Independence Cup cricket: virtual semi finals


Monday 19, May 1997

Sri Lanka's emphatic five-wicket win over India with over nine overs to spare at Bombay on Saturday has at least ensured that calculators will not be required to determine the finalists of the four-nation Independence Cup tournament.

The victory put Sri Lanka on par with the other three nations India, Pakistan and New Zealand with a record of one win and one loss with one to go.

Provided the remaining two qualifying round matches don't end in a tie or a no-result, whoever wins them will go straight into play the best of three finals starting on May 24.


Sri Lanka play New Zealand on Tuesday at Hyderabad and India take on Pakistan on Wednesday at Chennai (formerly Madras) on Wednesday, making these matches virtual semi-finals.

Sri Lanka by virtue of their win over India head the table on a superior nett run rate (+0.23) from Pakistan (+0.08). India and New Zealand who bring up the rear, both have minus nett run rates. All four teams have two points from two games.

The manner in which Sri Lanka came back to beat India, after losing their opening game to Pakistan, clearly showed what an excellent one-day team they are. They seemed to have learnt from their mistakes and the method in which they got about their task of beating India to stay in the competition, was totally professional.

If they can continue in this vein, beating New Zealand won't be difficult. From there onwards, if Sri Lanka can regain their hunger for success as they had in winning the World Cup last year, the Independence Cup is theirs for the taking.

Sri Lanka's victory over India also ensured that there won't be an India-Pakistan clash in the final. The two countries will meet in the league phase and whoever wins will play in the final.

India with hysteric supporters backing their every move, will be under tremendous pressure to beat Pakistan. It is not beyond them to do so as they proved during the World Cup quarter-finals last year.


'Master Blaster' opener Sanath Jayasuriya regained his status as holder of Sri Lanka's highest individual score as well as the best bowling figures in one-day international cricket with his blazing unbeaten knock of 151 in the Independence Cup match against India at Bombay on Saturday.

Jayasuriya first took the record away from Roy Dias (121 v India at Bangalore, 1982-83) when he made 140 against New Zealand at Bloemfontein in a Mandela Cup match in 1994-95, only to see Aravinda de Silva surpass it by five runs (145) in the World Cup game against Kenya at Asgiriya in 1995-96.


With his innings of 151 not out, Jayasuriya once again engraves his name in the record books as Sri Lanka's highest individual scorer in the abbreviated game. That century was the 25th scored by a Sri Lankan in one-day internationals.

The left-handed all-rounder (he bowls left-arm spin) also holds the record for the best bowling figures by a Sri Lankan in one-day cricket - 6 for 29 v England (Tyronne Fernando Stadium) in 1992-93.


The following is the complete list of the Highest Individual Innings for each Test playing country in one-day cricket :

189 V.A. Richards, West Indies v England (Manchester) 1984.

188 G. Kirsten, South Africa v UAE (Rawalpindi) 1995-96.

175 Kapil Dev, India v Zimbabwe (Tunbridge Wells) 1983.

171 G.M. Turner, New Zealand v East Africa (Birmingham) 1975.

167 R.A. Smith, England v Australia (Birmingham) 1993.

151 S.T. Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka v India (Bombay) 1997-98.

145 D.M. Jones, Australia v England (Brisbane) 1990-91.

142 D.L. Houghton, Zimbabwe v New Zealand (Hyderabad, India) 1987-88.

137 Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan v New Zealand (Sharjah) 1993-94.

Source: The Daily News

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Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 15:07