Mixed emotions in Pakistan after India's exit from Asia Cup

KARACHI: Pakistan cricket team's fans and former players on Tuesday showed mixed emotions after Bangladesh ousted India from the Asia Cup with a shocking five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the last league match of the tournament.

"This is very disappointing. We wanted India in the final. We were hoping that we could avenge our recent defeats to them in this final," cricket enthusiast and banker, Mehmood Arif said.

Since India outclassed their team two days back Pakistani cricket fans, former players and experts have highlighted the fact that they had the capacity to avenge the defeat in the final.

India would have joined Pakistan in the final if Bangladesh had lost to Sri Lanka.

"What would have been an explosive final will now not be the same without India. All of us wanted to play India in the final because it has been a long time since we defeated them in a big match," student Zeeshan said.

Pakistan lost to India in the World Cup semifinal last year in Mohali and were thrashed in the Asia Cup on Sunday despite making 329 runs.

Beautician Maham Syed, an ardent cricket fan who watched the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka match, said she had prayed for a Sri Lankan victory.

"Without India there wouldn't be much fun in the final. After Sunday's defeat the final was our chance to get even with them. But that chance is gone now," she said.

But cricket writer, Saad Shafqat said whatever the public emotions the fact remained that Bangladesh deserved credit for their performance in the tournament.

"I think they have matured as a team and now they have more self belief in themselves. All this India talk is fine but Pakistan will need to be careful in the final," he said.

Former Pakistan captain, Rashid Latif said Mushfiqur Rahim's team had clearly benefited a lot from the Bangladesh Premier League.

"The BPL has made their top players more mature and responsible and they now have the confidence to chase even big totals. They will be dangerous opponents in the final although I would say Pakistan are favourites to lift the cup," he said.

Ironically Pakistan's last Asia Cup title win came in Dhaka in 2000.

Former Test pacer, Jalaluddin said it was understood why people were disappointed.

"Sunday's defeat was a shock to everyone. Everyone saw the final as a chance for our team to redeem themselves against the Indians but this is not going to happen in this tournament," he said.

He said Bangladesh had even given a tough time to Pakistan in the league match so the final should be an interesting one.

"They have the batting firepower and disciplined bowling while their fielding is very sharp in this competition. I don't think the final will be one sided," he said.

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Tamim, Shakib lead Bangladesh into Asia Cup final

Bangladesh's Nasir Hossain (L) and Mahmudullah celebrates as Sri Lanka's Lahiru Thirimanne (R) watches after Bangladesh won the Asia Cup one-day international (ODI) cricket match in Dhaka March 20, 2012. REUTERS-Andrew Biraj
DHAKA | Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:13am IST
DHAKA (Reuters)- Tamim Iqbal celebrated his 23rd birthday with a half-century and Shakib Al Hasan also made fifty as Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by five wickets on Tuesday to get to the Asia Cup final for the first time.
The home side reached their revised target of 212 runs in 40 overs with 17 balls to spare after rain delayed the start of their innings by nearly two hours.
Bangladesh, who earlier dismissed Sri Lanka for 232, will play Pakistan in the final on Thursday, with five-times champions India out of the tournament despite finishing level on points with Bangladesh.
India paid the price for their shock defeat by Bangladesh which sent them out on the teams' head-to-head record.
"I can't understand what my feelings are," said overjoyed man of the match Shakib.
"Of course when I talk to the team mates I will realise what this is. I am very excited, very happy because we don't usually achieve such things," he said.
"We have now defeated the reigning world champions and runners-up, which is a huge achievement for us," added Shakib as thousands celebrated the win on the streets.
"It gives us a lot of confidence, taught us a lot of things. This change will take us a long way," he said.
Nuwan Kulasekara claimed two wickets in his opening spell to help Sri Lanka reduce Bangladesh to 40 for three but Tamim and Shakib added 76 runs for the fourth wicket.
Unheralded off-spinner Sachitra Senanayake, playing his first match of the tournament, briefly threatened to spoil Bangladesh's party when he dismissed both batsmen in the space of four overs.
Tamim gave Senanayake a sharp return catch just after completing his third fifty of the tournament, but the bowler could not grasp it.
Senanayake, however, got his reward for superb bowling when he had Tamim caught by Lahiru Thirimanne for 59 off 57 balls.
Four overs later Shakib fell for 54 to Senanayake, who kept one low and trapped the left-hander lbw.
Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah continued the Bangladesh momentum, delighting the Sher-e-Bangla crowd which included Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Nasir was unbeaten on 36 and Mahmudullah made 32 not out, the pair adding 77 runs for the sixth wicket.
Earlier fast bowler Nazmul Hossain, playing his first match in the competition, produced a brilliant opening spell which earned him the prized scalps of Mahela Jayawardene (five), Tillakaratne Dilshan (19) and Kumar Sangakkara (six).
Nazmul, who finished with three for 32, was complemented by his opening partner and former skipper Mashrafe Mortaza who gave away just 13 runs in his first spell of six overs.
Chamara Kapugedera (62), Thirimanne (48) and Upul Tharanga (48) boosted Sri Lanka but two wickets each form left-arm spinners Shakib and Abdur Razzak pegged them back.
Jayawardene praised the Bangladesh performance.
"They are hungry for success, which is a good thing," he said.
"So wish them all the best for the final which I know will be against Pakistan who are playing some good cricket too. It will be a good final."
(Editing by Ed Osmond)

