Tag Archives: colombo

Kevin Pietersen"s five best innings – Sportsmail looks back

After his man of the match knock in Mumbai, Sportsmail remembers five of KP's best

|

UPDATED:

08:29 GMT, 26 November 2012

1 158 v Australia, The Oval, 2005

Secured England’s first Ashes victory since 1986-87 with a stunning post-lunch assault on Brett Lee, and finished with seven sixes on one of the most famous days in English cricketing history

2 151 v Sri Lanka, Colombo, 2011-12

Switch-hit Sri Lanka to distraction, whacking six sixes in a 165-ball innings to help England square the series after four Test defeats in a row.

Reaching new heights: KP was at his big-hitting best in Colombo in 2012

Reaching new heights: KP was at his big-hitting best in Colombo in 2012

3 149 v South Africa, Headingley 2012

Two days before claiming ‘it’s hard being me’, Pietersen suggested it was actually quite fun, destroying the world’s best seam attack on a memorable Saturday afternoon

4 186 v India, Mumbai, 2012-13

With the pressure on after his double failure at Ahmedabad, Pietersen showed he was none for the worse for his exile. Walked off to a standing ovation at the Wankhede.

Turn around: KP turned a terrible situation into a match-winning one

Turn around: KP turned a terrible situation into a match-winning one

5 129 v New Zealand, Napier, 2007-08

England were 4 for 3 on the first morning of the series decider against the Kiwis, but Pietersen gauged the seam-friendly conditions perfectly to set up victory.

England's finest on century duty

Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen have scored more Test runs in Asia than any other English batsmen.

England in India

Cook and Pietersen equalled the English record of 22 Test tons (Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey and Geoff Boycott) but they are a way behind the world’s top five.

The best

Pietersen is currently 35th on the all-time Test run-scoring list and Cook is 44th.

Best ever

Cook has now scored more runs than any other batsman by the age of 27.

Cook

Daniella Anderson: No one told me that when Jimmy was with England he would never be at home. This wasn"t the life I wanted…

Daniella Anderson: No one told me that when Jimmy was with England he would never be at home. This wasn't the life I wanted…

|

UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 20 October 2012

Precious time: James Anderson and wife Danielle enjoy being together before he jets off again

Precious time: James Anderson and wife Danielle enjoy being together before he jets off again

James Anderson will confront the cricket challenge he hates most: packing his bags, getting on a plane and saying goodbye to his wife and young family, knowing that he will not see them again for nine weeks.

And the home-loving Anderson admitted: ‘It perhaps sounds quite cold and calculating when you say you have to just switch off from your family and home. But it’s what you must do.’

Any cricket tour for the Andersons, of course, brings back the painful memories of five years ago this month, when England were playing their final one-day international in Colombo against Sri Lanka.

Twenty-four hours earlier, on the eve of the match, Anderson’s wife Daniella, who had been due to travel with her husband to the Maldives for their long-delayed honeymoon, had phoned to tell him she had miscarried.

‘In situations like this, when you’re thousands of miles away and a loved one needs you, you feel pretty hopeless as a husband,’ said Anderson. ‘All I wanted was to be with Daniella, right there and then.

‘What she had to endure, and my absence so far from home, highlighted the downside to being an international sportsperson. That was one of the most painful experiences of my life.’

He flew back to England on the first flight after the match and, sitting alongside Daniella as they recalled that agonising time, he added: ‘I was so full of angst that I wished away every minute of the 10-hour flight.’

While James and Daniella talk, Ruby Anderson (aged one) amuses herself, chiefly by pressing her lips together to make gurgling noises. Her sister Lola (aged nearly four) is at playschool from where, while Daniella gets ready for a rare girls’ day out with her friends, James will collect her later that afternoon.

We are in the Lowry Hotel, Manchester, coincidentally the venue for the couple’s wedding reception in February 2006, and the Andersons are talking fondly of what they have crammed into the last three weeks: family trips to Nickelodeonland, to Legoland and to London to see the Thomas the Tank Engine movie, then a short break in Spain.

And the time is precious because Anderson will soon say goodbye to them all again to continue his career as the leader of the England Test and ODI attack.

