India v Sri Lanka, CB series, Hobart February 28, 2012

An off day for captain Jayawardene

Sri Lanka's captain erred in his use of Lasith Malinga and in the timing of his Powerplay
94

You had to double-check to make sure it was Mahela Jayawardene captaining Sri Lanka today. India's chase of 321 in 36.4 overs was the quickest successful one of a 300-plus total in ODI cricket. Yes, India had nothing to lose. Yes, their batsmen were in the zone. Yes, this was a flat pitch. Sri Lanka, though, made blunders.

Jayawardene is a shrewd captain. Often he defies modern captaincy formulas, and attacks to win. He takes wickets to slow runs down. Tonight, he backed off, delayed the bowling Powerplay, and left India 10 overs of Powerplay out of their last 13. Even India were not expecting that. Their plan was to take the batting Powerplay immediately after Sri Lanka were done with theirs in the 20th over, but when they saw Sri Lanka take a backward step, the batsmen played on Sri Lanka's, and kept on playing risk-free cricket to allow themselves a cluster of Powerplay overs towards the end.

And then there was the use of Lasith Malinga. He didn't have a great day, we all know. In fact his economy-rate tonight was the worst for any bowler who has bowled five overs in an innings. It wasn't always like that. He had made a superb comeback with a change of ends after his first three overs went for 28 runs. In his fourth, he took out Sachin Tendulkar.

Jayawardene took him off immediately, and left all his remaining overs for the end. You just don't do that. No matter how good a death bowler, you hardly see any captain using him from 38th to the 50th over. It is just too big a risk. Moreover, his non-use of Malinga in the middle was un-Jayawardene again. He wants wickets in middle overs to slow runs down. Here he was waiting for a wicket to fall.

"That [delaying the Powerplay] was a decision because I wanted to bowl my spinner but they were going at nine an over, and I couldn't just take the Powerplay then," Jayawardene said. India were 2 for 118 at the end of the 15th over, the time they would usually take the Powerplay. The last five overs had brought them just 21 overs. So it wasn't like India were in top gear then.

"I wanted to take the Powerplay around the 20th or the 22nd over, that was my idea," Jayawardene said. "Just delay it by five overs. They still went at eight-nine an over. Then I just had to delay it, thinking I could get a wicket or maybe they'll still have to take the risk, and with the field being back I could get more wickets. That was the idea.

"I was going to delay it just for few overs, just to settle things down, slow it down a bit more, but it didn't work today. They batted really well throughout. They had momentum. They knew they could take risk, and they took. And paid off for them." Jayawardene usually wouldn't have done that. Shows pressure gets to the best of them.

In 40 overs, I had six of Malinga's left. Once the ball gets a little older, that's when he gets more effective. A bit more reverse, and make it harder. I don't know. That's the thing. Lots of ifs and buts. So easy to say, 'I could have done this, I could have done that.'
Mahela Jayawardene

It didn't help that they lost Farveez Maharoof to an injury. About the use of Malinga, Jayawardene said he wanted the ball to get older before bringing his best bowler back. "In 40 overs, I had six of him left," Jayawardene said. "Once the ball gets a little older, that's when he gets more effective. A bit more reverse, and make it harder. I don't know. That's the thing. Lots of ifs and buts. So easy to say, 'I could have done this, I could have done that.' That's the way the game goes."

There was another mistake Jayawardene would have made had he got the chance. Knowing India would dearly love to chase tonight, Jayawardene said he would have batted first had he won the toss. It was a flat pitch all right, but the thin bowling that India had, you would back yourself to get 80% of what they scored. In the end, though, the batsmen did their job.

"We felt that with runs on the board, it was always going to be tough," Jayawardene said. "Couldn't have asked for anything better than that. We batted really well. We were batting for a 50-over game, as any other day we executed a very good gameplan there. With wickets in hand, I thought 320 was a very good score. Just that they batted really well. We probably didn't bowl that well. Didn't handle situations well. And lost the game."

Jayawardene the captain had an off day after six pretty good ones. Perhaps the 40-over scenario got him. Perhaps the quality of batting did. Perhaps his bowlers let him down badly. The luxury, though, is, he has another shot left on Friday when he will need to put one across Australia to enter the finals.

