Michael Roberts, 9 June 2010
Reports from my Sri Lankan contacts indicate that the both sides have contributed to competitive but friendly ODI matches at Townsville. Both managements have also sought to give all the players a chance to play so that they can gain experience and be tested.Note that Sri Lanka had as large a squad as 20 players at one point because of the previous longer-version matches and two types of short games. Moreover, Kaushal Silva and Thirimanne were rushed back to Lanka for practice with the senior squad.
The tense tie that eventuated in the second ODI was the outcome of Tisara Perera’s last over being milked for 16 runs. But this result has to be comprehended in the light of two significant factors: (A) Though over 20 overs had been bowled and a result was in place, Sri Lanka played on in deteriorating light — terrible light in fact. While this may have disadvantaged the batsmen, the dirty white ball was a problem for fieldsmen as well; and,(B) Critically, the scoreboard read 202 runs when the last ball was due – it should have been 203. The skipper therefore placed a field to prevent a six. A four was hit and the scores were tied. Unfair, but “what to do, man!”
The skipper at this point was Chamara Silva, because Chamara Kapugedera was injured. Silva is said to have handled the captaincy affairs well. Kapu’s spot as fielder was taken by Isara Udana as sub and he brought off a brilliant catch and contributed to a run-out. From Greg Chappell’s comments, it appears that the SL side fielded superbly and it is hoped that some of our senior players – such as Kandamby Maharoof and Ajantha Mendis – take serious note of this aspect of the game.
But, of course, it is our Selectors who should inscribe this point in their minds. There is no room for one or two dimensional cricketers in our squads. They must be competent in all three fields. Brilliance in batting or bowling does not compensate for a player who leaks runs in the field. A difference of five to nine runs can have an immense impact in ODI matches that go down to the wire. Though on the rare occasion a batting side may slam 16-18 runs off six balls, that prospect is usually daunting and most sides cannot cope with such a hurdle. In comparison a target of 11-12 is more encouraging and more feasible. For this reason Ajantha Mendis’s place in any ODI Fifteen must be brought into question when we have Suraj Randiv, Sachitra Senanayake, Sekkuge Prasanna and Herath in contention.There is also Malinga Bandara.
While on the subject of spinners, it was good to see Jeevan Mendis get some wickets in the last game, securing 3-0-17-2 (after he was taken to the cleaners in one of the longer version matches). Word is that he bowled well in a tight situation. Sri Lanka’s top XV is badly in need of a batsman who can bowl spin – previously we had Aravinda and Sanath fulfilling this role with Arnold occasionally chipping in. At present Dilshan is the only option now that Jayasuriya is in the doldrums. Jeevan Mendis is a better prospect than Kandamby for any XV because he is a better fielder by a long mile; and his batting is showing maturity.
On the batting front Chandimal continues to reveal the talents that have led many – including a young Trinitian friend Amil, Ramanaden, who watched him in Sri Lanka – to tout him as our next Mahela. Indeed, a few years back, the U19 coach, Roger Wijesuriya, made special mention of Chandimal when I watched the U19 team, one that included T. Perera, playing England at the Colts ground. However, there is a “but”: he has got out hooking in the air on virtually all occasions during this tour of Australia. I hope Kalu and others in SL’s coaching staff can work on this issue and re-direct his choice of shot. Those who watched the last ODI were in high praise of Dimuth Karunaratne’s innings, so it would seem that we have another rising star, one who works the ball all round the wicket and has some striking shots. This is good news for Sri Lanka.
It is not pleasant news for Tharanga, Udawatte, Thirimanne, Paranavithana, Warnapura and others eyeing the opening slot. Chandimal and Thirimanne are presently those breathing down Upul Tharanga’s position for ODI matches. But Karunaratne’s emergence through good performances at domestic level and now translated into the more difficult Aussie circumstances means that he has put himself in the line. Indeed, he can also be in the line for a spot in the longer game and is probably ahead of Warnapura and others in threatening Tharanga Paranavithana’s hold on the position. Paranavithana also did well in the recent local ODI series, but has been held back in part because he is not all that mobile in the field though a competent slip-fielder.
What I am saying here demonstrates that it is at A team level that new prospects, whether relative oldies making a comeback (for e. g. Jeevan Mendis or Chamara Silva), or younger prospects, are made or slip into the mass. Kanchana Gunawardana (NCC) will confirm this. He was the opening bat in some A Team series few years back, but has now been pushed to the background – in part because his domestic record in recent years has not been especially noteworthy.
Jeevan Mendis’s history suggests that all is not lost for Gunawardana. One can hoist oneself back up. Mendis was rated highly by Owen Mottau and his promise saw him enter the Top XV squad for some series, even going on tour to Pakistan. But he did not shine in the few opportunities in the middle. Now, with reasonable performances in the domestic competition in recent years and the addition of leg-spin bowling into his armoury he has pushed himself into contention for national honours once again.
It is also good to see that the fast bowling cupboard is not p bare. It is said that Nuwan Pradeep Fernando has bowled faster than several of the Aussie A bowlers, though his wicket-taking and averages are, well, average. I recall chating with Hathurasinghe, then the A team Coach, at the SSc ground in mid-2008 and in discussing the impending tour of South Africa he said they should consider a new crop of young fast bowlers as back-up for the future. He mentioned Lakmal, Udana and one “Nuwan Pradeep.”
Well, Pradeep has not only added a Fernando into his credit line; but also has – more vitally – lived up to Hathuru’s evaluation. May he prosper by adding guile and steadiness to his talents. He should take a lesson from Nuwan Kualsekera who makes up for his military medium pace with god line and length … and variation.
