Final: India v Sri Lanka at Colombo, 5 Aug 2001
Rex Clementine

Sri Lanka innings: 15 overs, 30 overs, End of innings,
India innings: 15 overs, 30 overs,
Pre-game: Toss and Teams,


India's reply to Sri Lanka's imposing 295 was not the scenario the 20,000 spectators at the R.Premadasa Stadium wanted to see as their neighbors lost all their seven frontline batsmen with just 116 on the board at the end of the 30th over of their innings.

VVS Laxman failed to make use of the chance he was given early in his innings as he departed having made 37. Trying to work the ball on the leg side, he ballooned a catch to Mahela Jayawardene at short midwicket. When Laxman departed, India were 91 for four.

Yuvraj Singh who made a match winning 98 when both the sides met last time in a league match saw his side reach 100 and departed with the same score on the board when he played a poor cut shot to a straight delivery from Russel Arnold and was bowled.

At the same score, Hemang Badani departed. Reetinder Sodhi played the ball on the leg side and Badani at the non striker's end immediately set out for a single. He was sent back by Sodhi, but before he could make his ground, Arnold dislodged the stumps collecting Mahela Jayawardene's throw.

Sodhi seemed to be having little idea as to how he should play Muralitharan. The batsman jumped out and went for a big drive and was bowled by the champion off-spinner. He made two and India were 114 for seven at that stage.


India's chances of breaking the sequence of losing finals looked to be in jeopardy once again in the final of the Coca-Cola Cup at the R. Premadasa Stadium when they lost three of their frontline batsmen by the end of the 15th over with just 74 runs on the board.

The visitors looked to Virender Shewag to provide them with a quick start chasing Sri Lanka's imposing 295. He started off positively by driving Chaminda Vaas for four through the extra cover region off the fourth ball of the match.

But Russell Arnold's sharp fielding send the batsman back to the pavilion when he backed up too far attempting for a quick single. Skipper Sourav Ganguly at the striker's end pushed a Dilhara Fernando delivery to backward of point and Shewag at the non-striker's end set out for a run immediately. But when he realized that his skipper was not intending to change ends, he returned but failed to beat the direct hit of Russel Arnold. Shewag made just four.

Ganguly made a hundred for India when India played in the final of the Singer Nidhas Trophy in 1998 at the same venue. But this time he did not last long. Off the next ball following Shewag's dismissal, Arnold was in the thick of action once again. The left-handed Ganguly, playing his pet cut shot, was comfortably caught by Arnold at backward point for one.

Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman took the score past 50 in the 11th over.

The visitors would have lost Laxman if Chaminda Vaas had taken a straight-forward chance fielding at mid-off. Kumar Dharmasena was the unlucky bowler. Laxman was on 28 with India on 58.

The third Indian to be sent back to the pavilion was Dravid. The right-hander, trying to cut Dilhara Fernando, played the ball on to the stumps and was on his way with India on 61 for three. Dravid made 21 off 36 balls with two boundaries.

Despite the loss of three early wickets, India maintained a run rate close to five by the 15th over. Laxman hit the first six of the match when he pulled Dharmasena over midwicket with the fielding restrictions still on.

At the crease are Laxman on 29 and Badani on 10.


A classy 99 from skipper Sanath Jayasuriya and a well-compiled 52 from Mahela Jayawardene early in the Sri Lankan innings and a better than a run a ball 52 later in the day by Russel Arnold helped Sri Lanka to set an imposing target of 296 for India to win the Coca-Cola Cup at the R. Premadasa Stadium.

In this series the tracks prepared at the stadium have been slow and have not been to the batsmen's liking. But the pitch today was completely different from the rest of the pitches as it helped the Sri Lankans to make the highest score of the tournament - 295 for the loss of only four wickets in 50 overs. Sri Lanka's total was built around two partnerships between Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Jayawardene and Romesh Kaluwitharana and Russel Arnold.

Jayawardene and Jayasuriya shared a 104-run partnership for the third wicket from 119 balls before the Sri Lankan captain departed, caught by Sourav Ganguly off the bowling of Virender Shewag. The Sri Lankan captain on 99, suffering from cramps and batting with a runner, tried to work the ball on the leg side but hit the ball straight into the hands of Ganguly at mid-wicket.

Jayasuriya missed out on his 11th century and his 99 came off 102 balls with nine fours.

The fall of Jayasuriya and the introduction of Harbajan Singh slowed things down for the Sri Lankans. Between the 35th and the 40th overs the Sri Lankans managed just 15 runs and also lost both Jayasuriya and Jayawardene.

Jayawardene's fall came off the third ball of Harbhajan Singh's last over when the side wanted him badly to stay at the wicket. The batsman was trapped in front playing the reverse sweep. He made 57 off 80 balls.

