Saturday 22 July 2017

Cricket: Strauss espouses fair play

England won respect as well as their opening match of the Champions Trophy against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers.

Captain Andrew Strauss' decision to call back Sri Lanka batsman Angelo Mathews late in the first innings was a significant act of sportsmanship in the resounding six-wicket victory which has thrown open Group B.

Mathews was run out going for two towards the end of the Sri Lankans' 212 all-out in the day-nighter following a collision with bowler Graham Onions.

Although there appeared no intent on Onions' part, and Joe Denly's throw from the deep might have accounted for Mathews anyway, Strauss asked the Sri Lankan to resume his innings as he strode to the pavilion.

This reprieve on 170 for six was not costly, however, as Mathews, who rescued his side with a half-century from number seven, added one more run before a catch behind off Luke Wright.

Mathews acknowledged Strauss' gesture as he left the field and England wrapped up the innings to set up a chase under floodlights. Despite losing a couple of early wickets, the misfiring batting unit had enough runs in it to get England home with five overs to spare. Strauss' men can qualify for the semis with a win over South Africa tomorrow.

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