WC 2003 - Match-winner Symonds fears backseat final role

Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2003, 20:53 [IST]
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Port Elizabeth: Big-hitting Andrew Symonds took defending champion Australia into its third successive World Cup final on Tuesday and then admitted he could be reduced to a supporting role in Sunday's finale at the Wanderers.

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"I was batting lower down the order today and I get the feeling that the guys above me could all make big scores in the final," said Symonds who hit 91 in his team's total of 212 for seven against Sri Lanka on another slow St George's Park pitch.When rain stopped play with 11.5 overs remaining, Sri Lanka was struggling at 123 for seven after Brett Lee had claimed the early wickets of Marvan Atapattu, Hashan Tillekeratne and Avishka Gunawardena while danger man Aravinda de Silva had been run out by a direct hit from Andy Bichel.According to the Duckworth-Lewis method used for curtailed matches, Sri Lanka should have made 172 by that stage, which meant it lost by 48 runs.

"After I made a 100 against Pakistan in the first game, it gave me a roadmap on how best to play the game when the ball gets softer and you need to accumulate runs," added Symonds."I just try and chip in with the bat and the ball and field well. It all beats standing in the deep doing nothing." The match was a sad end to the glittering international career for veteran Sri Lanka batsman de Silva who had made 11 when he was run out and then confirmed his retirement from the game.

"I was hoping to have one more game in the final," said de Silva who was part of the World Cup winning side of 1996. "Today was a very emotional day for me but we just didn't apply ourselves in the match."Copyright AFP 2001

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