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
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.