Belfast Telegraph

Cricket World Cup: England expects the best of Rankin

By Ian Callender

County team-mate Ian Bell has backed Boyd Rankin to come good in Ireland’s World Cup clash against England at the MS Chinnawammy Stadium in Bangalore tomorrow.

The Warwickshire pace bowler endured a nightmare first match against Bangladesh last week, conceding 62 runs in nine overs, but England batsman Bell believes Rankin has the strength to bounce back.

“I think Boyd has got a lot of ability and he is someone who could go quite a long way in this game,” said Bell. “Certainly for Warwickshire, I have seen him bowl some fantastic spells at good pace and with really good bounce.

“Playing at Dhaka is probably not the easiest place to play as a big 6ft 6in-plus guy. If you are slightly off line to someone as good as Tamim Iqbal, you get punished.

“This wicket (at Bangalore) will probably have a bit more pace and bounce than Dhaka so we are going to have to play him well with the new ball. We are lucky that we have got someone like Straussy and KP (Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen) in good nick.”

There is no-one showing better form in this World Cup than the England captain, with Strauss following up his 88 against the Netherlands in England’s opening game with his best ever one-day innings which, deservedly, brought him a career best 158.

The fact that it was against co-hosts India, in front of such a hostile crowd, only enhanced its stature — it moved him up eight places to 13th in the batting world rankings — and Ireland’s best hope tomorrow is that he is due a failure.

The England total of 338 for eight, to earn a memorable tie against India, underlined what a challenge the Irish are facing if they are to cause an upset win and young George Dockrell, Ireland’s most economical bowler against Bangladesh last week, knows it will take a Herculean effort to concede only twice as many runs as he did in Dhaka.

“A few balls turned for the spinners in Sunday’s match but I’ll just be trying to hit my areas and won’t get disheartened if I don’t. Dhaka was slow and skidding so I bowled a fuller length. Here, the ball won’t do as much so I’ll have to change my length and field settings,” said Dockrell.

“We will have to work hard to keep the total down but we have a strong batting line-up also.”

Dockrell also confirmed that the batting collapse against Bangladesh was forgotten and the team is ready to move on.

“We’re just focused on Wednesday’s game. We’ve done well in our last two games against England. We were on top in the World Twenty20 game in Guyana when the rain came and at Stormont in 2009 we only lost by three runs, a game we should have won.”

Ireland’s only selection dilemma is who Alex Cusack replaces in the starting line-up. Andrew White, after a disappointing 50th ODI with the bat is the favourite to make way, especially if captain William Porterfield (one of four Warwickshire players involved tomorrow, England batsman Jonathan Trott will be the other) does not ask him to bowl.

The majority of the squad will have a new look tomorrow after taking part in a Shave or Dye campaign yesterday in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. Porterfield’s hair is now purple and Rankin’s colour of choice is white with blue streaks.

e FAST bowler Kemar Roach claimed a hat-trick as West Indies beat Netherlands by 215 runs.

The 22-year-old took the first World Cup hat-trick by a West Indian in superb figures of 6-27 as the associate nation capitulated for 115 after being set a target of 330.

Belfast Telegraph

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