Lankans leave it too late – lose by 11 runs

Afridi turns the screws with four wickets

By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Pakistan outplayed Sri Lanka in all departments to win their Group A World Cup match by 11 runs played under lights at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday.
Chasing Pakistan’s total of 277-7, Sri Lanka replied with 266-9 falling agonizingly short of the target much to the dismay of the near capacity crowd of 35.000.

Sri Lanka began their run chase strongly with openers Upul Tharanga (33) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (41) posting 76 off 86 balls but they got bogged down in the middle overs and despite a late spurt by Chamara Silva (57 off 78 balls) and Nuwan Kulasekara (24 off 14 balls) they just failed to get there.
Sri Lanka must be disappointed by the result because they left it a little too late to chase down the total. The asking rate at one time raised to nearly 15 an over, and Sri Lanka gamely tried to make a match of it but found the task beyond their means eventually.

Pakistan bowled to a plan and boundaries were hard to come by for the free scoring batsmen whose shots nearly or always found the fielder. The pitch also posed a problem for the side chasing because it had slowed down considerably making the batsmen’s task even more difficult. One thing that had to be admired was the Pakistan ground fielding that had improved in leaps and bounds, although the same could not be said of their catching.
Kumar Sangakkara and Silva both enjoyed lives during their innings. Kamran Akmal missed an easy legside stumping off Sangakkara when he was on 33 and Rehman put down a dolly catch at mid wicket when Silva top edged a pull.

Sri Lanka’s batting become undone by Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi’s leg-spin. He was once again in the forefront taking four wickets for 34 to win the man of the match award. His performances included his 300th ODI wicket when he dismissed Sri Lanka captain Sangakkara for 49. In the previous match against Kenya Afridi took his first five wicket haul in a World Cup match.

Pakistan in fact would have had scored more than they eventually got had it not been for some suicidal running and stroke play by Kamran Akmal. He not only ran out Mohammad Hafeez for 32 but he also played an inglorious shot after giving Herath the charge and being easily stumped by Sangakkara for 39.
Hafeez was run out in a most comical manner when he was involved in a terrible mix up with Kamran. Hafeez swept Muralitharan’s first ball to short fine leg and saw Kamran run all the way to the striker’s end whereas Hafeez had not moved an inch. The throw came from Jayawardene to Sangakkara who found two batsmen at his end so he threw the ball to Muralitharan well over his head and everyone thought Sri Lanka had mucked up an easy run out chance. But Mathews relayed the ball back to Muralitharan who broke the wicket. There was some confusion as to who was out and after some delay the on field umpires decided that it was Hafeez. The run out ended a 48-run stand of 46 balls between Hafeez and Kamran.

It was eventually left to Pakistan stalwarts 33-year-old Younus Khan and 36-year-old Misbah-ul-Haq to restore some sanity to the batting. They figured in a 108-run stand off 123 balls and just as when Pakistan were contemplating in taking the batting power play they lost Younus for a well compiled 72 off 76 balls (4 fours) and Umar Akmal for 10. Younus top edge a sweep to give Herath his second wicket of the innings. Herath and Muralitharan tied the Pakistani batting down and between them conceded 81 runs off 20 overs for three wickets.

Following Younus’ dismissal Misbah took over the anchor role to ensure he batted right throughout the rest of the innings. He remained unbeaten on 83 scored off 91 balls with the aid of six fours while Pakistan lost the wickets of Shahid Afridi (16) and Abdul Razzaq (3) cheaply as they went in search of quick runs.
Pakistan who won the toss lost their first wicket at 28 when Ahmed Shehzad chased a ball from Perera and gave wicket-keeper Sangakkara a catch with his score on 13. Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran added 48 before they were involved in the terrible mix-up with both batsmen ending up at the striker’s end. Eventually Hafeez had to go run out for 32.


Royal trounces St. Aloysius’

Ananda’s Sachithra first to take 100 wickets this season

UnDer-19 school cricket

An excellent all-round performance by Bhanuka Rajapakse guided Royal to record a resounding win against St. Aloysius’ by an innings and 83 runs in their under-19 school cricket match which concluded at Reid Avenue yesterday. Rajapakse stroked 101 and claimed a match bag of five wickets as Royal declared at their overnight total of 314-7 in reply to St. Aloysius’ meagre total of 89 in the first innings. St. Aloysius’ were bundled out for 142 in the second innings.

Wesley gained major honours against DS Senanayake in their match which concluded in a tame draw at Wijerama Mawatha. Wesley went on to make 324 in reply to DS Senanayake’s 317-6 as opener Sadeem Thawfeeq (88) and Ashen Fonseka (74) hit half-centuries. At close of play DS Senanayake were badly placed at 173-9.
Ananda leg-spinner Sachithra Perera became the first bowler to go past the 100-wicket milestone after bagging a 7-wicket match bag in their drawn encounter against St. Joseph’s at Ananda Mawatha.