Australia A v Sri Lanka A, 2nd ODI, Townsville
Australia A fight back to seal thrilling tie
July 7, 2010
Sri Lanka A 8 for 257 (Chandimal 59, Karunaratne 53, Feldman 3-43) tied with Australia A 7 for 207 (Wade 45) on D/L method
|Related LinksBulletin : Perera and Jeevan Mendis set up Sri Lankan winBulletin : Wade in charge of Australia A win
Series/Tournaments: Sri Lanka A tour of Australia
Australia A’s lower order snatched a tie against Sri Lanka A to keep the three-match one-day series alive. The hosts scrambled 16 runs and lost Moises Henriques in the final over in Townsville before Xavier Doherty’s four through cover-point prevented the visitors from leading 2-0.
Rain reduced Australia’s chase to 208 in 34 overs after Sri Lanka had posted 8 for 257. The locals suffered a severe setback when they lost three wickets in 14 balls to be 4 for 107, but they refused to give in. After Adam Voges (33), Matthew Wade (45) and George Bailey (3) went, the chase was revived by Andrew McDonald and Henriques.
When they combined Australia needed 72 at nine an over, with McDonald rushing to 36 off 29 and Henriques collecting 32 off 25, including a six to long-on from the fourth-last ball. Henriques was then run-out chasing a risky second, leaving Doherty to seal an unlikely win under lights.
“Sri Lanka played extremely well,” Australia’s coach Greg Chappell said. “They were attacking with the bat, bowled quite well and fielded brilliantly. After getting off to a solid start we fell in a bit of a hole when we lost those few quick wickets, but I was extremely pleased that we were able to work our way back into the match again.”
The opener Dimuth Karunaratne set the platform with 53 after Sri Lanka were sent in and Dinesh Chandimal eased to 59 off 69. Jeevan Mendis chipped in with 42 and Chamara Kapugedera helped out with 38 before Luke Feldman caused some late damage.
Feldman, the Queensland fast bowler, used to play in Townsville and he picked up 3 for 43 off eight overs in his first List A one-day match. Feldman took the new ball with James Pattinson (2 for 37) but his breakthroughs didn’t come until the end of the innings when Sri Lanka were chasing quick runs. The final game of the series is in Brisbane on Saturday.
Sri Lanka A in Australia unofficial ODI Series – 2nd unofficial ODI
Match tied (D/L method)
Played at Riverway Stadium, Townsville
7 July 2010 (50-over match)
|Sri Lanka A innings (50 overs maximum)||R||B||4s||6s||SR|
|FDM Karunaratne||run out (Voges)||53||79||5||0||67.08|
|ML Udawatte||c †Wade b Drew||36||55||3||0||65.45|
|LD Chandimal†||c Doherty b McDonald||59||69||4||1||85.50|
|BMAJ Mendis||b Feldman||42||48||1||0||87.50|
|CKB Kulasekara||c †Wade b Pattinson||5||6||1||0||83.33|
|S Prasanna||c †Wade b Pattinson||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|CK Kapugedera*||c Finch b Feldman||38||35||3||1||108.57|
|NLTC Perera||b Feldman||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|LPC Silva||not out||5||4||0||0||125.00|
|SMSM Senanayake||not out||5||2||1||0||250.00|
|Extras||(b 1, lb 12, w 1)||14|
|Total||(8 wickets; 50 overs)||257||(5.14 runs per over)|
|Did not bat ANPR Fernando|
|Fall of wickets1-77 (Udawatte, 18.2 ov), 2-130 (Karunaratne, 27.2 ov), 3-184 (Chandimal, 38.3 ov), 4-189 (Kulasekara, 39.3 ov), 5-189 (Prasanna, 39.4 ov), 6-238 (Mendis, 47.4 ov), 7-238 (Perera, 47.5 ov), 8-251 (Kapugedera, 49.3 ov)|
|Australia A innings (target: 208 runs from 34 overs)||R||B||4s||6s||SR|
|AJ Finch||lbw b Kulasekara||23||16||1||1||143.75|
|MS Wade†||c sub (I Udana) b Mendis||45||55||2||1||81.81|
|AC Voges||run out (Karunaratne)||33||57||2||0||57.89|
|GJ Bailey*||c & b Senanayake||3||7||0||0||42.85|
|TR Birt||b Perera||19||16||1||1||118.75|
|AB McDonald||c Senanayake b Mendis||36||29||0||2||124.13|
|MC Henriques||run out (sub [I Udana])||32||25||0||1||128.00|
|BG Drew||not out||1||1||0||0||100.00|
|XJ Doherty||not out||4||1||1||0||400.00|
|Extras||(lb 3, w 7, nb 1)||11|
|Total||(7 wickets; 34 overs)||207||(6.08 runs per over)|
|Did not bat JL Pattinson, LW Feldman|
|Fall of wickets1-27 (Finch, 3.2 ov), 2-102 (Voges, 20.2 ov), 3-106 (Wade, 21.6 ov), 4-107 (Bailey, 22.3 ov), 5-136 (Birt, 26.3 ov), 6-191 (McDonald, 32.6 ov), 7-203 (Henriques, 33.5 ov)|
|SMSM Senanayake||7||0||38||1||5.42||(1nb, 1w)|
|Toss Australia A, who chose to field
Series Sri Lanka A led the 3-match series 1-0
|List A debut LW Feldman (Australia A)|
|Umpires SD Fry and PR Reiffel
Match referee RW Stratford