The time has come to grasp the nettle, to remove the mental and, to reject the frown, the shrug, the pursed lips and the quizzical look. Muttiah Muralitharan was, without qualification, the finest cricketer on the planet last year and, by implication, is one of the best cricketers that have ever played the game.
47.6 Perera strike, Raval fails to reach his century once again. Length on middle and leg, Raval was looking to work it on the leg side, gets an inside edge on to the pads that lobs towards short leg, Mendis accepts it gleefully, tumbling to his right 121/1
An English wicket in 2018– Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP)– (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Errol Fernando’s EMAIL NOTE to pals, 28 November 2018
I have enjoyed 3 contests – 4 if you include the Aussie ladies winning the World Cup against England which was extremely praiseworthy.
England men won the 3rd Test against Sri Lanka despite a wonderful last wicket stand between numbers ten and eleven. Well done England winning 3-nil.
Pakistan levelled the series 1-1 against New Zealand 5 minutes ago. Yasir Shah took 14 wickets,equalling the 14 – wicket record of Imran Khan. When making his Man of the Match speech Yasir began by giving thanks to Allah. When Shane Warne made his many MOM speeches. D o you recall whom he gave thanks to ??
Finally, Kohli won the third match against Australia,levelling the series 1-1. Everyone is expecting the Aussies to be thrashed in the Test matches by Kohli’s Indians. However,I am not so sure about this. The Aussies have a fearsome bowling attack and I am not at all convinced by the Indian attack. It will not be a one-sided series.
Shiva Jayaraman, in Cricinfo, 10 February 2012,where the title is “Herath – most wickets for a left-arm bowler in Tests”
Rangana Herath went past Wasim Akram to become the most prolific left-arm bowler in Test history when he dismissed Bangladesh’s last wicket. Akram took 414 wickets at an average of 23.62 in 104 matches. Herath, on the other hand, was playing only the 89th Test of his career. New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori is third on this list with 362 wicket from 113 matches. Chaminda Vaas, Mitchell Johnson and Zaheer Khan are the only other left-armers to take at least 300 Tests wickets.
How did we get here? How did we hurtle, from the dullest 11 sessions of Test cricket possible, to this stirring, heart-palpitating, dramedy of a conclusion? Sri Lanka, out of the match surely when they set out to defend 136 after lunch, yet victors by 21 runs, Rangana Herath breaking records, scuttling Pakistan again – 6 for 43 to his name. The pitch began to sing for him, the batsmen played him with fatal hesitation, Dilruwan Perera was even denied the winning wicket by a no-ball, just so Herath could complete 400 Test wickets – the first left-arm spinner to the milestone.
Sri Lanka go wild after Rangana Herath gets rid of Asad Shafiq Francois Nel/Getty ImagesContinue reading →
Ishara Jayawardane, in Daily News,22 December 2016, with the title “A spin with the spin master”
Modest yet amazing, and humble yet incredible. A man of very few words but mighty deeds. Outstanding Personalities features spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan who is regarded as the greatest bowler in the history of test cricket. Muralitharan holds the world record for the most number of wickets in both test and one-day cricket.
Q. Murali, you are the greatest bowler in test cricket and one day internationals claiming the highest number of wickets; 800 in test cricket and 534 in one-day international cricket. How do you evaluate your career?
A. I had a great career. I am very happy about what I have achieved. And I became the highest wicket taker in both forms of the game. So I am very happy about it.
Bernard Whimpress, courtesy of The Footy Almanac, 14 October 2016, where the title is “Quiet man of cricket: a tribute to Johnny Gleeson”
Another good man leaves us.
Remember the days when Australian Test cricketers carried an air of mystique. When they weren’t thrust upon us. When they went about their business with quiet dignity. When bowlers obviously had plans to dismiss top-line batsmen on the other side and didn’t blather on about ‘targeting’ them. When there was a little more grace in the game.
Dhammika Prasad is a fast bowler who won his way through to Test level playing most of his cricket at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground. For that alone, he deserves a little respect. If the pitch at the SSC is ever dug up, multiple remains of quick bowlers are sure to be discovered. The other first-class decks on the island are not much better. At 32 years, a hit-the-deck seamer like Prasad should be a fossil. Instead, he is Sri Lanka’s top wicket-taker in the series so far.
Sri Lankan cricketer Dhammika Prasad makes an unsuccessful appeal for the wicket of Pakistan cricketer Asad Shafiq during the fourth day of the opening Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on June 20, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ Ishara S. KODIKARA (Photo credit should read Ishara S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
The thing with Prasad is that he just keeps coming back – on a micro and macro scale. The P Sara pitch had slowed considerably by day four, with the wicketkeeper more often taking balls at knee height than above the waist, as had been the case on the first morning. Yet, it was neither of the spinners, the swing bowler, or the tearaway who regained Sri Lanka’s advantage in the match. Pitching it outside off, moving it a little off the seam, Prasad just kept on coming. Continue reading →
Mark Nicholas, courtesy of ESPNcricinfo, where the title reads “Lyon’s simple ploy that foxed England”
Once upon a time, off-spin was an uncomplicated thing. The blokes tried to drift the ball away from the bat in the air and spin it back to the stumps. Most of them had an arm ball, an outswinger effectively, that was bowled with the seam upright as a variation to the off-break. Off-spinners constantly searched for a way to beat the outside edge so that batsmen could not set themselves against the natural movement of the ball which was designed to beat the inside edge.
Lyon appeals — Getty Images
Finger-spinners were dynamite in the days of uncovered pitches, when, after rain, the ball gripped in the damp surface, often ripping out pieces of the turf and causing general chaos with the extravagant turn and extra bounce. The accepted methods of response were to play back and late, with the spin; to play forward but to lead with the bat, rather than with bat and pad together as this brought short leg and silly point into play, or to come down the pitch and meet the ball on the full toss or half-volley. For this, batsmen needed quick feet and a certain courage. Some said you were better stumped by a mile than a whisker because at least you had committed. Continue reading →