Friday, October 17, 2008

Tendulkar and Ganguly give India the edge

Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly added 142 for the fifth wicket.

India's batsmen sandwiched a middle-order wobble in the afternoon with excellent batting during the first and third sessions to inch ahead of Australia on the first day in Mohali. A brief passage of play, during which India lost three wickets for 17 runs, threatened to undo the 104-run platform built in the morning but Sachin Tendulkar, who became Test cricket's highest run-scorer, and Sourav Ganguly ensured that the initiative wasn't lost by batting the majority of the final session.

Unlike the pitch in Bangalore, which had variable bounce from the start, the surface at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium was true. There was hardly any swing or movement off the pitch; the ball came on to the bat, and sped off it, allowing the batsmen to drive on the up or hit through the line. Australia's bowlers, who failed to bowl disciplined lines during the first session, were more accurate - and successful - after lunch. At tea, given the outstanding batting conditions, Australia held the edge having reduced India to 174 for 4. Another wicket would have made it their day but they were blunted by Tendulkar and Ganguly, who scored at nearly four an over without any risks.

Tendulkar broke Brian Lara's record off the first ball after tea, steering Peter Siddle to third man, but, once the seemingly endless fireworks subsided, India needed a much more substantial contribution from him. It was Ganguly, however, who set the pace initially. He had taken 17 balls to get off the mark before tea but after the interval he hit the ball through gaps in the offside with precision, driving Shane Watson and Peter Siddle for three boundaries between point and cover. He milked that region for 41 of his runs and, apart from a stumping against Cameron White - Rudi Koertzen did not refer it to the third umpire - and a couple of uncertain wafts against the second new ball, his innings was calm.

Towards the end of the day, Tendulkar was batting so confidently that he despatched the first delivery with the second new ball, bowled by Siddle, through cover with a back foot drive. He tried to repeat the shot the next ball but inside edged the ball past his stumps. His third attempt to push the new ball through the offside 15 minutes before stumps landed in Matthew Hayden's hands at first slip and gave Siddle his maiden Test wicket. It ended a 142-run stand and helped even the balance between the teams.

Before that error in judgement, however, Tendulkar had scored runs all round the ground and wasn't tied down by any bowler. He was severe on Siddle, against whom he scored 29 off 20 balls, driving him twice past mid-on for four and steering him to the third-man boundary. He also scored at a strike-rate of above 75 against Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson, who was once again Australia's best bowler. When Ponting brought on Cameron White, Tendulkar attempted to unsettle the legspinner by charging down the pitch and lofting down the ground. He brought up his fifty - his 50th in Test cricket - and also became the first batsmen to score 12,000 Test runs.

Smart stats

  • India elected to bat for the first time after winning the toss in Mohali. They have won the toss on three occasions in the previous seven Tests at the venue, and fielded each time.
  • The 15th run of his 88 helped Sachin Tendulkar go past Brian Lara to become the leading run-getter in Tests. Tendulkar also became the first to reach 12,000 Test runs during his innings.
  • Tendulkar scored his 50th Test fifty. He is the batsman to achieve that feat, and the second Indian; Rahul Dravid was the first.
  • Ganguly became the 33rd player and the fourth Indian to score 7000 runs in Tests
  • India scored 49 % of their runs in boundaries. 58 % of their runs came in fours until the end of the second session.
  • Eighteen bowlers, including Cameron White and Peter Siddle in this series, have claimed Tendulkar's wicket in their first Test.

Those records were preceded by a spell in which Australia regained ground lost during the morning session; though their bowlers rectified mistakes made earlier in the day, the wickets were primarily due to lapses by the batsmen.

Johnson was largely responsible for the fightback. He ended Virender Sehwag's charge in the morning, caught down the leg side, and dismissed Laxman in a similar manner after lunch. In between those wickets he contained Dravid by bowling full and wide with seven fielders on the off side, and induced an edge from Gambhir as he tried to drive another full delivery through cover. Australia picked up 3 for 17 and recovered from the rapid start made by Gambhir and Sehwag.

