22nd April 2001
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Image Sri Lanka’s captain Sanath Jayasuriya (2nd R) celebrates victory over Pakistan with team mates. Sri Lanka stunned Pakistan in the series final on Friday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. - Reuters


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The best for the last

Early defeats were big wake up calls-Whatmore
Marlon Fernandopulle reporting from Sharjah

A jubilant Sri Lanka Coach Dav Whatmore paid a glowing tribute to his team’s captain Sanath Jayasuriya and his boys for turning it on when it was needed most and toppling favourites Pakistan to win the glittering ARY Gold Cup in Sharjah.

It was Sri Lanka’s fourth triumph in the desert venue and the second successive victory following their win last November.Although Sri Lanka won all five games last year this year the road leading to the final was not what the team expected.We came here as favourites but lost three games in the first round. It was not a nice way of entering a final especially after losing to a side that has not qualified to the final.Nevertheless it was a fine collective effort by the team that helped us turn it on and upset the favourites”,”said a jubilant Lankan Coach Dav Whatmore.

Following the defeat at the hands of the Kiwis,Sri Lanka cancelled their off day (Wednesday).and were at the nets after the captain insisted that the team spends more time at practices prior to the finals.

Continuing in the same vein Whatmore said,”The defeat against the Kiwis was a big wake up call. In fact it prompted us to do a bit of soul searching and dig deeper.We realized that there was a big difference between what we are capable of and what we are showing.And so we played the final not only to show our capabilities but also to restore our pride.The team responded magnificently and did a great job”

On his captain’s performance the coach said,”I think that Sanath has a magic wand in his hand.Time and again he has done it for the team and he rose to the occasion at the final when it was needed most, winning the toss,playing a good innings and picking up a crucial wicket”

Skipper Sanath Jayasuriya led from the front when he played a restrained innings,curbing his explosive play to a certain extent and helping in building an innings.To add the icing on the cake the captain picked up the crucial wicket of Saeed Anwar which incidentally was his 200 th one day wicket.Speaking to the Sunday Times later the captain said,”I knew I had to stay in the middle for a longer time and score if we have to get a big total especially after the early dismissal of Kaluwitharana. This prompted me to cut a few of my aggressive shots and be more cautious in my approach.It worked well and later Marvan and Mahela played very well to help us to 297 runs”.

“It was not going to be easy defending that total.But I think all our bowlers did well to pick up wickets although they went for a few runs.And then our fielding was also upto the mark and we held some good catches. Arnold’s catch in particular was a very good one to dismiss Inzamam.All in all it was a fantastic team effort in the final that helped us to win the ARY Gold Cup “,concluded a smiling Jayasuriya.

Malik’s action under scrutiny

Pakistan off spinner Shoaib Malik was reported by Match Refree Justice Ahamed Ibrahim for a suspect bowling action following the ARY Gold Cup final on Friday. The match referee has already informed the captain and manager of the Pakistan team and the bowler is now expected to go through the ICC review process for Bowlers with suspect actions.

Lanka strike Sharjah Gold

Sri Lanka’s batsmen rose to the occasion in style as they piled up 297 for the loss of seven wickets against Pakistan in the ARY Gold Cup final in Sharjah yesterday. Winning the all important toss Sri Lanka elected to bat first after making two changes to the team that lost to the Kiwis.T M Dilshan and Dilhara Fernando replacing Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera. Pakistan went in with an unchanged side.

Sri Lanka got off to a bad start when Romesh Kaluwitharana ran himself out after a mix up with Sanath Jayasuriya with the total on eight.Atapattu then joined Jayasuriya and the pair steadied the innings with some sensible batting.Jayasuriya in particular took 13 balls to get off the mark and hit his first boundary, a six only after facing 29 deliveries. The captain curbed his explosive strokeplay initially, but once he settled in, attacked the Pakistani bowlers to help Sri Lanka reach a four plus run rate after a sedate start.He hit Abdur Razzaq for two successive sixes in an over which caused the bowler 16 runs.The Lankan captain rode his luck after he was dropped by Waqar when on 44 and later by wicket keeper Farahat when on 49.

Jayasuriya eventually reached his 50 in 72 balls with the help of three sixes and two fours.Atapattu as usual played second fiddle to his captain and helped to add 114 runs for the second wicket before Jayasuriya on 70 top edged a sweep to Inzamam Ul Haq at short fine leg off Shoaib Malik.

With Sri Lanka on 122 for 2 in the 27th over Mahela Jayawardene strode to the middle and got into the act immediately. He survived a dropped chance after attempting a reverse sweep before plundering the Pakistani bowlers to all corners of the field.

