Sri Lanka keeps impressing me..

Posted: April 13, 2007 in chaminda vaas, fleming, jayawardene, murali, sangakara, sri lanka, world cup

For what was supposed to be a key match between two teams who had been giving winning performances at the World Cup, the New Zealand-Sri Lanka tie ended up being fairly one sided after all.

Right from the start when Vaas pinned the NZ batsmen down, it was always an uphill task for New Zealand. They struggled to put up any serious total, and if it was not for a late flourish, and some good batting by Styris, New Zealand would have managed just about 170 runs or so.

Sri Lanka batted with utmost maturity and comfortably paced themselves to victory. Their one star batsman, who had struggled for runs, Sangakara, spent good time at the wicket, and steered the team to a well deserved victory.

Head to head, there were a few key matchups, basically from the point of view to compare relative performances. And Sri Lanka were winners all the way:

Vaas vs Bond: both of them had been bowling very well, in the World Cup. Vaas came out looking much better than Bond. Jayasuriya and Sangakara were very comfortable against Bond, whereas all NZ batsmen struggled against Vaas.

Murali vs Vettori: not such a big match up, but just from the point of view of being one of the emerging spinners, Vettori usually commands respect. But again, it was Murali who came out looking so much the winner.

Captaincy: Fleming is certainly a shrewder captain than Jayawardene. But inspite of his best efforts, the team was outplayed by Sri Lanka, and he could not make a difference.

All in all, Sri Lanka continues to impress me, and they are going about their tasks in a matter-of-fact manner, keeping a low profile, without any hype. They have the innate ability and the form at this time, to challenge Australia.

Interesting aside – where Sri Lanka paced themselves comfortably against a keen NZ bowling attack, to get 220+ chasing, on the other hand, England struggled against Bangladesh, to get some 140-odd runs. They lost 6 wickets before scampering to victory there!

  1. USC Trojan says:

    I have always maintained that NZ is a good one day side but against slightly better competition, it struggles mentally and loses. This game was a good example of that happening.

  2. SPM says:

    Yes, NZ have always had a self-belief issue! But going beyond them, it is important to appreciate that SL have genuine and real balance in their side, like no other side in the WC can boast. Can that balance of good (but not always great) players in all areas of the game come out winners against a not-perfectly-balanced but including-some-serious-matchwinners (e.g. Australia with Ponting, for example) kind of teams??

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