| || England Vs Australia |
Tuesday, 01 Sep 2009
Venue :2nd Twenty20 International, Old Trafford, Manchester
Monday, August 31, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
|Sri Lanka Vs New Zealand|
Venue :2nd Test Match, Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
England v Australia, 5th npower Test, The Oval
August 18, 2009
Andrew Flintoff believes an England victory in his farewell Test would be a greater accomplishment than the team's venerated 2-1 Ashes triumph four years ago. Describing this week's Ashes decider at The Oval as "the biggest [Test] I'll ever play in", Flintoff said a final act of resurgence after a trying 12 months would be a more satisfying result than England's authoritative series win in 2005.
"It's different, obviously going in 1-1, but if we win this one it will be a far greater achievement than 2005," Flintoff said. "That was fantastic but the side had performed well over a period of time and we'd beaten everyone in the world and we came here against Australia expecting to win.
"I'm not saying we're not expecting to do it this time but the side's gone through a lot over the past 12 months. The side's changed hell of a lot. We've got young players who have never played in the Ashes. And from my point of view, with the injuries that I've had to be here, if we won it would be a far greater achievement for some of the things that have happened over the past six to 12 months."
Flintoff, training with a brace on his damaged right knee on Tuesday, began cautiously in his first bowling session since the eve of the Headingley Test, but gradually built up pace during a 20-minute spell. He expected the knee to swell after training, but insisted it could be managed with regular icing and treatment. "I'm confident I'll be alright," he said.
Flintoff admitted to disappointment over his Headingley omission - he had insisted his knee could have withdtood the rigours of the fourth Ashes Test - but declined to take aim at Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower over their decision.
"It was a tough decision all round," he said. "I'd have played at the position I was at the time but Andrew [Strauss] and Andrew [Flower] decided that wasn't an acceptable level, so that's the sort of thing you've got to get on with. Ever since then I've been trying to get right for this one here which is going to be an unbelievably good game.
"Sometimes in professional sport there are some hard decisions you have to make and as a player sometimes they're hard to take but you move on from that. I'm just pleased to be here now with an opportunity to play on Thursday."
Flintoff has placed sentimentality and thoughts of another knee operation to one side as he attempts to propel England to Ashes glory, but conceded the enormity of his decision to retire from Test cricket would likely not hit him until England's next international assignment.
"At some point in the winter when the boys are playing in South Africa I'm sure I'll want to be there and I'll be missing it," he said. "But the retirement was a decision I came to a while ago. That knee stuff, it was the final draw. I got it out there to stop the speculation over my future. Since announcing it, it's been a bit of a weight off my shoulders and I can go out there and enjoy the last game. As for sentiment and all that, I'll let you know how I can get on with that.
"I've not been thinking about the past full stop to be honest with you. I'm proud that I've played for England over a period of time, proud of some of my performances and proud I've been on a winning side for quite a long period of time. That's about as far as I've gone to be honest with you. My thoughts over the past week have been getting fit for this Test match which is the biggest I'll ever play in, not because it's my last but the position of the series - 1-1 against Australia. It's a great opportunity for anyone going out there to take the series by the scruff of the neck and put in a match-winning performance."
|Australia Vs England|
Venue :5th Test Match, Kennington Oval, London
Monday, August 17, 2009
|Zimbabwe Vs Bangladesh|
Venue :5th One Day International, Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 1st Test, Galle
New Zealand face test of character
| ||Sri Lanka Vs New Zealand|
Venue :1st Test Match, P Sara Oval, Colombo
August 18-22, 2009
Start time 10.00am (04.30 GMT)
The Big Picture
It's a telling statistic that Daniel Vettori (5), Daryl Tuffey and Jacob Oram (2 each) are the only players in the New Zealand squad to have featured in Tests in Sri Lanka. Such are the odds stacked against the visitors as they head into another two-Test series in Sri Lanka, this time with an inexperienced squad not accustomed to victory. While New Zealand possess a decent record on the island - three wins, three losses and five draws - it's their recent form that raises a question about their chances of success.
While Sri Lanka have just completed their first home series win against Pakistan by a 2-0 margin, New Zealand have won only four Tests in the past two seasons - three of which were against Bangladesh. What makes Sri Lanka their toughest test in recent years is that hardly any of their squad have played on similar pitches or in such gruelling heat and humidity. Vettori had admitted that drawing both Tests would be a positive result for this inexperienced side, and how their newer members adapt to Sri Lankan conditions could have a significant bearing on the result.
The most irritating problem for Vettori is the inconsistency of the top order. New Zealand posted totals of 297 and 240 for 6 against an unassuming attack in their final tour match and their batsmen haven't showed the deliberation and purpose necessary to survive on unfamiliar tracks. Among the bowlers, Vettori is the most experienced and needs the rest to step up. Chris Martin and Iain O'Brien, the most likely new-ball pair, have no experience in Sri Lanka. Galle may be New Zealand's best bet for success given how much seam has worked at the venue, and so they may consider playing three seamers.
