Sri Lanka Capitulate to Pakistan At Premadasa So Are They Still Favourites To Win The Cup?
Posted on February 26th, 2011

Top Spin By Suni

26th Feb.2011
 
In the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s game against Pakistan today it certainly doesn’t seem definitive despite all the media hype as there appears to be some work to be done! Hopefully the selectors will not have to rue the day thay have left out possible key performers in very recent history and more hopefully the decisions have not been based on egocentric decision making casting aside the entitled merits of certain deserving players to accommodate favourites which in the minds of some cricket analysts seems to have been the order of the day when the final 16 was posted.
 
Perchance the lost toss may have been a factor today as no side chasing substantial totals have ever won at Premadasa  according to the record books but that is no excuse to make good and create a precedent which the Lankans have the potential for and almost did, given the talent they carried into the game despite the absence of Vaas, Randive and Chandimal to name a few!
 
Then there is also the grey area surrounding skipper Sangakkara’s cognizance about when to set an attacking field, going more on the defensive when he needs to tighten the screws, take a chance or two and perhaps take a cue from his opposite number who was absolutely persistent in harrying the Lankan batsmen into the inevitable errors some of them made today with brilliant field placing and bowling changes!
Next comes the question of Lasith Malinga who was seen in a somewhat pensive mood ruminating on the bench where he might have made a difference towards getting the Pakistanis out cheaply taking nothing away from Younis and Misbah who batted with intent and forcefully but then Malinga is Malinga and Sri Lanka’s premium strike bowler is he not? Dilhara Fernando notwithstanding and all in all remebering their brilliant performances in the last World Cup!
 
There are undercurrents which of course cannot be clarified that Malinga was being rested for key games later on and that his fitness was the issue but if this is true why was he picked for the squad in the first place?Even at 41 a spanking fit Sanath Jayasuriya apart from Chaninda Vaas might have supplemented Sri Lanka’s need by comparison with a doubtful Malinga for reasons which some believe may be hypothetical  although in the minds of many the latter might have been the better option but seems to have been hard done by in the overall scheme of things. 
Murali as usual was his brilliant self, mixing it all up and Herath probably stole the limelight from him with the figures he posted but insufficient to pin the Pakistanis down where the likes of Malinga and Ajanta Mendis might have and down the road could turn out winning  performances which they were disentitled to through omission today!
 
Interestingly enough  if the Lankans bow out of the competition ere they reach the Semis at least, surely heads will roll and it needs no rocket science to figure out whose? And there are many who believe Vassy’s inclusion may have been decisive in today’s game which in a sense should have been claimed by the Lankans regardless of the toss as at times the Pakistani’s looked sloppy in the field, had a few close calls even with the bat and running between wickets which looked promising with a little help from their opposite numbers with one runout to show for their trouble where there probably should have been more. 
Dilshan after seemingly consolidating a decent opening stand with Tharanga. as usual indulged another of his now famous vertical drives reminiscent of another opener perhaps better equipped for major league baseball and paying for it dearly, caught in the outfield. 
What with Sangakkara who was coming along nicely after a tentative start, offering a dolly to the close in field and Mahela Jayawardena all at sea to a Gul scorcher which was virtually unplayable once the choice was made to play back  once again the top order Lankan batsmen were back in the pavilion!
 
Interestingly enough Chamara Silva who many thought was undeserving of his place threw in his lot for the Lankans with his usual brilliance in the field and a return to his swashbuckling form with the bat and almost pulled off the thrilling win  and together with the Kulasekera cameo which followed, the  game went down to the wire  which of course was perhaps some consolation with greater things in store for the future but it’s back to the drawing board  for Sri Lanka for now as India, Australia, England and South Africa and now Pakistan look imposing enough and will be more so in the later rounds, so if the Lankans  are to make the cut, work has to be done.
And please can we tone down on the many predictions~ soothsayers included ! about Sri Lanka’s overall chances of winning the Championship until its all over taking into consideration the glorious uncertainties of the game  and the calibre of some of the competitive teams participating as the Lankans seem to have a bit of proving to do after today !
Luckily for them there is always that singing fat lady who just might prove their worth if they try hard enough!

8 Responses to “Sri Lanka Capitulate to Pakistan At Premadasa So Are They Still Favourites To Win The Cup?”

  1. veediyabandara Says:

    I agree with your comments except what you said about Chamara Silva. Despite his strike rate of about 66% at the end of his innings, we was largely responsible together with Sangakkara for the Sri Lanka’s failure to reach the target. In the middle overs both of them let far too many dot balls. They should have simply rotated the strike and accumulated singles. Until about Chamara finished his 50th delivery, he could not find a single gap in the field. Even Sangha did the same error of not rotating the strike to some extent. At least he should have demanded that Chamara opens out. Their poor run rate added immense pressure on batsmen down the line who could have otherwise got us over the line. Samaraweera and Matthews who are both very capable batsmen had to give up their wickets in vain in the improbable run chase. There is one other thing which I cannot agree with you but laugh my stomach out; “rolling heads”. It happens in the rest of the world but not in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka the guily party always thrives.