A Chinese perspective on the spring equinox

In Chinese thought, spring is associated with the direction east – the sunrise direction as Earth spins us toward the beginning of each new day.
The March 2012 equinox comes early. It’ll be on March 20 at 5:14 UTC. That is, 12:14 a.m. Central Daylight Time for us in the central U.S. – or 10:14 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on March 19 for the western U.S.
In Chinese thought, spring is associated with the color green, the sound of shouting, thewood element, the climate of wind, things sprouting, your eyes, your liver, your anger, patience and altruism – and a green dragon. Not surprisingly, spring is also associated with the direction east, the sunrise direction as Earth spins us toward the beginning of each new day.
What’s this about? It’s a system called Wu Xing by the Chinese, which translates to the Five Phases or Five Elements. Phases describes it better, because it’s a description of nature, which as we all know never stops moving.
You can think of the Chinese system of Wu Xing as correlating to the seasons. We all experience the fact that things sprout and begin to grow (spring). They fire up or ignite or bloom (summer) and reach completeness (late summer). They begin to dry and wither (autumn). They rest (winter).
A Chinese green dragon belongs to the same set of correspondences as springtime. Image via The Dragon
Also, in this system of thought, each season or “phase” has many other correspondences – for example, the direction east and a green dragon correspond to springtime. The Chinese use Wu Xing to describe interactions and relationships between many ordinary things all around us and within us. They used this system to think about such diverse activities as music, military strategy and the martial arts, for example. They used it to help understand how to heal the human body. When I first encountered it, after years of studying astronomy, it reminded me a lot of western cosmology, in that it provides a framework for a whole universe.
If you learn the Chinese system of Wu Xing – Five Elements or Five Phases – you’ll begin to see it in many things. It’s a deep way of thinking about nature and can help you understand, for example, how profoundly the stillness, cold and quiet – the deep unknown – of winter has to happen first before spring (or new endeavors of any kind) can begin to sprout. In that way, it helped me embrace “winter” of all kinds, because winter promises spring.
Green is the color of springtime. Image via Green Kite Property Services
So to celebrate the spring equinox in accordance with Chinese thought, you might …
Stand facing east, considered the direction of spring in this philosophy. Just stand for a few moments and honor the quality of east as it relates to the season of spring.
Plant a garden. Sprouting and the color green are integral to springtime in both eastern and western philosophies. In Chinese thought, so are your eyes. Have you ever had the experience of straining your eyes, then resting them by taking a long car ride, looking at the many soothing greens of the landscape? I have. In the Chinese system of thought, your eyes and the color green, springtime and sprouting plants, all correspond.
Wind is the climate of springtime. Image via Lee J. Haywood on Flickr
Fly a kite! Wind is the climate of spring, in Chinese thought.
Shout! Let it go. Time to begin anew.
The Chinese understanding of nature’s cycle seems fanciful, but once you begin to consider the five elements or phases of Chinese philosophy, you see them cycling in and around everything. All things sprout (spring), bloom (summer), reach completeness (late summer), become brittle and die (autumn), then rest (winter). You can recognize these phases in the course of relationships, over a workday, in the progress of a play or novel, in the process of aging, while eating a meal, in the growth of a garden, in a scientific or political or business enterprise, while playing a game.
So enjoy this easiest of seasons … this beginning. Happy spring, everybody!

