It was a tale of what might have been in Brisbane yesterday as rain brought a premature end to Australia and New Zealand's one-day series decider with the game poised. The wet weather in Brisbane forced a number of delays throughout and finally had the last say with the Black Caps 123-6 - needing 33 runs from six overs. The result means that Australia retain the Chappell-Hadlee trophy after they came back from two games down to tie a closely fought series 2-2. Despite his side retaining the trophy, captain Ricky Ponting was disappointed yesterday's match did not offer a result.
"It was turning out into a very good game. It was getting down to the last few overs to determine the game and the series so it was a disappointing way to finish what has been a hard-fought and close series." His opposite number, Daniel Vettori, echoed Ponting's words, hinting he felt the victory was well within his team's grasp. Batting first, Australia posted 168-4 from their rain-reduced 22 overs, with opener Brad Haddin unbeaten on 88 from 65 balls, helping his team recover from 70-4 from 11 overs. Further rain reduced the Kiwis' target to 156 from 20 overs. Opener Martin Guptill, in his seventh one-day international, finished unbeaten on 64 from 32 balls. After slumping to 73-6 after eight overs, Guptill and debutant Brendon Diamanti then threatened to forge a match-winning stand, putting on 50 from 36 balls, before the rain came.
The Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif will fight his Indian Premier League ban because he does not want to be "tarnished with the drugs issue". Asif, 26, was found to have nandrolone in his system during the inaugural edition of the IPL last year and this week received a one-year ban from the IPL. But, Asif told pakpassion.com: "Many would just accept the ban and then come back to cricket, but because I am innocent I don't want to accept the ban. I want to fully clear my name." * With agencies