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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Ganguly grimaces as Ponting purrs

Tony Lawrence | March 08, 2003 11:29 IST

Australia continued to give their World Cup supporters reasons to be cheerful on Friday, while India offered their legions of supporters ball-by-ball panic attacks and chest pains.

The two teams, both inspired by a captain's three-figure innings, ended the day with Super Six victories and four points each.

The performances, though, could not have been in greater contrast.

The awe-inspiring Australians, having already demolished Sourav Ganguly's side by nine wickets and Pakistan by 82 runs in the first phase, made it an Asian hat-trick by sweeping the Sri Lankans aside.

Without the help of a placid Colombo pitch, the Sri Lankans were hurried into submission.

Australia purred to 319 for five at Centurion, the feline Ricky Ponting stroking a run-a-ball 114 to lead his team to the second highest total of the 2003 tournament, and then cut their way through Sanath Jayasuriya's fragile top order.

At 48 for four, Sri Lanka were left to play for pride, while their captain, hit twice by express bowler Brett Lee in five deliveries, retired to hospital.

"You don't want to see anyone seriously hurt and hopefully he isn't," said Ponting. "But it's a World Cup and we are trying to bowl where the batsman is least likely to score.

"If that happens to be at the body, then we are at the body... There is a weakness in his game, we have picked up on it of late."

Jayasuriya's severe forearm bruising and chipped thumb bone may heal in time for him to play India on Monday at The Wanderers.

The mental scars, however, may prove deeper if the two sides meet again later.

India, meanwhile, scrambled to an untidy six-wicket victory over the spirited Kenyans in Friday's Cape Town day-nighter.

If the African medium-quicks had managed to get Ganguly sent to the local X-ray department, they might have won.


But the left-hander, grimacing with the rising tension, held India's imploding innings together with a 120-ball 107 not out, aided and abetted by the rapidly maturing Yuvraj Singh, who finished on a dogged 58 not out.

At 24 for three under the lights, India had looked in danger of defeat against their minnow opposition and looked so again when Rahul Dravid fell for 32.

Ganguly, however, showed true grit to score a 21st one-day century, a total only bettered by team mate Sachin Tendulkar, who made only five on Friday.

The Indian fans were not the only ones on tranquillisers by the end of Friday evening.

Spare a thought for Stephen Fleming's New Zealanders.

They watched South Africa's first-round tie with Sri Lanka on television -- a South African win would have knocked the Kiwis out of the tournament -- and on Friday they presumably did the same, knowing a Kenyan victory would go close to killing off their semi-final hopes.

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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Number of User Comments: 20

Sub: Fair point

"Ganguly, however, showed true grit to score a 21st one-day century, a total only bettered by team mate Sachin Tendulkar, who made only five on ...

Posted by Atal_Behari

Sub: You either like this guy or you hate him!!

There seems to be no middle ground as far as liking Ganguly is concerned. But I have been doing some general survey lately and have ...

Posted by Sandy

Sub: ganguly strikes but

ganguly has been a very good one day bat against mediocre teams and on indian pitches. to me ganguly is not in the same class ...

Posted by thomascherian

Sub: Dravid nearly lost the match for us

Kenya put up a brave show against India. When Rahul Dravid was batting it looked like India was never going to get there though Yuvraj ...

Posted by Madhav

Sub: RE:the report sucks!!!!!!!

Please see the second question in the post-match press conference to Ponting (Can the Aussies be beaten?) and his very honest answer. The better team ...

Posted by Kanga_Ram


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