Archive for January, 2017

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Recognising Michael Tissera in the Tale of Sri Lankan Cricket

January 30, 2017

Abhishek Mukherjee, 25 March  2016, courtesy of http://www.cricketcountry.com/articles/michael-tissera-the-man-who-gave-his-name-to-west-indies-sri-lanka-test-series-340992

Michael Tissera shares a trophy name with Garry Sobers. Till date, he also remains the only Sri Lankan captain to win a Test on Indian soil, albeit unofficial.

GettyImages-72946132
Michael Tissera © Getty Images
 Michael Hugh Tissera, born March 23, 1939, was one of the architects of Sri Lankan cricket in 1960s and 1970s. Unfortunately, his international career started late, for Sri Lanka did not get a chance to lock horns with the big guns in official matches till World Cup 1975. His leadership qualities and all-round skills on the field made him stand out among Sri Lankan cricketers of his era. To honour him, the West Indies-Sri Lanka Test series were named Sobers-Tissera Trophy after him and Sir Garry. Abhishek Mukherjee remembers a forgotten man of Sri Lankan cricket.
29-tissera-bowling sobers-wild

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The DRS in Cricket and Senaka Weeraratna’s Early Initiatives

January 29, 2017

The authorities in the cricketing world in the 20th century were highly conservative. They delayed the admission of Sri Lanka to the Test field till 1981. They  stubbornly insisted on sustaining the authority of the Umpires within the boundaries and resisted the introduction of new technology in aid of correct decisions.  Even these innovations have been adopted piecemeal (so that, for example, the discussions between DRS Third Umpire and onfield umpires have been open to the public only in recent years).

senaka-udrs Senaka Weeraratna mooted the virtues of DRS (also called UDRS)  early in the day. He has been assiduously pressing a campaign for his role to be recognised and recently initiated a web site devoted to that purpose: Visit http://www.cricketudrs.com/

We are in need of an uncommitted historian to work out the intricacies of this reform process within the ICC and MCC, but I introduce some of the material presented by Senaka Weeraratna as an initial ‘taste’ of the data that can be seen within his web site. Michael Roberts

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Vijaya Malalasekera on His Cricketing Days

January 29, 2017

News Item in Daily News. entitled “My Views on Cricket” … http://www.dailynews.lk/2017/01/27/sports/105868/my-reflections-cricket-vijay-malalasekera

Q: What led you to take up to cricket?

VM: From my boyhood days I had been very interested in cricket since in our neighbourhood we always played cricket as a pastime. My interest grew further as a result of my being taken to watch the Royal-Thomian cricket match from 1952 onwards. I saw Royal being defeated that year but was enamoured by the players who performed for Royal. This interest grew in me and since 1952 I watched every Royal-Thomian upto the time I left for England in 1963. Having seen players like T. Nirmalingam, Michael Wille, Lorensz Pereira, Michael Dias, the brothers Lalith and Nanda Senanayake and the likes of Dan Piachaud, Ronnie Reid, Michael Tissera, Michael Sproule and the likes of the opposing side made me want to play in the Big match. In particular, I remember Nirmalingam’s 69 in 1954 where he was run out for 69 and when the Royal scoreboard read 70 for 1 and the man out was Nirmalingam for 69. It was an innings of sheer brilliance. Ronnie Reid’s 157 in 1956 and his two short innings of 65 in 1957 and Tissera’s 49 in 1954 were all inspiring innings. The Dias-Lalith Senanayake partnership in 1958 against the formidable leg-spinner Larif Idroos were innings to remember. Lalith went on to get 69 and 47 n.o. in 1960 and they were brilliant knocks made in absolute style for a right-hander. They all inspired me to promise myself that one day I will play in the Royal-Thomian as a Royalist.

Vijayvijay-m-11 … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijaya_Malalasekera Read the rest of this entry ?

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Lanka’s T20 Spinners: The Missing Aponso

January 20, 2017

Michael Roberts

Guided by the vague notion that the omission of Vandersay and the choice of Sandakan for the T20 series in South Africa was an error of some magnitude, I went for the statistics on all the leading Sri Lankan spinners in this format. There is a problem here however. The ESPNcricinfo style of statistics distinguish between T20Is and Twenty20. I assumed the former figure was restricted to international games and focused on the whole corpus of games because some players have had limited exposure at the international level.

