Australia Vs Sri Lanka One Day Match at Hobart

Jayawardene and Chandimal Set the Foundation for Victory

Mahela Jayawardene Dinesh Chandimal
Mahela Jayawardene Dinesh Chandimal

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  • Thisara Perera
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Sri Lanka Wins with Authority

Ponting Has the Last Laugh at Clarke

Ricky Ponting should be sitting in his house and laughing at Australia’s defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka. Michael Clarke came back to the Australian side as the captain after recovering from his hamstrung injury and dropped Ricky Ponging for this match. Clarke could have given at least one more chance to Ponting to play his last one day match before his home crowd as his farewell match. Ponting, no doubt, is in poor batting form, but he is an excellent fielder. He might have saved around twenty runs through his fielding which might have proved crucial in the match in the end. I still remember his outstanding catch to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar in the first match.

Jayawardene and Chandimal Set the Foundation for Victory

When Australia set a target of 281, I thought it was going to be a difficult one for Sri Lanka to chase and the match could go either way. That was what exactly happened with the course of match swinging in favour of Australia and Sri Lanka alternately. Initially the Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene blasted Lee and made look Australian bowling ordinary. Jawawardene and Chandimal were engaged in a fruitful partnership. At this time, it looked that a Sri Lankan victory was achievable. But Jayawardene departed for a well made 85. Chandimal continued his captain’s good work. He departed after making a fine 80. Chandimal tried to play across the line to a ball from Harris and paid the price as he was adjudged leg before wicket. The Sri Lankan tail now took charge of the good work done by Chandimal and Jayawardene. Thisara Perera demonstrated some fireworks and the victory came in the final over of the match.

Both the Teams Deserve Praise for Thrilling the Spectators

Both the teams deserve to be complemented for fighting it out till the last and entertaining the Hobart crowd and millions of people who watched the match in TV. Fans buy tickets spending huge money (I remember the good old days of sixties and seventies when one can get a match ticket for as low as five rupees) and TV viewers sacrifice their other work to see the match. When the fans receive full entertainment, they feel it was worth watching the match. Full marks should be given to Australia and Sri Lanka for thrilling the crowd.

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Ian Chappell Decided To Target the Skull Instead Of Stumps In 1975

Jeff Thomson  and Denis Lillee decided to break the heads of the Sri Lankan batsmen in 1975
Jeff Thomson and Denis Lillee decided to break the heads of the Sri Lankan batsmen in 1975 | Source

Australia Vs Sri Lanka One Day Match at Hobart

Ian Chappell Decided To Target the Skull Instead Of Stumps In 1975

Earlier, Australian innings was consolidated by an excellent century by Forrest. Australia can consider Forrest as Ponting’s successor. Hussey brothers continued their good form to post a total of 280 which was a stiff one for any side to chase. While Sri Lankan batsmen applied their strategies and chasing the runs, my mind went back to the First World Cup of 1975 when Australia and Sri Lanka were playing each other in a group match. Thomson and Lillee targeted the Sri Lankan batsmen’s skull instead of their stumps. It was a blood bathe on the field. But Sri Lankan batsmen gamely tried to chase the target and almost succeeded. Today Clarke did not have the option which Ian Chappell had in 1975. Clarke had no fast bowlers in his side. Lee is not Thomson and Hilfenhaus is not Denis Lillee. But even if bowlers of the calibre of Thomson and Lillee are present in Australia today, Clarke cannot break the heads of any batsmen through them as today’s players are well covered from head to toe by protective gears like helmets, abdomen guard, shoulder guard etc. Even a hair cannot be plucked today by any bowlers.

India Can Emulate Sri Lanka in Sunday’s Match

Before I conclude, I should mention a line at least about Doherty’s performance. He bowled very economically and Sri Lankan batsmen could not take advantage of him. In fact Doherty was the only Australian bowler to bowl a maiden over in the match. Doherty reminds me about the Indian bowler Rajinder Goel who had a similar bowling action. Goel never made it for India and was forced to be content to playing for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy matches. This was because Bishen Singh Bedi was occupying the slot meant for the left arm spinner in the side. I believe that Goel was a better bowler than Bedi and because of politics, Goel was victimised. Well, the tri-series has reached an interesting stage now. Sunday’s match between Australia and India in Sydney may decide on who will be the finalists. An early flight for the Indians back home is on the cards as things are moving now. It is upto the Indians to stop infighting and concentrate on play to produce results. They can emulate Sri Lanka to achieve a fine victory over the Aussies.


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