England v Sri Lanka, Southampton, Pool D

Rain frustrates England's fightback

The Bulletin by Liam Brickhill

September 17, 2004

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England 118 for 3 (Trescothick 64*, Flintoff 21*) v Sri Lanka - play abandoned for the day
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details



Michael Vaughan's poor form continued as he was bowled round his legs for 5 © Getty Images
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Persistent drizzle, which forced the players from the field shortly before one o'clock, lingered long enough to prevent play restarting, and so everyone will be back at 10.15 tomorrow to try again. England will resume on 118 for 3 with 18 overs of their innings remaining. The break came at a bad time for them, as Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Flintoff were finding their form in a fourth-wicket stand so far worth 48. After negotiating the perils of a damp pitch, England will have to do so all over again in the morning.

With the toss even more important than usual at this time of year, Sri Lanka gained a distinct early advantage when Marvan Atapattu called correctly and had no hesitation in putting England in on a pitch that was expected to encourage the seamers early on. Farveez Maharoof was the pick of Sri Lanka's bowlers, conceding just 19 runs in his 10 overs, and he was unlucky to pick up only one wicket, as two potential catches were put down.

And indeed, by the end of the day, Michael Vaughan could count himself lucky that his England side had only lost three wickets, as Sri Lanka's slipshod fielding let them off the hook. But Vaughan himself had another personal shocker as - his 74 against India in the last NatWest Challenge game at Lord's notwithstanding - his poor one-day form continued. Vaughan moved too far to the off side in an effort to counter Nuwan Zoysa's prodigious swing, but his plan backfired as Zoysa fired in a straight one to knock back middle stump (44 for 2).

Earlier, Trescothick and Vikram Solanki had made a steady start. The first boundary, a thick edge down to third man from Solanki, came up in the fourth over off Nuwan Zoysa, who recovered next ball with one which jagged back after pitching outside the off stump. Trescothick rounded off a mixed over as he stroked a thumping cover-drive for four.

Solanki had made a solid start to his innings, slapping four fours in his 18, but Maharoof struck back with an inswinger that took the inside edge of Solanki's bat on its way through to Kumar Sangakkara (29 for 1).

Andrew Strauss struggled to score on the seamer-friendly wicket, and was lucky to survive as long as he did, with an uncontrolled hook just evading Sanath Jayasuriya's outstretched arms at midwicket. Clearly frustrated, Strauss took on Maharoof's arm, and was caught inches short when Sangakkara whipped the bails off (70 for 3).

That was one of the only bright pieces of fielding from the Sri Lankans, and the third miss came when Flintoff had scored only a single. Driving at a length ball from Vaas, he got a thick edge to Mahela Jayawardene at first slip, but a simple chance went down.

At the other end, Trescothick went to his fifty, from 74 balls, with a flick to midwicket off Upul Chandana. As the grey clouds started to roll in, and a thin veil of drizzle covered the ground, Flintoff got going with a powerful sweep for four that almost hit the umpire Billy Bowden as it flew towards the boundary. He followed that up by lofting Jayasuriya's first ball over midwicket. But just as Flintoff was starting to flex his muscles, the clouds relaxed theirs, and ended play for the day.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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