WC 2003 - We would prefer to face Lanka in final: Ganguly

Published: Saturday, March 15, 2003, 4:29 [IST]
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Centurion: Indian captain Saurav Ganguly rejoiced at his team's seven-wicket triumph over New Zealand on Friday, then hoped Sri Lanka will play them in the World Cup final.The Indian win virtually knocked the Kiwis out of contention and gave Sri Lanka a chance to enter the semi-finals if it defeats Zimbabwe, already eliminated, at East London on Saturday."It was just another win for us, but there were other factors involved as we want Sri Lanka to play Australia in the first semi-final at Port Elizabeth," said Ganguly, whose team play Kenya in the other semi-final at Durban on Thursday."I think Sri Lanka has a very good chance to beat the Aussies on that slow Port Elizabeth wicket. "Frankly, we would rather face Sri Lanka in the final than Australia, but the Sri Lankans will have to beat Zimbabwe first and then Australia."Ganguly said the win over the Kiwis did not settle scores of the 2-0 rout in the Tests and the 5-2 defeat in the One-dayers which India suffered on the tour of New Zealand before the World Cup."I said before the match we just wanted to win and there was no grudge. We played well and deserved to win. But the win over Pakistan was the biggest, much bigger than this."The Indian captain, however, took a swipe at former New Zealand skipper Martin Crowe, who had suggested during that tour that Ganguly should resign his post."All I can say is that I still see him in the commentary box," Ganguly said.Ganguly surprised many people by winning the toss and electing to field but it was a decision which paid rich dividends as his side celebrated its eighth win in nine World Cup matches here."This is our third game at Centurion and I knew that the wicket gets better in the afternoon," said the skipper. "I have said all along that we have lots of match-winners in the team and the middle order proved it today," Ganguly said. "I believe a team needs to enjoy the game and we are enjoying our performance and the dressing room has a fantastic, enjoyable atmosphere."Off the field we are enjoying the company of each other and winning game after game adds to the enjoyment." Copyright AFP 2001

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