Monday, 24 December 2007
After checking in and doing the traditional duty free rounds we were standing in queue for a McBreakfast meal. Mahela had his double century and declared at 499, England had just come to bat. It took about 10 - 15 min for us to get to the front of the queue, by then Eng were 33/6. Now it was looking like there wasn't going to be a 5th day. Our plans start to go south.
We call the boys already in Lanka to check if everything was ready to go. More bad news accomadation in Kosgoda has pretty much fallen through. Plans B and C were set in motion and we got ready to board the plan. Next update was due when we were in transit some 7hrs later in Doha, Qatar.
When we landed in Doha, England were all done in their first innings for their lowest ever score against Sri Lanka 0f 81. And unsurprisingly put straight back in for a second go. Update from the boys, plans B and C ain't looking good. Also weather reports for Galle were not good, rain predicted for Fri and Sat.
7:30am had landed in Colombo and by 10am at home sat in front of the TV. England were not looking as easy to shift this time around but with plenty of time Sri Lanka could still win this one. By now it was confirmed no accommodation and strong chance of rain so we bagged the idea of actually going down south to watch it and settled in front of the TV. At 102/1 on Fri evening and rain predicted it was still a dead cert that England were going to go from No. 2 to No. 3 literally over night. It was still up to the weather gods as to if SL were to go from No. 5 to No. 2 or 3.
And then the rain started to pour in Galle. It was not too long gone 12pm on Sat. It was a really disappointing end to a bit of a weird test series. There were many records broken and some brilliant batting performances by Sanga and Mahel that made some excellent displays by the likes of Vandort, Dhilshan, Jayasuriya and Vass forgetable. We deserved to win 2 - 0 and rise to No. 2 and Eng performance was so rubbish that then deserved to loose as such. In any case it is a series victory and a rise in the ranks.
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Having these thoughts today am I jumping the gun? probably. In anycase Sanath had to retire sometime soon. So the rest of the team will just have to deal with it and deal with it well. It's up to the likes of Tharanga and Vandort to take Lankan test cricket to the next level, and fast. It is also up to the selectors to sport raw talent and fast track them into the A team and national team. Have I got faith in the currently selection panel, i'm not sure. At worst may be Marvan had a point. In my eyes the best player to gain a place on the ODI and test teams in the last 12 -18 month time frame was Chamara Silva. But he is 28 and if it wasn't for Tom Moody I honestly don't think he would be here. Can Trevor Baliss negotiate Lankan politics as smoothly as Moody I'm not convinced. I'm not even convinced that he can maintain what Moody has achieved but only time will tell.
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
He is probably the most explosive and influential batsman Sri Lanka has ever seen. In world cricket people believe he invented the attacking style of cricket seen in the modern game. Although he is still part of the ODI team it can't be long before he quits this too. All I know is that his boots are huge and there isn't anybody with big enough feet at the moment to replace him.
Friday, 30 November 2007
We were on the giving end of some awesome thrashings when playing the Netherlands and Bangladesh. And on the receiving end against England, loosing a home ODI series for the first time in 25 odd yr. Followed by a masterclass from the Aussies down under - or was it Sangakkara who was giving the masterclass, before he fell to an utterly poor call from umpire Rudi Koertzen, 8 runs short of his 6th double century.
The final fixture for this year will kick-off on Sat in Kandy in the form of a 3 test series against England. We cannot afford to loose this one as we have already slipped to 5th place in the ICC Test ranks and only one point above England and Pakistan - do the math.
Look forward to 2008, I feel is going to be the most important year for Sri Lankan cricket since Arjuna Ranatunga's team won the World cup in 1996. We have already seen Russel Arnold and Marvan Athapattu retire. The chances are, within the next 3 years, we will see Chaminda Vaas, Sanath Jayasunria and Muttiah Muralitharan bowing out. It goes without saying what a gaping hole this will leave in the side. If we are to plug this some serious ground has to be covered in 2008. As much as I hate to admit, it is amazing how the Aussies have managed to deal with their big guns McGrath, Warne, and Langer retiring. May be we can only dream of such a rapid and potent recovery, but we must put some serious effort into making that dream a reality.
