KANDY, Sri Lanka: Thunder, lightning and torrential rain halted England on their Sri Lanka tour Saturday, but they wrapped up the One-Day International series against their hosts with a faster run rate.After Dasun Shanaka hit a boundary-smattered 66 to help Sri Lanka make 273-7 from their 50 overs, Jason Roy made 45 and England pair Joe Root and captain Eoin Morgan were just shifting up a gear in the chase when dark clouds gathered over Kandy.With England on 132-2 from 27 overs, Root (32) and Morgan (31) seemed well placed to put their side on the route to victory. They already led the series 2-0 going into the fourth of the five games.As with the other wins, the decision came with the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern run-rate system, and England were awarded victory by 18 runs. Every game in the series has now been halted or interrupted by rain.While frustrated, Morgan will be satisfied with the show from his team in difficult circumstances.Roy closed in on a half century which included a six and five fours when an Akila Dananjaya leg spin hit his pad as he came down the wicket. The umpire did not give him out — but Sri Lanka demanded a review, which proved their shouting was justified.Morgan himself was shunting ahead with a six and three fours in 34 balls when the deluge started.Earlier, Shanaka led another starring role for Sri Lanka’s middle order after England won the toss and made the home side bat at the Pallekele stadium.Opener [Read More…]
SEVILLE, Spain: Even as the noise swelled and the pressure mounted, Gareth Southgate stood firm as the youngest England side this century recorded a statement win in Spain.After an electric first half that had witnessed three slick breakaway goals, England were creaking, as Paco Alcacer headed in for 3-1 and Jordan Pickford almost gifted Rodrigo a second. On the touchline, Southgate stayed arms folded, making one change before the 85th minute, and that came in the 76th, Kyle Walker replacing a weary Ross Barkley.Perhaps he believed England could hold on. Perhaps there was merit in giving these players the chance to do it too. After all, they had reached the World Cup semi-finals, but with the advantage of a fortuitous draw. When Croatia and Belgium, twice, came calling, England came up short. Now they have handed Spain their first competitive defeat at home for 15 years, scoring three times in the first half against a team rejuvenated under a new coach in Luis Enrique. It was only a month ago Spain had obliterated Croatia 6-0 and, despite the 2-1 scoreline, outplayed England at Wembley too.For Sterling, who had not scored for England since October 2015, and Rashford, who missed a couple of glorious chances in the goalless draw against Croatia, these were confidence-building goals. England’s third attacker, Harry Kane, who has been fending off criticism that his form has dipped since winning the World Cup golden boot set up two goals.“People always talk about goals and if I don’t score [Read More…]
ISLAMABAD: As Cricket World Cup 2019 Trophy was displayed at the Pindi Stadium Friday evening, former Test cricketer and one of senior members of the 1987 World Cup team Abdul Qadir and Test cricketer Kamran Akmal hoped that team would bring the Trophy back from England in less than a year time.“We pray and hope that team would return home with this Trophy from England next summer. I being a member of 1987 World Cup team know well how important and honorable it is to represent the country in the World Cup,” he said. Qadir said that all those who would go on to represent the country in the World Cup 2019 would be very lucky to get opportunity.“Now when we have World Cup winning captain as our Prime Minister we need to work even harder to bring laurels for the country on cricket front,” Qadir said. He said there was a need to start preparation for the World Cup as early as possible. Test cricketers Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were also present at the stadium where a large number of cricket fans gathered to see trophy. “Every cricket around the world gets eager to lift the World Cup. I pray and hope that Pakistan would go on to win the World Cup 2019 and bring the Trophy back to Pakistan,” Kamran Akmal said. The World Cup trophy would be displayed near Faisal Mosque and Peer Sohawa Saturday before its onward journey to Karachi.
SEOUL: The United States and England were top of their pools as an incoming tropical storm badly disrupted the LPGA’s UL International Crown team event in South Korea on Friday.Jessica Korda and Michelle Wie won 6 and 4 against Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn and Pornanong Phatlum to boost the US score, while England’s Charley Hull and Georgia Hall beat Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-ling and Teresa Lu 2 and 1.Organisers brought forward Saturday’s third round to avoid Tropical Storm Kong-Rey, which was closing on Incheon, but darkness halted a wet day’s play with eight matches in progress on the Jack Nicklaus Golf Course. Spectators were barred on Saturday to give staff a chance to prepare the course, which is expected to be drenched in the early part of the day, for competition. “However, if we can’t safely play golf on Saturday, the plan is to resume play on Sunday at 7am (2200 GMT Saturday),” the LPGA said in a tweet.
COLOMBO: Cricket’s world governing body said Wednesday players would be briefed about the risk of approaches from “corrupters” during England’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka amid fears of match-fixing.The International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption chief Alex Marshall said Sri Lanka was the subject of corruption inquiries but the England tour itself was not under question.“However, I will take the opportunity to brief both the teams over the coming days to ensure they remain alert to the risks from would be corrupters,” Marshall said in a statement.TV news channel Al Jazeera broadcast a documentary in May showing a groundsman and a player allegedly discussing possibilities of altering the pitch at Galle where England will play their first Test against the hosts from November 6.England will play five one-day internationals, three Tests and a one-off T20 between October 10 and November 27. Galle groundsman Tharanga Indika and professional cricketer Tharindu Mendis allegedly speculated about fixing the pitch to ensure a result in under four days in the Test against England.Both men have been suspended by Sri Lanka Cricket, pending the outcome of an ICC investigation. A third man, provincial coach Jeevantha Kulathunga, was also suspended. Marshall said ICC investigators were currently in Sri Lanka, but declined to elaborate. Sri Lankan players and umpires have been accused of match-fixing in the past.