Attack bowler: Anderson in full flight against the West Indies at Trent Bridge

Attack bowler: Anderson in full flight against the West Indies at Trent Bridge

Since the couple were married, Lancashire paceman James has spent every winter abroad. The latest starts with a tour to India that runs until the end of the fourth Test in Nagpur on December 17. If Anderson is required for the two Twenty20s that follow, he will not see his family again until December 23. Then, after either nine days or a fortnight at home, he is due to fly back to India on January 2 for five ODIs, then on to New Zealand for a tour that will keep him away until March 28.

Nine days off in three months!

England players have a marathon winter ahead, with tours to India and
New Zealand either side of Christmas. Those who play in all three
formats – Tests, one-dayers and T20s – will be at home for just nine
days in the 155 until the squad return to England in March. And then
it’s back to training for the New Zealanders, the Ashes and the
Champions Trophy!

England in India 2012-13
October 25 to December 23: 60 days away
4 Test matches
2 Twenty20 internationals
3 Tour matches

January 2 to January 28: 27 days away
5 One-day internationals
2 Tour matches

England in New Zealand 2013
January 29 to March 27: 68 days away

3 Test matches
3 One-day internationals
3 Twenty20 internationals
3 Tour matches

In total, from late October this year to late March 2013, those England cricketers selected for all formats can look forward to a maximum of nine nights at home out of 155, or the best part of five months.

Daniella freely admits that this is not what she signed up for when she accepted James’s proposal of marriage in early 2005. A highly successful model regularly on the catwalks of New York, Milan and Paris whose previous boyfriends include former Oasis front man Liam Gallagher, Daniella ‘gave up a lot’, says Anderson, to be with him, including her London home and, were they not so besotted with each other, they might not have been able to overcome the long absences that put cricketing relationships under occasionally unbearable strain.

‘It’s true,’ said Daniella. ‘It wasn’t the life I wanted. I’d thought if I ever got married I’d be with that man all the time. I’d started this new life with a man that I loved and I wanted to make new friends with him, but he was never here, so it was a struggle.

‘I had my life in London which I loved, now I was on my own in a strange place and I was miserable, I missed all my friends, I missed him and I was like, “Oh crap, what have I done How am I going to cope if he’s never here”

‘I just had no idea he would be away from home so much. Before the children came I really thought, “Well, if he’s away over the winter, that’s fine because I can go. Then if he’s here in the summer, he’ll be here”. I didn’t realise that when he’s in England they’re never at home either because they’re away for a week at a time in different cities. It’s constant.’

Unhappy travels: England and Anderson suffered on their last tour, losing 3-0 to Pakistan in the UAE

Unhappy travels: England and Anderson suffered on their last tour, losing 3-0 to Pakistan in the UAE

James said: ‘She told me at one point that she couldn’t do it any more. It was difficult. I guess at one stage … I don’t know if unhappy is the word, but we were a little bit lost.’

Since then, as well as the actual time they have been apart, they have had to cope with Daniella’s miscarriage — ‘I was in bits,’ she said. ‘It was so tough for him and he wanted to come home but I told him to stay and play and he did really well. I was so proud’ — and a variety of other concerns well understood by partners living apart.

There were also crises like the England tour security fears in the aftermath of the terrorist atrocity in Mumbai in 2008. Daniella describes that as ‘really scary’. ‘He was trying to reassure me that all would be well …’ she said. ‘All I wanted was for him to come home.’

But James was at least able to make sure he was present for the birth of their two beautiful girls even if, for Ruby, that meant a round-trip home from Australia in 2010, mid-Ashes. His three days at home attracted a measure of Blimpish criticism.

Plans had even been discussed for Daniella to set up camp in Perth for the winter, going out well before the start of the tour and having Ruby born there because Daniella ‘couldn’t imagine James not being at the birth —I just couldn’t cope with that’.

Familiarity with what is about to happen again has eased certain aspects of the hurt and James and Daniella are prepared for their emotions to take another battering in the days and weeks ahead. They have found a way to put their family life on hold. They have had to.

Rise to the top: England are determined to regain their status at the top Test nation after a chastening defeat to South Africa

Rise to the top: England are determined to regain their status at the top Test nation after a chastening defeat to South Africa

But while neither would dare compare their experience to that of those posted abroad on duty for the armed forces, for example, the idea of what they must do is one thing, doing it quite another.

