The Lankans Answer Their Critics With Aplomb And Blow The South Africans Away At Durban.
Posted on December 29th, 2011

Top Spin By Suni
December 29th 2011

Contrary to their critics~ Kepler Wessels and Alan Donald in particular and those ‘ little chirpers’ in some of the post write up comments in the Cricinfo columns, the Durban Test was as one-sided as it ever has been from a  Proteas’ perspective in that they wereon the losing side and resoundingly thrashed by an underdog team which they probably grossly underestimated. The team which the critics said could not beat an ‘A’ team  from South Africa but which today wiped out all the negative comments from some corners of the cricketing world with aplomb and their fine -performance at Durban as they played to a team and blew the South Africans away.

With this win Sri Lanka probably has set right much of their current woes which began since their World Cup final runner up performance  last April, their lacklustre stint against Pakistan in the Emirates and having to deal with the indiscretions of a teetering at times dodgy Cricket Administration to moot but today ended up  securing their first everTest success in South Africa with a wonderful team effort. It is fervently hoped that some of the players sidelined in the current series will  also be considered in the future where passengers and non performers are  shown the bench where Murphy’s Law for them would be inapplicable on an Ad Infinitum basis unless a quickfire response proves their net worth and past Laurels do not support their continued claim to a place with so much new talent around crying for selection justifiably!

Nevertheless!! this Sri Lanka victory is a memorable and commendable team effort where the South African batting seemed ordinary as their top guns in the upper order had no answer to the blistering pace, variety and accuracy of quick leftie Chanaka Welegedera, Dihara Fernando , Thisara Perera and the wily left arm spin of Rangana Herath who ended up man of the match with a bag of nine wickets. Sri Lanka’s memorable win faced stubborn resistance for awhile in the second essay  from Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn, who for awhile gave the locals something to cheer about until their removal and  Rangana Herath mesmerised the tail where the final three wickets went down in four deliveries. This Lankan win can be rated easily as one of the biggest upsets of 2011 and perhaps with more to follow in the New Year 2012 if the Sri Lankans continue their current form.

It was a game where the old stalwarts like Kumar Sangakkara with his dashing hundred reigned supreme, Thilan Samaraweera all but forgotten by the selectors previously through no fault of his own was solid and textbook correct as he posted his fighting ton amidst a barrage of quickies, bouncers and yorkers from the likes of Steyn, Morkel and de Lang  the debutante who bowled with precision and fire.

Dilhara Fernando in whom the selectors still have some faith came up with very effective performances and bowled good line and length with variation towards the historic win apart from the efforts of Welagedera, Perera and  Herath where the coming of age of another brilliant youngster Dinesh Chandimal (who incidentally needs to curb his yelping from behind the stumps ) with sparkling consecutive fifties on debut and his smart keeping also embellished the Lankan win!

Finally Tillekeratne Dilshan has won a Test as Captain which needs congratulating where despite his contributions with bat and ball albeit minimal, and the usual string of “definitively’s” in his post game oratory almost a hallmark trait~ said with a smile and no malice ! augers well towards the win, being opportune  as his resolve seemed much more positive and aggressive than previously known but he does need to develop a relentless killer instinct in the manner of an Arjuna Ranatunga to set a near impenetrable field as well as an attacking one when necessary and take the Lankans to greater heights.

The Lankan Lions have indeed coralled  the fleet of foot Springboks in their own backyard, chewed them up and hopefully silenced those critics who gave the Lankans little chance of winning in South Africa.

They will certainly continue to greater heights as the series progresses with a Test and five One Day Games to follow if their form today is continuous and as dazzling towards baffling the Saffies who today seemed a bit outplayed albeit with good reason!.

9 Responses to “The Lankans Answer Their Critics With Aplomb And Blow The South Africans Away At Durban.”

  1. Dham Says:

    Machang,
    I thought you are the biggest critic !
    I don’t know whether you agree but I noticed the following.

    . Without fast bowling with not very short but surprise bounce at 140 k is required to wind matches outside Sri lanka.
    we have seen in both boxing day matches (i.ie Aus vs India and this one) that the ball coming at the head at 140 k can be very sucessful.
    . To hell with Muppet Atapattu, bowling coach must instruct the captain to use the fastest bowler early. Don’t wait like an idiot until slower fast bolwers cannot get an opening batsman out.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    I’m most impressed with LD Chandimal as keeper. We have a replacement for Sanga in ODIs.