Gambhir was struck on the helmet by Siddle's first ball in international cricket but recovered to drive the ball through cover, a stroke that would become a feature of his innings. Sehwag ensured the run-rate stayed around six an over by piercing the infield frequently. He punished Siddle when the line was too straight, nudging him down to fine leg, and flicking to the square-leg boundary twice in succession.

The batsmen hit 10 boundaries in the first hour and raced to 63 in 13 overs. Having tried all his fast bowlers, Ricky Ponting gave the final over of the session to the left-arm spinner Michael Clarke. Gambhir took the opportunity to reach his half-century before lunch by stepping out to loft Clarke twice in a row over mid-on.

The Australians came out after the break with different lines of attack. Watson and Siddle restricted Gambhir's scoring by aiming short balls at his ribs. Johnson slanted deliveries full and wide outside off stump and asked the batsmen to drive with seven fielders on the off side. Dravid chased one and was beaten, after which he let several go. He eventually played on while trying to force Lee through the off side.

India had two new batsmen at the crease a short while before tea and had to begin from scratch. Tendulkar and Ganguly protected the innings from further damage.

'I can't be running after every record ' - Tendulkar

Sachin speak

  • On the journey:
    Success is a process and during that journey sometimes there are stones thrown at you and you convert them into milestones. It's a great feeling.
  • On how long he thinks he can keep the record:
    I don't what is going to happen in future. I started as a 16-year-old, without any such targets. There might be another 16-year-old, who might not be having any targets and who knows where he is going to go.
  • On the pressure:
    "To be honest, I was not under any pressure for this record. I knew that I have to go out and play my game. It will come at some stage. There was no burden as such. Today I decided just to watch the ball as closely as possibly."
  • On the sparse crowd to witness the record-breaking run:
    "I did not feel anything about the poor crowd attendance. It's about quality not quantity. I got a fantastic reception in a pleasing moment. I appreciate it every applaud whichever came in my way I take it wholeheartedly."
  • On the missing World Cup:
    "That is something I would like to have. We were close to it in 2003. It was so close yet so far. I'm not looking that far ahead [2011]. I just want go out and enjoy myself and my game and not think of any targets. If it there is in the vicinity I will focus on it. Right now I want to enjoy myself."
  • On getting there in Mohali:
    "I always wanted to do it in front of the home crowd and I'm quite happy that an Indian has achieved that record. It is not my record, it is India's record. I'm happy it has been done here."
  • On his family not being there at the ground:
    "It is not my family style to go over at the top. I know they will be extremely happy."

We were about 15 minutes into Sachin Tendulkar's press conference. He had answered wide-ranging questions, not all of then pertaining to the match or his record. Before the next question came Tendulkar's way, the media coordinator asked him if he would like to continue. Tendulkar moved away from the mic, and although he could not be heard, it seemed he said something to the effect of "Why not?" The press conference continued for the next 11 minutes, way longer than the ones at the end of a day's play.

Tendulkar was in that kind of mood. He looked animated, spoke in three languages - English, Hindi and Marathi - and was relieved, subtly funny, and happy. He started off by admitting that although the record was not a big distraction, the anticipation around it did mean something. "During all the talk about the record, I concentrated on how to score runs for the team, but everybody I used to meet would talk about only one thing. Now that it is done, I know I wouldn't be asked the same question again and again."

On a personal level, he doesn't have a "what next" now? "I started as a 16-year-old, and there was no targets then," he said. "I just wanted to go enjoy every moment. That is what I like to continue with - not to think of too many things and complicate my game in the process. "I have not played for records. I can't be running after every record [answering a query about breaking Brian Lara's 400]. I would be looking after what the team needs. The team obviously needs it. If it comes my way, I will take it. If it doesn't come, there will be no regrets."

Despite that attitude there must have been moments when he would have realised he could end up the leading run-getter in both Tests and ODIs. "As the career progresses, there is sub-consciousness mind starts thinking about it," he said. "You know that people start talking about it the records. That is how you are aware of all these things.

"There have been occasions that I didn't know how many runs I needed [to get to the record]. A couple of team-mates did not believe. I was willing to swear on anyone that I don't know. That is when they believed. The beauty is just to go out and play, and while doing that the records were meant to be broken and various milestones achieved."