Not surprisingly, Sri Lanka start as favourites. They are fearsome at home - since New Zealand's last tour in 2003, Sri Lanka have won nine out of 12 series, losing only to Australia and Pakistan. Their success owes plenty to the tenacity of their batsmen, led by current and former captains Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, whose abilities to bat long periods have resulted in victories. The hosts have a loaded top and middle order with Tillakaratne Dilshan set to open the innings. The fast bowling has rarely looked better with two crafty medium-pacers paving the way for Muttiah Muralitharan and Rangana Herath, who is enjoying a successful comeback. Also up for grabs is the No. 2 spot for Sri Lanka if they seal the series, though its not like they need further incentive to win.
Test form guide(last five matches, most recent first)
Sri Lanka - DWWDD
New Zealand - DDLDD
Watch out for ...
New Zealand's solid middle-order pairing of Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder have impressed against various teams and in different conditions but this is the first time they're playing against tough opposition in the subcontinent. It's going to be hot, it's going to be muggy, the pitches will mostly play slow and low, and then there's Murali. On previous tours the New Zealand batsmen had to dig in and bat for long periods in sapping conditions. Can Taylor and Ryder do the same?
This is also a big series for Chris Martin, who is coming back from another injury. Martin, 34, recently tied with Danny Morrison on 160 Test wickets in the same number of matches but at a better average and now finds himself leading the attack. O'Brien is less experienced and Tuffey is making a comeback, so Martin, despite playing only one Test in the subcontinent, is the man expected to show the way. The conditions in Galle will assist him but its going to be a lot tougher when the series moves to Colombo.
Following his 68 off 60 balls while opening for Sri Lanka Cricket Development XI in the tour game in Colombo, Tillakaratne Dilshan is likely to replace Malinda Warnapura as Tharanga Paranavitana's opening partner. Injury forced Dilshan out of the limited-overs leg of the recent home series against Pakistan, but his amazing form in 2009 precedes him. Never mind that it will be the first time Dilshan will be opening in his 55-Test career, he is up for any role and desperate to prove himself as an opener in Tests.
Team newsMurali is back and will reclaim his spot in the XI, while Ajantha Mendis is likely to miss out again given how well Herath did against Pakistan. Dilshan opening the innings creates room for Angelo Mathews to fit in as an allrounder who offers Sri Lanka a third medium-pace option and a fit Prasanna Jayawardane should take over behind the stumps, allowing Sangakkara to focus on his batting. Nuwan Kulasekara, Man of the Series in the Tests against Pakistan, and Thilan Thushara will make up the pace attack.
Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Tharanga Paranavitana, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Thilan Samaraweera, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Thilan Thushara, 10 Rangana Herath, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.
Despite making only 64 runs in three innings, Tim McIntosh should keep his place as opener alongside Martin Guptill, whose three innings have yielded 80 runs. Guptill's only half-century on tour was an assured 54 in New Zealand's first innings of the last warm-up while McIntosh dropped anchor for 43 in the second innings. Daniel Flynn will bat at No. 3 and Jacob Oram should slot into the allrounder's spot at No. 7. New Zealand may be tempted to play an extra seamer given Galle's reputation but Patel should step in to partner Vettori. Martin and O'Brien are the first-choice quick men and Tuffey's lack of international outings over the past few years could go against him.
New Zealand: (probable) 1 Tim McIntosh, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Daniel Flynn, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Jesse Ryder, 6 Brendon McCullum (wk), 7 Jacob Oram, 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Jeetan Patel, 10 Iain O'Brien, 11 Chris Martin.
Pitch and conditionsDuring the last Test played in Galle - in July during the monsoons - the pitch reacted to moisture and the match was won in three days and a session. The ball seamed around throughout the game and conditions were exploited well by the quick bowlers of both Sri Lanka and Pakistan, but ultimately the visitors' inadequacy with the bat proved decisive on the fourth morning. It hasn't rained nearly as much as it did in the lead-up to that Test but the seamers will still fancy their chances.
Stats and trivia
- The last time these two teams played a three-Test series was in Sri Lanka in 1998 , when the hosts won 2-1 after losing the first Test.
- It has been 25 years since New Zealand last won a Test series in Sri Lanka, but they did manage to draw both games when they toured under Stephen Fleming in 2003.
- In five Tests in Sri Lanka, Vettori has taken 20 wickets at 23.30.
- Murali has played six Tests against New Zealand at home, taking 39 wickets at 21.79.
- New Zealand's only Test in Galle was an innings and 16-run defeat in 1998.
- Taylor has scored half-centuries in each of his three innings on the tour so far, and averages 75.33.
