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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lanka punches out Australia; to meet India in the Semis on Thurs

Most of us thought IPL ruined the Country’s cricket and that 50 over format is almost gone….the present Champions Trophy has proved otherwise ~ a simpler format, not too many matches, matches marred by rain ~ still it has been exhilarating.  Of course one can find many traces or faces of IPL – Jayawardene and Sangakkara feel they have led their Nation enough – but want to lead franchisee in IPL – there are at least 4 IPL players captaining  ~ MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, Angelo Matthews and Bailey….

At Cardiff, Srilanka sent Australia packing out of tournament – a new low for the team which has dominated 50 overs World Cup winning it in 1987; 1999; 2003; & in  2007.   The score card :  Sri Lanka 253 for 8 (Jayawardene 84*, Thirimanne 57, Johnson 3-48) beat Australia 233 (Voges 49, Kulasekara 3-42) by 20 runs may not reflect the real scenario. 

For most part of their innings, Lankans were playing too slowly making one think that they may not set up a challenging target ~ that was changed by old horse Jayawardene who passed 11,000 ODI runs on the way; Lahiru Thrimanne played a sedate knock.  Australia had to make 254 in less than 30 to qualify that was anyway not to be. Their chase was not helped by the uncharacteristic run out of Captain George Bailey. 

Winning or losing; on field or off it, Australia continue to fight – Wade fought with Mahela… [Warne punched Joe Root in a bar]. In the 31st over  Voges was out caught off Ranganna Herath and with more than 60 to score the match was all but over… but Doherty and McKay added 41 runs for the last wicket before a grand return catch by Dilshan brought the end. 

Now England plays SA in the 1st Semi at Oval on June 19th; the much familiar India Lanka clash on 20th and the Finals on June 23 at Birmingham…. Will it be England Vs India and will India win it this time ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

18th June 2013.

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