WC 2003 - We didn~~t want to hurt him, had to stop him scoring
Published: Saturday, March 8, 2003, 21:42 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Jayasuriyas WC hopes alive, X-rays reveal no fracture
Centurion: Australian captain Ricky Ponting admitted on Friday his team had targeted his Sri Lankan counterpart Sanath Jayasuriya in the World Cup Super Sixes match on Friday."Obviously you don't want to see anybody getting seriously injured, but it is the World Cup and if it's going to stop him scoring runs, then we'll bowl there," Ponting said.Jayasuriya retired hurt on one after being hit on the left forearm by a 150kph delivery from Brett Lee as the reigning champion booked its place in the semi-finals with a 96-run demolition of Sri Lanka at the SuperSport Park.The Sri Lankans, replying to Australia's imposing 319for five, were shot out for 223 after Lee sent Jayasuriya to hospital with bruising and then wrecked the top order with three wickets to make it 48 for four.Veteran Aravinda De Silva played a lone hand with a superb 92 off 94 balls, but the damage done by Lee at the start made victory impossible as the required run-rate rose to nine an over half way through the innings.X-rays taken at hospital did not reveal a fracture but a chipped bone in the thumb kept Jayasuriya out of the rest of the game. "We're trying to bowl where their batsmen are least likely to score," Ponting said. "If that happens to be at the body then it will be at the body. We knew Jayasuriya is weak in this area and when you bowl him on his body he tends to wriggle."We're not going to go out there and bowl him wide ones because he's going to smack us over cover or point every time - that's a weakness in his game and we've picked up on that of late."That is one main things in our approach - target the weakness of the opponents and we did the same against Sri Lanka." Australia, which carried forward a maximum 12 points after winning all six preliminary round matches, earned four more and found itself in the semi-finals even before its two remaining Super Sixes games against New Zealand and Kenya.Jayasuriya said that besides the bruised forearm, he also had a fracture in his left thumb which was caused by another hit a few balls earlier. "It's quite badly bruised and there is a fracture as well," the Sri Lankan captain said."Maybe tomorrow we'll know more, but at the moment we'll just have to wait and see." Team physiotherapist Alex Kontouri said he will observe Jayasuriya's progress for the next 48 hours before deciding whether he can play in the next match against India at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Monday.