Cricket: No end to England travels and travails: Tour ends with more humiliation

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The Independent Online
WHERE, after the traumas of India and Sri Lanka, do England's cricketers go from here? The immediate answer, following a delayed journey from Colombo yesterday, is Sharjah, South Africa, Bermuda and Portugal and Keith Fletcher, the England coach, is none too happy.

Five of his team will barely have time to wash their whites and have a shave before heading off with their counties for yet more cricket. Then they will go straight into the county season and the Ashes series. 'I think it is mad they are going away,' said Fletcher, who is particularly concerned about the lack of rest for Chris Lewis and Devon Malcolm.

Malcolm is off to Bermuda with Derbyshire in a deal financed largely on the attraction of the Jamaican-born bowler and Lewis is going to South Africa with Nottinghamshire. Dermot Reeve, of Warwickshire, and Middlesex's Mike Gatting will be going to South Africa and Portugal.

Alec Stewart who, as county captain, has to go with Surrey to Sharjah, said: 'It is a chance that guaranteed outdoor practice.'

But does it work? Stewart admitted Surrey had not won anything since visiting the desert and Fletcher, the brain behind Essex's success, pointedly said: 'We never went away.'

At times he must have wished England had not gone away this winter and on Saturday the tour plunged to new depths. In being beaten by eight wickets in the one-day international with nearly 15 overs to spare, England achieved the difficult feat of playing even worse than they had managed previously in the tour.

Only Robin Smith, Graeme Hick and Lewis can look back on the match with any satisfaction. After losing Lewis, who opened the innings more in hope than expectation, Smith and Hick put England on course for the 270-300 required with thoughtful batting that promised a happy ending to England's gloomy winter's tale.

But after being humbled by a series of wide-eyed part-time tweakers, gleefully led by the wayward slow left-armer Sanath Jayasuriya, England mustered 180 that, once Lewis's lively opening spell had been safely negotiated, was as indefensible as England's repeated failures on this tour.

(Sri Lanka won toss)

ENGLAND

C C Lewis c Ramanayake b W'masinghe. . . . . . . . . .8

(25 min, 17 balls, 2 fours)

R A Smith st A M De Silva b J'suriya. . . . . . . . .31

(75 min, 48 balls, 3 fours, 1 six)

G A Hick lbw b Kalpage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

(60 min, 44 ball, 6 fours)

N H Fairbrother c A M De Silva b J'suriya. . . . . . 21

(37 min, 47 balls, 1 four, 1 six)

* A J Stewart lbw b Tillakaratne. . . . . . . . . . .14

(43 min, 32 balls, 1 four)

M W Gatting lbw b P A De Silva. . . . . . . . . . . . 2

(5 min, 8 balls)

D A Reeve b Jayasuriya. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

(59 min, 44 balls)

J E Emburey c Ramanayake b J'suriya. . . . . . . . . 21

(42 min, 41 balls)

I D K Salisbury not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

(16 min, 6 balls)

P W Jarvis c A M De Silva b J'suriya. . . . . . . . . 4

(4 min, 4 balls)

J P Taylor b Jayasuriya. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

(4 min, 8 balls)

Extras (b2 lb9 w3 nb6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Total (193 min, 48.5 overs). . . . . . . . . . . . .180

Fall: 1-23 (Lewis), 2-77 (Smith), 3-85 (Hick), 4-111 (Fairbrother), 5-114 (Gatting), 6-125 (Stewart), 7-168 (Emburey), 8-172 (Reeve), 9-177 (Jarvis).

Bowling: Ramanayake 4-0-20-0 (nb1 w1); Wickremasinghe 8-0-23-1 (nb2) (5-0-19-1, 3-0-4-0); Gurusinha 4-0-21-0 (w1); Hathurusinghe 2-0-13-0; Kalpage 10-0-27-1 (7-0-19-1, 3-0-8-0); Jayasuriya 9.5-0-29-6 (nb1 w1) (7-0-16-2, 2.5-0-13-4); P A De Silva 7-1-22-1 (nb2); Tillakaratne 4-0-14-1.

Progress: 50: 48 min, 64 balls. 100: 110 min, 166 balls. 150: 157 min, 247 balls.

SRI LANKA

R S Mahanama c Stewart b Salisbury. . . . . . . . . . 29

(73 min, 48 balls, 5 fours)

U C Hathurusinghe c and b Salisbury. . . . . . . . . .33

(71 min, 48 balls, 5 fours)

A P Gurusinha not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

(78 min, 54 balls, 2 fours)

P A De Silva not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

(74 min, 68 balls, 7 fours, 4 sixes)

Extras (b1 lb2 w2 nb6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Total (for 2, 150 min, 35.2 overs). . . . . . . . . .183

Fall: 1-66 (Hathurusinghe), 2-68 (Mahanama).

Did not bat: * A Ranatunga, H P Tillakaratne, S T Jayasuriya, A M De Silva, C P H Ramanayake, R S Kalpage, G P Wickremasinghe.

Bowling: Lewis 7-1-13-0 (nb2); Jarvis 4-0-22-0; Taylor 3-0-20-0 (nb2); Emburey 6-0-29-0; Salisbury 4-0-36-2 (nb1 w1); Hick 6.2-1-36-0, Reeve 5-0-24-0 (nb2 w1).

Progress: 50: 56 min, 76 balls. 100: 96 min, 125 balls. 150: 139 min, 201 balls.

P A De Silva's 50: 65 min, 59 balls, 4 fours, 2 sixes.

Umpires: B C Cooray and T M Samarasinghe.

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