Lanka take on India in do-or-die clash

Published: Monday, February 25, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Hobart: Sri Lanka heads into its Commonwealth Bank Series clash against India at the Bellerive Oval here on Tuesday in do-or-die mode.

If the Sri Lankans still want to have a pulse in the triangular one-day international series by 6pm on Tuesday evening, they simply have to record a victory against their northern neighbour.

Sri Lanka is teetering on the brink of elimination at the foot of the Commonwealth Bank Series table with just a win and a no-result from its first six matches.

However, the Indians, who are six points clear of the Sri Lankans in second spot, have to tread wearily themselves for a loss in their final match of the preliminaries will cause more than a few heart palpitations as they will be forced to sit and hope that Australia, which has already qualified for the finals, defeats Sri Lanka in the series-ending clash at the MCG on Friday to ensures India a finals berth.

India will prefer to be the master of its own destiny and ensure that it books a finals spot with a victory over Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

Despite an ordinary campaign to date, the Sri Lankans will take confidence into its cut-throat encounter from the efforts of Kumar Sangakarra (282 runs at 56.40), Mahela Jayawardene (161 at 40.25) and Lasith Malinga (10 wickets at 28.40) this series.

Although the stakes may be a little higher for Sri Lanka, the likes of Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni, Ishant Sharma, Uthappa, Harbhajan and Irfan Pathan should ensure India progresses past the triangular stage of the tournament.

Both teams likely to field five bowlers after their batsmen failed to deliver the goods throughout the series. If Munaf Patel recovers from a bout of food poisoning suffered on Saturday he might just sneak into the Indian XI.

Lanka, on the other hand, have dropped Farveez Maharoof and Chanaka Welegedara. Upul Tharanga likely to open with Sanath Jayasuriya. Chamara Kapugedera and Nuwan Kulasekara will vie for the last spot in the XI.


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