Jun 152013

Jadeja player pic

Indian Excellence Rewarded In Spite Of Rain

Ravindra Jadeja complemented R Ashwin well to form a potent Indian spin attack.

©REUTERS/Jason O’Brien. Picture Supplied by Action Images

India 102-2 (Dhawan 48) beat
Pakistan 165 (Kumar 2-19) by 8 wickets (D/L)
ICC Champions Trophy, Group B, Edgbaston
Scorecard | Video Discussion
Report by Daniel Grummitt

India went into this match against Pakistan knowing that they would top Group B whatever happened, but they were made to work hard by the English weather in Birmingham to maintain their 100 per cent winning record.

Despite a disciplined, at times exemplary, bowling and fielding display they looked like being thwarted by the day’s fourth rain interruption, which arrived with them on 63 for one in the 12th over of their run chase. However, the rain relented just in time and they cantered home to their target of 102 in 22 overs, which had been very much a moving one throughout the second half of the day.

At times, as with the finish to yesterday’s game between South Africa and the West Indies, the match bordered on farce; none more so than when India were chasing two different targets at one point depending on where one looked.

Indeed, it can only be hoped that there weren’t too many first time cricket viewers tuning in over the last 24 hours because what they saw may have put them off for life.

The game itself began as a 50-over affair what seems a lifetime ago with India winning the toss and inserting Pakistan on what turned out, despite frequent cloud cover, to be another un-English pitch.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar did the early damage with a superb opening spell of two for 19 off eight overs, but it would be the Indian spinners who would cause the most problems.

Kumar removed Nasir Jamshed in his second over, but Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal then remained together until the first break for rain. It was then that the wheels began to come off for Pakistan as Hafeez was caught by a diving Mahendra Singh Dhoni to the first ball after the resumption.

He walked off gesticulating wildly, apparently to indicate that he was distracted by movement behind the bowler’s arm. Akmal followed him back three overs later and was slightly unlucky to be caught by Virat Kohli at leg-slip via Dhoni’s thigh.

The in-form Misbah-ul-Haq then attempted another rebuild alongside Asad Shafiq, but his departure, bowled by a flat ball from Ravindra Jadeja, started a clatter of wickets. By this time, the Pakistan innings had been trimmed to 40 overs by another rain interruption, but they wouldn’t even use all of those.

India’s spin pair of Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were excellent, with the former largely darting the ball in as is his wont, and the latter giving it chance to spin off a dry surface. Ashwin’s second wicket came when Wahab Riaz – the first man in a long Pakistani tail – tried unwisely to guide an off-spinner down to third-man and only succeeded in chopping onto his stumps.

Jadeja had earlier picked up number two when trapping Shoaib Malik in front of middle and off – a fact which didn’t deter the former Pakistan captain from using a review, thus earning him a nomination for ‘Daftest Referral of the Tournament’. 

Pakistan’s innings ended in a brace of run outs; both of them notable. Virat Kohli typified the ridiculously improved Indian fielding of late by swooping on the ball from mid-off, perfecting an elegant roll, and then throwing down the stumps all in the blink of an eye to dismiss Junaid Khan.

Mohammad Irfan then drilled a straight drive, possibly as well as he ever has, but found an even better fielder than Kohli in the form of the stumps at the non-striker’s end. The ball rebounded to the bowler, Umesh Yadav, who remembered the laws of the game and whipped out a stump to leave Irfan one, large, six-foot stride short of his ground.

India’s pursuit of their original target – initially 167 but then 168 – was never likely to prove too problematic and, but for the rain, it wouldn’t have. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan saw off probing opening bursts from Junaid and Irfan and reached 47 without loss prior to the day’s penultimate precipitation-induced interlude.

A further brief passage of play saw them move onto 63 for the loss of Rohit, before another shower, which looked like putting paid to their hopes of victory. The rain, on this occasion, was sufficient to send around half of the crowd – who had been vigorously flag-waving or horn-tooting all day – home, but it stopped moments before a likely abandonment.

