The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sri Lankan eyes trained on India-NZ tie
- Jayasuriya & Company praying that sub-continental cousins win

Johannesburg: Sanath Jayasuriya’s Sri Lanka face an agonising wait till Friday evening to know if their World Cup campaign is still alive.

All they can do till then is pray — for India’s success.

Sri Lanka’s only hope of staying in contention for the semi-finals is if India continue their good form and crush New Zealand in their last Super Six game at Centurion on Friday.

If the Black Caps win, the Lankans may as well not take the field against Zimbabwe in East London on Saturday for Stephen Fleming’s men would already have taken the fourth and last semi-final spot after Australia, India and Kenya.

“There is little we can do, but wait and see how our luck holds,” Sri Lankan coach Dav Whatmore said. “We’ll obviously have an eye — probably both eyes — on the India game tomorrow but there’s no question we also have to train for the game the next day.”

If India oust the New Zealanders, Sri Lanka will have to beat Zimbabwe to qualify for the semi-final against reigning champions Australia at Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

Whatever the outcome, skipper Jayasuriya knows he will have to play the rest of Sri Lanka’s campaign with a broken thumb, the legacy of a Brett Lee special last week.

“Sanath’s forearm is not a problem but the left thumb is broken right at the tip and he will only fully recover after the World Cup,” said team physiotherapist Alex Kontouri.

Batsman Hashan Tillekeratne, however, will be fit to play after missing the 183-run defeat against India on Monday.

Whatmore insisted the players had themselves to blame for facing the prospect of an early flight home.

“It is difficult to have sympathy for the boys when they play like that,” Whatmore said after the heavy defeat against India at Centurion.

According to a report from East London, Sanath Jayasuriya is suffering from tonsillitis but will be available for the Zimbabwe game.

Jayasuriya, who has also been taking pain killers sat out training on Thur- sday.

Sri Lanka manager Ajit Jayasekera said: “We didn’t want him to exert himself because he is recovering from a severe attack of tonsillitis.

“But we do expect him to be available for Saturday’s game.”

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