Island Cricket

Thursday, February 28, 2008

[Video] Sanath Jayasuriya 120 Vs New Zealand | World Cup 2003

Click the Title above if no video is visible

This is one team Sanath has thrived on, the poor Kiwis have suffered at the hands of the 'Lankan Mauler' many a time; Andre Adams especially.

I have strong feeling Sanath will bid farewell to Australia today the 28th of FEB '08 with a BANG. This is most likely his last ODI appearance in Australia.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

[Video] Chamara Kapugedera 57 | 11th ODI v India | Hobart 2008

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Video courtesy Crideos

A face saving knock for the Lions. IF not for Chamara the game would have ended much sooner. +/- Expand Post

[Video] Lasith Malinga Vs Harbhajan Singh | CB Series 2008

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He's gone for the in swinging yorker..See ya later! - Ian Chappell
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Sri Lanka's day of shame in Hobart | The Island

The Island (subscription): Statements such as 'great challenge' and 'desperately need to win' have been very much part of Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene's vocabulary during the Commonwealth Bank Series.

But Sri Lanka failed to put the words into action once again, and crashed out of the tri-nation series in the most humiliating fashion, losing their penultimate game of the first round to India here in Hobart by seven wickets with 106 balls to spare on Tuesday.

This performance has to be the worst effort by a Sri Lankan team in a tri-nation series in Australia, since their first tour here in 1985. Writes Rex Clementine reporting from Hobart.

This team has won just one game in seven outings and even Sri Lankan teams of the 1980s managed a single win, and more importantly, those days there weren't as many one-sided games as on this occasion.

So fragile was Sri Lanka's middle order that number four five and six lasted less time in the middle, than they would do in the loo.

Of the seven batsmen that Sri Lanka picked yesterday, the skipper lasted just 11 balls, Chamara Silva just four balls and Tillekeratne Dilshan 12 balls and for the millions of rupees that Sri Lanka Cricket pays them, if that's all what they can offer, there'll be millions of others willing to come forward do exactly the same.

Sri Lankan Cricket certainly needs to ask some harsh questions and find out what has made its cricket team the laughing stock among millions of cricket fans.

They desperately needed to win here to stay alive in the competition and after being put in, despite losing Dilruwan Perera (8), early, they excelled in perfect batting conditions with Kumar Sangakkara and Sanath

Jayasuriya adding 57 runs for the second wicket, and they were set for a big one with the total at 72 for one in the 15th over.

But from thereon, they lost four wickets for the addition of just nine runs as India's seamers ripped through the middle order in the space of just 32 balls.

It was an absolute shocking display by the batsmen, who showed no application whatsoever, barring Chamara Kapugedara who made a resolute 57 in 86 balls.

Kapugedara was last man out, having completed his second ODI fifty and if not for his partnerships with tail-enders, Sri Lanka were heading for further humiliation, with even a three figure total looking beyond their reach.

Kapugedara added a crucial 43 run stand for the eighth wicket with Lasith Malinga (12) and another 40 runs for the ninth wicket with Muttiah Muralitharan (13). The tail-enders proved that there were no demons in the wicket with two fine partnerships and had the established batsmen applied themselves, Sri Lanka could have definitely posted a competitive total.

Sangakkara, who had made 192 in the Test match here three months ago, started the Sri Lankan slide when he charged down the wicket to Praveen Kumar and poked his bat and was comfortably caught by wicketkeeper M. S. Dhoni and that triggered an amazing collapse during 30 minutes of mayhem.

Kumar struck twice in successive overs removing Jayawardene and Chamara Silva. He had the Sri Lankan captain well caught by Rohit Sharma at point for three and Silva's dismal tour might have come to an end when he was caught behind without scoring.

Jayasuriya had shown a glimpse of retuning to form with a 44 ball 34 that included two fours and a typical cut for six before he mistimed a hook shot off Irfan Pathan and at 81 for five, the side was in deep trouble.

Ishant Sharma came back for his second spell and picked up Dilshan and Chaminda Vaas in successive overs. While Dilshan was trapped leg before wicket, Vaas' attempted pull was taken cleanly by the mid-wicket fielder and at 93 for seven, the writing was on the wall as they had lost six wickets for the addition of just 21 runs.

Kapugedara then fought back in terrific fashion, but the task he was faced with was too much.

Kumar finished with four for 31 while Sharma had figures of four for 41.

Jayawardene had been calling for his players to raise their game, but he wasn't leading by example. Having contributed with just three runs with the bat, he put down Robin Uthappa before he had opened his account to deny Chaminda Vaas another wicket in the series.

Then Gautam Gambir got a life when he slashed hard at a Ishara Amarasinghe delivery and the ball flew past the captain at first slip.

After a good bowling effort, the Indian batsmen rubbed salt into the wounds of the Sri Lankans, scoring at 5.5 runs an over. Tendulkar had been out of form the whole series and he warmed up for the big final on Sunday with his 89th half-century.

