The Last ‘Rights’ at the MCG, 2 March 2012

Courtesy of the Commentary on cricinfo

10.25 pm: Sri Lanka needed to prevent Australia from winning to make the finals of the triangular series. They were on course for a huge total before the middle and lower order failed and they finished on 238. Mahela Jayawardene then lost two bowlers, Perera to a side strain and Mathews to a calf injury. He kept his nerve and maintained attacking fields throughout to lead his team to a superb victory. They have qualified for the final on top of the league. A few days ago they were shredded by Virat Kohli, how well they have recovered.

A word about this crowd today. The Sri Lankans turned up in large numbers and made themselves heard. There was music, dancing and a lot of good cheer. More than one person compared the atmosphere to what you’d find at the Premadasa.

Prabhakaran: “I am an Indian, but I feel Sri Lanka deserved to go to the final. They have really fought hard and earned their place in the final.”

Watson: “A brilliant game of cricket … you never knew who was going to win. Dave Hussey batted beautifully, as he’s shown through the summer so far.” Watson backs Hussey decision not to run the single off the second last ball off the 49th over. “I back his judgement.” Watson says he’s sure Clarke will be fit for Sunday’s first of three finals.

Dinesh Chandimal is the Man of the Match for his half-century. He’s the top scorer of the series, and batted with admirable temperament today after Sri Lanka had lost two early wickets. He scored briskly, taking pressure of Sangakkara, and kept Sri Lanka going.

Jayawardene: “The boys showed character [to bounce back after the defeat to India]. Fantastic support, it’s like playing in Sri Lanka. We lifted our game. I’m sure the crowd will follow us now, the lift that we got [from them], it pushed us in the last few overs. Jayawardene’s voice is hoarse, he’s been screaming his head off no doubt. He says it’s too early to be sure about the status of the injured players – Perera, Mathews and Maharoof. He gives credit to Sanga and Dilshan for helping him tactically on the field.

It’s been quite a game. I hope you enjoyed following it as much as I did bringing it to you. Thank you for all the emails. Cheers.


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