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England knocked out in World Cup semi-final despite Sugg century

6th December 2014

Report by the England & Wales Cricket Board

Luke Sugg’s fourth hundred of the Blind Cricket World Cup was in vain as holders Pakistan beat England by eight wickets to reach tomorrow’s final.

Vice-captain Sugg’s 105 from number four helped England post 264 for eight in the Cape Town semi-final and took his tournament tally to a whopping 629 runs. Yet Pakistan, one of the powerhouses of blind cricket who defeated England by 207 runs in the group stage and will now play rivals India in the showpiece, overhauled the target in 17.4 of their 40 overs.

Muhammad Jamil led the chase with 117 not out from 57 deliveries, including a stunning 18 fours and two sixes, at the top of the order while Amir Ishfaq’s 20-ball 58 also hurried Pakistan along.

Ed Hossell claimed England’s two wickets, the first thanks to captain Matt Dean’s catch and the second by bowling Ishfaq. Justin Hollingsworth earlier made good on Dean winning the toss with 53 at the top of the order.

On a gloriously sunny day, Hollingsworth and Sugg added 56 for the third wicket before the centurion dominated a stand of 82 with Matt Page.

After wickets had fallen around him, Sugg was the last man out in the closing overs having struck eight fours in his 85 balls.

Sugg, 25, said: “It’s been the tournament of my career so far. Before this series I had only hit two centuries, both against Australia.

“To hit a couple [sic] against Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan to add to the one I scored against Australia in the kind-of quarter-final is great on a personal level.

“But it’s sad on a team level that we’re out of the tournament.” Dean added: “Ideally we wanted to score about 350, but it wasn’t to be.

“We fell short, but in saying that we had some great performances with the bat from Justin, Luke, Matt Page, and others chipped in as well. Another 50 runs and who knows?”

Agreeing with Dean about England’s total, Head Coach Ross Hunter said: “Everyone’s devastated but I think that’s a good state of English cricket.

“If you’d asked England teams over previous years, they would never have believed they would win a World Cup. We got to the point this morning where we really believed.

“We had a plan against Pakistan. Luke Sugg batted outstandingly. We probably were 40-50 runs light of where we needed to be to start to put them under real pressure.

“But again, we’ve proved that Pakistan are human. They’re not super heroes. That’s something we’ll take a huge positive from going into future tournaments.”

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After the semi-final a number of those involved tweeted their thoughts.

Ross Hunter (@Hunter_Cricket): Outstanding effort from all 24 involved in this World Cup. Feels like the start of something, not the end

Luke Sugg (@LukeSugg19): Today wasn't our day, defeat to the Pakistanis. Great tournament from all though boys! So proud to be part of this team!!!!

Si Ledwith (@SiLedwith8): So proud to be a lion. We achieved so much this tour and have immense strength moving forward.

Dan Field (@DanField42): Pretty devastating to lose in the semi vs Pakistan but great performances in this comp from Justin Hollingsworth & Luke Sugg

ECB Head of Disability Cricket Ian Martin (@CricketOnWheels): Proud of all the boys & staff at the blind cricket World Cup. Real team effort. Gutted to lose in the semis but the better team won.