Wed, Oct 25, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Sri Lanka fast bowlers restrict S Africa to 219

AP AND AFP , AHMADABAD, INDIA AND MOHALI, INDIA

Sri Lanka fast bowlers Lasith Malinga and Chaminda Vaas restricted South Africa to 219 for nine off 50 overs in a crucial Group B game of the ICC Champions Trophy yesterday.

Malinga took three late wickets to finish with four for 53, but it was Vaas, who did the early damage.

In a brilliant display of left-arm swing bowling, Vaas (1-16) bowled an unchanged spell of 10 overs with the new ball -- claiming the wickets of captain Graeme Smith (10) and Boeta Dippenaar (3).

A rapid 42-run partnership between Robin Peterson (22) and Shaun Pollock (21 not out) took South Africa beyond the 200-mark at the end, after it stuttered at 176 for seven in the 46th overs.

Peterson took four boundaries and also hit a six in the penultimate over -- bowled by Farveez Maharoof -- while Pollock lofted Malinga for a straight six in the last over.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jaywardene's decision to bowl first after winning the toss paid off as Vaas struck twice. In between these jolts Herschelle Gibbs (16) struck three boundaries but Malinga found a thin edge that left South Africa reeling at 30-3 in the ninth over.

Experienced Jacques Kallis and A.B. de Villiers (54) made a slow recovery with an 80-run partnership off 137 balls and found it difficult to hit boundaries once Sri Lankan spinners came onto bowl.

Kallis, who made 43 off 71 balls, sprained his foot and was finally beaten by Jayasuriya's well flighted delivery and was stumped in the 32nd over. Fast bowler Maharoof dropped a difficult catch when De Villiers was on 40 before the right-hander went on to complete his second half century in limited-overs internationals.

However, De Villiers lasted only two more deliveries when Maharoof made amends with a well judged low catch at long off in Muttiah Muratlitharan's next over.

Both teams made one change in their starting XIs. South Africa brought in batsman De Villiers in place of all-rounder Andrew Hall. Fast bowler Dilhara Fernando replaced Chamara Kapugedara in the Sri Lanka team after missing the previous game against the New Zealand.

South Africa lost its opening Group A match against New Zealand and is now in a must-win situation against Sri Lanka to keep its hopes alive for a place in the semi-finals.

Sri Lanka lost its opening game -- a four-wicket defeat to Pakistan -- but has two points from a victory over New Zealand.

Australia all-rounder Shane Watson was sent to hospital yesterday after complaining of abdominal pain, giving the favorites a scare ahead of their Champions Trophy clash against India.

"He has some upper abdominal and stomach pain," a team spokesman said after Australia's optional nets session in this northern town on the outskirts of Chandigarh city.

"The initial diagnosis is a severe bout of gastritis. The initial test and ultrasounds are fine. We are just waiting on the blood test and other results," he said.

Australia are due to play hosts India on Sunday.

Australia team sources said several other players had also complained of illness.

Watson is one of the key players for the world No. 1 side, his three wickets for 16 runs on Saturday setting up Australia's win over England in Jaipur.

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