England Vs Sri Lanka Third One Day International Match Report

An entrataining innings of 58 from just 40 balls helped England get back into the five match series against Sri Lanka.
An entrataining innings of 58 from just 40 balls helped England get back into the five match series against Sri Lanka.

England went into this third one day international with Sri Lanka knowing nothing else than a win would do.The Three Lions are trailing 2-0 in the five match series and new that if they were to lose this game against Sri Lanka, they will in turn lose the series.

The match itself belatedly got underway after a delay due to rain, consequently that meant meant the Duckingworth Lewis method came into play. The Duckingowrth Lewis method calculated that this match would be 35 overs a side.

The England side included Alex Hales who comes in for Ian Bell and Chris Jordan who comes in for Harry Gurney, as for Sri Lanka they included specialist middle order batsmen Thilina Kandamby in place of Mahela Jaywawardena who was unavailable for this match.

The hosts Sri Lanka got their run chase off to a terrible start, England managed to reduce their opponents to 31-3 at one stage, Kusal Perrera and Kandamby fell for ducks. A fourth wicket stand of 77 however allowed the Sri Lankan’s to regroup after the loss of the three early wickets – but captain Angelo Matthews was dismissed for 37 off the bowling of Chris Jordan who had the Sri Lankan captain caught behind by Joss Buttler.

That left Sri Lanka on 118-4 , the Sri Lankan’s were in need of another good partnership at that point- but the fifth wicket pairing of Kumar Sangakarra and vice captain Lahiru Thirimanne only managed to put on 32. Sanagakarra would be the next man out, the veteran wicket keeper was caught by Moeen Ali off the bowling of Chris Jordan for 63, which took the former Sri Lanka captain past 13,000 one day international runs. Sangakarra is only the fourth player to pass such a milestone .

At 150-5 and most of Sri Lanka’s more household named batsmen back in the pavilion, the Sri Lankan’s looked like they were going to get bowled out for a cheap score. Sri Lanka though however showed great resolve and thanks to a battling 62 from vice captain Thrimanne and a crucial cameo by Dhammika Prassad, that meant Sri Lanka were able post 242-8, which was a score which seemed daunting for England to chase in 35 overs. Due to the Duckingworth Lewis method however The Three Lions needed 236 to get back into this 5 match series.

England with the opening combination of Moeen Ali and Alistair Cook, went about the run chase in a very positive manner. Ali in particular hit two 4’s and launched 5 6’s over the boundary in a very entertaining 40 ball knock.

At the other end captain Alistair Cook wasn’t quite as ‘cavalier’ in his stroke play- but was looking solid. Cook who has been in disappointing form with the bat in one day internationals was looking for a well overdue half century- but sadly it wasn’t to come in this match, the England captain would be the first wicket to fall caught behind by Sangakarra off the bowling of Prassad. Sangakarra with that catch broke Adam Gilchrist’s record of 472 dismissals which Gilchrist and Sangakarra shared.

Moeen Ali who seemed to be taking quite a liking to Sri Lanka’s bowling attack, fell 19 runs later after a horrible mix up with Alex Hales lead to Ali being run out. England after Ali’s dismissal were 103-2 and were in need of a good partnership to consolidate the good start that was given to them by Cook and Ali.

An old fashioned middle order collapse followed however and England were in danger of losing this game. At 152-5 and with ‘finishers’ Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara back in the pavilion after both fell cheaply, things looked very bleak for England.

Cometh the hour cometh the man they say, in England’s case it was cometh the men, as Joe Root who has been England’s saviour so many times this year alone was accompanied by Joss Buttler. The England pair put on a brilliant partnership of 84 for the sixth wicket.

Buttler finished unbeaten on 55 from just 45 balls while at the other end Joe Root scored a composed run a ball 48. England are back in this series and trail 2-1, The three Lions will be looking to carry on the momentum for the rest of this series and into the world cup which starts in February.

Pakistan And New Zealand Play Out Stalemate

Ross Taylor played a key part in helping New Zealand to save the seconmd test.
Ross Taylor played a key part in helping New Zealand to save the seconmd test.

