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Lankans running out of time to avoid Champions Trophy prelims

Written by: Staff

Dubai, Feb 27 (UNI) Sri Lanka's shocking loss to Bangladesh in the second match of the three-match ODI series, which they ultimately won 2-1, means they are now well and truly running out of time to avoid playing in the preliminary round of this year's ICC Champions Trophy in India.

Sri Lanka's unexpected loss against Habibul Bashar's side has prevented them from earning enough rating points to move above England and into the top six positions in the LG ICC ODI Championship table.

They now have just three more matches, against Pakistan next month, to achieve that placing and if they cannot then they will play off against the other sides in the bottom four positions of the table for the right to take part in the second round of the tournament.

But there was still some individual success for them to savour as Kumar Sangakkara has surged into the third place in the ODI batting rankings.

Sangakkara's excellent form, including 109 in the last match of the series in Chittagong, has drawn him level in that third position with India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni and only Australia's Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Pointing are now above him.

The wicketkeeper-batsman, who made more runs (182) than any other player from either side in the series has his best-ever haul of rating points.

It also means three of the top four players in that batting list are also wicketkeepers.

Atapattu is the only other Sri Lankan batsman in the top 20 (20th) down three places, after being rested for the series.

Sanath Jayasuriya is moving up the list again, heading up two places to joint 22nd, while Mahela Jayawardene, captain in Atapattu's absence in Bangladesh, is holding steady in 28th position.

Mohammad Ashraful is Bangladesh's, highest-placed batsman in the rankings, in joint 57th place, with Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan, while further down the list is Aftab Ahmed, man of the match in Bangladesh's win, in 76th spot.

With the ball, Sri Lanka's rested duo of Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas both drop down two places each, to seventh and eighth places respectively in the rankings for bowlers, a list that is led by South Africa's Shaun Pollock ahead of his country's ODI series with Australia.

Vaas's absence gave Farveez Maharoof the chance to impress and he took that chance with both hands, moving up 11 places to 35th in the list.


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