Island Cricket

Sunday, August 31, 2008

[Video] Sanath Jayasuriya 60 (52) Vs India 2008

by Hilal

Sanath Jayasuriya's 66th ODI fifty. Sanath has also scored 27 ODI centuries of which eleven were scored after the age of 35!

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[Video] Thilan Thushara 5/47 and 40 runs Vs India

By Hilal

Only the second Sri Lankan to have scored 30 runs or more and to have taken 5 wickets in an innings in a match - the other being Sanath Jayasuriya.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

[Video] Chaminda Vaas' 400th ODI Wicket

By Hilal

Vaas is only the 4th bowler to reach this milestone - Click here for the full list of highest wicket takers.

Chaminda also holds the record for the best bowling figures in ODI Cricket, 8/19 in 8 overs Vs Zimbabwe.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Ajantha Mendis tops the wicket takers list for 2008

by Hilal

Ajantha Mendis is now the leading wicket taker for 2008. In 13 matches Mendis has amassed a haul of 33 Wickets at a mind boggling average of 10.81 and a strike rate of 18 - Mendis strikes once every 18 deliveries!

Most wickets

2008 - One-Day Internationals

BAW Mendis (SL)1399.312357336/1310.813.5818.0
NW Bracken (Aus)16*124.48505295/4717.414.0525.7
KMDN Kulasekara (SL)17130.213608274/4022.514.6628.9
Shahid Afridi (Pak)16153.12713273/1926.404.6534.0
Sohail Tanvir (Pak)16134.49658255/4826.324.8832.3
M Muralitharan (SL)17159.03709245/3129.544.4539.7
SCJ Broad (Eng)14114.014500235/2321.734.3829.7
B Lee (Aus)13115.48560235/2724.344.8430.1
I Sharma (India)16128.14657224/3829.865.1234.9
Abdur Razzak (Ban)19*156.42768223/2034.904.9042.7
P Kumar (India)14122.312592214/3128.194.8335.0
IK Pathan (India)19145.23845214/4140.235.8141.5

Mendis has dismissed Yuvraj Singh 4 times of which he bowled him 3 times. The following list outlines Mendis' 33 scalps in more detail.

Most ODI wickets in a calendar year is 69 wickets in 36 matches held by Saqlain Mustaq in the 1997 season.

Records includes the following current or recent matches:
Australia v Bangladesh at Darwin, 1st ODI, Aug 30, 2008
England v South Africa at The Oval, 3rd ODI, Aug 29, 2008 [ODI # 2757]
Sri Lanka v India at Colombo (RPS), 5th ODI, Aug 29, 2008 [ODI # 2756]

Stats courtesy StatsGuru
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[Poll] All Time ODI XI | Greatest No3 in the history of ODIs?

Bowled by DamithS

So the search for All Time ODI XI Continues
We got the openers sorted out.

Sanath Jayasuriya and Gilchrist came out on top after leading the polls from start to finish.
We had a good turn out for the poll too !

Now its time to pick the best no3 in the world.
Here is your chance to let your voice be heard.

Get voting !

The All Time XI
  1. Sanath Jayasuriya
  2. Adam Gilchrist
  3. ??
  4. ??
  5. ??
  6. ??
  7. ??
  8. ??
  9. ??
  10. ??
  11. ??
Opener Voting results

For full breakdown go here

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[Video] 4th ODI, India in Sri Lanka ODI Series 2008

by Hilal

Download part 1 (130MB)

Download part 2 (136MB)

Download part 3 (123MB)

Download part 4 (142MB)

Requires DIVX player click here to download.

258 (Raina 76, Dhoni 71, Kohli 54, Thushara 5-47) beat Sri Lanka 212 (Jayasuriya 60, Harbhajan 3-40) by 46 runs

Headlines courtesy

Bulletin - India seal maiden series triumph in Sri Lanka
Jamie Alter - Dhoni binds a winning ODI package
Quotes - IPL success worked wonders for Raina
Quotes - Jayawardene blames inconsistent batsmen
Plays of the day - Sweeping success
Tour diary - The party never stops
Gallery - India clinch series with 46-run win

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sri Lanka to play Tri-Series in September

The PTI reports that the Pakistani Cricket Board plan to rope in the Lankans and the Proteas for a triangular in September.

Sources in the Pakistan board confirmed that Sri Lanka has given its consent to play in the tri-series while India has expressed its inability to be involved in a one-day tournament.

"Pakistan had approached some countries including India to support the board in organising a triangular or quadrangular tournament in South Africa to fill in the gap left open in Pakistan's cricket calender with the postponement of the Champions Trophy," one source said.

He said while India had expressed its regrets as it was already due to visit Pakistan for a full series in early January, Sri Lanka agreed to a one-day tournament.

"Now the modalities including venues and dates for the tri-series is being worked out but tentatively it should start from September 12," the source stated.

Former cricketers had lashed out at PCB for trying to hold the series in South Africa which refused to send its team to Pakistan leading to postponement of Champions Trophy.

But senior Board official Shafqat Naghmi said Pakistan could not afford to ignore or boycott the countries which refused to send teams to Pakistan.

"We are not going to adopt a tit for tat policy because the decision to postpone Champions Trophy was in the end unanimous. People don't realise that Pakistan has still got the hosting rights and it was because of strong stand taken by some boards that the tournament was not relocated to Sri Lanka," Naghmi said.

The ICC earlier announced that the Champions Trophy tourney scheduled to be held in Pakistan in September was to be postponed for next year due to security fears.

