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ICC Champions Trophy
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September 12, 2002
2130 IST

Pool A:
Aus | Ban | NZ

Pool B:
Ind | Eng | Zim

Pool C:
Ken | SA | WI

Pool D:
Ned | Pak | SL

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Sri Lanka win with
much to spare

Faisal Shariff in Colombo

Sanath Jayasuriya posted his 13th one-day international century as Sri Lanka scored a thumping eight-wicket victory over Pakistan in the opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy in Colombo, on Thursday.

The 33-year-old left-hander, who returned to the team after dislocating his shoulder some three weeks ago, hit an unbeaten 102 as the hosts, replying to Pakistan's 200 all out, cruised to victory, scoring 201 for two, with more than 13 overs to spare.

With The Netherlands, the other team in the group, not expected to pose much of a challenge, Sri Lanka are virtually through to the semi-finals.

Earlier, after the pyrotechnics relating to player contracts, possible strikes, et al, the throbbing drumbeats of the inaugural ceremony at the Premadasa International Cricket stadium came as an anti-climax of sorts.

In isolation, though, it was a brilliant display -- a cultural extravaganza that beggared recent opening ceremonies. There was colour in the swirling form of a thousand dancers, there was the throb of the drums, the pageantry of elephants... and the famed Colombo group 'Wildfire', performing the Champions Trophy theme song.

The business part of it came when International Cricket Council president Malcolm Gray handed over the 20,000 pound sterling trophy to the host nation, represented by Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.

The silver and gold trophy, part of the family of trophies the ICC is trying to build, was made by Asprey and Garrard of London, jewellers for the royal family.

The PM declared the tournament open, then walked out with Gray and the two captains, Waqar Younis of Pakistan and Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka. Wickremasinghe tossed the coin, Younis called right and took strike, the dancers and elephants ambled off the centre and the audience buckled down for the real business of the day -- the inaugural match of the 2002 edition of the Champions Trophy.

A heel injury to Inzamam-ul Haq prompted Pakistan to include the 28-year-old Misbah-ul Haq to strengthen the middle-order, and send Shahid Afridi ahead along with Saeed Anwar.

Sri Lanka opted for three seam bowlers -- Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando and P Gunaratne -- and two specialist spinners in Muthiah Muralitharan and Upal Chandana.

Pakistan innings

It was the worst possible start for Pakistan, when Shahid Afridi swished at a delivery from Gunaratne in the fourth over and edged the ball to the keeper. (12-1)

Shoaib Malik walked in at number three, unaware that he would be part of an undesirable part of history. Vaas, pitching one on length, struck Shoaib on the pads and asked the question. Umpire Daryl Harper drew a rectangle in the air and the first technological conformation for a leg before decision was made. The red and green lights have been done away with and replaced by a yellow light, which signals that the field umpire is in consultation with the third umpire.

A minute later, Harper's finger spoke and Malik walked away with a single against his name, leaving Pakistan two wickets down for 17 runs.

More disaster awaited Pakistan. Two balls later, Saeed Anwar played the ball down to backward point and saw Yousuf Youhana halfway down the pitch. Murali ran from point and threw the ball at the non-striker's end. Youhana was out without scoring and Pakistan seemed to be staring down the barrel.

A ball later, Anwar played straight past the bowler, Gunaratne, who got a hand to the ball before it crashed into the stumps. The third umpire though confirmed a wafer-thin decision in favour of Younis Khan.

The tournament sure had gotten off to a flier.

Jayasuriya had his field placed to precision, with three men guarding backward point, third man and the gully areas for Anwar. Despite that, in the ninth over, the bearded southpaw played a delectable cut shot for four.

Anwar, on his arrival in Colombo, had said that he is undecided about his cricketing future and, barring a single big innings, his chances of playing in the World Cup next year are as good as an India-Pakistan Test series.

Here, he batted with a certain level of circumspection, eschewing the extravagant strokes, and instead collecting the singles. Pakistan crossed fifty in the 15th over in the face of some disciplined Lankan seam bowling. Chaminda had bowled eight overs on the trot, giving 21 runs for Shoaib's wicket.

