Wash-out leaves England frustrated

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Published: Sunday 23rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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England will begin their one-day international series against Sri Lanka with just one rain-shortened match under their belts, after Sunday’s washout at the P Sara Oval.

A drenched outfield after heavy morning rain prevented the best efforts of groundstaff coming to fruition, and England therefore did not have the chance to add to the 68 overs of competitive cricket they managed at the SSC two days earlier.

Batting coach Mark Ramprakash admitted it is far from ideal that several of his charges will begin the seven-match series on Wednesday without an innings since the end of last summer.

They instead had to make do with a middle practice, rain-sodden areas fenced off, after their second match against Sri Lanka A – comfortably beaten at the SSC on Friday – was abandoned.

“It is disappointing,” said Ramprakash, on his first assignment in his new role at the start of this World Cup winter.

“It means that some players will be going into an international game without having had an innings since September – which clearly isn’t ideal.

“But we came out here knowing cricket tours can be affected at this time of year by bad weather. We can’t control that.”

England had no complaints with the circumstances surrounding this cancellation – although hopes were briefly raised that some play might be possible once the rain stopped.

“The covering was excellent, in the 30-yard circle,” said Ramprakash.

“But then, when you get out towards the boundaries – and at the far side particularly – it was very boggy.

“We couldn’t really see that drying in time – and in a limited-overs international, they’re going to be flying around the boundary.”

England therefore can merely bank their initial success, and Ramprakash takes particular heart from the performance of Mooen Ali in that 56-run Duckworth-Lewis victory – in which, in his first attempt as Alastair Cook’s new opening partner, he struck the first six legitimate balls he faced for four on the way to a 21-ball 50.

Former England batsman Ramprakash said: “Wasn’t it breathtaking the way Moeen Ali went out and played?

“He played with a no-fear attitude and I think he made a statement, to himself and also the rest of the side.

“Let’s not forget as well, Alastair Cook had a very convincing innings as well. So we had two opening batsmen who went out and took the attack to the opposition, and that bodes well.”

Published: Sunday 23rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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