Pakistan’s cricketers who have been in impressive form of late, were looking to carry on their good form against New Zealand in the second test. The ‘hosts’ outplayed the Kiwis in the first game as Pakistan won by 248 runs. New Zealand were looking to get revenge in this one.

The New Zealanders batted first and got their innings off to a solid start. Brendan McCullum and Tom Latham put on 77 for the first wicket – but the opening partnership was ended by debutant Ehsan Adil, Adil had New Zealand captain McCullum caught for an attractive looking 43. The former wicket keeper hit four 4’s and two sixes in his knock.

Pakistan were sensing ‘blood’ after breaking the first wicket partnership – but Kane Williamson and Latham had other ideas. The pair put on a handy 76 run stand as New Zealand were looking to regroup after the loss of their captain. Zulfiquar Babar had other ideas – and bowled Williamson for 32.

Frustratingly for the Pakistani’s New Zealand were starting to take control of this match with some useful partnerships. Another 70 run stand the Kiwis lead them 200 for the loss of just three wickets. Pakistan at this point were probably looking to restrict New Zealand to a total they could get close to when their time comes to bat.

A mini collapse for the Black caps saw Tom Latham and Corey Anderson both return to the pavilion with the score stuck on 245. At this point Pakistan must have been ‘licking’ their lips as most of New Zealand’s top order was back in the pavilion. New Zealand in this game though seemed to be ‘up for the fight’ .

After being 278-6 at one stage many might have expected New Zealand to crumble – especially after the first game. To the Black caps’ credit they battled to a respectable 403 all out, Pakistan have a battle on their hands all over a sudden.

The Pakistani’s new they needed a ‘special effort’ just to stay in this game, they couldn’t have got off to the worst possible start as the new opening pair of Taufeeq Umar and Maqsood were both dismissed cheaply.

New Zealand at this point must have thought that they have got Pakistan right where they want them – but a third wicket stand of 113 halted the Kiwis’ charge. Misbah Ul-Haq the Pakistani captain was next and made an attractive looking 28 before being caught by Ross Taylor off the bowling Trent Boult. At that point they were 195-4

Pakistan were slowly getting there way back into this game – but the problem was they were losing to many wickets for their own liking. The 1992 world champions had a slight ‘wobble’ and slipped to 287-8 – but thankfully for Pakistan they can call on the services of wicket-keeper batsmen Sarfraz Ahmed – and hundred for Ahmed helped Pakistan to 393 all out, which left them just 10 behind New Zealand’s first innings score.

The second innings wasn’t as good for New Zealand as the first and the Kiwi’s lost four wickets before the score even got to 100. The New Zealander’s with a 46 run fifth wicket stand and a 60 run sixth wicket stand managed to get a lead of over 200 at that point (236 to be precise). The eight wicket fell two runs later and when the ninth wicket fell with the score at 250, New Zealand opted to declare.

With a lead of 260 which was in large thanks to Ross Taylor’s century ,was a testing score – especially for a fourth and innings and for a pitch like Dubai.
To cap a disappointing match Taufeeq Umar in Pakistan’s second innings was dismissed cheaply. With Pakistan looking to save the game – the Pakistani’s couldn’t have got off to a worst possible start. A second wicket stand of 62 looked to have taken the sting out of the game – but another two wickets fell with only three more runs scored.

Pakistan were wobbling and a New Zealand win seemed a distinct possibility. Out came ‘Pakistan’s Mr Reliable’ Younus Khan and talk of a New Zealand win seemed to have gone – but when Khan was out caught by Ross Taylor off the bowling of Mark Craig, New Zealand’s hopes of a win were renewed with that wicket.

Sadly for New Zealand there was to be no more drama as a sixth wicket stand of 43 between Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed ensured that Pakistan drew the ,match and still have there 1-0 series lead intact.

The third and final test starts on Wednesday.

The Key To Premiership Survival

Danny Ings and Sam Vokes Will Be Crucial For Bradford In Their Quest For Premiership Survival
Danny Ings and Sam Vokes Will Be Crucial For Burnley In Their Quest For Premiership Survival

What makes football that ‘beautiful’ sport that it is in my opinion is that there is always that ‘unpredictability’ factor. In life itself more times than not you’re the master of your own fate- but in sport and more particularly football that isn’t the case necessarily.

