Fletcher blames injuries for whitewash


LONDON - England's dramatic exit from football's World Cup and Wayne Rooney's sending-off overshadowed humiliation for the country's cricket team on the same day.

But Duncan Fletcher, England's Zimbabwean coach, blamed injuries for the remarkable 5-0 home white

wash by Sri Lanka in the one-day series, completed by an eight-wicket victory at Leeds. “It would be interesting if Sri Lanka were missing eight players and we had eight back,” claimed Fletcher. “What then would the result have been?”
Steve Harmison, England’s top strike bowler, was hammered for 97 runs off 10 wicketless overs, while Kabir Ali’s six overs cost 72 runs. Veteran Saneth Jayasuriya, having been brought out of retirement, hit 152 off 99 balls and shared an opening stand of 286 with Upul Tharanga (102) as the tourists, chasing a formidable 322 for victory, raced to their target with 75 balls to spare.

England’s latest setback occurred on the Headingley ground where the flag flew at half-mast in memory of fast bowler Fred Trueman, Yorkshire’s favourite son, who has died of lung cancer at 75. “Fiery Fred” was the first man to take 300 Test wickets. “I captained many fine cricketers, but none finer,” said Brian Close, the former Yorkshire and England stalwart. Ray Illingworth, another Yorkshireman who captained county and country, added: “You hear a lot about how good certain fast bowlers have been, but this fellow was really the best.”

Ex-Zimbabwe star Murray Goodwin scored an unbeaten 67 as Sussex kept up their strong start to the Twenty20 Cup with a nine-wicket win over Middlesex at Richmond. Zimbabwe batsman Greg Lamb made second top score of 26 before being run out as Hampshire totalled 119 and lost by 15 runs to Kent at Beckenham, while Heath Streak, the former Zimbabwe skipper, took 2-25 off his four overs as Warwickshire restricted Somerset to 167-7 at Taunton and went on to win by seven wickets.

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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