman, who made 28,067 runs in first-class cricket, at the handy average of 95.14. But he's probably about to lose top spot to Justin Langer, who has 27,943 runs (at 50.25) as I write. Stuart Law has 27,080, while Darren Lehmann made 25,795.

[Via Steven Lynch]

Legends of the fall

Perhaps one collapse in a Test had become boring, so Sri Lanka and Pakistan produced two here

Saeed Ajmal shakes hands with Younis Khan after wrapping up the Sri Lankan innings, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Colombo, 2nd day, July 13, 2009

Well done us: Younis Khan welcomes Saeed Ajmal to the all too famous Sri Lankan collapse © AFP

Something changes in the air when these two friendly teams come up against each other. Pakistan and Sri Lanka may not have a historical rivalry going, but for dramatic turns and collapses look no further. There have been three already in this series, Sri Lanka's losing seven wickets for 63 today being the latest, but those who follow these contests regularly will point to a long history of collapses, against the run of play - across formats.

Remember Singapore? Sanath Jayasuriya scored the fastest half-century in a chase of 216. By the time Jayasuriya fell for a 28-ball 76, the contest was all but over - only for them to lose the next nine wickets for 76 runs. What happened in Kandy two years ago? Sri Lanka sat pretty with a lead of 131 and then lost the whole team for a matter of 51. Pakistan provided their own version twice in this series, losing 18 wickets for 137 in less than two-and-a-half sessions.

Those who follow these contests will also tell us that Pakistan have often had the better of these collapses: Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis taking all ten to dismiss Sri Lanka for 71 in Kandy in 1994, Wasim going berserk at the SSC in 2000, reducing Sri Lanka's second innings from 67 for 2 to 123, or the Sharjah tie in which Abdul Razzaq went mad with his reverse-swing as Sri Lanka lost their last eight wickets for 23 in a chase of 197. Muttiah Muralitharan pulled one back for Sri Lanka in Peshawar in 1999-2000, sending Pakistan from 137 for 2 to 199.

Knowing the history Sri Lanka and Pakistan share its likely a few more instances may have slipped under the radar, but the number of Test collapses alone is sizeable or the last 20 years or so. For some reason, batsmen find the momentum swings irresistible. For some reason, everything comes together for bowling sides at the same time. It could be a freak coincidence too, but the presence of good bowlers against tails could suggest a trend. The likes of Wasim and Waqar could run through tails in a hurry, and so can Murali and now Ajantha Mendis. Mendis is accurate, doesn't spin the ball much, and his fast legbreak has proven to be too good for lesser batsmen.

Pakistan, who were on their way to losing this series via those two cave-ins, needed to get back at Sri Lanka. And against all trends today, Umar Gul, still struggling for rhythm and bowling regular no-balls, suddenly started reversing the ball. Gul had had an ordinary series thus far, coming off that special World Twenty20.

Younis Khan had earlier told Cricinfo that he just needed time. "He hasn't had any time to rest. For four days we kept doing the victory march in Pakistan, and came here directly. He is a match-winner, he might just take some time but he will recover."

Recover he did, and just in time. And a comeback of Pakistani proportions started. In a sudden flow of momentum, just to facilitate Sri Lanka's collapse, smaller errors like dropped catches seemed to stop mattering - they just didn't cost much. Kumar Sangakkara, looking set and to accumulate, got a ripper that nipped in late to take the slight gap between bat and pad. Gul's accuracy came back, the pads became to difficult and when Nuwan Kulasekara got a widish delivery, he threw his bat it without getting in position. Ranganna Herath got a swinging yorker first up, which he managed to get under.

Saeed Ajmal, for his part, got into the Test mode, slowing down his deliveries, flighting them as opposed to darting them in as in Galle, and creating doubt with his doosras. And when Pakistan start a day off with a direct-hit run-out, drama must be in the air. These are the same teams who were playing sleepathons in Pakistan earlier this year.

Perhaps one collapse in a Test had become boring, so they gave us two here. Who knows if a third one is around the corner? Even match, a pitch that will start to crumble, so yeah, why not? We won't we surprised.

[Via Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo]

Fast Track to Flex Appeal

Add size and strength while obliterating fat, with this high-velocity, total-body workout.

Man's got to know his limitations." Spend enough time in the gym and you gain an acute appreciation of what Clint Eastwood meant with that immortal line. Eventually, we all run up against the limitations of whatever workout system we're using. Some help make us bigger, some help make us stronger, some help make us leaner, but none seems to do all three at once.

While I agree that it's often more efficient to pursue one goal at a time, the workout system I created for my new book, Huge in a Hurry, allows you to multitask. You'll build size and strength, thanks to the intense challenge to all your muscle fibers from the high-speed reps. And you'll get leaner, thanks to the maximum-effort sets. Try it for four weeks, and you'll see that your limitations aren't really all that limiting.