For example there have been several occasions over the years where there has been the case that the ‘better team has lost’ . One side would have more possession and chances than the opposition – take the Stoke vs Burnley game for example.

This game proves my exact point that I want to make. Burnley despite having 27% possession in this match still came out on top. Crucial to that win, despite his modesty in the post match interview was Danny Ings.

Ings has now scored 3 goals in his last 4 games for the Clarets and will be crucial for the Lancashire club’s survival attempts. That’s stating the obvious you might think – but the virtues of having a ‘goal scorer’ are priceless.

Take QPR for example who many will be in a relegation dog fight just like Burnley, in their ranks they have Charlie Austin, who is ironically a former Burnley striker. Austin has been crucial for QPR this year and his goals have effected QPR’S points tally the win against Aston Villa for example was an example of the QPR front man’s goal scoring prowess.

In Burnley’s case they got to the premier league with Danny Ings’ goals and the goals of his strike partner Sam Vokes. Both of these players are crucial for the Clarets and with these two in their side Burnley just, just might avoid the drop.

Many saw a lack of ‘firepower’ as the reason why Chelsea’s title bid was unsuccessful, now they have rectified that with the world class acquisition of Diego Costa. In Burnley’s case the fact that they have two excellent forwards may give them the edge over sides like Leicester and Aston Villa.

You can’t put a price on a good quality centre forward, the fact that Burnley have one if not two, should only leave them in good stead in the longer run. It’s usually the same story, usually when a side doesn’t have a ‘goal scorer’ they struggle.

The fact that QPR and Burnley have at least one ‘goal scorer’ in their side gives them the edge over any potential relegation rivals. It’s goals that win you football matches first and foremost.

Is Jurgen Top Of The Klopps For Arsenal?

Jurgen Klopp has stated his desire to manage in England.
Jurgen Klopp has stated his desire to manage in England.

Arsenal endured yet another frustrating day in front of their own fans. This time however it was ‘old adversaries’ Manchester United. United came into this evenings game to the Emirates with a rather underwhelming start to the campaign, with that in mind – one must have thought that ‘ it’s a good time’ to play the Red Devils.

Sadly though for the Gunners they would lose this match and go further behind pacesetters Chelsea. Losing is a very painful emotion in itself – but yet another defeat to one of the so called ‘big four ‘ has lead to many disgruntled fans ‘calling for the head’ of manager Arsene Wenger.

What doesn’t help is the apparent statement coming from Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp, which some may argue has only increased the pressure on Wenger. Klopp who has been a champions league runner up with Dortmund, is a manager that is widely respected in Europe- but he himself is struggling in his current job with Dortmund who are currently in a lowly 15th place in the Bundesliga.

That in itself is not necessarily a true reflection of the German side this season, they have breezed through to the knockout stage of the champions league. Jurgen Klopp has won the domestic tittle with Dortmund back to back – but even Jurgen Klopp hasn’t been able to prevent arch rivals Bayern Munich winning the league at a canter.

The talk of Klopp being the next manager of Arsenal is a bit harsh in my humble opinion – but the stats don’t lie . The Gunners already even at this stage of the season, seem out of the title race and it’s not even December!

Arsenal’s players are trying but they’re naive, I think maybe Arsene Wenger’s tactics is naive. The French manager these days always seems to come second best against one of their ‘bigger rivals’.

Despite the ‘Rolls Royce signings’ (that’s no reference to Marco Reus) , players such as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil – Arsenal seem to lack the big game mentality. This defeat against Manchester United only emphasises what the problems have been before – the defence and a holding midfielder.

The criticism of Wenger in the past has been that he doesn’t spend – but to his credit he has changed that. I still can’t understand why Arsene Wenger opted to sell his club captain Thomas Vermaelen, the Belgian is just the player they need at the moment.

To eradicate that mistake Arsenal need to make some defensive reinforcements, if they don’t I think some reinforcements might be needed at managerial level.

Mohammed Hafeez Is Out Of Action – But For How Long?

Mohammed Hafeez could be facing the prospect of being sidelined due to a suspect bowling action
Mohammed Hafeez could be facing the prospect of being sidelined due to a suspect bowling action

In sport one of the worst emotions that a sportsmen or sportswomen could go through is the emotion of being injured and unable to play – but for Pakistan’s Mohammed Hafeez, he is unable to play for a slightly different reason.