That left India to complete a richly deserved win that just underlines their dominance in this competition thus far. Their fielding, long regarded as a weakness, is now very much a strength, while even their bowling is starting to bear fruit. With their long, strong batting line-up a given, they now appear nigh-on unbeatable.

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Jun 132013
Sangakkara And Kulasekara Star In Sri Lanka Win
Nuwan Kulasekara celebrates

Sangakkara And Kulasekara Star In Sri Lanka Win

Nuwan Kulasekara bowled tidily with the ball on his return to the Sri Lanka side, but it was his innings with the bat that proved to be the match winner.

©REUTERS/Steve Christo. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Sri Lanka 297-3 (Sangakkara 134no) beat
England 293-7 (Trott 76) by 7 wickets
ICC Champions Trophy, Group A, The Oval
Scorecard | Video Report
Report by Daniel Grummitt

Kumar Sangakkara hit an unbeaten century, while Nuwan Kulasekara provided some late sparkle, as Sri Lanka kept their hopes alive in the ICC Champions Trophy with a seven-wicket victory over the hosts under The Oval floodlights.

Ravi Bopara had earlier hauled England up to 293 for seven at the end of an innings which had followed a similar path to the one against Australia. Jonathan Trott, Joe Root and Alastair Cook all passed 50 to set up a hoped-for onslaught from Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan that never materialised.

It was then again left to Bopara, who on this occasion hit 28 from the final over bowled by Shaminda Eranga, to take England up to a competitive total. However, thanks to Sangakkara and Kulasekara, the result this time was defeat.

Sri Lanka lost Kushal Perera early in their pursuit of 294, but the experienced players in their top-order all fired. Tillakaratne Dilshan added 92 in little more than 18 overs with Sangakkara, who then put on a further 85 in less than 15 with Mahela Jayawardene. 

England’s pace-bowlers were unable to find anything like the movement through the air that they did against Australia and hardly looked like taking a wicket. They were instead left to try and keep a lid on the required run rate, which hovered just above seven an over for much of the innings.

That was until the surprise introduction of Kulasekara. Following Jayawardene’s departure for 42 to the second ball of the batting powerplay, the Sri Lankans took the unexpected step of promoting him. He struggled initially as he looked for a boundary a ball, but settled, with the over against Graeme Swann arguably the match winner.

The over was Swann’s last and the 43rd of the match. The equation stood at 57 from 48 balls with Kulasekara on a run-a-ball 24. He turned the game in Sri Lanka’s favour by launching huge sixes over mid-wicket from the third and fourth balls. That took the required run rate to less than six and Sri Lanka never looked back.

Kulasekara then took boundaries off each of the first three balls of the following over, bowled by Stuart Broad. In the space of 10 minutes, the game had been won and Kulasekara had scored 27 from six deliveries. Soon after, Sangakkara wrapped up the win that kept Sri Lanka in the tournament with a pull through square-leg.

They now play Australia on Monday, with England’s match against New Zealand the day before at Cardiff a must-win for both sides.

It could have been so much different for England – Sri Lanka dropped four catches of varying difficulties – but the loss will open up the old debate about their top three. Cook took 85 balls over his 59, with Bell’s 20 spanning 37 deliveries. Trott was relatively brisk, taking 87 balls for 76, but the manner in which Root played does perhaps suggest that all three could have been quicker.

Granted, he was batting slightly later in the innings, but he was inventive in taking just 43 balls to reach 50, eventually making 68 off only 55 balls. If it hadn’t been for Bopara’s subsequent last over spectacular against Eranga, then England’s hopes of victory in the match would have been over long before they actually were.

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Jun 112013
India Secure Semi-Final Spot With West Indies Thrashing
Jadeja bowls a ball for India

India Secure Semi-Final Spot With West Indies Thrashing

Ravindra Jadeja returned career-best figures of five for 36 to help India win a place in the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy.