Tendulkar started off in fine fashion by hitting Amarasinghe's last three balls of his first over for fours. He did the same to Muralitharan soon after he was introduced to the attack, hitting successive boundaries off the off-spinner.

But Murali won this battle with Tendulkar as the opener, playing the inside out drive was caught in the deep by Chamara Silva.

Tendulkar made 63 in 54 balls with ten nicely executed fours.

Muralitharan's eight overs, however, went for 54 runs as the batsmen took a few liberties against him. Gautam Gambir continued his good form in the series and was unbeaten on 63, as India won with plenty of overs to spare.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Lankan bats ready to hit form, says skipper

WITH his side needing to win today against India to remain in contention for the finals of the Commonwealth Bank tri-series, Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene yesterday attempted to put a positive spin on his team's batting problems, suggesting that the top order was "due" to end the slump. Writes Lyall Johnson for The Age.

"Everyone's due for runs. Our guys haven't clicked as well and they're working really hard,"

"Everyone is trying to get it right in this tournament where the bowlers have dominated a lot of the time. You just have to make sure you settle in, spend some time in the middle and get some confidence."

Should Sri Lanka win, it would move within a match of overtaking India but would need to defeat Australia on Friday at the MCG to do so. A win for the Indians would put them into the final.

And while conceding that his side was underperforming with the bat, Jayawardene also pointed the finger at the Indian batters, saying they had not been contributing a great deal either.

"They've got a good batting line-up but they've struggled as well in the last few games," he said. "The batsmen have struggled in different things but you can't take that for granted.

"They're all good players and I think our guys are due (for runs) pretty soon. It's going to be a good challenge. It has become a semi-final basically for us."

Sri Lanka will enjoy somewhat of a home-ground advantage having played at Bellerive twice this summer — against Australia in a Test and again in a tour match earlier this month against Tasmania. India has not played there on this tour.

"I think we have a good idea of how this wicket is going to fare," Jayawardene said of the usually swing friendly Bellerive. "It all depends on the (weather) conditions. We just need to wait to see how the day turns out."

Meanwhile, Australian coach Tim Nielsen, safe in the knowledge that his side has secured a finals berth, repeated his suggestion that India should concentrate on its own game rather than calling for the Australians to be investigated for their on-field behaviour.

"I said last week, it's interesting how much the opposition teams are talking about what we're doing and at the moment, as far as I can see, we're the only team that's in the finals," Nielsen said yesterday.

"It might be time for them to start looking in their own backyard. There is no doubt both teams are playing the game very hard, no inches (are) asked for and none given and that's how we like to play the game.

"At the moment there are circumstance that are leading to different things being spoken about. Again, the match referees and officials are looking after that but, and I'll say it again, while they're worrying about us it's a good sign, we're the only ones at the moment that are confirmed in the finals."

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[Video] The Inswinging Yorker | Chaminda Vaas

Chaminda Vaas Vs Yuvraj Singh | CB Series 2008 +/- Expand Post

Sunday, February 24, 2008

[Video] Lasith Malinga Vs Sachin Tendulkar | CB Series 2008

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Even the great Sachin couldn't cope with a jaffa like this. A first ball duck for the little master courtesy the SLINGA

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sri Lanka paying for poor selections | The Island

"With two more games to go and with Sri Lanka's chances of making it to the best of three finals in the Commonwealth Bank Series beyond their reach, the selectors have plenty of issues to deal with in coming months.

Sri Lanka hardly look the side that took them to the finals of World Cup in the Caribbean last year. There hasn't been much change of faces in the team and they need to find out what has gone wrong with their batting".

Writes Rex Clementine for
The Island

The Sri Lankans have played six games so far in the competition and have managed to win just a single game that too a rain shortened one in Canberra.

To begin with, you have to mention the fact that the Sri Lankans haven't brought the right side to Australia. Apart from that, their batting has failed to click and some of the team changes have become mere laughing stock.

Upul Tharanga for example, has an excellent record, but yet, was dropped after just one failure with the bat. After looking at the way Tharanga got out in Sydney, we don't know whether the selectors want to send a clear message to him. But if they wanted to do so, should they have in the first place brought him to Australia? Now that they have brought him, why not send that clear message, whatever it is, after the end of the series?

Then what they did following his axing is even amusing. They opened with a proven middle-order batsman and once Tillekeratne Dilshan partnered Sanath Jayasuriya, the middle-order looked terribly out of depth. Then after three games, Dilshan was brought back to the middle-order, due to his own failure as an opener and as the middle-order was struggling.

Now then, what was Dilruwan Perera doing here? If they had an issue with the opener's slot, their immediate option should have been to go back to Perera. If he's good enough to come to Australia, surely, he's good enough to play too. Sinhala literature gives you a perfect simile to understand some of the decisions taken by the SL selectors. There lived a person many years ago who had an ailing son. The ailment apparently had to do with his foot, but the father went and applied medicine on his son’s spine, only to see that there is no use in that medicine.

