Sri Lanka put one foot in Super Eights

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2007, 8:59 [IST]
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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AFP):Sri Lanka virtually guaranteed themselves a place in the World Cup Super Eights with a 198-run thrashing of Bangladesh in their second Group B game on Wednesday.

It was not all gloom and doom for Bangladesh, however, the surprise five-wicket victors over former champions India in their opening game are hotly fancied to beat Group whipping-boys Bermuda in their final first-round game on Saturday.

India need to beat Sri Lanka on Friday in a bid to claim a spot in the second phase, likely on run-rate difference from Bangladesh, should the latter beat the Bermudians.

In what would be one of the biggest shocks in cricketing history, Ireland were closing in on a Super Eights berth thanks to Pakistan's thumping of Zimbabwe.

Pakistan racked up a massive 349 all out in 49.5 overs. Zimbabwe were struggling at 30-3 off 10.2 overs in reply when heavy rain stopped play in their Group D match at Sabina Park in Kingston.

A tearful exit by skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq was overshadowed by Imran Nazir's second career limited overs century.

Inzamam made a brief cameo of 37 off 35 balls, but Nazir plundered 14 fours and eight sixes in 160 from 121 balls.

Last Sunday, Inzamam announced that this match would be his last one-dayer for Pakistan, and he would also give up the captaincy after a tournament overshadowed by the death of coach Bob Woolmer.

Adding to the Pakistanis' misery was the revelation that Jamaican police were treating Woolmer's death as suspicious.

At the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Sanath Jayasuriya smashed a quickfire century to help Sri Lanka post a challenging 318-5 against Bangladesh.

The left-handed opener, who had left the field on 83 due to cramp, returned in the closing overs to score an 87-ball 109, with seven sixes and as many fours, for his 24th hundred in one-day internationals.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene (46), wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara (56) and Chamara Silva (52no) all chipped in as Bangladesh failed to reproduce the superb bowling and fielding display they mustered in their win over India.

Bangladesh struggled to make any real dent in the massive run-chase, and crashed to 26-4 with Lasith Malinga (3-27) and Chaminda Vaas (1-11) oozing confidence as they tore through the hesitant batting line-up.

Only Mohammad Ashraful offered any real resistance with a doughty 45 not out before Sri Lanka claimed victory by 198 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method after Bangladesh's run chase was interrupted by rain.


Sri Lanka:

Fall of wickets: 1-98 (Tharanga), 2-202 (Jayawardene), 3-261 (Sangakkara), 4-300 (Jayasuriya)

Overs: 50


Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Nafees), 2-7 (Iqbal), 3-20 (Ahmed), 4-26 (Rahim), 5-41 (Hasan), 6-66 (Bashar), 7-80 (Mortaza), 8-101 (Rafique), 9-111 (Razzak)

Overs: 37

Result: Sri Lanka win by 198 runs

Points: Sri Lanka 2, Bangladesh 0

Bangladesh's target revised to 311 off 46 overs due to rain

Toss: Bangladesh

Umpires: Daryl Harper (AUS) and Steve Davis (AUS)

TV umpire: Ian Howell (RSA)

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)

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