Poor fielding cost Sri Lanka quarter final match against Pakistan

Posted on 13 June 2017 by admin

Pakistan 237 for 7 (Sarfraz 61*, Zaman 50, Pradeep 3-60) beat Sri Lanka 236 (Dickwella 73, Junaid 3-40, Hasan 3-43, Amir 2-53) by three wickets.

Sri Lanka had Pakistan on the ropes struggling at 137 for 6-wickets down. Following a run-out Pakistan were 162/7 but then Sri Lanka fielders produced a sub-standard performance and allowed the Pakistan team to gain a undeserved win that still remains a mystery. The game simply slipped away – there were dropped catches, misfield and a wild throw that sent the ball racing to the boundary and all round mayhem. Thisara Perera's costly drop was Pakistan's win. Lasith Malinga and skipper Angelo Mathews could not believe it.

Following is a match report courtesy of ESPN Cricinfo:

The Champions Trophy might have been damp and lifeless on the English shores this year, but it was on a Welsh detour that it finally roared to life. In the game which had the most riding on it all tournament, Pakistan and Sri Lanka provided a spectacle befitting the magnitude of the occasion, and Pakistan sneaked across the line with a thrilling three-wicket win. But that's only half the story. The rest centered around how madly the momentum of this game swung as two obviously flawed teams battled tooth and nail.

Qualification to the semis was the prize riding on this game that was a quarter-final in all but name, and it was clear both sides wanted it desperately. Sri Lanka started impressively but a brilliant spell midway from Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan restricted them to 236. Pakistan made the chase look harder than it was but captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Amir were there at the end to see their side home. Though the prospect of facing England on Wednesday will be daunting, it will be the last thing on their minds right now.

From the moment Pakistan's seventh wicket fell – with 75 still to win – two antsy sides were hoping they could do just about enough to pip the other. Sri Lanka were the favourites at that point, but their fielding let them down badly. Thisara Perera dropped a sitter at mid-on in the 39th over. Substitute fielder Seekkuge Prasanna shelled another chance – albeit a more difficult one – in the 41st. And Sarfraz, the reprieved batsman, the last of the specialists, took the game away.

Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka's great talisman, had created both chances and if this is to be his final ICC tournament, it was a cruel way to go. He watched, helplessly, as his team began to gift overthrows, and little by little, the belief as well to the Pakistan batsmen. By the time a dispirited Malinga was brought back for his final over, the fielding had disintegrated to amateurish level. Eventually, Sarfraz dabbed him over third man for the winning runs, and a shocking last half hour for the Sri Lankans met the end it deserved.

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India v Pakistan, Champions Trophy, Group B, Edgbaston – June 4, 2017: India thrash sloppy Pakistan by 124 runs

Posted on 04 June 2017 by admin

India v Pakistan, Champions Trophy, Group B, EdgbastonJune 4, 2017

India thrash sloppy Pakistan by 124 runs


India 319 for 3 (Rohit 91, Kohli 81*, Dhawan 68, Yuvraj 53) beat Pakistan 164 (Azhar 50, Umesh 3-30) by 124 runs (DLS method).


For what can be significant part of a match against many other teams, India were not at their best in the first match of their title defence. Yet, confirming how far Pakistan have fallen behind modern limited-overs cricket, they lost by a whopping 124 runs. Even if Pakistan had not grappled with the age-old problem of dropped catches – Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli plundered 45 off 24 and 38 off 12 after being reprieved – Pakistan might have still had to chase 280, which on the evidence of their batting might have been handful. Thanks to the fielding lapses, all of India's top four scored half-centuries – only the third time for them – to set Pakistan 324, which, given their batting, was pretty much game over.

The first two to score the fifties for India were reuniting at the top after 17 months, having started the partnership four years ago, in the same tournament, in the same country, with instant success. Success was instant on reunion as the two added India's first hundred opening against a top-eight ODI side since they themselves did it in last January. The platform of 136 runs in 24.3 overs between Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan was strong enough to survive a mid-innings slowdown, especially when Yuvraj and Kohli punished the generous Pakistan by taking 89 runs in the last six overs.