Aponso  vandersay Vandersay

The key indicators are (A) Strike Rate ….. (b) Economy Rate…. (C) Average. My survey encompassed Amila Aponso, Sachitra Pathirana, Dilruwan Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lakshan Sandakan, Sachitra Senanayake, Milinda Siriwardena, and Jeffrey Vandersay. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Surprises in Sri Lanka’s T20 Squad for South Africa

January 20, 2017

Michael Roberts

As a desultory observer of Sri Lankan cricket from afar in Australia and without any observations of the local cricket scene, the list of players in the Sri Lankan Squad for the short-format games in South Africa was (is) full of surprises. Let me spell out my initial thoughts before proceeding to more considered commentary — albeit in a rambling manner.

thisara-perera-cwc-celeb_3270994 nuwan-kulasekara

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Andrew Fernando on Lanka’s T20 Squad

January 20, 2017

Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, January 2017 with the title “Sri Lanka pick uncapped Thikshila de Silva for SA T20Is”

Who is Thikshila de Silva?Uncapped batting allrounder Thikshila de Silva has been named in Sri Lanka’s squad for the T20 series against South Africa, which starts from January 20. Thikshila is yet to play international cricket in any format; the other new member of the T20 squad is the left-arm wrist-spinner Lakshan Sandakan, who has played three Tests and an ODI.

sandakan Lakshan Sandakan made a promising start to his Test career last year but has only 16 wickets in 15 domestic T20 games © Associated Press

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Peter Roebuck vs Botham and Richards in the Somerset Bust-Up 1986

January 19, 2017
David Hopps, courtesy of ESPNcricinfo, where the title is “Peter Roebuck’s anguish at Somerset in 1986”.. with highlighting emphasis being the work of The Editor Cricketique
Richards and Roebuck at the wicket in a county game. Roebuck reveals he lived in fear of Richards’ temper © Getty Images

The civil war that beset Somerset cricket more than 30 years ago was all the more remarkable because of the unimposing, bespectacled figure at its centre. Peter Roebuck would not have immediately struck a casual observer as a man capable of going to war. An unconventional loner, gauche even with close friends, he did not meld easily with either the old-fashioned administrators in charge of the club or the imposing superstars, Ian Botham, Viv Richards and Joel Garner, who would eventually be expunged from a Somerset dressing room that had fallen on hard times.

 

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A Massacre at Johannesburg? Reflections

January 19, 2017

Michael Roberts

bullring-222 Sri Lanka’s recent defeat by an innings within three days at “The Bullring” — as the New Wanderer’s Ground in Johannesburg is known among locals — may seem devastating even though I, for one, was expecting them to fare badly in this match. This expectation was based on the Bullring’s reputation for pacey pitches as well as the past history of our teams in the Veldt. After all, in the First Test at Johannesburg in early November 2002 we lost by an innings and 64 runs scoring 191 and 130 in the face of the Saf total of 386 runs; while a little earlier on 20-22nd January 2001 Sri Lanka lost by an innings and 07 runs at the Centurion ground in the Transvaal region. In brief, our famous batsmen of yesteryear had also been swamped and shot out on the high elevation pitches of the Veldt.

bullring-1

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A Smash-Hit Big Bash Match

January 12, 2017

The Running Commentators’ Summing Up … http://www.espncricinfo.com/big-bash-league-2016-17/engine/match/1023627.html

What a rattling night at the Docklands Stadium! We have witnessed history. Records were written, rewritten and smashed, all in just over three hours of some of the most manic hitting, the likes of which even T20 cricket has not been witness to very often. First, the Renegades put up the highest total in BBL history. Then, we saw the first century of the season. Then, Hurricanes snatched away the highest BBL total record from the Renegades in a manner that could not have been more emphatic. They pulled off the highest successful chase in the BBL and the joint fourth-highest successful chase in all T20 cricket. Thisara Perera conceded the second-most runs in one bowling performance in the BBL. In all, we witnessed 445 runs, 36 fours and 22 sixes, three half-centuries and one century, all in the span of 40 overs. Such was the magnitude of hitting that after a point, it did not matter who was bowling and what the ball was or what the field was, because no matter what anyone tried to do, the ball just kept disappearing into the stands. But let us not forget Sunil Narine. Amid a six-barrage and a shattering of batting records, he sent down a four-over spell that ended with figures of 3 for 27. Unfortunately for him and the Renegades, it did not prove sufficient.

Asim Mubashir: “Difficult to draw comparisons to this game, certainly one of the best amongst several T20s across many competitions across the world. Simply astounding!!!!!!”

