Sri Lanka

New Zealand’s ‘Mr Anderson’ Proves To Be ‘The One’ For New Zealand As The Kiwis Win In Style

New Zealand's Corey Anderson hit a brilliant 75 off 40 balls which set up a convinving 98 run win.

New Zealand’s Corey Anderson hit a brilliant 75 off 40 balls which set up a convincing 98 run win.

New Zealand carried on their recent impressive form with another emphatic win over Sri Lanka to get their World Cup campaign off to the best possible start. The Kiwis dominated from the off against their Asian opponents, as Sri Lanka’s miserable form against the Black Caps continued.

It was the visitors Sri Lanka who won the toss and they decided to field, which possible could be argued turned out to be a very bad decision.

The co-hosts couldn’t have made a better start and the opening pair of Martin Guptil and captain Brendan McCullum cashed in on some very charitable bowling. The first wicket would actually put on 100 for the first wicket ,it actually came as a surprise when the first wicket did fall. Brendan McCullum who tore into the Sri Lankan was the first wicket to fall, the captain was caught by Jeevan Mendis off the bowling of Rangana Herath.

After the departure of their captain New Zealand’s scoring slowed dramatically at that point. Martin Guptill and the new batsmen Kane Williamson in particular were having issues with Sri Lanka’s tight bowling. The pressure further intensified when Martin Guptil, who played a brilliant anchor role to McCullum, departed for 49.

The Black caps who enjoyed a 4-2 series success before the start of the World Cup were in danger of letting a position of utter dominance slip through their fingers. A third wicket which was worth 57 looked to have rebuilt the innings – but when two wickets fell with out a run being scored, New Zealand were back under pressure.

A 65 run fifth wicket partnership allowed New Zealand to steady a rocking ship. First Grant Elliott (29 off 34 balls) and the normally attacking Luke Ronchi (29 off 32 balls) reigned in attacking instincts to allow Corey Anderson (75 off 46 balls) to go on a boundary hitting spree which included 8 fours and 2 sixes.

Those contributions allowed the Black Caps to regain a stranglehold on this match. The co-hosts ended up racking 331-6. Considering New Zealand at one stage were 193-4, you have got to say that’s a pretty decent effort.

For Sri Lanka it was definitely a case of what could have been. Lasith Malinga who has just come back from a long injury layoff understandably looked rusty and wasn’t his usual ‘slinger’ self. Malinga’s opening bowling partner Nuwan Kulasekra was just as disappointing. Such was the struggles of Sri Lanka’s opening bowling attack that nearly half of New Zealand’s runs came of Malinga and Kulasekra’s bowling.

The 1996 World champions were already up against it even before their innings commenced. One might not blame Sri Lanka for thinking “here we go again”. To the visitors credit however they did get their run chase off in solid if not spectacular style. The opening pair of Lahiru Thirimanne and Tilkeratne Dilshan went about their task well.

However when Dilshan was first out, ‘the wheels’ soon came off Sri Lanka’s already very difficult run chase – but with the next batsmen being Kumar Sangakarra, the Asian side must have felt reassured that their chase won’t falter just yet. The Sri Lankan pair of Thirmanne and Sangakarra were starting to frustrate the co hosts – but when the Sri Lankan vice captain Thirimanne was dismissed off the bowling of Trent Boult for a well played 67, many dismissed Sri Lanka’s chances.

Those sceptics were to be proved right as five more wickets fell before the score reaching 200. A valiant 46 from Angelo Matthews couldn’t save Sri Lanka – and there doomed run chase ended on 233.

A great start then from the co-hosts New Zealand who look like they have most definitely picked up from where they have left off. As for Sri Lanka its another disappointing defeat and although this defeat is disappointing it’s not ‘the end of the world’ just yet. A game Afghanistan next Saturday would be a good game for the Sri Lankan’s – but even they won’t be easy.

As for New Zealand they face Scotland in a game what could strengthen their position in the World Cup.

New Zealand Vs Sri Lanka Match Report

Kane Williamson scored a quite brilliant 242 not out as he and BJ Watling shared a record breaking 351 sixth wicket partnership

Kane Williamson scored a quite brilliant 242 not out as he and BJ Watling shared a record breaking 351 sixth wicket partnership

Kumar Sangakarra’s double century which took him one short of Don Bradman’s all time record of 12 wasn’t the only milestone to be reached in the match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Vice Captain Kane Williamson and BJ Wattling yet again was involved in a record sixth partnership in test matches .

