Congrats from Azharuddin. Azhar doffs his hat as the crowd acknowledges the hurricane hitting of Sanath Jayasuriya who is in the background. Pic by Dunstan Wickremaratne.
Former Australian captain and Worldtel commentator Greg Chappel watched by millions of people here and in other countries yesterday bitterly attacked Sri Lanka accusing our world champion team of behaving unsportingly and disgracefully when our batsmen accepted the umpires' offer to call off the match due to bad light.
Many and widely varied were the issues, ideas and view points on the controversial if not confusing note on which yesterday's third one-day international between India and Sri Lanka ended at the SSC grounds.
We have admired Greg Chappel as a batsman and captain. We have respected him as a commentator but we must tell Mr. Chappel today that we are not obliged to listen to blistering sermons from him on sportsmanship, fairplay and ethics. the hard words he used were unwarranted, unacceptable and defamatory of the Sri Lankan team.
The game was going well and wide open till the rain intervened when Sanath Jayasuriya was again in spectacular form. Sri Lanka was then set a target of 195 runs in 25 overs almost eight runs an over calculated on a basis that was heavily weighted in favour of the team that batted first. Anyway that was the rule and we accepted it. Our batsmen hit out and in the process lost wickets. By six p.m. yesterday, the umpires light meter read 1.6 far below the required minimal light level of 3.2. Further two of our low order batsmen were at the crease. So when the umpires, acting according to rules and principles told our batsmen that the light was bad and they had the option of calling it off, Sri Lanka did just that.
Then came Mr. Chappel's tirade. We wonder what pricked or provoked him so much. Perhaps he had some other assignments today, may be that's why he blew his top and urged the paying public to stay away from today's replay as a mark of protest. That was a blow below the belt Mr. Chappel, similar to your infamous under-arm ball.
Having said that we must also say that despite all the rules and the valid reasons to abandon the twilight drama, Sri Lanka as world champions and having ruthlessly demolished India in previous matches could have been magnanimous and gone on and even lost, but in all its glory. But Greg Chappel under-cut Sri Lanka when he said Arjuna Ranatunge's magnificent men were afraid to lose. Don't judge others by your standard, Mr. Chappel. Sports Editor
Rain and bad light forced the third one day International between Sri Lanka and India to be abandoned at the Sinhalese Sports Club Grounds yesterday. The game will be played today, afresh at the same venue starting at 10.25 am.
India scored 291 for nine wickets in their alotted 50 overs and Sri Lanka were set a target of 195 in 25 overs after rain intervened in the eighth over. However when play resumed bad light halted play and Sri Lanka were badly placed at 132 for six in 19 overs.
The decision by umpires K.T. Francis and T M Samarasinghe to offer the light to the players when Sri Lanka were lowly placed, was not accepted well by the Indian players and their management. However it was quite evident that the light at that stage was not sufficient for play as indicated in the umpires light meter which indicated a level lower than the minimum required for play.
Sri Lanka who had already won the three match series 2-0, brought in Pushpakumara, Duleep Liyanage and Ruwan Kalpage in place of Sajeewa Silva, Vaas and Muralitharan. Vice Captain Anil Kumble was replaced by Nilesh Kulkarni for India.
Batting first India got off to a sedate start and lost both openers Ganguly and Tendulkar to be 44 for two. But a fine 162 run stand for the third wicket between Rahul Dravid (78) and Robin Singh (100) helped the visitors to a challenging 291 for 7 in 50 overs.
Robin Singh sent in as a pinch-hitter justified his position with a maiden century in as many balls which included 11 boundaries and one six. Dravid compiled a stylish 78 which was studded with nine boundaries. But with the departure of Dravid and Singh the Indian innings fell apart as they lost six wickets for 23 runs in the last four overs. Only Azharuddin made any contribution after that striking 34.
Sri Lanka who required to score at 5.9 runs per over started off in blazing fashion with Sanath Jayasuriya continuing his onslaught on the Indian bowlers. Jayasuriya who leads in the latest Wisden Test rankings thumped Chauhan for 23 runs (4 x 4, 1x6,+1) in the fifth over and later Prasad for two successive sixes to reach his 50 in only 25 balls. When the heavens opened up Sri Lanka were 80 without loss in only 7.3 overs.
When play resumed after one and a half hours Jayasuriya looked to have lost his touch and was soon out for 68, top edging Kuruwilla to be caught at fine leg. The departure triggered a mini collapse as Atapattu, Ranatunge, Mahanama and Kalpage all followed in quick succession as Lanka slumped to 122 for 5. With vice captain Aravinda DeSilva only left of the recognised batsman, the target of 195 looked increasingly difficult. De Silva's departure a few overs later prompted Chandana and Lanka De Silva to accept the light offered by the umpires.
In case rain intervenes during the innings of the team batting second the following factor is used to arrive at the revised target.However a minimum of 25 overs have to be bowled in a 50 over game before a decision is made.
Overs Factor 25 0.67 30 0.76 35 0.84 40 0.90 45 0.96 50 1.0
Example: If the side bats first and scores 291 in 50 overs and rain intervenes during the team batting second and only 25 overs could be bowled the target in 25 overs for the team batting second would be 291(The total) X 0.67(factor)=194.97
S.Ganguly c Mahanama b Pushpakumara 14 (Attempted pull over mid-wkt, top edge ct at covers) S.Tendulkar c Ranatunga b Liyanage 27 (Leg glance ct at leg slip) R.Singh c Pushpakumara b Dharmasena 100 (lofted drive ct. at long off) R.Dravid c Kalpage b De Silva 78 (Flick off his pads ct at mid wicket) M.Azharuddin b De Silva 34 (Attempted hit over the bowlers head) A.Jadeja st L.de Silva b De Silva 6 (Wide delivery down the leg side) N.Mongia run out 1 (Direct hit from Liyanage coming in from third man) R.Chauhan run out 2 (Beaten by a throw from Mahanama at cover pt) A.Kuruwilla run out 4 (Direct hit from Atapattu to non striker's end from long off) N.Kulkarni n.o 3 V.Prasad n.o 2 Extras (LB-6, W-12, NB-1) 19 Total (in 50 overs, for 9 wkts) 291 Fall of Wickets - 1-30, 2-44, 3-206, 4-268, 5-273, 6-274, 7-278, 8-281, 9-288. Bowling: R.Pushpakumar 6-0-47-1; D.Liyanage 7-0-26-1; K.Dharmasena 9-0-51-1; R.Kalpage 6-0-44-0; U.Chandana 3-0-22-0; A. De Silva 10-0-55-3
S,Jayasuriya c Dravid b Kuruwilla 68 (Attempted pull shot top edge ct at fine leg) M.Atapattu run out 27 (Beaten by a throw by Dravid from cover point) A.de Silva c Prasad b Singh 22 (lofted shot ,ct at long on) A.Ranatunga c Chauhan b Singh 0 (Flick off his toes. Ct at backward square leg boundary) R.Mahanama c Dravid b Singh 8 (Lofted drive over bowlers head, ct at long-on) R.Kalpage c and b Kulkarni 1 (Attempted shot on the on side) L.de Silva not out 0 Extras - (LB-2, W-3. NB-1) 6 Total (in 19 overs for 6 wkts) 132 Fall of Wickets: 1-85, 2-96, 3-97, 4-116, 5-122, 6-132. Bowling: R.Chauhan 3-0-31-0; A.Kuruwilla 5-0-43-1; V.Prasad 3-0-21-0; N.Kulkarni 4-1-15-1; R.Singh 4-0-20-3.
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