England beat Sri Lanka, enter semis

England have advanced to the ICC Champions Trophy semifinals beating Sri Lanka by 49 runs under Duckworth-Lewis method.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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England have advanced to the ICC Champions Trophy semifinals beating Sri Lanka by 49 runs under Duckworth-Lewis method in the final Group D league match at the Rose Bowl today. Chasing a target of 252, Sri Lanka were 95 for 5 in 24 overs and needed another 157 to win when play was stopped due to rain. When no further play was possible that was being continued on the reserve day after rain curtailed it midway through the England innings yesterday, the Duckworth-Lewis method was applied to obtain the result. Both the teams had one win each after beating Zimbabwe, the third team in the group, going into the last Pool D match. England will now play World Champions Australia in the semifinals at Edgbaston on Tuesday. Flintoff rips Lankan bowling Earlier, Andrew Flintoff proved why he is the world's best all-rounder as England posted a challenging 251 for seven. Flintoff blasted the Sri Lankan bowling to smithereens as he raced to his third one-day hundred off a mere 89 balls to put the hosts in command at the Rose Bowl. Flintoff's 104 contained nine fours and three sixes before he inside edged a Chaminda Vaas delivery on to his stumps in the final over. Resuming at 118 for three after rain had curtailed play at the end of 32nd over yesterday, England were stuttering at 173 for four until the 26-year old right hander opened his shoulders. Marcus Trescothick, who was 64 overnight, added two runs to his score before being run out by Tillekeratne. He shared a 53-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Flintoff. Paul Collingwood (39) then played the support role to Flintoff as the duo added 94 runs for the fifth wicket. But clearly Flintoff was the dominant partner. Dropped by Mahela Jayawardene on one yesterday, Flintoff ripped apart the Sri Lankan bowling. After hoisting leg-spinner Upul Chandana into the long on stands, Flintoff turned his attention to left-arm seamer Nuwan Zoysa and clubbed two sixes off him. Flintoff then whipped Vaas for two more boundaries in the final over before patting him to third man for a two that brought off his century. Shaky start The Sri Lankan chase never got off after they lost Avishka Gunawardene and skipper Marvan Atapattu with only 15 runs on the board. Steve Harmison gave England the start they needed when he induced an edge of Gunawardene before producing an unplayable delivery to snare Atapattu. Sanath Jayasuriya was proving to be dangerous as he smashed the seamers on both sides of the wicket. But after lifting Flintoff over the cover region, he failed to clear mid off where Darren Gough took a well-judged catch. Flintoff then rounded off his memorable day by having Saman Jayantha caught behind. The talented right-hander was beginning to construct a crucial partnership for the fourth wicket with vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene when he lost his wicket. Jayawardene, who had one of the worst matches of his career, did not stay long as he smashed a juicy full toss from spinner Ashley Giles back to the bowler. (PTI)