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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Herath spins Lanka to victory at Galle

It was once a popular Question in Sports Quiz :  Which Cricketer has more initials than the words in his Name ?

It was the Srilankan left arm pacer ‘Vaas’ – WPUJC Vaas (Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas)  and the man who took Sri Lanka to a creditable victory at Galle can  almost challenge him with name  - it was the left arm spinner : Herath with long initials - Herath Mudiyanselage Rangana Keerthi Bandara Herath.  Herath the bowler with unusual action has taken 132 test wickets in 36 atches and 23 wickets in 29 one dayers. 

In the Test in which Spinners domianted throughout, Rangana Herath became only the fifth Sri Lanka bowler to pick up a ten-wicket match haul as England failed in their chase of 340 in the final innings.  It was a good start for the Lankans after the losses suffered in their previous four series.   Sri Lanka's win is only their second since Muttiah Muralitharan's retirement and their first at home.

Herath had a match haul of 12 for 171 which is next to Murali's  13 for 171 at Galle.   Six out of the last seven matches there have produced a result.  At one point of time England was cruising along with 6 wickets in hand and only 107 to be made but lost the match by 75 runs. 

Had it been here, perhaps he would immediately be heralded as the ‘man of the future’ and permanent replacement for the great Muthiah Muralidharan.  Lankans played good cricket and their bowlers were ably supported by some sharp catching.   Trott carried along making a patient century displaying compact defence and appetite to score runs, the other members failed and hence the defeat.  How many times, critics have cruelly analysed Sachin’s centuries as not helping the team’s cause ?  - the obdurate innings of Mahela Jayawardene and the poor catching by the England in the first innings all helped the outcome.

In an unrelated development, there is news of Kiwi Jesse Ryder playing his second IPL season for Pune Warriors.  If you wonder what the news is about -  the New Zealand batsman  had taken an indefinite break from cricket to resolve personal issues.  In his come back Ryder will be supported in India by his manager Aaron Klee and clinical psychologist Karen Nimmo.

His cricketing talents have never been doubted but his performance off the ground has landed him in big trouble.  He was dropped from the New Zealand squad for the third ODI against South Africa for breaking team protocol, and then left out of the Test series as well. A protocol of not consuming alcohol when rehabilitating from injury ! and reacting to taunts of public.  He was earlier also fined for intoxicated and rowdy behaviour and another indiscretion of putting his right hand through a glass window at a bar.  He was involved in an incident against WI also. 

So, IPL Window not only provides opportunity (read huge money) to foreign players but also rehabilitates !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
30th March 2012

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