Cricket: Flower's fighting spirit not enough

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Zimbabwe 218 & 191-7 dec Sri Lanka 231 & 36-1 Match drawn

ANDY FLOWER maintained his impressive run of form with an unbeaten 70 but the captain's efforts could not prevent Zimbabwe losing the three- Test series 1-0 to Sri Lanka as the final match here fizzled out into a draw yesterday.

Flower, who ended the series with an average above 97, saw the Zimbabweans to 197 for 7 from their overnight 48 for 2 before making a token declaration with his side 184 runs ahead. After a day-and-a-half was lost to bad weather, there was not enough time for either side to snatch victory, and Sri Lanka had reached 36 for 1 before a halt was called after half of the available 18 overs had been bowled.

There was a sour end to the match for three of the Zimbabweans. Neil Johnson, Alistair Campbell and Murray Goodwin were each fined 30 per cent of their match fees by the referee, Jackie Hendriks, for sledging. Hendriks had earlier spoken to Sri Lanka's captain, Sanath Jayasuriya, after a period of frenzied appealing.

The Sri Lankans won the series courtesy of their victory in the second Test in Harare, having drawn the first in Bulawayo. The two countries now go into a five-match series of one-day international matches, the first in Bulawayo on Saturday.

(Final day; Sri Lanka won toss)

ZIMBABWE - First Innings 218 (K R Pushpakumara 5-56)

SRI LANKA - First Innings 231 (R P Arnold 104 not out)

ZIMBABWE - Second Innings

(Overnight: 48-2)

G W Flower c Dilshan b Vaas 13

C B Wishart b Vaas 9

M W Goodwin c Arnold b Muralitharan 38

N C Johnson c Dilshan b Wickramasinghe 9

*A Flower not out 70

A D R Campbell c Jayawardena b Vaas 27

G J Whittall c Arnold b Muralitharan 9

R W Price run out (Jayasuria) 4

E A Brandes not out 1

Extras (b4 lb4 nb9) 17

Total (for 7 dec) 197

Fall: 1-14 2-28 3-51 4-93 5-151 6-174 7-184.

Bowling: Vaas 22-5-48-3; Pushpakumara 21-5-39-0 (nb3); Wickramasinghe 21-6-30-1 (nb1); Jayawardena 2-0-12-0; Muralitharan 35-11-52-2 (nb5); Jayasuria 8-4-8-0.

SRI LANKA - Second Innings

M S Atapattu c A Flower b Brandes 6

S T Jayasuria not out 16

R P Arnold not out 14

Extras 0

Total (for 1) 36

Fall: 1-7

Bowling: Olonga 4-1-11-0; Brandes 4-0-20-1; Strang 1-0-5-0.

First Test: Drawn.

Second Test: Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets.

Sri Lanka win series 1-0