The Australians who also voiced concerns over touring Pakistan are scheduled to play a Test match in Bangalore, India despite the recent terrorist attacks which took place there.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Aint no other...

Bowled by DamithS

At least in my book.

Unless you live under a rock, you'd know what day it is today.
August 27th 2008.

100 years on from August 27th 1908. For anyone non-wise to this date- it is when The Don was born. So today we celebrate the 100th Birth day of the greatest player of all time and the greatest player ever to step on to a patch of green to play cricket to wield a willow.

We all know the stats.
Missed the 100 average by 4 runs in his last match.

The legend of the great man has touched every single cricket fan alive.

It would be unthinkable for us here at to not pay tribute to the man.
However, being Sri Lankan, I thought I'd add a little spice with a Sri Lankan flavor to it.

This post is the fruit of endless bits of research over the last few weeks and a lot of help from some friends over in Australia. So here goes. But be warned this will be a long rant!

Some of you may know that Bradman toured, well toured is a slightly inaccurate, Sri Lanka on a "whistle stop" basis on their way to England. In fact he visited Sri Lanka, or Ceylon at the time, on 4 occasions. In 1930, 1934, 1938 and 1948 to be precise.

Cricinfo articles the 1930 visit;

The Australians played in Colombo against the All Ceylon team on 2nd April 1930, Bradman was out hit wicket for the first ball bowled by N.S.Joseph, in his debut match. This is supposed to be the first and the only occasion that Bradman got out hit wicket.Australians were all out for 233, All Ceylon 52 for 1 at close, the match was interrupted by rain and ended in a draw.
Here is where it starts to get interesting. I was able to track down a entry in Bradmans personal diary detailing this very match. Below is the full entry in the diary

This excerpt from Bradmans diary is Copyrighted. has obtained formal permission to publish it on this blog. Republishing this image without prior consent from SLSA is strictly prohibited.

"Standard of cricket quite high"- There you have it folks, from the man himself. This was an assessment that caused my heart to flutter. To have such high praised heaped upon our countrymen even in those days says. Words fail me.

The 1934 and 1938 visits were less eventful. There do not appear to be too many records of the tour at all.

Cricinfo provided a brief snippet.
Don Bradman did not play in the Australian team's tours in 1934, and in 1938 Bradman had a 'cold', the Sri Lankan spectators were very disappointed.

This goes to prove that the legend of Bradman was not contained to England and Australia or even India. Bradman was a hugely popular figure in Ceylon. There are many stories of the crowds flocking to see Bradman when the touring ships called into port in Colombo.

An example of this can he highlighted in the 1948 visit by the Australians.

This particular match, played over just a day, as was the tradition of all the matches played by the touring Australian team, was littered with quite a few colorful events, not least was a 20 yard pitch which confounded the Australian batsmen until they discovered the error !

Jack Fingleton writes an account of the match in his 1949 book, Brightly fades The Don.

Click on images for a larger view

Fingleton fondly recalls his memories of the then Colombo, the now infamous 20 yard pitch and the curious, curatoress! Bradman coming out in a toppee is priceless. Him and Barnes fighting for the strike and needling each other in the middle is both intriguing and enjoyable to read. This was the human and rather mischievous side of the great man.

Bradman himself made it a point to mention the 1948 game in his own book-Farewell to Cricket

Click on images for a larger view

He makes mention of the notorious Colombo heat and the enchanting scoreboard at the Colombo oval. It seems no surprise that he was affected by the intense heat in Colombo. Many have suffered its wrath. Further proof that the man was human after all (which somehow makes his records seem even more incredible).

The love for Bradman in Sri Lanka is evident in an excerpt from "Bradman" by Charles Williams. Sri Lankan fans would ride out in tiny boats when the ship from Australia neared the harbour hoping for a sighting of the Don.

Click on image for a larger view

Cricinfo provides a brief summation of the 1948 game.
On 27th March 1948 there was a crowd of about 20,000 at the Colombo Oval, to see Bradman play for the last time in Sri Lanka, Don Bradman was able to score only 20 runs as he was caught by R.L. de Krester bowled B. Russell Heyn. Australia declared at 184 for 4 an hour before close of play, All-Ceylon were 46 for 2 when rain stopped play. This match was memorable for another reason as the length of the pitch was 20 yards and not 22. Australian batsman found it hard to get the ball away, they bowled from two yards behind the bowling crease.

1948 Match Scorecard- Aus in Ceylon

Sir Donald would have been a 100 years old today. Mortals such as us will never have the privilege to see this man in action. He played cricket test cricket in 4 countries. But Sri Lanka has the honor of being the 5th and only other country (correct me if I am wrong) where the Don pulled on his white flannels to play cricket. From all accounts, even his personal diaries, it seems he held our cricket in high regard, and our country in even a higher plane.

There can be no greater honor for Sri Lankan cricket.

Many Happy returns of the day Sir Donald, where ever you may be.


Brightly Fades the Don, by Jack Fingleton, Sydney, 1949.
Farewell to Cricket, by Don Bradman, London, 1950
The Invincibles, by Peter Allen, Sydney, ABC, 2001.
Sir Donald Bradman: a Biography, by Irving Rosenwater, London, 1978.
Bradman, by Charles Williams, London, 1996.

Special Thanks to;
Chris Read
Anthony Duffield

Formal Letter to Publish Don Bradmans Diary Entry on Hilalscricket.
View Letter

Note: I have a few more excerpts from some books on the 1948 game. If interested let me know in the comments section

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

[Video] Aney Yako! The Giant Screen - R Premadasa Stadium 2008

by Hilal

As seen on the giant screen at the R. Premadasa Stadium - Trust me and watch the entire video!

