SRI LANKA OUTPLAY WEST INDIES WHILST JAYEWARDENA IS ENJOYING A RUN FEAST
At Bridgetown Barbados Mahela Jayewardena and Kumar Sangakkara blasted the West Indian bowling attack to help Sri Lanka record the highest score of the tournament so far, 195 for 3 wickets in their allotted 20overs. The stadium was set ablaze when Jayewardena with his immaculate stroke play made an unbeaten 98 in 56 balls with 9 well timed boundaries and 4 massive sixes. Mahela Jayewardena has proved to the cricketing world that twenty twenty version of the game has room for classy stroke play, precise timing and traditional orthodox cricketing shots.
So far his lowest total in three games is 81. This goes to prove the dominance of Jayewardena, who is currently rated as one of the best batsmen in world cricket. My memories go back to the statement former Sri Lankan superstar Aravinda made at a press conference “ Jayewardena is one of the classiest batsmen I have seen.”
Kumar Sangakkara who was given a life by Chris Gayle at first slip off the bowling of Roach when he was on 1 run, made the Caribbean’s pay for their woeful catching abilities when he matched his former captain shot for shot by scoring 68 runs in 49 balls with 5 well timed boundaries and 3 big sixes. The right hand, left hand combination put on 166 runs for the 2nd wicket which is also a tournament record.
The West Indian bowling attack looked mediocre to the eyes of the two Sri Lankan Batsmen who started scoring runs at will, proving their depth and talent in their batting ability.
West Indies will be disappointed with their fielding effort. They dropped as many as 5 catches and a stumping opportunity. Roach started proceedings by bowling two good overs with the new ball, but the rest of the bowling was much to be desired. The Caribbean’s must learn that bowling short and giving width to Asian batsmen is very dangerous.
Chasing a target of 196 the hosts were never in the hunt. They were strangled after the dismissal of Chandrapaul and Chris Gayle inside the power play overs, while the rest of the batsmen looked very uncomfortable against the quality bowling dished out by Kulasekera, Mathews, Muralitheran, Mendis and Malinga. Ajantha Mendis and Lasith Malinga took 3 wickets each to restrict the home team to 138 for 8 wickets, thus giving Sri Lanka an emphatic 57 run win.
Sri Lanka will now play the mighty Aussies on Sunday at the same venue. The focus level in all three departments of the game has been good for Sri Lanka so far in the Super 8 League. They will need to be consistent to advance further in this tournament.