©REUTERS/Vivek Prakash. Picture Supplied by Action Images

India 236-2 (Dhawan 102no) beat
West Indies 233-9 (Jadeja 5-36) by 8 wickets
ICC Champions Trophy, Group B, The Oval
Scorecard | Video Report
Report by Daniel Grummitt

India became the first team to book their place in the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy – knocking arch-rivals Pakistan out while doing so – with a comprehensive demolition of the West Indies in south London.

There were several parallels with their defeat of South Africa on Thursday. Shikhar Dhawan hit a century and added more than 100 with fellow opener Rohit Sharma, while Ravindra Jadeja was once again mightily impressive with his left-arm spin.

Indeed, it was Jadeja’s spell that proved to be the turning point in the match. The West Indies had fairly cantered to 103 for one in the 20th over after being asked to bat on a true Oval pitch. However, as is often the case at The Oval, good spinners are rewarded and Jadeja is rapidly putting himself in that bracket. He took a career-best five for 36 from his 10 overs and helped cause the West Indies to collapse to 182 for nine, losing eight wickets for 79 runs in almost 26 overs.

They had begun well thanks to Johnson Charles, who was at his typical belligerent best. He blazed nine boundaries during an innings of 60 off 55 balls and coped with the loss of his opening partner Chris Gayle in the fifth over before dominating a second-wicket stand of 78 with Darren Bravo.

However, it was his dismissal, trapped plumb in front by Jadeja, that triggered their collapse. Jadeja followed up that wicket by removing Marlon Samuels, courtesy of a review, and Ramnaresh Sarwan, caught down the leg-side by MS Dhoni, in successive overs.

The Bravo half-brothers fell within five overs of one another as Ishant Sharma and R Ashwin backed up Jadeja well. Kieron Pollard was also unable to make much of an impression. He clubbed two sixes before being sent packing by Sharma to make it 171 for seven. Jadeja then claimed wicket number four by tempting Sunil Narine into an ambitious shot and having him caught by Dinesh Karthik.

It was over to Darren Sammy, playing in place of the banned Denesh Ramdin, to revitalise the West Indies innings. He hit four sixes and five fours and ended not out on 56 off only 35 balls to guide his side up to a scarcely competitive 233 for nine from their 50 overs.

After barely an hour of the India run chase, it was apparent that that would be nowhere near enough. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan tucked into some loose West Indies bowling with some pleasing strokes and put on 101 in less than 16 overs.

Sharma finally gave the West Indies a breakthrough when he was caught down the leg-side. Originally given not out, the decision was reviewed, with Hot Spot showing a faint edge. Virat Kohli gave them a second strike not long afterwards when he was bowled through the gate by Narine to end his enterprising cameo at 22 off 18 balls, but India’s victory was never in doubt.

Either side of a short rain delay, Dhawan and Karthik shared an unbroken 109. Dhawan reached his second hundred in as many matches shortly before the end off 102 balls, while Karthik finished not out on 51 off 54 balls. India had won with more than 10 overs to spare and were into the semi-finals. The identity of the other semi-finalist from Group B will be decided when South Africa and the West Indies meet on Friday.

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Jun 102013
Amla, Bowlers Push Pakistan To The Brink
South African fielders celebrate a success

Amla, Bowlers Push Pakistan To The Brink

South Africa put in a much-improved performance with the ball from their showing against India.

©REUTERS/Rogan Ward. Picture Supplied by Action Images

South Africa 234-9 (Amla 81) beat
Pakistan 167 (McLaren 4-19) by 67 runs
ICC Champions Trophy, Group B, Edgbaston
Report by Daniel Grummitt

When Misbah-ul-Haq picked out Hashim Amla at mid-wicket, the partisan Pakistan crowd at the glittering Edgbaston stadium in England’s second city started to head for the exits; a fate that now seemingly awaits their team in the tournament.

Misbah’s departure for 55 off 75 balls marked the end of any realistic challenge in a Pakistan run chase that had stuttered and stumbled throughout. In truth, both sides found the going tricky on an Edgbaston pitch that was a little on the slow side, just as it was on Saturday for the home side’s match against Australia.

