Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Will the land of Long white clouds put it across Lankan Lions - First Semi WC 2011

The WC now shifts to a higher platform.  The glory of the game is its uncertainty  - the form and history can only be pointers but would not determine the result.

Kiwis have been the most consistent performers in WC – having been in the Semis six times but not proceeding farther even once.  New Zealand prior to WC had forgettable series in India losing all 5 and losing 4 at Bangladesh – that way Daniel Vettori stood no chance of dreaming for the finals, though realistically he has today.   If they lose today, it will be an All Asian Finals at Wankhede.

New Zealand is an island country in the Pacific of two main land masses – the land of long white cloud.  They have been gentle cricketers and despite being tenacious don’t show up on losing.  They are up against a Team which openers have just hammered England out of contention inside 40 overs and have a good middle order to boost.  Besides, the uncanny Murali is solidly backed by Mendis and at times unplayable Malinga.  Then there is Mathews – that England struggled against the gentle bowling of Dilshan was an added bonus.  Their big loss to Lanka in the group match might also weigh heavily in their mind.  

They have nothing to lose and that way the pressure will be squarely on Mahela playing infront of their home crowd who would egg for their best performance.  Of the top 5 aggregate scores thus far in this tourney, three Lankans – Dilshan, Sanga and Tharanga figure in.

Against SA, the spirited fielding where Guptill excels and some disciplined bowling won them the match.  Srilanka looks forward to the fitness of  Muttiah Muralitharan  who is recovering from his knee injury and strained quadriceps

Chasing in floodlights is considered difficult at Premadasa stadium, though Lankans did so well without losing a single wicket against England – that perhaps was a different ball game. In an interesting  trivia, Kiwis played out 171 dot balls in QF against SA and could still win.  

Psychologically as Indians keep saying that we have never lost a match to Pak in a WC, Lanks have also won all their 4 WC games against Kiwis and their overall record is 33-35 – but in this decade it is a heavily loaded 20 -11 in Lankan’s favour.  Ross Taylor has kept his reputation very high with 14 sixers which is higher than all that hit by Lankans.  

So there are huge expectations and Onedayers are always of that team which performs better on that day………… So whom do you support today …… my heart pumps for Lankan Lions..

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

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