An Experiment That Failed And A Case Of Resting On Laurels?
Posted on June 4th, 2012

Top Spin by Suni

June 4th 2012

Having  beaten the Pakistani’s comprehensively in the Ist T20 at the same venue, the Sri Lankans displayed a total lack of concentration and lost like a bunch of novices to Pakistan in the 2nd game concluded yesterday so what seems to be the problem?

Did Mahela Jayawardena’s and Lasith Malinga’s exclusion while a few tryouts were given a go have anything to do with the loss ? which should not really have been the case albeit seemingly annoying from the standpoint of the fans who turned up in their numbers only to see their favourites go down like a stack of rolling pins after bowling out the Pakistani’s cheap. Dear Old Percy must have had a few vituperative to mutter under his breath too after all his exertions and exhortations which seemed to be of no avail aqnd perhaps rightfully so!

The target was not only gettable but the track which had no real terrors for batsmen however seemed to be the undoing of the top order batsmen in the minds of a few post mortem minded critics but the fact of the matter seemed to be a total lack of commitment towards the approach where the likes of Afridi, Tanvir and Ajmal forced the Lankan’s into silly mistakes and the game was lost.

For poor Angelo Mathews it was a baptismal of fire as his birthday gift and it sure looks like the young man is not  really ready to take on the reins of captaincy yet and Mahela’s tenure more than likely to be extend for sometime yet as huge disparities between the relative approaches to captaincy by the two players were quite apparent.

While all the fuss and bother is about a T20 game series and a format which seems questionable and simply a miniature form of the game in the eyes of many critics there is a relevance towards importance as the T20 World Cup comes up later where the venue will be Sri Lanka and by the time it commences Sri Lanka should be primed and fine tuned for performance hence the trying out of new players seems quite in order where the best squad needs to be picked. Hopefully this will be fait accompli by the time the tournament commences as some of the new tryouts seemed to miss by miles their chances of securing a slot while some others waiting in the wings surelty desrve a chance to prove their worth. Names aren’t worth mentionng as they seem pretty obvious. Caes in point for the selectors to ponder upon however!

What is most disconcerting about the loss is that it was on home turf with a huge fan compliment behind the Lankans yet all the big guns in the team failed to fire despite some of them performing like whiz kids in the recently concluded IPL so what happened to their fizz? Was it possible that it had dissipated and this was an indicative  burn out ? Hardly likely if the first game was anything to judge by! The boys were either simply not focusing or the leadership was not persuasive enough to motivate driving home the advantage!

And by the way Kulasekera’s promotion as a pinch hitter seemed somewhat awry as Thisara may have been a better choice although between the two of them they must have accounted for a few dead flies !!

All in all Shahid ASfridi has become a nemesis with the Lankans as in every game he participates the Lankans seem to stumble against him. They are either bamboozled by his spin or capitulate to his controlled hitting where there seems nothing terrifying about the man whatsoever beyond his intensity and persistence but then  there aren’t too many  Aravinda de Silvas or Sanath Jayasuriyas who could teach jolly old Afridi a thing or too in both departments around anymore where Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka’s highest rated batsman had an off day and Mahela was on the bench so the end result despite being a bit ignominious was perhaps predictable.

To add to the Lankan woes of the day Lasith Malinga was also rested where he might have made a difference towards a wagging tail which in this case seemed stuck firmly between Sri Lanka’s legs!

The Pakistanis however need all due credit as they stuck to their objective of somehow trying to secure the win after being bowled out for a meagre total and their persistence and intensity certainly paid off with Tanvir and Ajmal doing the mopping up operations.

Hopefully lessons will be learned in time for the forthcoming ODIs and Tests where of course it will in all probabilities be a different kettle of fish with different parcitipants towards Sri Lanka’s Armoury as they need to go out and prove that they are a contending force in world cricket!



Pakistan 122 for 6 (Afridi 52*, Kulasekara 2-13) beat Sri Lanka 99 (Afridi 2-17) by 23 runs

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