  2. Sirih Says:

    Some one misread the wicket since SL seam balling was not effective and Sanga gave so many singles ( almost 140 runs) due to bad field settings… Spinners were not supported by the field settings..
    Mahela was distracted and playing a fast ball against the line was a grave mistake since he just started and need to get in to the rhythm first….
    Chamara should not be in the team at all and he is there due to political influence and one of the worst in the team.
    Samaraweera’s stumping was one of the worst I have seen from a player who is so crucial at that time and open the wicket for spin bowler and you cannot get worst than that for incompetence.
    Herath was one of the few bright stars.

    Hope SL team learn its lessons and it is unfortunate we lost this match in our own back yard due to poor selection, bad field settings and worst of all is that misreading the wicket and not selecting the bowlers for the wicket.

  3. OaO Asithri Says:

    Time for some chilling out and modulated-reflections I see…well Suni, I largely agree with your analysis and commend you for contribution herein. Yes, I do agree with what you say about the cause-effect of our collapse, except I do also agree with VeediyaB that Sanga-Chamara partnership should have been more calculating, conniving, AND strategizing as that is the time I saw we had the opportunity to pull this off – and lose it quite pathetically.

    However, I do take strong exception to the comment by “Sirih” which goes into “Chamara should not be in the team at all and he is there due to political influence”…as I find this totally petty minded, obnoxiously partisan minded, not befitting the gallant Sri Lanka Cricket spirit we have become accustomed to! I hope this type of comment, obviously from an obvious “Myopic Colombian” who is against this LTTE-defeated-patriotic-SL-regime will not be a demoralizing factor for Chamara (for the future) who did much to assure that or beloved SL shined at the end of the day!

    OaO Asithri

  4. cassandra Says:

    I know that Arjuna Ranatunga is not exactly the ‘flavour of the month’ these days but no-one can doubt his canny cricketing brain. Did he not say recently, that he was worried about SL’s brittle middle order? How right he has been proved! One of the strengths of the successful 1996 team was the quality of the middle order. If you hark back to the 1996 semi Final against India, you will recall how the first three wickets were down for 35 runs. Then Aravinda did his historic rescue act with 66 and next the middle order of Mahanama, Ranatunga and Tillekeratne added 125 runs between them. And down the order, Vaas contributed 23 valuable runs much like Kulasekera did on Saturday.

    As the SL ‘brains trust’ sits down to review Saturday’s result, they will no doubt pay due regard to AR’s sound reflections.

  5. mario_perera Says:

    Thank you Suni. Yes when the crucial moment arrived our team failed. Now the time for post-mortems. Harping on Jayasuriya and Vaas is like beating dead horses and serves not practical purpose. They are gone, so let them ‘rest in peace’. As for team selection, the absence of Malinga was a sad loss, as he might have restrained the batsmen in the last overs. Tissara Perera was initially a batsmen and has now become a bowler. He gave away too many runs in the slog overs, being wayward in line and length. As for his batting, he belongs to the class of those who ‘also batted’. The spinners did they job well. They were very tight. The failure was the batsmen. A very good start was squandered. The first four wickets fell in quick succession. Sanga and Chamara did some rebuilding work and were shaping well. Then Sanga skied a sitter. Later Chamara jumped out and was stranded by yards to a wide. All totally unnecessary. Sanga is kown to be an unlucky captain with the toss. This bad luck continued yesterday. His field placing can be criticized. Quite strange for a man known as being very intelligent. No surprise that his ‘VIVA Add’ does not vaunt his field placing skills! All in all we failed with the bowlers giving away too many runs in the last five overs and the careless batting of the top order. All bad judgment and poor assessment of the situation of the moment. As for fielding, our players can NEVER hit the stumps when throwing for run outs. I repeat the word ‘NEVER’.
    I once suggested that what our team management should include is a very good ‘PSYCHOLOGIST’ as a permanent member to boost the temperament of our cricketers. I still think so having seen our sad performance of yesterday.

  6. Terry Says:

    Mahela was bowled by a scorcher from Aktar not Gul

    Chamara Silva will be rueing over his 43 dot balls (Over 7 overs!!!) Crowds were getting restless and frustrated by his “thatu” strategy. Sanga 20 dot balls when batting with Chamara and 4 dot balls with Dilshan. Ofcourse he was there a longer time with Chamara but did not witness the rotation of strike he is accustomed to when batting with the likes of Mahela,Dilshan.
    Chamara nearly redeemed himself but 7 overs of dot balls is not what middle order “finishes” are reknown for.

  7. priyantha273 Says:

    No one talk about the mistakes done by Pakistan side. Drop catches, missed stumping chances, missing run outs etc, otherwise we could have been restricted 40-50 runs before. We should admit our failure.
    Mahela`s wicket was the crucial one. Once we saw that, game was given up both Sanga and Chamara by wasting dot balls unnecessary and wanted to just to complete the 50 overs.
    However Tail end did their best, i believe .

  8. Nanda Says:

    Priyantha,
    You are correct. You must take into account that Chamara was out long before. He and Sanga wasted all the overs.

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