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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

T20 WC off to a great start - Mendis makes another World Record

Shane Watson, David Warner, Marsh, Smith, Haddin & Johnson……
Sibanda, Taylor, Masakdza, Chingumura, Utseya, & Jarvis….

---  any clue to what the list is all about ?????

Today, hours earlier, the T20 World Cup 2012 got off to a cricketing start with the inaugural match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.  Taylor won the toss and put Lankans in.  Brendan Ross Murray Taylor is an exciting cricketer, from his entry of prominence when players rebelled, this keeper batsman has moved up the ladder steadily and is the present Captain of Zimbabwe team

In August 2006 he smacked 17 runs from the last over of a run chase - including a six to win off the last ball when five were needed - to give Zimbabwe a 2-1 lead in the ODI series against Bangladesh.  But his best was yet to come ;  it was in the Inaugural T20 WC – on 12th Sept 2007, 4th Group match played at Newlands, Capetown, he played an heroic innings winning the Man of the Match and more importantly playing a lead role in defeating Australia by  wickets with 1 ball remaining.

Whether Taylor’s Zimbabwe could do something of that and start partying or spoiling the party of the hosts Lankans was the Q.   Zimbabwe have beaten Sri Lanka's A team and an experimental South Africa in the last few months but facing the full strength sides will be a different proposition.  They are no longer the force – way back in 1983 they defeated mighty Australia in Prudential WC and had India reeling at 17 for 5 before Kapil Dev played the knock of the century.    Despite a successful test comeback against Bangladesh, they had had al almost entirely empty calendar in 2011. 

In the T20 WC at  England they did not participate due to political pressure over the worsening situation in Zimbabwe.  The next version they lost both matches at the group stage itself.    Still there was some support for them.   Today at Hambantota, they were mauled by Mendis2

A fourth-wicket partnership of 94 between Kumar Sangakkara and Jeevan Mendis allowed Sri Lanka to add 96 runs in the last eight overs to post an imposing total of 182 in first match of the World T20.  So after a good 43 by Balapuwaduge Manukulasuriya Amith Jeevan Mendis [Jeevan Mendis] – it was left to Balapuwaduge Ajantha Winslow Mendis [Ajanta Mendis]

Remember in July 2008, he made his Test debut against India at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo.  Lankans made 600 and shot out India.  The team traditionally known to be good players of spin bowling lost to spin duo of Muralidharan and debutant Mendis – the spinners taking 19 wickets between them. 

If anyone had entertained any thoughts of Zimbabwe making any match of the imposing total, they would have eaten their words after the magic spell of Ajanta Mendis, after his first over itself.  Mendis back to International cricket after a long time came on to bowl the 6th over – off his third ball he struck the middle stump of Sibanda and next ball had Taylor with a carom ball, having him stumped.  He finished with dream figures of 4-2-8-6 – that is a World Record ; the other Mendis returned 3.5-0-24-3

After Sibanda and Taylor; he had Masakdza, Chigumbara; Utseya and Jarvis in his 4th over. What a start to the tournament and what a match Mendis had !!

If you are wondering the list at the start of this post – it is Ajanta Mendis’ victim roll in a single T20 match.  This 1983 born first took a 6 for against Australia in T20 – 203 played at Pallekele on 8th Aug 2011.  Against Australia he had match winning figures of 6/16

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
18th Sept 2012 @ 11pm after the match

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