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Injured Nehra doubtful for final
Press Trust of India, PTI
Colombo, September 26, 2002
First Published: 21:06 IST(26/9/2002)
Last Updated: 21:06 IST(26/9/2002)

Indian left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra has a split webbing in his bowling hand and may be doubtful for Sunday's final of the ICC Champions Trophy, team physio Andrew Leipus said today.

Nehra suffered the injury in the course of the South African innings last night when he attempted to run out Jacques Kallis off his own bowling. He split the webbing between the index finger and middle finger on his left hand and it required five stitches.

"There's a question mark over him at the moment," Leipus said.

"He could still recover in time and a decision would be made on Saturday. He has no problem gripping the ball, but we have to consider catching and other aspects."

Nehra, who captured two early wickets against England, had to abort his spell in the semi-final last night due to the injury.

However, the rest of the team had no injury concerns and took a day off from practice after the sensational victory over South Africa. India came back from a nearly hopeless situation to choke the Proteas in the end overs. India won by 10 runs after the South Africans were cruising towards an easy victory at one stage.

Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly cut a victory cake in an impromptu celebration in the team hotel and shared it with fans and members of the media who were present. Yuvraj Singh, who scored a half-century and snaffled three catches to contribute to the Indian win, was also present.

The South Africans were preparing themselves for their trip back home and appeared a dejected lot. Team coach Eric Simons conceded in an informal chat with reporters that their batsmen had become a bit complacent when they had a lot of wickets in hand and had a run-a-ball asking rate.
 
The sudden retirement of century-maker Herschelle Gibbs due to cramps and the subsequent fall of quick wickets had turned the contest on its head, he said.

"Gibbs had begun to feel the cramps in his hands for three or four overs during which the scoring rate came down before he was forced to go off the field," Simons said.

Asked if Gibbs had a fitness problem that may have affected his ability to play a long innings, Simons said: "It was not a question of fitness. He has this problem of cramping. It's something to do with his system."


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