This is bleeding edge stuff (Beta/CTP) from Microsoft so I wasn't too
surprised when I started hitting a few issues with the tools and VS
2008. As expected there isn't a great deal of useful documentation out
there yet (just the same basic stuff over and over again) which meant
when I hit these issues there wasn't a lot of answers out there. I
thought I'd start blogging about issues I come across.
Here's issue number one for me
When I copy an .edmx file from one project to another manually the
.csdl, .msl, and .ssdl files aren't created on compile neither is the
code behind re-generated
1) solution explorer > click on the EDMX file > 'custom tool' =
This auto re-generates the class from the EDMX file (CSDL more
accurately I think)
2) project properties > compile > click 'build events' > 'edit
post-build' and paste the following including all double-quotes
"%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\EdmxDeploy.exe" "$(ProjectDir) "
this re-generates the .csdl etc. into the output dir on project build.
Tuesday, 3 July 2007
But apparently it is not all Rosy, it does have its short comings. Check out this review.
This is not due to get released in the UK till the end of this year (2007). The UK mobile operators don't seem to want to talk about their intention much either. However I think the iPhones Wi-Fi capabilities and home it is commercially packaged up with tariffs is the key to killing the competition.
Tuesday, 1 May 2007
Monday, 9 April 2007
I managed to miss this one. The sun being out in England is a rare occasion so I had to make the most of it in favour of the this match. Missed the highlights and there are no clips on YouTube.com yet.
"In ya face" is probably what the Bangladesh cricket supports are saying to people who still call them minnows.
As I've said before they are the true under dogs of this 2007 Cricket World Cup. As long as the opposition isn't Sri Lanka they've got my support.
Bangladesh Innings Highlights - Part 1
Bangladesh Innings Highlights - Part 2
Some clips have started to appear on YouTube now. Above are the first of the Bangladesh batting. That put a smile on my face. That was a class innings from Mohammad Ashraful and some sweet 6s from Aftab Ahmed. Mashrafe Mortaza reminds me of Chaminda Vaas dependable and accurate with the ball also handy with the bat. Very nice work from Bangladesh.
Sunday, 8 April 2007
Friday, 6 April 2007
The questions are what is that white crap the Sri Lankan cricketers apply on their face? Why do they do it? or the most important question for me is why is it applied in different patterns/areas each time? - apart from Lasith Malinga's white lips but then he has a Lankan afro from '95 with a '07 twist to it.
"It's sun block" is the obvious answer everybody is thinking. But then why is it white? Surely colourless sun block is available. Also why do they apply it differently on different days? The answer surely cannot be "cos it looks cool" unlike Chandarpauls war paint our boys seem to have just rubbed it on. And Sanga [Kumar Sangakkara] looks like a prat after only a few overs when he has smudged it by mixing sweat into it.
Sun Block???? half these boys used to run around in the sun all day somewhere down south most likely with no hat, no sunglasses, no t-shirt, and no slippers. Ah! but may be if we pay attention this half ain't the ones who do all this!! haha
As interested as I am to find out the answer to this (and I will soon) none of this matters and I honestly don't give two coconuts about it. As long as they play well as a team, Mali [Lasith Malinga] keeps getting them in-swinging yorkers, and Sanga keeps flicking the bails off during the 0.5 of a second the batsman has his foot in the air, as these are examples of what keeps us backing this Lankan team through thick and thin.
There are so many different ways this game could be read for both sides. If you read around it's all been covered. To me this was a game were Sri Lanka didn't get as bigger total as they would have liked (should have) not because they batted badly but because England bowled very very well. I still think Sajith Mahamood is a crap bowler but on the day he did the job.