‘I definitely do feel like a single parent sometimes,’ said Daniella. ‘It’s horrible having to take the kids to a party or a situation where other kids are there with mums and dads and Lola says, “Where’s my Daddy” She is at the age when she gets cross if he isn’t around. She hates cricket because it means Daddy going away.’

James added: ‘I’m not allowed to watch it on TV. And when one of our matches is on telly and Daniella tries to point me out to her, she wants the channel changed.

‘Daniella does a great job while I’m away. She tries to explain why and keeps them busy …

‘I try to make a huge fuss of them all when I’m around. I asked Stuart Broad, whose dad Chris was often away with England, what he remembered of his childhood and he says he recalls his dad being away a lot. But he also remembers the fun they had when he was back, so I try to make sure we have fun.’

Daniella said: ‘We’ve been through this parting business before. But this time I’m not going to be with him or see him. I’m trying not to think about it. I won’t until the day. Then I’ll get very upset.

‘And, inevitably, as the time to go approaches, for him the excitement of what he’s about to embark on builds. I understand. This is what he does and he loves it and is doing it for us. I don’t want to bring him down.

‘He wants to enjoy it while it lasts because it’s not going to last for ever. Few people get to do what he does. We both appreciate that and think he should get on with it while he can, because when it’s over, he’ll miss it.’

Oh, happy days: Alastair Cook, Graeme Swann and Anderson celebrate winning the Ashes last year

Oh, happy days: Alastair Cook, Graeme Swann and Anderson celebrate retaining the Ashes last year

James said: ‘I have to switch off when I go away because the more you think about the things you’re missing, the more you can get distracted and upset, particularly when things aren’t going well on the pitch.’

And Daniella knows that being together on tour can create problems. ‘We’ve managed to spend time together on tour in the past but that’s hardly ideal either,’ she says. ‘The guys want to give time to their families, but the fact is they’re working. Then you think, “What am I doing here” All that angst. And it’s worse when the kids are there.’

James said: ‘Clearly there are downsides — not seeing Daniella and the children for long periods, missing birthdays [Lola’s fourth and Ruby’s second this winter] — but at the same time I want to create a stable base so the kids can grow up and have a happy childhood without worry.

‘The great thing about absences is that they come to an end. The intensity of reunion is pretty strong. Maybe that’s a reward for being away.

‘Daniella once asked me what age fast bowlers play to in international cricket, and when I said 32, 33, she was quite happy, especially as I’m 30 now.’

‘Our life together hasn’t been anything like what I envisioned,’ said Daniella. ‘You can’t help who you fall in love with, so you’ve got to lump it really.

‘But he has a bit of making up for lost time to do, and when the moment finally comes, I’ll make sure he does.’

Australia beat England in Women"s World Twenty20 final

Aussies rule in Colombo as England go down to an agonising defeat in Women's World Twenty20 final

|

UPDATED:

12:29 GMT, 7 October 2012

England fell just four runs short in a tight finish to a tough run chase as Australia retained the Women's World Twenty20 trophy.

Jess Cameron top-scored with 45 to help Australia pile up 142 for four after being put in at the Premadasa Stadium.

England's batsmen never quite managed the necessary impetus to get over the line, but would not give up and came mighty close in the end to regaining the title they won at Lord's in 2009.

Aussies rule: The celebrations started in earnest as England were beaten in Colombo

Aussies rule: The celebrations started in earnest as England were beaten in Colombo

Enlarge

Pure delight: Ellyse Perry celebrates after dismissing Sarah Taylor

Pure delight: Ellyse Perry celebrates after dismissing Sarah Taylor

Key batsmen Charlotte Edwards and
Sarah Taylor got started, but could not sustain their innings, as
Australia shared the wickets between spin and seam, yet the inaugural
winners of this competition batted deep to finish on 138 for nine.

There was enough pace in the pitch to
make the seamers vulnerable, if slightly off target, and Australia
openers Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning cashed in against Katherine Brunt.