LONDON: Andrew Strauss announced on Wednesday that he is standing down as England’s director of cricket following a period of compassionate leave.Strauss’s wife Ruth was diagnosed with cancer during the Ashes in December 2017 and he took a break from his position earlier this year after she began a new course of treatment.The former Test captain, who had been in the post for three-and-a-half years, has told the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that he will not be returning to his role. He will take on a “flexible” position with the governing body.Andy Flower, who has been standing in since May, will continue to hold the reins until December while recruitment of a permanent successor takes place.
COLOMBO: Days after he was removed from the limited-overs captaincy, Angelo Mathews has been dropped from Sri Lanka’s ODI squad over fitness concerns.Mathews has responded almost immediately, demanding the selectors allow him to take a fitness test.The ODI squad for the forthcoming series against England has not yet been released, but it has been named and sent to the sports ministry for the minister’s mandatory approval. As the squad is not official yet, there is a small chance Mathews could find his way back into it. For now, however, he is in a standoff with the selectors.It is understood that concerns over Mathews’ fitness were a central feature of the meeting between him, coach Chandika Hathurusingha, and the selectors, which took place on Friday — the same meeting in which Mathews was asked to step down from the captaincy.Cricinfo also understands Mathews was one of at least two players asked by Hathurusingha not to undergo a yo-yo test ahead of the Asia Cup, the reasoning being Mathews had played every one of the eight matches during South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka, and the risk of injury was thus high.Mathews has also had recurring injuries in his legs, but it is his match fitness that has been called into question on this occasion. In the Asia Cup, he had been sluggish between the wickets, and had played a role in the run-outs of two batting partners.But although he has stopped bowling in order to prevent further injury, Mathews has been [Read More…]
LONDON: Eddie Jones says his decision to axe Danny Cipriani from England’s training squad wasn’t influenced by the fly-half’s off-field problems. Cipriani was convicted of common assault and resisting arrest on a pre-season tour with Premiership club Gloucester.The 30-year-old was fined a total of Â£4,000 ($5,300) following the incident outside a nightclub during Gloucester’s pre-season tour to Jersey in August. He avoided a ban despite being found guilty of conduct prejudicial to the game after England rugby chiefs decided not to impose any further sanctions over the incident.Despite being England’s starting fly-half in their most recent game against South Africa in June and producing an excellent opening to the season at his new club, Jones has left him out of the 36-man squad. But England boss Jones insists it is form and not Cipriani’s indiscretion that has shaped his thinking, with Owen Farrell and George Ford the two fly-halves called up.“That’s the case, 100 per cent. We’ve decided just to have two stand-offs in the squad for this particular camp because we want them to get a lot of training time,” Jones said.“At the moment we’ve got Owen and George, who I believe are the first two fly-halves, and then comes Danny. “Danny’s probably third or fourth choice and he knows what he’s got to work on, which is between Danny and I. “He’s disappointed but he understands. He’s desperate to play for England, which is terrific.” Manu Tuilagi makes his first appearance in an England squad in more than [Read More…]
Australia team poses with the Ashes urn, SCG, January 8, 2018/CA Twitter SYDNEY: Australia ruthlessly extinguished England´s resistance to claim an innings victory in the fifth Ashes Test and complete a 4-0 series rout on the final day in Sydney on Monday. The beleaguered tourists, with skipper Joe Root weakened by a stomach bug and unable to continue batting, dissolved after lunch, losing their last four wickets for their fourth comprehensive defeat of the series. “It has been a great couple of months. The cricket that we have played in the last couple of months has been outstanding,” Australia skipper Steve Smith said. “We have just been able to get on top and win those key moments and not let them back in the game which is crucial.” Pat Cummins led the Australian offensive in Sydney with four wickets for 39 to finish man-of-the-match and the leading wicket taker in the series with 23. “To get through the five Tests and end the series here at home. I couldn´t asked for much more,” said an ecstatic Cummins. England finished at 180 for nine off 88.1 overs as Australia won by an innings and 123 runs. It followed comprehensive losses on the troubled five-Test tour in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The fourth Test was drawn in Melbourne. Stricken Root did not come out to bat after lunch as he continued to experience discomfort after his overnight stomach bug. “He is asleep. He has a gastro bug and he has not been [Read More…]
SYDNEY: Stricken captain Joe Root returned to batting after a night struggling with a stomach bug to keep England alive on the final day of the fifth Ashes Test against Australia on Monday. Root went to hospital overnight with England Cricket initially saying he had “severe dehydration” after fielding and batting in intense heat on Sunday. But team officials corrected earlier statements and said Root was instead weakened by the effects of a gastro bug. Root came out to bat on the dismissal of Moeen Ali for 13 an hour into the final day´s play. At lunch, England were 144 for five and trailing Australia by 159 runs with Root on 58 and Jonny Bairstow not out 38. Root was sent for checks after experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting overnight. The skipper, who has reached his fifth half-century of the series but has yet to reach a century, is seen as England´s last major hope of staving off a 4-0 series rout. His plight evoked memories of Englishman Eddie Paynter, who got out of his hospital bed to play an heroic four-hour innings of 83 in Brisbane to help England overhaul Australia´s first innings in the 1933 Bodyline series. Spinner Nathan Lyon claimed Moeen´s wicket for the seventh time in the series when he trapped him leg before, which Moeen did not review. Lyon had taken three wickets for 50 off 32 overs at lunch. Cameron Bancroft, fielding close in at bat-pad, took a full blow from Root on the helmet [Read More…]