  • Reid Avenue: Royal beat St. Aloysius’ by an innings and 83 runs
    St. Aloysius’ 89 (32) and 142 (45.4) (ND Marlon 38, Bhanuka Rajapakse 3/30, Ramith Rambukwella 2/23, Gaurav Deva 2/44)
    Royal 314-7 dec (63) (Waruna Dissanayake 28, Ramith Rambukwella 27, Bhanuka Rajapakse 101, Imal Liyanage 55, Heshan Kumarasiri 50, Milan Abeysekara 37, ND Marlon 3/104, Santhusha Weeraratne 3/108)
  • At Wijerama Mawatha: DS Senanayake drew with Wesley
    DSS 317-6 dec (70) and 173-9 (47) at close (Thusith Silva 40, Lasith Abeyratne 37, Akila Weerasinghe 41, Migara Wickramasinghe 4/8, Sachin Jayawardena 2/32)
    Wesley 100-2 contd 324 (66) (Sadeem Thawfeeq 88, Ashel Kariyawasam 32, Ashen Fonseka 74, Raninda Sooriyakumara 49, Sachin Jayawardena 39, Mohamed Ijaz 2/32, Ushantha Perera 2/87)
  • At Ananda Mawatha: Ananda drew with St. Joseph’s
    St. Joseph’s 236 (52.5) and 128 (39) (Kevin Bernadus 24, Vidusha Jayasinghe 27, Roscoe Thattil 26, Sachithra Perera 5/40, Pasindu Madushan 5/43)
    Ananda 143-6 contd 178 (50.3) (Geshan Wimaladharma 25, Pasindu Madushan 58, Ruwinda Shamen 27, Rishan Gunathilake 20, Priyamal Perera 3/11, Dinal Dhambarage 3/57, Chathuranga Kumara 2/29) and 102-6 (42) at close (Pasindu Madushan 41, Sisuru Samarasinghe 22, Priyamal Perera 3/36, Roscoe Thattil 2/26) [MNA]


Quake-hit city may lose Rugby WC: NZ minister

CHRISTCHURCH - Christchurch must accept the possibility that damage from this week’s devastating earthquake could prevent it hosting Rugby World Cup matches, a senior government minister said Saturday.
The only venue in Christchurch capable of hosting matches during the tournament, AMI Stadium, was damaged in last Tuesday’s 6.3-magnitude tremor and much of the surrounding city was reduced to rubble.
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, whose parliamentary constituency is in Christchurch, said he did not want his rugby-mad hometown to miss out on the World Cup but the prospect could not be avoided.
“To lose the Rugby World Cup from Christchurch would be a massive blow,” he told TVNZ.
“I don’t want to see it happen but we’ve got to be realistic about the prospect.”
Brownlee said it was too early to make a decision on Christchurch’s participation in the tournament while the city was still dealing with a disaster that has killed least 123 people.
He pointed out the city had recovered well from another major earthquake last September which also caused extensive damage but amazingly resulted in no fatalities.
“Let’s not rush too far ahead of things. This place recovered amazingly well after the September 4 earthquake,” he said.
The tournament will be the largest event ever staged in New Zealand, and would face major logistical problems if the disaster meant no matches could be staged in the country’s second biggest city.
AMI Stadium’s operators expect to know by mid-March whether the venue, which is only two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the badly hit downtown area, can be repaired in time for the September-October rugby showcase. [AFP]


Afridi joins 300-club in one-day cricket

COLOMBO - Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi completed 300 one-day wickets when he dismissed Sri Lanka counterpart Kumar Sangakkara in his team’s 11-run World Cup win at R. Premeadasa stadium on Saturday
Afridi took 4-34 as Pakistan defended a challenging 278-run target.
Afridi is the 11th bowler to take 300 or more wickets in one-day matches and the third Pakistani behind Wasim Akram (502) and Waqar Younis (416)
The list, headed by Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan with 522 wickets, have three each from Pakistan and Sri Lanka, two each from India, Australia and one from South Africa. [AFP]

Bowlers who have 300-plus wickets in ODIs
Player M W B 4W
Muttiah Muralitharan (SRI) 343 522 7-30 14
Wasim Akram (PAK) 356 502 5-15 17
Waqar Younis (PAK) 262 416 7-36 14
Chaminda Vaas (SRI) 322 400 8-19 09
Shaun Pollock (RSA) 303 393 6-35 12
Glenn McGrath (AUS) 250 381 7-15 09
Brett Lee (AUS) 194 337 5-22 11
Anil Kumble (IND) 271 337 6-12 08
Sanath Jayasuriya (SRI) 444 322 6-29 08
Javagal Srinath (IND) 229 315 5-23 07
Shahid Afridi (PAK) 314 301 6-38 03