Eyes on the ball: Charlotte Edwards batting in the women's World Twenty20 final on Sunday

Eyes on the ball: Charlotte Edwards batting in the women's World Twenty20 final on Sunday

They were therefore off to a flying
start, racking up 47 without loss in powerplay as both Healy and Lanning
found boundaries easy to come by, especially in Brunt's second over,
which cost 16. Holly Colvin gave England a much-needed breakthrough, in
her first over, when Lanning chipped a caught-and-bowled back to the
slow left-armer to end an opening stand of 51.

At 10 overs, the score was 68 for
one, but immediately afterwards, Healy was bowled trying to pull Danni
Hazell. Cameron then dominated a second half-century stand with Lisa
Sthalekar, and had just taken 17, including a six over midwicket, from
one Anya Shrubsole over when Colvin again broke the partnership.

Enlarge

Happy days: Australia players celebrate as Charlotte Edwards is dismissed

Happy days: Australia players celebrate as Charlotte Edwards is dismissed

Cameron was caught at long-on. But
Sthalekar and Alex Blackwell lost no significant momentum in the closing
overs, as Edwards sensibly opted not to bring back the pace of either
Brunt or Shrubsole.
It seemed Australia might have a winning total, albeit on a good batting surface – and so it proved, just.

Laura Marsh went caught-and-bowled to
Julie Hunter in the fifth over of England's reply, and when Edwards was
held at deep midwicket off Sthalekar for 28 another 99 runs were still
needed.

Hitting out: Alex Blackwell batting at the R. Premadasa Stadium

Hitting out: Alex Blackwell batting at the R. Premadasa Stadium

Edwards' dismissal sparked some
telling Australia celebrations, but they were shouting even louder when
strike bowler Elysse Perry returned to have Taylor (19) caught-behind
aiming an inside-out drive in the 10th over.

From there, England's prospects were
far from obvious. A series of admirably busy stands followed, however,
with some fine late hitting from Jenny Gunn, who made 19, and Australia
had to hold their nerve to deny England's late flourish as slow
left-armer Jess Jonassen (three for 25) took the honours with the ball.

Patrick Collins on the Kevin Pietersen saga

Redemption KP's been there, done that and got the T-shirt…

PUBLISHED:

22:05 GMT, 6 October 2012

|

UPDATED:

22:05 GMT, 6 October 2012

On a steamy day in distant Colombo,
Giles Clarke wore a silk suit, a club tie and a superior stare. He
delivered his statement slowly, portentously, as if it were a prize-day
oration at one of our more expensive public schools. And, in truth, it
was priceless stuff.

‘In our society,’ said the ECB
chairman, ‘we believe that if an individual transgresses, and the
individual concerned recognises that and apologises for what they may
have caused to those involved, then it is important, and a fabric of our
society, that the individual should be given a real opportunity to be
reintegrated into our society.’

The ‘individual’, Kevin Pietersen, was
sitting a few feet away. His face was a bewildered question-mark: ‘Is
he talking about me’ And he wasn’t sure that he’d like the answer.

Not in the script: Kevin Pietersen reacts to Giles Clarke in Coilombo

Not in the script: Kevin Pietersen reacts to Giles Clarke in Coilombo

What he’d expected was a light rap
across the knuckles, followed by an assurance that he’d be back in the
England side as soon as they could fix it without losing face. Broady,
Swanny and all those other blokeish nicknames would promise to stop
laughing at him, while he would stop texting the opposition with
‘provocative’, but not ‘derogatory’, messages about his team-mates.

As a result he, KP, would intensify
his efforts to become richer and more famous, and everyone would be
friends for ever and ever. Or at least until the next time. That was
what was supposed to happen.Instead, he found Giles Clarke expounding
penal policy under the guise of a cricket decision.

KP’s advisers, who
have always done such a great job for him, hadn’t prepared him for
this. He glanced at his own script, so bland and vacuous that he might
almost have written it himself. There was that remark about how ‘playing
cricket for England was the pinnacle of any South African cricketer’s
career’.

