India looks to extend ODI domination in T20 against Sri Lanka

Pallekele: The world number two ranking clinched following a dominating 4-1 triumph in ODIs, India will now look to stamp their authority against Sri Lanka in the only Twenty20 international on Tuesday.

India`s domination was reflected in the margin of victory and they would look to carry their rampaging form to the shortest version of cricket as well.

Sri Lanka and India have played only four T20s since 2009, with both teams winning two each and Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s men will look to gain an upperhand on Tuesday.

The match also holds prominence considering the fact that the T20 World Cup is round the corners and it would be hosted by Sri Lanka from September 18.

The Indian team had a smooth comeback to international cricket after a rather long break. Their batters fared well and so did the bowlers.

Even all-rounder such as Irfan Pathan performed satisfactorily, prompting Coach Duncan Fletcher to say that he would soon command a regular place in the ODI team.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, had nothing to show beside the only victory in the second ODI in the five-match series and the hosts will now pin hopes on their young guns in the T20 international on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka`s problems were many. Losing Kumar Sangakkara through injury and having to contend with a below par Lasith Malinga and a Mahela Jayawardene reluctant to take more responsibility up the order.

The silver lining, however, in the dark clouds was the unexpected gutsy performances of some of the lesser known names such as the left-handed Lahiru Thirimanne and Jeewan Mendis, not so young in terms of age.

"Very encouraging to see guys like Thirimanne and Mendis joining the show. We always depend on the likes of Sangakkaras, Jayawardenes and Dilshans to win games for us. We saw the guts Thirimanne and Mendis had. They almost pulled it through," Acting captain Angelo Mathews had said after the final ODI here.

Narang and Sanjeev Rajput were knocked out of the men`s
50m 3-position event when they ended up way behind in 20th and 26th positions with total scores of 1164 and 1161 respectively out of a possible 1200.

Off the competition venues, India`s hopes of boxer Vikas Krishan being restored to the Games competition after he was controversially eliminated on a protest by his American opponent were dashed when the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) rejected the country`s appeal on Monday.

The world`s top sports tribunal ruled that the appeal was not maintainable as there was no provision to contest the decision of AIBA`s Competition Jury which it said was final.

"There is no provision in the AIBA Technical and Competition Rules allowing for an appeal against the decision of the Competition Jury in relation to a Protest. The decision of the Competition Jury is final and cannot be appealed," the CAS said in a statement.

"For this reason, your appeal letter cannot be considered and the Appeal Letter is hereby returned to you," the statement added.

Vikas was ousted from the Games after AIBA overturned the result of his 69kg pre-quarterfinal bout against American Errol Spence which he had won 13-11 on August 3, following a review.

The 20-year-old had been declared the winner but following an appeal by his rival`s team management, the AIBA awarded the bout 15-13 to the American citing the fouls committed by the Indian which were not noticed by the referee.

Acting Chef-de-Mission of the Indian contingent Muralidharan Raja said that India would not pursue the matter any further.

"In view of the above, although Team India feels very hurt at the reversal of decision of bout no. 142 and declaring the opponent of Vikas Krishan to be the winner, with the approval and concurrence of Acting President IOA Prof VK Malhotra and Secretary General IOA, the subject matter is being rested and not pursued any further at this Competition as the protest is being considered non-maintainable," said Raja, who is also the Secretary General of the Indian Boxing Federation.

Men`s hockey coach Michael Nobbs was enswathing in his criticism of the team that has performed miserably in the competition. The team will now have to fight to avoid the wooden spoon after failing to win a single match in Group B so far.

Nobbs said the players had worked hard and were fit to take on the top teams "but they have let themselves, the team, their supporters and the country down".

"It is not a God-given right to play for your country. It is an honour you earn through hard work," said Nobbs. "If they cannot play, we have to move on."

India has a match on hand against Belgium to complete their round robin campaign before taking on the bottom-placed team from Group A to determine the 11th and 12th positions.