"We have played good cricket, we have played very good cricket with these two teams," Jayawardene said of the game against Australia. "We have beaten them twice. Obviously we can compete with them in these conditions, which is great. So still it's a tough task. We are playing one of the top teams. They are in form as well. The incentive is a final. So there is a lot for our guys, a lot of motivation to do that. Knowing you have to win a game of cricket to be in the final. To see whether we have the hunger and the passion and the quality to do that." To add to the hunger and passion, the usual shrewd and aggressive Jayawardene wouldn't hurt either.

Edited by Siddarth Ravindran

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hasitha81 on March 1, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    It was just a good display of batting by Indian team lead by Kholi. Don't get disappointed SL team, you have one match to go. Keep your focus and get into the finals!!! Good luck Mahela and the team SL. Cheers!!!

  • on March 1, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    Malinga & Mahela shot down by a rampaging Virat "Bazooka" innings, Crib or not-SL have hardly had a good record against India & have normally failed to put anything across India in any major tournament. History repeats itself-PERIOD!

  • SLC-2020 on March 1, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    Cont..my previous post, which gave a summarized analysis of happenings at a glance (from 21st over to 36th). This ODI would be registered as the most "unreal" match in SL cricket history. Many of us are still trying to see some sense in following strategies of cricket-hardened professional MJ ? 1-WHY DIDN'T HE TAKE THE BOWLING POWER PLAY AROUND 15TH OVR (At that stage RR7.8 and 11th to 15th had given just 21runs @ 4runs per over) 2-WHY WAITED UNTIL 28th TO TAKE IT, GIVING INDIA STRAIGHT 10 OVRS AT THE END to reach boundaries merrily off pacemen, without even trying spin or medium pace.? 3-WHY HERATH WAS TAKEN OUT OF ATTACK COMPLETELY after the good (4 overs) spell he had...INFLICTING A SURGE IN RRR up to 9.6 (which resulted in Gambir's runout while trying to push the score). He was introduced very LATE at 20th and taken off at 27th. The last over given to him yielded just 3 Runs.! 4-WHY he underutilised the most economical spinner and effective medium pacemen? BIZZARRE :(((( bizarre?

  • on February 29, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    @ Fast_Track_Bully dude i was talking about successive matches not from 1971... Lol @ Sivaa Saanth RS dude... who is gonna let u play another game... ur team fail to do that from 8 games (i know u won few but not enough)... there are rules in tournaments .... may be in india u can change rules in favor of ur team this is international cricket.... u may be not conceding 300 + runs often thats funny... may b dats y they regarded as the best bowling attack in the tournament ... just because u won this must win match in a flat track dont think u r capable of doing it every where... @ Fast_Track_Bully check on this guys comment on me as a answer of yours...

  • SLC-2020 on February 29, 2012, 20:34 GMT

    <Per-20th-7r)Rq161/20ov- 8.0 Rrr><Her-21st-7r)Rq154/19ov- 8.1 Rrr> <Kul-22nd-5r)Rq149/18ov-8.2 Rrr><Her-23rd-4r)-Rq145/17ov-8.5 Rrr> <Kul-24th-8r)Rq137/16ov- 8.5 Rrr><Her-25th-6r)-Rq131/15ov-8.7 Rrr> <Mat-26th-6r)Rq125/14ov-8.9 Rrr><Her-27th-3r)Rq122/13ov-9.3 Rrr * ** SL Bowling PP start - G Gambhir run out - while TRYING TO CATCHUP with ESCALATING RRR - pressure was just starting to build > <Mat-28th-9r)Rq113/12ov- 9.4 Rrr><Kul-29th-7r)Rq106/11ov-9.6 RRR> <MAL-30th-15r)Rq91/10ov- 9.1 Rrr ***TURNING POINT-continue with pacemen to end while even Malinga was having his worst ODI economy rate at this stage (conceding 54r in 5ov)*** STRANGELY NOT CALLED most economical HERATH, MAHAROOF or MATHEWS for a single over while a TOTAL of 16 ovs remaining on them, and RELEASED PRESSURE.! <Kul31st-18r)Rq73/9ov-8.1 Rrr -Bowling PP Finished<---------------------- <(Per-32nd-9r)-Rq64/8ov- 8.0 Rrr- Batting PP Taken<------------------- <MAL-33rd-8r)56/7ov- 8.0 Rrr><Per-34-14r)42/6ov-7.0 Rrr> 35th (24r)

