ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 38

Lankans thumped at Andhra Stadium

A run a ball 107 by Chamara Silva was in vain as it could not prevent India from running away with the Hero Honda ODI series when they recorded an emphatic seven wicket victory with six overs to spare in the final one dayer played at the ACA VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam yesterday. The match was reduced to 47 overs due to a wet outfield with India winning the toss and opting to field.

Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid holds the victory trophy during a presentation ceremony after beating Sri Lanka in the fourth one-day international cricket match in Vishakapatnam, yesterday. -AP

It was Chamara's maiden one day ton which had 12 boundaries and a six which saw Sri Lanka get back into the game after being in a perilous position of 56 for 4 in the 14th over. In fact this was the third consecutive match that the Sri Lanka's have been in this position following the two matches in Rajkot and Goa which they recovered in the same fashion.

The Sri Lankans put themselves in a mess from a healthy 42 for no loss sliding to 56 for 4 before Chamara came to the wicket and added 68 runs for the fifth wicket with T.M. Dilshan who has had a fairly good series. Chamara followed with two more productive stands for the sixth and seventh wickets with Russel Arnold and Farveez Maharoof with whom he added 64 runs which further boosted the Lankan innings. These two partnerships helped Sri Lanka end on a formidable 259 for 6 with Chamara remaining unbeaten on 107. But when the Indians went in quest of their target Virender Sehwag and Robin Uthappa who came in after Ganguly had retired due to a cramp began smothering the Sri Lankan attack. They went at the rate of over seven runs an over and posted the 50 in just 41 balls. The duo were separated having added 92 runs with the dismissal of Uthappa for a well compiled 52 made in 53 balls with nine boundaries and a six, but a sound foundation had been laid.

Chamara Silva in action yesterday - AFP

The Indians got bogged down and lost two quick wickets for the addition of only 24 runs. But Ganguly coming back and joining Yuvraj Singh took the game under control as the pair just cantered the Indians with some prolific batting, despatching the Sri Lankan attack to all corners of the ground. The pair made things look easy on being associated in an unbroken stand of 145 to power the host team to victory.

Out of touch Yuvraj came back into form at last as he remained unbeaten on 95 in just 83 balls that included 11 boundaries and three sixes while Ganguly's knock of 58 n.o. consisted of three to the ropes three over it. Consistent Sourav Ganguly raked in the man of the series award.

The Lankan team will arrive in the island this morning.

Ganguly backs India for Cup glory

Sourav Ganguly believes India will be a force at the World Cup after winning two one-day series in recent weeks. Veteran left-hander Ganguly was man of the series against Sri Lanka after his unbeaten 58 helped seal a seven-wicket victory in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

"We're going to the World Cup in a good frame of mind. The wickets are going to be similar and we are quietly gelling into a very good outfit," he said.

"The bowling looks good, the batting is superb and the fielding is picking up." Ganguly, 34, retired with cramp in the first over of India's chase for 260, but returned to provide valuable support to Yuvraj Singh, who blasted an unbeaten 95. "I've been hitting the ball well since South Africa. I've been consistent and scored runs when required. I didn't have a good night's sleep, and I had to bowl six overs after a long time in hot conditions, but I pulled through," he added.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.