ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Canada v England, World Cup 2011, warm-up match

Cheema's onslaught gives England a big scare

Andrew Miller

February 16, 2011

Comments: 66 | Text size: A | A

England 243 (Prior 78, Trott 57) beat Canada 227 (Cheema 93, Broad 5-37) by 16 runs
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Rizwan Cheema flays one through the off side during his 93, Canada v England, World Cup warm-up match, Fatullah, February 16, 2011
Rizwan Cheema took England's bowlers to the cleaners in a feisty performance at Fatullah © Associated Press
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Rizwan Cheema gave England a massive scare in their opening World Cup warm-up match against Canada, as he blazed 93 from 70 balls from No. 7 to give life to a faltering run-chase at Fatullah and raise the very real prospect of an embarrassing upset. However, five wickets for Stuart Broad on his return to competitive action, allied to a greater knowhow at the death, enabled England to defend their middling total of 243 despite being outgunned on the boundary count. Having recovered from 28 for 5 inside the eighth over, Canada's challenge finally ended on 227, with 23 balls left unused.

It was a sloppy display from England at an admittedly outlandish venue, although one that they ought to have been familiar with, having launched their tour of Bangladesh on the same ground in February last year. But it was Canada who looked the most at home in the conditions, as Cheema made light of a dramatic top-order collapse, which included first-over wickets for both the fit-again Ajmal Shahzad and Broad, who had not bowled in a match since tearing stomach muscles at Adelaide in December, but who ended up being England's saving grace with match figures of 5 for 37.

There had been no inkling of the drama to come when Canada lost half of their batsmen in the space of 44 balls, including the veteran John Davison, whose whirlwind century against West Indies in 2003 is the stuff of World Cup legend. However, Cheema has previous in that regard as well. At King City in August 2008, also against West Indies, he had battered the bowling to all parts in a 69-ball 89, and this time he produced ten fours and five sixes, including two in an over from the otherwise impressive Broad. While he remained, Canada held out hope of a major scalp, but with his hundred in sight, he took the aerial route once too often, and picked out Ian Bell at long-off.

Still their challenge was not finished, as Chohan - who had earlier impressed with the ball - dug in for a spirited 44 from 74 balls to take the game right down to the wire. Canada entered the final ten overs needing 47 to win, and a clumping Chohan six off James Tredwell took the requirement down below 20. But Tredwell extracted Harvir Baidwan for 14, via a catch to Paul Collingwood, before Broad returned to seal the deal, striking with the first ball of his ninth over to trap Chohan lbw.

If England seemed an unsettled outfit, that fact was telegraphed at the toss, when Kevin Pietersen was revealed as Andrew Strauss's 13th opening partner, and England's 21st in ODI cricket since the 2007 World Cup. Though Pietersen made an indifferent 24 from 27 balls in his new role before chopping on to Chohan, the message from the England management was that this tactic was intended to be a permanent measure for the duration of the World Cup.

The timing of the reshuffle is hardly opportune - Pietersen has only ever opened in six of his 223 List A matches, and never at international level, while England's first World Cup fixture is looming against Netherlands at Nagpur in less than a week's time - but in the absence of Eoin Morgan in the middle order, the team think-tank has decided that an injection of urgency in the opening overs is the best way to balance the loss of such a pivotal player.

England won the toss and batted first, only for Strauss to fall to a strangle down the leg side in the second over of the game. However, Jonathan Trott, whose berth at No. 3 seems set in stone, did what he does best, anchoring the innings with an unhurried 57 from 81 balls, while Matt Prior - the man who opened the batting in Australia last month - showed he was unaffected by a reversion to the lower order, as he upped the tempo with a fluent 78 from 80 balls in the latter stages of the innings.

In between whiles, England allowed themselves to get bogged down against Canada's nagging repertoire of spin and medium pace. Chohan and Baidwan claimed three wickets apiece, while the legspin of Balaji Rao proved tidy in a ten-over spell that conceded 38 runs and claimed the scalp of Collingwood, whose 9 from 21 balls was another scratchy affair that ended with a wild charge down the pitch and a routine stumping.