New Zealand who came into this game looking to seal the two match series were unchanged just like Sri Lanka were. The Asian side who came into 1-0 down were looking from inspiration from Angelo Matthews and veteran Kumar Sangakarra no doubt.

Sri Lanka won the toss and were no looking to get an early breakthrough , and they duly did. Tom Latham was the first man to go for six, Prasanna Jayawardena taking the catch behind the stumps off the bowling of Lakmal.

The score at that point was 31-1, and the new batsmen was Kane Williamson who would go on to make a telling contribution in the match. The second wicket pair of Hamish Rutherford and Kane Williamson put on 31 for the second as well. Rutherford was going along nicely and was just starting to get into his stride with some glorious drives.

It was actually a bit of a surprise when the New Zealand opener Rutherford nicked a ball to wicketkeeper Jayawardena who took his second catch of the match. Ross Taylor who came to the crease did accompany Williamson very well, until the former Kiwi’s captain dragged back onto his stumps for a attractive looking 35. A procession of wickets fell including captain Brendan McCullum for a duck after the former wicketkeeper also dragged back onto his stumps.

Kane Williamson did make a battling 69 as he tried to ‘anchor’ the innings for New Zealand – but after the fall of the third wicket, the other seven wickets were lost with just 80 runs scored. The Black Caps after being 141-3 crumbled to 221 all out.

The tourists decision to field look to be a good one, and Sri Lanka were no doubt looking to advantage of such a low first innings total. The Asian Side though couldn’t have got their innings to a worse of a start. The Sri Lanka’s were five down with only 78 on the board – but a crucial 130 stand between the master Kumar Sanagakarra and the protégé Dinesh Chandimal, allowed the defending T20 world champions to regain the initiative.

When Chandimal was dismissed it was down to the veteran Kumar Sanagakarra to farm the strike – and the 37 year old did it expertly as Sri Lanka were all out for 356, a lead of 135. Sangakarra in the process is now only one career double behind Don Bradman’s all time record of 12.

After allowing the visitors to gain a 135 lead, New Zealand knew that they were going to have to perform much better with the bat this time around. The Kiwi’s , second time around produced a much better showing. The first wicket pair of Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford put up a much better resistance than they did in the first innings.

The opening pair put on 75 for the first wicket – but the first wicket partnership ended when Hamish Rutherford was caught by Dinesh Chandimal. Tom Latham fell soon after with just another three to the board and Ross Taylor was out with out scoring, pandaemonium in the New Zealand batting line up was ensuing.

Skipper Brendan McCullum and vice captain Kane Williamson put on a 43 run fourth wicket partnership which did allow a recovery of sorts – but when McCullum was trapped for 22 by Dhamika Prassad and Jimmy Neesham suffered the same feat at the hands of Pradeep, New Zealand at this stage were in trouble at 159-5.

‘Cometh the hour cometh the man they say’ and for New Zealand it was Kane Williamson. Williamson who was at the other end while the other wickets fell, eventually had an ally in wicketkeeper BJ Watling. The New Zealand pair ended up putting on a test record 365 for the sixth wicket, I guess BJ Watling just loves being involved in record breaking partnerships – it was only last year that the wicketkeeper batsmen was involved in the previous sixth wicket record stand with his captain BJ Watling. The difference here was that this partnership was unbroken.

Brendan McCullum decided that the Sri Lankan’s had endured enough torture – and decided to declare with New Zealand’s batting card reading 524-5, a very impressive feat considering the Black caps were 159-5 at one stage.

The game had been turned on it’s head, Sri Lanka who were at one stage in control of the game, again were firmly on the back foot. The priority was surely survival – but the Sri Lankan’s second innings was just as doomed as their first.

Four wickets fell before the score had even reached 100, in fact the first wicket partnership of 42 was the highest of their second innings. The Sri Lankan score card was depressing reading for Sri Lanka fans. Several players fell for single figures including double hundred hero Kumar Sangakarra who was out for just five.

