Thursday, March 29, 2007

will loss to south africa cost us dear?

short answer is yes, for the long answer read on

sri lankan team showed lot of character in not giving up, but it was only due to malinga's near miracle that match was so close.

it would have been better if our tail enders scored. they were after all 208 for 6 at end of 48th over. instead of getting the quite possible 10-15 runs, they scored 1 run while giving away four wickets. on the bright side such a collapse is unlikely to be repeated in the same way soon. imo (as i said before the world cup) the greater concern is mahela jayawardene's lack of runs. we will not go all the way if he continues to fail (i am not counting his 85 against bermuda). so far we have got away with this because other batsmen have been performing alternatively. in fact everyone except mahela had contributed, but given the number of games it is inevitable that in one of the matches others will fail and he will be called upon to perform. will he be able to? that is why he should start performing and get into form before it becomes essential. (btw to be clear i am commenting only on his form as a batsman, he is excellent as a captain )

i will say it again, if he does not get one 50 or several 30-40 run innings ( not counting innings against lesser teams) soon we will not go all the way. period. at least he tries to play positively. let us hope he will succeed.

implications of the loss
anyway this post is about implications from our loss to south africa.

in the first place we lost a great and not to be repeated opportunity to kick the south africans out of the tournament. as i said before if they lost they would have been forced to win the remaining five games to qualify for semi finals. given their history, that was a big ask with their new zealand, west indies, and england, games still to be played. now they can afford to lose one match and still qualify. so they will now almost certainly qualify. furthermore we will probably meet them ( instead of new zealand or west indies) in the semifinals if we qualify. all that could have been avoided.

secondly we increased the pressure on ourselves. one more loss and we will have to win all the rest in conditions that will probably not suit us. if we won this we would have almost certainly qualified for semi finals. now the equations are not so favorable. if new zealand continues to perform as they are doing (in fact if we do not go all the way i will back new zealand to win the world cup, injuries permitting), they will qualify. australia will certainly qualify. england probably won't (hopefully). so the last slot will be decided between us and west indies. if new zealand wins against west indies tomorrow and we win against wi on sunday we will still have some justified hope. if we don't we are almost certainly out. if new zealand loses to wi but we win against wi, whole thing will be wide open.

thirdly we lost the winning momentum. (however malinga's four in four and other's support will certainly help to keep the spirits up). another loss, coming consecutively, on sunday will probably be irredeemably hard.

all the more reason to win against indies on sunday.


Anonymous said...

I think you are too pessimistic. Lot of cricket is still to played well into April and anything can happen. This is just the second match of Super Eight stage.

ddm said...

mahela's captaincy has been fabulous for a while now, but in yesterday's game i thought he lost the plot a bit. first up he bowled farveez for an extended spell which gave the momentum to SA. The tactics to smith wasn't clever either, bowling straight with sq. leg back on the fence wasn't smart. it would have been better to bowl at him outside off where he is less comfortable. then when murali and sanath came on he bowled them with 4 in the ring. this played right into the saffer's hands bc they could get singles off murali without any pressure, specially when gibbs first started if we had at least 6 in the ring with deep square, deep mid wicket back and long on back it would have created pressure. a breakthrough at that stage and we'd have been right back in the game. sorry for the rant and armchair cricket!

Hera said...

What ddm said. Having just 4 in the ring for Murali was.. illogical to say the least. But lordy did Malinga have them on their knees (and me on mine) at that unbelievable last stage. Sorry, just had to repeat the obvious. :)

Anonymous said...

I cant figure out the difference between you and that voice of colombo guy. What has gotten into you morons? Spaming Kottu with world cup all day and night. You two used to be spaming Kottu with all that racist crap. Now this

jiffyspaceman said...

my suggestions for sl. drop maharoof, give malinga bandara a go. and secondly, get the tail enders to practice hitting the ball. hitting, NOT smart alek wrist work. grab the bat with both hands and make CONTACT. that should be the aim of the tail. pathetic performance yet again from the front order, but i fear there is nothing to be done about that now. NOW is too late.

ddm, the comment about maharoof it spot on. i don't understand it myself. a similar thing occured in the 2005-6 series against aus in the second final at syd. admittedly there's a very fine line here between giving the bowler a chance and doing whats best for the team. personally i'm not a great advocate of maharoof even being on the side. it appears to be an admission of a failing top order to have him come in at the middle.

as mentioned the only positive to come out of this game was malinga's superman effort at the death. this certainly puts my mind at ease somewhat about our capacity to defend totals. chasing them down is quite another story. let's just hope for our sake that we bat first.

niro said...

i guess i have to go with what ddm said. it may be true that mahela is a great captain. but with a low score on his hand to defend he seemed to have missed several tricks y'day. first of all, i thought he didn't attack enough after the first wicket fell and seemed to follow a rather conservative approach. but the game was as such if we were going to win, it was by taking wickets. and at the last minute, when the last two batsmen were facing the ball he went on with one slip and not a strong attack. anyway, it's easy for us to say. we don't know what's going on their mind in that sort of a tense situation.

however, i guessed with the pace attack SA got SL would have given a chance to atapattu and strengthen the top order and leave out arnold.

snut, i too feel that u are being a little pessimistic about the whole tournament; we are still at the beginning of the super 8, the team spirit is very high and i think we have great prospects for the coming up month. So, cheer up chief :)

btw, someone seems to be pissed of seeing world cup all over kottu :)

Keshi said...

GO SL! :)

how have ya been?