More from Patrick Collins…

Now Abramovich must speak out as Terry and Cole saga rumbles on
07/10/12

Patrick Collins: Olly's crew thrown overboard at Medinah's own Tea Party
29/09/12

Patrick Collins: How could Hodgson get it so wrong over toxic Terry
29/09/12

Patrick Collins: Football must raise its sights above the gutter
22/09/12

Patrick Collins: Football's ugly excesses must never be mistaken for passion
15/09/12

Patrick Collins: Glorious summer of 2012 will live with us forever
08/09/12

Patrick Collins: A silver smile shows Simmonds will always be a true champion
08/09/12

Patrick Collins: Big-spending elite must heed Wenger's demand for sanity
01/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

He hoped he’d got that right. And he
really liked the bit about ‘drawing a line’ and ‘time to move forward’.
He hoped he hadn’t used it when he fell out with Natal and Notts and
Hampshire. Hard to remember. The rest of us wondered why the chairman
refused to come clean. After all, he knows that England are making a
special case of Pietersen. The player may be disruptive, narcissistic, a
royal pain in the neck, but he is an extraordinary talent whose absence
leaves a gaping hole in the middle order. And so they are bending the
rules to accommodate him.

But that was not what the man in the
silk suit was saying as on he ploughed, all wobbling jowls and
lugubrious vowels. No, he was wagging his finger, speaking very slowly,
emphasising selected words: ‘The ECB and Kevin will consider the matter
as closed, and no … further … questions … on … the … subject … will …
be … taken.’

The newly reintegrated Pietersen tried
to appear inscrutable but it didn’t work. He may not be the sharpest
knife in the box, but he has been here before.

The ECB may think it’s all over, but KP knows it has only just begun.

Tiger's Ryder Cup gesture made a perfect day even better

The back of the 18th green at Medinah last Sunday evening was the most privileged position in the whole of sport. From a range of just a few feet, we could study the stress on familiar faces, hear the faint click of ball on putter, enjoy the dawning realisation that the apparently impossible would soon become reality.

And almost as stirring as the unfolding drama was the gesture of Tiger Woods, who conceded a problematical putt to Francesco Molinari and gave Europe the victory by a point. Had Molinari missed the putt, then the match would have been drawn. Woods later explained himself by saying: ‘It was already over. We came here as a team, this is a team event. And the Cup was retained by Europe, so it was already over.’

Great gesture: Tiger Woods halves with Francesco Molinari

Great gesture: Tiger Woods halves with Francesco Molinari

In other words, Europe held the trophy and they would retain it through either a win or a draw. He was criticised in some bloodless quarters, yet it felt like a vaguely noble gesture, the act of somebody who understands the art of gracious defeat. So we were given drama and nobility, the very stuff of great sport. It seemed that the occasion was just perfect. Until we heard the yelps of the bookmakers.

Woods, it appears, was not a lofty idealist, but a base villain. It was the bookies who said so. You see, very few people place their money on a tie, which means that the tie would have been the ideal result for the corporate vultures. Tiger’s magnanimous gesture had cost them a good deal. Just how much we cannot say, since in these cases they tend to think of a figure and double it. One bunch of chancers claimed a loss of 800,000, another put their damage at a mere 650,000 and a couple more reported around half a million.

An ‘independent expert’, asked for an estimate of their total losses, came up with the sum of 10m, which is the kind of random figure your pet parrot might be ashamed to utter.

Whatever the real figures, these charmless characters, who make their money through a tax on stupidity, had caught a considerable cold. And suddenly, on the back of the 18th green, a perfect day got even better.

Football just can't get enough of Ridsdale

Football is the most generous, warm-hearted, endlessly forgiving of sports. I cite the one and only Peter Ridsdale.

A decade ago, Ridsdale was the man who ‘lived the dream’ as chairman of Leeds United. It was a golden era, with money spent as if there were no tomorrow. Unfortunately, tomorrow arrived too soon. Leeds collapsed with debts of more than 100million, and the dreamer was forced to seek alternative employment.

Dream on: Peter Ridsdale

Dream on: Peter Ridsdale

He found it at Barnsley, Plymouth and Cardiff, where his Midas touch was much coveted. Sadly, that touch deserted him again when chairman of Cardiff. A company he owned while working for Cardiff City went into liquidation owing 442,353 in unpaid tax and VAT.

‘He acted improperly and in breach of his duties,’ said the Insolvency Service. As a consequence, he has just been disqualified from acting as a company director for the next seven-and-a-half years.

