Thursday, 11 July 2013

Three days, two results, same old finalists

Finally the two day, one day match is over. It seemed to drag forever, ultimately the visitors coming on top. And now, the Sri Lankans can help themselves in not entering into the finals, with a crushing loss against India. However, the odds are against such an incident occurring, as of my knowledge and gut feeling.

The win against the Windies could be said as a hard fought one. The visitors were inserted to bat on an pitch with lot of life, and also sometimes behaving two paced. The opening bowlers on the Windies did exploit the conditions very well, which could clearly be seen with the footwork of the Sri Lankan batsman. Upul Tharanga's technique and the ability to handle the moving ball will always be a question mark. He was clearly disturbed by the bounce of the wicket and was laying back, with no footwork, ultimately lobbying the ball to extra cover. You cannot find any fault in MJ, even though it could be said that Jason Holder had the better of him, in his first over. However it could be said that it was an unlucky dismissal for Mahela.

Chandimal was on 150 not out when he drove that ball. At least he looked so. It happened out to be a great opportunity for Chandi, to have some good time in the middle. Questions, will be asked if he was given the vice captaincy too early in his careers and whether its affecting his A game. However, for me, he does have the potential to become the next MJ, even though he is still far away from achieving it. Of late, he seem to be going for more extravagant stroke play instead of applying himself. We cannot remember a solid knock by him, except for that cameo he played in the CT13 match against the Aussies. It could well be said, that the remaining matches of the series and the South Africa series could be a defining series for Chandi, as he badly need some runs, to back his potential and the faith selector have bestowed upon him.

The rise and fall of Chandimal may well be the deciding factor
of Sri Lanka's success in the final stage of the series.
The batsman who looked so much at ease in the wicket was Kumar Sangakkara. It could be easily be seen when studying how solid he played his knock. He was unlucky to miss on a richly deserved century. However, it was enough for the team to get through. People may be blaming young Thrimanne that he was too slow or struggling, but for me that was required by his part. Just to steady the ship and support Sanga. I'd assume if Thirimanne got out on day one, Sri Lanka would have been all out for less that 200. That partnership was the defining point of the match, event hough Mathews came and played a free flowing 30.

Getting into the bowling, Shaminda Eranga bowled wicket taking deliveries in midst of all the wayward stuff he produced. He clearly does seem to have the potential to turn out to be a true match winner for Sri Lanka in the future. He seem to be just one or two 5 wicket hauls from becoming a more assertive bowler for Sri Lanka, which he will in my opinion in the future. Mathews proved again to us, and to himself why he should be bowling more often, even with the new ball. Clearly he has the ability to use that white ball well, and move it around just enough to get results. Huffing and puffing, Sri Lanka finally pulled the rabbit out of the hat, and sealed victory, and laid one foot on the final, which was to be decided in their next game.

At the back of that victory, within 15 hours, Sri Lanka were back on the field against India, to decide which two teams would face up in the final, with all three countries still with a possibility of making it. Although the bowling seemed to be above par, keeping the Indians quiet for the whole 29 overs they batted, the fatigue clearly showed when the Sri Lankans came out to bat. Catalysed by a brilliant bowling spell from Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Sri Lanka stumbled in an exaggerated run chase, put forth by Duckwroth-Lewis, to hand India a win with a bonus point, to set up yet another Sri Lanka v India final in two days time.

More that soon.

Until then,

Maniya and Kumma

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