At various times, though, Pakistan could have held India back. The match began with Mohammad Amir beating Rohit Sharma's bat three times in a maiden over, but the next ball was bowled by Imad Wasim and misfielded at point to sum up Pakistan's day. There is no data to suggest India might struggle against unsubtle left-arm spin early in the innings, but Rohit, Dhawan, and later Kohli, got a soft start to their innings through Imad's welcome. It might be safe to presume Pakistan wanted to get rid of Imad's overs when India were taking it easy: since the 2015 World Cup, they had scored 4.95 an over in the first 10. Imad wasn't hit out of the park – first eight overs for 43 – but India's batsmen got set with no threat to their wickets.

And soon enough, both Dhawan and Rohit began to hit. It was, in many ways, a typical Rohit-Dhawan partnership. Rohit started off slowly and took large share of early strike, then he opened up, then Dhawan went big, and Rohit then set up his stall for a long innings even as Dhawan perished. Rohit got going with languid punches with Pakistan's lengths letting him sit back, and Dhawan took a shine to the error-prone Wahab Riaz, scoring 23 off 12 balls from him. Rohit's ascent was more gradual than Dhawan's, who went from 12 off 22 to 50 off 48. He then put a full toss straight down deep midwicket's throat. Pakistan went back to Imad immediately.

A curiously slow partnership – 56 in 12.1 overs – followed between Rohit and Kohli. Having got two more Imad overs out of the way, Pakistan finally went to Amir and Hasan Ali from the 30th over onwards. This is when India were pulled back. A rain break didn't help. The bowling was accurate, but India didn't go out of their way to hit either. These overs – from around 25 to 40 – can be the difference between 300 and 325, which can be crucial in matches against stronger opposition. Here India scored 75 in those 15 overs.

In his 90s, Rohit was run out failing to keep his bat down as he dived. For a moment it seemed Pakistan's out-and-out defensive tactics might work. They had their best bowlers on when India were looking to break free, and the frustration had given them an opening. For defensive tactics to work in modern ODIs, though, you need fielders on your side and you need to keep at it for the duration of the innings. Pakistan couldn't manage either.

Yuvraj had just come in, and had been given a couple of short balls before a Shadab Khan wrong'un brought about an easy – by international standards – catch for long-off. Hasan dropped it. Mayhem followed. Playing his first ODI in 10 years in a country where he played perhaps his most famous innings back in 2002, Yuvraj unleashed sensational checked drives to beat fielders all over the ground. The endeavour was not to look for power but for timing, and he was not too fussed about the odd dot ball when the bowlers bounced him. At the other end, though, Kohli still struggled for timing, and would have been out with a strike rate of under 80, but Fakhar Zaman, substituting for Amir who had walked off mid-over with cramps, dropped him off Wahab.

Wahab's nightmare continued as his length continued to be all over the place. Injury was added to insult as he did his ankle but not before registering the most expensive analysis in Champions Trophy: 87 in 8.1 overs. Poor Imad had to come back – in the absence of two frontline bowlers – to be hit for three successive sixes by Pandya in the last over of the innings.

This was all too much for a struggling batting unit, which has been able to win them only one of the last 13 matches against top-eight sides in which their bowlers have conceded over 250. There was hope, but only for about half an hour when it rained. The moment the rain relented to leave Pakistan 289 to get in 41 overs, it was back to despair for them even though India were a little sloppy in the fielding, dropping two catches, missing a couple of run-outs, and letting the odd ball slide through their reach.

Only three batsmen managed to play 20 balls, and because these batsmen did so at a strike rate of 77, 55 and 77, the others were obliged to play high-risk cricket and give India a sixth straight win over them in ICC events.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Australia scramble to win warm-up game against Sri Lanka in close finish

Posted on 26 May 2017 by admin

Australians v Sri Lankans, Champions Trophy 2017 warm-up, EdgbastonMay 26, 2017.

