Colombo: In-form England opener Marcus Trescothick put the Zimbabwean attack to the sword with a brisk 119 in the Champions Trophy One-day tournament on Wednesday. The aggressive left-hander smashed two sixes and 11 fours in his 102-ball knock for his fourth century as England posted 298-8 after electing to bat in the day-night match at the Premedasa Stadium.
This was his second successive century, having made 109 in his previous game against India in the final of the NatWest Trophy at Lord's in July. The opener's consistency augured well for England ahead of its crucial second and last league match against India on Sunday. India leads the three-team Group 'B' following its 14-run victory over Zimbabwe in its opening match. Only the group-winners will qualify for the semi-finals. Trescothick put England on course for a big total with a 141-run stand off 161 balls for the second wicket with skipper Nasser Hussain (75). He nearly overshadowed Hussain with his big hitting, dominating the Zimbabwean attack from the opening over itself. He smashed 14 in a Douglas Hondo over and continued to bat in the same vein. Hondo conceded 33 in his opening four overs and fellow-seamer Heath Streak 28 in as many overs as Trescothick struck the ball hard and clean to find various parts of the boundary. The cheap dismissal of Nick Knight did not bring England's run-rate down as 67 came in the opening 10 overs, thanks to Trescothick. Knight made just eight before inside- edging a Hondo delivery on to his stumps. But a seven-man Zimbabwean attack could never put pressure on Trescothick, who raced to his half-century off just 40 balls with nine fours. He took 49 more deliveries to complete a well-deserved hundred. Hussain also looked in excellent touch, middling the ball well from the beginning and rotating the strike intelligently. The England captain fell forcing the pace, missing the line of a Streak delivery while trying to pull. He struck six fours in his 97-ball knock. Trescothick and Hussain had placed England in a position where their team could afford to lose wickets in pursuit of runs. Trescothick hoisted spinner Grant Flower for his second six, but was bowled repeating the shot off the next delivery in the 39th over. Zimbabwe grabbed five wickets in the closing 12 overs, but it was too late to stop England from raising a big total. Hondo was the highest wicket-taker, finishing with 4-44 off six overs. Grant Flower and Streak each bagged two wickets.
Hussain opts to bat against Zim on winning toss