ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 20

The domino winds

* Maharoof comes good with career best 6 for 14

Callistus Davy reporting from Mumbai

Unheralded Sri Lanka turned the ICC Champions Trophy on its head as the defending champions West Indies suffered a humiliating blow to lose by nine wickets after making just 80 runs here in Mumbai yesterday.

It was a terrible anti-climax to a match from which much was expected and in the end only one man, Sri Lankan paceman Farveez Maharoof who grabbed the attention to finish with magical figures of 6 for 14 as he destroyed the West Indies in a revealing nine over spell.

On a slow and low pitch even the best batsman in the world, Brian Lara. had no answers to counter the moving ball after Chaminda Vaas, the true servant of Sri Lanka cricket for many years, set the tone with the prize wicket of opener Chris Gayle in the fourth ball of the match.

From then on the Sri Lankan bowlers gave the West Indies batsmen no breathing space and it was all over even before the 20th over could be bowled. It was easy for Maharoof to wreak havoc with the rest of the West Indies batsmen cornered. He was like a cat among the pigeons and the undisputed match-winner in the end.

He knew how to cash in on the slow pitch bowling right upto the batsmen that brought him a rich haul, his career-best and the best in the history of the eight year old tournament.

Yesterday, the Sri Lankans had all the reasons to celebrate.

It was the worst start made by the West Indies in recent memory as Sri Lanka sent down the first shock waves in the tournament. Statistically the result may be the only one of its kind to be witnessed in the tournament but Sri Lanka could not have asked for a better entry into the final round games. The onus is now on Sri Lanka more than any other team.

That Sri Lanka knocked off the target with ease was of less importance.

Only three one-day matches were played at the venue called the Brabourne Cricket Stadium prior to yesterday's game since 1989 with the last match played as far back as 1996. Interestingly the venue will also host the final on November 5.

Sri Lanka will now travel up to Jaipur to confront Pakistan in the first of the crunch games on Tuesday.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.