Sri Lankan batsman Hashan Tillekeratne on his way to 28, cuts a delivery from South African bowler Lance Klusener as keeper Dave Richardson tries to stop the ball during the final match of the Quadrangular one-day Cricket Tournament in Lahore yesterday. Sri Lanka lost the match by four wickets
World champions Sri Lanka faced conflicting fortunes at the historic Qadhafi Stadium 20 months after winning the prestigious World Cup, when they lost the Quadrangular Golden Jubliee Tournament to South Africa yesterday.
The defeat by a four-wicket margin with more than nine overs to spare, may look comfortable but certainly there was nothing to be embarrassed about. Sri Lanka fought like lions and almost made a match out of it.
The Islanders were neck-and-neck with the South Africans till the halfway stage of the Springboks Innings when they reduced them to 109 for four that included wickets of Andrew Hudson (11), Gary Kirsten (7), Pat Symcox (15) and Daryll Cullinan (20).
But the world beaters lost their way after that.
Lance Klusener and Hansie Cronje rose to the occasion and shared in a match-winning 79-run fifth wicket partnership off 82 balls to help their side complete a fascinating seven-week tour of Pakistan.
Klusener, who scored a half century and also took six wickets against Sri Lanka on Thursday, was the most unluckiest batsman of the tournament despite being the most successful bowler with eight wickets.
Klusener missed his maiden century by just one run when he hit Sajeeva de Silva back to him to return dejected and disappointed. Klusener struck the ball with ferocious power and from the middle-order bat to blast 11 boundaries and two sixes in his 96-ball innings.
However, his efforts were enough to win him the Man-of-the-Final award under light drizzle from Pakistan President Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari.
Hansie Cronje batted equally well for his 33 that came off 42 balls and spiced two boundaries and a six.
While Sri Lanka will return with contrasting results, South Africa will also go home with different outcomes. South Africa came here for the first time in 1994-95 and lost all their six matches to Australia and Pakistan in the Triangular Cup. They returned last year and were unlucky to be eliminated in the quarter-finals of the World Cup by the West Indies.
Since winning the World Cup, it was Sri Lanka's fourth defeat in eight tournaments. For South Africa, who pocketed US$ 15,000 winners cheque, it was their fifth win over Sri Lanka from 10 matches against four defeats.
Sri Lanka S.Jayasuriya c Symcox b de Villiers 14 M.Atapattu c Cronje b Klusener 22 R.Mahanama c Hudson b Donald 26 A.de Silva c Klusener b Donald 24 A.Ranatunga c Klusener b Pollock 32 H.Tillekeratne c Richardson b Pollock 28 L.de Silva c Richardson b Pollock 1 K.Dharmasenna not out 24 C.Vaas not out 18 Extras (lb-8 w-11 nb-1) 20 Total (for seven wickets) 209 Fall of wickets: 1-29 2-66 3-95 4-101 5-155 6-157 7-173 Did not bat: M. Muralitharan, S. de Silva. Bowling: Pollock 10-0-42-3 (w2), de Villiers 8-1-28-1 Donald 10-0-46-2 (w1), Klusener 7-0-29-1 (nb1, w5), Symcox 10-0-37-0 (w2), Cronje 5-0-19-0. South Africa A.Hudson lbw b Vaas 11 G.Kirsten run out 7 L.Klusener c and b S. de Silva 99 P.Symcox b S. de Silva 15 D.Cullinan st L. de Silva b A. de Silva 20 H.Cronje c Tillekeratne b Dharmasenna 33 J.Rhodes not out 5 S.Pollock not out 10 Extras (w-3 nb-7) 10 Total (for six wickets in 40.4 overs) 210 Fall of wickets: 1-18 2-40 3-71 4-109 5-188 6-197 Did not bat: D. Richardson, de Villiers, A. Donald. Bowling: Vaas 6-1-34-1 (nb1, w1), S. de Silva 6-0-48-2 (w1), Muralitharan 10-0-34-0 (nb6, w1), Dharmasenna 8.4-0-47-1, A. de Silva 5-0-25-1, Jayasuriya 5-0-22-0.
Sri Lanka's One day batting sensation Sanath Jayasuriya who was signed up for US $ 500,000 byWorldtel will sign a 3 year contract valued at US $ 300,000 with Pepsi Cola International (India) tomorrow. Jayasuriya signed an exclusive five year deal with WorldTel last month which takes him into the league of multimillionaire cricketers today.
