Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Happy days

Bangladesh v Sri Lanka. Day Two. 1st Test. Dhaka

Sri Lankan fans are a happy type. We get off on the slightest bit of positivity. When Sri Lanka loses close chases, when we fall short of defending a target, drawing a series we should have won, or even losing a fourth consecutive world cup final, Sri Lankan fans find things to be happy about.

So when we win, or are in a position to win, we are the happiest group on Earth. Because we find joy in even the most disappointing scenarios, when there are constant positive signs, we treat our selves with a surprise induced happiness. Which is why the recent success of Eranga and Suranga, even though they really haven't proved themselves against a tough opposition, bring bright smiles. Which is why the Jayasuriyesque audacity of Kusal Perera is treated as if it's a god given gift and why the young Akhila Dhananjaya now is everyone's favourite teenager.  This surprise induced happiness is exactly what Kaushal Silva gave Sri Lanka yesterday.

Because Sri Lankans are used to expecting to win games with big hundreds from Aravinda and Sanath. With bucket loads of wickets for Murali and Vaas. Off late, the test winning formula consists of a combination of Sanga Mahela Dilshan and Herath. We don't associate us with winning games from the performances of the lesser known. So, when some one you don't expect joins the party, it brings an incomparable, inexpressible sort of joy to the face of the common Sri Lankan fan. The kind of joy that a Sangakkara or a Mahela hundred can never bring. 

Kaushal had his let-offs. To say he was lucky would be a complete understatement. He was on Felix Felicis. And he made it count. He drove, he pulled and he paddled round the corner, used his feet to the spinners and most importantly left the ball well. It does seem though, that he doesn't favour the cut shot much, unlike most batsmen of his stature, but it could also be due to the fact that he would rather leave anything short and out side off alone. As long as he can keep scoring as he is scoring now, whether he cuts or does not cut will not be a question anyone would bother asking.

Aided by the Bangladeshi fielders and the stumps,
Kaushal brought up a century that induced much needed joy.
Sangakkara too batted with immense class and confidence, the likes which we see him bring out every time there is a Bangladesh tour. Sanga's last 3 test hundreds have come against Bangladesh, and his previous test hundred against another opposition has come in the June of 2012. Knowing the stats buff he is, he will want to change that soon. Maybe it was a good thing he didn't get to a hundred. No one would want Sanga to be known as the Minnow-Basher, would they? 

Dimuth also batted with ease, actually looked more set than Kaushal. But Dimuth always looks more settled than we think he is. Because Dimuth has the ability to get out in the most in-daunting, untroubled situations ever. But these starts he's giving the team is really what keeps him in the team. When there are those who score 100, 0 and 20 in three innings to average 40, Dimuth is the type to get 40, 40 and 40. It's the sort of consistency you can't really be pleased about, nor can you complain.

During the evening session Sri Lanka started to milk the tired Bangladeshi bowlers, with Mahela and Chandi trying to make the most out of the opportunities handed. Sri Lanka will now have to begin the 3rd morning a fresh, quite possibly with Mahela and Mathews and try to bat Bangladesh out of the game. With Vithanage and Dilruwan to follow, they should be disappointed if they don't. But if Sri Lanka really want to test the mettle of the youngster, they would want to send in Kithruwan ahead of Mathews, giving him assured batting time with Mahela, and a scenario from which he can establish a name for him self with a big innings.

With questions to be answered, the laptop spectator shall gaze his sleepy eyes upon the live stream, for another day's play, and will pitch in his opinions at the end of it.

For now, these are the happy days.

Until then,

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