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Posts Tagged ‘sanath jayasuriya’

  • South Africa have always been the nearly men of 50-over cricket, but they did win the Champions Trophy back in 1998, since when they have developed a reputation as big tournament bottlers. This is South Africa’s best chance in years to win some ICC silverware, as well as to cast off the ‘chokers‘ tag.
  • Sri Lanka could be dark horses, with Dilshan‘s firepower matched by the steadying hands of veterans Jayasuriya, Jayawardene and captain Sangakkara. The return of Murali and the recent form of the pace attack will worry opposing batsmen, but the side will need to take a step up to taste glory.
  • England, having been humiliated in the ODI series against Australia, and without their two best limited overs players in Flintoff and Pietersen, will do well to win a match. The batsmen seem to fail whenever the bowlers succeed and vice versa, so expectations, it’s fair to say, will be easy to live up (or down) to.

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India, having very briefly ascended to the top of the ICC ODI rankings after yesterday’s victory over New Zealand, came crashing back down to earth as they were crushed by Sri Lanka in Colombo, with the home side being bowled out for a mere 168, 140 runs short of their target for victory.

Sri Lanka had made over 300 mainly thanks to the efforts of ‘Uncle’ Sanath Jayasuriya (98 from 79 balls) and Thilina Kandamby (91 not out from 73 balls). India’s reply was the victim of Angelo Mathews’ best-ever haul of 6-20.

If the battle for Test supremacy is hotting up between several countries, so too is the competition to be the best at 50-over cricket, even if the format itself is under threat from supporter indifference.

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Group E

  • The West Indies may have hammered Australia, but that victory owed a lot more to Chris Gayle’s power-hitting than it did to competent fielding from the team at large. Conceding as many runs as the side has recently probably won’t see them progress any further, but such is Gayle’s talent that few totals are unequivocally out of reach if the Windies bat second.

Group F

  • Ireland have exceeded many expectations by reaching this stage, and the lone Associate side remaining in the competition will need more than a little luck to progress any further. The match against Pakistan, though is bound to rekindle memories of 2007, and there’s still a chance of another upset or two being sprung.
  • New Zealand haven’t shown as much promise in their two group matches as I thought they might, but the quality of Vettori, McCullum, Oram and Taylor (if all are fit at the same time) will raise hopes of a Semi Final place.

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After the failure of their middle order and all the wicketkeeping issues in the Test series, India will be relieved to wave goodbye to the Failing Fab Four and welcome back the ‘rested’ MS Dhoni for the One-Day matches against Sri Lanka.

As well as Dhoni, the likes of hip young gunslingers Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan also join the tour for the limited-overs segment, as does hipper, younger gunslinger Virat Kohli. There was always going to be pressure on the One-Day specialists following India’s poor performances in the Tests, and the absence of Tendulkar through injury means there will be even more. Success will also depend on whether openers Sehwag and Gambhir can continue their good form, one of India’s few bright spots, from the longer form of the game.

For Sri Lanka, much rests on the spin bowling of Muralitharan and bright young thing Ajantha Mendis, but they will also be happy to welcome back ‘Uncle’ Sanath Jayasuriya for the One-Day series. Following victory over India in the Asian Cup final, Sri Lanka will find themselves favourites. Their fast bowling, however, remains much-depleted, with only Vaas having any real experience.

If India’s ‘new blood’ can deal with Mendis and Muralitharan better than their aging Test counterparts, they have a good chance in the series, but Sri Lanka’s home record is almost as formidable in the 50-over format as it is in Tests.

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The ECB today named Sri Lanka as the team that will be touring next year, as replacements for Zimbabwe. At the moment, this means one thing in particular: Ajantha Mendis will be coming to England.

Also, of course, it means that the mighty Murali, Malinga the Slinger and Uncle Sanath will be coming as well, which is more than enough to get me excited.

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India took on Sri Lanka today in the final of the Asian Cup, with India winning the toss and electing to bat second. The ageless run machine that is ‘Uncle‘ Sanath Jayasuriya made 125 from 114 balls (youtube here), as India were set 274 to win. A reasonable total, but not particularly high for a notoriously flat pitch.

In response, India were rattling along at 8 an over, until a young chap by the name of Ajantha Mendis was tossed the ball, and ripped through their order. The phenomenal young spinner took 6 wickets in his first six overs, going for a mere 9 runs (his final figures of 6-13 from 8 are hardly less impressive). Needless to say, India’s chances of victory were crushed.

Prepare yourselves for Mendis-mania. Muttiah who?

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The second division get second-rate previews-just a few words each.

  • Derbyshire – have got Mahela Jayawardene for part of the season, plus Rikki Clarke for the whole of it – should improve on last season’s poor showing.
  • Essex – have kept Andre Nel, and Bopara should play a fair bit, but the Eagles still lean heavily on Kaneria.
  • GlamorganDalrymple’s signing is a good sign, and the all-rounder could be a canny acquisition for the worst side in the competition last season
  • Gloucestershire – Steve Kirby was impressive for the MCC against Sussex, and much relies on his fitness as well as that of Jon Lewis.
  • Leicestershire – have made big changes to personnel, and it remains to be seen how well their new side (including five Kolpak players) will gel.
  • Middlesex – Ed Smith’s men have also made some significant changes to the side, and England rivals Shah and Strauss will have to take a lot of responsibility when they play.
  • Worcestershire Simon Jones is a slightly risky signing, but Fidel Edwards will be around from June to help out in the bowling department.

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