Flower heroics in vain as Kaif ton lifts India
Records thrilling 14 runs win under floodlights
By Marlon Fernandopulle
Despite a resolute 145 from Zimbabwe's Andy Flower,India held their nerve to record a thrilling 14 run victory in a ICC Champions Trophy day-night game at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday.

India's Mohammad Kaif who was unbeaten with 111, hits out against Zimbabwe. India won the match by 14 runs. This was Kaif's maiden international century. - Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara.

Chasing an imposing 289 runs to victory Zimbabwe made a bold reply and threatened to create the first upset of the tournament before folding up on 274 for 8 in their 50 overs.

Their run chase was led by their prolific run getter in Tests and One day Internationals Wicket keeper Andy Flower.After having an off day behind the stumps where he missed two stumps and a run out,Flower made a bold attempt to compensate, but failed at the end as he received little support from his team mates and in the process consumed 164 deliveries for his 145 runs.

The wicket -keeper batsmen who reached his fourth century in one dayers added 84 runs in 100 balls for the third wicket with Grant Flower(33) and 71 runs in 72 balls with Guy Whittal(29) to give Zimbabwe a sniff at victory.But some intelligent bowling in the tail end of the game from Sachin Tendulkar(two wickets) and Zaheer Khan(four wickets) helped India to an emphatic victory.Left arm seamer Khan was the pick of the bowlers after he picked up both Zim openers and later accounted for Guy Whittal and Sean Ervine.

Earlier in the day India, who won the toss and elected to bat first were rescued by a magnificent maiden hundred by Mohamed Kaif. The young right hander who came in when the Indian innings were in shambles at 87 for 5 wickets displayed tremendous maturity and talent despite playing in only the 19th one-dayer for his country.

Together with the in-form Rahul Dravid, Kaif added 117 runs for the sixth wickets to take the initiative away from Zimbabwe. Both right handers gave a splendid demonstration of sensible batting and intelligent running between the wickets as they accumulated singles with the occasional boundary.

Dravid finally succumbed to a fine piece of fielding by Stuart Calisle at mid-wicket but not before he had completed a stylish 71 in just 81 deliveries with the help of six boundaries.

Despite losing his partner Kaif continued to annihilate the Zimbabwe attack which lacked penetration and looked mediocre. With a little bit of luck and some fine improvisation Kaif reached his century in only 107 balls as he helped India to an imposing total.

Anil Kumble (18. n.o.) gave good support to Kaif as the Indian 7th wicket pair added 84 runs to take India to 288/6 in their allotted 50 overs. It was Zimbabwe's opening bowler Douglas Hondo who gave his country a flying start to the tournament. The 23 year old Zimbabwean who was playing in only his 6th one-dayer picked up 4 wickets in his first spell to reduce India to 84 for 4 at one stage.

Hondo who has the ability to get the ball to have a late movement, picked up three of his four wickets, caught by Alistair Campbell at first slip, while Erwine fielding at second slip accounted for his fourth wicket.

Despite having the Indians at a miserable 87 for 5 wickets in the 14th over the Zimbabwean failed to exploit the situation. They failed to attack the Indians at this stage as they allowed Dravid and Kaif to freely collect their singles and settle down.

Lanka bt. S.Korea, remain unbeaten
Kenyan 'Black Power' steals limelight with their power rugby
Bernie Wijesekera reporting from Kandy
The fourth Singer Sri Lankan Airlines International Rugby Sevens kicked off in beautiful, weather conditions provided good fare to the big crowd here yesterday. The Sri Lankans playing to a plan did well to remain unbeaten in Group 'D'. Their last match against S. Korea provided nerve-tingling rugby, trailing 14-10. Seconds before the long whistle the Lankans were on the offensive, but robbed a certain try when referee Anthony blew for a penalty against S. Korea instead of giving advantage. Still the Lankans were destined to win.

Nalaka, Weerakody, who came (as substitute) to Pushpakumara wriggled his way over the line to take the lead and the match amid jubiliation for the Lankans to remain unbeaten - 17-14.

S. Korea suffered their second defeat. Earlier they were beaten by Belgium 21-10, bowed out of the Cup. Sri Lanka and Belgium entered the last "eight". The matches were keenly contested. But newcomers (to this prestigious 7s organised by KSC) Kenya and Portugal caught the eye. Both remained unbeaten. But Kenya provided the "Black Magic". Fit and strong the Kenyans with a tradition for 7s rugby gave a superb display of power rugby. They have a good record for Int. 7s rugby. Defeated (2001) France in the World Cup 7s 14-10 and defeated W. Samoa 28-20 C'wealth 7s in Manchester, recently. Kenya take on Chinese Taipei (the defending champs) in the quarters. Sri Lanka playing pretty well should get the better of Arabian Gulf who was beaten by Portugal 28-0. The Lankans are poised to enter the last four.

Sri Lanka earlier with a better game plan outplayed Belgium (strong western opposition) capably led by Leonard de Zylwa, by 33 points (4 goals and a try) to 10 (2 tries) in a group 'D' match.

The Lankan rugby 7s was at its best where every player contributed for its success. Running and passing rugby was at its best. Lanka opened scoring due to a Belgium player lapsed from the kick off. Lakala Perera the Havies winner was at hand to receive the ball, scorched his way to touch down. This was followed by a Sajith Mallikarachi special off a short tap. to roll over. Belgium reduced off a cunning midfield move - 125. Fly-half Indrajith Bandaranayake powered his way from mid-field for Leonard, to put the finishing touches. Play maker Nalaka Weerakody before the short whistle scored - 26-5 at the interval.

After the interval dusky Radhika Hettiarachchi scored. Belgium toiled to score another unconverted try. Nalaka converted 4 tries. Ref. Anton Day. In their second match the Lankans after an early hiccup by the fast improving Indians, who indulged in running rugby who scored first. It was a testing time for the Lankans, who eventually won 36 points ( 3 goals 3 tries) to 19 (2 goals and try). It was a gallant effort by the Indians. Weerakody was at its best scoring 3 dandy tries, Lakala Perera (2) and R. Hettiarachchi (1) scored. Belgium turned tables on fancied S. Ko

Joes hold Isipathana
By M. Shamil Amit
Three good knocks by Prasanna Pallewela (57), Sandun Dias (44) and Hashan Goonetilleke (33) enabled St. Joseph's College Maradana to hold Isipathana to a draw in their Third Term Inter-School cricket match at Maradana yesterday.

Isipathana who were 41 for no loss overnight, took their score to 269 with Sanjaya Dilruksha being the top scorer with 68. The others to chip in with good scores were Dilan Anurudha (44) and Amila Surendra (32). Ranesh Perera bowled best for the Joes.

Isipathana - 269 (Nishantha Fernando 68, Sanjaya Dilruksha 66, Dilan Anuradha 44,Amila Surendra 32; Ranesh Perera 4 for 80, Rukshan Perera 2 for 34, Dilshan Bastiampillai 1 for10)

St. Joseph's - 174 for 3 atclose (Prasanna Pallewela 57, Sandun Dias 44, Hashan Goonetilleke 33; Sanjaya Dilruksha 2 for 13)

 Back to Index  Back to Index  

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.