By Julian Bolling (Former national
The thrilling win South Africa recorded against India last night really proves that this version of the World Cup has become an open affair. India would have regretted the decision to bat first after winning the toss but then again on the other hand it proves the sustainability of South Africa.
They lost against England in a low scoring game and then correct their errors and put themselves in a position to challenge a score of 296. The win deserves, from the point of South Africa, and the result gives us so many indications on how the game of cricket is faring.
The fact of uncertainty playing under lights may pop up and then the luck of winning the toss to gain a psychological advantage is no more a winning fact. With this game and during the week we saw the game twisting towards the most talented side to handle the pressure and execute their plans in accordance.
That is the beauty of cricket. The game is a big time happening in the subcontinent and in Sri Lanka with the big match season is on.
It’s also nice to see the minnows showing promise and challenging the much fancied teams and even going to the extent of beating them. This World Cup is filled with great surprises and with that fact I hope that a team that has never won the silverware should take hold of it. But being a Sri Lankan I would like to see my country repeating another world cup win but the uncertainty of the competition makes our efforts vulnerable at times.
We yet have a game to face and now that we have already made it to the next round it’s all about doing the correct thing and staying focused. As it has proven during this competition we will have to play according to the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents and play better on the day.
By Lakshika Amarasiri
I am not an ardent cricket fan but I follow whatever competitions Sri Lanka play. But this time the interest has fired up in a massive way that even I follow the competition very keenly. South Africa coming back to beat favourites India in great fashion shows that there are no firm favourites at this World Cup.
South Africa’s professionalism was the great highlight of the day. They held on and went on to reach their target despite losing wickets. Sri Lanka also should adopt that style as during this year Sri Lanka has experienced mixed fortunes. We win comfortably one day and the next day we lose badly. I think the best possible players should be played from the point of quarter-finals because we will have no life once we lose a game.
By Navin Dissanayake
Minister of State Management Reforms:
Ysterday’s match showed how the Indian team is depending on Sachin Tendulkar. South Africa has a lot of team spirit and great planning while on the field.
As our team has the same team spirit like South Africa we too can pose a good challenge to other teams. Our team was in need of a strong middle-order but now Thilan and Chamara perform very well
South Africa is well organized team with a strong batting side. Though the start was a slow when one compares to Tendulkar’s innings during the first few overs, South Africa picked up fast and all the players equally contributed towards the game.
Our team has now qualified for the quarter finals and will have to face the challenge with stronger teams like South Africa. As Sri Lanka is on a winning mentality, it should be maintained till the finals. Our team is equipped with bowlers and batsmen. If we have to play in India our team will miss the cheer from our spectators.
By Ramani Fernando:
Hair Dressing entrepreneur and wife of Sri Lankan commentator and selector Ranjith Fernando:
Cricket is unpredictable; India batted really well during the first few overs but collapsed after Tendulkar was out. South Africa played a superb game and this indeed was an interesting match. Sri Lanka will find the quarter-finals challenging but with the present performance we can have high hopes that our team will succeed.
The atmosphere is fantastic when the Sri Lankan team is playing here. Despite a lot of cheer and support, a lot of challenges and threats our guys’ simplicity is admirable.
By S. Dayalan
Assistant Director (sports) – Jaffna:
The openers of the Indian team did well but the middle order failed to maintain the run rate. South Africa started the game with a poor performance but towards the end played well. India has to improve their middle order batting as well as bowling. But most of us want Sri Lanka to be in the finals playing against Australia.
By Dr. Hector Weerasinghe
Director of National Hospital:
Both India and South Africa played well and Sri Lanka should be more equipped to play well in the coming matches. Sri Lanka will be able to come to the finals.
India, Sri Lanka and Australia are the top teams. Our people are so much into World Cup matches that we find television sets in our wards as well and our doctors, patients and other staff too are all watching matches eagerly.
By Santhush Weeraman
Our team coming into the quarter finals is a great achievement. It is important to believe in the courage of our players and whether our team wins or loses we should continue to support and be proud of what our players have achieved.