Kaluwitharana joined Arnold and the pair took Sri Lanka to 295 with some clean hitting and placing the ball in the gaps. They added 77 runs off 63 balls before Arnold got out to the last ball of the innings giving Ganguly at short midwicket his third catch of the day and Zaheer Khan his first wicket. They scored 48 runs off the last five overs of the innings.

Arnold played yet another crucial knock for his side by making 52 off 45 balls with six boundaries. Kaluwitharana was unbeaten on 31 off 32 balls with two boundaries.

In the bowling department, with the exception of Harbhajan Singh the others failed to do the job. While the rest of the bowlers gave away more than five runs an over, Harbhajan conceded below three an over. He also got two crucial wickets, that of Gunawardene and Jayawardene. Shewag too got two wickets, but his nine overs cost 58 runs.


The Sri Lankan batsmen threatened to post an imposing target for India in the final of the Coca-Cola Cup at the R. Premadasa Stadium with the aggressive Sanath Jayasuriya and dangerous Mahela Jayawardene in the middle. The home team, having elected to bat, were 175 at the 30th over with just two wickets down.

Sri Lanka, having recorded 100 runs off the first ball of the 15th over, lost their vice captain, Marvan Atapattu for five off the next ball. The right-hander lazily drove at a Virender Shewag delivery and was caught by skipper Sourav Ganguly at extra cover. Atapattu made five off 11 balls with a boundary.

India had a chance to dismiss Jayasuriya when the Sri Lankan captain was on 71. The left-hander skied a delivery from Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan at long-off failed to grab the chance. Zaheer would have held on to the catch if he had moved to his left instead of moving forward as the ball went over his head.

Sri Lanka's 150 came off 25.1 overs and 114 minutes with Jayasuriya on 79 and Mahela Jayawardene on 22. With the 150, the pair also bought up their 50-run partnership.

Marvan Atapattu came in, as a runner for Jayasuriya who was suffering from cramps. He was on 84 when Atapattu came in.


Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya appeared set to guide his side to another big total reaching his fifty in just 48 balls in the final of the Coca-Cola Cup at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday. Jayasuriya was on 52 at the end of the 15th over with Sri Lanka on 99 for one.

Sri Lanka opted for the hard hitting left handed combination of Jayasuriya and Avishka Gunawardene to open the innings.

With Sri Lanka on 16, Gunawardene edged a rising delivery from Zaheer Khan to first slip wide of VVS Laxman. The batsman was on eight.

Later, Jayasuriya mistimed a pull off Zaheer and the ball went high in the air, but fell safely behind the wicketkeeper.

Sri Lanka reached 50 off just 45 deliveries and 37 minutes with the captain on 18 and Gunawardene on 30.

Zaheer went for 30 runs in his first spell where he bowled just four overs. He was replaced in the ninth over by Harbhajan Singh, India's most successful bowler of the tournament. The off-spinner just conceded one run in his first over and in his second provided the breakthrough by sending back Gunawardene.

Gunawardene, trying to defend, was trapped in front to the fifth ball of his second over with the total on 71 in the 11th over. The left hander made 34 off 31 balls and 52 minutes with four boundaries.

His loss didn't change things much as the Sri Lankan captain continued to smash the bowlers to all parts of the ground. His fifty came when he pulled Virender Shewag to the midwicket boundary.


Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya won the toss and elected to bat first in the final of the Coca-Cola Cup against India at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo today.

Sri Lanka have brought in hard hitting Avishka Gunawardene for this game in place of Kumar Sangakkara who played in the last match. Gunawardene will be the opening partner for Jayasuriya.

India meanwhile have retained the same squad that played in their last game. Earlier there were fitness worries over fast bowler Zaheer Khan who was suffering from fever, but he has recovered in time to play the final.

Six of the nine matches of the first round were played at this venue and the pitches for those matches didn't provide that many runs with the highest being 240 by Sri Lanka against New Zealand. But this game is being played in a new pitch which has not been used in this series and is expected to be a batsman's paradise.

Sri Lanka ended up at top of the points table with eight points while India finished in the second place with six points. New Zealand, the other participant, had four points.

However, in the league matches, India beat Sri Lanka on two occasions.

Sri Lanka: *ST Jayasuriya, DA Gunawardene, +RS Kaluwitharana, MS Atapattu, DPMD Jayawardene, RP Arnold, HDPK Dharmasena, ASA Perera, WPUJC Vaas, M Muralitharan, CRD Fernando.

India: *SC Ganguly, V Shewag, VVS Laxman, R Dravid, HK Badani, Yuvraj Singh, RS Sodhi, +SS Dighe, Harbhajan Singh, Z Khan, A Nehra.

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Date-stamped : 05 Aug2001 - 22:34