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Published: Thursday, July 19, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
SL sidesteps India on its way to title
Colombo: India captain Saurav Ganguly conceded that Sanath Jayasuriya had taken the triangular One-day cricket series final away from his team on Sunday.[an error occurred while processing this directive]"He has the habit of winning crucial games against India," Ganguly said after his team's 121-run defeat against Sri Lanka in the day-night final.This was not first time Jayasuriya had scored big in the final against India, having smashed a career-best 189 at Sharjah last year."But we did not underestimate other players," Ganguly said. "Russel Arnold played a good innings in the end, and Mahela Jayawardene batted well in the middle overs. They played well as a team."The Indian captain said bowling was the main reason for losing eight finals since April 1999."We are losing because we are giving away too many runs in the finals," he said. New Zealand chased 265 against us at Nairobi last year, Sri Lanka scored 299 at Sharjah and then the West Indies posted 290 in Zimbabwe."Ganguly said his team made a crucial error when Zaheer Khan dropped Jayasuriya at long off on 71."If the catch had been taken, they would have scored around 40 runs less," he said."But overall, we just didn't play good cricket. They outplayed us in every department of the game. Just about everything went wrong for us."Jayasuriya said he was pleased with his batsmen's performance. "The middle order got runs and that helped us set a stiff target," he said."Everything went according to the plan," said the Sri Lanka captain. "We won the vital toss and then did not lose a wicket in the opening 10 overs."Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore said his team saved their best for the last. "We have the knack of winning big games," he said.