Sangakarra’s partner in the impressive 130 sixth wicket stand Dinesh Chandimal didn’t fair much better and was out for 13. In fact there were only two players to score 50’s , Kaushal Silva scored 50 and vice-captain Lahiru Thirimane top scored with 62 – but sadly for Sri Lankan fans their team crumbled badly and were all out for a disappointing 196 to lose by 193 runs.

New Zealand then took this series 2-0 to keep their brilliant form of late going, The Kiwi’s have now only lost twice in 15 tests, as for Sri Lanka this test series defeat isn’t ideal preparation for the cricket world cup which starts on the 7th February.

England, Pakistan And Sri Lanka Announce Their Squads For The Cricket World Cup

Moeen Ali who has been selcted in England's 15 man squad, will be a crucial player for the three Lions if they want to succeed at the world cup in Australia.

Moeen Ali who has been selcted in England’s 15 man squad, will be a crucial player for the three Lions if they want to succeed at the world cup in Australia.

England who were runners up in the 1992 world cup, announced their cricket world cup squad on Wednesday 7th January and there was very few surprises. Former captain Alistair Cook was publicly dropped and was replaced as captain by Eoin Morgan as sports fan will know, Gary Balance is the man to take the England test captains place.

Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes is another player to miss out after disappointing in recent games for England – but as is the way with disappointments the 23 year old Stokes blasted an impressive 77 off just 37 balls for his new Australian club side the Melbourne Renegades the day he got omitted from England’s world cup side.

As for Pakistan (the side who beat England in that 1992 final) , the announcement of their cricket world cup squad brought a few surprises , the absence of experienced paceman Umar Gul, will no doubt raise eyebrows.Another experienced bowler, off spinner Saed Ajmal already was announced as an absentee for Pakistan’s world cup squad as the 34 year old already declared his unavailability on 28th November. The talented Akmal brothers both miss out – but Kamran Akmal’s inconsistency with his wicketkeeping has ultimately lead the Pakistani selectors to keep faith in current custodian of the wicketkeeping gloves Sarfraz Ahmed. Ahmed’s performances with the bat in recent months does justify the Pakistani’s decision to stick with the 27 year old wicket- keeper batsmen.

Sri Lanka who won the world cup in 1996 announced their squad which included the least surprises. Paceman Lasith Malinga who has recurring knee problems is included – but subject to fitness. The Asian side will be captained by Angelo Matthews as usual with Lahiru Thirimanne as vice-captain.Veterans Kumar Sangakarra and Mahela Jaywardena are included in what will most likely be their last world cup, and both will no doubt be wanting to go out on a high.

England’s 15 man cricket world cup squad :

Eoin Morgan (capt),Jos Buttler (wk) , Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad,, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan,), Joe Root, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.

Pakistan’s 15 man cricket world cup squad:

Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Ehsan Adil, Haris Sohail, Junaid Khan,, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan,Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Khan, Umar Akmal,Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Younus Khan.

Sri Lanka’s 15 man cricket world cup squad:

Angelo Mathews (capt), Chandimal (wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene, Dimuth Karunaratne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga (subject to fitness), Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne.

Sri Lanka Vs England Sixth One Day International Match Report

Kumar Sangakarra's brilliant hundred help helped Sri Lanka win the seven match series with one game still to play.

Kumar Sangakarra’s brilliant hundred help helped Sri Lanka win the seven match series with one game still to play.

England came into this game looking to level the series after an impressive five wicket win last time out. The tourists came into this one unchanged as they looked to carry on the winning momentum, as for the hosts Suranga Lakmal comes in, in place of Ajantha Mendis. Dhamika Prassad also makes way for Seekkuge Prasanna and at the top of the order out of sorts opener Kusal Pererra is dropped so Dinesh Chandimal comes in as the hosts looked to clinch the series with a win in Pallekele.

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat, it initially appeared to be not the right decision as Mahela Jayawardena who was opening in place of out of form Kusal Pererra departed cheaply. Jayawardena seems to have caught the same ‘bug’ as Pererra, the usually reliable Jaywardena departing cheaply to leave his side in early trouble.

A second wicket stand of 153 however turned the game back in the hosts favour. Chief tormentor in the last game Kumar Sangakarra was up to the same ‘tricks’ in this game as the Sri Lankan wicket keeper and Tilkeratne Dilshan were threatening to take the game from England.

Thankfully for England they managed to get a wicket at a good time, Ravi Bopara taking the catch of James Tredwell’s bowling to remove Dilshan. After the loss of the second wicket Sri Lanka were in danger of throwing away the good start they made.

