Bopara digs sorry England out of a crisis

ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss admitted his side got out of jail after Holland came within a whisker of causing a major World Cup upset.

Ryan ten Doeschate’s magnificent 119 helped Holland set a challenging target, boosted by some woeful bowling and comical fielding, of 293.

Strauss led from the front in response with 88, but a late flurry of wickets saw the asking rate climb alarmingly, before Paul Collingwood steadied the ship and Ravi Bopara got England over the line with a couple of much needed lusty blows.

Strauss’ side eventually sneaked home by six wickets with eight balls to spare and he appreciates there is significant room for improvement ahead of Sunday’s crunch clash against India. He said: “We got a lot of things wrong with our bowling. It was a very poor first 50 overs, we need to take it on the chin.

“We were very disappointed with ourselves in the field, but fortunately we got ourselves out of jail. It was nervy and we need to improve.”

WORLD CUP FINAL VENUE IS SAFE

MUMBAI’S Wankhede Stadium, the venue for the Cricket World Cup final, has been given clearance to host matches by the city’s fire department. Last week safety inspectors were unhappy that mandatory fire equipment, including water hydrants, alarms and extinguishers were still not in place. The 33,000-seater stadium will host the final on 2 April and two group stage matches on 13 and 18 March.