Sri Lanka v India, Asia Cup final, Kurunegala May 9, 2008

Sri Lanka aim to break final jinx

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Match facts

Sunday, May 11, 2008
Start time 10.00 (local), 04:30 (GMT)


Can Shashikala Siriwardene lead Sri Lanka to their first Asia Cup title? © ICC
 

The Big Picture

This is the fourth time in as many Asia Cups that India and Sri Lanka are going to meet in the final. India has won each of the previous three matches and Sri Lanka will hope that playing this edition at home will help them reverse the trend.

India, though, have been by far the best of the subcontinent sides and haven't dropped a single game since the tournament began in 2004. This year they have continued to win convincingly - twice by more than 180 runs and twice by five or more wickets. They beat Sri Lanka by 29 runs and by eight wickets in the league stage. Their top order is brimming with runs and three Indians lead the wicket-taking list.

Asia Cup form guide

India - WWWWWW
Sri Lanka - WLWWLW

Watch out for ...

  • Dedunu Silva v Jhulan Goswami - Sri Lanka's opener has got three half-centuries in the tournament. How she counters the pace of Goswami, who is yet to dismiss her, will make for an interesting contest.

  • Pujare Seema - The Indian offspinner has made her debut at 31 and impressed with 11 wickets at 10 in four games.

  • Mithali Raj v Sri Lankan attack - Raj is in formidable form, having scored one hundred and two half-centuries in five games. If they are to have any hope of winning the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka will need to dismiss her cheaply.

    Team news

    In their last match India dropped out-of-form medium-pacer Amita Sharma for Snehal Pradhan, who picked up 3 for 21 on debut. But it is unlikely India will go for an inexperienced bowler to open their attack in the final, so Sharma should find a place. But Anangha Deshpande and Gouher Sultana may replace Thirush Kamini and Priyanka Roy, who have hardly scored in the tournament.

    India (probable) 1 Karu Jain (wk), 2 Jaya Sharma, 3 Rumeli Dhar, 4 Mithali Raj (capt), 5 Amita Sharma, 6 Anagha Deshpande, 7 Jhulan Goswami, 8 Rumeli Dhar, 9 P Seema, 10 Gouher Sultana, 11 Neetu David.

    Sri Lanka dropped legspinner Sadamali Kumuduni for offspinner Janakanthy Mala for their last two games and it is likely they will go with Mala, who took four wickets at an average of seven, for the final.

    Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Dedunu Silva, 2 Chamari Polgampola, 3 Dilani Maodara (wk), 4 Shashikala Siriwardene (capt), 5 Suwini de Alwis, 6 Eshani Kaushalya, 7 Shiromala Weerakkody, 8 Inoka Galagedara, 9 Deepika Rasangika, 10 Janakanthy Mala, 11 Chamani Seneviratna.


    India aim to win their fourth Asia Cup © Tigercricket.com
     

    Stats and trivia

  • Jhulan Goswami is only the fourth woman and the second Indian - after Neetu David - to reach 100 wickets in ODIs.

  • India's opening bowlers - Goswami (11) and Amita Sharma (2) - have aggregated 13 wickets in the tournament, while Sri Lanka's - Chamari Polgampola (9) Shiromala Weerakkody (3) have taken 12 together.

  • India's opening batsmen - Jaya Sharma and Karu Jain - have a century- and half-century stand each in the tournament, while Sri Lanka's openers - Silva and Polgampola have only one half-century partnership.

    Quotes

    "She has the slow loop of an offspinner and on a turning wicket she can give a lot of problems."
    Mithali Raj, India's captain, on their promising new offspinner Pujare Seema.

    Nishi Narayanan is a staff writer at Cricinfo