Now that Perera too has failed to make a big score, what will the selectors do next? Will they open with poor Shrian Samararatne, the team Manager!

With all respect to Perera, we need to state that in domestic cricket he hasn't done anything significant to deserve selection into the national team. Perera has not scored a hundred in domestic one-dayers and has only three fifties to his name despite playing 70 odd games.

Who instead of Perera is also an interesting question? Jehan Mubarak is only 27 and is an option, but the issue is, he hasn't done enough despite having ample opportunities. But at least the gamble of brining him would have been worth taking as he also provides you a good fielding option as Sri Lanka's fielding has looked awful in this series.

This is where you badly miss players like Marvan Atpattu and Russel Arnold. Atapattu could have been an option for the struggling openers and then the ‘cool’ Arnold over the years had played such a vital role in the middle-order.

The team certainly has brought one fast bowler more and a batsman less on this tour. The squad has just seven specialist batsmen and with Tharanga out of the equation, the problems are aplenty.

Chanaka Welagedara indeed had a promising debut against England at home in December, but in this series he has been just a passenger. We are told that he's struggling with his follow-through and has been even dropped from the forthcoming West Indies series. But didn't the selectors know that he had problems with his follow-through before the Australian tour? He had that problem during the domestic competition too and some way or the other the selectors have failed to detect that there was a problem. This is exactly

what happens when the selectors don't attend to domestic matches and for Sri Lanka's appalling performance in Australia, the selectors are largely responsible.

The Sri Lankans are paying the price for brining the wrong team for the wrong series. Sadly this seems a trend that has been persisted with. This is exactly what the selectors did for the Twenty-20 Championship in South Africa and they had to pay a heavy price; well, the team not the selectors.

It has been also proved yet again how much this team depends on Sanath Jayasuriya. If the left-hander scores, they invariably win and if he doesn't, things fall apart. In Australia this summer, Jayasuriya has managed just 49 runs in five outings, including two ducks. His scores are 7, 27, 12, 0, 0 in this series and unless he gets a start, you sense that Sri Lanka will push the ‘panic button.’

It was all the more evident in Adelaide. Jayasuriya departed early and Kumar Sangakara and Mahela Jayawardene had to really ensure that they stayed on for long because they absolutely knew the problems their middle-order was facing. The failure of the middle-order must also be putting an additional pressure on Jayasuriya.

Chamara Silva is another player who has been extremely disappointing. He certainly looks a pale shadow of the player we saw last year. Silva has accumulated only 44 runs in four innings. More than the runs, he looks terribly out of depth and it'll be a cruel blow for the Sri Lankans if he's to fade away again at the age of 28.

The Sri Lankans have nothing to lose in this series and the scenario they are facing in this tour is something similar to that of 2002-03 tour of Australia. On that occasion, they were repeatedly beaten by England and Australia before losing a warm-up game in humiliating fashion to Australia 'A'. From thereon, they suddenly clicked and the fortunes of the team suddenly changed with Jayasuriya leading the campaign.

A repeat of that against the Indians in Hobart on Tuesday is quite possible and if Australia beat India today, the Sri Lankans are still in with a chance.

But as for selectors, there shouldn't be any excuse. They need to be held accountable for some ordinary decisions they have made.
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[Video] A tribute to the Lions fans | MCG | CB Series 2008

Played at Melbourne Cricket Ground on 22 February 2008 - day/night (50-over match)

Download here

Baila remix

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Muralitharan sets caught and bowled record

Sify sports: Spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan has set a record for most 'caught and bowled' dismissals (30), eclipsing New Zealand's Chris Harris' tally of 29 during their Commonwealth Bank tri-series league match against Australia at MCG here.

Muralitharan got past Harris' record when he caught and bowled Michael Clarke after the batsmen had scored half-century.

Click here to see Murali break the record for the most number of caught and bowled dismissals in Test Cricket +/- Expand Post

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Re: Sri Lanka drop veteran Jayasuriya

The BBC article posted here as it turns out is completely false. The squad announced to tour West Indies was the Test squad. Sanath as we all know has announced his retirement from Test Cricket the ODI squad is yet to be announced.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sri Lanka drop veteran Jayasuriya

BBC: Sri Lanka have dropped veteran batsman Sanath Jayasuriya from their squad to tour the Caribbean next month, raising doubts about his international career.

The 38-year-old quit Tests in December during the series against England.

And he has managed a total of just 46 runs in four games of the triangular one-day series in Australia.

Another opener, Upul Tharanga, has also been left out, while left-arm seamer Thilina Thushara and slow left-armer Rangana Herath are handed recalls.

Thushara's only previous appearance was a Test against the West Indies in Kingston in 2003, while Herath last featured in a Test against Bangladesh in Colombo two-and-a-half years ago.

Sri Lanka will play two Tests and three one-day internationals, with the first Test in Guyana starting on 22 March.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

[Video] Sreesanth Vs Sanath Jayasuriya

In the 52 balls he [Sreesanth] has bowled to Jayasuriya in all ODIs, he has been spanked for 84 runs, with just one dismissal.