What was he thinking when it happened? The steer towards the third-man boundary that got him past Brian Lara? "When I looked up, obviously I had two thoughts in my mind," he said. "One was I thanked the almighty and the second, I thanked my father. Today I miss him. He would definitely be a proud man, and I just thought of him."

Sourav Ganguly was a special partner to have when the record happened. He reminded Tendulkar of the fact that he was his partner when Tendulkar got his 35th century. "If you can remember that in the middle of all that ..."

He also dedicated the record to Ramakant Achrekar, his childhood coach, his family who have been by his side "whether or not he did well", and especially "my mother".

Almost in paternal manner, he subtly put his critics in their place. "I don't need to prove anything to anyone," he said. "I have been around for 19 years, and those 19 years I did not play cricket to prove anything to anyone, whether it was first year of my cricket or 10th, or 15th, or 19th.

"I'm not here to answer to what x, y and z is writing or saying about me. It is their opinions, and I don't take all those opinions seriously ... But sometimes I don't know how they can figure out what's going on in my mind when sometimes I myself can't figure that out."

That was the only time he sounded mildly sour, but only mildly. The talk eventually went back to the celebration when he got the record. "The duration [of the fireworks] was bit worrying." When a journalist informed him they had planned 11,954 crackers, he said, "Eventually I figured out it was 11,954 crackers or something like that."

Tendulkar breaks Lara's record

Sachin Tendulkar went past Brian Lara's tally of 11,953 Test runs.

At 2.31pm on a hot Mohali Friday, Sachin Tendulkar steered Peter Siddle towards the third-man boundary for three runs to break Brian Lara's record for most Test runs. The record stood for nearly two years after Lara played his final Test and it was inevitable that Tendulkar would eventually break it. As the day progressed Tendulkar scored his 50th half-century and became the first player to cross the 12,000-run mark.

The disappointingly small crowd, built largely of school kids, immediately got on its feet to salute the feat, and fireworks, which continued for three minutes, went off at the PCA Stadium. Tendulkar raised his bat in the air, took his helmet off, and looked up at the sky, as is his routine when he gets to a hundred. Almost all the Australians, wherever placed in the field, came to congratulate him. Ricky Ponting, the man most likely to challenge his status of being the top run-getter, was the first man to shake his hand. Sourav Ganguly, Tendulkar's partner at the nonstriker's end, reminded him that he was there when he scored his record 35th Test century.

This also brought an end to the soap-opera-type frenzied anticipation for the record. Tendulkar was expected to overtake Lara in Sri Lanka recently, but he endured a poor series with the bat, scoring just 95 runs in three Tests. Then in the series-opener in Bangalore, during a fine match-saving effort in the second innings, it seemed he would get to the record, but he gifted his wicket when 15 short.

Even today the anxiety around was palpable. During the time he got to 15, India lost two wickets in moving from 146 to 179 in 10.2 overs. While he scored at a fair rate, he didn't get nearly as much strike during the period as he would have wanted. While he played 23 balls, VVS Laxman and Ganguly faced 19 each. It was fitting, in a way, that he achieved the record against Australia, a team he has tormented several times in the past.

Coincidentally, Lara too achieved the world record against Australia, when he went past Allan Border's tally of 11,174 runs during the Adelaide Test in 2005. They remain the only three players to cross the 11,000-run mark in Tests. Though it is uncertain how long Tendulkar will prolong his Test career - which has lasted 19 years - the two players who stand the best chance of beating his eventual tally are Rahul Dravid (10,302) and Ponting (10,239).

A blessing and a curse

What might Sachin Tendulkar have done outside of a culture so obsessed with the individual?.

For Brian Charles Lara, the moment to capture in sepia came against one of the game's all-time greats. When Glenn McGrath drifted on to the pads on a belter of a pitch at the Adelaide Oval, Lara worked him down to fine leg for the single that took him past Allan Border on the all-time run-scorers' list. The record was the perfect way to end an Australian adventure that began with a sublime 277 at the SCG 12 years earlier.

