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Last Updated:  Saturday, 15 March, 2003, 18:07 GMT
Olonga departure sours match
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

The retirement of Henry Olonga, who released a powerful statement condemning the political situation in Zimbabwe, overshadowed Sri Lanka's straightforward victory.

Thoughtful and extremely likeable, Olonga waited until the match was over before making his announcement.

Once again, it is proven sport and politics will always mix, no matter how hard the administrators try to prevent it.

Henry Olonga
Olonga released a powerful statement
It is a fact politics have, through the intransigence and naivety of the World Cup organisers, left an indelible stain on this tournament.

If only some common sense, in the interest purely of cricket, had been applied months ago.

Olonga did not play on Saturday. more as a result, I suspect, of his wayward spell against Kenya than anything else.

His team played with far more spirit and purpose than they did in that defeat in the certain knowledge it was Andy Flower's farewell.

Possibly, they also knew in advance Olonga was to call it a day.

In fact, they appeared more purposeful than the Sri Lankans who have done little in this tournament to suggest they will provide Australia with too many problems in Port Elizabeth.

Marvan Atapattu, though, has revelled on the slow pitches he has encountered here, and scored his second century to see his team to a reasonable total.

He carried his bat throughout the innings to reach 103, but the vital injection came from Kumar Sangakkara who dashed to a delightful 35 from only 25 deliveries.

Andy Flower
Flower walks off the pitch for the last time
When Zimbabwe began their reply, Sri Lanka was curiously tentative. The field placings were defensive from the start and the openers got away to a rollicking start.

For once, Chaminda Vaas was expensive and Craig Wishart, Douglas Marillier and then Travis Friend set about the bowling.

Andy Flower appeared at number four for his final innings and, as always, he ticked along making it all seem terribly easy. However, on 38, he received one of the worst umpiring decisions of the tournament.

Playing forward to Aravinda de Silva, he managed to get a thick inside edge before the ball thumped into his pad.

Up went Mr Jerling's finger and all Flower could do, after several seconds, was to say, loudly: "What?"

His dismissal completely derailed Zimbabwe's innings. Fourth out with the score on 140, the remaining six wickets clattered for the addition of only 42 runs.

Sri Lanka were worthy winners but even as they celebrated, they must have known they will have to put up a more convincing and purposeful performance if they are to beat Australia.




SEE ALSO
Buoyant Kenya reach semis
12 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Olonga silenced after protest
10 Mar 03 |  Zimbabwe
Kenya romp past Zimbabwe
12 Mar 03 |  Photo Galleries
Have Your Say on Zimbabwe
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say
Have Your Say on Kenya
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say


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