  • asirigamage on February 29, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    IF MAHAROOF WAS NOT INJURED AND BOWLING HIS NORMAL SPELL AND HE WILL TAKE KOHLIS WICKET WITH A SLOW BALL THATS A SURE, MAHAROOFS ABSENCE WAS THE PROBLEM FOR THE MAHELA. MAHAROOF CAN TAKE WICKETS AND HE CAN REDUCE THE RATE AT LEAST BIT. BUT ALL WENT VIRAT KOHLIS LUCK AND HI IS PLAYED BRILLIENT INNINGS. BAD LUCK SL ON THAT DAY. ANY WAY AS A CRICKET LOVER FANTASTIC MATCH FOR EVERY ONE

  • on February 29, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    Mahela this is a cricket man that why we like cricket.if u win loose we are with you.

  • on February 29, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Sri Lanka kept Aussies under control in the same ground by taking the pace off the ball and varying it. Were they relying too much on Malinga's yorkers which could go wrong on his off days which happens mostly at the wrong time? Is there some other reason?

  • zico123 on February 29, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    Kohli should tell himself he has the potential to be the best ODI and Test player in the world, he should show the same to the world

  • meastrostroke on February 29, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    I m praying the almighty for SL to lose :) #indian

  • hasitha81 on March 1, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    It was just a good display of batting by Indian team lead by Kholi. Don't get disappointed SL team, you have one match to go. Keep your focus and get into the finals!!! Good luck Mahela and the team SL. Cheers!!!

  • on March 1, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    Malinga & Mahela shot down by a rampaging Virat "Bazooka" innings, Crib or not-SL have hardly had a good record against India & have normally failed to put anything across India in any major tournament. History repeats itself-PERIOD!

  • SLC-2020 on March 1, 2012, 0:00 GMT

    Cont..my previous post, which gave a summarized analysis of happenings at a glance (from 21st over to 36th). This ODI would be registered as the most "unreal" match in SL cricket history. Many of us are still trying to see some sense in following strategies of cricket-hardened professional MJ ? 1-WHY DIDN'T HE TAKE THE BOWLING POWER PLAY AROUND 15TH OVR (At that stage RR7.8 and 11th to 15th had given just 21runs @ 4runs per over) 2-WHY WAITED UNTIL 28th TO TAKE IT, GIVING INDIA STRAIGHT 10 OVRS AT THE END to reach boundaries merrily off pacemen, without even trying spin or medium pace.? 3-WHY HERATH WAS TAKEN OUT OF ATTACK COMPLETELY after the good (4 overs) spell he had...INFLICTING A SURGE IN RRR up to 9.6 (which resulted in Gambir's runout while trying to push the score). He was introduced very LATE at 20th and taken off at 27th. The last over given to him yielded just 3 Runs.! 4-WHY he underutilised the most economical spinner and effective medium pacemen? BIZZARRE :(((( bizarre?

  • on February 29, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    @ Fast_Track_Bully dude i was talking about successive matches not from 1971... Lol @ Sivaa Saanth RS dude... who is gonna let u play another game... ur team fail to do that from 8 games (i know u won few but not enough)... there are rules in tournaments .... may be in india u can change rules in favor of ur team this is international cricket.... u may be not conceding 300 + runs often thats funny... may b dats y they regarded as the best bowling attack in the tournament ... just because u won this must win match in a flat track dont think u r capable of doing it every where... @ Fast_Track_Bully check on this guys comment on me as a answer of yours...

