Champions Trophy final to be replayed on Monday

Published: Monday, September 30, 2002, 1:57 [IST]
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Colombo: The Champions Trophy cricket tournament day-night final between India and Sri Lanka was washed out by heavy rain and will be replayed on Monday. India, needing 245 to win, was 14 for no loss in two overs when umpires Steve Bucknor of the West Indies and David Shepherd of England declared the match abandoned following heavy showers on Sunday. The day-night final at the Premadasa Stadium will now start afresh, according to the tournament rules. Earlier, Harbhajan Singh grabbed 3 for 27 as India restricted Sri Lanka to 244 for 5 despite skipper Sanath Jayasuriya's 74. India struck back after Jayasuriya had threatened to put his team on course for a big total with his 51st half-century, but his team mates failed to keep up the momentum against a disciplined spin attack. Off spinners Harbhajan and Virender Sehwag kept it tight when it mattered most to contain the hosts. Sehwag did not take a wicket, but conceded just 32 off 10 overs. Jayasuriya paced his innings well on a slow pitch as he initially curbed his shots to deny India early success, adding 65 for the opening wicket with Marvan Atapattu (34) and 90 for the next with Kumar Sangakkara (54). Sangakkara fell trying to step up the run-rate, caught by Sehwag off Harbhajan after hitting just two fours in his 89-ball knock for his seventh Limited Overs International half-century. The hosts had eight wickets in hand in the last 20 overs when Jayasuriya fell playing a lofted shot off seamer Ajit Agarkar, with Harbhajan taking a well-judged catch at mid-off. He hit seven fours in his 89-ball knock. The roles were reversed in the initial stages as Atapattu, known for anchoring the innings with singles and twos, outscored his hard-hitting captain. Atapattu drove firmly and fluently during his 46-ball knock before being brilliantly caught by a diving Agarkar at short mid-wicket while trying to swing Harbhajan. India played with three seamers on a slow turning pitch, but none could provide an early breakthrough. Veteran fast bowler Javagal Srinath had an off-day as he conceded 36 in his opening five overs. He joined the team early this morning after being summoned from England to replace an injured Ashish Nehra. Left-arm seamer Zaheer bowled well, but without success as he gave away 22 in his first six overs. The batsmen punished Agarkar, playing his first match of the tournament, as he went for 22 in four overs. With wickets hard to come by, pressure kept mounting on Indian fielders who fumbled as three chances went begging. Aravinda de Silva was twice dropped on eight off Sehwag's successive deliveries, first by Mohammad Kaif at mid-wicket and then by Sachin Tendulkar at deep mid-wicket. Mahela Jayawardene was let off on one, grassed by Tendulkar at point off Harbhajan. Aravinda (18) failed to make the most of the chance as he was caught behind while trying to cut Harbhajan and walked before the umpire had raised his finger, waving his bat to the crowd after playing what he had said was his last match at home. Tendulkar, however, made amends when he held a return catch to dismiss Jayawardene (13).

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