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Dravid blames batsmen for loss to SL

The Indian skipper said they did not have someone who batted all the way through.
PTI | By Reuters, Dambulla
UPDATED ON AUG 04, 2005 08:24 PM IST

India captain Rahul Dravid blamed his top order batsmen for the side's four-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the fourth game of the triangular series on Wednesday.

Vice-captain Mahela Jaywardene, with an unbeaten 94, led a dramatic Sri Lankan fightback after the hosts had slumped to 95 for six in pursuit of a victory target of 221.

Jayawardene and all rounder Upul Chandana, with 45 not out, rescued their team with a record unbroken 126-run stand, winning the game with 12 balls to spare and booking Sri Lanka's place in the August 9 tournament final.

"You have to give credit to them as they batted really well and didn't give us a chance after being reduced to 95-6," Dravid told reporters.

"It was very disappointing, though, as we expected to get another breakthrough and win the game.

"We had five people in the ring but they were still good enough to pick up the singles in the middle overs and that put us under a lot of pressure.

"In the end, we were a few runs short and the batsmen that got set were not able to convert into big scores.

"They had a guy that finished 94 not out and that was the difference -- we did not have someone who batted all the way through.

Second defeat

India's second defeat by Sri Lanka means they will need to beat West Indies on Sunday if they are to reach the final.

"There is everything to play for," added Dravid. "The batsmen have got to stand up to be counted and make sure they convert.

"The only plus point from these two games against Sri Lanka is that we have run them close and we have been in the contest until the end of the game."

Sourav Ganguly had mixed feelings after returning to the Indian team from a four-match ICC match ban with a hard-working 51 and becoming the third batsman in history to score 10,000 one-day international runs.

Ganguly said he was "satisfied" to have become the third batsman in history to have scored 10,000 runs but was disappointed with the result.

ODI Career Batting - Ten Most Runs
Name Mat I NO Runs HS Ave SR 100 50 Ct Team
SR Tendulkar 348 339 32 13642 186* 44.43 86.15 38 69 104 IND
Inzamam-ul-Haq 344 320 46 10933 137* 39.90 74.24 10 81 102 PAK
SC Ganguly 272 263 20 10018 183 41.18 74.15 22 60 94 IND
ST Jayasuriya 335 326 15 9967 189 32.04 88.56 18 57 105 SL
M Azharuddin 334 308 54 9378 153* 36.92 73.99 7 58 156 IND
BC Lara 256 249 26 9354 169 41.94 79.50 19 57 106 WI
PA de Silva 308 296 30 9284 145 34.90 81.13 11 64 95 SL
Saeed Anwar 247 244 19 8823 194 39.21 80.66 20 43 42 PAK
DL Haynes 238 237 28 8648 152* 41.37 63.09 17 57 59 WI
ME Waugh 244 236 20 8500 173 39.35 76.83 18 50 108 AUS

"To be among the first three batsmen to reach 10000 runs and to be the second Indian after the great Sachin Tendulkar is very satisfying," said Ganguly, who trails only Tendulkar (13,640 runs) and Pakistan captain Inzamam ul Haq (10,933 runs).

"I am very happy because when I started in 1996 I was thought to be more of a test player. It's been nine years and I still have some fuel left in the tank.

"But I still can't understand how we can lose such a game after having them 95 for six."

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