The 34 year old all-rounder missed the drawn second test with New Zealand due to a hamstring injury which was aggravated after being reported for a ‘suspect’ bowing action. The T20 skipper becomes the second Pakistani bowler to be reported after star bowler Saed Ajmal was also reported.
Hafeez has been an ever present figure in the Pakistani line up – and was starting to develop a good connection with Ahmed Shehzhad at the top of the order. Unfortunately due to the decision from the International Cricket Council, Mohammed Hafeez’s opening partnership with Shehzhad might not get the chance to blossom.

It’s not only his batting where Pakistan will miss the 34 year old Hafeez, the T20 captain is a very handy option as a spin bowler – and has brilliantly put pressure on opposing batsmen over the years especially left-handers with his very economical off spin.

With the world cup coming up very soon (February) , Pakistan are facing the potential of being with out two key bowlers (Hafeez and Ajmal). With the case of Mohammed Hafeez, it’s another example of the International cricket council’s attempts to clamp down on ‘suspect’ bowling actions.

Marlon Samuels and Shane Shillingford of the West Indies , Sachitara Senanayke of Sri Lanka, Zimbabwean duo Malcolm Waller and Prosper Utseya, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson ; Saed Ajmal and Mohammed Hafeez of Pakistan of course. All those players have fallen foul of the International Cricket Council’s rules in regards to bowling actions and have been reported, as the ICC look to clamp down on the issue. The West Indian pair have both been subsequently cleared – but both are banned from bowling certain types of deliveries.

As for Pakistan the ICC’s rules could see them with out two key bowlers for the cricket showpiece that is the world cup. Mohammed Hafeez does have a test on his action on Monday at Loughborough however, and Pakistan will hope the test will clear Hafeez’s action because the 34 year old is a crucial player for them and to replace a player of this calibre is a very difficult task if not impossible.

Virat Kohli Sets Up Battling India Win Against Sri Lanka

Virat Kohli's brilliant innings set up the 3 wicket win for India against Sri Lanka
Virat Kohli’s brilliant innings set up the 3 wicket win for India against Sri Lanka

It was a case of deja vu for Sri Lanka, who despite a battling performance with bat and ball, lost by wickets to India- and lost the series 5-0. The Sri Lankan’s can take a lot of positives from this performance despite defeat.

Sri Lankan captain Angelo Matthews in particular had a game to remember, the all-rounder clubbed a career best 139 not out which included 10 sixes, which where mainly bludgeoned to the leg side boundary- and six fours. Matthews was again supported by Lahiru Thrimanne who scored 52, put on 128 with his captain for the fifth wicket.

Matthews and Thirimanne came together with the score at 85-4, the last wicket to fall at that stage stage was Mahela Jaywardena. The former captain made an attractive looking 32 before being caught of Ajikya Rahane off the bowling of Ravi Ashwin.

With Sri Lanka’s top order failing yet again, it was left to Sri Lanka captain to lead by example – and Matthews duly did with a brutal 139 not out. ‘Normal service’ resumed there after for the Indian’s as Perrera, Prasanna and Mendis fell very cheaply- between the three of them they only managed to muster six runs.

That was a shame to Angelo Matthews at the other end, the Sri Lankan all-rounder’s brilliant innings was looking like it was going to be in vain. To Sri Lanka’s credit they managed to muster 286-8 from their 50 overs, which seemed to be a defendable score.

India, who were looking to chase 287 to complete a whitewash, got their run chase off to the worst possible start. Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma both falling early to an inspired Angelo Matthews. Lahiru Gamage who replaced the ineffective Nuwan Kulasekra, was bowling very much in tandem with his captain, Gamage was developing a lovely line which was making scoring difficult for Ambati Rayudu and Virat Kohli.

After 10 overs India were 34-2, an example of the difficulty scoring this pitch . Rayudu and Kohli from that point on batted brilliantly, an over from Angelo Matthews in particular for me was quite sensational, the pair clubbed Matthews (who was Sri Lanka’s best bowler for successive boundaries.