It's a match-up Jayasuriya relishes, even if he is out of form; the next time India take the field against Sri Lanka, it might not be a bad idea for Dhoni to hold Sreesanth back till Jayasuriya is out.
Writes S Rajesh for Cricinfo.

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[Video] Tillakaratne Dilshan 62* Vs India | CB Series 2008

Match 5 India Vs Sri Lanka, CB Series 2008. TM Dilshan promoted to open batting.

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[Video] A tribute to the Lions fans | CB Series 2008

Download high quality DIVX video here

The Lions fans at the Manukka Oval and WACA.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Channel 9 commentary should be restricted to Australian territories

I'm absolutely appalled and I have no doubt that I'm NOT alone in this. The role of a sports commentator should consist of unbiased narration of our great game and an expert analysis of the ongoing game. Channel 9's commentary team consists of former Australian cricketers and a wannabe British sportsman (Mark Nicholas). For those who don't know Mark Nicholas has never played International cricket, I agree one does not need to be a former player to be a good commentator but Mark must remain loyal to his employers and as such barely resembles anything close to the word 'unbiased'.

For a brief moment Micheal Slater managed to turn even me off cricket when he let his emotions get in the way as Sri Lanka appealed for a caught behind when Gilly was in the 90's. "Stop appealing!" was what 'slats' and 'heals' blurted even prior to requesting for a 'snikco' replay. The commentators had their heads so deep up Gilly's ass that they didn't realise Sri Lanka were knocking off the rest of the batting order.

If you watched Match 6 on Star sports you'll have a very diverse view of the game. The Andrew Symond's catch was in no means 'Clean' and The Micheal Hussey stumping was turned down by the 3rd umpire after ONLY receiving 2 inconclusive videos from Channel 9's producers. The Star sports commentators called it as they saw it and 9's crew..well were partying and celebrating an Aussie win.

If winning means this much to these Australians they should follow the Americans as they do with NFL and NBA and play Cricket amongst it the 'World Series' and only broadcast these games amongst themselves. +/- Expand Post

Thursday, February 14, 2008

[Video] India v Sri Lanka | Match 5 | CB Series '08


Click here for alternate Video link

India v Sri Lanka, CB Series, 5th ODI, Canberra

February 12, 2008

Sri Lanka 2 for 154 (Dilshan 62*) beat India 5 for 195 (Rohit 70*) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Match package
Bulletin - Dilshan guides Sri Lanka home
S Rajesh - The lion roars, finally
Quotes - Jayawardene hopes to build on opening momentum
Nagraj Gollapudi - Two shades of a plan
Roving Reporter - In the Army now
Plays of the day - Learn the art of improvisation from the master
Audio - Ravi Shastri: Jayasuriya made it one-sided

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Lanka look to punt The Punter

In American Football a Punt is A kick in which the ball is dropped from the hands and kicked before it touches the ground. From the look of things India and Sri Lanka prepare to kick ponting out of the game on his way down..

Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene has laid down a marker for Friday's match in Perth after vowing to target Australian frailties - and Ricky Ponting in particular - as they bid to top the table. A win for Sri Lanka would see them top of the standings, relegating the world champions Australia to bottom. - Cricinfo

This summer both Sri Lanka and India contributed greatly to Ponting's demise as the world's no.1 ranked batsman. Murali thoroughly exposed him during the 2 match test series in Nov/Dec 2007 and now the Indian's have ensured his batting continues to slump. The Indians also managed to change public opinion of Ponting's captaincy and his captaincy tactics. For some he can no longer be considered Australia's finest captain his brash and uncouth mannerisms were severely exposed to all in recent times.
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[Video] "He's got popeye forearms and he's had his spinach"

Jayasuriya Vs Sreesanth | CB Series Match 5 +/- Expand Post

Monday, February 11, 2008

[Video] Sanath Jayasuriya | This is Cricket

It is not too difficult to see why, if Sanath Jayasuriya had not been a cricketer, he would have been an accomplished fencer, sallying forth towards his opponent, as he does when he dances down the wicket, with nimbleness of foot and alertness of eye. You can visualise the epee twirling dexterously in his quick hands and sense the swordsman`s acceptance of having his life hang by a string. The qualities of skill and daring form a rare combination, perhaps suited more to a gambler than a top order batsman and yet, to see Jayasuriya bat is to see a finely crafted gambler at work, sensing an opportunity and thriving on it.

Sanath Jayasuriya: radically different - 9th May 1996.

"I have not seen (Don) Bradman bat. But I have seen Jayasuriya. He played unbelievable shots, some of those out of the book too. I have not seen anybody else bat like him before" said Sachin Tendulkar.

"He does not need any luck because he has got shots all around the wicket," Tendulkar said of the left-handed Lankan phenomenon who created a world Test record partnership worth 576 with Roshan Mahanama (225) in the first of the two-Test series against India in which his contribution was 340.

