Caf in­creases prize money

Herath ten-for puts S/Lanka on the brink

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

THE Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Football has increased prize money for its club com­pe­ti­tions by more than 100 per­cent, while the African Cup of Na­tions (Af­con) to­tal pack­age has also been increased by THREE days be­tween Tests is hardly enough for teams to work on their weak­nesses. But this was Zimbabwe’s op­por­tu­nity to prove they had learnt from their mis­takes in the first Test, or at least from their first in­nings in this Test. Go­ing by the ev­i­dence of the 45 overs they bat­ted on the fourth day at Harare Sports Club yes­ter­day, they haven’t.

Ran­gana Herath, Sri Lanka’s stand-in cap­tain, who on the pre­vi­ous day had be­come just the third bowler af­ter Mut­tiah Mu­ralitha­ran and Dale Steyn to com­plete five-wicket hauls against all Test op­po­si­tions, picked up five wick­ets to leave Zimbabwe in a spin. Along the way, he be­came the first bowler to take 50 wick­ets in 2016. Chas­ing an im­prob­a­ble 491, af­ter Sri Lanka’s dec­la­ra­tion on 258 for 9 mid­way through the sec­ond ses­sion, Zimbabwe slumped to 180 for 7, with first-in­nings half-cen­tu­rion Craig Ervine and Don­ald Tiri­pano at the crease.

The first three wick­ets fell in iden­ti­cal fash­ion: bats­men press­ing for­ward and play­ing either out­side the line or in­side the line with­out any con­vic­tion, al­most like they were search­ing for the ball with­out quite read­ing the tra­jec­tory. The de­liv­er­ies that got Brian Chari and Hamil­ton Masakadza were arm-balls, while an­other flighted de­liv­ery spun away from the rough to take Tino Ma­woyo’s edge off a ten­ta­tive push to Dhanan­jaya de Silva at slip.

Sean Wil­liams de­cided the best way to score runs was to step out to the spin­ners. He was lucky that a cou­ple of mishits landed up to 64 per­cent. Af­con win­ners will now get $4 mil­lion, up from $1.5 mil­lion, which rep­re­sents an increase of 166 per­cent. The los­ing fi­nal­ists will pocket $2 mil­lion; los­ing semi-fi­nal­ists will each get $1.5 mil­lion, while those that will bow out at the quar­ter-fi­nals stage will get $800 000. The to­tal Af­con pack­age has increased from $10 mil­lion to $16.4 mil­lion. In club com­pe­ti­tions, the Caf Cham­pi­ons League win­ners will now get $2.5 mil­lion com­pared to the present $1.5 mil­lion. The run­ners-up are set to get $1.25 mil­lion, up from $1 mil­lion. Semi-fi­nal­ists will get $875 000, while quar­ter-fi­nal­ists will be $650 000 richer. Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup kings will be re­warded with $1.25 mil­lion and los­ing fi­nal­ists $625 000, semi-fi­nal­ists $450 000, while reach­ing the quar­ter-fi­nals guar­an­tees $350 000. Fourth-placed teams in the four groups of the Caf Cham­pi­ons League will be re­warded with $550 000, while in the Caf Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup, teams will be paid $275 000, up from $165 000. Zimbabwe is set to be rep­re­sented by Ngezi Plat­inum Stars in the Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup. The PSL debu­tantes beat FC Plat­inum 3-1 in the Chibuku Su­per Cup fi­nal played at Baobab Sta­dium in Mhon­doro on Satur­day, while three teams are still in the run­ning for the Cham­pi­ons League slot, with two rounds safe. But the vis­i­ble dif­fer­ence in his ap­proach was that there were no half-mea­sures, like he ex­hib­ited in fetch­ing a slog sweep off Dil­ruwan Per­era from out­side off over deep mid­wicket. Hav­ing weath­ered the early storm against spin, he paid the price for re­lax­ing against the pac­ers; an ugly waft away from the body re­sult­ing in a thick edge to first slip off Lahiru Ku­mara.

Flight wasn’t the only com­po­nent of spin that trou­bled Zimbabwe. Dhanan­jaya de Silva, handed the ball per­haps just to shake things up af­ter Dil­ruwan kept get­ting picked off for runs, had a wicket in his sec­ond over when Mal­colm Waller looked to drive, much like he did in the first in­nings, to a ball that drifted away to take the edge through to the wick­et­keeper.