When Rayudu was run out for 59 after a mix up with Virat Kohli. The score at that stage was 150-3, this match was in India’s hand – but the Indian’s started to ‘wobble’. Robbin Uthappa and Kedar Jadhav in particular threw their wickets away when looked ‘well set. Stuart Binny didn’t fair much better, the Rajasthan Royals all-rounder needlessly got stumped when trying to play too big of a shot, much to the annoyance of Virat kohli. Ravi Ashwin fell for a first ball duck, the very next ball.

For Sri Lanka, the ‘worst possible’ thing to do was to get Stuart Binny out. The Indian captain ‘moved up a gear’ when presented with the strike. Thankfully Kohli had a ‘sensible head’ with him in Akshar Patel, the youngster sensibly scored singles to get the more established batsmen Virat Kohli on strike.

As the run chase came near to it’s conclusion, Virat Kohli went on the offensive. The 25 year old Kohli ‘butchered’ Ajantha Mendis who was threatening to take this game away from India by taking the wickets of Uthappa, Jadhav, Binny and Ashwin.

Kohli capped off a battling win for India with two sixes off Mendis in the 49th over to also finish unbeaten on 139 . The result was harsh on Sri Lanka who suffered a 5-0 loss for the first time. For Angelo Matthews in particular his man of the match performance proved to be in the vain.

Pakistan Thrash New Zealand To Win First Test

Ahmed Shehzad scored a brilliant 176 which laid the foundations for Pakistan's emphatic win.
Ahmed Shehzad scored a brilliant 176 which laid the foundations for Pakistan’s emphatic win.

The ‘steam train’ that is Pakistan, stream rolled another opponent, this time it was New Zealand on the receiving end. The 1992 world champions were again very impressive as the Asian sides bowlers and batmen contributed in what turned out to be a big win in the end.

On the back of a first series win over the Australian’s in the last series, Pakistan played New Zealand with confidence evidently high after after the series win of a few weeks ago. The Kiwis who boast of a batting line up of Brendan McCullum, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor and wicket keeper BJ Watling, would put a better performance than what Australia did.

Pakistan batted first, as is the way with the Pakistani’s way these days. Pakistan couldn’t have got to a better start, Pakistan’s openers really putting New Zealand’s bowlers to the sword. The opening pair of Mohammed Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzhad, potentially took the game from new Zealand with an impressive opening stand 178.

New Zealand didn’t look like they were going to take a wicket any time soon as the Kiwis toiled, even former wicket keeper Brendan McCullum bowled a few overs. It was over real surprise almost when the first wicket stand was broken with the score on 178. Mohammed Hafeez was the first wicket to fall, the veteran all-rounder falling just on what would have been a very well deserved 100, Hafeez was caught and bowled for 96.

The Kiwis must have thought this would ‘open up the flood gates’ sadly though for New Zealand a second wicket stand of 169, only strengthened Pakistan’s position. A third wicket fell soon after the second wicket fell- but for New Zealand it was becoming a case of damaged limitation. If two century partnerships weren’t enough, Pakistan put on another century stand- this time it was for 187. Veterans Misbah Ul-Haq and Younus Khan both hit unbeaten centuries. Ahmed Shehzhad’s quite brilliant 176 also deserves a mention.

Pakistan spared New Zealand more misery, declared on 566-3. New Zealand got their innings off to a bad start, three wickets were down before the 50 was up. Despite a century for Tom Latham, only Corey Anderson and Ish Sodhi scored any kind of runs.

With a batting line up of the quality of New Zealand’s, to be all out for 262 is very disappointing. Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Jimmy Neesham – between them scored some 14 runs between them. For players of that quality those stats make depressing reading.

Pakistan with a 304 lead after the first innings looked to press their advantage home- and they duly did. The Pakistani’s somewhat spared New Zealand’s bowlers this time, Pakistan declared on 175-2- looking to force a victory. Mohammed Hafeez did manage to score a 100 in that time which came off only 130 balls.

Chasing a mammoth 479 to win, New Zealand would have been no doubt first and foremost looking to save the game. To compound a disappointing game for Brendan McCullum’s high standards, the skipper was out for 39 in the second innings, Yasir Shah having the New Zealand skipper trapped lbw.

