Sri Lankans target semi berth
Meet Pakistan in first Super Eight game:
The Sri Lankan cricketers are overjoyed that they have entered the
Super Eight round of the International Cricket CouncilĒs World Cup
Twenty20 tournament and have now set their sights on entering the
semi-finals. When the Lankans arrived here, they faced an uphill task.
They were in the toughest group with Australia and the West Indies.
Australia and the West Indies are tough sides and beating them was not
going to be easy.
But skipper Kumar Sangakkara said on the eve of the teamís departure.
ďWe have beaten these two sides in other forms of the game, and if we
play alright, there is no reason why we should not beat themĒ. The
Lankanís success was that they believed in themselves. Their attitude
and approach was that the Aussies and the Windies were also humans and
that if they played to form, wins would come.
And they did just that. When they took the field in both games, it
was apparent by the body language, that they had that second to none
feeling. That is how it should be, and it must be given continuity.
Skipper Kumar Sangakkara has fitted into the captaincy gloves quite
admirably. He has good control and understanding with his teammates and
it is apparent that they are supporting him in every move he makes and
giving him 100 percent and more.
And those are the essentials for a team to succeed.
When it came to the crunch, it was apparent that the Aussies and the
West Indies were not going to take us mere easy beats. They were aware
of our potential and the ability to fight back,whatever the
situation,especially when the chips are down.
The players who matter have all struck form and it is hoped they will
give it continuity. The most successful has been opener Tillakaratne
Dilshan. Since takng the onerous job of opener,he has obliged by always
being in the runs.
In this tourney he has been the only batsman to score two fifties.
From the first ball he has stepped on top gear and accelerated and does
not seem to apply brakes at any time during his innings. He has based
his bating on the fact that the ball is there to be hit, and that is his
Sanath Jayasuriya played a devastastating innings against the West
Indies and gave them a dose of their own medicine. In fact the Windies
were seeing another Chrys Gale riding again.
When Jayasuriya fires the sixes and fours look rocket launched. His
timing and power hitting at times is even better than the batsmen from
the Caribbean. He must make it his business to keep scoring.
Sangakkara too has been in the runs. But the disappointment has been
that former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardena has not struck a purple
patch. He has it in to come good and the Super Eight games should see
him in the runs.
As for the bowlers they were tight in the game against the
Aussies,but conceded too many runs against the Windies. Spinner Ajantha
Mendis has been the most consistent and the batsmen are finding it
difficult to read him,off his hands and off the pitch.
True, Pakistan have a fine set of cricketers but that is on paper.
They showed that they have it in them to hit back,like they did against
the Netherlands to stay in the action after losing to England. But man
to man the Lankans are the better team and that is how they must
endeavour to stay.
This is how the Super Eight games would be played: June 12 Pakistan v
Sri Lanka India v West Indies - Lordís June 13 West Indies v South
Africa, New Zealand v Pakistan - Kennington Oval June 14 Ireland v Sri
Lanka - India v England - Lordís June 15 Pakistan v Ireland, England v
West Indies - Kennington Oval. June 16 New Zealand v Sri Lanka, South
Africa v India - Trent Bridge,
Lordís Cricket Ground,