Two further wickets fell before the score reached 200, England were looking to get a foothold back in the game – as for Sri Lanka their middle order was on the verge of anther collapse. with Sangakarra still at the crease, Sr iLanka knew they could post a competitive total.

The next wicket to fall would be that of Sangakarra’s , the veteran wicketkeeper managed to score yet another hundred in the midst of the carnage that was happening at the other end as wickets were falling at regular intervals.

The 39 year old eventually departed for a run a ball 112, at that stage Sri Lanka were 243-5 and in a good position to set a total which would be difficult for England to chase. The hosts would go on to make 292-7 which was always going to be a difficult total to chase considering the hosts bowling attack.

A near run a ball 35 of just 31 balls from Dinesh Chandimal was another contributing factor to the Sri Lankan’s getting to such a score.

England needing 293 to level the seven match series, got off to the worst possible start. Alistair Cook’s struggles continued as he fell second ball, James Taylor fell cheaply and Moeen Ali fell for an attractive 34 – but the tourists lost their first three wickets for 50 runs and were on the back foot very early into this run chase.

Just when the tourists looked to be on the road to recovery Sri Lanka made the break through with Lakmal having Ravi Bopara caught behind by centurion Sangakarra to break a fourth wicket partnership that was worth 84.

Just to make matters worse for England they lost another wicket with out a run being scored. At 84-5 it felt like the game was up – and sadly it was. Despite a battling 55 from Joe Root and a equally as gutsy 41 from all- rounder Chris Woakes, England lost wickets at regular intervals and eventually fell short of their target by 90 runs.

With that win Sri Lanka take the series with a game to play, as for England the plus point they can take out of this game is that they only have to bowl at Sangakarra once more in this series!

The seventh and final one day international is on Tuesday in Columbo.

England Vs Sri Lanka Fifth One Day International Match Report

Joe Roots brilliant hundred has kept England in this seven match series.

Joe Roots brilliant hundred has kept England in this seven match series.

England came into this fifth one day international knowing that only a win would do. The tourists who are 3-1 down really needed a win to keep this series alive as a contest. Both sides made some changes to their teams from the last game. The hosts Sri Lanka included available again spinner Sachintra Sennaiyake who has remodelled his action since being banned by the International cricket council for his ‘illegal bowling action’ , Sennayake comes in for the injured Rangana Herath

As for England, the tourists welcomed back captain Alistair Cook who sat out the last game due to a one match ban for a slow over rate, Alex Hales was the man to make way. Struggling all rounder Ben Stokes is dropped, spinner James Tredwell comes in to give England another spin option. The match itself which had to be played over two days due to the rain, was a very hard fought game.

The tourists won the toss and to the surprise of many Alistair cook put the hosts into bat. The pitch at Pelekelle was expected to be a pitch which had turn, that would explain the array of spinners on show.

Sri Lanka after being put in by Cook, got off to the worst possible start. Kusal Pererra falling for yet another duck. After losing their first wicket with just three on the board it was left to the experienced pairing of Kumar Sangakarra and Tilkeratne Dilshan to rebuild the innings.

The veteran duo put on 51 for the second wicket, the second wicket stand was broken by Chris Jordan who bowled Dilshan for 35. England despite taking two wickets quite early were only to aware of Sri Lanka’s batting line up.

Despite the loss of the usually reliable Mahela Jayawardena for just two which left the Sri Lankan’s in the precarious position of 59-3, the hosts managed to make a recovery of sorts as Angelo Matthews and Sangakarra managed to put on 85 for the fourth wicket.

When the captain Matthews departed for a well crafted 40, at that stage the hosts were 144-4 but- the wheels started to come of a little for Sri Lanka there after. The highest score after the loss of Matthews’ wicket was 26. When the Asian side lost the wicket of Sangakarra who played brilliantly for his 91, it was only Thisara Pererra who made any form of contribution. The Hyderabad Sunrisers star scored a quick fire 27 off just 16 balls, the 24 year old Pererra scored four 4’s and one 6 in his innings.

