Marlon Fernandopulle reporting from Sharjah
Sri Lanka skipper Sanath Jayasuriya blamed his batsmen for his teams
shocking defeat at the hands of New Zealand in Tuesday's day night game in
the Sharjah Championship tournament.
Chasing 219 to record their second successive win Sri Lanka folded up for
207 in the last over,loosing their last five wickets for 34 runs in the
process. "Our top order batsmen batted badly and played without much
responsibility.They got off to good starts but failed to build any
substantial partnerships",said Jaysuriya soon after his team skidded to a 11
"Our bowlers did a good job to restrict New Zealand to 218 and Muralitharan
in particular was simply outstanding. He not only captured 5 wickets but
restricted the Kiwis by giving away just 9 runs in his 10 overs ,but our
batsmen failed to deliver the goods which caused us the match", said a
dejected Lankan Captain.
Apart from Sanath Jaysuriya and Russell Arnold the rest of Sri Lanka's top
order batsmen gifted their wickets offering poor strokes. Kumar Sangakkara
(23) and Mahela Jayawardene (38) got off to good starts but a sudden lapse
of concentartion saw them hole out to the deep. Atapattu (61) who survived
three dropped chances went in similar fashion while Romesh Kauwithrana paid
the price for playing across the line.
Kaluwithrana who has already lost his test place failed again.The wicket
keeper who has a sound technique and the talent to go with it throws his
wicket away very often much to the disgust of everyone. Upul Chandana and
Chaminda Vaas who have earlier proved their mettle with the bat followed
their seniors playing without any responsibility and not serving the cause.
Although Sri Lanka's batting looks brittle there is little or nothing that
could be done to strengthen it. The only batsman remaining in the squad is T
M Dilshan who is not the best player to bat in the middle. Thus the Lankan
team management will be at crossroads left with no options but to play the
Jayasuriya's bowling changes also came in for a lot of criticisam.He cut
short Murali's second spell when the Kiwis were 159/7 with the spinner
having two more overs to complete his quota of 10 overs.With the intention
of bowling the Kiwis out Jayasuriya should have continued with the off
Rookie fast bowler Charitha Buddhika was brought into the attack for the
first time in the game for 2 overs at the dying stages of the game when
Chaminda Vaas had a few more overs remaining.
To make matters worst Vaas was came on in the last over only and went for 18
runs which made the difference at the end.
Jayasuriya and the rest of the Lankans especially their batsmen will have to
put on their thinking caps on and play with much more responsibility if the
team is to make headway in this triangular.
Tuesday night's defeat is good early wake up call for the Sri Lankans who
should learn from their mistakes. If not ,it is going to be an uphill task
for the Lankans to book a place in next week's final. Today (Thursday) New
Zealand will meet Pakistan