Finch, Head star in Australians' tense win.


LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 26 : Angelo Mathews of Sri Lanka bats during the ICC Champions Trophy Warm-up match between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Kia Oval cricket ground on May 26, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 26 : Angelo Mathews of Sri Lanka bats during the ICC Champions Trophy Warm-up match between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Kia Oval cricket ground on May 26, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)

Australians 319 for 8 (Finch 137, Head 85*, Pradeep 3-57) beat Sri Lankans 318 for 7 (Mathews 95, Gunaratne 70*, Henriques 3-46) by two wickets.


After weeks of pay talks with their board, there was some cheer for the Australians, on the field, as they warmed up for the Champions Trophy with a two-wicket win over Sri Lanka at the Oval. Aaron Finch smashed 137 off 109 balls with 11 fours and six sixes while Travis Head, reprieved on 60, made an unbeaten 85 to help Australia overhaul 318 with two balls to spare.

The victory would be that much sweeter to the Australians, even though this was only a precursor to the main tournament, as it came without their captain Steven Smith and frontline fast bowler Mitchell Starc, who were both rested.

All this meant Angelo Mathews' 95, which underlined his importance in Sri Lanka's starting XI, went in vain. Mathews, playing his first competitive match for his country after a four-month layoff due to a hamstring injury, did bulk of the damage in allrounder Asela Gunaratne's company. The pair added 91 in 92 balls to offset Sri Lankans' middle order woes; they had been reduced to 152 for 5 in 28 overs.

Mathews, who walked in at 71 for 3 in the 12th over, began cautiously – taking 77 balls to get to his half-century – before cutting lose in the end overs. His innings ended when he holed out to Adam Zampa in the 44th over. Gunaratne then took seamer Josh Hazlewood for three sixes and a four in the penultimate over. He was well supported by legspinning allrounder Seekkuge Prasanna, who hit 31 off 19 balls, as Sri Lankans took 57 off the last five overs.

The Australians started their chase in a sedate manner but Finch's blitz soon helped them take control. The opener raised his century off just 76 balls with a six off Gunaratne. He added 75 with Head before Nuwan Pradeep gave his side hope by getting rid of Finch and Glenn Maxwell off successive deliveries. But reprieving Head on 60 with Australia needing 21 off 15 proved costly in the end for Sri Lankans, who will play New Zealanders at Edgbaston on May 30

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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ICC Champions Trophy: Winners to take home cheque of US$2.2 million

Posted on 15 May 2017 by admin


The upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales from 1-18 June carries a total prize money of $4.5 million with the winner of the eight-team tournament taking home a cheque of $2.2 million, the International Cricket Council announced yesterday.

The eighth edition of the tournament sees an increase of $500,000 in prize money from the 2013 edition, which too was played at the three venues being used this time – Cardiff Wales Stadium, Edgbaston and The Oval.

The runner-up of the tournament will get a cheque of $1.1 million, while the other two semifinalists will earn $450,000 each.

Teams finishing third in each group will take home $90,000 each, while the teams finishing last in each group will get $60,000 each. 

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ICC CHAMPIONS Trophy Match 1 – Openers, fielders give India big win

Posted on 07 June 2013 by admin

ICC Champions Trophy   India v South Africa, Champions Trophy, Group B, Cardiff

India 331 for 7 (Dhawan 114, Rohit 65) beat South Africa 305 (McLaren 71*, de Villiers 70, Petersen 68) by 26 runs

India's new-look ODI team got off to a bumper start, negotiating short-pitched bowling to post 331 and then fielding superbly to pull South Africa back every time they threatened to break away. MS Dhoni squeezed the life out of South Africa's chase with his shrewd employment of spinners – combined figures of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina read 25-1-114-2 – as if this was subcontinent.