Hashim Amla proved the difference between the teams today and hit 81 off 97 balls to shepherd South Africa to a competitive but gettable 234 for nine.

He and opening partner Colin Ingram began ponderously against a Pakistan attack that was excellent. Mohammad Irfan, in particular, posed problems for Amla and had him dropped by Umar Amin on seven. If that catch had been taken then Pakistan’s destiny in this competition may look completely different.

However, after that lifeline and a couple of other hairy moments, Amla began to find his range once the change bowlers were introduced. Wahab Riaz was the main culprit as far as relieving the pressure was concerned and conceded a relatively generous 50 runs from his nine wicket-less overs.

South Africa’s plan for the innings was clearly to build a platform and then explode in the final overs, but only the first part of it worked. When Amla fell in the 32nd over, the stage was set for AB de Villiers, JP Duminy and David Miller to take that close to 280.

Their undoing initially was the spin of Shoaib Malik and Saeed Ajmal and then Pakistan’s unexpected fielding star, the 39-year-old Misbah. Both de Villiers and Duminy slipped while attempting runs that were not there for the taking and Misbah benefited on both occasions.

Miller was then unable to provide any late impetus following the loss of the two set batsmen and South Africa limped to the end of their 50 overs. Since Amla’s departure, they had scored 89 runs in 110 balls for the loss of six wickets.

And thus Pakistan went into the break with the momentum, and the knowledge that South Africa were without both of their pace spearheads Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn because of injury. They would also have been mindful of how badly Lonwabo Tsotsobe had bowled against India and that his fellow opening bowler Chris Morris was on debut.

Both Tsotsobe and Morris, though, were exceptional. They made the most of Pakistan’s unexplainable go-slow at the start of their innings, pretty much abandoning the short-pitched barrage that failed them so spectacularly on Thursday.

Morris struck in his very first over, castling Imran Farhat with a ball that just moved in enough to nip between bat and pad. He then had Mohammad Hafeez caught by surprise with a rare short ball, while Tsotsobe would be rewarded for a luckless first spell by dismissing Nasir Jamshed for 42 to make it 86 for four in the 28th over.

South Africa’s policy of playing three spinners paid dividends. Aaron Phangiso got through his 10 overs for 50 runs, while Duminy’s effort was the unlikely bonus. He bowled seven overs for just 26 runs and also bowled the experienced Shoaib Malik, who Pakistan rely on to partner Misbah in the middle of their innings.

Without his lieutenant, Misbah was left with too much to do. He was given precious little support by Umar Amin, who largely scratched around in making 16 off 29 balls, and lost Kamran Akmal second ball courtesy of a smart catch at backward point from Faf du Plessis.

Misbah had some brief success in upping the scoring rate, but then he picked out Amla off Tsotsobe and the game was over soon afterwards. Ryan McLaren benefited with some cheap wickets towards the end, richly rewarded for an accurate spell with figures of four for 19 off eight overs.

If South Africa’s batting had been unhelpfully reliant on Hashim Amla, then their bowling was very much a team effort and proved far too good for a hesitant Pakistan.

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Jun 082013
England Ease To Victory Against Insipid Australia
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England 269-6 (Bell 91, Bopara 46no) beat
Australia 221-9 (Anderson 3-30) by 48 runs
ICC Champions Trophy, Group A, Edgbaston
Scorecard | Video Report
Report by Daniel Grummitt

At the halfway point, the jury was once again out surrounding the innings played by Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, but by the time Australia had limped to 221 for nine it had very much given its verdict.

England’s top-order has stuck unfailingly to its measured approach despite recent pummellings at the hands of New Zealand and the resulting heavy criticism that that brought. Today, they were no different and Alastair Cook, Bell and Trott once again took the safety first option. They laid the platform for the hitters Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler to fire as they had at Trent Bridge, but they both failed and it was left to Ravi Bopara to lift them to a total that was only around par on an easy-paced pitch.

