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Sri Lanka's Maharoof is on fire
The paceman says he will give 200 percent in the World Cup semi against New Zealand.
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2007 10:07 GMT

Sri Lankan fast bowler Farveez Maharoof wants to play twice as well if his best isn't good enough [AFP]

Farveez Maharoof, Sri Lanka seamer, said he would give 200 percent if that's what it takes to defeat New Zealand in the World Cup semi-finals at Sabina Park in Jamaica on Tuesday.
Maharoof put forward a convincing case for a place in the Sri Lankan eleven when he took four wickets in a player-of-the-match performance against Ireland last week, as well as pulling off a stunning run-out.

"I will give 200 percent in the match and I would back myself to perform," said the 22-year-old from Colombo.

"We have played really well so far. It will be a case of continuing to give it our best."

Maharoof, a former captain of the Sri Lankan Under-19 side, made the most of his chance against Ireland in Grenada when he came into the team in place of the injured Dilhara Fernando.

"I got injured earlier in the tournament against Bangladesh but I just kept working hard in the nets," Maharoof said.

"This is my first World Cup and it is something I have been looking forward to ever since I became professional three years ago."

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"Bravo Lanka! Sri Lanka thrashed Ireland by eight wickets in just 10 overs. I hope that Lanka will win in final if they play like today."

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Sri Lanka's bowlers have been ultra impressive in the World Cup so far with Maharoof's healthy contribution of nine wickets still well behind teammates Muttiah Muralitharan (19), Lasith Malinga (15) and Chaminda Vaas (12).

"All the bowlers have proved their class at the World Cup," added Maharoof.

"We have been talking about getting the basics right and putting the ball in the right areas.

"We are very happy with the way things are going and we are looking forward to the semi-finals."

A good headache

Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka captain, said he was undaunted about having to choose who to include and who to omit from his team for the match at Sabina Park where the pitch should have plenty of bounce.

"It's a good headache to have," said Jayawardene when asked if Maharoof would play a part in the semi-final.

"Everyone in this squad has put their hands up when it comes to performing. It would be a worse headache if we were not performing."

However, the decision on selection might be made easier if Fernando fails a fitness test.

"Dilhara played against Australia with an ankle problem," added Jayawardene.

"He had two injections in it and he needs to prove his fitness before the semi-finals."

Sri Lanka have the edge

Sri Lanka have a psychological edge over the Black Caps going into Tuesday's match after winning their Super Eights clash in Grenada on April 12 by six wickets.

Vaas and Muralitharan took three wickets each as the Black Caps were restricted to 219-7 off 50 overs, before Sri Lanka comfortably reached the target with almost five overs to spare as Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara each hit half-centuries.

The winner of Tuesday's semi-final will face either defending champions Australia or former world number ones South Africa, who meet in St Lucia on Wednesday, in Saturday's World Cup final in Barbados.

Source:
Agencies
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