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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: abdulruff
Full Name: Dr.Abdul Ruff Colachal
User since: 15/Mar/2008
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ICC Trophy:  Return of England in Cricket

 

 By Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

 

 

 

                                       Part-I

 

On 27 Sept, this was a superb batting effort from England team to drown ODI toppers South Africa which is now rendered, unfortunately, out of contest. After a decent start, Collingwood and Shah consolidated initially, before launching an all-out attack. Shah smashed six sixes (Flintoff, who once clubbed seven sixes, is the only Englishman to do better) before falling short of a century, and Eoin Morgan played an absolute blinder to ensure the top-order's efforts weren't squandered. What a glittering performance from England, known thus far as one of weak teams, outclassing South Africa on Sunday. Shah and Colingwood were impressive in the middle overs, and Morgan blasted England past 300. It was always going to be a tough target and despite Smith's stunning century South Africa ended well short and are out of the tournament.

 

 

South Africa rested brilliant batsman Hashim Amla, who has been the target all teams and in the last match on 24 Sept against New Zealand he was badly targeted and he faced torturous attacks, but still Amla managed a good innings 38 runs in 65 balls and the Proteas won the match with 5 wickets.  Yesterday, SA perhaps was hoping to appease the Englishmen to be considerate about dropping Amala, but SA lost, though honourably. But a defeat at this state is not good for SA. Smith said: “It is hugely disappointing to be out of the tournament at this stage. 2 out of our 3 games we have conceded over 300 and that has been a big problem. Shah and Collingwood played brilliantly and Morgan finished it well. Anything from 310-320 we would have cruised through, but 324 was a step too far”.

 

A thrilling 22-run victory over the hosts, South Africa, in Centurion has brought England the fathers of cricket to sharp focus once again. England has marched into the semi-finals as South Africa crash out of yet another ICC tournament. England rode on three superb fifties by Shah, Collingwood and Morgan to post a huge total. South Africa never got the start they needed, lost wickets regularly but Smith played an outstanding innings. It wasn't enough though as he didn't get enough support from the other batters. Strauss: I think it is the best I've seen England bat in ODIs. Shah was incredible, the number of sixes he hit was awesome and Morgan showed what can he do at the back end. Anderson has been exceptional over the last 18 months, the way he is reversing and bowling when the pitch does not offer anything is very good. The umpires were not happy about allowing a runner for Smith and also if you make a big hundred, you are bound to get tired so we were not in a position to grant a runner...probably getting out of the country was the reason we are winning now.

 

Chasing a hefty 324 after a pair of exceptional innings from Owaisi Shah and Eoin Morgan, Smith forced England to battle every step of the way, and at 206 for 3 with 14 overs to go, a crushing reversal was not out of the question. The most revelatory performance of the day, however, was that of the eventual Man of the Match, Shah. Throughout a fraught campaign against Australia, his main failing appeared to be a severe attack of nerves, but having eased himself into the competition with a slow but steady 44 in the victory over Sri Lanka, he launched himself into top gear with a brilliant 98 from 89 balls that included five fours and six sixes - five of which came in a 13-ball onslaught in those habitually stagnant middle overs. Five of Shah's sixes were carted over midwicket, and one, from van der Merwe, was lofted over long-off, and such was his dominance, there seemed no way on earth that he would not record his second ODI century, but fate decided otherwise.  Andrew Strauss and Joe Denly falling early, but not before they had demonstrated the placid nature of the wicket by picking off eight boundaries in the first nine overs. But the acceleration, when it came, was dramatic. Paul Collingwood anchored England's performance with 82 from 94 balls.

 

There was an expectation among the commentators that SA would overwhelm the English target 0f 323, because In March 2006 they had overhauled Australia's world-record 434 in a never-to-be-forgotten chase at the Wanderers. But English boys did not let victory slip into host net and with the fall of Smith their chances of win became clear. Then there began the impending collapse of the ICC hosts.  