Kudos to the Ten sports producers they kept the entire stadium entertained during the rain.

Below, a few excerpts of Jamie Alter's post titled The party never stops, which sums up the above very eloquently.

A bevy of beauties swayed to live music from an impromptu brass band, the beer flowed, and a good time was had by all. People love seeing themselves on television. The cameras panned across the ground and that only sent the fans into a tizzy. Girls batted their eyelids, feigned beauty-pageant waves, high-fived each other; men and boys broke into dance; others showed off tee shirts with graffiti; some covered their faces momentarily before getting up to do something funny; and one elderly lady in a sari even did her own take on the Funky Chicken. Others mingled around at the Keels kiosk, munching on pizza or fish rolls, sipping beer, even as the rain dripped down and they dodged big puddles. Snack vendors went through the bleachers, serving soft drinks and hot dogs with a smile.

Unlike the Indian team, who had returned to their hotel, the Sri Lankan players sat around on the balcony, lapping up the festive mood. That only added to the crowd's vigour. When Jade Roberts, Sri Lanka's physiotherapist, tried to dodge the big screen the crowd started chanting for him to come back, and he sheepishly grinned. Cue hysteria from the ladies. Paul Farbrace, the assistant coach, wasn't as obliging, but did get a kick out of seeing himself on the screen.

The highlight, however, was when one sharp cameraman panned in on Lasith Malinga in the stands. The crowd went berserk as Malinga flashed his hundred-watt smile and waved back, and when his Sri Lankan team-mates on the dressing room balcony saw him, they engaged themselves in a bit of banter, communicated via the giant screen.

Alternate Version

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Crowd control

A notice posted on the giant screen at the R Premadasa Stadium. +/- Expand Post

Ambul Thiyal-Anga plays for the A team....


My name is Ambul Thiyal-Anga. As you would have guessed by now I'm a cricketer. More specifically an opener, by name, at times even by trade.

I have an extensive repertoire of strokes but only play few, that is how good I am. Lately though I have been handed the task of opening the batting for the A team. The selectors needed an experienced man to lead the charges and it was only natural the buck fell on the great Ambul.

Yes I was ready.

I briefly look at my reflection in the mirror prior to entering the field. The crowd outside I know are expectant. The self belief and confidence staring back at me through the mirror astounds even me. An echo of applause can be heard outside, gathering momentum.

I tell my self- I'm stronger, faster, well drilled like a finely tuned machine. All clock work like a fresh off the mill Swiss chronometer. Ambul Thiyal-Anga is about to grace this match.

I walk to the crease, assured, not a hair, a inner glove out of place. The opposition players seem to marvel at the elegance I exhume even in the mere act of walking to the crease. I take guard and signals to the bowler that I am ready.

The carnage that followed is, as they say, history. I breezed past the 50..then the 100 and then 150 I and everybody else knew I would. Here I was again I thought to my self. Every ounce of me working coherently to produce the perfection that was beyond any ones belief.

With effortless ease I caressed the ball to the fence.. needled it around corners for two and threes. The bowlers were tired and I was just getting started.

The medium pacer ran was wide the outside off stump, I could tell the bowler knew this was going to be divinely sent to the boundary before he was through with his run up. My feet found the path of the ball, the bat followed through , it was almost in slow motion, I closed by eyes to feel the full satisfaction of the ball hitting the middle of the bat yet again.

But then the ball landed, a puff of dust. It moved away ever so slightly, I had miscalculated. The bowler could not believe I had edged it, neither could the keeper. Bewildered, they stood there in silence for a minute, before a polite enquiry from the umpire. The finger slowly came up.

I am out.

I look directly at the umpire, who seems almost apologetic. I stare him down, then the bowler. I cast my bat under my arm and walk towards the umpire with the same assuredness I had when I walked in. “Are you sure you want to do this ?” I ask. The umpire cannot hold my gaze.

I stand there, bat in hand. Pin drop silence all around. I move back into my stance. Practice the perfect sensual shot that was meant to have been played.

But that I did not.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

[Video] 3rd ODI, India in Sri Lanka ODI Series 2008

by Hilal

3 part - Downloadable 30 minute highlights. Requires DIVX player (click here to download DIVX player FREE)

Download Part 1 (File-Size: 76.75 MB)

Download Part 2 (File-Size: 70.46 MB)

Download Part 3 (File-Size: 52.54 MB)

3rd ODI v Sri Lanka at Colombo (RPS) - Aug 24, 2008
India won by 33 runs.


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Middle order to remain unchanged

posted by Hilal

In a story published on the ECB website mahela discusses the playing eleven for today's all important fixture.

Below are a few excerpts, the full news item can be found here.

Jayawardene has been under pressure to drop the likes of Chamara Silva and Tillakaratne Dilshan in favour of Mahela Udawatte and Malinda Warnapura. But it seems the skipper does not plan to tinker with the batting line-up.

"Every cricketer goes through a bit of hiccups in one or two games," he said.

"But these are quality players. I am sure they will find form. We just need to handle these situations better."

India can now clinch the series with another victory on Tuesday, and Jayawardene admits his team’s predicament is far from ideal.

"Trailing 1-2 is a tough position to be in, but it is a good challenge for us," he said. "You don’t want to lose a series while playing at home.

"We have analysed our mistakes and we now know where we are going wrong. Hopefully we can get it right."

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Spin kills

"I had followed India's Test fortunes for 45 years, and never once in that time had I seen the Indian batsmen devastated by a slow bowler through a whole series," writes Mukul Kesavan for Cricinfo.

