Joyce jinx continues
One player driven away in an ambulance, another sent home because of injury and defeat against a team they should whip.
Yup, it was another miserable day for the England cricket team.
They lost by two runs to Sri Lanka in last night’s Twenty20 crash, bang, wallop jamboree at the Rose Bowl.
And two new boys — Ed Joyce and Glen Chapple — may be sidelined for all five of the one-day internationals against Sri Lanka, which start at Lord’s tomorrow.
Joyce was taken to hospital after suffering an horrendous-looking ankle injury as he tried to make a catch near the boundary.
The Middlesex batsman’s right foot contorted horribly as he landed and he went down in agony. Joyce received lengthy treatment before the ambulance arrived and play was held up for 12 minutes.
Skipper Andrew Strauss said: “We came out pretty pumped up and that injury took some steam out of us. It was terrible to watch but I think it is better than it looked at first. Ed’s ankle was dislocated but has popped back in.”
Chapple was earlier withdrawn from the squad and dispatched back to Lancashire because of the abdominal strain sustained during his four overs against Ireland on Tuesday.
England are already without captain Michael Vaughan, all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, fast bowler Simon Jones and spinner Ashley Giles.
To make matters worse, England lost despite the tourists leaving out star bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas.
Marcus Trescothick scored 72 from 57 balls before being run out and Strauss made 33, including four straight boundaries off pace ace Ruchira Perera. But there were no other major contributions.
The key moments were a brilliant diving catch on the boundary by Lasith Malinga that accounted for Kevin Pietersen and Trescothick’s run out in the penultimate over. Sri Lanka were dismissed from the final ball of their 20th over for 163 — a disappointment after openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga blasted 75 in the first eight overs.
It was in the second over of their innings that Jayasuriya sent an uppercut shot off Steve Harmison flying towards Joyce at third man.
The ball flew over his head but as he turned to chase, his right ankle twisted inwards — the slow-mo replay looked terrible.
Joyce went down and was quickly surrounded by his team-mates and the medical team.
Wicketkeeper Geraint Jones had an angry exchange with a spectator after objecting to a comment.
Paul Collingwood was England’s unlikely bowling hero with four wickets, including both openers.
Strauss added: “It was a great day’s cricket but we’re disappointed to come out on the losing side in the end. It looked for a while that we’d win but the run-out of Tres was key.”
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