gibbs blow for proteas

A RIB injury has ruled South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs out of tomorrow's opening Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka at Centurion.

A RIB injury has ruled South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs out of tomorrow's opening Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka at Centurion.

He suffered the injury when avoiding a drive from skipper Graeme Smith during a 188-run win over the West Indies on Friday in a warm-up game for the biennial one-day tournament.

South Africa physio Brandon Jackson told reporters he hoped Gibbs would be fit for the match against New Zealand on Thursday or against England three days later.

Hashim Amla is a possible replacement in the opening match of the two-week tournament for Gibbs, who boasts an overage of more than 50 in the Champions Trophy and scored 21 ODI centuries.

Defending champions Australia, India, Pakistan and the West Indies comprise Group A with South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and England in Group B and the top two in each after a single-round mini-league reaching the semifinals.

Pakistan skipper Younus Khan has given his team an injury worry ahead of the Champions Trophy after suffering a minor fracture of a little finger during a training session at the weekend before a 108-run warm-up triumph over Sri Lanka.

"It is a little fracture and nothing serious. We will assess it on Monday (today) and hopefully it should be alright," Khan said on Saturday.

The Pakistanis face neighbours India on Saturday, September 26, and Khan said he wanted to avenge a defeat by their fiercest rivals in the 2003 World Cup despite scoring 270 runs.

"That result still hurts. A score of 250 was considered safe, but we were undone by brilliant batting from Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, backed by Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh," he recalled.

Injured Sehwag is a notable absentee from the 15-match tournament and India opener Gautam Gambhir conceded it will impact on a team ranked third in the world behind Australia and South Africa.

"Virender is so destructive that he allows you to be yourself. He is a legend of the game and you surely miss him," he said. - Sapa

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