England at the mercy of Sri Lanka
ST JOHN’S, Antigua: England head into their Super Eights clash with Sri Lanka here Wednesday knowing defeat could all but end their chances of reaching the World Cup semi-finals.
Michael Vaughan’s men, handicapped by a six-wicket loss to fellow Group C qualifiers New Zealand during their opening match, which meant they didn’t carry forward two points to the second round, face a make or break week.
England, after playing Sri Lanka, return to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Sunday to take on reigning champions Australia, who’ve won five out of five at this World Cup.
The omens against Sri Lanka are not good.
Last year Mahela Jayawardene’s team beat England 5-0 in a one-day series.
Whoever England field as a first-wicket partnership, they don’t have a pair to match the rapid scoring of the Sri Lankan duo and no-one near the class of experienced left-hander Jayasuriya, who made 115 in Sunday’s 113-run thrashing of hosts West Indies.
However, England coach Duncan Fletcher said there was no point trying to make the likes of Vaughan and Joyce play someone else’s game.
“We mustn’t ask players to do things that are foreign to them, because that could really be pretty disastrous. All our players must play to their strengths,” he said.
“We’ve had a good chat about intensity and we need to have our fingers on the pulse this week,” star batsman Kevin Pietersen said.
“The boys have spoken about it and we know we have to keep our intensity up throughout.”
By contrast, Sri Lanka look to have a far more balanced team with left-armer Chaminda Vaas and the unorthodox Lasith Malinga, whose four wickets in four balls almost set-up a stunning win against South Africa, a handful for any batting side long before off-spin maestro Muttiah Muralitharan comes on.
“One of the great things about our side is that we have a variety and balance,” said Sri Lanka wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara.
“We’ve got three different types of fast bowlers, four different kinds of spinners and then when it comes to the batters we have variety there as well”.
Pitch: Should be generally good for batting throughout but likely to become slower and lower as game wears on. Tends to offer bowlers some early assistance.
Weather: 28 degrees Centigrade (82 Fahrenheit). Set to be overcast with a risk of rain…via Daily Mirror
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Posted on April 4, 2007, in Sri Lanka and tagged Chaminda Vaas, Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara, Lasith Malinga, Mahela Jayawardene, media, Muttiah Muralitharan, ODI, Sanath Jayasuriya, South Asia, Sports News & Opinion, Sri Lanka, Topix, Uncategorized, World Cup, World News. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.