Cricket: SL Peaked Early?

Sri Lanka was at its very best in the game against NZ (the eternal semi-finalists). Led by the captain, Sri Lanka’s batting was simply outstanding. For a team that has no real big hitters in the middle order, the amount of runs they made in the last 10 overs was simply remarkable. Jayawardene was outstanding to say the least. In the early part of his innings he was struggling to force the pace. But he remained calm as ever and more than made up for it in the second half of his innings. It was great example of ODI batsmanship. The kind of big hits that he produced at the end were so “uncharacteristic” when you think about his normal batting style. SL had two very poor lbw decisions against them, despite which they went on to make a very challenging total.

The SL bowling is so strong especially on the turning tracks in the WI that anything over 200 is a tough total to chase against them. With 290 to get NZ needed a big innings from one of their top batsmen, but it never came through, thanks to Murali’s magic. New Zealand’s main strike bowler, Shane Bond had a poor start from which he never recovered and this was consistent with NZ’s performance today overall.

Hats off to Stephen Fleming for quitting the ODI captaincy. The timing could not have been better. During the last decade, he has served NZ cricket in a big way both as captain and as an ODI player. Besides, he has even een grooming his successor. Martin Crowe was over-reacting by criticizing the NZ team and the coach, John Bracewell. After so many good games NZ just lost to a better team on a bad day.

One can only hope that Sri Lanka does not repeat India’s performance in the last World Cup final after so many great performances in a row. The fear is that SL’s performance today was so good, that its almost impossible to match this level of performance. It would be awful to see another one-sided final, especially one featuring a dominant Aussie team.

Btw, if my pre-World Cup predictions were to come true, SA should beat the Aussies in the other semi-finals! 🙂

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3 Responses to Cricket: SL Peaked Early?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Martin Crowe was a great, great batsman but today he comes across as a churlish has-been, always eager to take pot-shots at people in the limelight. He, Gavaskar and Sarfraz Nawaz should take their shrill voices into the same cave and not bother the civilized world with their rantings.

    Prasad

  2. Pran Kurup says:

    I was surprised by Martin’s comments. Give the NZ team some credit, they reached the semis! Sarfraz has always been a nut. Gavaskar is generally, ok? Though he could have avoided criticizing Chappell simply because he was one of those who selected him as coach!

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is not the first time Martin Crowe has said stuff like this, though. Nor is it the first time Gavaskar behaved out of turn. He’s absolving himself of all responsibility of Chappell now? Remember a few years back he went ballistic on something Richard Hadlee innocently said? And the David Hookes comments? What was that all about? You can always be assured he’ll say something snide when a new batsman comes into the Indian team. Perhaps its his ghost-writer for the syndicated columns, but as a big time public figure he should be careful. It happens quite often.

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