Ben McDermott hit the first century of the 2016-17 Big Bash League, Melbourne Renegades v Hobart Hurricanes, BBL 2016-17, Melbourne, January 12, 2017

HH 223/8 (20.0 ov, SCJ Broad 11*, SL Rainbird 1*, SP Narine 3/27) – Match over | Live Scorecard | ESPN Cricinfo

Melbourne Renegades 222/4 (20/20 ov)
Hobart Hurricanes 223/8 (20.0/20 ov)
Hobart Hurricanes won by 2 wickets (with 0 balls remaining)
Big Bash League – 24th match
12 January 2017 – night match (20-over match)

Melbourne Renegades innings (20 overs maximum) R B 4s 6s SR
View dismissal MS Harris c Wells b Christian 25 19 2 1 131.57
4.4 lofts it through long-on and sends it straight down the throat of the fielder there. It was full and Harris walked across early, probably that did not give the room he desired. Wells takes it reverse-cupped in front of the boundary 42/1
View dismissal AJ Finch* c †Paine b Short 63 40 6 2 157.50
14.5 gets down for a huge slog sweep and skews it into the air off the top edge. The ball has been skied and seems to stay up for all of eternity. The midwikcet region is empty and several players run across to it, including wicketkeeper Tim Paine. He calls for it and settles under it before taking it fairly comfortably. But that was anything but easy 155/3
View dismissal CL White c Wells b Reed 34 19 2 2 178.94
11.6 tries to do the same thing as earlier by walking across the stumps and trying to heave it over the leg side. Does not middle it well this time and gets it off the bottom part of the bat, which means he gets elevation but not the distance. It seems momentarily as though it would carry all the way but Wells settles under it at deep square leg and snaffles it. What an entertaining innings from White 116/2
TLW Cooper not out 53 24 7 2 220.83
View dismissal CJ Ferguson c Short b Reed 15 7 1 1 214.28
17.2 slower full ball outside off, drilled hard off the front foot but chips the drive straight into the hands of mid-off. Struck quite well ut does not get enough elevation as he fails to pick the drop in pace 180/4
NLTC Perera not out 28 11 3 1 254.54
Extras (lb 1, w 3) 4
Total (4 wickets; 20 overs) 222 (11.10 runs per over)
Bowling O M R W Econ
SCJ Broad 4 0 39 0 9.75 (1w)
SL Rainbird 3 0 37 0 12.33
View wicket DT Christian 4 0 37 1 9.25 (1w)
4.4 to Harris, lofts it through long-on and sends it straight down the throat of the fielder there. It was full and Harris walked across early, probably that did not give the room he desired. Wells takes it reverse-cupped in front of the boundary 42/1
View wickets JK Reed 4 0 54 2 13.50 (1w)
11.6 to White, tries to do the same thing as earlier by walking across the stumps and trying to heave it over the leg side. Does not middle it well this time and gets it off the bottom part of the bat, which means he gets elevation but not the distance. It seems momentarily as though it would carry all the way but Wells settles under it at deep square leg and snaffles it. What an entertaining innings from White 116/2
17.2 to Ferguson, slower full ball outside off, drilled hard off the front foot but chips the drive straight into the hands of mid-off. Struck quite well ut does not get enough elevation as he fails to pick the drop in pace 180/4
CJ Boyce 4 0 36 0 9.00
View wicket DJM Short 1 0 18 1 18.00
14.5 to Finch, gets down for a huge slog sweep and skews it into the air off the top edge. The ball has been skied and seems to stay up for all of eternity. The midwikcet region is empty and several players run across to it, including wicketkeeper Tim Paine. He calls for it and settles under it before taking it fairly comfortably. But that was anything but easy 155/3
Hobart Hurricanes innings (target: 223 runs from 20 overs) R B 4s 6s SR
View dismissal DJM Short b Cooper 18 11 1 1 163.63
2.2 goes for the same sweep but this one is not full enough. It is on a length and he misses as the ball takes out off-stump. Loopy delivery, sliding in and the angle perhaps did him in as he cannot make contact on a wild attempt at a slog 19/2
View dismissal TD Paine*† c Perera b Cooper 0 1 0 0 0.00
0.3 Perera comes around it at deep midwicket and snaffles it without fuss. Gets down for the slog sweep and skews it off a thick edge. It was given just enough air and slightly quicker. Cooper picks out the deep midwicket region, skies the ball there and Perera runs a few steps to his left before completing good catch 1/1
View dismissal BR McDermott lbw b Narine 114 52 8 9 219.23
15.1 gone, McDermott perishes on the reverse sweep but what an innings. It was slightly short of a length and angling down leg. McDermott was looking to reverse sweep it and gets totally cramped for room. Wears it on the pad. Looked plumb though there was that lingering doubt if it would have missed leg. But the umpire does not think so and raises his finger 170/3
View dismissal GJ Bailey c Harris b Narine 59 42 3 2 140.47
18.6 picks out long-on. Flat-bats this length ball and that never looked like it was going to carry. Marcus Harris gets around it and slides as he snaffles it reverse-cupped 207/7
View dismissal DT Christian lbw b Hogg 12 6 1 1 200.00
