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Physical Disability World Series - England’s qualifying hopes suffered major setback

Physical Disability World Series
Physical Disability World Series
©England and Wales Cricket Board

England’s hopes of qualifying for the Physical Disability World Series finals day suffered a major setback following a 25-run defeat to India in a rain-affected match at Kidderminster.

Progress to the last four at Blackfinch New Road on Tuesday could now be dependent on the margin of victory in Monday’s final group-stage encounter with Bangladesh.

Liam O’Brien claimed three for 15 as India posted 130 for seven from a revised 15 overs on the back of 53 from Ravindra Sante.

England lost wickets too regularly in reply as they managed 99 for eight in a rain-reduced reply.

The inclement weather that has dogged this tournament forced the players off for the first time after just 5.2 overs.

By then India – who won the toss – were a healthy 56 for two, courtesy of a lightning start by openers Wasim Khan and Sante. Both hit sixes in an opening over from Danny Hamm which went for 22.

Sante hit 53 from 38 balls before he was fifth out with the score at 116, brilliantly pouched by a diving Will Flynn on the legside boundary.

Callum Flynn and Jordan Williams also held outstanding catches while Liam O’Brien, bowling with vim and vigour, finished with three for 15.

In response, England – set a revised 132 via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method – were forced off at 14 for none after just 14 balls.

When the players returned after a short break the new target was 125 from 14 overs.

Angus Brown (24) was first to go in the sixth over with the score at 36, missing a ball that turned from left-arm spinner Vikrant Keni.

Fellow opener Liam Thomas, who had scratched around to find rhythm was next out for four before Jamie Goodwin (10) soon followed – also bowled by Kunal Phanase, whose solitary over brought him two wickets for three runs. 

The left England were facing an uphill battle at 48 for three with a ball left of the seventh over.

And so it proved. In the search to keep up with the rising rate, batters came and went.

Though Liam O’Brien (19) and Jordan Williams (18) raged against the dying of the light, England finished well short.

Progression will now require brave hearts and possibly even a smattering of luck, with the outcome of tomorrow’s first game between those old rivals, India and Pakistan – and the latter’s superior net-run-rate – a potential factor.

Coach Ian Salisbury said: “We have to park that really quickly. We can’t change that now – we have  to remember all the things we did well.

“In the field we were outstanding to keep them down to that total – definitely a gettable score. We were maybe a bit unlucky with the weather, but those are the rules.

“Angus Brown started really well, but we just kept losing wickets at bad times. Fair play to India, too, they also fielded brilliantly.

“There’s a lot we can take into tomorrow, but batting wise we have to be stronger.”