  • SLC-2020 on February 29, 2012, 20:34 GMT

    <Per-20th-7r)Rq161/20ov- 8.0 Rrr><Her-21st-7r)Rq154/19ov- 8.1 Rrr> <Kul-22nd-5r)Rq149/18ov-8.2 Rrr><Her-23rd-4r)-Rq145/17ov-8.5 Rrr> <Kul-24th-8r)Rq137/16ov- 8.5 Rrr><Her-25th-6r)-Rq131/15ov-8.7 Rrr> <Mat-26th-6r)Rq125/14ov-8.9 Rrr><Her-27th-3r)Rq122/13ov-9.3 Rrr * ** SL Bowling PP start - G Gambhir run out - while TRYING TO CATCHUP with ESCALATING RRR - pressure was just starting to build > <Mat-28th-9r)Rq113/12ov- 9.4 Rrr><Kul-29th-7r)Rq106/11ov-9.6 RRR> <MAL-30th-15r)Rq91/10ov- 9.1 Rrr ***TURNING POINT-continue with pacemen to end while even Malinga was having his worst ODI economy rate at this stage (conceding 54r in 5ov)*** STRANGELY NOT CALLED most economical HERATH, MAHAROOF or MATHEWS for a single over while a TOTAL of 16 ovs remaining on them, and RELEASED PRESSURE.! <Kul31st-18r)Rq73/9ov-8.1 Rrr -Bowling PP Finished<---------------------- <(Per-32nd-9r)-Rq64/8ov- 8.0 Rrr- Batting PP Taken<------------------- <MAL-33rd-8r)56/7ov- 8.0 Rrr><Per-34-14r)42/6ov-7.0 Rrr> 35th (24r)

  • asirigamage on February 29, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    IF MAHAROOF WAS NOT INJURED AND BOWLING HIS NORMAL SPELL AND HE WILL TAKE KOHLIS WICKET WITH A SLOW BALL THATS A SURE, MAHAROOFS ABSENCE WAS THE PROBLEM FOR THE MAHELA. MAHAROOF CAN TAKE WICKETS AND HE CAN REDUCE THE RATE AT LEAST BIT. BUT ALL WENT VIRAT KOHLIS LUCK AND HI IS PLAYED BRILLIENT INNINGS. BAD LUCK SL ON THAT DAY. ANY WAY AS A CRICKET LOVER FANTASTIC MATCH FOR EVERY ONE

  • on February 29, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    Mahela this is a cricket man that why we like cricket.if u win loose we are with you.

  • on February 29, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Sri Lanka kept Aussies under control in the same ground by taking the pace off the ball and varying it. Were they relying too much on Malinga's yorkers which could go wrong on his off days which happens mostly at the wrong time? Is there some other reason?

  • zico123 on February 29, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    Kohli should tell himself he has the potential to be the best ODI and Test player in the world, he should show the same to the world

  • meastrostroke on February 29, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    I m praying the almighty for SL to lose :) #indian

  • on February 29, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    I know mehela is a great person, but i never think this is natural. this must be investigated by ICC. even a child can understand this

  • buncers on February 29, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    A cynic would suspect wrong doing here. You could bet your house against India getting there with a bonus point - or perhaps not. After all Sri Lanka have not been paid for a while and India cricket have big bucks?

    Something to ponder. Mahela could not have done a worse job.

  • Diyan82 on February 29, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    Despite everything that happened and everyone having off days what I personally couldn't stand was Malinga's stupid grin after being hammered round the park……….so didn't find that amusing or funny.

  • on February 29, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    //"You just don't do that. No matter how good a death bowler, you hardly see any captain using him from 38th to the 50th over. It is just too big a risk."// - Oh pundits, I just adore your wisdom! wow! LOL!

  • on February 29, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    first of all to all lanksna chappel said this is not small ground is bigger than hobart and other grounds okk also lanka is a average team because india and aussie r not playing well so they looked as very good but rality india tokk match seriously and showed lankan is a below average in 25 overs lanka were just 100 in this track india bowlers nowled well than lankans dilshen scored slowest 150 after gleen turner lankan are out of tournament.

  • Harmony111 on February 29, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    Those Lankan fans who are saying that India won cos it was a flat wicket and a small ground take a big LOL from me. On the same ground you folks barely managed to chase 280 in 50 overs. And if it is not a big deal that India scored 321 runs in 37 overs then why couldn't Sri Lanka score more than 321 runs? They had full 50 overs after all !!! And now that Sri Lanka have lost the two times Dilshan has scored his personal best scores and when Sangakkara has scored centuries against India doesn't it mean that Dilshan and Sanga are selfish players who play for their records and not for the team? Also, this also proves that Dilshan and Sanga are mere flat track bullies as Dilshan can score only in Rajkot and Hobart kind of flat wickets and Sanga is a well known pussy outside his Island nation.

