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Rain thwarts Sri Lanka A in deciding one-day game

Colombo's residents, who are enduring daily power cuts because of the dwindling water supplies in the up country reservoirs, may have been delighted, but the final day of Pakistan A's tour proved to be anticlimax as heavy rains forced the abandonment

Charlie Austin
Charlie Austin
04-Jul-2001
Colombo's residents, who are enduring daily power cuts because of the dwindling water supplies in the up country reservoirs, may have been delighted, but the final day of Pakistan A's tour proved to be anticlimax as heavy rains forced the abandonment of the game, leaving the three-match series shared at one all.
Sri Lanka had looked to be cruising towards a series victory at lunch after an efficient performance in the field and some pretty lousy cricket by Pakistan, who were eventually bowled out for 172 on a fine batting wicket. Heavy rains then delayed the start of their run chase by 105 minutes.
The complicated permutations of Duckworth-Lewis gave Pakistan a faint hope of victory when the target was stiffened. Sri Lanka now needed 130 runs from 29 overs and they looked to be cruising towards that, on 97 for two from 20 overs, when the weather made its final interruption.
Sri Lanka, who had made four changes to the side that lost on Monday, giving a chance to the other members of the 16-man squad, bowled efficiently and fielded impressively, running out three Pakistani batsmen.
Pakistan had started well as Imran Farhat (13) and Faisal Naved (33) added 29 for the first wicket in 41 balls. Even after Imran Farhat had clipped lazily to Bandaratillake behind square, they proceeded smoothly, and were 64 for one after 17 overs.
Sri Lanka's spinners and fielders then got to work. Samaraweera had Faisal Naved caught at square leg and Taufiq Umar (24) was run out by a diving Chamara Silva, after a poor call by Hasan Raza (26), who sensibly wore a helmet today after his injury scare on Monday.
Hasan reacted positively to the dismissal of Taufiq, who had been batting solidly, lofting Samaraweera for six. He was, however, caught behind soon after off Muthumudalige Pushpakumara, finally given a chance after an inexplicable wait on the sidelines.
When Misbah-ul-Haq was also run out the innings crumbled. In fact, the last seven wickets fell for just 51 runs.
Sri Lanka were packed full of batting - their number ten, Niroshan Banadaratillake, had scored a wonderful half-century against England a few months ago - and unsurprisingly came out all guns blazing.
Gunawardene (14), of course, needs no second invitation to throw his railway sleeper of a bat at the ball. He added 35 in 35 balls with Upeka Fernando before edging behind. Fernando (26) was then well caught at mid off to leave Sri lanka 56 for two.
The need for quick runs finally forced some fluency of Kumar Sangakkara (28*) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (24*) and they looked to be well in control when rain curtailed play.