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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report


WC Group of Death: How things stand

N Ananthanarayanan in Port of Spain | March 22, 2007 10:25 IST

Bangladesh skipper Habibul Bashar fears Wednesday's 198-run defeat by Sri Lanka could scupper his team's hopes of qualifying for the Super Eights at the World Cup.

Bangladesh boosted their chances of advancing into the second round for the first time after shocking 1983 champions India by five wickets in their opening Group B match.

However, all the hard work seemed to come undone on Wednesday when Sri Lanka overwhelmed them following a sloppy all-round display.

"I'm very sorry, it was a bad match for us," said Bashar, who dropped two catches and misfielded.

"It was a bad day. I hope we will never have a day like this again."

Opener Sanath Jayasuriya overcame cramps to hammer 109 off 87 balls, his 24th one-day hundred. He powered Sri Lanka to 318-4. Bangladesh were bowled out for 112 chasing a revised victory target of 311 in 46 overs in the rain-hit game.

QUALIFYING RACE 

Sri Lanka are in pole position to qualify for the Super Eights, but India, the other fancied team, need to beat the 1996 winners in their final game on Friday to be in contention for one of the two berths.

A defeat would knock them out and Bangladesh could qualify with Sri Lanka if they beat debutants Bermuda on Sunday.

"We've to look at the India-Sri Lanka game now," Bashar said.

Even if India win, Bangladesh can force a three-way tie in which case two teams with superior run rate would go through.

"We have a little advantage, we would know what we need to do," Bashar said referring to the fact that they will play their final group game two days after India.

"Even if we had lost by a close margin, we could have improved our net run rate which would have helped us in the last match."

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene praised Jayasuriya and his team's clinical job against a young Bangladesh side.

"From the first ball itself we knew what we had to do," he said. 

"It was a brilliant effort from Sanath, a great hundred," he said. "I remember somebody asking him whether he wants to retire. This is the time to ask him."

Jayasuriya, the man-of-the-match, was modest despite needing treatment for cramp.

"I'm not worried about getting hundreds," he said. "It was a crucial match today and we wanted to win convincingly."

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