Sri Lanka win toss and elect to bat

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Jaipur:Sri Lanka will bat first against a depleted Pakistan side in their Champions Trophy Group B game played here at Sawai Mansingh stadium.

The build-up was overshadowed by the revelation that Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif have been sent home after failing a drugs test. And replacements Yasir Arafat and Abdul Rehman did not arrive in time to be considered for selection in Jaipur.

Sri Lanka named an unchanged side in the hope of improving a run of 10 wins in their last 11 one-day games. "The confidence is very high and we are playing some good, smart cricket. But every match you have to start from scratch," said skipper Mahela Jayawardene.

They were particularly impressive in their last game against West Indies, which they won by nine wickets after bowling Brian Lara's team out for just 80.

"The guys have been working hard and we are building up nicely. The intensity is good and as captain, you can't ask for more," Jayawardene said.

Despite losing their new ball pair and having to cope without regular skipper and best batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq, who is serving ban for brining the game into disrepute, Pakistan still have plenty of talented players at their disposal.

Even without Shoaib and Asif, they will still field a useful seam attack with Umar Gul, Rana Naved, Rao Iftikhar Anjum and Abdul Razzaq all in the squad.

And it is their mental approach, which may ultimately determine whether they are capable of halting Sri Lanka's winning run. "We have only one plan. Win or lose, we want to play good cricket," said skipper Younis Khan. Sri Lanka off to fine start: Jayasuriya's little comeo provided Lanka a good start before Ifthikar Anjum who joined Pak after the hurried exit of strike bowlers Akhtar and Asif over doping, rattled the timber of Sanath Jayasuriya (48 off 35, 5 X4s 2X6s). Lanka is placed comfertably with 63/1 in 9 overs. In-form Upul Tharanga (12) and Mahela Jaywardene(0) were at the crease


Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Marvan Atapattu, Upul Tharanga, Tillkaratne Dilshan, Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan.

Pakistan: Younis Khan (captain), Imran Farhat, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Rana Naved, Umar Gul, Mohammad Hafeez, Rao Iftikhar.

Umpires: Simon Taufel (AUS), Billy Bowden (NZ)


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