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Cricket News - 2002-01-18

The International Cricket Council has confirmed a three-member panel to look into a referee's decision that led to a dispute between the governing body and India's national team.

The Council says South African Albie Sachs will chair the panel with support from former test players Majid Khan, of Pakistan, and Andrew Hilditch, of Australia.

Indian cricket board head Jagmohan Dalmiya has objected to the panel because his organization was not consulted when the commission was chosen. Dalmiya said his board would review its position after Saturday's one-day international match with England.

The three-man commission is set to review whether English referee Mike Denness followed proper procedures when he disciplined six Indian players for showing dissent and other actions during India's second test against South Africa last November.

The suspensions caused uproar in Indian cricket and Denness was sacked for the third test match. The International Cricket Council refused to recognize the third test as official. The world body wants the referee's commission to have its report ready in time for its Executive Committee Meeting in March.

Meanwhile, world champion Australia has lost its third straight limited overs tri-series match by 23 runs to New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground Thursday.

This is the first time in the series' 22-year history the Aussies have lost their opening three games. New Zealand scored 235 for nine in its 50 overs and then bowled Australia out for 212 in 48 overs.

Chris Harris was the high scorer for New Zealand with 42 not out. New team captain Chris Cairns added another 39 runs. Michael Bevan scored 66 runs for Australia and Ryan Campbell had 38 runs. Chris Harris took three wickets for New Zealand while allowing 37 runs.

The loss puts Australia in an unfamiliar place, at the bottom of the standings in the three-nation series that also features South Africa. The next match is Saturday in Brisbane when South Africa takes on New Zealand. The South Africans lead the match standings with eight points from two matches.

In other cricket news, Pakistan's cricket team has taken a 281-run lead over Bangladesh after the second day of the second and final test in Chittagong.

Centuries by Younis Khan and Yousuf Youhana helped the tourists to a first innings scored of 429 for seven by the end of play Thursday. The score was in response to Bangladesh's score of 148 all out in its first innings.

Youhana was unbeaten for 174 while Younis added 119 before being caught out by Mehrab Houssain. Pakistan won the first test by an innings and 178 runs.