When it was England's turn to bat again it was the quality (clever) of the bowling that was preventing the runs and getting the wickets rather than batsman playing stupid shots.
The luck factor in its various forms I felt was distributed evenly on this occasion. The difference between Sri Lanka winning and England very narrowly loosing was collective team skill and form.
Monday, 26 March 2007
On Friday Sri Lanka defeated India. Sri Lanka out into bat first lost early wickets for little runs. And it started to look like a disaster. But Upul Tharanga made a good knock and the lower middle, and lower order put together some partnerships to post a respectable score of 254/6 (50 overs). The Indian innings fell short by 69 runs as Sri Lanka took all their wickets in 43.3 overs.
The interesting point to observe here is how and who accumulated the runs for Sri Lanka. Only around 35% of the runs were scored through boundaries (22 fours, and 1 six). The vast majority of the remainder were by running between the wicket - over 60%. It is a widely talked about point about Sri Lanka is that if Sanath Jayasuria doesn't fire at the top then the rest of the team struggle a bit. Certainly if 3 out of the first 4 in the line up fail to do much its going to be a problem. And this is for most cricket teams around the world. So then to see Chamara Silva and Thillakaratne Dhilshan stay in and score 59 and 38 respectively, and Russel Arnold and Chaminda Vass see the rest of the overs through was very very encouraging. Chamara Silva's form and consistency batting at number 5 carrying through out the tournament is going to be one of the keys to Sri Lanka winning tight matches.
By now India were virtually out. Indian hopes were pinned on the unlikely scenario of Bermuda beating Bangladesh. There have been a couple shakeups already so it wasn't as silly as it sounds. However, as expected Bangladesh beat Bermuda yesterday. I wouldn't say it was a convincing win or a walk in the park. But to be fair there were 4 or 5 interruptions due to rain and the match was reduced to 21 overs.
The most exciting game this weekend had to be Australia Vs. South Africa. It was all about the batting. Australia batting first scored an incredible 377/6. In the process Matthew Hayden broke Ricky Ponting's record for the fastest 100 at a World Cup by getting there in 66 balls. There were 40 fours and 11 six that help get to 377. Australia are looking consistent and brutal as always. It's going to take clever cricket to get past them.
Friday, 23 March 2007
First, some or most have been saying the same thing about the bigger teams during their respective matches. So yesterday on sky they were going on about how Sri Lanka were well balances bla bla sure to get to the semi finals etc. They are the best team consisting of the best batting lineup and bowling attack. Then today they say pretty much the same about New Zealand. I'm sure I've heard this about at least one of the other teams (Australia or South Africa if not both). Fair enough this may have been different people saying these things on these occasions but it's the same people sitting at home watching and listening to this. It gets boring and devalues all the comment.
The second point is some articles written and comment on TV saying things like convincing win or emphatic win when a big gun has just beat a minnow is fine if this is truly the case. Here are some examples of matches so far where I believe this type of comment is fit.
SL Vs. Berm: Sri Lanka won by 243 runs. Sri Lanka 321/6 (50 ov); Bermuda 78 (24.4 ov)
SL Vs. Ban: Sri Lanka won by 198 runs (D/L method). Sri Lanka 318/4 (50 ov); Bangladesh 112 (37/46 ov)
Ind Vs. Berm: India won by 257 runs. India 413/5 (50 ov); Bermuda 156 (43.1 ov)
Aus Vs. Neth: Australia won by 229 runs. Australia 358/5 (50 ov); Netherlands 129 (26.5 ov)
Note how these have all been won buy a margin of 200ish runs or more, the oppositions not scoring more than 150 runs and finished off way before the allocated 50 overs. As opposed to the following which have not been won with such a large margin or overs to spare. And the main point here is that the opposition are a minnow team (apart from Bangladesh).