16.5 plumb. Hogg has the last laugh. That looked out from the moment it hit the pad. It was fuller and quicker. Given the right amount of air. Christian got down to sweep but it was too straight and there was no way he was going to put bat to it. Gets pinged on the pad and the umpire raises his finger almost as soon as Hogg appealed 185/4
View dismissal JW Wells b Hogg 0 1 0 0 0.00
16.6 two in two. Double strike for Hogg, puts Renegades back into the contest. He’s on a hat-trick but he has to wait until the next game to try and achieve that. He’s done with his spell. Wells moved across and looked for the sweep shot but gets a long way away from the ball. Exposes all three stumps and the ball crashes into them after hitting him on the pad 185/5
View dismissal BJ Webster c Cooper b Narine 0 2 0 0 0.00
18.4 slog sweep. Length ball outside off, has to fetch it from there and does not get hold of it. Skews it off the top edge and the ball goes straight down the throat of Cooper at deep midwicket 205/6
View dismissal CJ Boyce run out (Narine) 1 1 0 0 100.00
19.2 from Perera, full and wide outside off, gets a thick outside edge as he throws his arms at it. Narine dives to his left and gets his hand to it and takes the momentum off the ball. It rolls away slightly and they think of charging back for the second. Narine recovers well and fires a direct throw at the keeper’s end. The batsman is short of his crease but it seems like the wicketkeeper’s glove may have touched the stumps and Boyce has been asked to wait. The third umpire has had a long, hard look at it and decides that the keeper has done fine there 209/8
SL Rainbird not out 1 1 0 0 100.00
SCJ Broad not out 11 4 2 0 275.00
Extras (lb 3, w 3, nb 1) 7
Total (8 wickets; 20 overs) 223 (11.15 runs per over)
Bowling O M R W Econ
View wickets TLW Cooper 2 0 12 2 6.00
0.3 to Paine, Perera comes around it at deep midwicket and snaffles it without fuss. Gets down for the slog sweep and skews it off a thick edge. It was given just enough air and slightly quicker. Cooper picks out the deep midwicket region, skies the ball there and Perera runs a few steps to his left before completing good catch 1/1
2.2 to Short, goes for the same sweep but this one is not full enough. It is on a length and he misses as the ball takes out off-stump. Loopy delivery, sliding in and the angle perhaps did him in as he cannot make contact on a wild attempt at a slog 19/2
XJ Doherty 3 0 30 0 10.00
View wickets SP Narine 4 0 27 3 6.75
15.1 to McDermott, gone, McDermott perishes on the reverse sweep but what an innings. It was slightly short of a length and angling down leg. McDermott was looking to reverse sweep it and gets totally cramped for room. Wears it on the pad. Looked plumb though there was that lingering doubt if it would have missed leg. But the umpire does not think so and raises his finger 170/3
18.4 to Webster, slog sweep. Length ball outside off, has to fetch it from there and does not get hold of it. Skews it off the top edge and the ball goes straight down the throat of Cooper at deep midwicket 205/6
18.6 to Bailey, picks out long-on. Flat-bats this length ball and that never looked like it was going to carry. Marcus Harris gets around it and slides as he snaffles it reverse-cupped 207/7
JL Pattinson 3 0 47 0 15.66 (1nb)
View wickets GB Hogg 4 0 45 2 11.25
16.5 to Christian, plumb. Hogg has the last laugh. That looked out from the moment it hit the pad. It was fuller and quicker. Given the right amount of air. Christian got down to sweep but it was too straight and there was no way he was going to put bat to it. Gets pinged on the pad and the umpire raises his finger almost as soon as Hogg appealed 185/4
16.6 to Wells, two in two. Double strike for Hogg, puts Renegades back into the contest. He’s on a hat-trick but he has to wait until the next game to try and achieve that. He’s done with his spell. Wells moved across and looked for the sweep shot but gets a long way away from the ball. Exposes all three stumps and the ball crashes into them after hitting him on the pad 185/5
NLTC Perera 4 0 59 0 14.75 (1w)

Match details


Toss – Hobart Hurricanes
Points – Hobart Hurricanes 2, Melbourne Renegades 0
Player of the match – BR McDermott (Hobart Hurricanes)
Umpires – PJ Gillespie and P Wilson
TV umpire – JD Ward
Match referee – PL Marshall
Reserve umpire – S Brne
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Ritchie Benaud as Captain: Nous and Allure

January 5, 2017

Brian Matthews, in The Australian 27 December 2016, where the title is “Lure of Benaud in Heady Days,” … being an extract from Benaud: An Appreciation, by Brian Matthews (Text Publishing). 

benaud Richie Benaud bowling at Old Trafford.

In the early 1960s I was one of that phalanx of Australian students — the best-known members among whom were Germaine Greer, Robert Hughes and Clive James — who took off for Europe at the end of their undergraduate days. And it was in central Israel, somewhere near a place called Kfar Vitkin, that a few fortunate moments of hilltop transistor reception on Saturday, July 8, 1961, set a group of young Australian travellers on what seemed a breathlessly daring path.

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