Sri Lanka cricket

Great match today, but a real shame the Kiwis won. There was a great deal of fuss about the run-out of Grant Elliott, who collided with Sidebottom going for a quick single. You can read about that on Cricinfo.

The Kiwis got all self-righteous, jumping up and down about the “spirit of cricket”, and kicking up a real stink. Daniel Vettori was apologetic about his team’s behaviour, after Collingwood said he may have made a mistake not calling Elliott back. I’m not sure Vettori would have been diplomatic had his side lost.

What got me though, was that it was not long ago that the Kiwis were completely unapologetic when Brendon McCullum ran out Muralitharan when he left his ground to congratulate Kumar Sangakkara on making a hundred. On that occasion Kiwi captain Stephen Fleming said he was happy with McCullum’s actions. It is somewhat hypocritical for them to kick up so much fuss about today’s happenings.

Seems like one-way-streets exist on both sides of the Tasman Sea.

The offending event:


I was going to use the word poor. Cricinfo however has got closer to the mark with pathetic. England have been bowled out for 81 after Sri Lanka posted the best part of 500. Shocking.

I feel slightly numb.

Prior goes

I’ve been to Kandy. Nice enough place, but for the fact that on the tour of Sri Lanka I was doing – which coincided with the final test of the 2005 Ashes series – the hotel we stayed at didn’t have Star TV Asia, which meant I missed out on seeing any of days 3 and 4 of England’s triumphant draw. Anyhow, I did see some Sri Lankan dancing, visited the Temple of the Tooth, some botanical gardens and (particlarly impressively) picked up a made-to-measure pure silk suit (fashioned overnight to my specifications) for less than £70.

Now, I am guessing that Alistair Cook doesn’t share my generally positive view of the place, as he managed to be dismissed in the first over of each innings and to deflect a Jayasuria smash into his face. Ian Bell, who at least scored runs in the first innings, may also be having affection issues with Kandy, as his dropped catch off Sangakkara meansthat Sri Lanka have been able to post a (seemingly) unchaseable total.

Despite Murali’s record braking, it seems as though Sangakkara may be difference in this match. England have to bat through day 5 for a draw. It’ll take an almight effort to do that.

First up, big congrats to Muttiah Muralitharan for retaining the most test wickets record. Am sure there will be plenty said by Australian correspondents to diminish this achievement, and I look forward to a “chucker” versus the “drug cheat” discussion at a later stage. For the record, TVC has no issues with Murali’s bowling action, or the fact that Shane Warne took a banned diuretic to aid his recovery from a shoulder injury.

However, TVC is a touch concerned about how the Test in Kandy is shaping up. Should Sri Lanka post England anything more than 200 to chase in the final innings we could be struggling.


Apologies to regular readers for the lack of posts recently, I am afraid that with England not in action, and the rather obvious nature of what cricket has been played, I have been less than inspired to commit fingers to keyboard.
However, things are on the up. Am excited about the prospect of the England v Sri Lanka test series, particularly as England need to start re-establishing its test credentials.
Was delighted that Matthew Hoggard has performed well in the warm-ups and that most of the batsmen have had some time in the middle.
Given how poor the Kiwis were in South Africa recently, I would expect us to win that series, however Sri Lanka will be the big challenge. Murali will once again be the deciding factor. Nullify him and England could enjoy a very good winter indeed.

As Bumble says, it is very very difficult to win a series in Sri Lanka, especially after losing the first match. England have never won a series in Sri Lanka before. And now England has beaten the World Cup runners-up in their own backyard. The first time in twenty years England have won a major one day series on the sub-continent. Phenomenal.

Kevin Pietersen, poor in the series so far, scored 63 not out (big match player, not a bad thing), and man-of-the-match Alistair Cook 80, to see England home after England’s bowlers restricted Sri Lanka to an underpar score. Jayawardene praised England’s bowling up front, big praise is due to Sidebottom, Broad and Anderson, who have kept Sri Lanka’s top four completely under wraps all series.

“Everybody’s put a lot of hard work and effort into winning,” said Collingwood. “A special mention to the bowlers today, a great effort. All the boys have been superb from day one.”

Andrew Miller in Cricinfo has written an excellent summary.

Man-of-the-match Alistair Cook

Tremendous, England have beaten Sri Lanka in another ODI and now lead the series 2-1. Who’d have thought that Graeme Swann would be providing the star turn? A decent bowler, tidy batsmen and real character, Swann could well be bowling himself into a chance of playing some test cricket at some stage, especially given the weakness in England’s batting of late. It may only happen should England play two spinners and it’d be great to see him bowling in tandem with Monty.

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