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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Clobbered!

Sharjah - Things went from bad to worse for the forlorn West Indies here yesterday.

Subjected to their heaviest run-margin defeat in One-Day Internationals by Pakistan on Friday, they were just as comprehensively beaten by Sri Lanka by wickets and overs in their return match in the Coca-Cola Champions Trophy.

The fragility and self-doubt of their batsmen were again exposed by Sri Lanka's varied and disciplined bowling, confined to 149 all out in the last of their 50 overs.

Their own bowlers were then belted around under the lights by Sri Lanka's left-hand captain Sanath Jayasuriya, who hammered three sixes and eight fours in 88 off 80 balls to lead his team to an embarrassingly one-sided victory for his solitary wicket with 22 overs to spare.

"The team really bowled and fielded well and I was glad to be back among the runs again," said Jayasuriya, who was named Man Of The Match.

The loss was the West Indies' seventh in their last 11 One-Day Internationals against India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in tournaments in Toronto, Dhaka and here in the past five weeks.

Seven times in those matches they have failed to pass 200 in their allocated 50 overs, three times they have been dismissed under 150.

Their hard-fought firs-round victory over the Sri Lankans still gives them a chance of reaching Friday's final but they will have to overcome the powerful Pakistanis in their last preliminary match tomorrow. That seems unlikely for a team with obviously low morale and without the services of the injured Jimmy Adams, their most experienced all-rounder.

After Brian Lara chose to bat on winning the toss, the West Indies struggled from first ball to last.

They lost their openers cheaply to the left-arm swing bowlers Chaminda Vaas and Niram Zoysa and were never allowed to recover by the off-spinners Russell Arnold, Muttiah Muralitheran and Aravinda deSilva and the leg-spinner Upantha Chandana. Their causes was completely undermined by the runouts of Lara and Ricardo Powell, the batsmen most likely to take the attack to the Sri Lankans.

Ridley Jacobs, reinstated to his opening position filled for the previous four matches by Lara, fell to a miscued pull in the third over, and Sherwin Campbell to a catch at square-leg in the 12th.

Wavell Hinds, one of six left-handers in the order, carried out his role as sheet anchor at No. 3 with 58 that occupied 117 balls. He lifted Chandana for his two sixes but dealt mainly in singles otherwise.

He found no one to provide the required momentum at the other end after Lara, backing up too far in his anxiety to get to the strike, was run out by Muralitharan's direct hit at the bowler's end after he had made 29 from 42 balls that included a six over long-on off Arnold.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul could not rekindle the form that seemed to return in unbeaten innings of 92 and 77 in two One-Day Internationals against Bangladesh earlier in the month, struggling for 63 balls over 31, and the tail provided little once the dangerous Powell, sprinting through for a sharp single to short fine-leg, was run out by Silva's return to wicket-keeper Romesh Kaluwitharana.

Muralitharan's mastery over the uncertain West Indians was emphasised by figures of three for 22 from 9.3 overs as the last seven wickets went for 19. But the problems were started by Vaas and Zoysa, who conceded 29 from their combined 14 overs at the start.

Jayasuriya, so short of runs and confidence in recent Test and One-Day series in Sri Lanka that he demoted himself to No.5 in Friday's tied match against Pakistan, resumed his usual position as opener. He immediately opened an assault on the bowling that completely deflated the already disspirited West Indies.

Merv Dillon went for 40 in six overs, including two leg-side sixes off his last that cost 15. Curtly Ambrose was taken for 22 off his opening four and, although Reon King in his first match on tour was impressive, the match was long since settled when Jayasuriya was bowled by Nehemiah Perry after an opening partnership of 128 with Kaluwitharana.