Fourth title for India

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The Independent Online
A magnificent third-wicket stand of 175 by Navjot Sidhu and Mohammad Azharuddin, the captain, yesterday saw India to an eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Sidhu's 84 and 90 by Azharuddin, both unbeaten, were enough to give India their third consecutive win and their fourth title. Set 231 for victory, India scored 233 for 2 to reach the target with 7.1 overs to spare.

India started in a rush with Sachin Tendulkar and Manoj Prabhakar taking the score to 48 in just 8.4 overs. Tendulkar contributed 41 to the opening stand before he was caught by Sanath Jayasuriya. Prabhakar followed 10 runs later when he holed out to Romesh Kaluwitharana off Anil Kumble for nine. Then Azharuddin and Sidhu frustrated Sri Lanka's bowlers with attractive batting. Azharuddin, named Man of the Match, worked the ball on both sides of the wicket and had the Sri Lankans often shuffling their field.

Sri Lanka had earlier built their innings around Asanka Gurusinha, who hit a solid 85. They were 89 for 4 after 24 overs, but Gurusinha paced his innings and with Hashan Tillekeratne put on 61 runs for the fifth wicket. When a tired Gurusinha ran himself out, Sri Lanka had reached 218 for 7.

ASIA CUP (Sharjah) Final: Sri Lanka 230 for 7 (50 overs; A P Gurusinha 85); India 233 for 2 (41.5 overs; N S Sidhu 84no, M A Azharuddin 90no). India win by eight wickets.

Man of the Match: M A Azharuddin (India).

Man of the Series: N S Sidhu (India).

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