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Saturday, Oct 01, 2022
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Champions Trophy

Sri Lankan Skies Soak Indian Hopes

Rain ruins India's advantage for the second successive day as an abandonement has Saurav Ganguly sharing the winner's podium with Sanath Jayasuriya. More Coverage

Sri Lankan Skies Soak Indian Hopes
Sri Lankan Skies Soak Indian Hopes
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

In an anti-climax to the much-hyped mini World Cup, India and Sri Lanka were named the joint winners of the Champions Trophy after rains ruined India's advantage once again and forced the abandonment of the final match for the second successive day at Colombo today.

India were placed at 38 for one in 8.4 overs in reply to Sri Lanka's 222 for seven when rains disrupted the game. The match was being replayed today after it met a similar fate yesterday when play was abandoned with India at 14 without loss while chasing Sri Lanka's 244 for five.

Like yesterday, India succeeded in restricting Sri Lanka to a modest score and then had a good start to their innings but were helpless against the rain gods.

Following yesterday's experience when veteran speedster Javagal Srinath bowled an expensive spell, India left him out today despite flying him from England to replace an injured Ashish Nehra for this final. They included leg-spinner Anil Kumble in his place keeping in mind the turning nature of the track.

Sri Lanka effected a similar change and brought in spinner Upul Chandana in place of Pulasti Gunaratne.

The move seemed to have yielded results for the Indians as Kumble not only bowled an impressive spell, but also got rid of the dangerous Aravinda de Silva who scored 27, an improvement over his yesterday's score of 18 in his last match at home soil.

The Indians had reduced Sri Lanka to 71 for four in the 17th over before the top-scorers Mahela Jayawardene and Russel Arnold rescued the innings with an 118-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

The two batsmen, who did not have much to show for in this tournament, denied the Indians any more success till the 46th over when Jayawardene got out after making a solid 77 with six boundaries.

Arnold carried on and remained unbeaten on 56 off 101 balls.

India had a much better start today with Zaheer Khan crashing through the defences of Sanath Jayasuriya to dismiss the Sri Lankan captain off the very first ball of the match.

He very nearly sent back Kumar Sangakkara too when the left-hander, who exchanged his usual number three position with opener Marvan Atapattu, snicked the last ball of the over to Dinesh Mongia in the second slip. Mongia dived full length and got both hands to the ball but failed to hold on.

Mongia compensated for his mistake in the eighth over when he took an equally spectacular catch off Ajit Agarkar's bowling to dismiss Atapattu who could make only ten runs today compared to the 34 he had scored yesterday.

De Silva, who hit Agarkar for 22 runs in an over, was the next man to go, caught by Mohammad Kaif off Kumble with the score on 63.

Three overs later, India got the prized wicket of Sangakkara who was run out in a terrible mix-up with his partner Jayawardene. Sangakkara scored 26.

Jayawardene and Arnold resurrected the innings after that, scoring slowly but ensuring that Sri Lanka did not lose any more early wickets.

Jayawardene finally became the second of the three victims of Zaheer when he lobbed a simple catch to Saurav Ganguly at covers.

Chandana was out cheaply for one before Chaminda Vaas scored a quickfire 17 off ten balls to take Sri Lanka past 200. Vaas was out in the last over of the innings, caught by Kumble off Zaheer.

India went through a couple of quite overs when they began their reply and even lost the wicket of Dinesh Mongia (0) who gave a simple catch to Jayawardene while trying to pull a shorter delivery from Vaas.

But Sehwag soon came into his own and scored three boundaries before lofting Vaas for a stunning six over covers. He remained unbeaten on 25 off 22 deliveries while Tendulkar, who came at number three, was not out on seven.

PTI

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