Victory overshadows Lanka’s batting comedy & Cry Baby Acts | Daily News

Victory overshadows Lanka’s batting comedy & Cry Baby Acts

Sri Lanka’s middle order batting flipped and flopped. This was after a sound opening by captain Dimuth Karunaratne 30 and Kusal Janith Perera 78. Then the avalanche where 8 wickets were lost for 57 runs. A batting comedy was unfolding.

Then as if there was nothing to lose, fastmen Lasith Mlinga and Nuwan ‘Sirasa’ Pradeep struck back with a vengeance. It was too much for the Afghans and they conceded victory by 34 runs in a Duckworth/Lewis scoring method.

This was in a rain-shortened game at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff on Tuesday in their second game of the tournament after poorly losing the first match to New Zealand also at the same stadium.

Afghanistan after a splendid bowling performance where off spinner Mohammad Nabi made the middle order batting look ordinary with figures of 4 for 30 and bundling Sri Lanka for 201. In a overs reduced game, Afghanistan chasing 187 for victory were shot out for 152 in 32.4 overs.

The Lankan bowlers who caused the destruction were Lasith Malinga 3 for 39 and Nuwan Pradeep 4 or 31. If not for their efforts the Lankan would have tasted their second humiliating defeat in the tournament. Pradeep was rightly adjudged the man of the match. This report would not be complete if reference is not made to the middle order batting that was a comedy. After a splendid opening which indicated the Lankans could go over the 400-run mark, the collapse that ensued was inexplicable.

Kusal Mendis 2 who is continuing to fail, Angelo Mathews who made his second duck and Dhananjaya de Silva zero also another failure showed that they lack the basics in batting.

To get in line or behind the ball before executing is a basic in batting. Unable to do this is a sad indictment on their batting. No excuses could be adduced because they have been long in the game.

Then the comic script was produced by veteran left hander Thisara Perera. He played a ball to the off and attempted to scamper a single as if his rear end was on fire, only to be rightly sent back by Kusal Janith and be run out.

With the two experienced Pereras at the wicket they were expected to provide a batting revival. But the senior Perera’s judgment was poor and the selectors would not be faulted if they drop him for the next game as punishment. But the victory would have saved Thisara.

Then Kusal Janith on 78 and looking good for a three figure score, attempted the ungainly, ugly reverse or switch hit which should not be in the repertoire of good batsman, nudged to wicket keeper and left.

‘SRI LANKANS RARIN’ TO SKIN THE KIWIS’ was how we headlined our column last Friday, inspiring and encouraging our cricketers in the hope that they will do as stated in the headline, lest we be accused of being unpatriotic.

Inside we knew that the Lankan cricketers, if their poor showing in the two warm up games which ended in defeat was an indication, that the Lankans are not a formidable side and would be struggling to come good in England and Wales.

Before going on to comment on the game, it was ugly to see the cry baby act by those who matter during an inquest conducted after the game.

‘Too much grass on the wicket’. ‘Difficult to bat first on the Cardiff strip’. These were some of the excuses adduced, frustrated probably by the thrashing that the Lankans took from the Kiwis.

We would not want to skin those who adduced these excuses, but jog their memories to the fact that excuses however good are unacceptable once in the big league. Our inability to bat on a grassy pitch, shows that we have failed to practice on grassy pitches or other pitches that we are likely to play on. We went to England weeks ahead to prepare. Then what?

Let’s give honour where honour is due. Put a full stop to the cry baby act. The cry baby act is resorted to only by novices in the game. There is a Sinhala saying that says that when one cannot dance he says that the floor is crooked.

As we have always stated, winning the toss is vital. The wicket at Cardiff was a green top with grass on it and it was obvious before play began that the captain calling right would be glad to field.

If Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne could remain unconquered at the end of the ugly show by the other batsmen, then hiding behind and making flimsy excuses like grass being on the wicket and difficult to bat first on the Cardiff wicket is poor thinking and shows poor sportsmanship. One must be humble in defeat.

Awesome Windies

The West indies, winners of the first two World Cups under the captaincy of Clive Lloyd in 1975 and ‘79 put on show their awesome power at Trent bridge, Nottingham to completely outplay Pakistan and show that they will be challenging strongly to carry away the 2019 World Cup.

The mighty Windies led cleverly by Jason Holder blew away the Pakistanis and their dominance was underlined by them pushing aside their opponents finishing the game in the first session of play. It was glory to the Windies and galling to the Pakistanis.

When play began the conditions were overcast, which was going to make the ball wobble about and when the coin turned in favour of the Windies, skipper Holder had glee writ on his face as he asked Pakistanis to bat.

Holder’s pace battery including himself Sheldon Cottrell, and Andre Russell and Oshne Thomas simply blew the Pakistani batting with well controlled seam and swing bowling aided by the conditions. Pakistan all out 105 in 21.4 overs.

Windies shown the way by the ‘Universe boss’ of cricket Christopher Gayle who smashed a 33 ball 50 which included 3 sixes and 6 fours romped home making 108 for 3 wickets in just 12.4 overs.

Then after the Gayle force blast, it was another revelation to see leftie Nicholas Poornan mincemeat the Pakistani attack and hitting a six over square leg to signal the Windies victory.

Poornan, if this innings is an indication, then the Windies batting in the future is in his safe hands. Stylish, good eye, superb footwork, fine timing and with powerful wristy stroke play he showed that he is the future. He comes from Trinidad and Tobago and is young and he can be the future of West Indian cricket like was left handers Alvin Kallicharan and Shiv Chanderpaul.

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