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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Sri Lanka eyes on India-NZ match

Marcus Prior | March 13, 2003 17:59 IST

Sri Lanka will prepare for their final World Cup Super Six match against Zimbabwe with one eye -- and perhaps two -- on events elsewhere.

World champions in 1996, Sri Lanka are relying on their sub-continental rivals India to beat New Zealand at Centurion on Friday to keep them in the tournament.

An India victory would allow Sri Lanka to snatch the last semi-final spot if they beat the Zimbabweans the following day.

A New Zealand win over India, however, would end Sri Lankan interest once and for all.

Sanath Jayasuriya's team prepared as normal with nets on Thursday.

"We'll certainly be watching the game very closely but there's not much we can do about it. It's out of our hands," coach Dav Whatmore said.

Sri Lanka will surely spend Friday afternoon in front of the television at their East London hotel rather than in the nets.

How the Zimbabweans lift themselves for their final game of the tournament, meanwhile, is another difficult question.

Effectively gifted a place in the Super Sixes by England forfeiting their fixture in Harare and by a washed-out match against Pakistan, the tournament co-hosts have looked jaded and disorganised.

A humiliating seven-wicket defeat to Kenya on Wednesday only served to underline their failure to perform.

Injuries to key players have played a part, but Zimbabwe have beaten only Namibia and Holland, whilst suffering decisive defeats to Australia, India, New Zealand and then the Kenyans.

To make matters more sombre still, Zimbabwe are set to lose their best player for good.

Andy Flower is Zimbabwe's top run-scorer and has been the fulcrum of the side's batting for several years but is widely expected to announce that the Sri Lanka match will be his last for his country.

SCANT COMFORT

Flower, together with team-mate Henry Olonga, wore black armbands during the team's first game of the tournament "to mourn the death of democracy" in Zimbabwe.

The team will draw scant comfort from their recent record against Sri Lanka.

Although it has been well over a year since the sides met, the previous six matches all went to Sri Lanka. Zimbabwe's last win was in Harare in 1999, at the end of another lost series.

In 27 meetings since the 1992 World Cup in New Plymouth, Zimbabwe have won only five times.

Two meetings and two years ago Chaminda Vaas took a record eight for 19, the only time a bowler has taken eight wickets in a one-dayer, as Zimbabwe were dismissed in Colombo for 38, the second lowest team total of all time.

© 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: 2




Sub: SL into Semis

Definetely SL will enter into semis..coz anyhow NZ will lose their match to INDIA...........


Posted by Net4india





Sub: India Vs Nz Match

India should beat NZ and we should help for the Asian country to come for the semi's And Srilanka should defeat the Austrilans in the ...


Posted by Subrahmanya.K.Adiga




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