    We need faster bowlers. A pool of fast bowlers should be created. New talent should be sought.

    NLTC Perera should be given more exposure. He will be our best all rounder in ODIs and test cricket in time to come. Matthews and Thilan are not useful all rounders any more. They are batsmen only. Very ineffective bowlers. We are dangerously low on all rounders. Gone are the days of Arjuna, Aravinda, Gurusinghe, Kalpage, Jayasuriya, Hathurusinghe, Chandana, Arnold who could bat well and bowl well too. We need such all rounders.

  3. Dham Says:

    Dilrook,

    I agree. Perera is good , he can swing but not enough agression and speed. Who else ? Only aging Dilhara and Dhammika can bowl at 150ks ( sometimes). They are a way ahead of others. How about new Alvitigala ?
    My point is faster bowlers should be used from over 1. All commentatorr were puzzled why Dilhara was given only 9 overs, that too came too late. Muppet Atapattu is the idiot influencing bowling selection.
    Luckily Kulasekara was not approved. Otherwise we couldn’t have won this match.
    I think we should try Alvitigala instead of Perera in the hext match.

  4. Dilrook Says:

    Dham

    I agree with Alvitigala. Dhammika, Lakmal, Thushara are also good fast bowlers.

    I think selectors didn’t want to take a chance with Alvitigala. But now they can.

    At the same time we have to make some sacrifices to develop the only real young all rounder we have. Dilshan is out. Unless he comes back into centuries, he cannot stay long.

  5. sena Says:

    A display of traditional Sri Lankan trait of over jubilation and pompous over a single event. It also display our tradition of being offended and taking personal the comments and analysis by others which is part of the business. While this victory is remarkable it is too early to predict the rectification of all the short comings, specially the effect of corruption and mismanagement on the moral of the team and its selection.

  6. Dilrook Says:

    Cape Town wicket suits fast bowlers and SA has the key. We have to do better than usual to pull through a win or a draw.

    Team morale is high after such a long time. I hope the dues are paid to the team which is outstanding for over 6 months now.

    Dilshan should play his test game which don’t seem to be with him any more.

    Mahela is at Gavaskar’s career total runs. This should motivate him to do better. If he improves a little bit on consistency, he can end up the second highest test scorer. He has the potential. Sanga too can get there. That will be a fantastic record for us as we already hold the bowling record. These motivations can propel the team to greater heights.

  7. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Here we have an historic win where the laurels are shiny and radiant and this joker Sena is making negative comments about a “traditional Sri Lankan Trait of over jubilation and pompousness??? What’s his problem? Might he be a relative of Naveen Pillai perchance? Those personal comments by Wesells and his entourage were deserving of a few resounding kicks up their rear for the manner in which they had the nerve to belittle Sri Lanka and not part of any business other than perhaps some monkey business this Sena seems to be on about!Indeed the win has countered much of the mismanagement and corruption towards raising their morale olde chap so “Up The Lankans “and down with your negative comments. Raise a glass to this win and cheer them on to many more ans stop bellyaching in a typically idiosyncratic manner of a negative handfull of doomsday pessimists found only in Sri Lanka as the rest of them cheer their side on!

  8. Jayantha Says:

    All you armchair pundits and critics fail to realize that Sri Lankan cricketers were not paid for over a year. Just before the second test they received half their accumulated past salaries.

    How can a man perform with no salary. Our cricketers are not angels or saints to perform with no monetary returns.

    Thanks Pandithayas – JP

  9. cassandra Says:

    I can relate to the sentiment of what Sena has said – to keep the victory at Durban in proper perspective and to be prepared to handle criticism without being offended.

    It was without doubt a great win. And for the team to come back the way it did, after suffering a real thrashing in the previous Test, was nothing less than remarkable. The team deserves our whole hearted congratulations for that.

    As Sena suggests, however, we need to accept this victory – excellent as it was – with due modesty and not allow ourselves to get carried away with it. The challenge is to continue to do well.

    Kepler Wessels may feel in retrospect that his comments on the quality of the SL team were not very prudent. But – given the SL side’s poor record in recent times – can we realistically say that his comments were not well founded? And if anyone thinks his comments were harsh, it is good to reflect on the way the English and Australian media savage their national sides when they don’t perform.

    It is to the great credit of the SL team that, if anything, it used KW’s criticism as a spur to greater effort and succeeded in proving him wrong.

    Good Luck to the SL team. Durban was a great victory. May the New Year bring more victories in its train.

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