Sunday, March 27, 2011

World Cup 2011 .... Sri Lanka vs England - Quarterfinals !!!

Thankfully there were no surprises in store for the last quarterfinals between Sri Lanka & England, being played at Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. After the rude shock of South Africa self destructing themselves against New Zealand in the last match, & a lot of hue & cry amongst bookies that England would win the cup this time around, one was a bit wary on results.
However, Sangakkara led Sri Lankans, ensured there were no rude surprises in store.
England team has been wobbly from the beginning of this tournament & have won matches or lost matches rather unconvincingly up till now. They team looked jaded & tired....maybe a reflection of their mind after overpowering the Aussies in the Ashes....this added with injuries of key players, it was difficult to believe that they would go beyond this stage.
Having won the toss, England decided to bat, but were immediately put on the back foot, with surprise bowler Dilshan claiming Andrew Strauss & then Mathews getting Bell, with score reading 31 for 2 in 9 overs. Trott & Bopara did some damage control & later Morgan & Prior got some lusty hitting, as England limped to 229 runs for 6 wickets. Trott benefited some dropped catches to score 86 runs, with only two boundaries.
For the formidable Sri Lankans this was not a challenging total, unless there were some early loss of wickets. However openers Dilshan & Tharanga, took time to settle down & did not let the English bowlers take any upper hand. they scored when they got a bad delivery & defended when then faced a good one. Runs kept piling & both eventually reached their respective centuries, as Sri Lanka romped home in only the 40th over, without losing a single wicket. It was a complete Lankan domination, as England bade farewell to their Cup aspirations.
Lankans now face New Zealand in the semis, who had earlier shocked South Africa. Again barring a huge rude shock, I don't see anything stopping the Lankans from making it to the finals for the 2nd successive time. They are clearly peaking at the right time & look a happy unit.

Man of the Match : Tilakratne Dlishan for his magnificent 108 unbeaten runs & 1 wicket.