So the Asia Cup defeat didn't worry me because the Fabulous Four - Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly, arguably the best players of spin bowling in the world over long and distinguished careers, hadn't figured in that team. I wasn't complacent, but it was reasonable to believe that they would figure Mendis out. The last freak spinner they had played, Paul Adams, hadn't puzzled them for a minute. While Mendis was clearly the better bowler, given his limited-overs performance and Bishan Bedi's testimonial, how dangerous could a Test debutant be, given the collective experience of the best batting line-up?

Very dangerous. It was Dravid's dismissal in the first Test that set the alarms off. Nobody in the world plays later off the back foot than Dravid did. The sight of him, crease-bound, stabbing down on Mendis down a middle-stump line, missing by a mile and the ball taking the off bail was a more significant moment in the history of Test cricket than the much-celebrated ball, which Warne ripped across Mike Gatting to bowl him. For two reasons: Dravid is by some distance the better batsman, and offspinners aren't meant to bowl fast legbreaks.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

'Vaasy' set to make history

By Hilal

Chaminda Vaas is just one wicket away from reaching 400 ODI wickets. He will be the third bowler in the history of the game to reach that milestone only Wasim Akram, Murali and Waqar Younis have achieved this feat.

Click here for the full list of highest ODI wicket takers.

Vaas was seen at practice and seemed comfortable with the injury which kept him out of the 2nd ODI.

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Tickets Sold Out at the Premadasa

by Hilal

Sri Lanka Cricket has announced that tickets for the 3rd ODI between India and Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium today have sold out- 50 Rupees tickets appear to be available.

Expect a full house and a humdinger of an ODI tonight folks!

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Friday, August 22, 2008

What's a Carrom Ball?

by Hilal

Ajantha's away spinning delivery to the right handed batsman is released with a Carrom like flick of the middle and index fingers, hence the term Carrom Ball.

Understanding the Carrom Ball

Carrom is a table-top game and the goal is similar to pool. The video here shows the use of the middle and index finger in Carrom.

Why is it hard to pick?

As opposed to the conventional spin bowler Ajantha releases the ball at a much quicker speed and as a result the batsman has little or no time to make an adjustment off the wicket.

The grip is similar to an off spin delivery which would turn into the right handed batsman but in this case the middle finger flicks the ball in the opposite direction at the point of release.

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[Video] 2nd ODI, India in Sri Lanka ODI Series 2008

by Hilal

ODI no. 2745

India in Sri Lanka ODI Series - 2nd ODI
Sri Lanka v India
2008 season
Played at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on 20 August 2008 (50-over match)
Result India won by 3 wickets (with 62 balls remaining)

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Terry Jenner not impressed with Mendis

Warne's mentor and coach Terry Jenner is clearly not impressed by Ajantha Mendis. In an article titled 'Young spinners lack magic like Warne, Kumble' in the ExpressIndia - He goes on to state that Mendis lacks a stock ball and the new breed of spinners including Mendis and Panesar are not in the same league as Warne and Kumble.

If anyone recalls Jenner was the bloke trying to sling mud at Murali when he was on the verge of breaking Warne's record. It appears that with such blind devotion to Warne he seems to be blinded by the brilliance of Mendis and it also appears he is trying incredibly hard to ensure people don't forget who Shane Warne is, since all the attention is on Murali and Mendis of late.

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Mendis mystery overhyped says Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev claims Mendis is yet to prove his credentials and the media has "highlighted him a bit too prominently".

Below are a few excerpts from the article, which can be found in full here.

"No doubt that Mendis' performance in the on-going India-Sri Lanka series is very good but media has highlighted him a bit too prominently. It is too early to say if he will continue to perform like this for long,"

"So far Mendis has done extraordinary well and launched his cricket carrier in a marvelous way, but Indian batsmen are capable enough to tackle his bowling, he added."

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Dambulla's shame

by Hilal

The uncouth behavior of a few can tarnish the good name of many.

The Indians after their well deserved victory in the 2nd ODI were pelted by plastic bottles by a group of Sri Lankan spectators.

Although a huge police presence was seen at Dambulla no arrests were made.

Recall seeing a group of Indian spectators with yellow shirts and red wigs on?

Sri Lankans who were sitting beside them report that they too were attacked with pellets and coins by a group of Lankan youth.

A very sad state of affairs, as Sri Lankans we have always been excellent hosts to our foreign guests - one of the primary reasons we excelled in the hospitality industry.

This is most definitely a black mark on our island as well as our cricket.

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[Video] Ajantha Mendis 3/21 Vs India 2008

by Hilal

Ajantha's first ODI on home soil. The video also features the man of the match presentation and the full interview with Mendis in Sinhalese - with English subtitles.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cheerleaders can be seen in Colombo, just not in Dambulla...

The European cheerleaders withdrawn by SLC after protests from various quarters, will be back in action in Colombo according to the .

”The cheerleaders who were brought from Europe by the sponsors (Tensports and Idea mobile phone) and put into action for the first match were dropped for the second as their actions don’t go well in Dambulla, a world heritage site,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) media manager Shane Fernando told IANS.

“But they will be back in action for the remaining three matches (at the R. Premadasa Stadium) in Colombo from Aug 24,” he said over the phone from Dambulla.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

[Video] Aney Yako! Ranjith 'Sorta' Fernando

by Hilal

Aney Yako! Never has a man been paid more to repeat the same two words.

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Cheerleaders and the cultural dilemma

by Hilal

The cheerleaders on display during the 1st ODI seem to have caused an uproar amongst our - ethically correct cultural police - cabinet ministers.

