Saturday, October 31, 2009

England progress at Hong Kong Sixes

Defending champions England secured their place in the Cup phase of the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes after finishing top of their group today.

Chris Read's side defeated India and Pakistan but were denied the chance to finish unbeaten in the Northern Hemisphere group after losing to Sri Lanka in their final game.

"We're delighted to go through," said Nottinghamshire skipper Read. "We would like to have been unbeaten in the first round of matches but all credit to Sri Lanka - they did well and they were under pressure to get the win.

"We've yet to play our best cricket collectively. It seems there are only three guys playing well in any one game, we have yet to get it together as a unit."

England will face Hong Kong first on Sunday before tackling South Africa and then finally Sri Lanka in a round-robin format for a place in the Cup final.

"From what we've seen today, you have Hong Kong who are unbeaten, Sri Lanka have got better throughout the day and South Africa have been involved in the highest scoring games so it's going to be interesting," added Read.

Sri Lanka's five-wicket victory over England means they progress to the Cup phase by finishing second in the Northern Hemisphere group while Pakistan and India were both eliminated and will be in the Plate competition on Sunday.

Hosts Hong Kong recorded victories over South Africa, Australia and New Zealand to finish top of the Southern Hemisphere group with a 100% record.

South Africa join Hong Kong in the Cup phase as they claimed second place by defeating Australia and New Zealand.

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