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The Star Online: Sports

World Cup may be most dramatic ever, says cricket body

Posted: 21 Mar 2011 05:16 AM PDT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Cricket's governing body says critics of the 50-over format have been proved wrong by a World Cup that is shaping up as the "greatest and most dramatic ever."

International Cricket Council president Sharad Pawar says television audience figures for the tournament have set records and that combined with crowd figures "demonstrate the enduring appeal of the 50-over game."

"I have no doubt that it will continue to grow from strength to strength in the future," he said.

"Some people have been predicting the demise of 50-over cricket but they have been proven wrong."

The World Cup has been criticized for being too long and for mismatches between top teams and smaller cricketing nations such as Kenya, the Netherlands and Ireland.

The present tournament started Feb. 19 and 40 games have been played so far, with the first quarterfinal yet to be contested. It climaxes on April 2 with the final in Mumbai.

The ICC has already taken steps to shorten the World Cup, held every four years, by reducing the number of nations taking part from 14 to 10 at the next edition in 2015.

T20 cricket has grown in popularity and some say the 50-over format is dying, but Pawar said the tournament had already produced gripping cricket.

"We have surely been treated to a real feast of 50-over cricket with some outstanding games," he said.

"Few who were in (Bangalore) will forget the tied match between India and England or Ireland's record-breaking triumph against England, while the passion shown by the home supporters for the hosts Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka has been spectacular."

England, which tied with India, beat South Africa and yet lost to Ireland, has produced some of the most exciting games, but many have been one-sided.

Pawar said the India-England tie had been the most viewed game in World Cup history, with millions watching in India alone.

"The standard of cricket has been impressive and there is no doubt that 50-over cricket has a real attraction and an amazing appeal for players, spectators in the grounds and the hundreds of millions watching on television around the world.

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Karrie Webb wins LPGA Founders Cup

Posted: 20 Mar 2011 08:31 PM PDT

PHOENIX (AP): Karrie Webb rallied to win the LPGA Founders Cup on Sunday for her second straight victory, shooting a 6-under 66 to beat Brittany Lincicome and Paula Creamer by a stroke.

Lincicome had a chance to pull even with Webb on the final hole, but missed a 10-foot par putt.

The 36-year-old Webb, who finished at 12-under 204, earned $200,000 for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and the Japan earthquake relief efforts in the charity event at Wildfire Golf Club.

Instead of paying the players, the tournament honoring the 13 LPGA Tour founders donated $1 million to charity - half to The LPGA Foundation and its LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program and half to the top-10 finishers' designated charities.

Webb has 38 LPGA Tour victories, including a win three weeks ago in Singapore.

After opening with a 71, Webb shot a 67 on Saturday, leaving her six strokes behind second-round leader Angela Stanford.

Stanford, who was at 12 under after opening with consecutive 66s, had three three-putt bogeys in a 75 Sunday that left her fifth at 9 under.

Webb tied Lincicome at 11 under with a 5-foot birdie putt on the par-3 14th and took the lead with a tap-in birdie on the par-5 15th.

Lincicome then matched the Australian Hall of Famer at 12 under with a short birdie putt of her own on 15.

Webb made a 3-foot putt for par on the par-4 18th after leaving her approach shot in the fringe in front of the green.

Lincicome also ended up in the fringe short of the final green, but ran her chip 10 feet past the hole and missed the putt for her second bogey of the week.

Lincicome shot a 70, while Creamer had a 66.

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