Monday, 22 June 2009

Reasons For Sri Lanka To Smile As Well

No one, after being unbeaten until then would be happy after losing a match when it really mattered. No one on earth would continue smiling after losing to a team against which it had won in its previous encounter. Pakistan in this tournament had lost matches against England and Sri Lanka prior to lifting the trophy. And Sri Lanka, needless to be said had won all of its earlier matches with some worth mentioning teams being West Indies (twice), Australia, Pakistan and New Zeland. However, Sri Lanka's win over minnows Ireland can never be counted as a victory not only for Ireland's inexperience but due to the fact that it was a close encounter when Sri Lanka should have gone in for a clean sweep.

And on the other hand, the wins that Pakistan have tasted are worth rejoicing. They had a clean sweep against New Zealand & Ireland and a close encounter with South Africa. But, that close win against South Africa was also as good as a clean sweep, when most of the odds had opted for South Africa to advance further and more so because that was a semi finals of a world cup. Not to mention, it was a clean sweep for Pakistan yesterday as well in the finals of the world T20. In the earlier game between the 2 teams, it was all because of the start given to Sri Lanka by their openers that they ended victorious. Sri Lanka had scored 80 runs in the first 8 overs, with the final score reading 150.

Sri Lanka were never in the game from the beginning. At one stage of the match, it was as though Sri Lanka would not even be able to put on 100 runs on the board after the scoreboard read 26/3 at the end of the fourth over. The highest run getter of the tournament Tilakeratne Dilshan was out for a duck and so was Jehan Mubarak. On the other hand, Pakistanlost their first wicket at a score of 48 (a score when Sri Lanka had lost 3 wickets as said earlier). Nonetheless, Pakistan never ever showed any signs of pressure at any moment in the match. All the four batsmen who made it to the crease did what best they could do.

Despite losing the tournament, Sri Lankan captain should feel a little bit satisfied that his team never lost out on his face. They put up a decent total of 138 and lost only 6 wickets after at one stage being at 70/6 at the end of the 13th over. Meaning 68 runs in the last 7 overs at a run rate of just less than 10 an over. Perhaps! Some initial contribution from either Dilshan, Mubarak and Jayasuriya would have made the finals more challenging. And one more thing that Sangakkara should be proud about is that he has taken his team unbeaten to the finals of the world cup just few months after taking over from Jayawardane as the Sri Lankan captain. Finally, Dilshan was handed the man of the series award should add another feather to Sri Lanka's cap.

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