The black Superman who scored a triple century in a Test against India recently has got a five year contract which is upwards of US $ 500,000 for five years according to WorldTel boss Mark Mascaren has who is very much in the new's these days.
Jayasuriya's contract seems mediocre by current international standards but the WorldTel boss believes that Sanath could earn far more than his signing amount reflects. According to him, Jayasuriya could earn more than Pakistan's Waqar Younis, reportedly paid 100,000 sterling by Glamorgan this year if he plays County cricket next year.
Sri Lanka's National Olympic Committee has reprimanded sprint queen Susanthika Jayasinghe for making ever-increasing financial demands and even threatening to keep away from next year's Commonwealth Games if her fees for winning the Silver medal in the Athens World Games were not paid immediately.
NOC President Hemasiri Fernando and coach Derwin Perera both said yesterday they had told Susanthika to get down to training for the Commonwealth Games and for the Olympics in the year 2000.
The Sunday Times learns the International Amateur Athletics Federation has been given Susanthika's bank account number to credit the fee directly to her.
It is also reported that Susanthika has been given Rs. 1 million by her sponsor, John Keells, a house, a vehicle worth Rs. 1.2 million and Rs. 1.5 million in cash.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the star players were on a collision course when chief executive Majid Khan held Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis by the scruff of their necks and blamed them for the home team's defeat in its quadrangular tournament.
"Both Wasim (Akram) and Waqar (Younis) are past their prime," Pakistan's leading Urdu language JANG quoted Majid Khan as saying on Saturday morning.
"The two were the best bowling combination but not now," the largest circulation daily added. "Wasim and Waqar were match-winners but now they are struggling to keep up the pace set by the youngsters. They are trying to retain their places in the team which is getting tougher and tougher for them," Majid was quoted as saying.
"I think that it is time the fresh blood is injected into the team. The two are on their decline and I don't want to see a situation where Pakistan has pacers who can't get Zimbabwe out twice in a match," the newspaper said.
Majid was upset with the way Wasim Akram handled the team. "It was devastating to see such an experienced and professional cricketer like Wasim Akram make childish and amateurish mistakes."
Majid was referring to Akram's decision of sending Aamir Sohail and Ijaz Ahmad back-to-back in the match against Sri Lanka. The duo, it may be added, had come to the match with almost nothing behind them and wanted some runs to cement their places in the side. Though both the batsmen got runs, Pakistan's run-rate, which was over six in the first 10 overs, came down to little over four after 25 overs.
According to investigation, after Pakistan were thrown out of the tournament by Sri Lanka, Majid Khan entered the dressing room and blasted at the players and the cricket manager, Haroon Rashid. The first orders issued by Majid were to direct all the players to go and play first-class cricket. "Return only when you read your names (for the first Test against West Indies from Nov. 17) in the newspapers," an insider quoted Majid as saying.
However, less than half of the players appeared in the third round Qualid-i-Azam Trophy (first-class competition) matches that started on Friday. The notable missing players included Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamamul Haq, Mushtaq Ahmad, Moin Khan and Ijaz Ahmad.
Majid's attack on Wasim Akram was understandable because the Pakistan skipper had violated the selectors and included Ijaz Ahmad in the team. According to the 11-member team finalised by the selectors, Ijaz Ahmad was to make way to 19-year-old former Pakistan Under-19 skipper Mohammad Wasim.
"If the captain can't pick a playing team of his own choice, what can he do? Ijaz Ahmad had been scoring heavily for the last three years and if he was going through a bad form, the best way was to support him rather than axe him.
"I did what I should have done as a captain. If someone doesn't like it, then it's his problem," Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, clearly upset with Majid's outburst, remarked. He however, refused to comment on the chief executive's statement that rocked the cricket followers in Lahore.
The boards' unhappiness over the selection of Ijaz Ahmad for the game against Sri Lanka in which he scored 94 is understandable.
The Pakistan authorities and the selectors are adamant to clear out the players who are involved in match-fixing and betting. Last month, Salim Malik was sacked because of his suspected movements with bookies in Canada where Pakistan were thrashed 4-1 by arch- rivals India.
Next on the hit list was Ijaz Ahmad and the authorities saw a golden opportunity to chop him when he failed in the four innings against South Africa and followed by two matches in the quadrangular event.
But Wasim Akram, himself not in the good books of the officials, spoiled their game as Ijaz struck form.
But having travelled with the Pakistan team quite too often and knowing about the players, the board's intentions of sacking of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and maybe Ijaz Ahmad in the near future will be a hard nut to crack. The players are so inter-linked with each other that they might even unite and form a rebellion group against the board.
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