Afghanistan give Sri Lanka a minor scare
Match 12 of the ICC World Cup at Dunedin was an interesting one. It just showed that the newer sides in the world cup can put even the biggest of the names in cricket under lot of pressure. Srilanka, the 2011 World Cup finalists had a tough time winning against the Afghans.
They did certainly open their account in the World cup by winning by 4 wickets, but not the way they would have liked.
A glorious shot Source
Afghanistan was put into bat and they put up a score of 232 on board, which was below par considering the opposition was Srilanka. It looked like an easy chase for Srilanka but the heavens had something different in mind.
Srilanka lost their top 3 for just 18 runs which included their most experienced batsmen, Sangakkara and Dilshan. Soon they lost their 4th wicket and were toiling at 51/4. Jayawardene and Mathhews came to Lanka’s aid and looked to take the game away from Afghans. But, there was still a twist in the tale. Jayawardene and Matthews both fell within a space of 5 deliveries when 55 was still needed. But, the inexperienced Afghani bowlers couldn’t capitalize on the breakthroughs and Perera took the game away by smacking 47 runs of 26 balls.
Jayawardene showcasing his class Source
Mahela Jayawardene was awarded the Man of the Match for his century which came under pressure. Here is what the two captains had to say in the post match presentation –
Mathews: ‘Relieved, but I thought Afghanistan put us under a lot of pressure and we had to fight really hard until the last ball was bowled. To be honest, we need to raise our standards to compete against the top teams. It was a see-saw kind of a game. They started off brilliantly and then we pulled it back. They had been putting pressure right throughout the game and they have been playing brilliant cricket. So, credit should go to them. I was actually struggling to time the ball, but I knew that I had to stick there with Mahela to get some kind of partnership going and then for Thisara to come in and blast those 47 runs was unbelievable. We try and use Dimuth (Karunaratne) as a floater. When a wicket falls early on, we try and use him up the order. We’ve got heaps of experience, we have got Dilshan, Sangakkara and Mahela, so we can utilise them in pressure situations.’
Nabi: ‘We started very well, but we were 30-40 runs short on that pitch. We bowled well for the first 10-15 overs and put pressure on the Sri Lankan guys. Also, I think we missed a few run-outs at the start. It’s quite tough in a tight game and the boys played really well. Maybe, they batted well and again proved that they were a big team. The way Jayawardene and Mathews played, with discipline and did not take pressure and also they took the game away from us. Hopefully, we will play well in the next game. Dawlat, Hamid and Shapoor bowled brilliantly. Hopefully, they will be fit for the next game.’
Sri Lanka celebrate fall of a wicket Source
SriLanka need to pull up their socks if they want to win this World Cup. They have bigger challenges up ahead and need to sort out their batting woes quickly to come out with flying colours.
They face Bangladesh next on 26th of February.