Quotes"It will be a learning curve for a number of our players as it will be against Murali as well. For some of the guys this is the first time they will be seeing Murali."
Daniel Vettori is wary of the threat posed by Test cricket's highest wicket-taker.
"There are a lot of areas we have to work on to become a consistently winning side. We have to take the defeats on the chin and move on by learning from the mistakes we made."
Kumar Sangakkara knows Sri Lanka could be rattled by three limited-overs losses in a row.
"This is a chance for me to push my claims to play more for New Zealand; play more Tests, more one-dayers and maybe get back in the Twenty20 side."
Though not a certainty for Galle, Jeetan Patel is hoping to cement his place.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
|Zimbabwe Vs Bangladesh|
Venue :4th One Day International, Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Friday, August 14, 2009
|Zimbabwe Vs Bangladesh|
Venue :3rd One Day International, Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
|Sri Lanka Vs Pakistan|
Venue :Twenty20 International, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
|Zimbabwe Vs Bangladesh|
Venue :2nd One Day International, Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Saturday, August 8, 2009
|Sunday, 09 Aug 2009 |
|Sri Lanka Vs Pakistan|
Venue :5th One Day International, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo (D/N)
Thursday, August 6, 2009
England v Australia, 4th Test, Headingley
Flintoff struggles put Harmison on alertMatch Facts
Friday, 07 Aug 2009
|Australia Vs England|
Venue :4th Test Match, Headingley, Leeds
August 6, 2009
Andrew Flintoff appears ever more likely to miss out on selection for tomorrow's fourth Test at Headingley, after struggling visibly during a 40-minute nets session on the eve of the match. Flintoff received two injections in his damaged right knee ahead of the Edgbaston Test last week, and so cannot undergo any more this week on medical advice. He bowled with a heavy knee brace, but was unable to hit the crease with any of his customary pace and power, before returning to the dressing room at 11.10am.
The session was the first time that Flintoff had bowled since his lacklustre display on the final day at Edgbaston, in which he bowled just 11 overs, and none at all in the final session. England have insisted they will take the emotion out of the decision over whether Flintoff plays in what could be the Ashes-deciding Test, but on the available evidence his knee is some way short of the requisite fitness to last for five days.
When asked if Flintoff was in a better situation fitness-wise than he had been in the lead-up to Edgbaston, England's captain, Andrew Strauss, was non-committal. "He did a fair amount of bowling today, but with such things it's not about the pain he experienced while he's bowling, but the swelling there is afterwards, and how sore it is," he said. "At this stage it's hard to know, because I haven't had a chance to speak to him fully.
"He got the ball through but he didn't look like he was 100%," Strauss conceded. "Sometimes a bowler doesn't want to hit 100% in the day before a game, and so it was more about how he was feeling with his knee, but until I've spoken to him at length, it's hard to say. I'm still optimistic he will be fine to play, but we won't know until later on this evening."
The hosts have a 14-man squad and a 1-0 lead, and are adamant that they will delay their decision as long as necessary, even if that leads to uncertainty among the players on the fringes of selection. "In situations like this you tell people to prepare to play, and if they don't, then at least they've prepared," said Strauss. "It's not an ideal situation, but that is the situation we're in. If he's fit enough to play a full part we desperately want him to play. If he's not then it's wrong of us to pick him."
Either way, Strauss said Flintoff would not be permitted the final say in his own selection. "It will be my decision ultimately," he said. "You've got to take the player's point of view on board and listen to that very carefully, because he knows his body better than anyone. You've got to take the medical opinion on board as well, because they've got an idea of what might happen if he plays. But ultimately it's a decision for myself and the coach. We won't know that until later today until we see how he reacts to what he did today in the nets."
"We're going to have to [take the emotion out]," Strauss said. "It's the fourth Test of an Ashes series, we're close to the finish line and although we're all desperate for him to play, we need to be realistic enough to realise that if he's not fit then he shouldn't play.
"When you're captain, you're motivated by what's good for the team, and obviously if him playing has a detrimental effect on the team, then it's wrong to make that decision on sentimental grounds. Fred would appreciate that. The last thing he wants to happen is to play and not be able to fulfil a role in the game. That's a pretty bad situation to be in as an individual. I'm sure he'll be honest with us, and sentimentality is pushed to the back of all our minds really."
Flintoff was England's main man on the final day at Lord's when he took five wickets to guide them to victory, but his discomfort seemed to increase as the third Test wore on. He scored a muscular 74 in the side's only innings at Edgbaston and did not make a breakthrough in 30 overs.
England's inflated outfit includes the batsman Jonathan Trott and bowlers Ryan Sidebottom and Steve Harmison, whose chances of playing improve considerably if Flintoff is ruled out, a fact that he seemed to recognise as he tore in with venom at Ravi Bopara in the nets, in full view of his captain. "We've covered all bases with the squad we've picked," Strauss said. "We will have to wait to see how Fred is. In a way there are potentially hard decisions to make."
