Share my amazing experience with fellow readers
Posted on November 5th, 2010

Larry de Silva Melbourne Australia

I won’t gloat but I need to share my amazing experience with fellow readers here, especially Sri Lankans. I was at one day cricket game between Sri Lanka and Australia on Wednesday, along with a good natured crowd of about 20,000 with about 16,000 ex-pat Lankans. It was a superb atmosphere complete with a para band dishing out new and old bailas and just people having great fun and genuine enjoyment.

The Aussies batted poorly, should have scored faster and about 40 more runs. Haddin was good. Hussey batted well but slowish. I thought that 240 was a very gettable score for SL.

SL started badly (2 for 19) but the old vanguard of Mehela and Kumar started something of a revival. Mahela was out plumb LBW and Kumar played a really dumb shot. Then when they got out, the collapso cricket took over from the calypso stuff, and wickets started falling all over the place.

Suddenly it was 8 for 107.

Frankly, I didn’t give SL any chance of even getting close, let alone winning it. It seemed crazy thinking at that stage and I was hoping that they score a few more runs so that the inevitable loss was honourable and bearable.

The next hour was simply unbelievable! I thought that it would only be a matter of time before either Mathews or Malinga got out and at the start they both batted with a “hit out or get out” mentality. The crowd noise was getting louder with each shot. But once they came close, reality set in that SL could win and they calmed down a fraction and used their heads more, refusing singles to expose Malinga or simply defending a few instead of thrashing at every ball. I felt that the Aussies started to panic when SL were about 25 short. The bowling wasn’t fast, straight and yorker length aimed at middle stump which in my mind it should have been, especially to Malinga. Having said that Mathews played some incredible scintillating pull shots to very fast balls aimed at his throat. The faster the ball was, the harder he hit it. Malinga I thought was lucky a few times but as a number 10, that’s what they do, ride their luck!

Then the climax and even the baila band stopped playing! The scores were level and Malinga goes on a suicidal single! OUT! In comes Murali, my all time SL hero who had earlier gone wicketless. Wow! The nerves were tingling and the excitement overflowing. The manic anticipation from all of us Sri Lankans was enormous. Murali then swings at a ball down leg-side and it’s a four! All over!! The crowd went wild and we started screaming with joy and hugging even strangers!! The tears that flowed freely were of unbridled happiness. What a win!

Namo Namo Martha had won from the brink of defeat over the famous Aussies!

It was one of the best one day games I have ever had the pleasure to witness. It just showed what a great game cricket can be and how you must never give up until the very last wicket is taken or the very last run is scored. I was guilty of this and learnt a good lesson.

 

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