That total of 269 for six proved more than enough for an Australia side seemingly still dazed from their thrashing at the hands of India in the warm-up match on Tuesday. The opening pair of Shane Watson and David Warner, normally so destructive, were subdued in the face of impressive opening spells from Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

They had struggled to 17 in the sixth over by the time Broad found the edge of Warner’s bat and a diving Jos Buttler clung on to end his innings at nine for 21 balls. Watson made 24 off 40 balls before he was caught by Cook via his pad.

Phil Hughes and stand-in captain George Bailey began a recovery, but they too found the going tricky on a pitch that was taking spin and was on the slow side. Even the part-time off-spin of Joe Root wasn’t targeted as he got through his five overs at a cost of just 20 runs and picked up the wicket of Hughes.

James Tredwell, playing in place of Graeme Swann, who had a slightly sore back, was at his reliable best and ended Australia’s challenge by having Bailey caught on the boundary. Bailey played the first properly aggressive stroke of his innings and picked out Root at long-on to leave the lower-order facing an impossible task. James Faulkner did his best and finished on 54 not out off only 42 balls but it was nowhere near enough.

All of which means that Bell and Trott are left with plaudits rather than criticism for their second-wicket stand of 111 in 22 overs. The relative ease with which they accumulated runs on their home ground made one think that the pitch was rather better than it apparently was and they were undoubtedly helped by Australia’s puzzling reluctance to play a spinner.

Both, though, will be disappointed with the manner of their dismissals, just short of milestones. Trott chased a wide ball from Mitchell Starc and edged through to Matthew Wade for 43 off 56 balls, while Bell was bowled by a straight ball that kept a little low when nine runs shy of a home hundred.

Root, Morgan and Buttler all  went cheaply as England threatened to end up well short. Fortunately, the mercurial Bopara was on one of his better days and shepherded them to a competitive total.

The manner of England’s victory – a platform laid by the top-order for the lower-order hitters and then the unleashing of their pace attack – goes someway towards placating the critics of that strategy, but it remains to be seen how it will fare when they are faced with a more confident and more aggressive batting line-up that sees chasing 300 as almost a formality.

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Jun 062013
Dhawan Century Leads India To Opening Win
Dhawan Century Leads India To Opening Win

Dhawan Century Leads India To Opening Win

Ravindra Jadeja clubbed a late 47 before taking two wickets and contributing to a run-out.

©REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri. Picture Supplied by Action Images

India 331-7 (Dhawan 114) beat
South Africa 305 (Jadeja 2-31) by 26 runs
ICC Champions Trophy, Group B, Cardiff

A 127-run opening stand, culminating in a maiden One-Day International century for Shikhar Dhawan, followed by some tight spin bowling gave India a comfortable 26-run win over South Africa in the ICC Champions Trophy opener in Cardiff.

The day had a slightly surreal feel to it, starting decidedly chilly, but feeling distinctly like an India home game thanks to the flat and relatively slow pitch and a vociferous crowd – 90 per cent of whom were supporting them.

AB de Villiers won what looked like being an important toss at the start of the day – early morning starts bowling with a white ball in early June are usually a recipe for swing in England – but Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan countered any initial threat from Morne Morkel and then launched into the rest of the Dale Steyn-less attack.

They added 127 in less than 22 overs, not only laying a solid foundation for the middle-order but also maintaining a healthy run rate. There was little slogging needed as the South Africans stuck to a short-pitched policy with the ball that was both poorly executed and largely inflexible. Rory Kleinveldt and Lonwabo Tsotsobe were the chief culprits and returned combined figures of two for 164 from 20 overs.

South Africa were not helped by their most effective performer, Morkel, hobbling off midway through their innings with a quad strain and an unusually poor showing from Robin Peterson with his left-arm spin.

JP Duminy and Ryan McLaren did their best to keep their side in the contest with Duminy getting through for 10 overs of off-spin at a cost of only 42 runs, and McLaren bowling well at the death to restrict India to 20 less than they should really have got. Indeed, but for Ravindra Jadeja’s late cameo, the end of the Indian innings could have been something of an anti-climax for the virtual home crowd.

