Australia Versus Sri Lanka One Day Match At Perth

Will It Be An Easy Victory For The Aussies?

Australia versus Sri Lanka One Day Match at Perth

Lasith Malinga can inflict early losses at the Aussie batting
Lasith Malinga can inflict early losses at the Aussie batting | Source

Australia versus Sri Lanka One Day Match at Perth

Will It Be An Easy Victory For The Aussies?

Sri Lanka Did Not Play the First Match Very Impressively

Australia takes on Sri Lanka for the first time in the triangular one day series at Perth tomorrow. Already the Indians have played against Sri Lanka and won. In their match against Indians, Sri Lankans did not play very impressively. On the other hand, the Aussies trounced Indians with great ease. Therefore putting two and two together, it is easy to conclude that the Sri Lankans are in for a severe thrashing from the Aussies tomorrow.

Malinga Can Inflict Early Losses

The result can be easily predicted provided cricket is everything arithmetic. But fortunately, it is not so. On paper, Australia is the dominant player between it and Sri Lanka. But Sri Lanka has an impressive line-up of batsmen who can grind the Aussie bowling on any day. Lasith Malinga can inflict early losses to the Aussie batting line-up. Having lost a match to India, which they should have won had they scored some twenty five runs extra, the Sri Lankans will be looking forward to displaying their skills in every department of the game against the Aussies. Even if the Aussies finally manage to win, the victory will not be presented to them by the Sri Lankans on a silver platter.

Aravinda De Silva Took the Aussie Challenge Gamely In 1996

Australia versus Sri Lanka one day contest brings to my mind distant memories of two hardly fought battles. In the 1996 World Cup finals at Lahore, Sri Lanka won the world cup, defeating Australia. Aravinda De Silva stole the honour with a tidy century. Aravinda De Silva is the only player till today to score a century in a World Cup finals while chasing the total. Clive Lloyd and Vivian Richards scored centuries while batting first.

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Will It Be An Easy Victory For The Aussies?

Will Dinesh Chandimal shine this time?
Will Dinesh Chandimal shine this time? | Source

Will It Be An Easy Victory For The Aussies?

Sri Lanka Was Content to Participating In Gopalan Trophy Matches

The second memory is more distant past. It happened in the inaugural Prudential Cup played in England in 1975. Ian Chappell’s Australians played against Sri Lanka in a group match. In that match, Australia scored a high total in their allotted sixty overs (in those days one day matches were played on a sixty overs basis). Sri Lanka was expected to lose that match because the Aussies had Jeff Thomson and Denis Lillee, the speed machines, in their sides. Moreover, Sri Lanka was not a test playing country at that time. It considered it as a honour to come to Tamil Nadu to participate in the Gopalan Trophy cricket tournament.

Aussies Had To Physically Intimidate Sri Lankan Batsmen to Win

But unexpectedly, the Sri Lankan batsmen started hitting at the Aussie pace men. I don’t remember the batting line-up of the then Sri Lankan team but some players who readily come to my mind are Sunil Wettimuny, Warnapura, Ajit De Silva and Somachandra De Silva among others. Fearing that the Sri Lankan batsmen may hit the winning target, Ian Chappell instructed Thomson and Lillee to resort to a bombardment of bouncers aimed at the hapless Sri Lankan batsmen. Helmets and protective guards were not common in those days. Some top order Sri Lankan batsmen retired hurt with bleeding injuries. Even then, the Sri Lankan batsmen did not abandon adventurism and tried to go near the winning target. In the end, they missed victory by a small margin. Ian Chappell’s Australia won. But Sri Lanka captured the attention of the entire world with their superb talent. They showed to the world that the Lions had arrived. Very soon, they were granted Test status also, which they deserved very much.

Sri Lanka Can Repeat Their 1975 Adventure

I am eagerly expecting a similar belligerence on the part of the Sri Lankan batsmen in tomorrow’s match. Many of the present Sri Lankan players would not have been even born in 1975 to witness their predecessors’ brilliance. Some of them might have heard this story from their grandmothers in their childhood. But tomorrow they have a chance to relive that experience. I want Sri Lanka to tear Aussie bowlers to pieces and Lasith Malinga to crack holes at the powerful Aussie batting line-up. If this happens, then we can say that cricket is not all about arithmetic. But will it happen?


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