Category Archives: bowling average

Dilhara Fernando — a Tale of Two Extremes

Prakash Govindasreenivasan,

DILHARA FERNANDO _ Getty imagesTo say Dilhara Fernando was destiny’s child, would be a gross understatement. Tall and adequately-built, Fernando took to basketball — a sport that probably suited him better. And then came his first tryst with cricket in 1995. He was 16 when he was roped in to play for his school, De Mahenod. The team was short of a player and needed someone to fill in and they picked Fernando due to lack of options. “One day, on the morning of a match, my school team had only 10 players. They wanted an extra guy. So I was in,” he recalled in an interview with the Hindu in 2001.

But, as fate would have it, he proved to be more than just filler. When his school’s main bowlers were getting plastered all over the park, his captain threw the ball to him in a bid to try something different. Fernando, whose only experience at cricket was with tennis ball on the beaches of Kandana, dismissed half the opposition team. Continue reading

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Angelow: Streaking NUDE at Lords

Martin Williamson, in ESPNcricinfo,


The current Test, being played under cloudless skies and with temperatures nudging 90°F, is the hottest Ashes match at Lord’s in almost four decades. While 1976 set 20th century temperature and drought records, the previous summer had been almost as warm. Although snow fell days before the start of the World Cup in early June 1975, thereafter the country basked in weeks of sun. The nation shed its clothes and basked. Some shed a few too many. The World Cup replaced a planned tour by South Africa and left the second half of the summer empty, so it was filled with a four-Test Ashes series. England had been thrashed the previous winter but the public wanted to see the Australians and the next series was not scheduled until 1977, so the move made commercial sense. Continue reading

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Sri Lanka’s men of letters recall English cricket’s class divide

Frank Keating, in The Guardian, 3 April 2012

Last week’s letter to the editor from Surrey reader David Robinson stirred memories of English cricket’s medieval class divisions when an ornate cluster of forenames and initials determined rank and precedence. How flamboyantly the abundance of initials sported by the current Sri Lanka Test side – from the Jayawardenes (DPMD and HAPW) to the luxuriant UWMBCA (Uda Walawwe Mahim Bandaralage Chanaka Asanka) Welegedara – trump England’s ancient scorecard aristocracy of such as JWHT Douglas and Sir HDG Leveson Gower.

 UWMBCA Welagedera -Pic by Getty Images

Welagedara’s literally hits for six Sri Lanka’s all-time initial charts, beating the notable five of his new-ball predecessor WPUJC Vaas. History’s only England player to equal the four of Essex’s all-rounder and sometime Olympic pugilist John William Henry Tyler Douglas is Lancashire’s VPFA (Vernon Peter Fanshawe Archer) Royle, a one-cap wonder of 1878 who excelled at fielding in the deep and became a country parson.

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Evaluating Rangana Herath with Plaudits – Rex and Scyld

The Lessons We could learn from HerathRex Clementine in The Island, 31 March 2012

The country’s one of the most respected cricketers, Kumar Sangakkara once called Rangana Herath ‘the work horse’ of the team. Now that he has emerged as country’s premier bowler, we should talk about his other virtues as well and how tough the rise for him has been having represented two unfashionable entities – Maliyadeva Vidyalaya and Moors SC. (Only two seasons back he left Moors after an association of 14 years after the club got demoted).

Loyalty and perseverance are two virtues of Herath that we should admire. Although HeThe rath made his debut in 1999, opportunities were rare for him due to the presence of champion Muttiah Muralitharan and Sri Lanka always had Sanath Jayasuriya to bowl a bit of left-arm spin.

But occasionally Herath was used in Test cricket, particularly against Pakistan once John Dyson developed this idea that Pakistan were in fact susceptible against left-arm spin. Continue reading

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All you wanted to know about Saeed Ajmal

Andrew Hughes in ESPN cricinfo, 7 February 2012

What’s the difference between a nuclear fallout and a media fallout*? Well, a nuclear fallout is a deeply unpleasant side effect that lingers interminably, whereas a media fallout is a deeply unpleasant side effect that lingers interminably for which journalists get paid.

Early in the recent series, a few English types tried to launch the Saeed Ajmal crooked arm thing, but like a poorly constructed kite on a windless afternoon, it didn’t really take off, no matter how much they ran with it. In the end it was left to Saeed himself to take pity on the struggling hacks by talking about his special dispensation from the ICC to have a bent arm or something. I forget the details.

And as sure as the doosra follows Ian Bell’s front pad, a little typhoon of tediousness blew up in the desert as journalists and message board trolls desperately tried to fan the infant spark of baby controversy into a toddler-sized blaze. Yesterday, ESPNcricinfo’s own King Cnut, George Dobell, tried valiantly to stand against the waves of silliness by laying out the facts about Saeed’s perfectly legal action.


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From Murali to Mendis, there’s method in the madness

Peter Roebuck, in the Sydney Morning Herald, 8 September 2011

Pic from AFP

Pic from Reuters

No country has in recent times produced more original cricketers than Sri Lanka. Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga, Murali and Ajantha Mendis stand out as the most unorthodox players of their generation. In that time,Sri Lanka has endured a civil war, reporters have been eliminated, the defeated presidential candidate languishes in jail, and the cricket community has for 15 years been run by interim committees. Maybe chaos can be liberating, maybe organisation can stifle.

Murali’s freakish style has been admired and debated but not copied. Like Thommo, he has been inimitable. In his youth, he turned the ball prodigiously but latterly he relied as much upon disguise. Jayasuriya was the first of the modern breed of blasting openers; he struck the ball with awesome power. Malinga is a round-armer, a bunch long assumed to be extinct who ruled the roost briefly between the underarmers and overarmers. Continue reading

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Aussie Country Boys strike Pay Dirt at Galle

Peter Lalor, in The Weekend Australian, 3-4 September 2011

Pic from AFP

 NATHAN Lyon had a dream. Country boys don’t dream too big, but he had ambitions. The agricultural worker’s son from rural NSW wanted one day to make it right to the top of the pile and be the head curator at the Adelaide Oval.  As a teenager he packed up his bags and moved from Young, a cherry-growing district with a population of a little over 7000, and moved to the big smoke. Once in Canberra he gained an apprenticeship as a groundsman, working for four years watching the grass grow at Manuka.

Things really started to happen for him when he landed a job with the ground staff at his field of dreams: the Adelaide Oval. To this point Banjo Patterson had done a rough draft of the hungry-looking part-time cricketer’s script, from here on in the bloke that penned Shane Warne’s improbable script took over and hammed up the story line. Continue reading

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Life after Murali less of a Struggle

S. Rajesh in ESPNcricinfo, 1 September 2011



Murali etching by Joe Hoad

Pic from Daily Mirror after Murai’s last Test Match in Galle

and Dav Whatmore congratulating  Murali –as so often

For overseas teams, batting in Sri Lanka has surely been one of the more challenging assignments of recent years. Battling an army of spinners in conditions suited perfectly to slow bowling is an examination that several competent batsmen have failed to pass, but things just might be getting easier for them now, with Muttiah Muralitharan no longer around to torment them. It’s been a little more than a year since Murali retired, and Sri Lankaare still searching for their first Test win post Murali. They won the last Test he played, thrashing India by 10 wickets in Galle, with Murali himself taking eight to reach the 800-wicket milestone, but since then things haven’t been as rosy. After managing 614 runs in two innings of that Galle Test, India scored 707 in a single innings in the second Test, and then won the third to level the series.

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