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

[Video] Post match interview with Mahela | Match 3 CB Series 2008

Mahela chats with Mark Nicholas on the devastating loss to Australia and Sri Lanka's recent inconsistent ODI form.

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[Pic] Sunny in Black Tie

Sanath Jayasuriya
Originally uploaded by Miles Seecharan

This is a first for me, I've never seen Sanath in a Tux.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Coca Cola launches Cricket talent search in Sri Lanka

In my opinions this is long overdue. Cricket in the Island has always been restricted to the elite club cricketers or nephews and relatives of former players.

Feb 6, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's Coca Cola unit has teamed up with former cricket star Aravinda de Silva to launch ‘Cricket pathway’, a project to search for cricketing talent in rural areas in the country.

"Coca Cola wants to see youngsters blossoming from school champions to world champions with guidance and support from Coca Cola,” the firm's Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives, Manish Chaturvedi, said.

“What I have found is that there is immense talent available in Sri Lanka,” de Silva, the programme’s administrator said. “We lack something important and that is proper guidance.

“We also want to educate them as to what is really required at the highest level to compete against top countries like Australia.”

The project is set to kick off on March 28, 2008 in the form of regional cricket clinics.

Students in the age group of 15 – 17 are eligible to apply and a total of 72 will be selected from each province.

Sri Lanka Cricket, the game's administrative body, says the initiative will also target junior cricket and the under 19 Cricket World Cup held every two years.

“Development of school cricket is my priority,” said former cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga, now chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket.

“The standard of school cricket has slightly dropped. We cannot see the same standard it had over 15 years ago,” he said.

“We have identified that the problem lies in the lack of sponsors and good coaches.”

Selected students from each district will get the opportunity to participate in a three-day clinic attended by national coaches and physiotherapists.

Nine such camps are scheduled to take place in Colombo as well as the outlying towns of Dambulla, Kandy and Galle which have cricket stadiums.

The camps will be conducted in association with the Aravinda de Silva Cricket Foundation which is set to bring in international expertise and guidance

“High performance and consistency will be the criteria for selecting the students through the schools,” said de Silva.

District records held by students will also help the selection process.

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[Video] Sri Lanka Vs Australia | CB Series 2008 | Match 3 | 1st Session Mini HL

Download Video (MP4 Format)

It appears that both the Lankan skipper and the vice captain seem to have a negative mental block when playing Australia. Defencive field placings and the lack of innovative shrewd thinking ensured both India and Australia managed to get off the hook despite early loss of wickets.

It's clearly evident to me that the last ten overs of our bowling and the last 10 overs of our batting is what decides if we win or lose and that's obviously taking Sanath Jayasuriya away from the equation.

For 12 long years team Sri Lanka's batting has placed all hope on Sanath it's bowling attack has burdened Murali and Vaas. Sri Lanka have always based their game plan keeping stalwarts in mind the rest of the bowling is asked to bowl to predominantly one sided fields giving the bowler no option for experimenting or variety. Kudos to Ishara Amarasinghe for a remarkable performance thus far in the CB series and young Kapugedera looks a promising 'Gavin Larsen' type bowler.

Malinga has to realise that in order to be a strike bowler one must do more than just "wow" the crowd. A new ball bowler must induce false shots or get the batsman playing in order to get dismissals behind the wicket.

If team Sri Lanka paid any attention to Irfan Pathan after the recently concluded Test series they would know that Jeff Thompson's suggestion of delivering the inswinging ball a foot or two outside off stump paid huge dividends. Lasith's yorkers are released on a off stump/middle stump line and end up either as a leg stump full toss or a full wide delivery outside the left hander's off stump with no support from Mahela in regards to field placing all our striking options go for plenty of runs.

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sangakkara defends Koertzon

Colombo (PTI): Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara has jumped to the defence of under-fire umpire Rudi Koertzen, saying the players should be humble enough to accept a few wrong decisions and get on with the game.

The South African umpire came in for criticism after he wrongly adjudged Indian batsman Rohit Sharma out caught behind in the tri-series match against Sri Lanka in Australia, which was washed out.

Shocked by the decision, Sharma remained at the crease for some time before walking back to the dressing room. Although TV replays supported Sharma, the dissent cost the young batsman 10 per cent of his match fee as fine.

"If the umpire makes a decision, whichever way it goes, we should be humble enough to accept that and play cricket. If they do make mistakes, you get on with the game," Sangakkara said.

"We as players have to realise it goes both ways, no one's perfect, the players make mistakes at certain times and we don't really help the umpires out," he added.

Sangakkara, who was himself a victim of a Koertzen shocker three months back, appealed for the catch even though bowler Muttiah Muralitharan had not shown much enthusiasm.

Defending the appeal, Sangakkara said, "The only reason I appealed was because I heard a noise and I thought the batsman nicked it."

Terming the current lot of umpires as the best in the game, Sangakkara said "... If there's greater confidence between players and officials, we can have less misunderstandings as possible.

Courtesy The Hindu.

