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Sri Lanka stick head out in Down to the wire game against England

April 5, 2007
Good morning sleepy Sri Lankans. If your feeling groggy at work, the feeling is mutual mate, after a killer match last night, those who missed it, missed some good cricket played by both the sides.
To start off, there were a lot of bad omens on the Local Scene, being our popular waterhole not putting the match on Big Screen in the garden area (coz of the rain), and yours truly had to run back home to change in to a pair of jeans to gain entrance to the bar.

That being the case, missed the few blasts of the Master Blaster, and just as I was getting back, the dude had to get out. I’m sure that was the deciding factor of Sri Lanka getting a TON or not. If Sri Lanka need a 300 score this dude has to fire.

After the departure of Sana and then Sanga, Upul and Mahela steadied the ship just to get out when we needed to consolidate, which was definitely the deciding factor for a 250 score not being reached. Even our “Not-out Arnold” had no choice but to get out trying to hit out. This is where we lacked Maharoof yesterday and the run out of Dilly. They’re the closest we’ve got to a Symonds.

After a quick breakthrough which I think Vaughan was maybe a tincy wincy bit unfortunate, Peterson and Bell steadied the innings. But Mahela did well to tighten the screws by holding back the last power play, and operating the spinners. I was concerned for a moment thinking shit, he might have to “power play” the last 5 overs, but this is where luck comes in the form a of a paka run out, by Jayasuriya to dismiss Bell, and upset the partnership.

Mahela not missing a trick called for the last power play which saw further wickets crumble, most importantly the in-form Peterson, and many thought (including yours truly) that it was time to right off England from the game.

But a superb partnership by Nixon and Bopara brought it down to the wire like nobody including Mahela expected. The last overs were bowled by Murali and “Slinger” Malinga. Malinga came good in the last 2 overs, which makes me think he’s more of a tail end knocker than a first up bowler. Only time will tell. The master spinner Murali got sent off in style being whacked for 6 by the form of a Reverse Sweep by Nixon, which in my book was unorthodox but the shot of the day.

When it came down to the last over with 12 runs needed in 6 balls my choice was Vaas, but Mahela thought otherwise and brought on Dillo. Not letting down his captain Dilo held his nerves to bring down the target to 3 runs in the last ball, and when some thought there might be a Draw in the cards the bugger manages to bowl a “You miss, I hit” ball under pressure!

Although Sri Lanka go away with the 2 points, England too go with restored pride to face the in-form World Champions. Till next time your favourite reporter from the popular waterhole in Colombo signs out!

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