According to the Daily mirror the ministers were heard using the terms 'culture' and 'tradition' to put down something which is common place in most sporting events in modern societies.

Culture, values and traditions are important but if a troupe of dancers can cause this much uproar what should we do about the topless women on display at Sigiriya?

Uploaded on October 22, 2006
by pjwar

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[Video] 1st ODI, India in Sri Lanka ODI Series 2008

by Hilal

Bulletin - Remorseless Sri Lanka thrash India
Jamie Alter - Mendis remains a mystery
Jamie Alter - India need to fix opening problem
Quotes - Mendis not a permanent threat - Dhoni
Plays of the day - Mistaken identities, and swayed by the music
Gallery - Abject India suffer eight-wicket loss

Headlines courtesy

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Sri Lankan cricket in the Orient....

Bowled by DamithS

The 1st week of April in 1996 holds a memorable place in all Sri Lankans hearts(o
r at least it should!) It was indeed an unforgettable week.

As Sri Lankans we were all still basking in the glory of being tagged “World Champions”, and for any Australians reading this, you’d probably have been cursing and wondering how the tiny island nation that you’d bullied just a few months earlier in your backyard dared to dream and toppled the might of the best team in the world.

So if you were a Sri Lankan, life was good.

It was about to get better.

The now world renowned Sanath Jayasuriya stepped on to the field at the Padang in Singapore to launch an attack on Pakistan that is still the reason for a few Pakistani bowlers to wake up in the middle of the night with a cold sweat.

While the pundits were still trying to decompose whether what Jayasuriya did that week was even mathematically possible, a few unknown records in it self passed un noticed. Well at least until now.

Singapore, became the 12th country to host an ODI. They remain as the only country to host an ODI but never participated in an ODI. The Padang ground, incidentally is 110th ground, while Singapore is the 101st city to host an ODI.

The Padang ground it self holds special significance to us Sri Lankans.

When the first few adventurous Ceylonese left the island for the orient around the 1860s one of their destinations was Malaya, of which Singapore was a part of at the time. Singapore, which was founded by Sir Stanford Raffles in 1819, offered a vast array of opportunities for these immigrants from all over asia.

T. M. Turnbull records in his book, 'History of Singapore, 1819 - 1975', "Singapore's rapidly expanding economy attracted ever-increasing immigrants. At the end of the 19th Century, there were 185,000 people. Three-quarters were Chinese, while the rest comprised Malays, Sumatrans, Javanese, Bugis, Ceylonese, Arabs, Eurasians and Europeans".

If you are wondering what the cricketing relation to all this is- be patient.

These early Ceylonese held esteemed position in Singapore, as doctors, teaches and various other posts and would often get together to discuss the Sri Lankan way of life.

Cricket was usually a topic of great importance.

According to a foreword to the Early History of Sport Among Ceylonese Residents in Singapore, "Up to 1915, sport among Ceylonese youth seems to have been confined to students in the College of Medicine. In that year a more organised team began to take shape under the leadership of Dr. K. Kiramathypathy (Dr. K. K. Pathy). Soccer and cricket were the chief games indulged in, although there seems to have been a greater bias for cricket."

The need for an official union was identified by many prominent Ceylonese and around the early 1920s the first Lanka Union was born. This is when the Padang and the Singapore Cricket Club played a pivotal role.

It offered its facilities for practice and matches for the Sri Lankans who did not at the time have their own ground. Ceylonese cricket thrived.

Dr. Pathy wrote

'In the early stages games had to be played on outside grounds as we did not have a ground of our own, until late 1922..."
'In this connection we should be failing in our duty if we did not record the great assistance given to us by the Padang Clubs of Singapore, the Singapore Recreation Club, and the Singapore Cricket Club in granting its facilities for practice and for matches, and for the great hospitality they showed us at all times. "

The Padang ground it self brings to mind a game of cricket played on a green on a lazy Sunday afternoon in England. Its surrounded by historic British monuments. It seems to have been plucked out of village green in the British Isles and placed in the center of one of the most modern metropolis’s in the world.

When you pass by the ground it reminds me of a time when cricket was simpler.

More laid back.

The way cricket should be.

An indulgence played with your mates, more for the love of the game rather than the accolades and money and the stardom. The pictures attached here do not do justice to this history patch of green that has undoubtedly shaped the lore of Sri Lankan cricket in the orient.

Singapore Cricket Club Publications
Ceylon Sports Club Publications

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Mendis remains a mystery

Posted by Hilal

"Creativity is not like a freight train going down the tracks," wrote Bob Dylan in his autobiography, Chronicles. "It's something that has to be caressed and treated with a great deal of respect. If your mind is intellectually in the way, it will stop you. You've got to programme your brain not to think too much."

Flip that around and you understand India's predicament against Mendis. They've been bamboozled, nay awed, by Mendis' bag of tricks since he destroyed them in Karachi. Mendis is special, no doubt about it.

India's players have bounced between analysing footage, hoping that his aura may wear off and stressing on reading him off the pitch. What they need to understand is that for the time being Mendis is beyond understanding. Hard as it may sound, they need to take him out of the equation, stop worrying about him, writes Jamie Alter for Cricinfo.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

An Elite Club

by Andy H

With the India Test Series now behind us, it looks like Sri Lanka has, at most, two Tests scheduled in the next nine months, those being the end-of-year matches in Bangladesh (these matches haven’t been officially scheduled, but Hilal and I are both under the impression that they are occurring).

