India beats England by five runs in Champions Trophy Final

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After nearly six hours spent watching dark clouds spit down on Edgbaston, a voluble India-centric crowd was treated to a frenetic 20-over final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 in which the team they supported squeaked home in the tightest of twilight finishes. Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the first captain to have led his team to victory in all major ICC tournaments – the 50-over World Cup, the World Twenty20 and the Champions Trophy – buttressing his credentials as a leader of men, when his side won by five runs, successfully defending 129. When the toss happened as scheduled at 10am on a windy Sunday (June 23) morning, it appeared that the weather boffins had got it wrong, and with a full 50-over game… Read More →

India marches into final after comprehensive win

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(Courtesy: International Cricket Council) India’s relentless march in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013  continued as Sri Lanka was outplayed by eight wickets. This set up the India-England final at Birmingham on Sunday (June 23), the two strongest teams of the tournament making it to the business end. On a grey yet eventful day, nothing could break India’s superb rhythm – not cold winds, not Sri Lanka’s best batting or bowling, not protestors running onto the ground more than once – as it embraced unusually bowler friendly conditions to restrict Sri Lanka to only 181 for 8 and then knocked off the runs with no fuss. To be fair to Sri Lanka, this was a good toss to win, and when Mahendra Singh… Read More →

We had to be creative and patient: Jayawardene

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Was there any point of time when you thought it was getting away from you? I think the entire time the situation probably dictated how the game was unfolding. I mean, they were going hard up front to try and qualify within that 29 overs, so we knew there was an opportunity for us to grab wickets which we did. Obviously, when they stopped doing that, we knew we had the time that we need to take three wickets. So two wickets at that particular time, which is always going to be tough because they only had to score two or three times an over. So we had to be a bit more creative and be patient. So it was… Read More →

Sri Lanka overcomes Australia to reach semifinal

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Sri Lanka joins England as Group A semifinalists, will face India in Cardiff This match had enough permutations and combinations to keep a mathematics student more than happy. At halfway, Australia knew that it would have to reach the target of 254 in 29.1 overs or less to qualify. For Sri Lanka, a win was enough, though restricting Australia to less than 164 would have ensured top spot in the group and an Oval semifinal against South Africa. Australia went for glory, and Sri Lanka won by 20 runs, but the margin was not enough to avoid India – newly anointed the tournament favourite – in the Cardiff semifinal on Thursday (June 20). That Australia was going to tilt at the windmill… Read More →

Experience counts, but youth equally important: Sangakkara

Man of the match, Kumar Sangakkara

How much of a factor was experience out there?  Well, it’s hard to say whether it was experience or whether it was just the way we adapted really quickly maybe. It’s probably a bit of both, but if you’re young and fresh, you have very little fear, and we saw it from guys like Joe Root who came in and they were lapping and reverse lapping right from the start, which was great to watch. But we had, like you said, two or three experienced guys who were proper batsmen, but Kulasekara coming in showed that he can handle a bat, as well. Experience counts, but you need to have that good mixture of youth, as well. How satisfying was… Read More →

Sangakkara keeps Sri Lanka in the hunt

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Sri Lanka’s seven-wicket win over England means all four teams in Group A are still in with a chance of making the semifinals A magnificent unbeaten 135-ball 134 from Kumar Sangakkara and three stroke-filled contributions, including an audacious 30-ball half-century from Nuwan Kulasekara, led Sri Lanka to an emphatic seven-wicket win against England at The Oval on Thursday (June 13). Needing 294, Sri Lanka won with 17 balls to spare, a result that ensured that semifinal places from the group would only be decided after the final round of matches on June 16 and 17. For half the innings, England bowled relatively tightly and fielded brilliantly. Then, as Sri Lanka’s two most experienced batsmen piled on the pressure, they fell apart. Kulasekara merely… Read More →

Dilshan and Jayawardena reprimanded for excessive appealing

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Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardena have been officially reprimanded after pleading guilty to a Level 1 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct during the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 match against New Zealand in Cardiff on Sunday. Dilshan and Jayawardena were found to have breached Article 2.1.5 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “excessive appealing during an international match”. The charges was laid by the on-field umpires Bruce Oxenford and Rod Tucker, as well as third umpire Ian Gould and fourth umpire Steve Davis, all from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires. Dilshan and Jayawardena were charged for excessive and prolonged appealing in a keenly-contested match that New Zealand won… Read More →

New Zealand scrapes home in thriller

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After super bowling and mediocre batting by both teams, Sri Lanka goes down by one wicket in nail-biting finish New Zealand bowled and fielded brilliantly, went to lunch with not a care and then came back to find the bottom falling out of its innings in its ICC Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka at Cardiff on Sunday (June 9). Needing just 139 to win, it squeaked home with just a wicket to spare. The climax was farcical, with Tillakaratne Dilshan bowling a wide down the leg side even as Mitchell McClenaghan and Tim Southee hared back and forth with two needed for the win. Sri Lanka had the outstanding batting and bowling performers in the match – Kumar Sangakkara… Read More →

All-round West Indies wins by 17 runs

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West Indies warmed up for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 with a nervy 17-run victory over Sri Lanka in the second and final practice match at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Tuesday (June 4). The victory was fashioned by Johnson Charles (58) and Darren Bravo (71) who laid the foundation for an imposing 297 for 6. Faced with a daunting target, Sri Lanka’s top-order couldn’t quite replicate its batting performance against India, as the team was reduced to 132 for 5 at one stage before the lower order chipped in. In the end, Sri Lanka was bowled out for 280 in 47 overs. Earlier, the West Indies openers made Sri Lanka rue its decision to field first. It isn’t often that Chris Gayle… Read More →

“Don’t Underestimate Sri Lanka at the Champions Trophy” : Russel Arnold

Mahela Jawawardene and Russel Arnold by Ferdous Firoz Amin

Ex Sri Lankan Cricketer who played 44 Tests and 180 ODIs and is now a well known commentator – part of the commentary team for the Champions Trophy – Russel Arnold spoke exclusively to PakPassion.net about Sri Lanka’s squad for the forthcoming ICC Champions Trophy, Sri Lanka’s chances at the aforementioned event, Sri Lanka’s ability to regularly produce world class and unorthodox cricketers and much more. By Saj Sadiq (3rd June, 2013) During the ICC Champions Trophy warm-up game between Sri Lanka and India, we’ve seen both the possible strengths and weaknesses of the Sri Lankan team. What are your thoughts on the Sri Lankan squad and how do you think the team will perform at the Champions Trophy, in… Read More →