But you can’t keep a great man down, and Ridsdale is now Preston North End’s chairman of football. And nobody seems to think this an odd state of affairs.

Indeed, the mood is articulated by the eminent pundit Paul Merson.

‘He must be doing something right to keep getting offered so many jobs in football,’ said Merson. ‘I’ve only met him once and I thought he was a lovely bloke. We chatted for about half-an-hour, and he was as nice as pie.’

That’s football for you: a game of warmth, generosity … and a wonderfully short memory.

PS

A few weeks ago, as the nation basked in its Olympic glow, Roy Hodgson admitted that football had a lot to learn from the spirit of the Games.

He spoke, a shade enviously, of the civilised behaviour of the players and the watchers.

‘A benchmark has been set and we must accept that we’ll be under a little more of the spotlight,’ he said.

Golden days, indeed, and Hodgson will surely recall how London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, expressed the prevailing mood.

‘These are extraordinary times,’ said Boris. ‘Why, total strangers have been talking to each other on the Tube.’

Women"s World Twenty20: England beat New Zealand to make final

Taylor has final word as she guides England past New Zealand with dominant display

|

UPDATED:

18:35 GMT, 4 October 2012

England's women cruised into the World Twenty20 final with an utterly dominant display against New Zealand in Colombo.

England have lost only one of their past 24 completed Twenty20 internationals and it was no surprise that they reached Sunday’s final with a seven-wicket victory, achieved with almost three overs to spare. They will meet West Indies or Australia in the final, and will be favourites to regain the trophy they won in 2009.

Into the final: Sarah Taylor (right) and Lydia Greenway (left) celebrate England's victory over New Zealand

Into the final: Sarah Taylor (right) and Lydia Greenway (left) celebrate England's victory over New Zealand

The team have been given increased coaching support in the past year and it is evident in their brilliant catching and fielding — areas in which they can claim to be near the equal of the men. They were far too sharp for a New Zealand side who managed only 93 for eight in their 20 overs.

Charlotte Edwards, the England captain, earned the player-of-the-match award for her innings of 33 at the top of the order in reply and for the way she marshalled her efficient and professional team.

Danielle Wyatt

Sarah Taylor and Danielle Wyatt celebrate

Good feeling: Danielle Wyatt celebrates with Taylor

‘It was another good team performance from us and our best with the ball so far,’ said Edwards. ‘It turned a lot here and it was tough but we pride ourselves on playing spin.’ If only the men’s team could say the same.

England beat New Zealand in the inaugural women’s final at Lord’s three years ago but surprisingly went out in the group stages of their defence in 2010 – against the West Indies – and are keen to make amends this time.

In Sarah Taylor they have the best player in the world of women’s cricket and she scored the winning run to finish unbeaten on 21.

Holly Colvin says England women out for Twenty20 revenge

Colvin says England women out to strike back as they try and regain Twenty20 crown

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 3 October 2012

England's women hope to move one step closer to regaining the ICC World Twenty20 crown with victory over New Zealand in the semi-finals in Colombo on Thursday.

Charlotte Edwards’s side beat New Zealand three years ago to win the title but were knocked out in the group stages in 2010.

Bowler Holly Colvin said: ‘Our goal is to put that right. We learnt a lot from that – everyone was absolutely distraught about being knocked out. Now we’re even more determined this time.

Revenge time: Holly Colvin of England celebrates with team-mate Charlotte Edwards (right)

Revenge time: Holly Colvin of England celebrates with team-mate Charlotte Edwards (right)

‘We’ve got a good mixture of youth and experience. New Zealand will be tough but our recent results have given us confidence. If we’re the team to beat then that’s a good thing.’

Edwards became the first woman to pass 1,500 runs in Twenty20 last week and, in wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor, England also boast the only other player to have hit more than 1,000 runs in the shorter version of the game.

Colvin said: ‘Lottie’s (Edwards) brilliant at the top of the order.

‘I have known Sarah since we were eight or nine. We both played for Sussex and were the only girls in the first XI at school.’

TV: LIVE on Sky Sports 1 from 9.30am.

