Thursday, April 18, 2024

England crash again


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DEFENDING CHAMPIONS England virtually surrendered their title in the CLOBI Cup Twenty20 when they crashed to their second straight defeat, losing to Sri Lanka by 28 runs at Kensington Oval, in yesterday’s day-night encounter.
Sri Lanka, sent in, recovered from the early loss of Sanath Jayasuriya for one off pacer Devon Malcolm to post a respectable 164 for four in their 20 overs with diminutive opener Romesh Kaluwitharana anchoring the innings with the topscore of 59 off 46 balls.
But England, without injured batsmen Graham Thorpe and Graeme Hick, were restricted to 136 for seven in their 20 overs, despite a cameo 31, studded with three sixes and a four off just 12 balls by captain Dominic Cork.
Cork smashed off-spinner Russel Arnold for his three sixes off consecutive balls in the 18th over but was then caught inside the midwicket boundary by Chaminda Vaas in the penultimate over as the task of scoring 48 runs off the final two overs proved too difficult.
England’s batsmen had been kept in check by steady bowling from Jayasuriya, who took two for 26 and Piyual Wijetunge (1-19), after tidy bowling from the newball pair of Vaas and Upul Chandika.
Mark Alleyne (25), Craig White (20) and Neil Fairbrother (22) all got into the twenties but were able to raise the tempo as England only reach 54 for two in 10 overs and 80 for five after 15 overs.
England’s woes were compounded as wicketkeeper Paul Nixon, who had to use a runner in Philip Defreitas, was run out for six.
 Earlier, Man-of-the-Match Kaluwitharana struck six fours and a six while sharing a second-wicket stand of 101 in 12.4 overs with Aravinda de Silva, who made 39 off 35 balls.
de Silva hit four fours and a six over midwicket off 58-year-old off-spinner John Emburey while Saman Jayantha (13), Arnold (19 not
out) and Vaas (18 not out) beefed up the total with crucial runs in the closing overs.
Summarised scores
Sri Lanka 164-4 in 20 overs (Romesh Kaluwitharana 59, A. de Silva 39, R. Arnold 19 n.o., C. Vaas 18 n.o, S. Jayantha 13; D. Cork 2-33).
England 136-7 in 20 overs (D. Cork 31, M. Alleyne 25, N. Fairbrother 22, C. White 20, M. Bicknell 13 n.o.; S. Jayasuriya 2-26, R. Arnold 2-42). Sri Lanka won by 28 runs. Man-of-the-Match: Romesh Kaluwitharana.


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