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School matches cancelled due to security situation

All school matches, including First XI two-day matches and the Inter School Under-13 final stage matches have been postponed indefinitely, following an Education Ministry circular which advised school officials to stop students from going out of the schools due to the prevailing security situation.

Inter-House Sports Meets of several Colombo schools have also been postponed.

The Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association has decided to postpone their matches complying with the Education Ministry circular.

"We have decided to postpone all school matches indefinitely, as the Education Ministry has advised all schools to curtail the movement of students out of school," said Dilshan Silva, secretary, SLSCA.

The final stage matches of the Inter School Under-13 tournament were scheduled for the weekend when the SLSCA announced the cancellation.

"The Under-13 tournament matches and all First XI Inter School matches are postponed," Dilshan said.

The league matches of the Premier Inter School Limited Overs tournament was scheduled to commence on February 25 and the schools struggling to complete their ten Two-day matches to qualify for the tournament will receive a severe blow to their preparations due to the cancellation. But the SLSCA official said that the matter will be taken into consideration when the situation improves.

The Ministry of Education issued a circular advising school officials to stop the movement of students out of schools after the LTTE suicide bomb attack at the Fort Railway station killed several students, including the coach and seven baseball players of D. S. Senanayake College, Colombo.

by Reemus Fernando for The Sunday Island (Subscription)
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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Alas! It was not the best welcome

"Our arrival in Australia was not very exciting, though. We arrived at our Sydney Hotel at 8.30 in the morning after a tiresome flight only to find that rooms at our hotel were not immediately available, compelling us to lounge in the lobby for a good three hours-a far cry from the ‘garland of orchids’ welcome we accord cricketers visiting Sri Lanka!"

Writes Chaminda Vaas on his column for The Sunday Times (LK).
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[Video] Sanath Jayasuriya 4/39 Vs. Australia | VB Series 2003

Over the years Jayasuriya's left arm spin bowling has induced many a collapse. The Most memorable performance being the 1996 World Cup Semi finals Vs India.

Sanath choked the Aussie batsman for runs and as the run rate increased the tight bowling induced wicket after wicket.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

Chat with Aussie stars inspires Sri Lankans

As Sri Lanka prepares for its opening one-day clash against India in a rain-swept Brisbane today, skipper Mahela Jayawardene revealed a secret meeting with Australian stars after the Test series late last year had inspired his players. Writes Ben Dorries for The Herald Sun.

"We had a chat to the Australians because we wanted to learn from them," Jayawardene said.

"Some of those guys have played so much cricket and we wanted to learn how things have been for them.

"It's always good to chat about the general game with your peers so you can get ideas and fit them into your own development.

"We had a chat because we felt we had played good cricket in the Test series and they had played good cricket, but at the end of the day we finished behind them.

"We felt that talking to them about how to produce good tough cricketers really helped."

Today's clash between the two subcontinental rivals is unlikely to inspire much interest, however, both are capable of great deeds.
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Murali wanted to chase down egg throwers

Peter English on Cricinfo states that the young men who pelted the Lankans with an Egg were lucky that the light turned green!

If Murali had a stone or something near him he would've thrown it back, Jayawardene said in Brisbane. By the time they had realised what had happened the car had raced down the road. It was lucky for the guys in the car that the traffic light was green, otherwise Murali said he would have chased them.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Watch CB series 2008 LIVE for FREE | 100% Legal

Cricinfo: Premium TV and Cricket Australia, in partnership with Cricinfo, is presenting live online video and highlights of India's tour to Australia in December, January and February.

This includes coverage of the four-match Test series and the CBS one-day international triangular tournament which also involves Sri Lanka.

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[Video] Aney Yako | Nice ring Mrs. Christina Jayawardena

Mrs. Jayawardena would like to pass on a message to hubby Mahela!

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Aussie PM hosts Sri Lanka cricket team in Canberra

The Island (subscription): Kevin Rudd, Australia’s new Prime Minister, was host to a gala reception at his residence – The Lodge in Canberra – on Tuesday, January 29, and he followed this up with a grand luncheon at the Manuka Oval when the visiting Sri Lanka cricket team played the Prime Minister’s Eleven on Wednesday, January 30.

This was the very first time when Sri Lanka were invited to play against the Prime Minister’s Eleven, a tradition started by Bob Hawke many years ago.

Kevin Rudd erased all memories of any hostility, between the two cricketing nations, when he spoke with affection about the long history of friendship between Australia and Sri Lanka, formerly named Ceylon. He went on to say that he even has advised Sri Lanka bowler Muralitharan on his bowling skills.

Rudd certainly was no cricket tragic! His grand reception to the visiting team was spiced with anecdotes about his days of playing cricket in China when he was a diplomat. He acknowledged Sri Lanka High Commissioner in Australia, K. Balapatabendi, who had enlightened the Aussie PM on important facts like the first ever cricket match played in Colombo.