McCullum’s opening partner Latham was first out with the score on 57, falling 4 runs before the fall of the second wicket. In comparison to the first innings, New Zealand were doing comparatively worse it could be argued- as seven wickets had fallen before 150 were on the board for New Zealand.

Jimmy Neesham, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling and kane Williamson , to name some New Zealand batsmen – were all back in the pavilion. If New Zealand were to have any chance of saving this game, ideally they needed someone with the ‘technical ability’ of Kane Williamson.

With the score at 138-8, the Pakistani’s must have sensed that a victory was almost imminent- but ironically New Zealand’s low order showed the top- order how it’s done. A battling 9 wicket stand of 39, halted what many could argue was ‘the inevitable’ . When Mark Craig was bowled by Yasir Shah for 28, Pakistan must have thought finally the victory was theirs.

What was panning out to be a ‘great escape’ seemed more possible as Ish Sodhi who scored a reputable 25 in the first innings, scored a fifty in this innings. Accompanied by number 11 Trent Boult who scored 19, the last wicket pair put on a stubborn last wicket stand of 50 . This Kiwi pair looked to do the near impossible and save a match that they have been for long periods out played in.

Sadly though for New Zealand fans, a fairytale ending to this match wasn’t on the cards. Imran khan finally ending the match by trapping Ish Sodhi for a battling 63. New Zealand will be hoping to bounce back in the next test which starts on Monday 17th November.

Record Breaker Rohit Stars For India In Sri Lanka Demolition

Rohit Sharma helped India to a convincing win over Sri Lanka, with the highest score in one day internationals.
Rohit Sharma helped India to a convincing win over Sri Lanka, with the highest score in one day internationals.

India inspired Rohit Sharma , demolished Sri Lanka-yet again. This short tour has been nothing short of a disaster for the Sri Lankan’s, slumped to a fourth heavy defeat in a row. India changed their opening batting line up for this game and Robbin Utthappa also came in to the side.

Sri Lanka must have been glad to see the back of Shikar Dawan, Dawan has had a brillant series, scoring a hundred and two fifties. As impressive of a feat that is (Dawan’s run scoring) his replacement at the top of the order Rohit Sharma scored nearly the same amount of runs in one match than what Shikar Dawan did in three.

Sharma who is captain of the Mumbai Indians, scored a quite astonishing 264. The Mumbai Indian’s skipper also broke the highest score in one day internationals in the process. The 27 year old Sharma eclipsed the previous record of 219, scored by former team mate Virender Sehwag by some distance.

Rohit Sharma hit 33 fours and 9 sixes in this mammoth knock, as Sri Lanka’s bowlers were put to the sword-yet again. India scored a massive 404-4, with Sharma almost singlehandedly taking his side to that total. To just give you an example of the ‘brutality’ Sri Lanka’s bowlers faced, it took Sharma just 15 balls to get to his fifth fifty. Amazingly India’s fifth wicket partnership was 128 with Robin Utthappa who was at the non-strikers end witnessing some of this carnage, only scoring 16 of those runs.

Sri Lanka knowing they have to produce a much improved batting performance to stand any chance of victory in this ‘dead rubber’ contest, got their innings off to a poor start. The Sri Lankan’s were 48-4, and on the verge of yet another embarrassment.

To be fair to Angelo Matthews’ men, they did put up a fight some form of fight from that point on wards. Captain Matthews lead from the front with a battling 75, the Sri Lankan skipper was supported well by Lahiru Thirimanne who scored 59. The pair put up some resistance for the fifth wicket, and the fifth wicket partnership was worth 118.

That partnership was eventually broken, Akshar Patel broke this stand by having Matthews stumped by Robin Utthappa, sadly for Sri Lanka the game seemed up for them. Thisara Perrera and Thrimane though didn’t want to give this game up with out a fight

The sixth wicket pair put on a ‘battling’ 52 for the sixth – but when Kulkharni had Thirimanne caught at slip by Virat Kohli for 59, Sri Lanka’s resistance had finally wilted. The last four Sri Lankan wickets fell for 33 runs. Sadly for Sri Lanka the top order of their batting failed and so did the bottom. The story of their tour is they have lost wickets in clumps- and that hasn’t changed on the evidence of this performance either.

