Cricket-Sri Lanka clash "massive" says Vaughan
09-12-2004 , 00:46? 2004 AFP
Martyn Hayhow - (AFP/File)
BIRMINGHAM, England (AFP) - England captain Michael Vaughan said Friday's
crucial Champions Trophy clash against Sri Lanka offered his side a chance
to take a step towards ending a "fantastic summer" in style.
England got their Champions Trophy campaign off to a winning start with a
record 152-run victory against Zimbabwe at Edgbaston on Saturday.
But with just three teams in a Pool and only the Pool winners qualifying for
the semi-finals, England cannot afford to lose the match against the
co-holders at the Rose Bowl.
"There's a lot at stake in next Friday's game. It's one that you want to be
playing. We are all looking forward to it," said Vaughan, who has now seen
his team win seven successive Test matches in 2004 - England's best run in
75 years, said.
"The carrot is there to end this fantastic summer. We know if we win next
Friday we're in the semi-final and that we're two wins away from a huge
His team faced a much-changed Zimbabwe team from the one that toured England
last year following the sacking of Heath Streak as captain in April and the
ensuing selection row that left the Africans without 15 senior white
Streak has been playing for Edgbaston-based county champions Warwickshire
this season and Vaughan expressed sympathy for the new-look Zimbabwe.
"It's very difficult, they are obviously in a tricky situation. It's not for
me to comment on their selection matters but I personally think someone like
Heath Streak should be playing in this competition."
England's total of 299 for seven on Saturday was built around Paul
Collingwood's unbeaten 80 which rescued the team from the depths of 123 for
four in a match held over from Friday because of rain.
"Collingwood at number six, he's perfect for that role. If we are 123 for
four his job is to see us home and get us a big total on the board and
that's exactly what he's done," Vaughan said.
"Number six is the hardest position in one-day cricket to play. Every game,
every situation changes and you have to be good enough to read the
"He' read it against the Indians at The Oval superbly well (where
Collingwood made 79) and again here."
Durham all-rounder Collinwgood modestly played down his innings. "I just
pretty much played low-risk percentage shots.
"I realized we had to build an innings and build a partnership from four
down and that was the key to building a big score on that wicket.
"We looked for three or four an over and the boundary would come along."
Meanwhile wicket-keeper Tatenda Taibu, at 21 international cricket's
youngest captain, admitted his team arrived at Edgbaston on Saturday knowing
they could not win.
Asked if the game was then beyond them, he replied: "Yes. We just took it as
a bit of practice. We just wanted to spend some time at the crease and get
close to 230-240."
And he admitted leading Zimbabwe, suspended from Test cricket following two
heavy home defeats against Sri Lanka in May which in turn prompted an
ongoing ICC investigation into Streak's allegations of postive
discrmination, had been an arduous task.
"Since I took over the captaincy it has been hard, especially early on,"
said Taibu," one of Zimbabwe's most successful black players.
"But I've learnt to accept the fact that things won't really go my way all
the time," he added ahead of Tuesday's Pool D match against Sri Lanka at The
"I really have to be patient with these boys for them to have a chance of
improving later on in life."