bangbang series begin
The start of the Test series to the shorter version
or the cowboy game between Sri Lanka and England could not have
been more thrilling than the Twenty 20 at the Rose Bowl in Hampshire.
In front of a capacity crowd, the Lankan lions were able to tame
the English by the thinnest of margins for a well earned and an
important win. It was fascinating to witness the Media hype for
England before the game. The Media went to the extent of recalling
the grand victory by 100 runs over the Aussies last year and in
the same breath was clamoring for an English victory. The English
sports fans who were celebrating England’s win over Trinidad
and Tobago in World Cup football, were hoping for a double celebration
that evening! What a disappointment it turned out to be! Having
said that, what England need to understand is that, their squad
has been depleted by injury and is more or less second string. Whilst
the new comers are very promising and have potential, it should
not be discounted that they would be up against two masters who
have made the craft of bowling, their own. This, all England should
accept as definitely being of a tall order.
Beating England without Murali and Vaas
The win at the Rose Bowl was therefore, all the
more creditable though it was just a 20 over game, (Which is now
a permanent feature in the world cricket calendar) after Sri Lanka
decided to rest both Muthiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas. Whilst
the very short version would not have been Murali’s cup of
tea, Chaminda Vaas with his great experience would have been very
handy to bowl a few cheap overs, not forgetting his ability with
the bat when it is needed. The fact that they both were rested and
Sri Lanka won with an inexperienced bowling line up defies the dooms
day prophets of England, especially the great Geoffrey Boycott who
strongly believed that Sri Lanka had no bowlers of quality. One
can recall his familiar sentiments echoing during the test series.
“Sri Lanka has just one bowler who could win them games “Take
him out of the equation and they will struggle to get batsmen out”
Maybe true in the case of getting batsmen out, but certainly not
the case in being able to restrict some of them and win in the end.
Once again a big Well Done to Mahela and his boys.
|Lankan team goes into the ODI series with
One has to at the very outset pat the selectors
on the back for their correct selection of the additional players.
It was good to see the experienced Russell Arnold being recalled
along with pace bowlers Dilhara Fernando and Ruchira Perera, who
could have easily made it to the test squad too. However one has
to spare a thought for the Chilaw Marians all rounder Gayan Wijekoon!
After over 900 runs in the Domestic First Class tournament and a
decent share of wickets, Wijekoon would have given Sri Lanka’s
the ideal allrounder’s option at least in the One Day game.
It was both a pity and a surprise that he missed the Selectors nod,
in view of the poor showing of some of the players who have been
retained to fill in the allrounders berth. On the point of selection,
it is nothing but fair that inform players be considered and not
players with historical records.
Coming back to the One Day Internationals, the
fact that Sanath Jayasuriya seems to be getting back to his old
form could be another key and a decisive factor in the out come
of it. The Rose Bowl did witness the Jayasuriya of old before been
unfairly adjudged LBW to a delivery which was missing the leg stump
by some margin. I am sure that the whole of Sri Lanka would be hoping
that the Master Blaster would put his test match disappointment
behind him and would come up with something extra special to wind
up his International cricket career in England. It is very apparent
that the English Cricket fans tend to respect and regard greats
who are both present and also former. The acceptance and the following
of both Arjuna Ranathunga and Aravinda De Silva have in this country
is still very high and the likes of Jayasuriya, Muralitharan and
Vaas too are been held in very high esteem in England. Surely all
three on their last tour to England, they would want to end it on
a high. Muralitheren has already done it with his bowling and especially
his feat at Nottingham. And what a finale it would be for the trio
of great cricketers to finish off in England on a high! Not just
personally but for the team too. I am sure skipper Jayawardane and
the rest of the young brigade would want to say thank you to the
Three Great Men. They could do that by combining well for yet another
famous performance! A victory in the One day Internationals! As
for me watching from close quarters it has never been more real
on this tour.