We played pretty well throughout - Arjuna Ranatunga

Daily News

13 April1997

Sri Lankan cricketers held up in Sharjah because of Indian Airline Traffic Controllers strike

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates, April 12 _ Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga was delighted at winning the Singer Akai Cup on Friday and said that it was a fine performance by the team. ``We played pretty well throughout except for the game against Zimbabwe,'' Ranatunga said soon after the Singer Akai Cup final against Pakistan was over.

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan for the third time in the tournament, but it was the first victory against Pakistan in a cup final in Sharjah.

Ranatunga further said: ``We had a very bad tour of New Zealand and the boys reserved everything for this tournament.'' Speaking about Aravinda de Silva, Ranatunga said that it was due to his batting that Sri Lanka fared exceptionally well in the tournament.

Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram paid a rich complement to the Sri Lankans. ``I must congratulate Sri Lanka for winning. They played well.'' Akram said and attributed the cause of Pakistan's defeat to the quick wickets that his team lost in the last seven overs when they batted. ``We should have scored 235 runs or so,'' remarked Akram and said that he was looking forward to the two Test matches that Pakistan will play in Colombo later this month.

For Sri Lanka's dashing batsman Aravinda de Silva, the vice–captain, this Sharjah tournament turned out to be a tremendous success. His unbeaten 87 off 124 balls spurred Sri Lanka to a four–wicket win in the final.

With a total of 410 runs in five innings at an average off 136.66, Aravinda de Silva was named Man of the Series and he was also named Man of the Final.

Sri Lanka who won the tournament, received a cheque worth 40,000 US Dollars, while Pakistan got 25,000 US Dollars and Zimbabwe got 10,000 US dollars.

Sri Lankan cricketers were due to return to the island this morning, but they have been held up in Sharjah due to the strike of the Indian Air Traffic Controllers. They are now expected in the island tomorrow.

Besides Aravinda de Silva, there were two other Lankan cricketers who won awards. Muttiah Muralitharan won the award for the best bowler and Roshan Mahanama was named as the best fielder.

Source: The Daily News

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Date-stamped : 25 Feb1998 - 14:53