March 25, 2011

ICC World Cup 2011 - Quarter Finals 4: Sri Lanka Vs England

   The final two teams to fight out for the semi finals spot of the ICC World Cup 2011. Sri Lanka, former world cup champions and also the runner up in the 2007 World Cup and England the bad parent which never gained respect from their child. In other words, they invented the sport for the rest of the world (although they have been in the finals) they have not once done the "full monty" so to say win the World Cup!

England Report :
  They beat South Africa, West Indies. Tied against India. That speaks volumes. But, they also lost to Ireland, Bangladesh and almost faced defeat to the Netherlands. Its been a mixed bag for the Poms throughout the tournament. They've been the most unpredictable side in the competition, even more than Pakistan. They managed to sneak in to the Quarters but, now face a very strong Lankan team playing at home. Their form is difficult to rate because they have sent home players and got replacements week in, week out. Latest being Yardy, who probably has had a sudden increase in his Estrogen level. The very capable Adil Rashid who should have made it to the world cup in the first place now replaces him. Earlier, Eoin Morgan got his 'Golden ticket' thanks to KP. Dernbach and Tremlett also came in as replacements for injured players. Now, Strauss and Andy have to pick xi players that can put up a fight against a formidable Lankan team. As it is, Sri Lanka have a very disciplined and strong outfit beating them in home conditions will be asking too much. Once again, onus will be on Strauss to lead from the front whether Prior continues to open is questionable. He has failed, I would want him to come down the order as a slogger. Trott has been very consistent with the bat, England will be hoping he fires a big one against Lankans as well. Eoin Morgan will be the guy England will be pinning their hopes for a late flurry and a big finish. Bowling wise it is clear Swann is the leader for the Poms. Broad back home, Bresnan not fully fit, Shahzad's patchy form, Tredwell's inexperience and many more. The signs are not good but, English will be hoping it works out with the new faces coming in. After all, its only about winning 3 more games, ain't it?

Sri Lanka Report :
   The Emrald Islanders have once again shown their muscle in the world cup. Playing at home they have hardly put a wrong foot forward, their only loss coming against Pakistan. Sangakkara has a very committed set of players and he's been consistent with the playing xi. Dilshan at the top, Jayawardene and himself form the core of the batting. Where as Malinga, Murali, Mendis take care of the bowling duties. With Mathews, Perera, Kulasekara, Tharanga, Herath as ad-ons, this team is just unfair to the rest of the teams in the competition. Lankans would like to treat the home crowd once again when they take on England and make sure they book their semis berth without any hiccups. English don't possess as big threats for Lanka but, they did manage to defeat the islanders at home. The absence of KP will haunt them, but having Morgan  has boosted their poor lower order. Swann will be another hurdle the Lankans will have to tackle before they can claim that semis berth. Swann has been like a man on a mission, it will require the top 4 from the Lankan batting to take him out before he causes irrepairable damages. The Lankan lower half of the batting has not been fruitful. Mathews has had a quiet world cup so far, they will hope his fortunes are going to change soon. Murali announcing his farewell from the 50 over format at the end of his world cup journey, has made this even more special. The entire team will be hoping to give the perfect swan song, that he deserves for his contribution to Sri Lankan cricket over the years.

Watch Out For :
  • Malinga Vs Strauss
  • Murali Vs Morgan
  • Swann Vs Sangakkara
   The English will be hoping to surprise the home team, with a few new tricks. Lankans are no pushovers, and the fight has to be taken to them in every aspect of the game. In Sri Lanka the party is just about to begin... 

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