Pakistanis are down and out :
Lankans must go hard and wrap up the series
Sri Lankan cricketers now that they are leading the Five-match one day
series 2-1,must not relax or let complacency set in, but go hard at the
Pakistanis in the final game at the R.Premadasa Stadium, today. A 3-1
victory will be sweet revenge. The Pakistanis won the one-day series in
the desert and the Lankans must avenge that defeat and another victory
will be ample compensation for those defeats.
In losing the fourth game, after being in a winning position when
Azhar Ali and Misbh-Ul-Haq were motoring along, showed that the
Pakistanis can crumble when under pressure.
And in Mahela Jayawardena the Lankans are lucky to have a General who
reads the game intelligently and knows when to put the Pakistanis under
pressure by setting tight fields and bringing on the attacking bowlers
at the right time who know how to lure the batsmen to their demise.
After Kumar Sangakkara finally struck form with a pleasing 97 and who
with Jayawardena took Sri Lanka to a formidable total, Thisara ‘Midas’
Perera blew the Pakistanis away with some devastating bowling.
His hat-trick came at the right time. Jayawardena brought him at the
right moment and he obliged with a telling spell. His victims were non-plussed
and surrendered without offering any resistance.
Captaincy is 90 percent luck and 10 percent skill and the suave
Jayawardena has luck amply smilingly his way.
Winning tosses in limited-over cricket is vital. And Jayawardena has
done right in batting first, thereby putting pressure on the side having
The weather is so unpredictable and there is the possibility of rain
spoiling this game too. In case of rain and if the game cannot be played
today, it will be played on Tuesday.
The Lankan cricketers are well supported by the cricket fans who
throng the Stadium and keep cheering them beating their papare, papare
bands, singing and dancing and holding some encouraging placards.
‘Mathews marry me’ was one such placard carried by a member of the
fair sex in the crowd.
And the Lankans have been obliging playing the better, positive and
attractive cricket and victory has been just reward. Now that the Lankan
have the advantage they must stay that way.
Among the runs
While the Sri Lankan top order is among the runs, it is paramount
that the middle comprising batsmen of the calibre of Angelo Mathews,
Thisara Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne chip in with big runs.
They are all free scoring batsmen with the right temperament for this
style of game and it is time that they realised this and made big
contributions cementing the good work of the top order. The Lankans have
the edge in all aspects, and must give continuity to this and aim to be
the best side in world cricket.
The Pakistani woes stem from the fact that while the bowlers have
delivered, the batsmen especially Mohammed Hafeez, Uma Akmal, Younis
Khan and Sahid Afridi have been abject failures.
Skipper Misbah has always been fighting a lone battle.
Azhar Ali is showing good promise as an opener and with more
experience should serve Pakistan cricket well.
The poor bowling form of mystery spinner Sajeed Ajmal must also be
worrying. He was expected to be the tormentor. But seems to have lost
his hunger for wickets.
Over then to the R.Premaasa Stadium and weather permitting another
game of thrill-a-minute cricket.