Bangladesh has won exactly one Test match in its history (over Zimbabwe in 2005), and there’s little reason to believe they will add to this tally against a Sri Lanka team whose Test form looks as good as it has … well, maybe ever.

However, there is a bit of side drama that could be very interesting indeed, as Mahela Jayawardena has a chance to join a very elite club, achieving something that eluded the likes of Graham Gooch, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Javed Miandad, Viv Richards, Allan Border, and Steve Waugh.

By my count, there are only eight (ed. seven) players who have scored 8,000 runs in their first 100 Tests:

Sachin Tendulkar
Rahul Dravid
Sunil Gavaskar
Gary Sobers
Brian Lara
Jacques Kallis (thanks, Damith -- no he did not)
Ricky Ponting
Matthew Hayden

The Sri Lanka captain currently has 7,757 runs in 98 matches. This means he needs 243 in the next two to make it to 8,000. For what it’s worth (and I realize this is a statistic of very limited usefulness), Mahela has averaged 112.7 runs per match over his last 10 Tests. +/- Expand Post

[Video] Freak Streak

by Hilal

Kumar Sangakkara's recent article titled Freak Streak on Cricinfo and a chap named Fuddy inspired me to put this one together.

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The greatest ODI XI (as voted by you)

Bowled by DamithS

So we are tying to pick the greatest ODI team based on the fans out there.
Here is your chance to participate and get your views in. Simply vote on the poll below.

The idea being we will pick the two best openers based on your comments and then the No3 batsmen , No4 and so forth ending up with the bowlers.

Each poll will be run for a week.

So stop that boring thing you're doing. Tell your wives and kids to bugger off and get voting !!

Ps- If you wish to vote for any player outside this poll. Too bad.
Actually just leave it in the comments section and we will take it into account when picking the team :)

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Australia's security fears nudging Champions Trophy to Sri Lanka

Posted by Hilal

Australia have joined New Zealand in refusing to accept assurances from an International Cricket Council delegation that the Champions Trophy can safely take place in Pakistan next month. Their response makes a further delay inevitable and increases the likelihood that the competition will be switched to Sri Lanka, writes David Hopps of the Guardian.

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I can't think of life without cricket: Sanath Jayasuriya

Posted by Hilal

Sri Lanka went on to win the Asia Cup and Jayasuriya's blitzkrieg capped him as the highest run-getter in the six-nation tournament. His statistics in the tournament were hard to ignore as he averaged 75.60 and had a strike rate of 126.00, scoring two hundreds and one fifty.

A few excerpts can be found below, the original article can be found here.

"There were a few things that I worked on after the Australian series early this year. It was the off-season and there were no domestic competitions, so I had a few sessions with the bowling machine and worked ever so harder on my physical fitness," he said.

His rich experience in cricket helped him take failure with poise as he worked his way to the side.

"When you are going through a bad patch, it's very important not to panic. There are so many factors that contribute to poor form and you just need to patiently work on them and the important thing is to revert to basics," Jayasuriya said.

"I regained my touch towards the end of the IPL and was happy to be part of the Asia Cup squad. It was a pleasant experience to win the tournament in Pakistan. We hadn't won any major competition in Pakistan since winning the World Cup," Jayasuriya remarked.

The left-hander says he is now looking forward to the upcoming five-match series against India that starts on Monday.

When asked what went wrong with the Indians in the Tests, Jayasuriya admitted being lost for words.

"It's hard to understand. They are such a strong batting side, for me the best in the world without any doubt. But Sri Lanka gave India no chance. They kept the pressure on and it's not easy when Ajantha (Mendis) and Murali bowl in tandem. I thought Sri Lanka had a good plan, which they executed to perfection. There was someone to rise to the occasion at every crucial point."

"But I am sure they (Indians) will bounce back. Sachin is a class act, Rahul and Sourav are quality players. The point is when you are having such a long career, like they have had, you are bound to have a poor series. It happens to all players in the world, but the problem here was all three of them struggled at the same time," Jayasuriya added.

The veteran also showered praise on young spinner Mendis who finished the Test series with a world record of 26 wickets.

"I am really happy for what Ajantha has done. He's come up the hard way and his rise to stardom is something of a fairy tale. He's a quiet kind of chap, who wants to keep improving. I have a particular liking for blokes who are the first to practice and the last to leave and Mendis is something similar. When you play at this level you need to keep working harder and improve your game every day," Jayasuriya said.

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Sanath back to hurt indians in ODIs

Posted by Hilal

During India’s disappointing outing in the Test series against Sri Lanka, one problem that they didn’t have to worry about was how to contend Sanath Jayasuriya. Having retired from Test cricket last year, Jayasuriya was busy hosting studio shows in Dubai during the Test series and his return to the side is sure to haunt Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his Indian teammates, writes Rex Clementine for the Island.

"I don’t think there’s any complacency whatsoever. This is a new and young side and M.S. Dhoni has done well as a captain. We are aware that it’s going to be a tough contest and we need to play good cricket. We have done well and got the momentum and we need to continue in that manner," he told The Island yesterday.

"We had a good Asia Cup and we have done well in Tests. So the confidence is there and we have to be on top of our game in what’s going to be a keen contest," Jayasuriya added.

"I felt good after the Asia Cup and very happy to be back in form. I was not in the team and some people had faith in me and I am happy with what I did. But then again, everything is in the past and you need to do it all over again as a new series begins."

Jayasuriya said that he had a couple of days off after the Asia Cup tournament and has been involved in training with Sri Lanka ‘A’ team since. "I had one week off. Then started training as usual. The ‘A’ team was training and I was doing the routine training with Prabath Nissanka and Mario Villavarayan, the trainers appointed by the board."

