Cook set for ban after overdue win

p12542Sport-1-1

Published: Wednesday 3rd December 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Alastair Cook can finally celebrate a one-day international victory – but there may well be a sting in the tail in Hambantota.

Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 55 from 46 balls provided England’s impetus, after a mid-innings wobble in pursuit of a Duckworth-Lewis target of 236, in an unbroken stand of 84 with Joe Root.

It means they have a confidence-boosting success for bigger challenges, and trail only 2-1 against Sri Lanka with four matches left in this series.

For the captain, though, a one-match ban – back in Colombo on Sunday – is likely to be the result of his team’s tardy over rate at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.

The indication from the tourists’ camp late on Wednesday night – this match finished barely before midnight local time – was that the suspension, after Cook’s team also transgressed at Cardiff last summer, will be far from a surprise once match referee David Boon has assessed the situation overnight.

Nonetheless, the main prize here was a second win in nine ODIs – and thanks to Moeen Ali (58) with another quickfire half-century at the top of the order alongside Cook, but principally Buttler later on, they clinched the verdict by five wickets with eight balls to spare.

Cook said: “It is just great to get one on the board, and (to be) back in the series.

“A lot of credit to the lads. I don’t think we played our best today – but to get over the line, after not doing that in the first two, will give the lads a lot of confidence.

“I think a side full of confidence, and winning a lot, would probably have found it a bit easier than we did.

“In an absolute ideal world, we’d have cruised it with two or three down.

“On that wicket, we probably should have done.”

After three wickets fell for eight runs, much depended on Root and Buttler.

“You probably saw a side not used to winning on this tour,” added their captain.

“But that doesn’t take anything away from the way Jos and Rooty played – from 150 for five. The way they responded was fantastic.

“For ‘Jose’ to get himself in, it takes a lot of bravery to do that – because the rate was going up and up.

“But when you can hit the ball like that, when you’re in, even 10 an over – we scored the last 50 off four overs, when we needed it off five.”

As for his likely suspension, Cook said: “It will be what it will be.

“We’ll plead our case.

“It is incredibly tough on a big ground, the ball going everywhere in the last few overs – and also how long it takes the batsman to come out.

“I don’t know whether that will get me anywhere. We will see.

“You have to look at a form, and then decide whether it’s worth pleading guilty or not guilty.”

Cook was also discomforted while batting with a stiff back, a chronic ailment for him.

“It wasn’t great today. Sometimes it flares up,” he said.

“It didn’t really restrict me too much. We’ll keep managing like we’ve been doing. It’s been a lot better actually, over the last few weeks.”

He is still searching for an overdue half-century, or better, after just one in his last 19 ODI attempts.

He said: “I hit the ball nicely today. Obviously, it helps when Mo is batting as well as he is.

“I do feel as if I’m hitting the ball better and better. It’s more frustrating for me more than anyone else, the 20s and 30s I’ve been getting.

“But I just have to keep being patient.”

Cook’s opposite number Angelo Mathews needed the same quality, after his bowlers had failed to defend a total which owed much to half-centuries from Kumar Sangakkara (63) and Lahiru Thirimanne (62no).

He said: “I am pretty disappointed.

“We put up a fighting score, (but) we were pretty poor in the field – and our bowlers were not up to the mark.

“That’s why we lost the game.”

Published: Wednesday 3rd December 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search