Mathews lives out - ‘no guts, no glory”
In the just concluded series of the five ODI encounters between host
Sri Lanka and Pakistan – Sri Lanka managed to maintain its standard, at
this form of cricket by getting the better of Pakistan to win the series
3-1, with the 3rd ODI being abandoned due to rain.
The performance in the opening one dayer, gave the impression that it
appeared to be a limb loosener, with either side striving to measure up
the other. To say the least it was a disappointing lack lustre match,
devoid of thrills and excitement which is part and parcel of this form
of cricket and, in a low scoring match, Pakistan wrested the initiative
to be in a position of advantage by beating Sri Lanka to go one up in
the series. That's how far the Pakistanis could go, for barring the
abandoned third one dayer, they conceded the other three one dayers to
Sri Lanka to triumph.
The match of the series however was the fifth and final one dayer
with Sri Lanka confronting Pakistan with two wins to Pakistan's one win.
Pakistan must surely have been determined to win the fifth one dayer
in order to draw the series, whilst Sri Lanka going all out to win the
match, may have also eased their tension by the negative thought, that
if the worse comes to the worst and they lose they will still be on par
with Pakistan by drawing the series together. But going on the
prevailing form Sri Lanka beat Pakistan convincingly 3-1.
Let's dwell on the match briefly. Pakistan batted first to make a
fair 247 for 7 wickets after 50 overs. Sri Lanka in response started
tamely with most of the seasoned seniors as usual failing. However
Sangakkara made 40 and Chandimal scored 54, which was not enough at 135
for 5 with 113 runs to get from a limited number of deliveries. In the
nitty gritty dismal stage a platform was set for a hero to emerge in
Angelo Mathews, the all rounder. Endowed with a fine physique and
responsible as he was, he bided his time to confine himself to the
singles that came his way.
But with the deliveries running out, the tall broad shouldered
Mathews decided to take the ‘bull by the horns’ where he kept bashing
the ball all over the ground. Mathews was in terrific form, batting with
a vengeance to make 80 runs with four fours and two sixes. Batting
around him were the lower order batsmen Thirimanne, J. Mendis, and Nuwan
Kulasekera and victory was ours with two balls to spare.
Mathews for sure lived out the dictum “No Guts, No Glory”