Overhead, at least, this was far from overhead. It was a cold morning in Wales, South Africa won the toss and asked India to bat first. Cue to bowl short then. Not like South Africa did, though. Apart from Morne Morkel, and in Dale Steyn's absence, none of their bowlers had the sting to trouble the young Indian batsmen. Shikhar Dhawan became only the second left-hand batsman to score a century against South Africa in six years, the 127 that he added with Rohit Sharma was the first hundred opening stand against South Africa in more than two years, and they became only the second opening pair in four years to have both scored 50 or more against South Africa.

South Africa weren't helped by their fielding either. The ball lobbed over two fielders at the boundary, when Shikhar Dhawan was on 27 and 70. Then AB de Villiers missed a stumping when Dhawan was 102. There were more than a few misfields along the way. Morkel pulled up with a quad strain too, and bowled only 6.5 overs for just 27. Ryan McLaren gave South Africa a chance, though, with some clever slower short balls towards the end, but India's slowing down wasn't quite Nagpur 2011, the last time these two teams played, when India had gone from 267 for 1 in the 40th over to 296 all out.

At the toss, when India were itching to have a bowl themselves, they would hardly have split hairs had they been offered more than 300. Morkel began the first over with testing short bowling, which Rohit did well to avoid. However, the others were gentle compared to Morkel, especially Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Rory Kleinveldt, who went for 164 in the 20 overs between them.

And Dhawan and Rohit hardly hit a shot in anger. It was all timing and placement after the cautious start. When Rohit eased into a Tsotsobe length ball for four through cover, the signs were all there. However, Rohit is known to throw it away too often. Not today. He attacked in a calculated manner, and from the other end saw Dhawan batting as if continuing from his Test debut.

Rohit remained fluent, Dhawan was crisp, and they took full toll of South Africa's rigid bowling and cold fielding. If Tsotsobe drew little help from the pitch, Kleinveldt kept bowling too short and too slow. McLaren began with deliveries down the leg side with fine leg up. Without taking risks, the openers raced away. When Rohit finally fell for 65 off 81, pulling a ball that was not short enough, India had already reached 127 in the 22nd over, and Dhawan was 53 off 49.

Suddenly Dhawan shifted to another gear, going after Tsotsobe, ramping him for four, and then charging him for a six over long-off. As expected, India took the Powerplay only at the latest possible moment, after Virat Kohli had picked out deep midwicket an over before the restrictions could be called upon. In the Powerplay, India scored 36 runs and lost two more wickets. When Dhoni fell in search of quick runs, the memories of Nagpur came back. However, Jadeja stayed cool, and capitalised on some short and length bowling towards the end to help India to 40 runs in the last 3.4 overs. He scored an unbeaten 47 off 29.

In reply, South Africa responded to early wickets with counterattack. Robin Peterson, the surprise No. 3, and de Villiers batted with ease to add a run-a-ball 124 for the third wicket. Petersen didn't bat like a pinch-hitter; he played proper shots, including a drive over extra cover off the bowling of Ishant Sharma. De Villiers began like a dream. Anything with the slightest hint of width was punched through covers.

Around the 15th-over mark, though, Dhoni began to play the game on his own terms. There was a spell of three overs for nine runs immediately after the two spinners began bowling in tandem. South Africa seemed happy with knocking the ball around, and Dhoni was happy with the calm. Amid the calm, Jadeja produced brilliance with a full-length diving save at midwicket. He had the presence of mind to not instinctively throw at the non-striker's end, where both the batsmen had ended up.

The spin choke followed during which JP Duminy reunited with his demons against spin, de Villiers got out to a pressure shot and David Miller was run out for a diamond duck. Faf du Plessis and Ryan McLaren threatened a late heist with a 50-run stand in less than five overs, but this time Suresh Raina ran back to take a good catch at mid-off. The injured Morkel chose to bat with McLaren, and their 48-run stand limited the net run-rate damage.

