Sri Lankans: The king-makers or Kings themselves?

Sri Lankans: The king-makers or Kings themselves?

Post by vigne.. » Wed, 04 Mar 1992 02:48:46

        Sri Lanka doubled their number of all time World Cup victories on
March 2 when they defeated South Africa.  Sri Lanka appeared in all World
Cup games, in 1975 on invitation, 1979 as the ICC champion and after that
as a test playing nation.  In  last four World Cups, Sri Lanka  played 18
games and won in two.  A game against West Indies was declared  abandoned,
incidently that WAS the only abandoned game in the World Cup history.  In
this WC Sri Lanka played four games and they have already won two of them.
They lost to New Zealand and the game against India was declared abandoned.

        Sri Lankans are well known for their ability when they bat second.
This time also they maintain that name, won both the games when they were
given a target. They reached the target of 313 against Zimbabwe, a record
for a chasing team. Lankans improved their chasing record which they esta-
blished in 1983 (Pak 338/5 - Sri Lanka 288/9).  Previous record was 276/4
by Sri Lanka against Australia (328/5) in WC 1975.

        Sri Lanka  is playing as an underdog in this WC.  The team  feels
no pressure and plays a positive game. Opener Roshan Mahanama scored half
centuries in all of his three appearances.  Middle order left arm batsman
former captain Arjuna Ranatunga played  two masterly innings to make sure
the Lankan victory.  He has two undefeted half centuries against his name.
Sri Lankan batting order has been blessed with a  mixture of left (Asanka
Gurusinghe, Sanath Jayasuriya, Ruwan Kalpage) and right (Aravinda de Silva
Hashan Tillekaratne, Athula Samarasekara) combination.  Sanath and Hashan
shone well against Waqar, Aquip, Akram, Imran of Pakistan. A major contri-    
bution is awited in this WC from them.  Sri Lanka is THE worst victim  in
this WC.  In addition to their  hectic schedule, injury  problems trouble
Lankans.  Their strike bowler Rumesh Ratnayake, who got 7 Pak batsmen for
41 runs (record is 7/40 A Javed of Pak v Ind) in a warm up game in Austra-
lia just before the WC is out of action and opening batsman Athula Samara-
sekara (a part-time bowler too) is out after New Zealand match. He scored
75 runs against Zimbabwe.  Lankan bowling  is arguably the  weakest among
other WC participants:  they applied 8  bowlers in their game against New
Zealand.  However lion hearted Lankans are still up and fighting.

        Out of eight games, Lankans have completed four with 2-1-1 record.
They have to  face semi-final favourites, Australia, England, West Indies
and Pakistan next.  In 1983 World Cup Zimbabwe was the king maker, beaten
Australia to throw them out of semi-finals.  That role would be played by
Lankans this time. In a way, with a good performance and some luck, there
exists a chance for Lanka to enter the semi-final round for the first time.  
Well, only a few more days to go........

To play....

v Australia    Mar 07  Adelaide
v England      Mar 09  Ballarat (Aus)
v West Indies  Mar 13  Berri (Aus)
v Pakistan     Mar 15  Perth

Umass, Mar 02