World Twenty20 2012: India crash out despite beating South Africa

India crash out of world T20 despite beating South Africa as Pakistan seal semi spot

|

UPDATED:

17:46 GMT, 2 October 2012

India failed to reach the World Twenty20 semi-finals despite beating South Africa by one run in a gripping final Super Eight Group Two match on Tuesday.

India's total of 152 for six was not enough because in the 17th over eliminated South Africa passed the target of 121 runs that ensured Australia and Pakistan would move into the last four.

Hosts Sri Lanka will meet Pakistan in the first semi-final in Colombo on Thursday and Australia take on the West Indies on Friday in the same stadium. The final is on Sunday.

Dejected: India are out of the world Twenty20 despite beating South Africa in Colombo

Dejected: India are out of the world Twenty20 despite beating South Africa in Colombo

Scrambling: India batsman Suresh Raina dives for the crease during his innings of 45

Scrambling: India batsman Suresh Raina dives for the crease during his innings of 45

India scratched their way past 150, boosted by a late burst from Suresh Raina (45) and captain MS Dhoni (23 not out).

South Africa lost in-form opener Hashim Amla second ball but thanks to Faf du Plessis's rapid 65 they threatened a first Super Eight victory before falling just short, Zaheer Khan claiming figures of three for 22 for India.

Lakshmispathy Balaji was twice hit for six in the final over but he bowled Albie Morkel and his brother Morne to seal victory with one ball to spare.

Top scorer: South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis hits out on his way to making 65

Top scorer: South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis hits out on his way to making 65

Roar: India seamer Zaheer Khan (left) celebrates after dismissing Hashim Amla (right)

Roar: India seamer Zaheer Khan (left) celebrates after dismissing Hashim Amla (right)

World Twenty20: Australia through to last four

Australia advance to last four of World Twenty20 despite narrow defeat to Pakistan

|

UPDATED:

14:24 GMT, 2 October 2012

Australia sustained a 32-run defeat in their final Super Eights match against Pakistan, but were still able to celebrate a place in the World Twenty20 semi-finals while their conquerors faced an anxious wait in Colombo.

Pakistan will know their fate only after the result of South Africa versus India this evening, but Australia successfully booked their place in the last four as they edgily reached their qualification target of 112 runs.

Their final score of 117 for seven was nowhere near enough to win the match, with Pakistan making 149 for six in the first innings.

We're through: Australia advanced to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 despite suffering a 17-run defeat to Pakistan

We're through: Australia advanced to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 despite suffering a 17-run defeat to Pakistan

Starc the Star: Australia celebrate after Mitchell Starc removes Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez

Starc the Star: Australia celebrate after Mitchell Starc removes Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez

Big hitter: Nasir Jamshed of Pakistan goes for a boundary in the final Super Eight match in Colombo

Big hitter: Nasir Jamshed of Pakistan goes for a boundary in the final Super Eight match in Colombo

Australia skipper George Bailey won the toss and opted to field first, Mitchell Starc making good on that call when he removed the dangerous Mohammad Hafeez for four with the first ball of the second over.

The left-armer should have added the scalp of Nasir Jamshed for a duck two deliveries later, but he was dropped by Glen Maxwell at slip.

Jamshed was soon off the mark and a couple of quick boundaries by Imran Nazir got Pakistan's innings going.

The on-song Shane Watson accounted for Nazir (14) just before the end of the powerplay, but Jamshed continued compiling runs steadily alongside Kamran Akmal.

Fifty run salute: Jamshed celebrates his half century as Pakistan beat Australia to give themselves a chance of reaching the semi-finals

Fifty run salute: Jamshed celebrates his half century as Pakistan beat Australia to give themselves a chance of reaching the semi-finals

Butter fingers: Umar Akmal drops his bat as he scrambles through for a single

Butter fingers: Umar Akmal drops his bat as he scrambles through for a single

Jamshed struck Pat Cummins for the first six of the day in the 11th over and followed with a second off Xavier Doherty moments later.

Four more off Brad Hogg brought up Jamshed's 50 and Akmal clubbed a six of his own off the veteran spinner.

Doherty eventually prised out Jamshed for 55 and Starc returned to remove Akmal and Shahid Afridi as he returned three for 20.

