One match which has spiced up the world cup, which was otherwise dull and languid so far is the super 8 match between England and Sri Lanka played at North Sound, Antigua. Both teams, fighting scratchily for their place in semi finals put up a nail biting show down, which warmed the hearts of cricket fans around the world.
Sensational and ever changing encounter was marked by many classical ups and downs. England won the toss and let Sri Lankans show their display with bat. From the outset English team was apprehensive as the scary memories of last summer were taunting them, when Srilanka thrashed them by 5-0 ODI series win. Though the start of Sri Lanka was calculated and cautious, but it was largely due to the tight bowling by James Anderson and Sajid Mehmood. Jayasuriya, the star opener, went out just for 25 runs after hitting a grand six and 4 boundaries. Tharanga earned some of his dignity back by scoring nice and cool 62 runs with the strike rate of 60.19. Sangakkara again failed miserable and went out due to a world class delivery by Mahmood.
Jayawardene, controlled the innings for quite a time with his 56 runs which included 4 fours and he stayed at the innings for 80 minutes. Chamara Silva and Arnold both facilitated the Lankan inning with 24 and 20 runs each. England were bit sloppy in the field earlier on, but got steady afterwards. The match continued to sway on both sides with every passing over. A restricted Lankan didn’t manage to get any huge score and ended with only 235 runs.
England started as badly as could be possible. Ed Joyce went to back to his seat in pavilion after a meek 10 runs and the skipper Vaughan again failed to impress his critics and fans and got a duck. Then thankfully for England, Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen supported the pillars of English batting and not only they blocked the dismissals but also rocketed the run rate. Their partnership was a big hope for England to snatch the game away. Ian Bell was cruising along at 47 when Jayasuriya chipped in and caused a run out. Kevin was caught and bold the snaky-eyed magician Muralitharan. 74-ball 50 by Pietersen was a treat to watch.
Mr. Dependable Paul Collingwood’s shock outage at just 14 runs was the greatest blow for England in the match and it deflated their hopes a great deal. Dilhara Fernando added insult to injury by getting rid of Flintoff very soon. At that point, every English fan was repeating the curses in his mind and was certain to get a hangover that night to forget the inner scars, but Ravi Bopara and Nixon again raised the hopes for England by making a 50 run joint venture. Nixon and Bopara showed their promising future by hitting some fantastic shots, especially a reverse sweep six by Nixon was something royal.
Though the failure of Bopara, the man of the match and Nixon to bring England the long-yearned win was heart crushing for the English league, it at least ranged the danger bell for Australia, which are to face England in Super 8 on coming Sunday.More on:Antigua, Australia, Bopara, england, Fernando, Muralitharan, nixon, north sound, Sri Lanka, vaughan, World Cup
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, April 6th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, World Cup.
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