WC 2003 - Lanka vows to storm back, says games on
Published: Saturday, March 15, 2003, 4:07 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Lanka's WC destiny in the hands of the Indians
East London: Relieved Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore celebrated his team's World Cup reprieve on Friday after India's seven-wicket win over New Zealand.India's win handed Sri Lanka the chance to claim the last semi-final spot if it can beat Zimbabwe on Saturday. If it fails, however, it will be the Kiwis who will join Australia, India and Kenya in the last four."The game's on," said Whatmore after spending a tension-packed day watching television in his hotel room knowing that had Stephen Fleming's Black Caps won at Centurion, Sri Lanka would be out of the World Cup."You'll find a very committed team on Saturday morning. With the result having gone our way, the boys will be jumping out of their skins now."Captain Sanath Jayasuriya, suffering from a chipped bone in the thumb as well as tonsilitis, was confident his team could take advantage of New Zealand's slip-up."If we can go through to the semi-finals it will be a fantastic thing for us," said Jayasuriya. "Up to the Super Six we played good cricket. Our last two games (against Australia and India) were disappointing but other than that we have played good cricket." Jayasuriya said Sri Lanka would be going "flat out" against a Zimbabwe team who have already been eliminated, while Whatmore indicated that Sri Lanka would persevere with out-of-form batsman Mahela Jayawardene. "From time to time, some of the greatest batsmen will struggle. I remember Greg Chappell having seven ducks in a row for Australia and the selectors persevered with him. "Unfortunately the timing couldn't have been worse for Mahela and Sri Lanka but that's life and that's cricket."