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Ambul Thiyal-Anga makes his comeback....

My name is Ambul Thiyal-Anga. As you would have guessed by now I'm a cricketer. More specifically an opener, by name, at times even by trade.

I have an extensive repertoire of strokes but only play few, that is how good I am. Or how good I was. You see, I hit a rough patch a while ago.

My confidence had eluded me. But no more.
My timing was amiss. But No more
Nay, no more.

Ambul Thiyal-Anga was called into action, as he so often is, against the might of the Indians recently. It was my chance to prove to the world the legend of Ambul was not faded but spreading wider. To prove that to the ones that gave up on me that I'm stronger, faster, well drilled like a finely tuned machine. All clock work like a fresh off the mill Swiss chronometer.

Yes I was ready.
I walked to the middle to face the new ball, fearless as I had done before. But this time It would be different. This time, it would be all my way. The daunting chase ahead of me did not make me nervous. Rather it made me acutely aware that this was where Ambul Thiyal-Anga was meant to be at this moment. This is the moment that Ambul would re capture his lost throne.

A brisk few boundaries boosted my already brimming confidence. I was set. Today would be my day. I reach a half century. The crowd goes wild in the stands. I acknowledge them briefly. Knowing that I would soon be gaining more adulation's when I reach the milestone I am destined for today. Even the opposition sense it. They are not dealing with a mere mortal. I can see it in their eyes. The fear. The loathing. The hint of jealousy. I'm not perturbed.

The bowler runs in. I already know his plan. I'm two steps ahead of him. He is unaware. My foot moves into position with a serenity that amazes even me. The bat flows through. My muscles searching , aching, for the perfect moment to make contact, but at that most glorious moment I'm distracted, by someone in the crowd perhaps.

It is over. I have edged it and the brutish keeper has snuffled up the chance. For a moment , disbelief. From bowler, keeper and even umpire.

I am out.

I stand there, bat in hand. Pin drop silence all around. I move back into my stance. Practice the perfect sensual shot that was meant to have been played.

But that I did not.

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Mahela's toughest decision as captain

Posted by Hilal

It gets kinda stale hearing the usual jargon at a post match interview or reading the same old question and response on a website or news paper that's why this interview deserves a mention.

Lokendra Pratap Sahi of the Telegraph seems to have pressed all the right buttons to get Mahela to speak genuinely about his toughest decisions as captain.

Toughest decision as captain

Probably not giving Maravan (Marvan) a match in the last World Cup... It wasn’t anything personal and, to his credit, he didn’t take it personally either... It was a tough one, yes, but a captain has the responsibility to take such decisions... If someone else can take those decisions better, then it will be time to leave the captaincy... I’m transparent and the players are free to ask questions. I won’t say that I’m not going to give reasons for a decision taken by me... Once a captain is transparent, he doesn’t have to worry.

Style of captaincy

I’m very impulsive... One can plan a lot of things, but it all gets down to how the bowlers bowl and how well the batters have been able to adjust to the conditions... Strategy, I think, has to be flexible with a Plan B and a Plan C ready all the time... I do go with my instincts and if I feel that something could work, I give it a shot... When I get back to the hotel, I shouldn’t be thinking that I ought to have tried what I’d thought could work.

Lastly, just how long did it take to get over the disappointment of losing the 2007 World Cup final (to Australia)

Look, I believe that cricket is just a game and there will be winners and losers... Looking back, we gave everything we had... The boys were brilliant throughout and, in the final, we lost to the better team on the day... One can look back and regret or move forward with the belief that we gave it everything... I took the latter route... Had I been a neutral, I would’ve sat back and enjoyed Adam Gilchrist’s blazing knock (149 in 104 balls)... Unfortunately, being the opposition captain, I was at the receiving end... Had it been Sanath Jayasuriya’s day, then the Australians would’ve been at the receiving end... That’s how it goes in cricket.

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[Video] 3rd Test, Day 4 | Sri Lanka Vs India 2008

by Hilal

Click here for video

Sri Lanka wrap up an emphatic victory over India to win the Idea Cup series 2-1. The Lankans have now won 12 of their last 15 series at home, and have not lost to India at home since '93.

This series victory puts Sri Lanka in the number 4 spot in the ICC Test Cricket rankings with just one point separating the 3rd and 4th spot.

Video features full post match presentation & the players posing with the trophy for photos. +/- Expand Post

Thursday, August 14, 2008

ESPNSTAR Sports Vs The Fans of Cricket

by Hilal

My step son is of Caribbean decent, but having grown up largely in North America he has little or no interest in the sport of Cricket. Therefore, I decided one Sunday afternoon to show the little man the greatness of the likes of Gary Sobers by quickly pulling up the famous six-6's clip on YouTube. To my shock and dismay the video could no longer be found and the account which uploaded the video shut down due to Copyright infringement.

Where does one living in a quiet corner of Canada, or any non-cricket playing nation for that matter, go to watch such a rare moment? Should such a rare moment have been removed and a YouTube account shut down for an insignificant three-minute T20 video from the IPL, or 30 runs scored by Sachin during an ICC tournament?

Has cricket done enough to archive great moments such as this even for historic value?

ESPNSTAR – now the media partner for the ICC – is in the process of systematically removing cricket videos from YouTube. All clips from ICC-related events and matches telecast by ESPNSTAR are being removed for Copyright infringement. Die-hard cricket fans, who keep these networks in business, are being branded as criminals.