  • on February 29, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    let us watch on friday if this was bad game for sl or what..

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on February 29, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    @bkrish is right , taking the pace off the ball might have been a good idea.. mahela missed a trick there , but then again its easy to comment in hindsight..

  • RMCroos on February 29, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    forget mahela we can win the next game and still enter to the final. whole India will pray for gods ..for a srilankan loose ..but i am sure we can win all the best to mahela and the team ... mean time welldone virat for the out standing batting .

  • venbas on February 29, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Really strange lines of thought coming from a person like Mahela. Why even a kiddo knew that India is out of the game if they do not finish the match within 40 overs. So Mahela should have treated it as a 40 over game and finished all his best bowlers within that period. Who would have cared if the 41st over was bowled by the wicket keeper or umpire, SL and Australia would already have been through in that case. Hope this match does not create unnecessary attention from the ICC.

  • on February 29, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    @ theekshana perera we will dude.. if u allow us to play another game this series... its not done by indians very often becaz we never often concede 300+ runs...

  • Fast_Track_Bully on February 29, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    I was expecting a an attack from a wounded tiger after India's losses in the earlier stages...even if it took time, I hope they will continue in the finals too (if got a chance) and bring the cup with 2 back to back win over Aus as it was in the last CB series final. All the best team India!

  • OutCast on February 29, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    Was Maharoof injured or Mahela's ego injured?

  • Jaghannath on February 29, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    @Lankenforever.

    Team Score Overs RPO Inns Result Opposition Ground Start Date India 321/3 36.4 8.75 2 won v Sri Lanka Hobart 28 Feb 2012 Sri Lanka 324/2 37.3 8.64 2 won v England Leeds 1 Jul 2006

    India's chase of 321 in 36.4 overs was the quickest successful one of a 300-plus total in ODI cricket.

    Read the post carefully and comment accordingly. Every team in their own soil is a king so do not underestimate any team. Good Job India Team.

  • bkrish on February 29, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    Wonder why Jayawardene failed to notice that it was the faster bowlers who were getting hammered whereas it was not that easy getting 8+ runs an over from the slower ones. Mahroof, Herath and Mathews bowled a total of 14 overs for 85, what was Mahela doing - holding back their remaining 16 overs for after the 40th ??

    The same pattern was seen in the Srilanka innings also where Jadeja and Ashwin were the most economical going at around 5 an over whereas the pacemen went for 7+.

    I think the slower bowlers would have created more pressure by slowing down the rate of scoring and making the batsmen take more risk, may be Mahela missed a trick in failing to notice this ?

  • chilled_avenger on February 29, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    @AnIndianCricketFan I don't know about England,but Australia won two Bilateral series in India by 4-2 in '07 and '09! Also,South Africa drew the last two Test Series they played in India by a 1-1 in '08 and '10. So it's not like they are clueless and/or pathetic in India either!

  • on February 29, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    What happened to India in the past 2 months, happened to SL yesterday. from bad luck to incompetence... whatever happened, happened. Lets see how it turns out in next match...

  • Fast_Track_Bully on February 29, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    @Theekshana Perera . You must be kidding!. http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;innings_number=2;orderby=target;result=1;team=6;template=results;type=team;view=innings

  • on February 29, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    Never mind sri lanka. we will win the nxt match surely !!!

  • Habi on February 29, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    @Lankanforever on (February 29 2012, 05:03 AM GMT), SA had scored 327 in 37.4 overs during their famous chase of 438 before SL scored 324 in 37.3. And moreover SL chased that in dead match as the series had already won by SL whereas SA and IND chased in must win situation...