Your 4-week flex plan

In just three workouts a week, you'll build bigger, stronger muscles while whittling your waist down to size

Directions: Do each workout once a week, with at least a day (48 hours total) between workouts. Instead of performing a specific number of sets, do the total number of reps designated for each exercise—regardless of how many sets it takes you.

Here's how it works: For each exercise, follow the guideline for the amount of weight you should use, which includes a repetition range for your first set. For example, suppose it prescribes four to six reps. You want this to be a challenging weight, of course, so choose what you think is the heaviest weight that allows you to lift at least four reps but no more than six. Then simply do as many sets as you need to complete the total number of reps for that exercise. (If you do fewer reps in subsequent sets, that's fine.)

One more guideline: Perform every rep of every exercise as fast as possible with good form, without pausing at any point. Stop the set if you're slowing down or if your form changes—for example, your range of motion shortens or you need to cheat to finish a rep.

Workout A

  • 25 total reps per exercise
  • 4-6 rep range, first set
  • 45 seconds of rest between sets

1. Chin-Up (or Underhand-Grip Lat Pulldown)

Using an underhand, shoulder-width grip, start the set from a dead hang with your knees bent and ankles crossed behind you [A].

Pull yourself up as fast as possible until your chest touches the bar [B].

If you can't do that many chinupsor don't have access to a chinup bar, do underhand-grip pulldowns on a straight bar with your hands about shoulder-width a part.

2. Dumbbell Bench Press

Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie on your back on a flat bench. Start with your arms straight, holding the weights directly over your chest [A].

Lower them to the sides of your chest [B], and then immediately push them back to the starting position.

3. Front Squat

Grab a barbell with a shoulder-width grip and place it in front of you across the tops of your shoulders. Now raise your upper arms until they're parallel to the floor, allowing the bar to roll back onto your fingertips [A].

Without letting your elbows drop, lower your body by pushing your hips back and bending your knees until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor [B]. Push your body back to the starting position.

4. Barbell Lying Triceps Extension

Grab an EZ-curl bar or a barbell with an overhand grip, your hands a little less than shoulder-width apart. Lie on a flat bench and hold the bar over your chest with your arms straight [A].

Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows to lower the bar until your forearms are past parallel to the floor [B]. Pause, and then lift the weights back to the starting position by straightening your arms.

Workout B

  • 40 total reps per exercise for each arm or leg
  • 10-12 rep range, first set
  • 60 seconds of rest between sets

1. Dumbbell One-Arm Row

Stand in a staggered stance, your left foot in front of your right. Hold a dumbbell with your right hand and bend at your hips until your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Let your right arm hang straight down from your shoulder, your palm facing your left leg [A].

Pull the weight to the side of your torso [B] and then lower it. Do all of your reps, and then switch to your left arm.

2. Dumbbell One-Arm Shoulder Press

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell with your right hand just above and outside your right shoulder. Your palm should be turned toward your head [A].

Push the weight straight up over your shoulder [B], lower it, and repeat without pausing. Do all your reps, and then switch arms.

3. Barbell Reverse Lunge

Hold a barbell across your upper back and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart [A].

Keeping your torso upright, step back with your left leg and lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground and your left knee nearly touches the floor [B]. Push yourself back to the start. Do all your reps with your left leg, and then repeat with your right leg.

4. Standing Calf Raise

With a dumbbell in your right hand, stand on a step and put your left hand on something for balance. Cross your left foot behind your right ankle, and balance yourself on the ball of your right foot.

Lower your right heel as far as you can [A], and then lift it as high as you can [B]. Do all your reps with your right leg, and repeat the move with your left leg.

Workout C

  • 50 total reps per exercise
  • 20-22 rep range, first set
  • 75 seconds of rest between sets

1. Cable Standing Face Pull

Attach a rope handle to the high pulley cable and grab the ends with an overhand grip. Stand back so your arms are straight and the cable is taut [A].

Pull the rope toward your chin as you rotate your forearms toward your ears [B]. Reverse the motion as you return to the starting position, and repeat without pausing.

2. Push-Up

Assume a pushup position, with your hands slightly wider and in line with your shoulders and your body aligned from ankles to shoulders [A].

Lower your body as far as possible [B], and then quickly push yourself back to the start. If traditional pushups are too easy, elevate your feet using a bench or Swiss ball.

3. Romanian Deadlift

Stand holding a bar at arm's length with a shoulder-width, overhand grip. Your knees should be slightly bent [A].

Keeping your back naturally arched, lower your torso until it's nearly parallel to the floor [B]. Immediately raise your torso back to the starting position.

4. Standing Hammer Curl

Holding a pair of dumbbells, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders, and turn your palms so they're facing each other [A].

Curl the dumb-bells up as high as you can without moving your upper arms forward [B], and then lower the weights to the starting position.

For more workouts and training advice, pick up your copy of Huge in a Hurry, by Chad Waterbury, available anywhere books are sold.

Download this workout to your iPod here.