Anonymous in the first two Tests of the series, Lara came alive on a pristine batting surface at one of the most beautiful grounds in the world. By the time he put AB in the shade, he had already gone past 200. The 226 that he finished with would have been a fitting farewell note to Australia if not for the fact that his second-innings failure and the seven-wicket defeat encapsulated the frailties that had seen the West Indies' star wane even as Lara continued to shine.

There was no legend confronting Sachin Tendulkar at the PCA Stadium the first ball after tea. The clock had just ticked past 2:30 when Peter Siddle set off on his long run to the bowling crease. A bustling workhorse rather than a pace thoroughbred, Siddle had done little wrong the first two sessions, but when the first ball of the third was pitched a touch too wide of off stump, Tendulkar opened the face and steered it down to third man as he'd done so many times before. Three runs scampered and history made, a generation after a similar stroke, albeit off an offspinner, took Sunil Gavaskar into hitherto uninhabited 10,000-run land.

The autumns of the two batting patriarchs of our age couldn't have been more different though. The last five years of Lara's career saw a batsman at ease with the world, freed of the burden that he had lugged around for a decade. The haplessness of those around him was probably a factor. Stadiums that were once island fortresses were easily breached by visiting sides, and away from home, West Indies had a record every bit as depressing as that of Bangladesh. With the team winning next to nothing and seldom coming close, Lara went out and expressed himself. In those 34 Tests, he averaged 57.50, well over his career figure, while scoring a staggering 13 centuries.

There was always something of the Caribbean joie de vivre in Lara's batting, an air of the carnival that brings his native Trinidad to a standstill. Even his Australian swansong was indicative of that, with the 226 runs amassed from just 298 balls in truly buccaneering fashion. The team may have been mediocre beyond belief, but Lara refused to be shackled by their limitations.

Tendulkar's journey took him in a very different direction. An often-solitary beacon capable of ravishing strokeplay when in his pomp, he has seldom enthralled over the past half decade. Injuries undoubtedly played a part, as did the fact that he was no longer the fulcrum of India's batting push. Virender Sehwag scored quicker, Rahul Dravid looked more resolute and VVS Laxman more elegant. And as India finally became a half-decent side away from home, the focus shifted to individual milestones. He has ticked them off one by one - 10,000 runs against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens in 2005, the 35th century that took him past Gavaskar (against Sri Lanka in Delhi in 2005) and now this.

Long before he even turned 30 though, Tendulkar had ceased to be just a cricketer. For a developing nation, aspiration is the name of the game but even then the expectations of him were so outré as to be ridiculous

Along the way, the audacious strokeplayer of old emerged from hibernation now and then, notably at Sydney and Adelaide last January, when you could glimpse the teenager who caught Sir Donald Bradman's eye with centuries at the SCG and the WACA. For the most part though, he became an efficient accumulator, albeit with troughs that were so uncommon during the halcyon years.

Long before he even turned 30 though, Tendulkar had ceased to be just a cricketer. For a developing nation, aspiration is the name of the game but even then the expectations of him were so outré as to be ridiculous. His life became reality TV, and all that was needed was the Police to reassemble and sing Every Breath You Take for the soundtrack. Newspapers would publish illustrations from Grey's Anatomy, while TV anchors would steel themselves to say "superior labral antero posterior tear".

Lara's failures, and there were a few given his cavalier style, evoked some disappointment, but never the sort of viciousness that accompanied a Tendulkar setback. It makes you wonder how many more runs he might have made had he lived in a country that didn't specialise in headlines like Endulkar, and where every other TV debate chaired by some stiff didn't ask the profound question: Is he past his best?

What might he have done outside of a culture so obsessed with the individual? Even the landmarks appeared to become troublesome chores rather than milestones to be bypassed as a matter of course. And even as he remained an intensely private person, an entire parallel universe was constructed around him, full of inane trivia such as a fondness for milk laced with turmeric at breakfast.

The career graph dipped, as it inevitably does even with the all-time greats, but he was still good enough to score 494 runs in Australia last winter. And until Siddle summoned up a fine delivery with the second new ball, he was on course for a tenth century against the team that have set the standards for most of his 19 years at the top.

