Another rain affected game that England was in complete control of. In the end, Sangakarra finally turned up, with support from Samaraweera to ensure the draw, but England helped by going through the motions and some minor injuries to their attack. Sri Lanka ought to first wonder why they failed to draw the series, given that Cardiff was the easiest of the late game batting tasks they needed to overcome; second they need to find a workable strategy for their attack, as it was completely out-classed by all but Strauss.
As a series, it never took off, its status as a warm-up, and the lack of meaningful context to place it in leaving some aesthetically pleasing highlights, a historic collapse and little else. Both sides will face opposition with more to prove in their next outings.
An odd match in that it was quite close, and a few key incidents might have reversed the result, but in which India never really looked like losing. A pitch that turned from day one helped keep the game moving, and proved for certain that India's next generation is a work in progress. The key innings though, came from the veteran, Dravid, holding fort and producing a defendable target. His dropping, by Sammy, an under-rated cricketer who had an otherwise decent Afridi-esque game, could have made all the difference. Those small moments peppered the West Indies game however, from letting Raina and Harbajan escape on day one, to soft and reckless dismissals in the chase of an otherwise gettable target. It might be India's seconds, but Dhoni knows how to get them to win.
For the West Indies, Barath displayed the same range of stroke-play that made him look like a star in Australia two years ago. He also displayed the same reckless shot selection that has stalled his career to date. They have a real talent in Bishoo and a balanced if not brilliant bowling attack, but they won't win games unless their batsmen score them some runs.
A draw, across both innings with no play on the first two days and only 177 overs were bowled in the match. It was, nevertheless, an exciting finish, as both sides angled in on first innings points, Netherlands falling short by just 3 runs, Scotland by 2 wickets. Majid Haq was the star for Scotland, anchoring the innings with 120 and taking two key wickets to stall the Dutch chase. Bukhari performed similarly for the Dutch, taking 5/79 and making a run-a-ball 50 to accelerate the chase after a 91 from Kruger. An interesting game, but the winner was rain.
Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don't play each other.
Idle Summers 28th June, 2011 13:51:07 [#]