Sunday, March 25, 2007

Clippings: England reach Super 8s

Opener Ed Joyce hit 75 to help England into the Super Eights with a seven-wicket win over Kenya in a rain-affected World Cup Group C decider on Saturday.
Dublin-born Joyce, who made 66 against Canada last Sunday, combined with Kevin Pietersen (56 not out) to eliminate the Africans with 10 overs to spare and set up their first Super Eight match against Ireland in Guyana next Friday.
England's Andrew Flintoff, back after being dropped from the win over Canada because of a drinking scandal, had earlier grabbed two wickets to help limit Kenya to 177 all out.
The match, which started two hours late, was reduced to 43 overs-a-side because of overnight rain but Kenya captain Steve Tikolo sprung a surprise by electing to bat.
"We were good today. When you come up against a potential banana skin you just want the basics done right and be very professional," England captain Michael Vaughan told a news conference. "Bowling first was want we wanted to do."
Kenya's Tikolo defended his decision to bat.
"I thought the wicket looked fairly good for batting," he said. "The decision to bat was valid we just didn't get partnerships going, we lost wickets at regalr intervals."
Tikolo's choice though backfired when a James Anderson delivery kept low to bowl opener Ravi Shah for four in the fifth over.
Clever field placings from England then contributed to the downfalls of Maurice Ouma and Tony Suji, who came into the side for opener David Obuya.
Another low delivery from Paul Collingwood undid Tanmay Mishra, who chopped a cut on to the stumps for a duck taking the score to 74 for four.
A mix-up with Tikolo led to Collins Obuya being run out for 10 before all-rounder Flintoff trapped Thomas Odoyo lbw.
Flintoff nearly had two more wickets with another excellent lbw shout and Tikolo being badly dropped by Joyce at mid-on before Jimmy Kamande was bowled by Collingwood's slower ball.
Tikolo struck 76 before being yorked by Flintoff and two late run outs wrapped up the innings.
"When you have your premier all-rounder back in your team you look a better team for that," Vaughan said of Flintoff.
Despite bowling out a side for the first time in this World Cup, England's attack was again inconsistent though and leaked 22 extras including eight no balls.
Fast bowler Sajid Mahmood, included in place of Liam Plunkett, threw in many slower deliveries but they were largely ineffective.
England's run chase had a stuttering start with captain Vaughan out for one as he again struggled with his one-day form.
The 32-year-old, who has recovered from long standing knee and hamstring problems, was surprised by some extra bounce and cut Peter Ongondo to backward point where Obuya took a superb diving catch.
England's nerves were then frayed by Ian Bell falling for 16 and Pietersen being dropped on seven by wicketkeeper Ouma off Hiren Varaiya's first ball after drinks.
But Vaughan's men, who lost to fellow qualifiers New Zealand in their first group game, then easily completed their task despite former Ireland batsman Joyce being bowled by Tikolo late on.

No comments:

John Cheeran at Blogged