Two strongest cricket teams of this world cup cricket 2007, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, showed their best of the best so far in this cup. Why did New Zealand loose this crucial match ? Because Sri Lanka played mind game when Sanath, Sangakkara and Silva were out for small scores.New Zealand failed to capitalise Sanath Jayasuriya’s early dismissal and did not recover from Styris dismissal.
Tharanga used to be one the best new opener from sub continent in the recent past except for world cup matches.The SL opener (I think..I think..I don’t think..I think – he spoke to commentators during lunch time with too many “I thinks”), played the very required innings as he has been failing on a regular basis.He fired in this important tie to take his team off to a flier.He got lucky some times when Bond almost got him out twice in one over.Very close calls.Tharanga played very well under pressure answering all his critics for selecting him in the team for semis.Specially the way Franklin was attacked is very impressive by hitting hit him in one over for extra cover and over the slips to third man.Sanath Jayasuriya who had great run in this tournament got out for a superb delivery off Franklin.Looked like even Jayasurriya couldn’t believe how he got out as ball blind sighted him and made to the stumps between his bat and pad.This is the only time in entire match that NZ got psychological edge over SL.NZ of course failed to capitalize this.
Sangakkara failed again to play to his potential in this match.He played slowly playing anchor role(lack of better words, sangakarra actually struggled to get runs) giving the hitting part to Tharanga.That was one of first excellent partnerships for SL by Sangakkara playing the anchor role.Catch towards mid off fielder Flemming ending the slow run rate innings of Sangakkara.Jayawardene back in form just at the right time for SL in this world cup.Good captain innings by Mahila with five half centuries and a very crucial century match innings of today when big players like Sanath and Silva were out.Mahila initially took lots of time settling down playing like Sangakkara.The lower middle order comprising of Dilshan, Silva and Arnold have done well adding quick runs to the score board.Silva’s LBW decision is just plain bad – It is clear inner edge off the bat with the audible sound,this decision in my opinion costed SL at least 40 to 50 runs on their score board.
How is NZ bowling ? Bowling at its worst to the date in this match. The bowling of NZ which previously fared well under the leadership of Bond for early breakthroughs totally failed in this match.In the middle overs none of the bowlers Patel or Oram or Vettori managed to pick up wickets at regular intervals as they did in super eights.If they had done their home work of not just getting Jayasuriya out but others too they would have given Lankans tough competition.
Fleming who is not at all consistent in this world cup failed again in this crucial match with just a single on score board.Taylor who had fantastic time in the fielding fell for meager nine runs.Fulton who bounce backed to form played a slow innings in this match.Styris,the star performer for NZ put up decent score and quick runs for NZ.Why did Jayawardane gave bowling to Fernando in power play that too when Styris is playing ? Poor captaincy that costed quite a no ball runs and huge hammering from Styris. As commentators put it “Styris is in the form of his life”, hitting Murali dosras over the boundaries during the power play. Jaywardane corrected his power play mistakes by taking NZ expensive Styris catch.Two wickets from two balls from Murali doosras put the match on Sri Lanka side.
How is Sri Lankan bowling ? As good as it gets,SL bowling is considered to be the strongest of all teams in this worldcup with senior players Vaas,Malinga and Murali. The fielding too of SL in this match is just fantastic.
Sri Lanka in World Cup Cricket 2007 finals.