Sri Lanka’s batting order suffered a middle order collapsed, at one stage Sri Lanka were 173-5 – but in the end the hosts crumbled to 239 all out. Chris Woakes despite skipper using 25 of the allotted 50 overs to spin was the star for the tourists, Woakes’ variations were causing havoc for the Sri Lankan batsmen. Warwickshire all- rounder Woakes took an impressive five wicket haul and finished the innings with 6-47.

England in reply had to wait a day to get their run chase up and running. The Sri Lankan rain meant that the Three Lions had to complete their innings today (a day later than what was initially planned). The tourists who were chasing what seemed to be a modest total still needed to be aware of the threat that Sri Lanka posed with their four spinners.

Just like Sri Lanka, England lost lost an early wicket – Moeen Ali who is top run scorer for England in this series the man out bowled by Sennayake. The platform was set for under performing captain Alistair Cook to take this game by the scruff of the neck after his side lost such an early wicket, that wasn’t to happen however as the England captain would be the next wicket to fall.

The tourists were 35-2 at that stage and were in serious danger of being dismissed for a low total. The remodelled action of Sennayaka proved to difficult for England’s openers, England needed to regroup and regroup they did.

A brilliant third wicket stand of 104 between James Taylor and Joe Root helped England to seize the initiative in this game. Taylor and Root brilliantly kept the scoreboard ticking with sensible batting which was attacking -but not over aggressive.

When James Taylor was caught for a well played 68, Sri Lanka must have thought they could pray on potential English nerves – a fourth wicket stand of 86 though however, effectively killed this game off as a contest.

There was time for Sri Lanka to take another couple of wickets, Ravi Boapara was out caught by Thrimanne with the winning line in sight, Eoin Morgan was caught by Thisara Pererra with two needed. After that little ‘wobble’ England duly crossed the winning line with five balls to spare, clinching a five wicket win to only trail 3-2 and give them selves renewed hope in the seven match series.

Key to this victory was Joe Root’s brilliant 104, the Yorkshireman was coolness personfied as England ended up needing two days to secure the win. The sixth One Day International between the two sides is on Saturday.

Can Kumar Sangakarra’s Record Be Broken?

Kumar Sangakarra wrote his name into the record books. The former Sri Lanka captain has 474 dismissals in one day internationals.

Kumar Sangakarra wrote his name into the record books. The former Sri Lanka captain has 474 dismissals in one day internationals.

On Wednesday kumar Sangakarra wrote his name into the record books, it wasn’t for the innings of 63 that enabled that 39 year old to rewrite history, although being only the fourth player to score 13,000 runs is a very respectable achievement but it’s Sangakarra’s record behind the stumps we’re talking about.

Just for good measure the 39 year old took another catch to take his career tally to 474 dismissals. A testament to Sangakarra is that he is keeping Dinesh Chandimal out of the side (no pun intended). Sangakarra is not getting any younger, so the former captain who has also studied law can be happy with his achievements.

As for Sangakarra’s record it self that he now has outright, it’s going to be difficult for this record to be broken. The nearest challenger to the Sri Lankan is Mark Boucher with 424 – but with the South African now retired it won’t be Boucher who will take the record (we can ‘Bouch’ for that).

The player who is closest to this record and still playing is Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, or ‘Ice Cool Dhoni’ as he is also known is way behind Sangakarra’s impressive 474 dismissals. MS Dhoni has 312 dismissals to his name, and is the only player realistically who can catch Kumar Sangakarra’s record – but even for the Indian captain this will be difficult, 162 dismissals and counting to make up will be extremely difficult if not impossible.

Kumar Sangakarra is still is a very talented player and a great leader despite not being captain – and lets not forget what a great run scorer he is as well ( Sangakarra’s stats back that up). The modern day wicket keeper these days seems to be a batsmen first and wicket keeper second, where as Sangakarra over the years has been immaculate in all departments of his game.

The former Sri Lanakan captain’s record we feel won’t be beaten for some time, if ever and it’s due to one fact – and that’s the emergence of batsmen who do wicketkeeping, rather than wicketkeepers who can bat. Pakistan’s Umar Akmal is a prime example of that.

As a testament to Adam Gilchrist, the Australian’s record was only beaten on Wednesday, I hope as a testament to Sangakarra who has been a brilliant servant of the game, that he keeps the record for a very long time. With Sangakarra’s nearest challenger some 160 dismissals behind, Kumar Sangakarra’s record we feel will not be broken – or at least anytime soon.

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.

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.

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.