He reached his half century in only 48 balls hitting five fours and a six. Atapattu on the other end was not content in watching.After reaching his 50 in 88 balls the stylish right hander threw caution to the wind and joined in the run fiesta.Dropped by Inzamam soon after reaching his 50, Atapattu cut loose with a delightful array of strokes which included a fine six off Malik over extra cover.The third wicket pair added 111 runs in only 101 balls before Atapattu was needlessly run out attempting a second run with his personal score on 88.

At this stage Sri Lanka were cruising along at 233 for 3 in only the 44th over.Mahela Jayawardene perished when on 67 going for another ambitious reverse sweep as the Lankans lost their fourth wicket at 263 in the 47th over.In their attempt to swell the total further Sri Lanka lost quick wickets but reached an imposing 297 for 7 after batsmen Nuwan Zoysa hit the final delivery from Saqlain Mushtaq for a straight six.

Inspired spells from pace pair Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Zoysa, who shared five wickets, helped to dismiss Pakistan for 220 in 41.4 overs.

Pakistan were left to rue dropping four easy catches and missing a simple stumping chance while Sri Lanka, who lost both their round-robin matches to Pakistan, produced breathtaking outcricket.

Pakistan, who reached the final with a 100 percent winning record, scored at breakneck speed - they averaged eight runs an over in the first 12 overs - but that was offset by the loss of wickets at regular intervals,

Zoysa plunged them into trouble in his first over, the second of the innings, when he dispatched openers Imran Nazir and Shahid Afridi.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Humayun Farhat hit 39 off 34 balls but Vaas, who was hit for 32 runs in his first four overs, produced the most productive three-wicket spell of the match to rip through the Pakistan middle order.

His wickets included the prized one of Inzamam-ul-Haq, with Russel Arnold snapping up a one-handed catch.

Pakistan slumped to 108 for six in the 15th over, leaving Saeed Anwar to provide a measure of sanity. Anwar hit 62 off 64 balls, with seven fours and one six, but once he fell to Jayasuriya’s left-arm spin, the Sri lankans were not to be denied their success.

The high points of the Sri Lanka innings were stands of 114 for the second wicket between Jayasuriya and Atapattu, and 111 for the third between Atapattu and Jayawardene. - (MF)

Scoreboard Sri Lanka innings ST Jayasuriya c Inzamam-ul-Haq b Shoaib Malik 70 RS Kaluwitharana run out (Shoaib Malik/Waqar Younis) 7 MS Atapattu run out (Saeed Anwar/Abdur Razzaq) 89 DPMD Jayawardene c & b Saqlain Mushtaq 67 SI de Saram st Humayun Farhat b Saqlain Mushtaq 12 WPUJC Vaas c Inzamam-ul-Haq b Saqlain Mushtaq 4 RP Arnold b Waqar Younis 2 TM Dilshan not out 3 DNT Zoysa not out 11 Extras (lb 6, w 20, nb 6) 32 Total (7 wickets, 50 overs) 297 DNB: CRD Fernando, M Muralitharan. FoW: 1-8, 2-122, 3-233, 4-263, 5-267, 6-275, 7-277. Bowling: Waqar Younis 10 1 55 1 (1nb, 1w), Abdur Razzaq 9 0 53 0 (1w), Mohammad Sami 7 1 30 0 (2nb, 2w), Saqlain Mushtaq 9 0 54 3 (3nb, 4w), Pakistan innings Imran Nazir c Kaluwitharana b Zoysa 5 Shahid Afridi c Vaas b Zoysa 10 Humayun Farhat c Muralitharan b Vaas 39 Saeed Anwar c & b Jayasuriya 61 Inzamam-ul-Haq c Arnold b Vaas 3 Younis Khan c Jayawardene b Vaas 4 Abdur Razzaq c & b Fernando 5 Shoaib Malik b Muralitharan 44 Waqar Younis c Zoysa b Muralitharan 20 Saqlain Mushtaq c Dilshan b Fernando 7 Mohammad Sami not out 4 Extras (lb 5, w 6, nb 7) 18 Total (all out, 41.4 overs) 220 FoW: 1-13, 2-17, 3-86, 4-95, 5-103, 6-108, 7-159, 8-205, 9-207, 10-220. Bowling: Vaas 6 0 36 3, Zoysa 6 0 51 2 (3nb), Fernando 9.4 1 49 2 (4nb, 2w), Muralitharan 10 1 29 2 (2w), Arnold 6 0 29 0 (1w), Jayasuriya 4 0 21 1 (1w)Shoaib Malik 8 0 56 1, Shahid Afridi 7 0 43 0 (6w)

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