Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Mess Finds Sri Lanka Fall Just Short

After the thrashing that the Sri Lankan cricket team got in the first one day international at Dambulla, the second one day international match between the same saw Sri Lanka getting into the contest to draw something from their opposition. But, at the end of the day, all that the Sri Lankans could end up doing was to just curse themselves for coming so close to winning the game and yet again ending up as losers. This is not professional at their peak. For, the good work went unnoticed and deserving or undeserving Sri Lankans had no other choice but to accept defeat.

Though the second innings started rather shaky, the Sri Lankans continued to battle it out with a century stand between captain Mahela Jayawardane and Kandamby for the fourth wicket. And the equation was always in abalance between both India and Sri Lanka for most part of the game and Sri Lanka could have grabbed away the match at any time possible. But, that never happened. This is called as lack of preparedness on the part of the Sri Lankans. After the fall of Kapugedra, there was no one to lead the tempo going on despite Kandamby at the other end.

All the batsmen who followed Kapugedra ended their innings in a single digit. None of them could support Kandamby who not only lost out on scoring a century, but also was disappointed for ending on the losing side. There were three run outs in the Sri Lankan innings namely that of Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Kulashekara, whose contribution with the bat would have seen Sri Lanka through that match. This also meant that Kandamby could not get his hundred for no fault of his. Such hasty decisions at most times could be foolish as it has been in the past. One has to watch out for videos of Australia's Michael Beaven and Steve Waugh who can hold their breath despite wickets falling at the other end.

It is still in the memories of many cricket fans, the way Steve Waugh in the super sixes of the 1999 world cup at England, when his team was reeling at 135/5 chasing a target of 272 against South Africa who were undefeated until then, finally won the match by 5 wickets, which set the tone for the Aussies to win the world cup. And the way Michael Beaven batted despite pressure in the semis of the 1996 as well as 1999 world cup could be of some inspiration. And more recently, New Zealand defeated Australia in the penultimate ball of the innings with just two wickets remaining. Perhaps, had this been the approach of the Sri Lankans, the result would have been different.

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