Bumbling, fumbling Sri Lanka crash out of Champions Trophy

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    Sri Lanka lurched like a drunken sailor at the Champions Trophy in England, before being unceremoniously dumped before the semi-finals thanks to pathetic fielding against Pakistan.

    Team manager Asanka Gurusinha’s assertion that only the best fielding team would make the finals, irrespective of batting or bowling, came back to haunt him as the Lankans kicked themselves out of the tournament due to butterfingered fielding and poor ground fielding.

    An injury to skipper Angelo Matthews in their opening-game loss to South Africa, the suspension of in-form stand in skipper Upul Tharanga, and Kusal Perera’s hamstring tear in the win against India definitely dented Sri Lanka’s chances.

    In their third match, with Pakistan sitting at a precarious 7-162 from 29.5 overs, it seemed that Sri Lanka had fought back sufficiently with the ball, after their batting yielded a paltry 236.

    But successive let offs thereafter by the fielders saw Pakistan record a memorable win. Three crucial dropped chances, including a straightforward miss by Thisara Perera, ensured Sri Lanka were dispatched from the tournament.

    A wrap up of Sri Lanka’s performance reveals lack of penetration by their bowlers apart from the game against Pakistan. They went for plenty in the other games, including the warm-up matches against Scotland, New Zealand and Australia.

    In other Champions Trophy news, Bangladesh have announced themselves as a force to be reckoned with in world cricket, making the final four. This means three Asian countries and England will battle it out for the title.

    England, with home ground advantage, and India are favourites, but Pakistan and Bangladesh have proved with their unpredictability that they can upset the odds on their day.

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