Eng Vs. Can: England won by 51 runs. England 279/6 (50 ov); Canada 228/7 (50 ov)
How can somebody justify saying that the above 2 matches were convincing wins and that End and NZ looked good out there when they have allowed a team like Canada to pretty much see through the 50 overs and score 200+. In my book it does not matter how many runs NZ and Eng scored here and what the margin is letting a minnow score 200+ is just not good.
The following paragraph which is referring to Tendulkar says this very nicely.
I wish some of these sites didn't keep changing the headings of stories otherwise I would put some evidence up.
He must not think of the delectable half-century he made in the last match
against Bermuda. "Has the day come when we're seriously talking about Sachin
batting well against Bermuda?" one intelligent former Indian cricketer responded
when it was mentioned in passing that the little man looked sharp in the last
match. "When an elephant stamps on a fly, do we say 'well done, that's a great
scores from CricInfo.
Sunday, 18 March 2007
One may say Pakistan were having an off day and the luck of the Irish was in full flavour on St Patrick's day but Ireland must have done somethings right and well. In my opinion they deserved this win over Pakistan more than the draw against Zimbabwe. They did a much better job and you could see that they had learned and improved from the experience of the previous match by fielding tighter and batting with more patients. If Pakistan the ranked professionals with cricketing heritage could not adapt and control this situation unfortunately back on a plane home it is.
I believe it was after the 1996 World Cup where Pakistan lost to India in the quarter finals that Wasim Akram received death threats and his house in Lahore was stoned - India of course going through to the semi finals and loosing to Sri Lanka whom went on to be crowned champions. There is potential for scenes a lot worse than that when the player land back home in Pakistan, but I hope it is not the case. May be the Paskistan team should just hang around the Caribbean for a few more weeks.
Pakistan out of World Cup after Ireland loss
ICC World Cup Scorecard - 9th Match, Group D, Ireland v Pakistan
Saturday, 17 March 2007
I don't know why i have had this liking (rating) of Bangladesh recently. Usually Beyond Sri Lanka, England and some of the world class players like Brian Lara I can't be asked. May be it is because Bangladesh now is like Sri Lanka back in the early 90's (in a cricketing sense ofcourse). I do think they are the true underdogs of the 2007 Cricket World Cup. I'll be secretly backing them in todays match. Let's see what I think afterwards.
Well well well.. what a game. So its all good, my gutt came true. The amazing thing about Bangladesh's win is how they batted. The patients and control they displayed when required was just mind blowing. They played shots, some very entertaining shots, when it was there but then just slowed down when required. This is a quality I believe a lot of the top teams (other top teams) lack under these conditions. So it might be Sri Lanka and Bangladesh going through. Lets see what the week brings.
Friday, 16 March 2007
Now some of the things I say above may seem like I'm putting down Bermuda (and the rest of the minnows) but I'm not. Bermuda put some serious effort in and some of the catches they took were pretty impressive. The fact is that most of the ICC ranking teams play cricket full-time, have been playing cricket for a lot lot longer, have a lot more experienced and talented players, and have a lot more resources in terms of money, time, training, personnel etc. The minnows themselves would be the first to admit that they are not expected to win a match against a ranking team and hope to win if they happen to play exceptionally well, get all the lucky breaks and the oppositions have a seriously bad day. But I don't think this gives anybody the right to put them down and talk about them like dirt or say that these minnow teams don't have a place in the World Cup. Let's remember that everybody has to start somewhere and not all the countries that hold a ranking started as such. In the early days of the World Cup I'm sure Sri Lanka were looked at similar to how Bermuda are looked at today. In fact not until we one the World Cup in 1996 were we really taken seriously. Today's minnows could be tomorrows number one. I glad some of our players have not forgotten this.
Tuesday, 13 March 2007
One thing we all know and love about cricket is the unpredictability - anything can go down. The underdog can jump up and bite when you least expect it. New Zealand have already lost to Bangladesh in their warm up match. I feel Bangladesh are the next team to give the top countries a serious run for their money. Let hope it's not at Sri Lanka's expense.