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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mendis magic at Pallekele

Kandy is a district of the Central Province of Sri Lanka which has a long history of Kingdoms of Anuradapura and Polonnaruwa Era.  Half an hours drive from Kandy is the scenic Pallekele International Cricket stadium, also known as Muttiah Muralitharan International Cricket Stadium.  This stadium was opened in 2009 and some World Cup matches were also played here. 

In the first of the T20, Australians were dilscooped into submission by the array of strokes played by Tilakaratne Dilshan, who made a century and Perera bowled them to victory. 

At Pallekelle, things were different –  Dilshan left early at 2.6 having scored only 4 – at 8.5 Lankans were 75/3 – Mahela Jayawardene played a fine innings scoring 86 off 63 balls.  After 15 they were 123/5 – the last 5 produced only 34 that too thanks to a wide off the last ball by Brett Lee.  Aussies had a target of 158.

The opening partnership was nonchalant with Watson belligerently hitting above the ropes 5 times and making 57 off a mere 24 balls.  When he finally left at 71 – Australia was rocking at 71 off a mere 5.5.  Two runs later, Angelo Mathews displayed athleticism and presence of mind taking the wild heave of David Warner and putting it back to Mahela to complete the catch.  From then on it was Balapuwaduge Ajantha Winslo Mendis all the way.
 file photo of Mendis with Murali
There have been very many bowlers who have taken 4 wickets in T20 – remember that maximum a bowler can bowl is only 24 legitimate deliveries.  Umar Gul, Tim Southee, Ryan MaLaren, Odhiambi, Darren Sammy had all taken 5 and Mendis went one up on a day when nothing went wrong and he was literally unplayable.  Herath complemented dismissing the dangerous David Hussey.  The tricks of the 26 year old carom ball bowler ensured a 8 run victory in the end for Lankans. 
.
Player
Overs
Mdns
Runs
Wkts
Econ
Team
Opposition
BAW Mendis
4
1
16
6
4
Srilanka
Australia
Umar Gul
3
0
6
5
2
Pakistan
Newzealand
Tim Southee
4
1
18
5
4.5
Newzealand
Pakistan
R McLaren
3.5
0
19
5
4.95
South Africa
West Indies
NN Odhiambo
4
0
20
5
5
Kenya
Scotland
DJG Sammy
3.5
0
26
5
6.78
West Indies
Zimbabwe

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

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