He blazed 47 from 29 balls following a slight mid-innings wobble that had seen his team lose five wickets for 81 runs. Among the wickets to fall was Dhawan, who became only the second left-hander in six years to hit an ODI ton against the Proteas.

South Africa’s run chase started poorly as they lost openers Hashim Amla and Colin Ingram with 31 on the board. However, the surprise promotion of Robin Peterson to number three in the order worked wonderfully and he and AB de Villiers put on 124 in good time against an innocuous India seam attack.

Unfortunately, a brilliant piece of fielding from Ravindra Jadeja dismissed Peterson for 68; the wicket representing something of a floodgates opening moment in the South African innings. India’s fielding overall was actually better than the mixed showing from South Africa as, led by the likes of Jadeja, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, they defied their reputation of old.

More fielding-induced wickets followed as AB de Villiers was almost run-out as a result of a calamitous mix-up with Faf du Plessis before spooning an Umesh Yadav short ball to mid-wicket, while David Miller and du Plessis ended up at the same end soon afterwards – the latter the man to depart without having faced a ball.

The pressure that led to the run-outs was arguably created by the spin trio of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina who slowly strangled the scoring rate. Ashwin got through 10 overs at a cost of 47 runs, part-timer Raina six for 36, and Jadeja the best of the bunch with two for 31 from nine.

Morkel gamely walked out with some 75 needed from the final 43 balls to keep Ryan McLaren company at the end, but it was only realistically an effort to minimise the margin of defeat. They whittled that down to just 26 runs, with Morkel dismissed from the final ball. McLaren finished not out on 71 off 61 balls, having given India something to think about on a day that otherwise went pretty much according to plan for the 2011 World Cup winners.

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Jun 062013
South Africa Optimistic Of Dale Steyn Recovery

South Africa have chosen to rest Dale Steyn in today’s ICC Champions Trophy 2013 opener against India and are confident he will be fit in time for their second game, against Pakistan on 10th June.

Steyn left the field after bowling just five overs during his side’s warm-up defeat to Pakistan, a match which also saw Robin Peterson struck on the foot while batting.

“Generally side strains, especially in fast bowlers, can be tricky in the sense that they need to be completely symptom free before any bowling is attempted,” South Africa team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee explained.

“Although Dale has improved significantly, we decided not to risk him for today’s match bearing in mind the quick turnaround of matches in this tournament.

“With all things being equal, we are hopeful of him being ready for the second match in Edgbaston.”

South Africa won the toss and decided to bowl first against India. For the latest scores, click here.

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Jun 052013
Buttler Blitz Helps England Avoid Whitewash
Buttler Blitz Helps England Avoid Whitewash

Buttler Blitz Helps England Avoid Whitewash

James Tredwell took three key wickets following Jos Buttler’s thrilling innings.

©Action Images

England 287-6 (Bell 82, Buttler 47no) beat
New Zealand 253 (Taylor 71) by 34 runs
Third One-Day International, Trent Bridge
Report by Daniel Grummitt

A brilliant innings from Jos Buttler late on in the England innings helped them avoid a series whitewash against New Zealand at Trent Bridge.

England had been going nowhere at the halfway point in their innings at 97 for two and had only 211 with just four overs to go. However, Eoin Morgan and, in particular, Buttler launched an assault of ferocious proportions. They plundered 76 runs from the final four overs and finished up on 287 for six with Buttler unbeaten on 49 off just 16 balls.

Morgan began things by depositing the previously parsimonious Mitchell McClenaghan for six in the 47th over, but Buttler took over from then on and kept up the pressure following Morgan’s departure, run out for 49. 

In the 48th over, bowled by Kyle Mills, Buttler showcased all of his party tricks. The first ball was heaved over mid-wicket, prompting New Zealand to bring in their fine-leg, with the second then ramped over that fielder. The third was a full toss clipped off his pads again for four, while the fourth was the most spectacular.