Perhaps now, with all the records behind him, he can enjoy a second childhood and bat with something of the insouciance that made Lara so captivating to watch. Such comparisons are unfair though. If Lara's career was It's a Wonderful Life, Tendulkar's has been a Kieslowski, shot painstakingly and sometimes weighed down by the cares of the world. We're fortunate to have watched them both.

Mehrab and Mushfiqur revive Bangladesh

A record fifth-wicket partnership for Bangladesh between Mehrab Hossain jnr and Mushfiqur Rahim helped them to 183 for 4 on the first day in Chittagong.

An unbeaten 79 by Mehrab Hossain jnr helped square the honours on the first day of the first Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand in Chittagong. With Bangladesh down to 44 for 4 soon after lunch, New Zealand looked set to dismiss the hosts for another low score before a 139-run stand between Mehrab and Mushfiqur Rahim resurrected the innings.

Both teams came into the Test with a few jitters; Bangladesh have had just one win in their Test history, while New Zealand had lost four of their last five Tests - all against England. Bangladesh's batsmen and New Zealand's fielders showed nerves early on but, just when the visiting bowlers put their team on top, they let their opponents back into the game. Mehrab finished the day unbeaten on 79, while Mushfiqur will resume tomorrow on 59.

The day started with the New Zealanders missing opportunities. After dismissing Junaid Siddique without a run on the board, three simple chances were grassed over the next few overs. Rajin Saleh was put down by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum, while Aaron Redmond dropped a straightforward chance at second slip to give Tamim Iqbal his first life. Both chances came before the hosts had a run on the board. Soon after, Tamim was dropped again at short leg to deny offspinner Jeetan Patel a deserved wicket. Luckily for the New Zealanders, both men were dismissed early after lunch for 20 and 18 respectively, joining Siddique and captain Mohammad Ashraful back in the pavilion.

Before Mehrab and Mushfiqur came to the wicket, the run-rate had barely moved past one run an over - when Ashraful fell, Bangladesh were 44 for 4 after 43 overs, the top-order batsmen more concerned with survival than scoring. The new pair began in similar slow fashion but then began to dominate the bowling, looking to score runs rather than keep their wickets in hand. The ploy worked, with their unbroken 139-run stand a record fifth-wicket partnership for Bangladesh.

New Zealand's bowlers must also get credit for stifling the scoring in the first half of the day. They bowled on the spot most of the day and gave their opposition little chance to dominate. The pick of the bowlers were Iain O'Brien and captain Daniel Vettori. O'Brien finished the day with 2 for 25 off 17 overs, while Vettori also claimed two giving away just 50 runs from his 28 overs. Debutant Jesse Ryder was unlucky not to claim his first Test wicket in his first over; a yorker thundered into Saleh's back foot, which seemed dead in front of middle stump, but it was not given out.

Instead, the fielding let them down, surprising since it's something the team focuses hard on during training. Today was a reflection of how important it is; the visitors could have easily had Bangladesh at 0 for 3. Bangladesh, though, managed to claw back. Mehrab showed those that went before him that runs could be made on this pitch, if scoring, not survival, was the intention.

The game is well set up heading into the second day. New Zealand can wrap up the Bangladesh innings tomorrow but will want to build a substantial innings lead over the next few days. With the pitch likely to break up over the coming sessions, they will not want to be chasing many runs on the fourth or fifth days.

Talks between BCCI and ICL fail

The ICL players have been hopeful of getting recognition from the ICC.

Discussions between the BCCI and the ICL have failed, officials from both sides confirmed, putting a question mark over the league's bid for official recognition. A terse statement from the Indian board did not offer any reason - N Srinivasan, BCCI secretary, said the two sides "failed to arrive at a common ground" - but said there were no plans for any further meetings.

ICL officials, meanwhile, described the meeting as a "farce", and said the BCCI came up with "an offer during the meeting that was simply not acceptable". "It didn't look like the BCCI was ever serious to resolve the issue," an ICL official told Cricinfo. "We will now have to look at other options, including the legal route, as the way forward."

