Friday, 13 April 2007

Kiwis Pay The Price For Defensive Cricket

image courtesy cricinfo.com

Cricket is a game that is a battle with your own self. The opponent is a mere convenience. New Zealand, hardly tested in this tournament until they met Sri Lanka found it out the hard way that things can go awry if a team is taken out of its comfort zone. With runs hard to come by in the initial stages, the Kiwis just could not come to terms on a wicket that played better as the day wore.

Scott Styris seems to enjoy the Lankan attack, especially in the World Cup, a second successive ton against the islanders in the premier event could only delay the inevitable. No fault to him as he was caught in a catch-22 situation. Wickets fell around him and he had to resort to picking singles even after he was well set.

The damage for the Kiwis was done by the rest of the top-order. The shot selection left a lot to be desired and their over defensive tactic after a couple of early wickets helped Sri Lanka claim the upper hand. Hats of to Chaminda Vaas to have bowled line first up to set the initial trap. With the keeper standing up, things were made really difficult for the batsmen.

Murali is a master in keeping the pressure and once he did his job in the middle overs, the opponents were never going to post a total that was going to challenge Lanka who would have taken lunch fully aware that the entire target needed was 47-48 overs of staying in the middle. Nothing summed up the innings better than the maiden over bowled by Dilshan in the 46 th over.

Sanath has had a great World Cup thus far, and his form continues. He showed his class by going after the inexperienced bowlers. The Lankan batting looks different when he gets going. Kumara Sangakkara played himself to some form and that is a very good sign for Lanka in the coming matches.

Stephen Fleming's captaincy was too defensive at times, and bringing Mark Gillespie against the wind was a huge tactical blunder that proved very costly. Both sides are sure to be a part of the semifinal line up and this win would have served the Lankans a huge psychological advantage.

The match up today will be another mismatch. Another opportunity for the World Champions to look at new records – not that they are not eyeing them even when they are up against stronger opponents.

4 comments:

Satz said...

Dear Krish...The better bowling side won the day ...also Oram & Fulton threw away their wickets after getting starts...in the hindsight(which is not alwayz fruitful...) 30 -40 runs more for NZ could have been the difference...It will be interesting to see how they match up in the semis again (most likely )

subra said...

Sri Lanka has served the Champions a warning! They are looking the perfect fit to win this edition of the World Cup. For New Zealand, it was a wake-up call for the semi-final fixture, whoever they face. For them, both Vaas and Murali were unplayable!

Kalyan said...

Dear Krish, The Sri Lankans kept things tight and raised the bar higher and even higher making it too difficult for the Kiwis to keep the scoreboard ticking.Proved again that they are all round performing team.Senior players Vaas and Murali kepping getting better and better as matches progress.Knowing Lankans will never crumble under pressure and proved again in this match that they are good run chasers.NZ.The foundation laid by Jaya Surya made things difficult for NZ.NZ by now knows that dropping catches is like dropping a match, Jayasurya was dropped on 30 by Flemming.This I feel was the turning point of the game.I feel strongly now that SL will play againg Ausssies in World Cup Finals.

Milind Taskar said...

Where will you place Sachin Tendulkar in the context of all the world cups that he played, as compared to Arvinda, Jaysurya, Gilchrist, Ponting, Jaywardhane, Sangakara, Smith, DeVilliers, Kallis, Flemming, Oram, MacMilan, Symonds, Clark, Hayden ?

Do you see Tendulkar of any use other than for promoting biscuits in the year 2011 for world cup ?

We all want to see Tendulkar face Bond in Christchurch, Brisbane, Perth and prove himself to be a man and not a boy.

I want to see Tendulakar face up to Malinga anywhere, perhaps Chennai. How do you reckon would he be able to cope up ?

Why not put him in the opening slot in the tour to Australia in Brisbane and Perth ? Let us see if he is willing to do that ?

What would happen if Saching is cruelly exposed in the Bangla tour by Mortza ?

Why has Tendulkar failed with such remarkable consistency in the last 5 tours and still got picked up. Was the writing not on the wall that on the sixth tour that was world cup he would fail.

If Sachin has been a mere shadow of himself for the last 4 years, why Indians call him, the commentators included, the best batsman in the world. is it not coaxing Indian fans in to a big hoax.