Kevin Rudd went to the extent of inviting three of the famous "Invincibles" of the famous 1948 Aussie cricket team –Neil Harvey, Sam Loxton and Arthur Morris- who are still with us. They spoke with great delight about the match played against the then Ceylon Eleven when the above Aussies had made a twenty-four-hour stop-over in Colombo on their way to England by ship. Such was the reminiscences of the years gone by and they will forever remain as memorable events in the history of world cricket.

Rudd went on to wish Sri Lanka well and said that the Sri Lanka cricket team had cricketers of every race and religion which showed that cricket itself was a strong unifying force in this era.

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Ensure security, Lanka tells Cricket Australia

Sunday Times LK: Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday fired out a strong e-mail to Cricket Australia in the aftermath of an attack on Sri Lankan cricketers and officials by the Australian public on Friday night in Hobart, Tasmania. The incident occurred when a group of Australians ambushed the Lankan cricketers and officials who were returning to their hotel after dine out and stared jeering and throwing objects at them.

Speaking to The Sunday Times on the incident, Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary K. Mathivanan said, “Yes, we are perturbed by the incident and we already have cautioned Cricket Australia through e-mail urging them to ensure the security of our cricketers on and off the field. However when it happens in a public area there is very little that any one can do.”

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka was dealt with another major blow when veteran Sanath Jayasuriya was struck on the Jaw by a bouncer bowled by Tasmanian fast bowler Tim MacDonald.

Jayasuriya was struck while trying to pull a MacDonald bouncer in the eighth over and left the field for six stitches. However according to Mathivanan, Jayasuriya in spite of his injury will be playing in their tour opener against India on Tuesday. Sri Lanka Cricket President Arjuna Ranatunga will join the tour party on February 20 while Secretary Mathivanan is also expected to join him.

On Friday evening Ranatunga met former national players and appealed to them to come forward to help take the game in the island to greater heights.

Ranatunga along with some members of the Cricket Committee was present at SSC grounds on Friday when their teenagers went down meekly to Pakistan yet again in the Under 19 Tri-nation final.

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South Africa's pull out caused huge financial losses

AFP reports state a top official at SLC has disclosed that South Africa's pull out of Sri Lanka following a Tamil Tiger suicide attack on Pakistan's top envoy to Sri Lanka has resulted in loss of 11 million dollars.

"We lost 1.2 billion rupees (11 million US dollars) due to South Africa's pulling out. That was the only revenue forthcoming in 2006," Kangadaran Mathivanan, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary, told AFP.

The triangular series was due to take place in August 2006 between the hosts, South Africa and India. India stayed to play Sri Lanka, however rain disrupted the matches.

Mathivanan's remarks came after his new boss, Arjuna Ranatunga, who took over the reins of SLC last month, said that the governing body of the sport here had no money left and was banking on financial support from India to stay afloat.

Mathivanan added an out-of-court settlement with a television company cost the SLC five million dollars.

It was in addition to unbudgeted expenditure such as the development of a new stadium at Pallekele in the central district of Kandy and the refurbishment of the Galle stadium devastated by the 2004 tsunami.

"Pallekele cost us 225 million rupees and Galle another 500 million rupees. These are the expenditures that made us operate on an overdraft," Mathivanan said.

"The total shortfall in revenue and additional expenditure totalled 2.3 billion rupees," Mathivanan said.

Ranatunga said SLC was currently surviving on a six-million dollar bank overdraft, but India's Test and one-day tour of Sri Lanka in July-August would boost his organisation's finances. - AFP
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Chanaka Wijesinghe cracks double ton

Chanaka Wijesinghe of NCC cracked the first double ton of the Rupavahini Premier League cricket tournament, he slammed a 307 ball 250 with included 32 boundaries and three sixes against Tamil Union at P. Sara Stadium.

It is not often that you find a batsman making a double-century in the opening round of a tournament, but that's exactly what Chanaka Wijesinghe achieved for Nondescripts. In their first innings of 194, he top-scored with 61 not out and, after Nondescripts had conceded a first-innings lead of 31, he gave them an outside chance of victory by compiling 250 off 307 balls in the second innings. That NCC failed to achieve victory (falling short by one wicket) could not be blamed on him. Wijesinghe, 25 who hails from Kandy has been around for some time representing Kandy Youth CC, Ragama CC and Moors SC before coming to NCC.

"What is so striking about Chanaka's batting is that he has tightened his defence and is prepared to wait for the loose balls to make runs," Ranjith Fernando, the former Sri Lanka batsman, said. "If Chanaka can show a degree of consistency during the season with his batting and make some really big innings it will be rather difficult for the selectors not to have a closer look at him." Wijesinghe's previous highest score in 39 first-class matches was 146. - Cricinfo

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Jayasuriya cops one in the face, requires stitches

Sanath Jayasuriya retired hurt after being hit on the jaw during the Lankans' clash Vs Tasmania.

