Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 18 May 2014





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Sri Lankans play Sussex in T20 :

Life begins sans Mahela, Sanga

It will be life in the Twenty20 cricket firmament without the two stars Mahela Jayewardene and Kumar Sangakkara when Sri Lanka play Sussex in the shorter format at the County Ground in Hove, today. This will be the only practice game, before Sri Lanka play England in the only Twenty20 International at the KIA Oval in London on May 20.

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene

Jayewardene and Sangakkara who had done wonders in all formats of the game, called it a day in the Twenty20 format after the World Cup Twenty20 in Bangladesh which Sri Lanka won beating India in the final.

The absence of Jayewardene and Sangakkara will no doubt create a void, but the Lankans are lucky to have back up cricketers who could emulate the duo.

Slinging sensation Lasith Malinga who stepped in as Captain in this ‘hit and run’ format when regular Captain Dinesh Chandimal had to sit out a match for no fault of his and continued in the hot seat, is back from the IPL in India and will lead the team.

The greatest batsman that the world of cricket has seen and will ever see, the great Australian Captain and batsman Sir Donald Bradman had said that captaincy is 90- per cent luck and 10 per cent skill. And Malinga has the all important luck in abundance.

With Jayewardene and Sangakkara out, it will be Dinesh Chandimal and probably Ashan Priyanjana or Chaturanga de Silva. Both are good in the shorter format.

The sun is shining, which the Sri Lankan cricketers will love because it will allow them to perform better and weather predictions here is that the rest of the week is going to remain hot.

In the shorter formats batting first is an advantage, because it helps to bat without pressure, make a formidable score and put pressure on the side chasing.

But that theory was proved otherwise when Malinga won the toss and put India into bat in the World Cup Twenty20 in Bangladesh and stuffed them. The Sri Lankan batsmen and bowlers have struck form as they showed in the victory against Kent on Friday. Other than for Kusal Janith who had another poor game, the others are striking well and the bowlers, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera and offie Ajantha Mendis bowled cleverly.

As for Sussex they are led by Irish batsman Ed Joyce. But it is not known whether he will play. Another standout in the team is England bowler Chris Jordan.


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