Well wow what a victory it is or it could be for England in long term. England beat Sri Lanka in fourth match of Champions Trophy 2009 after coming from a miserable ODI series against Australia at home. They need something to breath. something to sink and they just got it in the form of green lively pitch and a toss win. What a toss win that was and what a decision it was to field first, well done Strauss.
Anderson and onions in their first spell did what they should have done in those conditions, hitting the seem at right areas. Ball had movement and bounce not much for the likings of Sri Lankan top order’s attacking nature. They went hard on ball and paid the price specially The Dilshan and King Sanga. But hates off to middle order actually to Kandamby a new found and amazing Angelo Mathews. They bring the total to 212, at first I thought oh thats enough for Sri Lankan bowlers to defend giving poor form of English batsmen.
But Sri Lankan bowlers missed the plot and England plan was clear, stay there keep wickets. Sri Lankan bowlers had performed very well in recent past but they most of the time they worked hard on slow and low pitches and made their own ways to get wickets by variety and a specific line length but here this was a green pitch and I think fast bowlers missed the right length. They really hit the seem, moved the ball enough specially Kulasekara but they missed the right length to hit and force the batsmen specially little extra careful ones. Malinga was clearly struggling with his length.
Two Ms (Murali & Mendis) were, well not as effective because of no help no turn in pitch and English men were clearly there for some business and they negate them pretty well specially Mendis after all the hype about him. Rest is what you know England won their first match and a tough one.
Now in Group B, Sri Lanka have 1 victory out of 2, South Africa have 1 out 2 and 1 for England. Interesting? Sri Lanka and South both can win one more and if England can beat New Zealand all three will have 2 victories but what if New Zealand win 1 or both of their next, what if Sri Lanka or SA or both unable to win their next matches, oh its all open now. Group is turned into a tussle from an easy going expected group that I think of at start.What a beauty of this format only one odd or even probable win could change things to great extent.
Looking forward for some exciting matches coming up.