  • AnIndianCricketFan on February 29, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    To all those criticize Indian team being flat track bullies.....just one question for them isnt it the same scenario for English,Aussies,S Africans teams when they travel to sub continent.......their ragged look aft end of each days play says it all......clueless as to which way the ball is gonna spin

  • on February 29, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    If SL were given this task they would do this even better. History says that they chased 414 in India but were short of 3 runs but chased down 320+ in England with no time, that was not forced too.This is a one bad game for SL.Any team could fall in to this type of a game,If you can remember how many times India had such situations against SL,and SL had the same vs India many times,so the most important thing is consistency.If you loosing evry game so badly and wining one game like this won't give that.Not for India but it is applied for any team like SL & Pak.The way SL was playing except last night is professional,Aus will try to beat SL with their max effort, coz they know how tough SL in these days, so they won't make SL in to final.

  • on February 29, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    these indian fans r talking about their most successful 300+ run chase.. can u do the same thing twice .. not before 40 overs but in 50 even in a flat track like yesterday... ? well as a Sri Lankan I am very proud of my team who chase 2 successive 300+ totals in SA very recently ...

  • Lankanforever on February 29, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    This ain't the first time a team chased 320 under 40 overs and guess who did it first. Sri Lanka. and the CAPTAIN a\was MAHELA. So chill up guys. We have one more to go. Don't start the indian job SL fans. Believe and back our team even when they are loosing unlike the ever changing Indians.

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/225254.html

    see this scorecards if you have any doubs on Lankan ability

  • Rahul_78 on February 29, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    "Perhaps the 40-over scenario got him. Perhaps the quality of batting did. Perhaps his bowlers let him down badly." Siddharth, how about the famed Indian batting line up had one of its best days in lifetime lead by young Kohli?

  • ChanaL on February 29, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    After the IPL started, whenever Lasith Malinga plays against India, he look so ordinary and predictable to the indians. He is a match winner for India and they can depend on him. (That's the truth, we cant denly it.) The reasons for his dismal performance will only be known by Him, Mahela, Sanga and maybe Dilshan. The answer maybe to rest him for India matches. :)

  • Samar_Singh on February 29, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    Absolutely An off day for captain Jayawardene and team SL.. SL were playing a normal 50 overs game , where as India were playing 40 overs game which was the must situation and there is no point saying we made it in 36.4 overs .. India had nothing to loose from this game so they took the risk and chances and it worked their way ... Good day for India and the verse for SL ... However it was a good fascinating day of cricket all together..

  • senthil25 on February 29, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    Its happens in any format of cricket guys, jaya is very good captain & Malinga we he is best bowler, but not that day, it happens for any player, we want to accept that India play Outstanding, don't say that is flat pitch, So your guys conforming that no other team is best than india in flats tracks right..?

  • GSP17 on February 29, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    @Sidura, Tigers can't be eliminated until India is there..

  • Super70s on February 29, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    Speaking of Mahela's blunders, why didn't he continue with Herath who was the most economical bowler. In fact, after seeing Jadeja's success (relatively speaking), he should have brought on Herath earlier.

  • Thilina123 on February 29, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    @ chapathishot : SL won against Aussies previous CB series(2008) at MCG... u may have mistaken.... take a look at this.... http://www.espncricinfo.com/cbs/engine/current/match/291370.html

  • satish619chandar on February 29, 2012, 3:29 GMT

    One thing Indian fans, we are not still out of rabbit.. As manySL fans say, we are the third best team in the CB series and SL played better cricket than us in the series.. We ll be very lucky to enter the finals.. As a fan, i wish we do enter but still, in the series SL were better team than us.. However, As it shows in the cards India did have upper hand over SL with 2-1 head to head.. Though they were best in tournament, they did fail against India which matters for qualification.. Hard luck SL if your team doesn't make it to finals..

  • dan_loves_cricket on February 29, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    I don't understand why some of the Sri lankan fans undermine the efforts of Kohli and fellow Indian players saying that the wicket was flat.Learn to give credit where it's due.on the day Indians played really good cricket and they simply thrashed all Lankan bowlers.I remember in mid 90's how jayasuriya used to destroy attacks in india and took the bowlers to the cleaners.and if lankan fans enjoyed that,i see no reason why they shouldn't enjoy this...Kohli is one heck of a player and I wouldn't mine paying few bucks to see him play the way he did..more importantly it's really nice to see the youngsters from various nations step ahead to keep the game alive for the next decade.It's all nice seeing Kohli's,chandimal's,Levi's,williamson's ajmals,patinsons ect, taking the place of Tendulkars,pontings,Lara's,Murali's warne's and mcgraths ect,..KOHLI YOU BEAUTY!!!! TAKE A BOW!!!!!! - SRI LANKAN FAN

  • on February 29, 2012, 3:05 GMT

    I blame mahela where the spin bowlers. I slams small ground.