Not even the loss of five wick­ets in the ses­sion curbed the in­stincts of Zimbabwe’s bats­men. Peter Moor kept go­ing af­ter the bowlers and struck them well for as long as he was around, be­fore jab­bing with hard hands to be caught at silly point. Then came per­haps the ball of the in­nings when Herath got one to drift-in and spin away to square Cre­mer up and hit the stumps. It was quite fit­ting that the spe­cial de­liv­ery brought his sev­enth ten­wicket haul in Tests.

Mean­while, Ervine, it ap­peared, was bat­ting on a com­pletely dif­fer­ent tan­gent, play­ing de­liv­er­ies on merit while tak­ing toll of the half-track­ers. Un­like in the first in­nings, they will need him and Tiri­pano, who in the past has proved to be a handy of league matches re­main­ing.

Caps United, FC Plat­inum and High­landers all have a chance of win­ning the sole ticket, although Makepekepe have bet­ter chances com­pared to FC Plat­inum and High­landers.

In a let­ter to all the as­so­ci­a­tions ref­er­enced, “Up­dated rev­enues grid for na­tional teams and club within Caf com­pe­ti­tions — Cy­cle 2017-2020”, Caf said its ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee ap­proved the new fig­ures at a meet­ing held in Cairo, Egypt, on Septem­ber 27, 2016.

“Caf hereby in­forms you of the up­date of the rev­enues grid de­tail­ing the al­lo­ca­tion of rev­enues for na­tional teams and clubs tak­ing part in the fi­nal phases of Caf com­pe­ti­tions dur­ing the four-year cy­cle 2017-2020. This grid has been re­vised up­wards tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the re­newed agree­ments reached with our agen­cies in charge of com­mer­cial­is­ing TV and mar­ket­ing rights of Caf com­pe­ti­tions,” reads the Caf let­ter dated Novem­ber 8.

It said the al­lo­ca­tions would be ap­pli­ca­ble from Jan­uary 2017, just ahead of the To­tal African Cup of Na­tions.

“As a pol­icy mat­ter, Caf will usu­ally trans­fer to each team prior to the be­gin­ning of the fi­nal tour­na­ments 50 per­cent of the rev­enue al­lo­cated to teams fin­ish­ing fourth in their groups in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate the teams’ prepa­ra­tions,” reads the let­ter.

The tim­ing will see the Mighty War­riors miss­ing out on the wind­fall, as the Women Na­tions Cup fi­nals be­gin next week in Cameroon. bats­man, to carry on for as pos­si­ble to at least en­sure their mar­gin of de­feat isn’t iden­ti­cal to the first Test.

The first ses­sion was at­tri­tional, with Sri Lanka happy to take their time to grind Zimbabwe. Re­sum­ing on 102 for 4, they added 75 in the first ses­sion to leave Dimuth Karunaratne facing the prospect of bring­ing up his fifth Test ton. Asela Gu­naratne, the other overnight bats­man, made a sparkling 39, driv­ing from the rough and play­ing with a de­gree of au­thor­ity, be­fore fall­ing lbw to Tiri­pano on 39.

Sri Lanka’s in­tent to up the scor­ing af­ter in the sec­ond ses­sion was ev­i­dent from the out­set. Given a li­cense to at­tack, in line with his nat­u­ral game, Kusal Per­era was in the mood to frus­trate Zimbabwe as he swept, swiped and re­verse-swept his way to a half­cen­tury off just 61 balls to swell Sri Lanka’s sec­ond-in­nings to­tal.

Su­ranga Lak­mal too helped him­self like he would in a buffet, pick­ing away leg stump half-vol­leys and half-track­ers to the bound­ary in an en­ter­tain­ing 47-run ninth­wicket stand off just 37 de­liv­er­ies. Herath de­clared when Kusal holed out to long-on for 62, thereby giv­ing them­selves a dayand-a-half to dis­miss Zimbabwe. Go­ing by Zimbabwe’s tra­vails against spin, Sri Lanka’s bowlers may have just earned them­selves close to day’s rest on Thurs­day to go with a 2-0 sweep that looks set to go into Herath’s cap­taincy book bar­ring thun­der­storms on the fi­nal day. — ESPNCricinfo

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