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Lankans have it in them to win CB series

The Sri Lankan cricketers are on the verge of an epoch making tour of Australia. They have once before entered the Tri series tourney finals here in 2005/2006, but never won. But this time round they are nicely poised to savor the sweet smell of success by bashing the hosts and flying back proudly holding aloft the Commonwealth Bank Trophy.

With that confidence boosting victory in the second of three games here on Tuesday, the Lankans have the Aussies groggy and on the ropes and now all what they have to do is to deliver the knockout punch and make the Aussies kiss the canvass.

But one thing the Lankans must guard against is complacency. Complacency has led to the best of teams losing. They must also not bask in the glory of having completely annihilated the Aussies.

Great determination

They must take the field today, with great determination, stay positive at all times and play the ruthless cricket that they have been playing in winning game after game.

But the Lankans were lucky to win considering that their butter-fingered fielders dropped six regulation catches. Never before as such disgraceful catching been seen in the history of Lankan cricket.

That they still went to win was a miracle. That is why it is said that wining is 10 per cent skill and 90 per cent luck. They can treat the disgraceful catching as a bad day in the office and not repeat.

Not so long ago when former Aussie cricketer Trevor Chappell was our fielding coach we were the best fielding side in the world.

Poor catching

On the poor catching Jayawardena said they can now laugh over it. But admitted it could have cost them the match and the series.

It is best that if Jayawardena wins the toss, he sends the Aussies in, because like the Elephant House blurb on soda goes – they are the kings of the chase Jayawardena’s clever and intelligent

captaincy will tilt the scales in Lanka’s favour. It was his move to open the bowling with off spinner Dilshan that upset the Aussie.

The Lankans are likely to go in with the same match winning combination. But with the match being played on the same wicket on which Tuesday’s game was played might have something in it for spinners.

After having a look at the wicket and if that is the case, the selectors might be tempted to go in with an extra spinner in Sachitra Senanayake. But that will depend on the morning of the match, the

wicket and the conditions.

Second century

Jayawardena and Dilshan who made his second century in the series must do a repeat and make a big opening for batsmen of the caliber of Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Upul Tharanga, Farveez Maharoof and the new arrival Chamara Kapugedera to revel.

Dilshan, now that he has been relieved of the captaincy burden is batting with a lot of confidence and freedom.

The bowlers now that Lasith Malinga has got back to his wicket talking ways, getting his feared Yorkers on target and Nuwan Kulasekera, Farveez Maharoof Tillakaratne Dilshan and Rangana Herath, need not bend their backs but must bowl wicket to wicket for success.

The fielders must contribute by being excellent on the ground and in the air and supporting their limited bowling attack that is sans Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera.

The Aussies are no doubt wounded tigers. Wounded tigers could be dangerous and the Lankans must be wary of a backlash. Skipper Michael Clarke and David Warner are nursing injuries and are not fully fit.

Attacking stroke play

Although both scored centuries, it was apparent that they did not have the freedom of movement and could not give free rein to their natural attacking stroke play.

Warner could not unwind and play the big shots he played in Brisbane where he made his first of two back to back centuries. He to an extent slowed the rate of scoring. He is nursing a groin injury.

Clarke was carrying a back injury and with a tour of the Caribbean next week, should not have risked aggravating the injury. The manner in which he was run out proved how serious his injury is. He is not likely to play in this crucial encounter which means Shane Watson will lead. The Aussies have enjoyed a wonderful summer of cricket and would not want to spoil it by losing the tri-series.

Fast bowler James Pattinson will also not play suffering from a sore body.

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