Moving across his stumps and eyeing up another ramp shot, he was good enough to adjust to the ball pitched wider, turn his bat round, and scoop the ball over short third-man. He missed the fifth ball of the over, but normal service was then resumed as he flat-batted it down the ground. In all, 22 runs had come from the over, bettering his previous ODI best of 21 in just six balls, and he had set the wheels in motion for what was to come.

McClenaghan had three goes at successfully delivering a free hit after over-stepping in the penultimate over and, when he did so, was rewarded by the sight of Buttler fortuitously edging for four. 20 runs came off that over, with Buttler then helping plunder 22 off the last. He needed five off the final ball to break Sanath Jayasuriya’s record of 17 balls for the fastest fifty in ODI cricket but fell about five yards short.

Buttler and Morgan’s late aggression had been necessitated by another England go-slow at the top of the order. They lost Alastair Cook in the third over for a duck and scored just six runs off their first six overs. Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root then attempted to rebuild, but all struggled to score at the rate required.

McClenaghan had bowled an exceptional first spell and had figures of three for 22 off eight overs before the late carnage. Ian Bell made 82 off 96 balls and looked the most fluent of England’s early batsmen but when he fell to make it 154 for four in the 35th over, England could have imploded. Thanks initially to Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan, who added 57 for the fifth-wicket, but mainly Buttler, they very much didn’t.

Their opening bowlers still struggled early on as Luke Ronchi and Martin Guptill got them off to a flying start despite Stuart Broad and Steven Finn returning from injuries.

When Guptill was finally dismissed for the first time in the series by a peach of a ball, spinning through the gate, from James Tredwell, they already had 70 on the board and were only in the 10th over. However, New Zealand kept losing wickets throughout their innings, despite keeping up with the required run rate, and left Ross Taylor and the lower order with too much to do.

Tredwell again proved himself to be a more than adequate replacement for the rested Graeme Swann. He added the wickets of Brendon McCullum and Taylor to that of Guptill and effectively ended the contest by winning his mini-duel with Taylor. After being hit for six twice over mid-wicket, it was third time lucky for the Kent captain as a toppling Steven Finn lobbed the ball to Tim Bresnan before completing his stumble over the boundary rope.

The wicket of McClenaghan four overs later wrapped up the win for England by 34 runs. They have earned a morale-boosting victory ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy, which starts with a Group B match between India and South Africa tomorrow, while New Zealand have well and truly established themselves as serious contenders for the tournament with an away series win.

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Jun 032013
Cricket On This Day - 3rd June - Cricket World TV

A cricket video for Cricket World TV about cricket news today in cricket history and a look back at cricket history being made on this day, from international cricketers born on this day to those scoring centuries and taking five-wicket hauls.

Included in today’s show are cricketers such as Wasim Akram, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Stephen Harmison.

Cricket World is the website to visit for the latest breaking sports news from all around the world of cricket including Tests, ODIs and Twenty20s and major tournaments such as the World Cup 2011 and the Indian Premier League. Also offering free live scores, live streaming, betting, photos and cricket videos, cricket tv and scorecards.

Cricket World has covered all the main events in world cricket including World Cup finals, milestones achieved by the likes of Rahul Dravid, Muttiah Muralitharan, Brian Lara, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, the spot fixing trial, the Ashes as well as producing videos about cricket at all levels.

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May 262013
County Cricket Round-Up - 26th May
County Cricket Round-Up - 26th May

County Cricket Round-Up – 26th May

A brisk half-century from Steven Crook helped Northamptonshire defeat Worcestershire.

©Action Images / Paul Harding

There were wins for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Sussex, Gloucestershire and Leicestershire in today’s Yorkshire Bank 40 matches, with the Foxes’ win over Somerset coming during a match in which well over 600 runs were scored and which saw three centuries. The Championship match at Southampton between Hampshire and Lancashire finished in a draw.