 

                                                Part-II

 

Earlier, England had also won its very first match for ICC Trophy by six wickets after a horrendous time against Australia at home and in ICC Champions England has beaten the Sri Lanka in South Africa on 25th Sept. The English boys arrived in South Africa with their form rather poor and were up against a team that pummeled South Africa in the tournament opener. This was a win that owes much to Strauss winning the toss and opting to field. Many reckoned 212 set by Sri Lanka was a good total for Lankans to defend given Murali and Mendis and England's apparently lack of confidence, but how England proved the critics wrong. Anderson and Onions had Sri Lanka four down for nothing, after which Kandamby and Mathews hit good half-centuries to get Sri Lanka out of a hole. It wasn't a pretty win, but it was one that showed this outfit's grit. Collingwood set the tone after early wickets, Shah batted his way to 44, and Morgan did the rest. Prior chipped in a lovely cameo. Kandamby and Angelo Mathews hit half-centuries under pressure as Sri Lanka recovered from a horror start to reach 212 against England in the Champions Trophy here on Saturday. Sri Lanka also had problems: the unresponsive track rendered Murali and Mendis ineffective. There was plenty of talk about the Mendis challenge, but England didn't give him a wicket.

 

 

The key English star Owaisi Shah was 44 when removed and Collingwood was four short of a deserved fifty. It seems wonders truly will never cease and England have now stormed to the top of their group. Sri Lankans and commentators have been silenced.  After badly crushed by Australia recently in ODI, then after the early loss of both openers in SA, The English boys atoned for their shortcomings by toppling the tournament pace-setters, Sri Lanka, in their opening match of the Champions Trophy. An ecstatic new-ball onslaught from James Anderson and Graham Onions set England on course for victory as early as the sixth over of the match as Sri Lanka slumped to 17 for 4. Paul Collingwood lifted England's intensity with a bullish 46 from 51 balls that included three leg-side sixes, before Eoin Morgan sealed the deal with his highest score in ODIs for England.

 

What a victory for the Englishmen! After a dreadful ODI series against Australia, no one gave England a chance today, but they bowled superbly albeit in helpful conditions to restrict SL to 213. Then Colly and Shah batted sensibly before Morgan and Prior finished it off in style with 30 balls to spare. It was a tremendous performance from Eng and it now throws this Group B wide open. SL was quite subdued in the field. The fanatic cricket commentators, essentially anti-Islamic and pro-India, were all the way supporting the Sri Lanka payers and making derogatory comments about England, but try also changed their color as England remove Sri Lanka for just 212 runs and made a shocking performance in bating too.

 

Australia is also coming back to grips now. Half-centuries from Ricky Ponting and Mitchell Johnson helped Australia to secure a 50-run win over West Indies in their Champions Trophy Group A match at the Wanderers on 26 Sept. With South Africa gone out of Trophy contest and India is likely to be thrashed by Australia on 28 Sept and weakened Sri Lanka, now Pakistan, Australia and England would be heading towards the Finals. Sri Lanka is still in with a chance of making the final four, depending on the result of the England-New Zealand match. If New Zealand beat England, they will make it, otherwise it they will be out because their net run-rate is below Sri Lanka's. For everyone asking why South Africa are out, have finished with a net run-rate less than Sri Lanka's, so they are eliminated irrespective of the result of the England-New Zealand game. 

 

State terrorisms are becoming popular these days while private agencies aid the state terror endeavours. Rains also play their own brand spoil games n cricket - at times they are commissioned by the state agencies to spoil a particular team's chances. Australia almost drowned India on 28 but rains came to Indians' rescue. England has perhaps exceeded their own expectations by qualifying for the semi-finals with a game in hand. Pakistan has already qualified for the semi-finals. One, however, cannot rule out the possibility of Pakistan facing England in the Finals.

-----------------------

Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

Specialist on State Terrorism

Independent Researcher in International Affairs, the only Indian to have gone through entire India, a fraud and terror nation in South Asia.

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