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September 27, 2002
1830 IST [updated 2100]

Pool A:
Aus | Ban | NZ

Pool B:
Ind | Eng | Zim

Pool C:
Ken | SA | WI

Pool D:
Ned | Pak | SL

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Champions Trophy final abandoned

Faisal Shariff in Colombo

Heavy rain forced play to be abandoned in the Champions Trophy final between India and hosts Sri Lanka on Sunday.

India were 14 without loss in two overs, chasing 245 for victory, with openers Virender Sehwag (13) and Dinesh Mongia (1) at the crease in the day-night affair.

Because 25 overs could not be completed in the Indian innings, the match will be played afresh on Monday.

In case the weather rules out play on Monday, the teams will share the trophy.

Earlier, brilliant bowling spells by Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag restricted Sri Lanka to 244 for 5, after they were 150 for 2 at the end of 30 overs and staring at a 280-plus total.

The duo bowled 20 overs between themselves for 59 runs and three wickets, all of which went to Harbhajan, as the Lankans failed to capitalize on a brisk start by skipper Sanath Jayasuriya.

India sprang three surprises in their final eleven. Dinesh Mongia replaced VVS Laxman while Ajit Agarkar made the final cut, ahead of veteran spinner Anil Kumble. Javagal Srinath, who flew in from London, was inducted into the side 12 hours after his arrival, in place of the injured Ashish Nehra.

Kumble's exclusion was on the cards following a listless performance in the tournament, but Laxman's exclusion was baffling because even though he did not register a huge score in the tournament, his 47-run stand with Sehwag against South Africa proved crucial in the final analysis of that match.

Jayasuriya won the toss and decided to make first use of a flat track, which had a sprinkling of grass rolled over the surface, certainly ideal for batting. Both sides went into the game with three seamers.

The ground, draped in Lankan flags, cheered as the Lankan openers made their way to the middle for the first Asian final in a tournament with more than four teams.

Zaheer Khan bowled, as he has right through the tournament, with a lot of control and verve. Srinath, however, seemed jaded and wavered in his length. Marvan Atapattu, who has 40 half-centuries and six hundreds in one-dayers, was the more aggressive of the two Lankan openers, playing with more flair.

The hosts crossed the fifty-run mark in the 10th over as Srinath proved expensive in his first spell of five overs for 36. Jayasuriya greeted Agarkar with a smashing blow to the long-on fence, taking the initial thunder away from India.

Harbhajan was introduced into the attack and the wily offie struck with the fourth ball of the over as Atapattu swept and saw the ball fly straight to Agarkar at square leg. The ball kept climbing on Agarkar, who completed the catch on the second attempt.

Atapattu's dismissal ended a 65-run opening partnership, setting the stage for a huge total. Keeper Sangakkara joined his skipper in the middle and middled the ball from the first ball he faced. Carrying the confidence of the semi-final win against the Aussies into the final, Sangakkara hooked a short ball from Agarkar for a boundary and then cover drove him in the same over.

Sri Lanka crossed the 100-run mark in the 22nd over and soon got to 150 in the 31st. Harbhajan and Sehwag put the skids on the Lankan scoring but the erratic spells of Agarkar and Tendulkar handed the initiative back to the Lankans.

Jayasuriya, who completed his 51st half-century, slogged at Agarkar, and Harbhajan stationed at mid-off took a brilliant skier. Jayasuriya was dismissed for 74 and the second-wicket partnership of 90 runs had got the hosts just the start they wanted -- 155 in 30 overs with eight wickets in hand.

It was a luckless day for India as none of the catches came to hand. Aravinda DeSilva, playing his last match in Sri Lanka, was reprieved twice when on nine.

Kaif failed to latch on to a flick at mid-wicket off Sehwag. Off the very next ball, DeSilva chanced his arm once again and pulled the ball to deep square leg fielder Tendulkar, who grassed it.

The gaffe did not cost India too dear as Harbhajan managed to induce an edge off DeSilva, who was brilliantly caught by Rahul Dravid. The greatest Lankan stroke-maker walked back without waiting for the umpire's decision for 18, to a quite reception from the crowd. (185-3)

Tendulkar, who seemed to be having a rare off day on the field, dropped Mahela Jayawardene -- batting on one -- at point.

But Sehwag and Harbhajan bowled India back into the match as the period between the 35th and the 45th overs yielded a mere 32 runs. The lean phase resulted in the dismissal of Sangakkara, who, after an industrious half-century, who was looking to reverse-sweep Harbhajan.

Tendulkar then took a brilliant reflex catch off his own bowling, diving to his left, to see the back of Jayawardene, in the 46th over.

Zaheer and Tendulkar combined well in the end to restrict the Lankan total to 244 for 5 as Russell Arnold and Chaminda Vaas failed to strike the lusty blows at the end.

Graphical analysis of Sri Lanka's innings



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