It is imperative for these networks to identify the primary reason behind these uploads instead of branding a large part of their own audience as criminals.

A Cable/Satellite TV subscriber has a video of their favourite cricket moment or favourite player uploaded to their own YouTube account for the same reason a fans goes out and purchases a poster of their favourite player, a back pack or even a T-Shirt. As a fan you would not want to visit ESPN or any other website to catch a glimpse of your favourite player? Instead you want the poster/image to be hanging on YOUR wall.

I must emphasises at this point that I understand where broadcasters and rights holders are coming from, but thus far there have only been three entities in cricket history who have filed copyright infringement claims against the fans of the sport: ESPNSTAR, ICC and the Indian Premier League. The uploaded videos are not being passed off as the uploader's own work. On the contrary, it is clear to all that the videos are indeed owned by the broadcaster. The purpose of a 10 minute YouTube video of a 8-hour long event is for review, comment and criticism. Most importantly, they serve as a free historic archive and promote the sport to a wider audience. These videos are uploaded with no financial consideration and as result should fall under the 'fair-use' clause of Copyright law.

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered "fair," such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.*

* Youtube and other social media video hosting sites offer more than just the ability to view these videos - user groups, communities and discussions that take place due to these videos and other videos of varied subjects and cannot be replicated by a broadcaster who owns rights to only certain footage, as a result it would be a grossly exaggerated view to conclude that these videos are a cause of loss of revenue-as the right holders cannot amass the same diverse audience Youtube draws.

Why have other broadcasters not taken the same route?

It is financially not a smart move - with over a billion viewers worldwide of which a large percentage own a computer, a broadband Internet connection and a Youtube account the broadcaster is looking at an uphill battle - for what cost and subsequently what outcome?

The positives of such actions are few and far between.

Digital copyright laws will eventually adapt and change to modern day demands but what damage have we already done?

During the 2007 Cricket World Cup YouTube took cricket to households in Texas, Norway, Finland and to countless other viewers who had no interest in the sport. The videos did not provide a substitute in any way to watching the games live, but viewers caught a glimpse of Cricket due to the YouTube video's high placement rank in search results. The ICC, which claims to be working tirelessly to spread the game far and wide, have successfully cut out a free means of spreading cricket.

We, the fans of the sport, ask the ESPNSTAR representatives to speak to us. Come up with a suitable alternative instead of branding everyone a criminal. In their quest to monetize and commercialise everything, broadcasters are lashing out at their own customers in the most cruel manner possible. It is a customer relations and PR catastrophe just waiting to happen.

In the United States, cricket telecasts are run by an unfair monopoly with fans requiring multiple subscriptions to competing service providers in order to watch cricket. That too, at exorbitant prices. With the economy standing where it is at the moment, it is impossible to ask many families earning modest wages to dish out $60 to watch a series. Cricket can never flourish in a nation where only the social upper class can afford to watch it.

Articles of interest:
Cricinfo - ICC targets YouTube World Cup clips
Cricinfo - Once more cricket shoots itself in the foot
ICC Demand YouTube Videos Removal
Cricket videos on Youtube
World Cup videos banned from YouTube


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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stumped by PJ

by Damith S.

A recent poll conducted online revealed that most cricket fans out there reckon that our boy PJ is the best man behind the sticks going around.

Which I would say is a fairly accurate analysis when you consider his keeping ability. When the Indians, including their much loathed 'Fab 4' , went cross-eyed trying to read Mendis and Murali, who will from here on be referred as MnM, (not the mint, but the bowlers), PJ seemed to pick up what the two 'freaks' were doing with constant ease.

Which leaves me dumbfounded as to his complete ineptness ,it seems, in hitting the ball off the square. The man's managed to earn himself a spot in the team solely on his keeping ability, which says a lot about his keeping but unfortunately for Sri Lanka his lack of runs will surely tell sooner rather than later.

PJ usually comes in at number 6 or 7 and by no means can that be considered the tail end of our batting line up. At least not in the modern game. His lack of runs needs to catch the eye of the selectors who must be mindful that he is not indispensable. Sangakkara can be used at any given time to take up the gloves when we need to bring in the additional batsmen/all-rounder or bowler (my personal choice but thats for another day.) The notion of 'off loading' Kumar is a bit dodgy if PJ keeps failing to notch up the runs.

Expecting PJ to to average around 30-35 cannot be asking him too much. Mark Boucher averages 30, Mcullum 31. I believe these are fair comparisons as both Boucher and Mcullum fulfill similar roles for their teams and bat at similar positions.

From what I have seen PJ has the technique to get the runs, its possibly due to a lack of confidence and nerves that get him out.

A day will come when Sri Lanka needs to rely on Jayawardene getting the runs for them and on the evidence of his 21 tests so far that seems highly unlikely to happen. However, I think PJ should be given the opportunity to prove himself while the team it self needs to realise that this is one of the areas that needs to improve going forward if SL are to challenge the big boys in the pegging order overseas.

PJ's stats

Career summary
v Australia 2007-2007 2 38 37 9.50 0 2 2
v Bangladesh 2002-2007 5 139 120* 46.33 1 13 5
v England 2007-2007 3 150 79 37.50 0 6 2
v India 2008-2008 3 107 49 26.75 0 3 5
v New Zealand 2006-2006 2 80 37 20.00 0 3 0
v Pakistan 2000-2000 1 - - - - - -
v South Africa 2006-2006 2 72 42 36.00 0 6 1
v West Indies 2008-2008 1 26 21 26.00 0 4 0
v Zimbabwe 2004-2004 2 4 4 4.00 0 4 0

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