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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014
Cornered England face a must-win situation against NZ
PTI
Cardiff, June 15, 2013
First Published: 13:39 IST(15/6/2013)
Last Updated: 13:44 IST(15/6/2013)

Stunned by an inspired Sri Lanka in their last game, hosts England find themselves in a spot of bother when they take on New Zealand in a must-win Group A match of the ICC Champions Trophy in Cardiff on Sunday.

England, one of the strong contenders for the trophy, had themselves to blame as their strong bowling attack failed to defend an imposing 293 for seven against Sri Lanka.

The English bowling attack, termed as second best in the competition after Pakistan, came a cropper against Sri Lanka the other day as Kumar Sangakkara hit an unbeaten century to ensure an emphatic seven wicket win for the island nation with 17 balls to spare.

The loss against Sri Lanka had put the hosts in a dicey situation after the game between Australia and New Zealand was washed out on Wednesday.

The Group A is still wide open as all the four teams -- New Zealand (3 points), England (2), Sri Lanka (2) and Australia (1) are in the reckoning for the two semifinal spots from the group.

England will consider tomorrow's game as a virtual quarterfinal as only a win will guarantee their place in the knockout stage irrespective of the result of the remaining group matches.

But the hosts will be under more pressure than New Zealand as even if the Kiwis lose, they still have an outside chance of entering the semifinals provided Australia beat Sri Lanka in their final encounter.

With scores of 269 and 293 in their last two games, England's batting looks in good touch.

England's top-order comprising captain Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, young Joe Root and Ravi Bopara all are among runs and it won't be surprise to see the hosts piling up yet another big score tomorrow in conditions which are familiar to them.


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fixtures

Match Date Time Match Details Venue
1st 06-06-2013 3:15PM IND vs SA Cardiff
2nd 07-06-2013 3:15PM WI vs PAK London
3rd 08-06-2013 3:15PM ENG vs AUS Birmingham
4th 09-06-2013 3:15PM SL vs NZ Cardiff
5th 10-06-2013 6:30PM PAK vs SA Birmingham
6th 11-06-2013 3:15PM IND vs WI London
7th 12-06-2013 6:30PM AUS vs NZ Birmingham
8th 13-06-2013 6:30PM ENG vs SL London
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