India thrashes England again to take 2-1 lead

Updated 20 January 2013
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India thrashes England again to take 2-1 lead

RANCHI: After the bowlers dismissed England for 155, Virat Kohli’s breezy 79-ball 77 helped India overhaul the target in just 28.1 overs at the newly constructed HEC International Stadium in Ranchi yesterday. With this seven-wicket win, India took a 2-1 lead in the five-match ODI series.
As in the previous match, India’s pacer made inroads inside the first 15 overs to set England back. Shami Ahmed removed Alastair Cook (17) with one that straightened and Bhuvneshwar Kumar got Ian Bell (25) to nick one to M.S. Dhoni standing up to the stumps, but it was the lucky dismissal off Kevin Pietersen, sandwiched between the wickets of the England openers, which gave India the most joy.
Pietersen had looked commanding during his 20-ball 17 before he was adjudged caught behind after an Ishant Sharma delivery deviated off a sharp length, but replays did not show an edge.
After scores of 44 and 42 in the series, Pietersen managed 17 and his reaction to being given out incorrectly was that of disbelief.
Bell’s dismissal in Bhuvneshwar’s eighth over — the 16th of the innings — meant England had lost two wickets in four deliveries, and at 68 for 3 the need was for a recovery. Bhuvneshwar bowled his quota in a row (10-2-40-1), after which R. Ashwin came on and found a bit of turn from the track. Eoin Morgan struggled to dominate, scratching around 30 balls for his 10 before he needlessly tried to reverse sweep Ashwin and popped a simple catch to backward point (97 for 4).
In the next over, Ravindra Jadeja removed Craig Kieswetter and Samit Patel for ducks. Joe Root found the occasional boundary while Tim Bresnan sensibly rotated the strike and the duo managed to stitch together a partnership of 47 runs in 11.4 overs. However, both departed during the batting powerplay. Root chased a wide delivery from Ishant Sharma and four balls later, Bresnan was bowled by Ashwin. The last four wickets fell for 10 runs, the innings ending when Jadeja bowled Jade Dernbach for 0.
In chase of a modest total of 156 Indian lost Ajinkya Rahane for 0 with Steve Finn once again providing the early breakthrough in the third over. Kohli, who was under the scanner for his string of failures, started on a confident by hitting three consecutive fours off Dernbach over as he raced to 31 off 28 balls. Gautam Gambhir (33) looked uncomfortable in the middle but managed to hang in there getting the odd boundary courtesy the edge, before he tried to heave James Tredwell over mid-on but found Root.
India were at this point 78 for 2 and in partnership with Yuvraj Singh, Kohli added quick runs. He cracked his 22nd ODI 50 playing the ball toward square leg for a couple in the 21st over before reaching 4000 ODI runs in his 96th match. Yuvraj cut loose hitting a boundary over midwicket off Bresnan and a massive six over long-on off Tredwell, before he was bowled for a 21-ball 30 with India needing 12 for victory.
MS Dhoni finished off the match with a pull for four toward square leg.


‘Good, but not good enough’: Juan Antonio Pizzi on Saudi Arabia’s defeat to Uruguay

Updated 20 June 2018
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‘Good, but not good enough’: Juan Antonio Pizzi on Saudi Arabia’s defeat to Uruguay

  • A Luis Suaréz goal midway through the first half gave Uruguay a 1-0 win
  • Pizzi had spoken passionately about the need for his side to demonstrate a higher level of focus and performance

ROSTOV-ON-DON: Good, but not good enough.
That was what Juan Antonio Pizzi stated as he declared himself pleased with his team’s performance in the 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Wednesday night.
But he lamented his side’s lack of firepower as they exited the World Cup after just two matches.
Pizzi had spoken passionately about the need for his side to demonstrate a higher level of focus and performance in Rostov-on-Don after losing their opening game 5-0 to hosts Russia in Moscow last week.
The Argentine got his wish with a display that saw the Green Falcons fight throughout and edge possession against a Uruguay side ranked 14th in the world.
A Luis Suaréz goal midway through the first half after poor goalkeeping from Mohammed Al-Owais, however, was enough to hand the Green Falcons a 12th successive World Cup defeat.
The result means that even with a win against Egypt on Monday, the Green Falcons are no longer capable of progressing to the knock-out stages from Group A.
“We had a lot of ball possession and were able to impose our style of play and distribution,” said Pizzi. “We conceded a goal from a random play and didn’t have the weapons or tools to try to equalize. We kept the ball well and weren’t really troubled defensively, but lacked that ability to score.”
Indeed, for all their possession, Saudi Arabia have managed just three shots on target in 180 minutes of football. Against Russia, they failed to muster a single effort on target and the managed just three against Uruguay, two of which came in the final minutes when they knew they had to score or face elimination. None of the three shots came from a striker.
“This is our weakness. We have good ball possession, but no effectiveness. We lack the depth and skill required to win these games,” Pizzi added. “We have that deficiency and have looked for solutions, but we haven’t quite come up with one yet. But that is one of the reasons great forward are in high demand and are the elite players in world football.”
Pizzi had made four changes ahead of the match, dropping goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf in favor of Al-Owais and introducing Ali Al-Bulayhi at the heart of the defense alongside Osama Hawsawi. Further upfield, Hattan Bahberi came in for Yahya Al-Shehri and Fahad Al-Muwallad replaced Mohammed Al-Sahlawi. The changes, particularly the inclusion of Bahberi, seemed to give the side more impetus in midfield.
“The difference between the performance in the first game and this game is enormous,” Pizzi said. “The only way to compete at this level is to play at the level we did here. And even then it was not enough even to get a draw. Undoubtedly there were other factors aside from the pressure of playing in the opening game that made a difference, but it’s true that the difference was enormous.”
Many critics had predicted a deluge of goals from the likes of Suarez and Cavani, yet both were kept at bay. Save for a couple of half-chances early on, neither came close to scoring until the 23rd minute.
A corner from Carlos Sanchez sailed into the area and when Al-Owais came for it but failed to connect with his punch, Barcelona forward Suaréz was left with the simplest of tap-ins. He was so caught off-guard, he actually looked surprised as he reeled away in celebration.
“I believe you cannot be relaxed in any match,” Suarez said when asked by a Uruguayan journalist whether he had taken it easy against the Saudis.
“We wanted to win and to progress to the knock-out stage and this game simply showed how difficult it is. That’s the World Cup for you though and we are obviously delighted with how we have performed so far to progress.”
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez did not share his striker’s sentiments.
“Saudi Arabia wanted to excel and give a better account of themselves after losing to Russia,” he said.
“They did that very well and we have to respect them. But what surprised me the most is how we played. We underperformed.”