Kapil Dev, the ICL chairman, expressed his unhappiness at the Indian board's attitude. "I understand the BCCI wants the ICL to be a closed chapter," he told AFP. "That, let me reiterate, is not possible."

ICL sources said the meeting between Kapil, Himanshu Mody, its business head, Shashank Manohar, the BCCI president, and Srinivasan took place at the coffee shop of the Taj Hotel in New Delhi and lasted barely 15-20 minutes. "It was ridiculous, the way the BCCI went about this meeting."

ICL officials had told Cricinfo before the meeting that they hoped the BCCI, as part of a possible solution, would lift the ban on their players from all forms of cricket, grant them access to all cricket venues, and stop "arm-twisting" the ICL's sponsors.

Manohar met officials of the ICL for the first time since the league was set up in April 2007 after its request for recognition came up for discussion at the ICC board meeting in Dubai earlier this week. It was decided at that meeting that Manohar would provide a written report to the ICC board "in due course" after discussions with the ICL. Dave Richardson, the ICC's manager for cricket operations, told reporters on Thursday that the BCCI wanted to meet ICL officials and hadn't been asked to do so by the ICC.

Since its inception, the ICL has seen strong opposition from the BCCI, which has banned players associated with the league from all forms of official cricket and barred them from using any of its facilities. The ICL has, meanwhile, been pressing the ICC unsuccessfully for official recognition of their venture for several months. Subsequently they requested the ICC for a meeting, and Subhash Chandra, who owns the league, met David Morgan, the ICC president, in London last week to present its case.

The ICL believes that it has a strong case for recognition under Rule 32 of the ICC operating manual that deals with authorised unofficial cricket such as the Hong Kong Sixes event and the Stanford 20/20 in the West Indies. However, two senior BCCI officials - Manohar and Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman - are on a five-man ICC sub-committee that has worked on modifying the rules for official and unofficial cricket.

Taibu and Dabengwa star in convincing Zimbabwe win

Zimbabwe swept aside Ireland with a convincing 156-run thumping in the first ODI of the Kenya Tri-Series in Nairobi. In pursuit of a challenging 303, Ireland lost their first four wickets inside 14 overs - a position from which they could never mount a serious chase, despite an entertaining 38 from the in-form Kevin O'Brien.

It was an important win for Zimbabwe, especially since they were easily beaten by the might of Uganda yesterday. Today, they justified their Full Member status against one of the leading Associates. The question is: can they sustain their dominance over the entire tournament?

Elton Chigumbura led the attack with verve; surprisingly, his new-ball partner was Prosper Utseya, whose offspin and flighted deliveries frustrated Ireland. Niall O'Brien and Gary Wilson both fell to Chigumbura's short-of-a-length attack, and for all the Zimbabweans' admirable discipline, there was less on evidence by Ireland. This was no better exemplified than by William Porterfield's careless slap off Utseya.

At the halfway stage Ireland had tripped to 72 for 6, but there was a brief period of forlorn entertainment when Kevin O'Brien took three huge sixes off 20-year-old Timycen Maruma, each hammer blow clearing the long-on and long-off boundaries with ease. He lost his wicket attempting a fourth off Keith Dabengwa.

Ireland nearly survived all 50 overs, but struggled against Ray Price whose ten overs went for just seven runs - the most economical figures by any Zimbabwean in ODIs. Dabengwa mopped up with 3 for 17 from six tidy and controlled overs.

It was Zimbabwe's batsmen who set up the win, however. Hamilton Masakadza was again in terrific form, lacing 72 from 66 to form a solid opening partnership of 71 with Cephas Zhuwawo. Both Peter Connell and Boyd Rankin, one of Ireland's rising hopes, were treated with disdain; they bowled too short too often. Crucially, Zimbabwe never panicked or lost concentration in the usually sticky middle overs; Tatenda Taibu and Chamu Chibhabha grafted 102 in 21.1 overs of intelligent batting.

