It was a delayed start yesterday due to rain on the fifth and final day of the Asia/Oceania Zone III of the Davis Cup tennis tournament at Green Path.
The front runners for the first and second teams to be promoted from Zone III to Zone II were Lebanon, Oman, Sri Lanka and UAE. Lebanon were way ahead and made themselves eligible for promotion by having won 4 ties.
In contention for the second position and thereby for promotion, were Oman with having won 3 ties, Sri Lanka 3 and UAE 2.
There was an air of expectancy when Sri Lanka took on Lebanon and Oman was pitted against UAE. For Sri Lanka to gain promotion they had to beat Lebanon and to make their case even stronger UAE had to beat Oman.
The matches that had no bearing and were of no consequence, were the ties between Singapore versus Malaysia and, Saudi Arabia against Vietnam.
In the Lebanon/Sri Lanka clash Rajeev Rajapakse replaced Renouk Wijemanne, who was in poor form in the singles match against Karim Alayali.
Rajeev did well as the first set began to hold his services to be 2 points up with Karim winning his services as well to equalise with 4 points.
Rajeev who was playing well, surprisingly by hitting out of court frequently and netting at times too, found Karim lead by one points (6/5) and won the first set at 7/5.
In the second set Rajeev played extremely well with short placements over the net on either side of the court and piercing serves and deft returns to lead 5 points and won the set 6/3, Rajeev was not himself in the third and final set and was not able to stretch Karim who gained a commanding lead of 5 points to 1 and won the set 6/1 to win the first singles match at 2-1.
In the second singles between Sri Lanka`s No, Harshana Godamanna and Lebanon`s No. 4, Romi Osman - Godamanna hadn`t to raise a sweat with his strong service and deft returns smashed his way through to win the first set at 6/0 and the second set 6/0 to win the match 2-0.
In the decisive doubles match between Sri Lanka`s combination of Harshana Godamanna and Rajeev Rajapakse against Lebanon`s pair of Romi Osman and Patrick Chucri.
The Sri Lankan duo completely dominated with Godammana and Rajapakse overhauling their opponents to win in straight sets 6/2, 6/3. Sri Lanka had the satisfaction of being the only side to beat Lebanon 2-1.
In the other matches worked of yesterday Vietnam won against Saudi Arabia 2-1, Malaysia beat Singapore 3-0 and Oman beat UAE 3-0.
The eventual positions were Oman won 6 and lost 3 to be No. 1.
Lebanon won 6 and lost 3 to be No: 2.
Sri Lanka won 5 and lost 4 to be No: 3.
UAE won 1 and lost 8 to be No: 4.
Vietnam won 6 and lost 3 to be No: 5.
Malaysia won 6 and lost 3 to be No: 6
Singapore won 3 and lost 6 to be No: 7.
Saudi Arabia won 3 and lost 6 to be No: 8.
This finds Oman and Lebanon promoted from Zone III to zone II. Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam and Malaysia will remain in Zone III whilst Singapore and Saudia Arabia will be relegated to Zone iv.
Results: Vietnam vs Saudi Arabia
Singles T.H. Tran (Viet) bt: O. AL Thagib (SA) 2/6, 6/2, 6/1 T. Anitabi (SA) bt: Q. Huyngo (Viet) 1/6, 6/2, 6/8.
Double Q Huyngo T.H. Tra (Viet) bt: S. AL Rajeh F. AL Saad 1-0 retired.
Vietnam Won 2-1
Sri Lanka vs Lebanon
Singles K. Alayali (Leb) bt: R. Rajapakse (SL) 7/5, 3/6, 6/1 H. Godamanna (SL) bt: R. Osmay (Leb) 6/0, 6/0.
Doubles H. Godamanna, R. Rajapakse (SL) bt: R. Rosman, P. Chucri (Leb) 6/2, 6/3.
Sri Lanka Won 2-1
Singapore vs Malaysia
Singles S. Veerasingham (Mal) bt: A.H. Jamaludin (Sing) 6/4, 6/3 Yew. Ming (Mal) bt: M.S. Wee (Sing) 6/3, 61.
Doubles Ql - Hao Tan, A.H. Zainuddin (Mal) bt: A.H. Jamaludin, C.J. Leong (Sing) 7/9, 6/0.
Malayasia won 3-0
Oman vs UAE
Singles M. AL Nabhani (OM) bt: M.N. AL Baloushi (UAE) 6/4, 6/1 K. AL Nabhani (OM) bt: O. Baharouzyan (UAE) 6/4, 3/6 3/1 rtd.
Doubles K. Al. Nabhani, M. AL. Nabhani (OM) bt: F. Basttaki H.A. AL. Janahi UAE 6/1, 6/2.
Oman Won 3-0