Sri Lanka’s batting lineup made the weather heavy for nothing and it seemed, Zimbabwe would beat them again. But finally, Sri Lanka have won a match and they are still breathing in this tournament.
Over 9.1, Tendai Chatara To Upul Tharanga: OUT, oh my, that’s some terrible shot selection. Tries to cut from right in front of the stumps. It has cut in from a back of a length and come in so sharply that it almost took the glove. Inside edge and onto the stumps.
Over 21.5, Muzarabani to Kusal Perera: OUT, Murray, the sub-keeper, snaps up the outside edge. Good length and angling away wide outside off, Kusal Perera has a lazy waft at it a long way away from the body and nicks it behind. No fifty for him and his fitness is under the cloud as well.
Over 23.6, Muzarabani to Kusal Mendis: OUT, Kusal Mendis shuffles a fair way across off stump and exposes the leg stump. He grants Muzarabani free access to hit the leg stump. The bowler sends the leg stump cartwheeling. The batsman aimed to clip it away to the leg side but made no contact. No fifty for Mendis as well. Both set batsmen are gone.
25.3, Muzarabani to Niroshan Dickwella: OUT, slashes at a short and wide delivery and hang on, he’s got a clear edge here. Oh, dear! Sri Lanka making this way harder for themselves. It was turning out to be a cruise. This was really not a delivery that deserved a wicket.
Source: ESPNcricinfo live ball-by-ball commentary
What do the above dismissals indicate?
It’s nothing but a lacklustre attitude while executing shots.
Upul Tharanga, who has played 221 One-day International matches so far, chose to cut a ball right in front of the stumps. A batsman who has 221 matches of experience under his belt attempts to execute a shot which was needless when his team needed one of their most experienced campaigners to exhibit composure rather than poor shot selections. His nothing-cut-shot left Sri Lanka lose an early wicket inside the first power-play.
Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis stabilized the situation with maturity and just when the Sri Lankan dressing room started to relax a bit, yet again, madness intervened.
Big question mark now hanging over the mental strength of Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella. Should they be let go back to playing first class cricket for a few more years???
— Kelum Wijesinghe (@KelumWijesinghe) January 21, 2018
Perera chased a wide one unnecessarily to gift a catch to the sub-wicketkeeper followed by Mendis, who left everyone thinking for what reason he shuffled across the stumps too much to expose his leg stumps! The result was, Mendis’ leg stump went for a walk down the Mirpur ground, while Mendis, made a long walk back to the pavilion with a bemused face.
One over later, Sri Lanka’s new poster boy, Niroshan Dickwella slashed hard at another wide delivery outside off as if he was playing gully cricket in Old Dhaka and he was desperately needed to hit the ball by hook or by crook to impress someone to make his day eventful. But such sort of desperation has no value in international cricket. Dickwella put his team in a huge trouble.
A batting unit without composure
From 103 for 1, Sri Lanka slumped to 117 for 4. The importance of winning the crucial moments and strengthen the gained momentum were devalued in the twinkle of an eye. All of a sudden, yet another Sri Lankan defeat against Zimbabwe seemed a great possibility.
Only Sri Lanka can make chasing a target of 199 look like chasing 300 🙄 #SLvZIM
— Rukhshan Hameem (@rukhshan) January 21, 2018
But thankfully, Dinesh Chandimal and the in-form Thisara Perera did not let things go uglier and resuscitated the tattered innings with calm and composure to register Sri Lanka’s first win in 2018.
Over the last couple of years, along with bowling and fielding, Sri Lanka’s batting has made them suffer a lot. The major problem has been their shot selection which is needless strokes most of the times. Just when a Tharanga or Perera or Mendis starts to get settled at the crease, they tend to dish out a poor shot and trigger a brain fade which becomes horribly contagious.
Sri Lanka won yes…
— #CA Praveen (@SLCpissek) January 21, 2018
The batting display in the second and third match of the ongoing Tri-series in Bangladesh was nothing but a story self-destruction. The batters were only to blame themselves and no one else for their poor choice of shot selection.
The Lankan batters would look good while scoring 30s and 35s and after that, their innings meets either a tragic or comical end. When their innings of the 30s and 35s require occupying the crease, strike rotation and controlled aggression, they, perhaps start to think, time has come to exhibit adventurous strokes and thus, they have been inviting unnecessary troubles – the outcomes have only been disgraceful.
— ICC (@ICC) January 21, 2018
In the all-important match against Zimbabwe today, Sri Lanka exhibited the right kind of aggressive intent on the field while bowling and fielding, Their bowlers, especially the pacers used the short balls effectively. Their line and length have been more attacking than the previous matches while Sandakan provided the X-factor in the middle overs which Sri Lanka lacked in the earlier matches. Then, most importantly, the Sri Lankan fielders dropped few catches which helped them to restrict their recent nemesis under 200-plus score.
It should have been an easy chase, but the top and middle-order’s mind-boggling batting display almost ruined Sri Lanka’s further chances in this tournament.
Sri Lanka won at last, but the batting is needed to be more disciplined.