WC 2003 - Rain washes SAs dream, SA loses out by one run

Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2003, 8:21 [IST]
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Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya celebrates his team's qualification into the Super SixesJohannesburg: South Africa's World Cup jinx struck once again in the most heartbreaking circumstances on Monday when torrential rain washed out its do-or-die clash with Sri Lanka in Durban and it was eliminated from the tournament.Chasing 269 to win, South Africa was 229 for 6 in 45 overs when Kingsmead was buried beneath the deluge.Under the Duckworth-Lewis method, the scores were level and when play was finally called-off the match was declared a tie and both sides shared two points each.That meant Sri Lanka, with 18 points, Kenya and New Zealand, with 16 each, qualified from group B leaving South Africa, on 14, to once again curse the jinx that has struck it in the past.In 1992, rain robbed them of a semi-final win against England in Sydney while, in 1999, it lost out to Australia in the semi-final in Birmingham when the game finished in a tie but it was defeated having finished lower in the Super Six table.When the players went off on Monday, Mark Boucher was not out 45 with Lance Klusener on one leaving the team needing 39 runs off 30 balls to win the game.Boucher was left to regret the last ball before the umpires took the players off.Having just hit Muthiah Muralitharan for a six, he then pushed the last ball into space but opted not to risk the run - had he done so, South Africa would have gone through at the expense of New Zealand.Opener Herschelle Gibbs had hit a majestic 73 to set South Africa on its way before it was pinned back losing quick wickets in the middle-order.Earlier, opening batsman Marvan Atapattu hit a flawless 124 and Aravinda de Silva 73 as the 1996 champions made 268 for 8 from 50 overs after winning the toss in the day-night match. The drama at Kingsmead meant that New Zealand, who had beaten Canada by five wickets at Benoni earlier in the day, went through after enduring a nervous wait.Having bowled out Canada for 196, the Kiwis hit out to secure victory in 23 overs.The tension at Kingsmead had reached boiling point even before a ball was bowled as Sri Lanka threatened to boycott the game after their appeal to review the run-rate rule was rejected by the International Cricket Council (ICC). But team manager Charnika Munasinghe said Sri Lanka went ahead and played the match "in the spirit of the game" but not before informing the ICC they were taking the field under protest. The Sri Lankans argued that New Zealand's run-rate was unaffected since it had boycotted its game against Kenya at Nairobi on February 21 for security reasons.Sri Lanka, on the other hand, saw its run-rate drop drastically after losing to Kenya and wanted the ICC to amend the rules so that the forfeit by the Kiwis was taken into account. Copyright AFP 2001

Atapattu's masterly ton leaves SA with a difficult task

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