Chibhabha only hit two fours in his rhythmical 51, but rotated the strike intelligently with Taibu. However, he fell two balls after reaching a 67-ball fifty, beaten by the extra bounce and pace of Rankin. But Taibu was patient and resolute throughout, nudging singles and working the ball into the gaps behind square. Only occasionally did he choose the aerial route, petulantly slogging Kyle McCallan over midwicket before lifting Botha over the same region for another boundary.

They were boosted over 300 by Chigumbura's uncomplicated bashing . He scored 33 from just 19 balls - a tactic Ireland tried to replicate in their chase without success. The next match is between Ireland and Kenya on Saturday, before Kenya face Zimbabwe on Sunday.

Jayasuriya and Mendis hand Sri Lanka title

Sanath Jayasuriya pulls one of his big sixes during a blistering 40.

A Twenty20 round-robin in Canada does little to set hearts fluttering. Yet when Shoaib Akhtar steams in to bowl at Sanath Jayasuriya and Co, the venue is of little importance. Unfortunately for Pakistan, Shoaib has yet to rediscover his accuracy, and it was Jayasuriya who won the battle, leading Sri Lanka to a convincing five-wicket win in the final of the T20 Canada at King City.

In stark contrast to Pakistan's, Sri Lanka's batsmen set off in frantic pursuit of 133, in front of a boisterous crowd of 9000. Jayasuriya and Mahela Udawatte put on a match-altering 66 in seven overs, though they were indebted to a predictably wayward start from Pakistan's trio of fast bowlers, Shoaib, Sohail Tanvir and, chief culprit of all, Umar Gul.

Jayasuriya shot out of the traps and never allowed Shoaib to settle. Flicking him for four in his first over, he then pulled him for consecutive sixes into the midwicket stand, the second of which went AWOL. Udawatte was no less aggressive, but such was Gul's persistently short length that he spent most of his time on the back foot. A hook for six was followed by a flayed cut for four, and a slice past point scorched the outfield. Sri Lanka's fifty came up inside five overs.

So, it was to spin that Pakistan turned and it brought immediate results when Shahid Afridi - who earlier managed only 14 with the bat - beat Udawatte in flight and had him caught at long-off. Afridi's partner at the other end, Shoaib Malik, then bowled Jayasuriya, and followed it up with the prized wicket of Mahela Jayawardene - both batsmen fell attempting the sweep. They made it five when Kaushalya Weeraratne was bowled in Gul's second spell, but it was all too little, too late, and Chamara Kapugedera's calm 17 guided Sri Lanka to their first win over Pakistan in Twenty20 internationals.

That Sri Lanka were allowed to chase such an attainable target was thanks to their own spin-attack, namely Ajantha Mendis, whose three wickets stifled Pakistan's middle order. Salman Butt played a steady hand for his 44, but wickets fell at crucial moments around him, and Pakistan's innings never gained true momentum. Misbah-ul-Haq cracked two fours in a spirited 25, but no one could truly get on top of Mendis, who ended the tournament with 11 wickets for a frugally economical 55 runs.

Jaques out of tour with back injury

A back injury has ended Phil Jaques' tour.

Australia's reserve opener Phil Jaques was due to leave the tour of India on Friday after succumbing to a long-standing back problem. Jaques, who partnered Matthew Hayden throughout the 2007-08 season, was overlooked for the first Test in Bangalore when the selectors preferred Simon Katich.

Jaques is the second squad member to make an early departure following Bryce McGain's return with a shoulder problem before the first Test. Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said a decision would be made over the next few days on whether to send for a replacement.

Brad Hodge, a regular tourist with Australia, has started the domestic season with two centuries for Victoria while David Hussey and Shaun Marsh will also be considered. If Australia's bowlers perform poorly in the second Test in Mohali the selectors may consider parachuting Andrew Symonds back into the side to provide an extra spin option. However, a Symonds comeback is dependent on factors other than form following his suspension from the team before the Bangladesh contest.

Alex Kountouris, the team physiotherapist, said Jaques would see a specialist after landing in Australia. "Phil has had a long-standing problem with his lower back that has been manageable up until now," he said. "The point has come where the injury is significantly limiting his ability to play."