When Luke Wright was trapped lbw for a five-ball duck, England were dicing with humiliation at 158 for 7, but Prior and the lower-order boosted their total with some urgent strokeplay. Broad, back in the side after a two-month lay-off following his torn stomach muscle in the Adelaide Test, clubbed 22 from 27 balls to help hoist the total to 243. At 28 for 5 in reply, it looked like being more than enough. But in the end, England barely bellyflopped over the line.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 66 
Posted by CricSamraat on (February 19, 2011, 19:54 GMT)

It is good for England that they were close to being upset by Canada. This will force each English player to look himself in the mirror and ask of himself what changes need to be made to fix any weaknesses he may have projected. Kudos to Canada for rising from the dead at 23 for 5 and traumatising Englad the way they were able to do. All said and done, Canada needs to wring at least one victory in the opening round of the World Cup. There is no reason Canada can not do that - provided, they work with grim do-or-die determination.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2011, 8:57 GMT)

ICC is digging its own grave by sticking to its decision not to have associates for 50-over WC from 2015. T20 tournament is not enough.50-over cricket is also required for developing associate teams. Football is much more popular than cricket mainly because the FIFA World Cup is truly a World Cup with 32 countries all around the world playing.Cricket is further going to lose its already declining popularity and fan-following because of this crazy move. I really hope for some big upsets to happen in this WC (though not at the cost of India) so that ICC begins to see sense.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2011, 0:20 GMT)

2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand "At the present time, the ten full members of the International Cricket Council will automatically qualify. Associate members will be excluded from the tournament, although they will be allowed to participate in the World Cricket League.[3]

The decision to exclude the associates taken by the ICC was probably inspired by the commercial disaster during the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Two of the nations with the maximum television audience (India and Pakistan) faced defeat at the hands of minnows Bangladesh and Ireland respectively, and failed to qualify for the second round.[4] This crashed the TV ratings from the second round onwards and the 2007 edition is regarded as one of the worst organized world cups ever in cricket history." Source Wiki.

Its not fair play. I dont think this happens in football. Does it ?

Posted by TDCACricket on (February 17, 2011, 18:05 GMT)

Very good display of cricket by Cheema and Chohan. I also play cricket in Toronto Cricket League (T&DCA) with Spartans Iselander C.C and I know how talented these bunch of guys are. Cricket in canada is not supported by the Government. Even these guys pay for their season fee ( alongwith ball/umpire and lunch fee)to play the domestic cricket season in canada that lasts from May to End of Sept. These guys work full time and once a week they pratice for the game( with the exception of few guys who recently offered a contract for the first time) I have no doubt in mind that if we got more of the support (Especially Financial not just the media interviews) from the authorities and proper sponsorship, we definately can be in top 10 teams within no time. T&DCA is the largest cricket league in north america and it is very competative, the only thing we guys are lacking is the proper infrastructure and finances. I m sure you guys will see atleast ONE upset by team canada.

Posted by MENDIS_Forever on (February 17, 2011, 10:26 GMT)

Welll played Canada.What an innings by Rizwan Cheema!.Now their first encounter is with Srilanka.Srilanka(My country) nust play a full strength 11 against them.Dont rest any big name.please.. Cheema,davison,chohan are dangerous players,so SL beware!. England..one said they are hot favourites..aha..Now they will tell "oh..We didn't play swann.ok..who cares warmups...blah..blah..blah..". England you will never be qualified to the 2nd round.Instead IRELAND will do it with Bangladesh.

Posted by ravishankar231 on (February 17, 2011, 10:10 GMT)

Mr. Chappel said England, India, Sri lanka, Australia and SA are the five fafvourites for the tournament. England are struggling for ODI form now after their unrelenting Ashes. They could have easily lost the match against Canada. As far as SA are concerned, I beleive yet again they will be out in a knock out stage and they will fasten the C word to their team forever. I wonder why pakistan is excluded from the list since they have the potential to surprise any team on a given day.

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (February 17, 2011, 10:00 GMT)

Good game, Canada! Putting England under that kind of pressure is a victory in itself. I kind of think that England had one goal this season, though. They wanted to retain the Ashes in Australia. They did that. They closed up shop after that.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2011, 7:47 GMT)

I want Canada out of the nxt WC,and Ireland and Netherland.I wished for an Associate free WC.Guess what...It came true.Wait for 2015.ICC roxx.....

Posted by   on (February 17, 2011, 7:43 GMT)

Lovely to see Pakistan aren't the only ones who keep changing their opening partnerships :D And I want the experts to keep thinking Pakistan are underdogs; if losing to england in a practice game is a requirement for that I don't mind it happening.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2011, 6:45 GMT)

"Shawnsundar", its not fair to say that Canada's government gives cricket no support. Minister for Immigration Jason Kenney has just wished them good luck. In my view his speech gives the impression of a non-cricket fan ("may Canada's googlies break in the right direction"?) but his point about the importance of immigrants to both Canada and the game of cricket in Canada is well made. In fact I think someone has just written a book on this very subject ...

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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