Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 15th 2016 Contents A52
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, February 15, 2016
ner Ravichandran Ashwin
recorded the best bowling fig-
ures by an Indian in Twenty20
internationals to help his side
beat Sri Lanka by nine wickets
yesterday and clinch the series
Ashwin ripped through the
top order with 4--8, improving
on his own best of 4--11 against
Australia at the World Twenty20
two years ago, as Sri Lanka was
bowled out in only 18 overs for
82, its lowest T20 total.
In reply, India reached 84--1
in only 13.5 overs with opener
Shikhar Dhawan top-scoring in
the third and final match with
an unbeaten 46.
Ashwin drew first blood with
his third delivery as a vicious
spinner beat left-handed opener
Niroshan Dickwella (1) for
Mahendra Singh Dhoni to com-
plete an easy stumping. The spin
bowler then trapped Tillakaratne
Dilshan leg-before wicket off
the last ball of the over to trigger
Captain Dinesh Chandimal
(8) fell to the first delivery of
Ashwin s second over, caught
on the off side while trying to
clear the infield. Debutant Asela
Gunaratne (4) was his fourth
victim, caught at leg slip by
Suresh Raina as Ashwin finished
his three-over spell at 4--5 and
the score at 20--4.
"I want to keep the batsmen
guessing and (getting) wickets
makes me a different bowler,"
Ashwin said. "I ve the courage
to go for runs, that s why I ve
the courage to flight the ball."
With Ashish Nehra dismissing
Milinda Siriwardana (4) soon
after, Sri Lanka was reduced to
21--5 in just over five overs.
Dasun Shanaka (19) and This-
ara Perera (12) were the only ones
to reach double-figures with the
batsmen playing rash shots
rather than try to play out the
overs despite the loss of so many
"We didn t perform well
throughout the series as bats-
men," Chandimal said.
"If we had got 140-plus runs,
we would have had a chance,
but we didn t do that. Losing
wickets happens with an inex-
perienced team. We need to
regroup as a team."
India made a steady charge
toward the target as Dhawan
followed up his 25-ball 51 in the
previous game at Ranchi. This
time, he managed a run-a-ball
knock during which he added
55 runs for the unbroken second
wicket stand with Ajinkya
Rahane (22 not out).
"We opted to bowl first so it
was important to restrict them,"
India captain Dhoni said.
"It s always good to have the
conditions suiting you and to
have the resources to exploit the
conditions. The consistency will
give us the confidence to play
Sri Lanka tumbling
the wicket of
Ian Bell will captain an MCC side featuring
Kumar Sangakkara in next month s Emirates
T20 tournament in Dubai.
The one-day event, on Friday March 18, sees
the MCC compete alongside Lancashire, Yorkshire
and the United Arab Emirates.
Former Sri Lanka Test batsman Sangakkara,
38, will be making the second appearance of his
career for the MCC, having played in a Tsunami
Relief Fund match in 2005 at Lord s.
New Warwickshire captain Bell, hoping to win
back favour from England this year, will also
skipper the MCC in the four-day match against
county champions Yorkshire that starts on March
20 in Abu Dhabi.
MCC head of cricket John Stephenson said of
the pair recruited for the T20 event: "In Kumar
and Ian Bell we have two of the best players of
their generation so I m sure we ll stand a good
chance in the tournament, and hopefully it will
make for an entertaining spectacle."
Test captain Alastair Cook says some of Eng-
land s more versatile players need to be man-
aged as they continue to play all formats of
Cook is a five-day player only with Eoin Mor-
gan running the limited-overs sides, but the
likes of Moeen Ali, Joe Root and Ben Stokes are
relied upon heavily across all three formats.
Cook said: "There is no right answer. But at
one stage recently Rooty got very jaded and
missed the One-Day series against Australia.
"Those two (Root and Stokes), plus Moeen,
are dead certs in all three squads. And there s
going to have to be times to take those guys out
of international cricket. When it becomes a
chore, you need to protect them."
Cook has been a supporter back in England
as Morgan and his players have taken over fol-
lowing the victorious Test series in South Africa.
The fortunes of England s One-Day sides have
been transformed since last year s disastrous
World Cup, with a new relaxed approach to the
shorter games reaping rewards.
And Cook believes England are now catching
up with the rest after initially struggling to figure
out how to play One-Day cricket successfully.
"I ve been listening on the radio in the lambing
shed," he added.
"Brilliant! If we can do the double, and win
the Test and the One-Day series, that will be
a brilliant winter statement for Team England,
as it is now, with such separation between the
"The game of One-Day cricket has changed
over the last two years. We were slow to catch
on to that. We were one year behind the rev-
olution. The guys who have gone in now and
taken it forward are brilliant to watch and exciting
Cook also gave a nod to what is hardly con-
sidered a secret in the game as to who his replace-
ment will eventually be as Test captain.
"The captaincy thing is brilliant, and I love
it. But I didn t start off playing cricket to captain
England. I wanted to score runs and stuff. If,
whenever Joe Root takes over, or whoever takes
over, it would be great to support them if I still
justified my place," he said of his future plans.
players to rest
Chris Morris thought he had
blown his big chance before his
big-hitting ambush at the Wan-
derers stole a match Eoin Mor-
gan admitted England should
England dropped three catch-
es, by far the most significant
when Adil Rashid failed to hold
a routine one off Reece Topley
at mid-off that would have dis-
missed Morris for 14 and left
South Africa 211 for nine in pur-
suit of 262.
Instead, Morris (62) survived
and went on the rampage in
front of a raucous home crowd
at the Bullring to take his team
to the brink of victory---before
number 11 Imran Tahir strode
out, with scores level, to finish
the job and level the one-day
England then went on to lose
the fifth match yesterday and
the series 3--2, having led 2--0
only six days ago.
Number eight Morris needed
fortune on his side, and it came
with Rashid s drop as England
failed to defend a total achieved
on the back of a second succes-
sive century from Joe Root (109)
and despite a middle-order col-
lapse of five for 21.
Recalling Rasid s drop, Morris
said: "When it went up, the first
thing I thought was idiot! .
"The length was there for me
to cut ... but my mind-set was
mid-off was up---so I thought
if I just get half a piece of wood
on it, then it s going to go.
"I did get half a piece of wood
on it, and it went straight up.
"We ve got a saying in
afrikaans ... my heart fell
through my bum ..."
It did not stay there for long,
though, because Morris made
England pay with a maiden ODI
50 and a display of sustained
hitting for four sixes and three
fours from 38 balls in a stand of
52--- to which Kyle Abbott con-
tributed just an unbeaten three.
"I was very happy when he
did drop it," Morris added.
"No one drops a catch on
purpose, but fortunately it was
my turn tonight to be on the
receiving end of one. As a crick-
eter, you live for those pressure
situations ... I kind of enjoy
being put under pressure,
because that s where you get
tested as a character and a crick-
"It shows you where you
stand as a cricketer, if you can
handle the pressure or not."
England captain Morgan had
to contemplate the opposite.
"Yes, we should have won
game," he said.
"The game was there for the
taking, and I have no idea why
the opportunities created did
not bring the wickets. But again,
this is a young side---and they
will be better for playing in a
nail-biting game against South
"The bowlers bowled out of
their skin, and the most disap-
pointing thing is that we had
chances. It was an amazing
game of cricket. You could feel
the tension in the air."
A sell-out crowd at one of
sport s most intimidating venues
doubtless played its part.
Fortune favours big-hitting Morris
Ian Bell to
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