Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 11th 2013 Contents A70
Thursday, July 11, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The West Indies will be absent from the
action today when India and Sri Lanka face
off in the final of the Celkon Mobile Cup at
the Queen s Park Oval. The sub-continent
teams knocked the regional side to last on
the points table and will be meeting for their
42nd ODI in the last five years.
The most memorable of those clashes was
the final of the 2011 World Cup, which India
won by six wickets, though just two Indians
and four Sri Lankans from that match will
take the field today.
Lead by stand-in captain Virat Kohli, India
will be out to win their second tournament
on the trot while stamping their authority as
the world s premier side in the format. Written
off after losing their first two matches, and
plagued by the loss of captain MS Dhoni, the
ICC Champions have bounced back convinc-
ingly since arriving in T&T, beating both their
opponents by large margins at the Oval.
Speaking to the media at the Hyatt Regency
yesterday, Kohli said he was growing in con-
fidence as a leader with each game.
"When MS got an injury we were caught
off guard," he admitted. "It was a bit of a
learning experience in the first two games but
I really enjoyed the challenge in the next two."
The 24-year-old added that he was proud
of the character his players had shown in earn-
ing their place in the final.
"Seeing the team fight back the way they
did, it s a pleasing feeling for any captain," he
said. "We ve got the right type of momentum
going into the finals. It s just one game that
we play and then we re done with the tour-
nament so I think all the guys are going to
give an extra effort."
However, he said he would not be taking
the Sri Lankan threat lightly.
"We expect a really fighting performance
and will try to be at the best of our potential.
Two deserving teams are in the final. Both
teams have played good cricket and whoever
plays good cricket tomorrow will be on the
right side of the result."
Looking beyond today s match, Kohli said
he was eager to see how the current generation
of Indian players would develop over the next
"This is a team that really excites me when
I sit in the dressing room and look at how
hungry the guys are to go out and make a
mark as international cricketers. I can see us
as a team growing together because everybody
is young. It s a great thing when you have play-
ers building their international careers togeth-
er."Meanwhile Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Math-
ews said his team would not be dwelling on
its 81-run loss to the Indians on Tuesday,
during which they were dismissed for just 96.
"We don t need to add pressure on ourselves.
We ve played good cricket to get to the finals
and I think the past is the past."
He added that the team would be missing
the services of medium pacer Nuwan
Kulasekara, who injured his knuckles attempting
a return catch off Chris Gayle on Monday.
"On this wicket Kulasekara would have been
unplayable, but I m pretty sure that the other
guys will respond pretty well," he said. "It s a
big loss but at the same time, when injuries
happen you have to move on. We have to plan
out for all the Indian batters. On their day
they can take the game apart so we need to
be cautious of all of them."
The game will also mark the 400th ODI of
his teammate Mahela Jayawardene, who will
become just the third player after Sachin Ten-
dulkar and Sanath Jayasuria to reach the mile-
"Mahela is a legend of the game and I m
glad to have him on our team," said Mathews.
India, S Lanka face off in Tri-series final
Mahela Jayawardene will become only the third
cricketer to play 400 ODIs, behind legends
Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya today
in the final of the Celkon Tri-nation series at the
Queen's Park Oval in St Clair. PHOTO COURTESY
Soca Warriors striker Cornell Glen
resumed full training at yesterday s
practice session at the Florida Inter-
national University as the Stephen
Hart coached squad continued
preparations for tomorrow s second
Concacaf s Gold Cup Group B
encounter with Haiti at the Sun Life
Stadium, Miami Gardens, from 7
The 32-year-old Glen, who has so
far scored a team-high 23 goals in 66
matches for the Soca Warriors, was
ruled out of Monday s Group B open-
ing 2-2 draw with El Salvador at the
Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey,
after suffering a calf strain in the train-
ing session on the eve of the match.
According to team doctor Terrence
Babwah though, the ex-2006 World
Cup team forward has responded well
to treatment and will be available for
Central FC goalkeeper Marvin
Phillip is also recovering from a medial
ligament injury, picked up at the same
session on Sunday but is also respond-
ing well and started light training yes-
Hart speaking at the Hilton, Miami
Downtown, yesterday, where the team
is based for the match said generally
the spirit of the team has been good.
"We ve reviewed our performance
as well as had a look at what Haiti
did in their last match and we re
preparing everything in relation to
how we want to approach Friday s
Stoke City forward, 28-year-old
Kenwyne Jones also said there were
several positives to take from Monday s
"I was basically happy for the start
we had. Within the team we re dis-
appointed we didn t get the three
points but we know we have some
things to work on. Iit s about getting
that belief in the squad that we can
"We did a lot of things well in that
game and I guess the public saw it.
We felt proud about it. We ve been
working under the new coach for the
past three weeks and we ve come
leaps and bounds over that time,"
About his goal, he added "I m
happy for the goal. I was pretty much
up for it. I thought we had to impose
ourselves on the opposition which
we did in the first 20 minutes but
then we dropped our performance
after they equalised. But we came
back and I was happy to score at
the time I did to help us come away
with a point," added the ex-Sun-
derland striker, who s last goal before
Monday came in a 2-0 win over
Guyana in a World Cup qualifier at
the Hasely Crawford Stadium,
Mucurapo on November 15, 2011.
It was only the eighth goal in 53
appearances for the Soca Warriors
since making his senior team debut
Keon Daniel who opened the
scoring in the match in the 11th
minute said he was delighted to have
scored his first Gold Cup goal, his
14th in 57 matches, particularly after
being away from the national team
for much of 2013.
"I felt great about the strike. I
was longing for something like this
because it s the first time in a while
we ve played in a tournament like
this. It was just a case of the hard
work paying off for me," Daniel said.
"We needed a good start and we
got that. We worked hard and we re
coming together as a team and we
should be better off for the second
Daniel, 26, said he was not fazed
by any criticism over his absence
from the national team for the first
half of 2013.
"I will not say it s critics who had
stuff to say about me. I don t think
about the media and I just focus
best every time I put on the shirt
to represent T&T," Daniel stated.
Reflecting on Monday s match,
skipper Densill Theobald added:
"We had some good moments but
we also struggled a bit with their
style of play and passing in the first
half. We ourselves did not pass the
ball that well but we had a better
second-half and hopefully we can
maintain this performance from
the second-half going into the
match against Haiti tomorrow.
"The work rate from the guys
was exceptional I thought and this
was very pleasing to the eyes and
will put us in better shape for the
next two matches," said Theobald,
the most capped player in the cur-
rent squad with 94 matches under
his belt, ten more than Ipswich
Town midfielder Carlos Edwards
who wanted the win badly.
"I m still bothered by the result.
Even thought we equalised this
time it brings back some memories
from the draw in 2009 a bit because
we also scored first in that game.
We had a couple really good
chances to get ahead in the sec-
ond-half, " added the 34-year-old
Glen rejoins Soca
Soca Warriors players', Khaleem Hyland, right, Kenwyne Jones (9) and Justin Hoyte, Keon Daniel Carlos Edwards,
partly hidden, celebrate Jones' equaliser in their 2-2 draw with El Salvador in the Concacaf Gold Cup at Red Bull
Arena, Harrison, New Jersey on Monday night.
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