Only Abdul Razzaq, with 22 off 17 balls, made a significant contribution in the closing overs.

Australia's dangerous opening pair failed a trial by spin, both Watson and David Warner lbw for eight to Raza Hasan and Hafeez respectively.

Eyes on the ball: Kamran Akmal plays a shot

Eyes on the ball: Kamran Akmal plays a shot

Number three Mike Hussey provided the backbone of the innings, making 54 not out in 47 balls, including the boundary that ensured his side would continue in the competition.

But he was the only man to get to grips with the Pakistan attack.

Bailey hit a four and a six before falling for 15 to Saeed Ajmal, who also deceived Matthew Wade and Cummins with successive balls.

Hafeez and Hasan finished with with two wickets apiece as Cameron White and Maxwell also fell to turn.

What England need to do to beat West Indies: Nasser Hussain

England expects: How to get on top of West Indies

|

UPDATED:

21:44 GMT, 26 September 2012

Blow out Gayle early

West Indies opener Chris Gayle is a match-winner who could take the game away by smashing the bowlers as no-one else really can. England may remember how Steven Finn got him out pulling a short ball to deep fine leg when these teams met in the Twenty20 at Trent Bridge last summer and open with his pace, and use Graeme Swann’s off-spin at the other end. It can’t be easy pulling Finn with that big heavy bat that Gayle uses and Swann could bring slip and lbw into play because Gayle likes to have a look for an over before he goes on the attack.

Master blaster: Chris Gayle is a very destructive batsman

Master blaster: Chris Gayle is a very destructive batsman

Solve the mystery

England were able to pick ‘mystery spinner’ Sunil Narine in the third Test in the summer but on these pitches in the shorter game he is a different proposition. We have noticed that the position of his thumb is different for his off-spinner than the one that turns away from the right-hander and if England can pick that then they can use their feet and get to the pitch of the ball. But if they don’t know which way it is going to turn, the much-maligned sweep could become a valuable asset.

Work it out: Sunil Narine can be a threat with his mystery spin

Work it out: Sunil Narine can be a threat with his mystery spin

Read the conditions

Stuart Broad's side did not read the conditions quite right in Colombo because even though the pitch for the India match was a little drier, they decided not to play a second spinner against India. This time they have to forget about the opposition, look at the surface and if they think it will turn, then bring Samit Patel back. Indications are that the pitches at Pallekele will be true and the ball should come on to the bat which will suit England. Forget India, the tournament starts now for Broad and his men.

Read it right: Stuart Broad needs to understand the conditions

Read it right: Stuart Broad needs to understand the conditions

World Twenty20 2012: Alastair Cook sure England can bounce back from woeful display against India

Cook sure England can bounce back from woeful display against India to topple West Indies

|

UPDATED:

21:44 GMT, 26 September 2012

Alastair Cook believes England can put their sorry performance against India behind them in Thursday's World Twenty20 Super Eight match against West Indies.

Captain Stuart Broad does not believe his team have any mental scars from their hapless performance against spin in Sunday's record 90-run defeat against India in Colombo.

And Test captain Cook agreed as he said: 'The important thing is we're through the group, so there's a clean slate.

Regroup: England are looking to recover from a dismal display against India

Regroup: England are looking to recover from a dismal display against India

'They had a bad game but that can happen to anybody and I'm sure the lads will be working hard to put that right.

'You've got to have the balance of responsibility and skill to play a big shot – that's the skill in Twenty20, staying calm when a lot of things are happening very quickly.

'I've got no worries. There's a huge amount of talent in that side and Stuart and the lads will prove what good players they are.'

Cook was unable to provide any developments in the Kevin Pietersen situation.

Pietersen, unavailable for the defence of the ICC World Twenty20 because of his differences with the England and Wales Cricket Board, is instead fulfilling a lucrative contract as television pundit for the tournament from a Colombo studio.

Cook added on Sky Sports News: 'We know the qualities he brings as a batsman but clearly issues have to be resolved before he comes back in to the side. Hopefully they can (be).'

Nip it in the bud: Stuart Broad is hoping his team will perform far better

Nip it in the bud: Stuart Broad is hoping his team will perform far better

Nip it in the bud: Stuart Broad is hoping his team will perform far better