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Champions Trophy final anticlimactically washed out

The final of the ICC Champions Trophy was washed out on Sunday night after aheavy thunderstorm interrupted play shortly after the start of the secondinnings

Charlie Austin
Charlie Austin
The final of the ICC Champions Trophy was washed out on Sunday night after a heavy thunderstorm interrupted play shortly after the start of the second innings.
Within minutes the outfield was awash with water, and play could not be resumed before the official cut-off time of 8.38pm.
Although it was a huge disappointment for the 30,000 spectators that had crammed into the stadium, the match will at least be played from scratch on Monday.
Nevertheless, it was a terrific shame as the match looked set for an intriguing finale after Sri Lanka scored 244 in the first innings.
India probably held the initiative with their strong batting line-up, but had Sri Lanka bowled and fielded like they had against the Australians, the match would have been very close.
In the afternoon, Sri Lanka started confidently after winning the toss, with Marvan Atapattu (34) and Sanath Jayasuriya (74) adding 65 in 77 balls for the first wicket.
Atapattu, looking confident after his half-century against Australia, took the lead, driving through the covers on the up with a classical high elbow and square-cutting precisely.
Javagal Srinath, who arrived in Colombo during the middle of the night and bowled like a man suffering from jet-lag, conceded 36 runs in his opening five-over burst.
At the other end, Zaheer Khan was once again impressive, bowling with pace and accuracy on another slow-paced Premadasa pitch.
Jayasuriya was more circumspect than his right-handed partner, clearly determined to continue his prolific run and ensure that Sri Lanka posted a competitive score.
But Harbhajan Singh, who was introduced in the 13th over of the innings, starting with a wicket maiden, checked Sri Lanka's progress. Atapattu, having failed to score for the previous four deliveries, tried to sweep in front of square and was brilliantly caught on the second attempt by Ajit Agarkar at short mid-wicket.
Harbhajan carried on economically, encouraging the early introduction of Virender Sehwag, who also bowled tightly as Jayasuriya and Sangakkara looked to consolidate on their quick start.
When Sourav Ganguly turned to Sachin Tendulkar, Jayasuriya briefly broke free of the spinners' shackles with two leg-side boundaries. As the left-hander moved past fifty for the 51st time in his career, Sri Lanka started to gather momentum.
After 30 overs, the hosts were 148 for one, looking set for a score in excess of 275. But Agarkar's second spell accounted for Jayasuriya as Harbhajan grabbed a brilliant catch, running backwards at mid-off, and ending a 90-run partnership from 107 balls.
Aravinda de Silva, who announced on Friday that this would be his last game on Sri Lankan soil, then walked to the wicket to a standing ovation. But he failed to provide the capacity crowd with the fitting finale that they craved. Twice dropped on eight, he was eventually caught behind, having scored just 18. Nevertheless, the crowd rose to salute their hero, as de Silva waved his bat to all corners of the stadium and bid goodbye.
Meanwhile Sangakkara, who had started fluently with two boundaries, ground to a halt, eventually limping to his seventh one-day fifty before reverse-sweeping a catch to short fine-leg, almost in desperation. Between the 30th and 40th over Sri Lanka scored just 40 runs.
Mahela Jayawardene, who has hardly batted in this tournament, tried to kick-start the innings but found it difficult to time the soft white ball. When he pummelled a return catch back to a leaping Sachin Tendulkar, Sri Lanka were 212 for five and India had firmly grasped the initiative.
Russel Arnold and Chaminda Vaas made some use of the final four overs, scoring 42 from 26 balls to ensure that Sri Lanka got to a competitive total.
Earlier, India had made three changes to the side that defeated South Africa in the first semi-final, bringing in fast bowlers Srinath and Agarkar in place of the injured Ashish Nehra and an out-of-form Anil Kumble.
Left-hander Dinesh Mongia replaced V.V.S. Laxman and, surprisingly, opened the innings in place of skipper Ganguly. Sri Lanka had made one change, recalling pace bowler Dilhara Fernando with leg-spinner Upul Chandana the player to stand down.