Muralitharan was introduced into the attack in the 20th over and off his second ball, Anwar drove straight to Chandana, in the covers, who grassed the ball.

Younis Khan batted patiently for his 35 and then played the ball on to the stumps while attempting the sweep. His 70-run partnership off 107 balls with Anwar hauled Pakistan out of troubled waters. From 17 for 3 to 87 for 4, the pair gave the Pakistan total a semblance of respectability.

Keeper Rashid Latif was sent ahead of Misbah-ul Haq and after a serene period in the middle, he tried to up the tempo and smashed Chandana for a four through long-on. But his brief aggression at the crease was terminated when a slog sweep off Murali was nicely taken at the mid-wicket fence by Dilhara Fernando. He was out after a 24-ball 21.

Latif had enjoyed the fortune of being awarded five bonus runs when a Chandana delivery hit a helmet lying just behind the wicketkeeper.

Pakistan were 120 for 5 with another 22 overs yet to be bowled in the innings. Misbah-ul Haq, who had rescued the Pakistan innings against Australia in the final of the Nairobi tournament, with a useful partnership with Shoaib Malik, blasted a straight six off Chandana.

Anwar reached his 43rd half-century off 79 deliveries before he was dismissed while pulling Dilhara Fernando to mid-wicket fielder Chandana, for 52. His 82-ball knock had five boundaries and 26 singles and just 12 runs scored in front of the wicket. (141-6)

Abdur Razzaq and Haq stitched together a 30-run partnership before the Pakistan innings went off the rails. Razzaq was brilliantly caught by Aravinda DeSilva, who ran back from mid-on. The last four wickets fell for 29 runs, with Misbah-ul Haq playing a stubborn knock of 47. Fernando picked up his third wicket of the innings, knocking the batsman's leg stump out of the ground.

The Pakistan innings folded for 200 runs inside their allotted 50 overs, once again exposing how brittle their middle-order is.

Sri Lanka innings

Wasim Akram gave Pakistan a chance for redemption in his first over when he had Jayasuriya nicking the ball over the outstretched hands of Abdur Razzaq at second slip. More action followed when a caught behind appeal off Akram in the fifth over failed to move Harper. Jayasuriya was on 20 and still recuperating from the dislocated shoulder injury that kept him out of action for the last couple of weeks. But the opening batsman controlled the game thereafter, though with thick slices of fortune going his way.

Waqar Younis was unlucky too when Jayasuriya, looking to pull him, lobbed the ball in the air between the stumps and the wicketkeeper.

A smart piece of fielding from Abdur Razzaq saw Marvan Atapattu dismissed for eight in the eighth over. Then, soon after, Sangakkara was trapped in front by a delivery from Akram that pitched outside off and jagged back in to rap him bang in front of the wickets.

Lanka lost two wickets for the addition of a single run in the space of five deliveries, as Pakistan smelt a chance to claw back into the game.

Aravinda DeSilva walked out into the middle to a huge roar from the capacity Premadasa crowd. Akram, Pakistan's finest bowler, rapped him on the pads and asked the question to Harper, who turned it down without referring to the third umpire. Earlier in the game, Harper had marked himself as the first umpire in history to give an lbw decision with assistance from the third umpire.

This piqued the Pakistanis no end and the animosity was palpable when Aravinda barged into Afridi, who was returning to his bowling mark.

But Jayasuriya and DeSilva then got together for a fine exhibition of stroke-play. There were pulls and cuts which were played with aplomb as Waqar lost the plot and spread the field to delay the inevitable.

Jayasuriya got his 51st one-day half-century while DeSilva got his 60th. He is now second only to Inzamam-ul Haq, with 62 fifties.

The duo notched up their hundred-run partnership off 109 balls as Jayasuriya exploded and raced away into the nineties. He crossed the 8000-run mark in one-dayers when he took a single off Afridi and became the eighth batsmen in one-day history to reach the milestone.

Jayasuriya played the cut to score his 10th boundary and complete his 13th one-day hundred, off 118 balls.

The 156-run partnership between DeSilva and Jayasuriya saw Lanka reach the target with 16 overs to spare and eight wickets in hand.



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