Cricket Legends of Barbados Cup, 2009 December 3, 2009

England Masters cruise into final

Cricinfo staff

England Masters 168 for 5 (Hick 66*, Upashantha 3-26) beat Sri Lanka Masters (Atapattu 42, Kalpage 42) by five wickets

England Masters cruised into Saturday's final of the inaugural Cricket Legends of Barbados International Cup with a commanding five- wicket win over Sri Lanka Masters in the fifth match of the competition.

Graeme Hick continued his good form, scoring an unbeaten 66, his second successive half-century as England, chasing 168 for victory, won with four balls to spare.

Hick and allrounder Dominic Cork shared a match-winning unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 82 in 8.3 overs. They came together in the 11th over when Paul Nixon and Mark Alleyne fell within three balls to Ruwan Kalpage.

Hick's 38-ball innings included six fours and three sixes and one memorable shot was one that raced to the extra- cover boundary. Cork, who made 27 at better than a run a ball was the perfect foil, turning over the strike where ever possible. A feature of Hick's batting was his hitting down the ground including a straight six off Hermantha Wickramarante.

Graham Thorpe, with 32, and Neil Fairbrother (20) put on 57 in 6.3 overs for the first-wicket but both fell in consecutive balls to Eric Upashanta who claimed 3 for 26 from four overs.

Sri Lanka Masters had scored 167 for 9 from their 20 overs after being put into bat. Kalpage and Marvan Atapattu were joint top-scorers with 42 each. Towards the end Kalpage, with three sixes and one four from 24 deliveries, and Indika de Saram, with a quick-fire 32 including two massive sixes and one four from 25 balls, gave Sri Lanka Masters what looked like a winning total then.

England were forced to do without their captain Darren Gough after he picked up a wicket in the second over of the match. He took no further part after suffering from a strained calf muscle.