  • on February 29, 2012, 3:03 GMT

    it is one of the good match. india produce to world talent match winner virat

  • Gizza on February 29, 2012, 2:55 GMT

    @Sidura, actually lions have also been extinct in Sri Lanka for around 37,000 years. I don't understand why there's a lion on their flag. Reminds me a bit of how there are three lions on the English cricket logo but again they've never naturally existed on the British Isles. At least Australia and Bangladesh use animals that actually exist on their lands as national symbols (kangaroos and tigers respectively)

  • on February 29, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    You could live with it if they had gone down playing good cricket. Why did everybody pour scorn on Dilshan when he did nothing wrong other than choosing to bowl when they expected him to bat. Mahela is very good captain when things go well but when things go wrong he doesn't know what to do. Gilchrist in 2007 finals is case in point. Dilshan would have at least tried bowling himself.

  • on February 29, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    What nonsense! with one clean victory can you cover all the pathetic performance of this summer huh? i never wonder if indians forget about failure of bouncy tracks with this "FLAT TRACK VICTORY"

  • on February 29, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    SriLanka cant even defend 320 in 40 overs..shame on u guys..had it been india in vice versa situation,they would have defended 320 in 40 overs...

  • on February 29, 2012, 2:01 GMT

    yep, These off days not belong only to Sri Lanka. this can be happen to any team. we remember South africa chased 438 against very very strong aussie bowling line up. we chased 411 against India in India even though just fall the wickets unfortunately in that game in the end. so these things can be happen.but this is not telling the truth. With this win india cant cover all the big defeats that they are faced through out this summer. my personal openion is in this series Sri Lanka is shoeing some great compete (apart from last match) rather than India. So I think they will bounce back in Melbourne. Still aussie wish if qualify india into the finals. Pat cummins back in to the side. whick means aussie trying to win this match. What a match we can see on Friday. even SRI LANKA WIN OR LOOSE ALL THE SRI LANKANS ARE WITH OUR CRICKET TEAM

  • balajik1968 on February 29, 2012, 1:34 GMT

    India have finally come to the party after the World Cup, but let's not be overenthusiastic. Team India has a lot of problems. They need to really sort things. The 2 tours of Australia and England have taught the team of lot of things. It is important for India to absorb the lessons and use it while rebuilding the team. It is necessary to rebuild the team now. It should have started after the World Cup, but India has to start at least now.

  • mjee on February 29, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    Off day by Sri Lanka after having batted well to nearly kick India out of the contest. We all knew they were going to come hard and get the bonus point - the team probably relaxed too much after scoring 321. Anyway, it is old news. Unlike the Indians, Sri Lanka controls their own destiny - beat Aus and get to the final. India on the other hand has to hope on the sidelines!!!. Good Luck SL for Friday - lots of supporter at the MCG.

  • Sidura on February 28, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    @ just_chill_chill - Lankan Tigers? It is Lankan Lions. Tigers were eliminated sveral years ago.

  • on February 28, 2012, 23:47 GMT

    320 is a good total for any team batting first. Had India batted first they too would have ended up on a similar score in a batting friendly wicket. However when chasing such a total the mind set of a team is totally different from the beginning. They are forced to chase that total with maxium risk and got to gamble. At times, this gamble wins but not always. I could remember how SL chased 400+ in India but lost by just 3 runs.. That was a more madmax chase than this one..

  • on February 28, 2012, 23:46 GMT

    It was a bad day for SL.They should not loose focus and Must forget this game.Most importantly must get ready for Aussies on Friday.After all it was a flat track and the way Indians batted nothing could have stoped them..Bowlers had nothing in that wicket.It may be a totally different story in Mebourne.Mahela,it is heartbreaking ,but still it is not end of the world.You've got a another chance ..Just go for it .