"Harmison is a genuine option to play in this Test match," said Strauss. "It's fantastic to have a squad where you've got guys of that quality waiting to get in. Ryan Sidebottom bowled magnificently today as well. There's been a lot of cases in the past where we've been struggling to get three decent seamers on the park, and suddenly we've got five or six of them queueing up to play. That's a pretty good situation rather than a bad one."
By early next week Strauss could be an Ashes-winning captain and he told his players they would have to deal with the extra demands at Headingley. They will not be employing a cautious approach even though the pitch at The Oval, the venue for the final match, is likely to favour another stalemate.
"Coming here expecting there to be a draw, or hoping to be a draw, is the wrong way to go," he said. "It's not the way we're looking to approach it, we're looking to win the game and in doing so win the Ashes. It's a massive Test and, as always is the case in an Ashes series, the closer you get to the finish, it becomes more dramatic and the pressure and expectation rise a level."
|Sri Lanka Vs Pakistan|
Venue :4th One Day International, R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo (D/N)
Sunday, August 2, 2009
|Sri Lanka Vs Pakistan|
Venue :3rd One Day International, Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium
West Indies v Bangladesh, Only Twenty20, St Kitts
Bangladesh seek icing on the cake
August 2, 2009
Match factsSunday August 2, 2009
Start time 14.00 (18.00 GMT)
It has been a triumphant tour for Bangladesh so far, and they will be aiming to round it off with another victory in the Twenty20 on Sunday. It was the only format in which they had trumped West Indies before setting off for the Caribbean last month, but that famous win in the 2007 World Twenty20 remains their only success against a Test-playing nation in Twenty20s.
In the absence of West Indies' leading players, Bangladesh have had the rare advantage of the being the more experienced side in the contest, and they have made that count in both the Tests and ODIs, holding their nerve at the key moments. Though they have no domestic Twenty20 tournament, Bangladesh's players are still more acquainted with the format than the home side, with several of them having played two World Twenty20s.
West Indies' two major problems have been the inconsistency of the top order, and their discomfort against spin. Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan capitalised on that, picking four slow bowlers for the one-dayers, and having a pair of them operating in tandem as early as the ninth over.
The inclusion of Andre Fletcher has added some dynamism to the top order, and he showed his ability while carting three sixes on his way to a 52-ball 62 in the third ODI. How he and Travis Dowlin, one of the more impressive batsmen for West Indies this series, combat the Bangladesh spinners will play a large part in determining whether the home side can salvage at least one win in the series.
Form guide(last five matches, most recent first)
Bangladesh - LLLLL
West Indies - LWLWL
Watch out for …Kemar Roach first came into the spotlight when he was picked by West Indies for a Twenty20 against Australia in 2008 barely five months after making his first-class debut. He has troubled Bangladesh batsmen with his pace all through the series, and though he was expensive in the one-dayers he was the leading wicket-taker, finishing with 10 at 16.20.
The allrounder Mahmudullah is coming off the best month of his career, spinning Bangladesh to victory with eight wickets in the first Test, before shepherding them with a mature, unbeaten half-century in the third ODI to keep their spotless record on tour in tact. He is yet to make an impact in Twenty20s at the international level, and Sunday's game provides him the ideal opportunity.
Team newsThere aren't likely to be too many changes to the winning Bangladesh combination. One person who place could be under the scanner is Raqibul Hasan, who is not renowned as a big hitter and had a poor run in the ODIs.
Bangladesh: (likely) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Junaid Siddique, 3 Mohammad Ashraful, 4 Raqibul Hasan, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Naeem Islam, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Syed Rasel, 11 Rubel Hossain.
One of the worries for West Indies is the thigh injury to vice-captain Darren Sammy, who has been one of their key players in both the Tests and one-dayers. But coach John Dyson remains confident Sammy will be fit for Sunday's game after watching him practice at the nets.
West Indies: (likely) 1 Kieron Powell , 2 Andre Fletcher, 3 Devon Smith, 4 Travis Dowlin, 5 David Bernard, 6 Floyd Reifer (capt), 7 Devon Thomas (wk), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Nikita Miller, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Gavin Tonge.
Stats and trivia
- Fletcher and Sammy are the only West Indies players who have played 10 or more Twenty20, while Bangladesh have five players with that much experience
- Bangladesh have lost their previous eight Twenty20 games; their last win was nearly two years ago
- The only Twenty20 match that Kemar Roach has played at the senior level is when he made was picked against Australia in 2008
Quotes"It is a young team. They have got to continue to play, and play hard. We have got to continue talking to each other." West Indies captain Floyd Reifer tries to keep his inexperienced side motivated