Sri Lanka brush Eng­land aside with ease

Townsville Bulletin - - Cricket -

SRI Lanka ended Eng­land’s gru­elling five-month global odyssey with a com­pre­hen­sive 10-wicket tri­umph on Satur­day to set up a World Cup semi­fi­nal show­down against New Zealand.

Open­ers Til­lakaratne Dil­shan, with 108 not out, and Upul Tha­ranga, who hit an un­beaten 102, en­joyed their sec­ond 200-plus part­ner­ship of the tour­na­ment, wrap­ping up vic­tory in Colombo with more than 10 overs to spare.

The win also al­lowed Mut­tiah Mu­ral­i­daran, the most suc­cess­ful bowler in his­tory, to ex­tend his 19-year ca­reer by at least three more days with Sri Lanka, the 1996 cham­pi­ons, to face the Ki­wis in Colombo to­mor­row.

Eng­land, who have been on the road vir­tu­ally non-stop since em­bark­ing on their suc­cess­ful Ashes tour in Oc­to­ber, made a dogged 6-229 in their 50 overs.

Jonathan Trott ( 86) and Eoin Mor­gan ( 50), who was dropped three times, pro­vided much-needed back­bone on a slow, flat R. Pre­madasa Sta­dium pitch.

Trott fell in the 49th over, caught off Mu­ral­i­daran who fin­ished with 2-54, af­ter a 115-ball in­nings which fea­tured just two bound­aries.

‘‘ We lost the toss but we started well with the ball,’’ Sri Lanka cap­tain Ku­mar San­gakkara said.

‘‘ The guys fought hard, es­pe­cially field­ing first in the heat and hu­mid­ity and they kept up the pres­sure.’’

Eng­land cap­tain Andrew Strauss, whose side had en­dured a roller­coaster tour­na­ment, ad­mit­ted they had fallen short.

‘‘ They were able to bowl a lot of dot balls at us to build pres­sure and we weren’t able to take ad­van­tage of the plat­form that we had,’’ Strauss said.

‘‘ But we have to be hon­est, we haven’t been good enough dur­ing the tour­na­ment. This was a step too far.’’

Mean­while, crack In­dian com­man­dos helped ramp up se­cu­rity in Mo­hali for Wed­nes­day’s high­ly­charged semi-fi­nal be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan, the first clash of the two teams on In­dian soil since the 2008 Mum­bai ter­ror at­tacks.

Around 2000 po­lice will pa­trol the 30,000-ca­pac­ity Pun­jab Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Sta­dium with a fur­ther 1000 hav­ing al­ready de­scended on the l u x u r y H o t e l T a j i n n e a r b y Chandi­garh where both teams are staying.

Pak­istan star Mo­ham­mad Hafeez in­sisted he had no qualms about the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion.

‘‘ We have no fear or a feel­ing of any short­com­ings when it comes to se­cu­rity,’’ he said.

‘‘ That’s not our job; our job is to play cricket. To pro­vide se­cu­rity is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the ICC and the Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia. We are very happy and we are en­joy­ing our­selves very much.’’

South Africa cap­tain Graeme Smith has pre­dicted that his team will quickly over­come their lat­est World Cup fright night, a 49-run loss to New Zeal a nd i n Dhaka i n Fri d a y ’ s quar­ter-fi­nal.

The Black Caps, re­stricted to 8-221 af­ter tak­ing first strike, bun­dled out South Africa for 172 af­ter they were sail­ing mer­rily at 2-108 by the 24th over.

South Africa have now lost in three semi-fi­nals, two quar­ter-fi­nals and once in the first round. think is right for me and the team go­ing for­ward.

‘‘ I’ve still got a lot to of­fer the team as a player and leader. With the chang­ing face of the team, there are a lot of young faces around the team, and when I first came into the team, I was lucky to have had a lot of ex­pe­ri­enced guys around for me to learn what in­ter­na­tional cricket was about.

‘‘ I want to make sure ( the young play­ers) . . . we have in the team have ex­pe­ri­enced guys around to learn from as well.

‘‘ It’s never been about how many runs I’ve scored or hun­dreds I’ve made – if I feel I can con­trib­ute with the bat, help the team win games of cricket and help young guys along the way, then I think I should still be play­ing.’’

Todd Schloss

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.