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Last Updated:  Monday, 3 March, 2003, 20:46 GMT

Rain wrecks South African dream
South African captain Shaun Pollock holds his head in his hands after rain stops play
South Africa were left to watch in dismay in Durban
Group B, Durban, Sri Lanka 268-9 (50 overs) tie with South Africa 229-6 (45 overs) D/L method

South Africa bowed out of the World Cup following a dramatic weather-hit tie with Sri Lanka in Durban.

After torrential rain brought the game to a premature end with five overs remaining, both teams were awarded two points under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

And that result ended the co-hosts' hopes of progression to the Super Six stage - an outcome all the more galling for South Africa because they miscalculated the score they needed to secure a win.

Marvan Atapattu was the star of the match, hitting a stunning century for the Sri Lankans to leave South Africa facing a daunting 269 for victory.

The home side launched an inspired chase courtesy of some big hitting by Herschelle Gibbs.

But a mini collapse, brought on by a spin attack, put the Sri Lankans back in command.

In a topsy-turvy contest, South Africa again turned the tide with a 63-run partnership between Shaun Pollock and Mark Boucher.

Pollock, though, was run out in superb fashion by Muralitharan before the rain came down and the players were called off.

Earlier, Atapattu scored 124 off 129 balls, including 18 boundaries, and put on 152 runs with Aravinda de Silva in a crucial partnership.

But Atapattu was an early villain, partly responsible for a massive mix-up which saw Jayasuriya run out by a direct hit from Gary Kirsten.

Marvan Atapattu
Atapattu was in superb form from the outset

Hashan Tillakaratne and Mahela Jayawardene did little to inspire with their respective knocks, Tillakaratne edging to Boucher to become the first of Jacques Kallis' three victims.

Their departures brought de Silva to the crease and he and Atapattu hit the South Africans around the ground.

Their wickets in quick succession and some tight bowling from Kallis and Pollock pegged the Sri Lankans back late on.

In response, Gibbs and fellow opener Graeme Smith took the chase on with aplomb, putting on 65 runs in 12 overs.

But Smith gave up his wicket unnecessarily when he lofted de Silva's first ball to Pulasthi Gunaratne in the outfield.

De Silva added the scalp of Kirsten minutes later and captain Sanath Jayasuriya added two more wickets as the South African batsmen capitulated.

With South Africa teetering on 149 for five, the game looked out of the hosts' grasp before Boucher and Pollock set off intelligently.

Helped by some quick running and, latterly, some big shots from the pair, they raced to 212 before Pollock was run out by Muralitharan.

That brought Lance Klusener to the crease but, with that, the rain came down and the players were brought off with the scores level, under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

The result means that Sri Lanka, Kenya and New Zealand qualify from group B to the Super Six stage.

South Africa: Herschelle Gibbs, Graeme Smith, Gary Kirsten, Jacques Kallis, Boeta Dippenaar, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock (captain), Lance Klusener, Andrew Hall, Makhaya Ntini, Monde Zondeki.

Sri Lanka: Sanath Jayasuriya (captain), Marvan Atapattu, Hashan Tillakaratne, Aravinda de Silva, Mahela Jayawardene, Russel Arnold, Kumar Sangakkara, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Dilhara Fernando, Pulasthi Gunaratne.

Links to more World Cup stories


BBC Sport's Simon Mann
"The rain prevented a thrilling finish"

South Africa captain Shaun Pollock
"There's a lot of ifs and buts"

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