Archive for June, 2015

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“A quick bowler with attitude,” that’s Dhammika Prasad

June 29, 2015

Andrew Fidel Fernando, courtesy of ESPNcricinfo, 29 June 2015

Dhammika Prasad is a fast bowler who won his way through to Test level playing most of his cricket at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground. For that alone, he deserves a little respect. If the pitch at the SSC is ever dug up, multiple remains of quick bowlers are sure to be discovered. The other first-class decks on the island are not much better. At 32 years, a hit-the-deck seamer like Prasad should be a fossil. Instead, he is Sri Lanka’s top wicket-taker in the series so far.

Sri Lankan cricketer Dhammika Prasad makes an unsuccessful appeal for the wicket of Pakistan cricketer Asad Shafiq during the fourth day of the opening Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on June 20, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ Ishara S. KODIKARA        (Photo credit should read Ishara S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lankan cricketer Dhammika Prasad makes an unsuccessful appeal for the wicket of Pakistan cricketer Asad Shafiq during the fourth day of the opening Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on June 20, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ Ishara S. KODIKARA (Photo credit should read Ishara S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

The thing with Prasad is that he just keeps coming back – on a micro and macro scale. The P Sara pitch had slowed considerably by day four, with the wicketkeeper more often taking balls at knee height than above the waist, as had been the case on the first morning. Yet, it was neither of the spinners, the swing bowler, or the tearaway who regained Sri Lanka’s advantage in the match. Pitching it outside off, moving it a little off the seam, Prasad just kept on coming. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Second Test at Colombo Oval: Devashish Fuloria’s summing-up … followed by Clementine

June 29, 2015

Devashish Fuloria, in ESPNcricinfo, http://www.espncricinfo.com/sri-lanka-v-pakistan-2015/engine/match/860265.html

Superb win for Sri Lanka here. The circus moves on to Pallekele where Sri Lanka will be without Sangakkara and Pakistan will be without Wahab Riaz. This series is shaping up really well for the finale. Thanks for all the comments and feedback. Please also keep an eye on all the analysis and reports from Andrew Fernando and Umar Farooq. This is Devashish Fuloria signing off, ciao ciao.

“The boys showed a lot of character after the defeat in Galle,” says Angelo Mathews. “We wanted to bat positively because we were not sure about the rain. So we gave green signal to play positively. It’s easy to get bogged down. The conditions were helpful, I liked bowling here. Kushal Silva is playing the anchor role and others are playing around him.”

Sri Lanka's cricketer Dhammika Prasad (C) celebrates with wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal (L) the wicket of Pakistan cricketer Sarfraz Ahmed (R) during the fourth day of their second test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the P. Sara Oval Cricket Stadium in Colombo on June 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI        (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka’s cricketer Dhammika Prasad (C) celebrates with wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal (L) the wicket of Pakistan cricketer Sarfraz Ahmed (R) during the fourth day of their second test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the P. Sara Oval Cricket Stadium in Colombo on June 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Dhammika Prasad is the ‘Smart player of the Match’ and the Man of the Match. “It was a great match because we came as underdogs,” he says. “I am really happy with the way we played. I tried to bowl in good areas. We had a plan before this game and I executed it very well. ” Read the rest of this entry ?

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Miserable Performance from Sri Lankan Cricket Team at Galle

June 22, 2015

Andrew Fidel Fernando, courtesy of ESPNcricinfo,com, 21 June 2015

Late on day five, Angelo Mathews stands at slip, glum faced, chin resting on knuckles as the ball skids towards the straight boundary off Ahmed Shehzad’s bat. Rangana Herath turns around grimacing in his follow through and puts hands on hips. Having watched Sri Lanka’s young batsmen throw the game away again in the afternoon, old man Kumar Sangakkara wears a resigned look in the infield. At this late stage of his career, he looks more and more like a dad fed up with telling his kids not to pee into the public pool. Dilruwan Perera is going at 10 an over. Kithuruwan Vithanage is averting gazes.

Stumping -kodikara-AFP Karunaratne diddled and stumped off Yasir Shah–Pic by Kodikara -AFP

 

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Sri Lanka’s Spin Bowling Prospects Present & Future for Tests

June 18, 2015

Michael Roberts, courtesy of islandcricket.lk

In chatting cricket with Michael de Zoysa early in June we addressed the issue of spin bowlers in the longer-format of cricket in the light of Murali’s retirement and Rangana Herath’s aging 37 year-old frame. De Zoysa was concerned because he felt the majority of the options were rollers of the ball rather than genuine spin-merchants, a type of bowling that he considered of limited value in the longer format of cricket. Dilruwan Perera (aged 33 now), in his view, was “a genuine off-spinner,” while Tharinda Kaushal (22 years) was a good prospect who needed to develop consistency and guile.