According to Cricinfo this morning Jayasuriya was struck when trying to pull a Tim MacDonald bouncer in the eighth over, left the field for six stitches and later went for an x-ray, which cleared him of a fracture. +/- Expand Post

Eggs and abuse hurled at Murali in Australia

Cricinfo: Members of the Sri Lankan camp in Australia for the CB series were the target of verbal abuse and had eggs thrown at them on Thursday night in Hobart. Muttiah Muralitharan and a team selector were part of a group walking from a restaurant to the team hotel and the selector was hit on the back by an egg. As a result, the Sri Lankan board has asked Cricket Australia (CA) to tighten security around the team.

"Muralitharan, along with one of the selectors and the team masseur, were walking on the street in Hobart when suddenly from nowhere a car passed them and the guy starts abusing," a source close to the team confirmed to Cricinfo.

"He then came back a few more times and repeated this and suddenly he started throwing eggs in their direction. One landed on the back of the selector. The team management has lodged a protest with the cops but fortunately nothing untoward happened on the ground."

It is not clear whether Muralitharan was the target of the attack, though Sri Lanka's manager, Sriyan Samararatne, suggested it was unlikely, arguing it was dark and that the car was travelling at too great a speed for recognition.

"I don't know the exact motive. I doubt whether they recognised Murali but unfortunately he was there," Samararatne told the Fox Sports website. "We told Cricket Australia about it and they were very upset." Samararatne added also that nothing untoward had occurred when Sri Lanka played a Test in Hobart last November.

Muralitharan's presence is bound to complicate matters. The spinner, who is the world's leading Test wicket-taker, has had a difficult time in Australia in the past. His action was no-balled early in his career in 1995-96, since when crowds have often heckled him at various venues. The reaction was so hostile Muralitharan refused to tour Australia in 2004, but he returned for Sri Lanka's series last November when the heckling seemed to have eased off.

K Mathivanan, the SLC secretary, said the board had informed CA about the matter and had asked for security for the team to be enhanced. "We have drawn the attention of Cricket Australia to this incident yesterday. They have already given the team security. But we have asked the authorities whether this can be beefed up further," Mathivanan told PTI.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

We were always going to play: Jayawardene

ABC News: The Sri Lankan cricket captain has denied his team planned to pull out of the one day triangular series if the racial vilification ban imposed on Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was not dropped.

It was reported the Indian team had chartered a flight out of Australia and Sri Lanka was also planning to leave if the ban was upheld.

But Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene says that is not the case.

"We were not spoken at all about anything like that, our board never got to us about any of those things," he said.

"We were just getting ourselves prepared for tournament, we didn't know exactly what was going on. I saw the article as well but we have no idea about that."

Jayawardene also says he believes on-field verbal disputes between players should be settled by the players.

His comments were in response to questions about the handling of the racial vilification case involving Harbhajan and Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds.

Jayawardene says there is a place for sledging in cricket, as long as it is not too personal.

"I think it should be part of the game, that's why cricket has been there for some time and that's why some teams have been on top of some other teams - because they have been mentally tougher, much stronger," he said.

"If it becomes a bit too personal then I think the first thing would be to try and sort it out between yourselves, have a chat to the guys and say 'you know you're going too far'."

Sri Lanka plays Tasmania in its final warm-up match at Bellerive Oval on Saturday.

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SLC is broke - Arjuna

Arjuna Ranatunga, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chairman, has revealed his board has no money left and is banking on financial support from India to stay afloat.

Read more on Cricinfo

Ranatunga, who was appointed head of SLC by the country's President Mahinda Rajapakse earlier this month, said the board was surviving on bank borrowings.

"We are now surviving on a six-million dollar bank overdraft," Ranatunga told AFP in an interview this week. "We also plan to ask for a short-term loan from the Indian cricket board to be set off against some of our future tour revenues."

Allegations of kickbacks have dogged Sri Lanka's cricket administration for years and Ranatunga has asked a team of auditors to investigate the board's finances. SLC wasn't short of sponsors after they won the World Cup under Ranatunga's captaincy in 1996, but the kitty has been running dry in recent times.

Most of the money that the SLC earns these days is through prize money won by the national team. Ranatunga, however, was confident he will meet his target to streamline the administration and nurture new talent.

Ranatunga said he looked forward to India's Test and one-day tour of Sri Lanka in July and August to help boost his organisation's finances. "India visits us this year and we are looking towards the Indian tour to earn some money," he said. India has financial muscle due to the massive captive [domestic] television audience. They have also helped us financially.

"While we work closely with other countries, India plays a strong role in keeping our finances afloat."

Ranatunga, a strong campaigner for a radical shake up in domestic cricket, fears that there may not be enough money to spend on developing younger players. The previous administration, headed by businessman Jayantha Dharmadasa, had said it could raise 30 million dollars in worldwide sponsorships within the next five years by way of commercial rights for television.

But Ranatunga was dismissive of the claim. "I don't know where those figures came from," he said, adding he was also reviewing the current deal with Dubai-based satellite broadcaster, Ten Sports, for home internationals.

Ten Sports' US$50million deal ends in 2009 and there were allegations that the previous administration had extended it till 2012 without a proper bidding process.

© Cricinfo

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