Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sri Lankans Hobble Pakistan Cup Hopes

MOHALI, India -- Sri Lanka delivered a major blow to Pakistan's Independence Cup bid with a 115-run victory in the opening match of the best-of-three finals.


The Sri Lankans ran riot Saturday, piling up a mammoth 339 for four after choosing to bat on a run-laden wicket, and then restricted the injury-hit Pakistanis to 224.


Pakistan's hopes of fighting back in the next two games at the Eden Gardens in Calcutta have been dampened by inclement weather and injuries to burly stroke-player Inzamam-ul Haq and medium-pacer Abdul Razzaq.


Inzamam sustained a hairline fracture on his left thumb and Razzaq ruptured a blood vessel in his left hip while fielding. Neither batted in Pakistan's innings and both appear doubtful as starters in Calcutta -- provided the matches take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. Heavy unseasonal rains on Friday and Saturday water-logged the Eden Gardens outfield, and more rain is forecast over the next three days.


"There is little we can do if the rains interfere," said Indian cricket board secretary Jagmohan Dalmiya. "There is no provision to extend the tournament beyond Wednesday." Dalmiya clarified that the Sri Lankans will be declared winners of the four-nation tournament if there is no play on both days.


Sri Lanka's batting guns fired away in the first final to hand the world champions an easy win.


Sanath Jayasuriya laid the foundation for the run hunt with a blazing 96 off 67 balls, sharing a 148-run opening partnership in 20 overs with teammate Marvan Atapattu (53).


The experienced duo of Aravinda De Silva and skipper Arjuna Ranatunga then built on this hurricane start by adding 153 for the third wicket off just 128 deliveries.


De Silva, who made just 33, 0 and 9 in the league matches, hit top form with a run-a-ball 90, while left-handed Ranatunga smashed 80 off 70 deliveries, flaying the tiring Pakistani attack to all parts of the field.


Both batsmen were stumped off Saqlain Mushtaq in the last over to leave the Sri Lankans just 10 short of equalling their highest score against Pakistan -- 349-9 at Singapore last year.


Left-arm seam-bowler Sajeewa De Silva wrecked Pakistan's reply with three wickets in his first four overs, including that of Saeed Anwar, who hit a world record 194 against India on Wednesday.


Salim Malik (23) and captain Rameez Raja (42) attempted a revival by adding 56 for the fifth wicket before both fell in the space of two overs to set Pakistan back again.


Moin Khan hit a defiant unbeaten 57, but in the absence of Inzamam Pakistan did not have the resources to prevent a disappointing finish.


Sri Lanka's Jayasuriya, later named man of the match, smashed 12 boundaries and a six after three lucky escapes.


He was caught off a no-ball from Abdul Razzaq in the fourth over, played on to Saqlain Mushtaq when on 54 but the ball failed to dislodge the bails, and four runs later was dropped at point by Razzaq off Shahid Afridi.


Jayasuriya, who reached 3,000 one-day runs from 129 matches when on 17, fell in the 20th over when he holed out to long-off trying to reach his fifth one-day century with a six.