Yesterday's game could have gone horribly wrong for Sri Lanka. It didn’t.
If anyone deserves a pat on the back for the that tantalizing win it should be Mahela.
10 to win off the last over.
Mahela calls up Thilan Thushara and hands him the ball. I watched Mahelas body language at this point, wondering what was going through his mind. With So much drama back home with the media, Arjuna and his players. Here he was, stuck in a country where he probably didn't want to be in. Playing a team he probably dint want to be playing. Getting out for 4 against bowlers he could probably play in his sleep.
His team was about to lose to the lowest ranked team in international cricket. And he was about to make a calamitous mistake.
I watched him put the ball in Thilans hand. Talk to him about field placings and from his gestures I could see he was thinking the same thing I was.
The Zimbabweans were flashing their bats at everything, with the added pace there was a big chance of someone getting an edge behind the keeper that went for four.
So he did what any good captain would do, he asked himself that all important question that will now be the yardstick for every captain in international cricket
“What would Ricky Ponting do?”.
Mahela went into that zombie pose of his. You know the one, where he stares at the ground like his trying to do a long division sum.
He got his answer. Ponting would bowl Thilan. Of course the trick to the question is, once you know what Ponting would do, you do the exact opposite.
Murali had an over in hand, Mahela changed his mind and threw the ball to him
Sri Lanka win by 5 runs.
Decisions like those change games. Its good to know that Mahelas head is still grounded and is thinking clearly.