India must be enthused they way their side is playing right before the world cup, where as Sri Lanka’s coaching staff have cause for concern with the way the side is playing. Hopefully for the sake of cricket fans, Sri Lanka suffered a ‘blip’ on this tour and should be fine for the world cup. The world cup will start on the 14th February with Australia and New Zealand set to host crickets showpiece.

India Cruise To Six Wicket Win Over Sri Lanka

Virat Kohli scored a 50 which made him the fastest player to get 6,000 rubs in one day internationals
Virat Kohli scored a 50 which made him the fastest player to get 6,000 runs in one day internationals

Virat Kohli lead from the front in a another impressive performance for India as they beat a disappointing Sri Lanka by six wickets. Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat first, which very soon seemed to be a ‘doomed decision’ by Sri Lanka captain Angelo Matthews.

The 1996 world champions slumped to 7-2 , Umesh Yadv impressing in an impressive opening spell of bowling. Kushal Perera and Kumar Sangakara the men out, the latter falling for a golden duck. Rattled Sri lanka regrouped and the ‘experienced heads’ of Tilkeratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardena put on 105 for the third wicket.

When Dilshan fell for 53, it was left to Jayawardena to rebuild the innings – and he nearly did, the 36 year old notched up an impressive hundred – but sadly ran out of partners. Sri Lanka, who were at one stage 111-3 crumbled and stuttered to 242 all out.

Prasanna did support Jayawardena for a little while – but his cameo would be ended by Umesh Yadv who took 4-53. Yadav was supported by Akshar Patel who took for 3-40, for Sri Lanka another ‘timid’ batting performance must be of concern especially with the 50 over world cup not to far away.Only Dilshan,Jayawardena and Prasana with his ‘late counter attack’ , provided any resistance.

India started their run chase in confident enough fashion, Rahane and Dawan who both scored hundreds in first match put on 62 for the first wicket. Thisara Perera with break through, despite that setback India never looked in to much trouble. It came as a bit of a shock then when Ambati Rayudu ( a centurion in the last match) was needlessly run out on 35.

At that stage the score was 131-2 and there was maybe a glimmer of hope for Sri Lanka – but a third wicket stand of 70 between the captain Virat kohli and Shikar Dawan effectively killed the contest. A careless shot down the leg-side saw Dawan caught behind for 91 – although replays appeared to show that there was no contact with bat or glove, Nuwan kulasekra the man taking the wicket.

Kohli before the game needed just 50 runs to become the fastest player to score 6,000 runs in one day internationals – and the Delhi born batsmen did break the record with a flick to midwicket. Seeming content with his days work, skipper Kohli needlessly holed out to the fielder at the boundary.

With the job ‘99%’ done the RCB captain can be forgiven I guess for a ‘rush of blood to the head’ . With just seven needed, Wiridimahn Saha and Suresh Raina got their side over the line with nearly six overs to spare, Saha finishing the match off with a four. India take the series and have an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four match series, the Indian’s made this chase harder than what it should have been – but a win is a win I guess.

Pakistan Vs New Zealand Day 1 Review

Ahmed Shehzad scored a brilliant 126 and was unbeaten at the close of play.
Ahmed Shehzad scored a brilliant 126 and was unbeaten at the close of play.

Pakistan maintained there brilliant form of late with a commanding first day against New Zealand. Pakistan’s opening pair did most of the damage with an impressive stand of 178, that stand was eventually broken however with Corey Anderson having Mohammed Hafeez caught and bowled for 96.

Pakistan didn’t allow that setback to affect them and the 2nd wicket pairing of Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad put un an unbroken stand of 91. Sadly for New Zealand the one wicket was as good as it got for them as they toiled in the field.

Despite being the only Kiwi to get a wicket, Anderson’s seven overs went for 31 runs. Although there is still a lot of cricket to be played in this match, the Kiwis will be desperate to make some early inroads tomorrow so they go further behind in this match.

With a batting line up of Younus khan, Misbah Ul-Haq and Sarfraz Ahmed to come, New Zealand will know that they will need to gain the ascendancy in this game – if they don’t this game could be out of their grasp before they know it.