Apple CEO Tim Cook Said Apple's stock ends above $600

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook
NEW YORK -- Apple's stock closed above $600 for the first time Monday, the same day the company announced plans to reward shareholders with a dividend and a share buyback program.
The stock rallied in the final minutes of trading to close at $601.10, an increase of $15.53, or 2.7%.
Apple is the world's most valuable company, with a market capitalization of about $560 billion. The company has been successful with what it calls "post-PC" products -- smartphones and tablet computers that perform tasks people used to do on personal computers. In the U.S. and other industrialized markets, there's evidence consumers have delayed replacing PCs, hurting manufacturers such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard.
Apple has a healthy cash balance because of its success with those products. It had $97.6 billion in cash and securities at the end of 2011. Apple said Monday that it will pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share, starting in its fiscal fourth quarter, which begins July 1. The company also said it plans to buy back up to $10 billion in stock over three years starting Sept. 30.
The third version of the iPad went on sale Friday in the U.S. and nine other countries. Some customers camped outside stores overnight to be among the first to buy one. Upgrades in the new version include a sharper screen and a faster processor. Apple said late Monday that it had sold 3 million of the new iPads, which it said was the strongest iPad launch to date.
There were 15.4 million iPads shipped in Apple's most recent quarter, which included the critical holiday season.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he thinks purchases of tablet computers such as the iPad will eventually surpass those of personal computers.

Flooding Feared After Storms Sock South-Central US

Residents and businesses from southeast Texas north through western Missouri were bracing for flooding Tuesday after a violent band of storms brought heavy rain, hail and at least one tornado, with more of the same forecast for the next several days.
The National Weather Service reported a tornado touched down Monday evening about 25 miles southwest of San Antonio, and parts of the city and surrounding areas were under a tornado warning. The San Antonio Express was reporting early Tuesday that several homes were damaged, trapping some people in mobile homes, but that no fatalities were reported.
Thousands of customers lost power in Dallas-Fort Worth, where strong winds and rain pelted the area. Flights were stopped temporarily Monday night at Love Field airport and delayed an average of almost three hours at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Power outages were also reported in Oklahoma City and in Tulsa County. Earlier Monday in Oklahoma City, firefighters responded to a call for a water rescue, but by the time they arrived, the people inside the stranded car had gotten out safely.
Flooding remains a serious concern across the affected areas.
Texas Weather
Lightning rips through the sky behind the... View Full Caption
The fresh crop of storms comes after two tornadoes damaged homes and railcars in North Platte, Neb., on Sunday. The EF3 twister with winds up to 165 mph injured four people.
Eight inches of rain was expected in southeastern Kansas, which has been unusually dry for nearly a year. The area has had less than three-fourths of the precipitation it typically gets since last April, state climatologist Mary Knapp said.
"We're looking at maybe a week of rain in that part of the state," she said. "That would be a very, very nice start to our spring season."
Emergency management officials said they're keeping an eye on the clouds but feel comfortable southeast Kansas can handle several days of rain.
In Arkansas, however, emergency management officials readied teams to respond to flash floods, especially in the western part of the state where the heaviest downpour was expected. The U.S. Forest Service closed campsites preemptively Monday, exercising caution after 20 people died in a flash flood at a remote campground in 2010.
"When rain falls in those terrain areas" — especially the hills and valleys — "it's quickly funneled into small rivers and streams," said B.J. Simpson, a National Weather Service meteorologist. "Those are the most dangerous areas."
Still, even flatlands could still see the potential for runoff and flash floods if the rain comes too fast for the ground to absorb it.
"There's really no amount of dry ground that can take up to 10 inches of rain in a couple day timeframe," Simpson said.
Associated Press writers Bill Draper in Kansas City, Mo., Rochelle Hines in Oklahoma City, Nomaan Merchant in Dallas and Jeannie Nuss in Little Rock, Ark., contributed to this report.