Intriguingly and with some foresight de Zoysa presented Jeffrey Vandersay (aged 25), a right-arm leg-spinner, as a good prospect. This he did early in June well before Vandersay was picked for the trial match against Pakistan where he proceeded to take 5 wickets in the first innings and a brace in the second.[1] De Zoysa is an SSC stalwart and Vandersay plays for that club now,[2] but it is evident now that more than club loyalty directed his assessment. Vandersay could be an asset in the future and one hopes that he is made to concentrate on the longer form of cricket for the near-future.

Vandersay--lAKE HOUSE Vandersay-–Pic from Lake House Lakshan Sandakan iwww.batsman.com5 Sandakan —Pic from http://www.ceylontoday

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Pakistan see Herath as Main Obstacle, but have worked out What to do

June 17, 2015

Umar Farooq,  in Galle, courtesy of ESPNcricinfo.com where the title reads ‘We have an answer for Herath this time’ – Misbah”

Pakistan were undone by Rangana Herath last year when the left-arm spinner took 23 wickets in only two Tests, as the visitors crumbled to lose both the matches. Statistically, Pakistan are the second team, among the top eight teams, with the worst batting average against left-arm spinners in the last ten years. Their captain Misbah-ul-Haq said his side won’t capitulate against Herath this time.

Herath --AFP Pic from AFP

“We have an answer for Herath this time as everybody is working hard on how to defend him,” Misbah said. “In the past we really played him well except in the last series in Sri Lanka…sometimes bowler takes the edge, or sometimes batsman. But we are looking on a plan on how to handle him and how we should apply ourselves against him. We only struggled because he got a good hold of the conditions and it’s important for us to play him well to get a better result. The more we play him well, more we have a chance to do better against them.” Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Galle Esplanade and Test Cricket — Life and Times in Pictures

June 17, 2015

03 Galle Esplanade school cricket in olden times, the 1970s and 1980sPic by Nihal Fernando 

Also see Norah Roberts, Galle as Quiet as Asleep, 2nd edn, Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2005, ISBN 955-8095-85

22 Aerial View, Galle Ckt & Ramparts Read the rest of this entry ?

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My Test Team for Galle

June 16, 2015

Michael Roberts, 16 June 2015… an essay drafted on 16th June 2015 before the final XI was selected, but also failing to note that Tharanga was not in the reckoning. The article was sent to islandcricket.lk and The Island for publication, and also presented to Michael de Zoysa and Andrew Fernando with an express request for “critical comments.” De Zoysa’s immediate dissent is incorporated here as a COMMENT at the end with a response.

The retirement of Jayawardene and Dilshan from Test cricket and the impending departure of Sangakkara render the future of Sri Lanka’s cricket team as worrying as intriguing. In chatting with Michael de Zoysa in Colombo early in June we touched on future possibilities and just yesterday a long Skype-chat with Andrew Fidel Fernando in Colombo was extremely enlightening. His prospective Eleven for the Pakistan series worked within the limits of the XV chosen for the series by the SLC Selection Committee.

Sri Lanka cricket team captain Angelo Mathews (R) and team coach Marvan Atapattu chat during a practice session at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on June 15, 2015. Sri Lanka and Pakistan will play three Tests, five One-Day Internationals and two T20 Series in Sri Lanka between June 17 to August 1. The first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be played on June 17 at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle. AFP PHOTO/ Ishara S. KODIKARA        (Photo credit should read Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka cricket team captain Angelo Mathews (R) and team coach Marvan Atapattu chat during a practice session at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle on June 15, 2015. Sri Lanka and Pakistan will play three Tests, five One-Day Internationals and two T20 Series in Sri Lanka between June 17 to August 1. The first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be played on June 17 at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in Galle. AFP PHOTO/ Ishara S. KODIKARA (Photo credit should read Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

However, I intervene first with my choice of XI, guided in part by Fernando — but adding my own twist. The twist arises from the fact that the match is being played at Galle.[1] This background links up with my reasoning that bowlers win matches and that one must enter a match with one’s three or four best bowlers. With Eranga out of contention because of injury and Lakmal in question and without match practice, I hold that our best three bowlers for the sort of conditions that are likely to prevail at Galle are Rangana Herath followed by Dilruwan Perera and Tharinda Kaushal at level pegging. Read the rest of this entry ?