A day ago people were talking about a white wash for Pakistan.
That was before the real Sri Lanka turned up and played a bit of something we like to call – cricket.
It involved the top order getting off to a hectic start. Osman Samiuddin wants to know who or what Dilshan is, something the Sri Lankan team and selectors have wondered too. But he’s taking to opening like its his divine right.
Still the technical issues exist, that waft to mid off, in the first over of the day shows this, but Dilshan quickly puts that out of his head. He has only one gear and its the 7th. He starts on it, cruises on its, takes corners on it. With the PPs in place, Dilshan’s tactics pay off, but for how long ?
Sanath can still butcher a few over the covers, so this combo seems to work. SL have had good starts in both games. Cant argue with that.
Sangakkara looks solid as ever, but he’s not scoring runs, but he still has some credit in the bank, although if he continues run others and himself out it might be time to turn theflyslips wrath on him.
The question on everyones mind was how many runs would Mahela get, so it was kind of a kill-joy when Kandamby walked out. Now Thilina’s a guy I’ve been wanting in the test and ODI team for a while.
And yesterday he showed that runs in the domestic set up wasnt a fluke, and he looked rock solid – and thats no pun on his size. At the very least he is keeping Mubarak out of the team – so well played Thilina.
See, my theory is you dont need a player to score 100s in ODIs to win them, as long as you have 3-4 guys getting close to 50 and a couple getting around 70 you are always gonna end up with a good total.
Sri Lanka’s problem has always been that if they get a good start, they flop at the end, if they don’t they flop anyway. Yesterday everyone got in the runs and 290 was a winning total.
Pakistan did their best, but only Gul and bRAOdman impressed. Their opening bowling might need a look at. Akthar is not fit and he’s no where near quick enough to scare anyone.
Tanvirs wrong footed himself into bowling no balls and wides. This equates to almost no pressure at the start of the innings and SL have got away both times.
Lack of spin options is also a worry for Pakistan, Shoaib Malik, bless him, comes no where close.
A day ago, SL couldnt buy a wicket, but today they got 3 for next to nothing.
Murali possibly turned the game with his mid innings spell where Pakistan were slowing regaining a bit of speed. Mendis looked ordinary at the start but got better when he got a wicket and had some confidence.
In fact this may have been the first time Murali outbowled Mendis since Splendids been on the scene. The old masters still got a bit left in him it seems. Dont bet against his 500th in the last game.
So from being white washed to a series leveling win, see what happens when you play cricket.
For the first time in his international career Kandamby looked the part. However he is still far too much a Fat Thambi tfor an international cricketer. Needs a serious diet.
Murali did turn the game but it was Mahela who let Pak back in. He was happy to set 5 men back and let Pak score run a ball even when they were 3 down. He should have stifled Butt & Malik by cutting down the singles and force them to play a risky shot.
Mahela seems to have the Cricinfo text commentry guys in his pocket. They kept going on about how good he looked in his innings. What the heck…he slowed down the run rate and got out after a start in his usual style right when SL needed to press on.
Samiuddin should realise that Dilshan is a simpleton when it comes to cricket…his game plan is to attack each ball as if it were the last.
I was totally impressed with Kandambi. I was reading the scorecard on cricinfo, paying close attention to stats, and at sone stage he had got 27 runs at a strike rate of 70 without a single boundary. Which means he rotated the strike remarkably well. And that’s just what we need from a middle order player, accumulate runs and build an innigs. Send one out of the park ever now and then? Yes. But main job is to keep the runs flowing.
Hope he keeps his for going…
I agree with you on most points, but I think the match was gifted by Shoaib Akhtar and Tanvir to Srilanka, Dilshan got lucky escapes in both matches, I think Pakistan will have to control the flow of runs in the first 10 overs, if they do it they have a chance to win the series. I don’t think Shoaib will be playing in the last match but the selection for this series has been flawed too many good players were left out .
Regardless of whosoever wins all Pakistani should express their gratitude to the Srilankans for making this series happen.
inside> Ever the astute Mahela analyst :), I agree, Its a real shame he does this, I dont know why we field with 1 fielders in the circle when the pressure is squarely on the opposition. We had 290 to play with. If we had cut out the singles at that point Pakistan would have been in a tricky situation.
Dilshans TM play is fine in ODIs cuz you can get away with it, but in tests he is found out more often than not. Unless he is playing Bangladesh.
Ps- Is there a way I can contact you via email ?
Sachintha> Agreed. He looked very calm and collected at the crease. He worked the singles, Gave the strike to Dilshan and when he opened up he knew exactly where his hitting areas were. Dint look like getting out like Jehan does every other ball. If he can keep this up , he might be the solidity we need from a no5.
Wasim> We are happy to help out Pakistan and we could always do with some competitive cricket, playing against Zim and Bangla isnt much of a thrill.
I think the decider will be a cracker. Like you said, If Pak can get early wickets against SL, we might be in big trouble, cuz the top orders got away in both games,
Pakistan really need to look at their opening bowling line up. Why not open with Gul and Tanvir ?
I think both Tanvir and Akhtar should be dropped, Pakistan will either be playing Sohail Khan & Yasir Arafat or Sohail Khan & Saeed Ajmal. It all depends on the pitch.
Omar is more useful in the middle overs because he can reverse the ball effectively when the ball gets old.
If pakistan played Yasir Arafat then they might ask Omar to open the bowling as Yasir can also reverse the ball.
I think Pakistan will be able to sort out their bowling woes but batting will remain a problem and that is due to poor selection Malik doesn’t have any other options.