Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - Page 20 News List

England linger thanks to unlikely aces up their sleeves

Reuters, CHENNAI, INDIA

If the England team’s travel agent is having sleepless nights, late replacements Luke Wright and James Tredwell are the men to blame.

Andrew Strauss and his men looked like they would be on an early flight home as they headed toward defeat in their final World Cup round-robin match against the West Indies on Thursday.

However, Strauss’ gamble to hand Wright and Tredwell their World Cup debuts in such a key encounter ensured England could put their travel plans on hold — at least for the time being.

“To bring in Wright and Tredwell for such a massive game was a bit of a gamble, but they saved us,” a relieved Strauss said.

“It was a bit of a risk because the guys hadn’t played, but they stood up and delivered when it really counted,” he said.

Having flirted with danger throughout their Group B campaign, England might still not get to play another match in the World Cup if Bangladesh pull off an upset against South Africa today.

After the top order showed almost criminal profligacy, Wright chipped in with a gutsy 44.

Tredwell seemed to share the same sense of occasion and could not be denied his moment of glory either.

When Chris Gayle (43 off 21 balls) was hitting the ball out of the park with characteristic nonchalance, Tredwell (4-48) intervened.

The Kent off-spinner did not give the impression of playing only his fourth one-day international, wrecking the West Indies top order with three scalps, including those of Gayle and Darren Bravo.

In his second one-day international, Andre Russell nearly saw the West Indies through, adding a sparkling 49 — the highest individual score in the match — to his bowling figures of 4-49.

Tredwell ensured he did not come second best in the battle between the greenhorns and trapped Russell in the 42nd over to turn the heat on the West Indies.

IRELAND V NETHERLANDS

REUTERS, KOLKATA, INDIA

All-rounder Paul Stirling cracked a 72-ball 101 as Ireland completed their World Cup campaign on a winning note despite their group-stage exit with a six-wicket win over the Netherlands yesterday.

The Dutch had posted a competitive 306 from their 50 overs on the back of 106 from Ryan ten Doeschate and 84 from Peter Borren.

However, their innings dramatically ran out of steam with their last four wickets falling in successive balls, all from run-outs, as they chased valuable extra runs.

From early in Ireland’s innings it was clear that the Dutch total would probably be found wanting on a batsman’s delight of a wicket.

Stirling and William Porterfield (68) put on 177 for the first wicket and all Ireland’s batsmen went on to make useful contributions, before Kevin O’Brien lofted a huge six over long-off to overhaul the Dutch total with 14 balls to spare.

Stirling won man-of-the-match honors, but was so badly stricken with cramp afterward that he was unable to leave the dressing room to collect his prize.

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