ICC Champions Trophy – 1st match, Group B

India v South Africa

India won by 26 runs











  India innings (50 overs maximum) R M B 4s 6s SR
View dismissal RG Sharma c Peterson b McLaren 65 96 81 8 1 80.24
View dismissal S Dhawan c sub (AM Phangiso) b Duminy 114 159 94 12 1 121.27
View dismissal V Kohli c Amla b Tsotsobe 31 46 41 2 0 75.60
View dismissal KD Karthik c †de Villiers b McLaren 14 21 15 1 1 93.33
View dismissal MS Dhoni*† c du Plessis b Tsotsobe 27 42 26 3 0 103.84
View dismissal SK Raina c Duminy b McLaren 9 11 6 0 1 150.00
  RA Jadeja not out 47 37 29 7 1 162.06
View dismissal R Ashwin run out (McLaren) 10 15 10 1 0 100.00
  B Kumar not out 0   0 0 0
  Extras (lb 4, w 8, nb 2) 14          
  Total (7 wickets; 50 overs) 331 (6.62 runs per over)
Did not bat I Sharma, UT Yadav
Fall of wickets 1-127 (RG Sharma, 21.2 ov), 2-210 (Kohli, 34.2 ov), 3-227 (Dhawan, 37.3 ov), 4-240 (Karthik, 39.2 ov), 5-260 (Raina, 41.4 ov), 6-291 (Dhoni, 46.2 ov), 7-323 (Ashwin, 49.4 ov)







  Bowling O M R W Econ    
  M Morkel 6.5 0 27 0 3.95 (1nb)  
View wickets LL Tsotsobe 10 0 83 2 8.30 (2w)  
  RK Kleinveldt 10 0 81 0 8.10 (1nb, 1w)  
View wickets R McLaren 10 0 70 3 7.00 (3w)  
  RJ Peterson 3.1 0 24 0 7.57    
View wicket JP Duminy 10 0 42 1 4.20 (1w)  












  South Africa innings (target: 332 runs from 50 overs) R M B 4s 6s SR
View dismissal HM Amla c †Dhoni b Yadav 22 17 15 4 0 146.66
View dismissal CA Ingram c Raina b Kumar 6 10 5 1 0 120.00
View dismissal RJ Peterson run out (Jadeja/†Dhoni) 68 92 72 6 0 94.44
View dismissal AB de Villiers*† c Jadeja b Yadav 70 108 71 7 0 98.59
View dismissal JP Duminy lbw b Jadeja 14 18 24 0 0 58.33
View dismissal F du Plessis c Raina b I Sharma 30 30 23 5 0 130.43
View dismissal DA Miller run out (I Sharma/Raina/†Dhoni) 0 3 0 0 0
  R McLaren not out 71 79 61 11 1 116.39
View dismissal RK Kleinveldt c †Dhoni b I Sharma 4 12 5 0 0 80.00
View dismissal LL Tsotsobe b Jadeja 3 10 14 0 0 21.42
View dismissal M Morkel b Kumar 8 31 11 1 0 72.72
  Extras (lb 1, w 7, nb 1) 9          
  Total (all out; 50 overs) 305 (6.10 runs per over)
Fall of wickets 1-13 (Ingram, 2.1 ov), 2-31 (Amla, 3.5 ov), 3-155 (Peterson, 24.3 ov), 4-182 (Duminy, 30.4 ov), 5-184 (de Villiers, 31.4 ov), 6-188 (Miller, 32.5 ov), 7-238 (du Plessis, 37.3 ov), 8-251 (Kleinveldt, 39.5 ov), 9-257 (Tsotsobe, 42.5 ov), 10-305 (Morkel, 49.6 ov)







  Bowling O M R W Econ    
View wickets B Kumar 7 0 49 2 7.00 (1nb)  
View wickets UT Yadav 10 0 75 2 7.50 (2w)  
View wickets I Sharma 8 0 66 2 8.25 (2w)  
  R Ashwin 10 0 47 0 4.70 (2w)  
View wickets RA Jadeja 9 1 31 2 3.44    
  SK Raina 6 0 36 0 6.00 (1w)  
Match details
Toss South Africa, who chose to field
Points India 2, South Africa 0
Player of the match S Dhawan (India

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo




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