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England’s Strauss Says Six-Run Win Can Revive World Cup Bid

England Captain Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss, captain of England Cricket team. Photographer: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

England captain Andrew Strauss said yesterday’s six-run win over South Africa can “kick-start” his team’s Cricket World Cup campaign.

Four days after a shock loss to Ireland, Stuart Broad took four wickets as England rebounded in Chennai after posting just 171 in its innings. India had a five-wicket victory over Ireland in Bangalore in the other Group B game.

“It was a huge game for us, because after the Ireland game we needed to show some character,” Strauss told reporters. “The guys dug very deep in the field, and I was delighted for the bowlers. We got away with a win and a win is all you need to kick-start things.”

England had looked in a perilous position after winning the toss and totaling 171 in 45.4 overs as Ravi Bopara scored 60 and Jonathan Trott 52. Imran Tahir took 4-38 and Robin Peterson 3-22. South Africa ended on 165 in 47.4 overs.

“We batted poorly really,” said Strauss, who was dismissed in the first over as England slumped to 15-3 after losing Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell. “To lose three wickets early on a pitch like that was criminal really. Thankfully Trott and Ravi got us back in the hunt.”

The Proteas looked poised for victory on 124-3 before losing four wickets for three runs. Morne van Wyk, on 13, was then dismissed after an eighth-wicket stand of 33 with Dale Steyn. Broad took the wickets of Steyn and Morne Morkel in the next over to wrap up the innings and finish on 4-15. Hashim Amla top scored with 42, followed by AB de Villiers on 25.

‘Move Forward’

Captain Graeme Smith made 22 before being given out on a video replay of a caught-behind decision with the score on 63-0.

“We’ve got to move forward,” said Smith, whose team won its first two games at this year’s tournament. “It’s obviously very disappointing for us not to get over the line after playing some good cricket.”

South Africa next plays India in Nagpur on March 12. England -- which now has two wins, a tie and a loss -- meets Bangladesh in Chittagong a day earlier.

England will be without opening batsman Pietersen for the rest of the tournament because of a hernia injury that requires surgery, the Daily Telegraph reported, without saying where it got the information. Eoin Morgan may be called up as his replacement, the newspaper added.

Defending champion Australia, meantime, got permission from the event’s technical committee to replace injured fast bowler Doug Bollinger with middle-order batsman Mike Hussey.

‘Left-hand Option’

Left-hander Hussey, 35, was on the original 15-man roster though didn’t make the trip because selectors didn’t want to risk carrying an injured player at the tournament.

“His skill, experience, ability against spin and the fact that he provides a left-hand option in the middle order is seen as critical in our World Cup defense now that he has successfully recovered,” Andrew Hilditch, Australia’s Chairman of Selectors, said in an e-mailed statement.

In Bangalore, Yuvraj Singh spearheaded India’s win, taking 5-31 as Ireland reached 207 all out. He then made an unbeaten 50 in India’s 210-5, reached in 46 overs.

Captain and opener William Porterfield top scored for Ireland with 75, Niall O’Brien adding 46.

The win put India atop Group B, level with England on five points and ahead on run rate. West Indies and South Africa have four points, Ireland and Bangladesh two and the Netherlands none.

Pakistan leads Group A with six points, one ahead of Sri Lanka and Australia. New Zealand has four with Zimbabwe on two.

Canada and Kenya have no points ahead of their meeting today in New Delhi.

The top four teams from each of the groups advance to the quarterfinals after a round-robin competition. The tournament, co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, ends April 2.

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