Lancashire decided against anything too enterprising on the final day of their LV= County Championship Division Two match against Hampshire. The home side might have fancied their chances following a Sean Ervine double-strike that left Lancashire on 137 for five – just 174 runs ahead. However, Steven Croft and Gareth Cross both hit centuries and shared a mammoth 161 for the sixth-wicket. Cross fell late on for 100, with Croft finishing not out on 101 and Lancashire on 373 for six.

Nottinghamshire thrashed the Netherlands in Group A of the Yorkshire Bank 40. The Outlaws made an impressive 263 for five from their 40 overs thanks to fluent fifties from James Taylor, Michael Lumb and Samit Patel. Ajmal Shahzad then took three middle-order wickets in the Dutch run chase as they were all out for 174 with only overseas pro Dom Michael passing 50. There were two wickets apiece for Jake Ball, Graeme White and Patel.

Sussex won a relatively low-scoring game against Kent at Horsham. There were contributions of 30 or above from Chris Nash, Luke Wright, Rory Hamilton-Brown, Michael Yardy and Chris Jordan for Sussex but they could still make no more than 222 for nine as Adam Ball took three wickets and there were two each for off-spinners James Tredwell and Adam Riley. Kent then made a decent start to their run chase and reached 141 for three courtesy of 51 off 41 balls from Darren Stevens. However, most of the Sussex bowlers chipped in with the result that the visitors were all out for 202.

In Group B, an innings of 61 off 42 balls from Steven Crook was the difference between Northamptonshire and Worcestershire at New Road. Moeen Ali took three for 40 as the visitors limped along for much of their innings before Crook’s onslaught lifted them to 219 for six. Even so, the home side would have fancied their chances but would have reckoned without Matthew Spriegel and David Willey. Both took three wickets, while there were a brace apiece from Andrew Hall and Trent Copeland as Worcestershire were all out for 177.

Derbyshire comfortably overhauled Scotland’s 182 for nine in Edinburgh. Mark Footitt derailed the home side’s innings with five for 28 as skipper Preston Mommsen top-scored with only 42. Derbyshire openers Chesney Hughes and Shivnarine Chanderpaul then both hit half-centuries during a stand of 120 which set up the win with 14 balls to spare.

In Group C, Gloucestershire were pressed a little by the Unicorns before emerging triumphant at Bristol. Former Surrey opener Tom Lancefield made 76 as the Unicorns made a good start in pursuit of the 261 that they needed for victory. Ultimately, though, they fell short, ending on 231 for five as James Fuller took a brace of wickets and medium-pacers Benny Howell (one for 38) and Alex Gidman (one for 33) bowled tidily. Michael Klinger, Howell and Ian Cockbain had earlier each made fifties as the home side made 260 for seven after opting to bat.

There was a high-scoring win for Leicestershire to add to Somerset’s woes at Grace Road. Somerset looked to have more than enough as Peter Trego made 118 off 100 balls as they racked up 323 for three. Trego added 120 in 15 overs with Marcus Trescothick (57 off 45 balls), while Alviro Petersen (63 not out off 57) and Jos Buttler (54 off 25) built on that with rapid-fire half-centuries following his departure. However, Foxes openers Josh Cobb and Greg Smith both hit hundreds during a blistering opening-stand of 235 in less than 25 overs. That left the rest of the batsmen with little to do to secure a convincing win with seven balls to spare.

Tomorrow’s Fixtures: (all matches start at 1345 BST, 1245 GMT)
Group A, YB40, Kent v Netherlands at Tunbridge Wells
Group A, YB40, Northamptonshire v Warwickshire at Wantage Road
Group B, YB40, Durham v Derbyshire at Chester-le-Street
Group B, YB40, Scotland v Surrey at Edinburgh
Group C, YB40, Middlesex v Yorkshire at Radlett
Group C, YB40, Unicorns v Leicestershire at Wormsley

Weather Forecast: A band of rain will move in from the west during the day, hitting west Wales and Scotland in early afternoon. Any matches in the eastern half of England should stay dry and be mostly sunny throughout. Temperatures will vary between 12 degrees Celsius under the rain and 17 degrees Celsius in London.

© Cricket World 2013

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