England have a close shave
Stuart Broad's five-wicket haul saved England the blushes as they survived an unexpected assault from little-known Rizwan Cheema, to eke out a narrow 16-run win over minnows Canada in a World Cup warm-up match. Scoreboardcricket Updated: Feb 17, 2011 01:07 IST
Three players of sub-continent origin, two from Pakistan one India-born, all representing Canada, almost created the first major upset leading to the World Cup.
Two medium-pacers, Pakistan-born Khurram Chohan and Chandigarh-born Harvir Baidwan, took three wicket apiece as they threatened to restrict England to less than 200 at the Fatullah Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium here on Wednesday.
They eventually could not, thanks to a late flourish by Matt Prior. But then chasing 244, the 32-year-old Rizwan Cheema, who was born in Gujranwala in Pakistan, made it too close for England's comfort with a 70-ball 93 to lead an awesome fightback. This after Canada had lost half their side for 28 runs.
Chohan contributed with the bat as well until Stuart Broad trapped him in front to complete a fifer, and ensure a 16-run win.
Kevin Pietersen blamed the show on the change in conditions and said England will need time to settle down after a three-month stay in Australia.
Pieterson in new role
Pietersen will be seen in a new role as opener with skipper Andrew Strauss in the World Cup. Though the trial did not go well, he sounded upbeat.
"The team took the decision and I thought over it. I think it's really exciting in subcontinent conditions and I am looking forward to open the batting."
England's bowling spearhead, given the slow wickets here, Graeme Swann is likely to join the squad on Tuesday.
Paceman Ajmal Shahzad bowled seven overs for two wickets and showed he has recovered from a hamstring injury, but paceman Tim Bresnan, who has a calf injury, remains doubtful. England play their first match against Netherlands in Nagpur on February 22.
Even a fortnight back, vice-captain Cheema and Chohan were not too sure they could be part of Canada's World Cup squad. Both are Pak-born and were denied visas to India. "It's settled now," Cheema told HT.
Brief scores: England 243 in 49.4 overs (M Prior 78, K Chohan 3/34) vs Canada 227 in 46.1 overs (R Chohan 93, S Broad 5/37).