Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 20th 2014 Contents A52
Thursday, March 20, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
England found little improve-
ment in their second World T20
warm-up against India and col-
lected a second heavy defeat in
as many days. Faced with a chase
of 179, they never looked likely to
get home and ended up well short.
There also remained uncertainty
over the fitness of their captain,
Stuart Broad, who bowled two
overs in his first outing since the
opening T20 against West Indies.
He did not lead England in this
match - Eoin Morgan retaining the
captaincy because Broad was only
due to play a brief role - and there
is precious little evidence for Eng-
land to judge Broad s health on.
England were choked by spin
after the Powerplay, which yielded
a profitable 51 for 1 against five
overs of seam bowling. But by the
end of the 12th over they had added
only 25 more runs and lost Michael
Lumb, stumped running down the
wicket at Suresh Raina.
With the required run-rate
approaching 13, Eoin Morgan
slapped a full toss to long-on and
Moeen Ali slog-swept to deep
square leg, rendering the 30 in 18
balls Jos Buttler managed worthless
That England got within 20 was
due to the seven overs of seam
bowling MS Dhoni allowed them
to face - those overs collectively
India s target appeared too test-
ing at the interval and was set
largely thanks to an 81-run stand
between Virat Kohli and Raina.
They rebuilt the innings following
three wickets in the Powerplay -
Shikhar Dhawan to a very sharp
catch from James Tredwell at cover
The final 10 overs brought 105
runs, including 17 off Stephen
Parry s six deliveries and 19 off
Ravi Bopara s only set. Kohli also
flicked three leg-side fours in the
final over from Tim Bresnan which
Tredwell, who continues to be
one the steadiest performers with
the ball, believes improvement has
been made: "I think we d like the
result to have gone our way but
there were a lot more positives
from this game than the last gone,"
he said. "We re on the right track,
I guess. We head to Chittagong
now and prepare for first game.
"In terms of concerns it s similar
things to what we ve had before.
We stuttered a bit coming out of
the Powerplay and that probably
cost us a bit in terms of the game.
That s not necessarily a concern
but something to be wary of going
South Africa s T20 captain Faf du
Plessis and pace spearhead Dale
Steyn are in doubt for the team s
opening World T20 match against
Sri Lanka on Saturday.
The pair both have hamstring
injuries which kept them out of South
Africa s final warm-up match against
Pakistan on Wednesday. A final call
on their availability will be taken on
Saturday afternoon, shortly before the
Steyn mildly aggravated the right
hamstring strain he suffered during
the third Test against Australia in South
Africa s first practice match against
Bangladesh A yesterday. Steyn bowled
2.2 overs before leaving the field and
has since been receiving treatment.
This follows a 10-day recovery peri-
od after Steyn initially sustained the
injury on the first day of the Test.
Then, he bowled 10.1 overs before
being unable to continue and took no
further part in the first innings effort.
Steyn bowled three overs in the second
innings but was left out of the T20
series against Australia to complete
his rehabilitation programme.
In a press release CSA said Steyn
"will continue to receive treatment
from the physiotherapist to give him
the best chance of recovery for the
When the South African squad left
for Bangladesh last Saturday, their
team manager Mohammed Moosajee
was hopeful Steyn would be ready for
the warm-up match and even more
optimistic he would play the first
They are less confident of du Plessis
appearing in their first game. The cap-
tain did not play in the Bangladesh A
game at all and is a "50-50 chance"
for the Sri Lanka match.
"The medical team is cautious of
rushing him too soon because of the
explosive nature of T20 cricket and
the back-to-back schedule of fixtures,"
CSA s release read. (Cricinfo)
The long shot has a special place
in the heart of most sports fans.
Not to mention the underdog that
For Afghanistan to get through
to the next round of the World T20
and continue menacing the estab-
lished sides, they will need to grasp
a "one per cent chance", according
to their coach, Kabir Khan. It may
even be smaller than that.
Afghanistan, who many fancied
to cause an upset in the opening
match of the tournament, will need
several improbables to go their way
if they are to deny Bangladesh top
spot in the group.
The hosts have won two from
two with plenty to spare and now
face Hong Kong, whose record so
far is as bad as Bangladesh s is good.
Even a landslide win for Afghanistan
over a more-than-handy Nepal
would require Hong Kong to mete
out an extraordinarily unlikely
thrashing of their own.
Kabir can only focus on the job
at hand for his team. "Every match
is important and we want to win,
obviously now we are in a position
to plan to win with big margins,"
he said. "Cricket is a funny game
and we are expecting a one per cent
chance of anybody beating
"But if someone beats
Bangladesh, we have to keep our
chances alive, at least the run rate
should be higher and if that happens
and our run rate is there, then we
Afghanistan are currently third
behind Nepal on NRR, after con-
trasting fortunes on the first day.
The run rate situation means that
Nepal are actually better placed to
go through should Bangladesh slip
up and consequently will be expect-
ed to push Afghanistan hard.
Had Kabir s team beaten Hong
Kong more heavily on Tuesday, the
equation may have been more in
their favour but he said the batsman
had been following instructions only
to unleash towards the end.
Nepal have won hearts and minds
and a legion of new fans at the World
T20. But that alone won t help them
in trying to become more competitive
on a consistent basis.
The need for better infrastructure,
in particular more pitches, is one that
can only be solved through increased
financial support and, despite impres-
sive displays during the qualifying
round, the immediate boost to the
Cricket Association of Nepal s bank
balance will be negligible.
Nepal could still reach the second
round but they require Bangladesh to
take a swan dive from their perch on
top of Group A. While a victory in the
Super 10 stage would be worth
US$40,000, there is no prize money
on offer before then.
Qualifying for the World T20 would
have improved Nepal s "scorecard" -
the means by which their ICC funding
is determined---as well as providing
them with valuable exposure but it has
not presented CAN with a pot of gold.
Like Afghanistan, their final oppo-
nents who have been given support by
the PCB, Nepal require as much assis-
tance as they can get.
Sharad Vesawkar, one of a core of
talented home-grown players, said the
team were basically "amateurs" and,
despite their popularity back home,
there are significant challenges in trying
to spread the game to more inaccessible
parts of the country. But it does make
the sense of achievement all the more
"We re all born and brought up in
Nepal and know each other very well,
having played together from age-group
cricket," Vesawkar said. "Unlike some
other teams we don t have any expats
playing for us. That ensures that we
have very good team spirit... We re
amateur cricketers with limited facilities,
so to be able to come here and give our
best is something to be proud of."
ICC Twenty 20 World Cup
Indian spin chokes
England in warm up
Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina added 81 for the fourth wicket. AP PHOTO
Steyn and du Plessis
doubts for S Africa
Support for Afghanistan's 'one per cent chance'
Nepal wins hearts but
searches for cash
India 178 for 4 (Kohli 74*, Raina 54)
beat England 158 for 6 (Moeen 46,
Jadeja 2-23) by 20 runs
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