Monday, 24 December 2007

Just washed out

6:30am Thur Dec 2007 two of us were at Gatwick airport. Been up for about 24hrs so not quite with it but we were slowly progressing out of work mode and into holiday mode. Most of the lads were already there. We were due to land at 7:30am Fri 21st Dec 2007 and the plan was to make a quick escape to Kosgoda and on Sat "nip" down to Galle and catch the last day of the final day of the SL Vs Eng Test match.

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

More records by the Lankans

Today on the 2nd day of the 2nd test more records tumble. Mahela
Jayawardene
becomes the first Sri Lankan batsman to pass 7000 test runs.
He also breaks the record for most runs at a single venue previously
2015 by Graham Gooch at Lords.

Sanath Effect?!

It's the end of the 1st day of the 2nd test against England. Sri Lanka are 105/2. Tharanga (10) and Sangakkara (1) have gone cheap. Is this because there is no Sanath at the top? Sanath was never a guarantee but the meer fact that he was in the line-up ment it worked on the oppositions mind. Murali has already stated that his job is that much harder now that Sanath's part-time spin option was not available to the caption.

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

Sanath Jayasuriya's Final Test Inning

It was only a few day back when I was talking about the next set of retirements (stating the obvious I might have been). I spoke too soon, as yesterday morning there was rumour that Sanath would be retiring at the end of this first test against England. I also read that there was a rumour that the selectors had offered Sanath the opportunity to retire rather than be dropped from the test team as his performance in the last 16 tests have been poor. In any case by the end of play it was official. Sanath Jayasuriya had just played his final test innings and he did it in classic Jayasuriya style. He required 65 runs to bring his test avg back above 40. Sanath answered his critics with a smashing 78 in 106 balls consisting of 10 fours (6 of which came from a single Jimmy Anderson over) and 1 six. If you missed it check it out, if you saw it watch it again.



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

2007 Final Innings

2007 has been a big and important year for Sri Lankan cricket. There have been several highs and record lows - typical. We reached the Final in the World cup which promised a thriller but delivered the biggest anti-climax of the whole tournament.

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.

Entity Framework beta 2 + VS 2008 Beta2: Manually copying an .edmx file to a new project

I've recently started to play with the new ADO.Net Entity Framework.
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

Problem:
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

Solution:
1) solution explorer > click on the EDMX file > 'custom tool' =
'EntityModelCodeGenerator'

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" "$(ProjectDir) "
"$(TargetDir) "

this re-generates the .csdl etc. into the output dir on project build.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

iPhone = cool

Apple's latest gadget the iPhone was released in the states the other day. Stories about obsessed people queuing up for hrs/days to get one was all over the news. Steve Jobs seems to think it's user interface is revolutionary and the biggest advancement since the mouse was invented. I'm not the biggest Apple fan but this thing does look pretty cool (Apple kit always does) and seems to have some cutting edge functionality. It's even supposed to support from Microsoft bits like Outlook and Exchange. Maybe the best way is to say it is packaged up well. Check out the promo's on the US Apple site.

http://www.apple.com/iphone/ads/ad1/

But apparently it is not all Rosy, it does have its short comings. Check out this review.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/26/iphone-facts-from-the-first-reviews

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

Now that the World Cup is Over...

On Sun I was going to write something about how I was going to cope post World Cup but Soumya Bhattacharya had already done it. Take a read The World-Cup-shaped void at the heart of my days.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Bangladesh Kill Another One

HaHa... I'm laughing with all Bangladesh cricket fans. The "Giant Killers" is what everybody are calling the Bangladesh cricket team and that's exactly what they did to South Africa. As a result injecting yet more new life into this tournament and shifting the weights around. What excellent work.

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.

Score Card

Update:

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

Sri Lanka Cricket's Biggest Win

I was watching some cricket clips today and came across this clip of the 1996 World Cup final between Australia and Sri Lanka. It's a decent quality clip so I thought I'd share it.

http://cricvideos.com/videos/world-cup-1996-final-sri-lanka-vs-australia_422

Friday, 6 April 2007

Lankan Cricketers and the War Paint

I don't know if this is something many others out there have been wondering about but it is something I am curious about. I was chatting the a friend the other day (you know who you are) and this topic came up randomly as it does and she suggested I blog about it.

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.

Sri Lanka Vs. England: I had the Shakes After the Last Ball

...no jokes, I was so pumped towards the end that after Dilhara Fernando's last ball wicket wrapped it all up I had the shakes like an alcoholic before a drink in the morning.

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

Bangladesh in, and India Out

The group stages of the Cricket World Cup 2007 are all done now. And what weekend it has been again for the this tournament.

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

What are these cricket commentators on?!

Since this Cricket World Cup start I've been following most of the matches and more so reading and listening to what the commentators have been saying. There have been 2 things I've noticed so far.

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.


Pak Vs Zim: Pakistan won by 93 runs (D/L method). Pakistan 349 (49.5 ov); Zimbabwe 99 (19.1/20 ov)

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).


NZ Vs Can: New Zealand won by 114 runs. New Zealand 363/5 (50 ov); Canada 249 (49.2 ov)

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.

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
kill'?"

I wish some of these sites didn't keep changing the headings of stories otherwise I would put some evidence up.

scores from CricInfo.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Who's the Amateur now: Ireland Vs. Pakistan

What a day it was yesterday for the cricketing world. First India loosing to Bangladesh unexpected but reminds everybody that Bangladesh are not to be taken for granted. But then there was the Ireland Vs. Pakistan, what a shocker. Now this match was supposed to be a give, a formality, a walk in the park for Pakistan. The 1992 World Cup Champions and currently 4th in the ICC ODI Rankings loosing against a team that doesn't even qualify to be ranked and made is up of a bunch of part-time cricketers is just shameful. Further, loosing this match means they are out of the World Cup. This has never ever happened in a Cricket World Cup before.

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

So its Bangladesh Vs India in a Bit

This should be and interesting match. For some weird reason i've been looking forward to this match more than the one Sri Lanka played the other day. OK there was the England Vs New Zealand match yesterday but that did not deliver the excitement that was predicted and England lost - boo hoo.

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.

Post Game:

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

Sri Lanka Vs Bermuda

Sri Lanka won against Bermuda by 243 runs which is the second highest margin of defeat at a Cricket World cup. So at least according to the final figure we one with ease which is no surprise to anybody and was expected. However I don't think the way we played was convincing enough. For starters Upul Tharanga and Sanath Jayasuriya should not have got out for less than 50 a piece. Moving on neither Kumar Sangakkara or Mahel Jayawardene should have got out for before their 100s. Even allowing this Chamara Silva and Thilakaratne Dhilshan should have seen the remaining overs through. But no there were further wicket loses. This would be all OK (actually a very good score card and play) if we were playing one of the other teams in the top 8. But we weren't, we were playing Bermuda who are not even on the radar for the big teams. It is positive to see Mahela get a good knock in - has he managed to break back into form ?! And its great to see Chamara play solid till the end. I'm hoping Sri Lanka were playing with the same attitude as we do in the streets or beach back in Sri Lanka - although they say they were taking it seriously, yeah right.

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.

"Personally, I think it is good for more teams to be involved, but as a team it is not for us to question whether or not the smaller developing nations should be playing. Our job is to concentrate on our cricket." - Kumar Sangakkara

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Cricket World Cup 2007

So the cricket world cup has officially opened. I'm really looking forward to this one. Sri Lanka are looking the strongest and the most balanced since 1996. If Lanka can't win it this time it's going to be a while before we are in a position like this. It is unlikely that the talents of Jayasuriya, Murali and Vaas will be about next time around.

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.