June 11, 2013
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The ICC Champions Trophy is now under way. England and India look to be the form teams after the first round of matches, while holders Australia are struggling for form and their captain is suffering from a back injury. Pakistan, with two abject defeats, are down and nearly out. Jimmy Anderson, with 3 wickets against Australia, is now England’s leading wicket-taker in ODI cricket. West Indies keeper, Dinesh Ramdin, has been suspended for two games for claiming, in the match against Pakistan, a catch, which he had clearly grassed. South Africa’s Morne Morkel has pulled out of the tournament with a muscle strain; his new ball partner, Dale Steyn, remains injured and on the sidelines.
In the opening encounter in Cardiff, India managed to keep on-going controversies in the background as they swept aside South Africa. A superb opening stand of 127 between Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan set them up for a convincing total of 331. Losing wickets at key moments prevented South Africa from mounting a serious challenge. Dhawan, in only his sixth ODI, was declared man of the match.
Match 1 result: India 331 for 7 (Dhawan 114, Sharma 65) beat South Africa 305 (McLaren 71*, de Villiers 70, Petersen 68) by 26 runs.
In a tense low scoring encounter at The Oval, West Indies prevailed against Pakistan with just two wickets to spare. Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, with support only from opener Nasir Jamshed, was left to play a lone hand as the rest of the Pakistani batsmen collapsed feebly around him. After stuttering in their run chase, West Indies edged over the line with Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard leading the way.
Match 2 result: Pakistan 170 (Misbah 96*, Jamshed 50, Roach 3-28) lost to West Indies 172 for 8 (Gayle 39, Samuels 30, Irfan 3-32) by two wickets.
After winning the toss against old enemy Australia at Edgbaston, England made a promising start with Ian Bell to the fore before suffering a mid-innings collapse. Unlikely hero Ravi Bopara eventually guided them to respectability. Half centuries from stand-in skipper George Bailey and tail-ender James Faulkner failed to mask a dismal showing from the Australian batsmen. Australia are desperate to see skipper Michael Clarke back on the field, but the feeling persists that he may remain wrapped in cotton wool until the start of The Ashes.
Match 3 result: England 269 for 6 (Bell 91, Bopara 46*, Trott 43) beat Australia 221 for 9 (Bailey 55, Faulkner 54*, Anderson 3-30) by 48 runs.
A disappointing Cardiff crowd witnessed a thriller as New Zealand inched home against Sri Lanka in another low scoring encounter. Despite the efforts of former skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who played a lone hand against a Kiwi attack with Mitchell McClenaghan leading from the front, Sri Lanka were restricted to a meager 138. In reply, New Zealand, bereft of ideas of how to play a rampant Lasith Malinga, struggled to build partnerships and lost wickets at regular intervals. Sri Lanka with their over-zealous appealing after nearly every ball did themselves no favours with the umpires.
Match 4 result: Sri Lanka 138 (Sangakkara 68, McClenaghan 4-43, Mills 2-14) lost to New Zealand 139 for 9 (N McCullum 32, Malinga 4-34) by 1 wicket.
Pakistan supporters filled Edgbaston for their game against South Africa, but many had left well before the end as their team folded lamely. Hashim Amla set South Africa up for a less than convincing 234, but this total proved well beyond Pakistan’s capabilities. Once again, only Misbah-ul-Haq and Nasir Jamshed provided any resistance as high quality fielding backed up a sharp South African attack.
Match 4 result: South Africa 234 for 9 (Amla 81, de Villiers 31) beat Pakistan 167 (Misbah 55, Jamshed 42, McLaren 4-19) by 67 runs.
The Scoop 11/06/13