    .

  • on February 28, 2012, 23:35 GMT

    A memorable day not only for the Indian cricket fans and the Indian cricketers, in my opinion whoever knows and loves cricket around the globe must admit that it was a great game of cricket.Very rarely we have seen 300 plus run chased successfully in a 50 over match in such a fashion. It was a wonderful display of commitment, determination, concentration and self belief.Kohli proved what he is capable of doing when situation demands.He is having a long and a successful cricketing career ahead of him. All he needs to do is focus on his game and try to built a controversy free character like Sachin and Rahul on and off the field. Team India, Good Luck for the finals

  • SultanBaba on February 28, 2012, 23:08 GMT

    Something doesn't seem right about this match! Chasing down 320 in 36.4 overs??? Whereas both teams struggled to get to 260-280!!! Hmm....

  • Alo_wishes on February 28, 2012, 23:03 GMT

    Problem is Sri lanka approached the game as a 50 over contest and India approached it as two 20/20's. Because of that Sri lanka had no chance.

  • playitstraight on February 28, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    Sri Lankan bowlers are even worse than Indian bowlers! As an Indian, I never imagined that I would say this! Malinga, going for over 12 runs an over?!?! Pssht, even Bhajji could do better than that (maybe, don't know yet lol)!

  • MikeyRos on February 28, 2012, 22:17 GMT

    LOL at all the Indian fans celebrating this consolation win on a dead hobart wicket. Once again India live up to their name - FLAT TRACK BULLIES, HOPELESS ON BOUNCY WICKETS!

  • Radha4krishnan on February 28, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    Happy to see Malinga got whipped. Murali, Shaun Tait and Malinga bowling actions are unacceptable. Good batting line up should kill them. Bravo VIRAT.

  • Nothingness on February 28, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    @ nyc_missile - Oh please come on, nyc_missile, it is just 1 innings of many a slogs from Kholi. He is a great batsman, probably the best indian batsman right now. But, to say not one slog by Kohli even when hitting a six, is ridiculous. His innings was full of slogs, I think he made about 75% of runs by one shot. Actually it was a slog fest, Raina played just 1 ball down the ground, everything else was slogged to the leg side. Pathetic Sri Lankan balling, bad captaining and Kholi's determination was what won the match for India. And don't worry they will not do it again any time soon.

  • just_chill_chill on February 28, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    Awesome. Royal thrashing for the lankan tigers. Tigers just went meoowwwwwwwww !!

  • cric-procrastinator on February 28, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    @micklem . You are making a thinly veiled accusation that sri lanka has been bought over by IPL and they are throwing away matches. good execuses for loosing. Thinking logically if sri lanka want to throw away the match then why would they score 321 in the first place, they could have folded for less than 200. And also its not as iff they have been winning everywhere, they lost to south africa as well but then according to you they might have lost to south africa so that they can play in south africa T20 tournaments.

  • on February 28, 2012, 21:52 GMT

    Micklem I tend to agree with you.Kula helped India to win the last world cup. Mahela and Malinga this time around. Anyway well done India and bad luck to SL. Calif Cricket fan, please do not get too excided about winning the final. Mr Pattinson will sort out your guys in Gabba and Adelaide. Your team cannot handle fast bowling on bouncy wickets. You are the KINGS of flat tracks such as Hobart. Dont think Aussies would give you flat tracks to play on. SL can go home with heads held high. They did a wonderful job here. We have thoroughly enjoyed their performance. Aussies love SL style cricket.

  • NoPitchIsDead on February 28, 2012, 21:43 GMT

    My telling it is Mahela's mistakes Sid is trying to underminde India's superb victory. Stop your sarcastic comments atleast now and give credit when it is atleast due.

  • bottlemani27 on February 28, 2012, 21:04 GMT

    There is nothing wrong in losing a game. Mahela did everything possible, it was a flat track, Malinga had a bad day. We are always behind you Mahela, we know that you do whatever is possible within your abilities to wing a game for us. We never ask you to step down and ask Malinga to retire. We know that this was the same team that took us to 2 WC finals. yes,it's a country that only produces batsmen chased down this score... we have control over the next game's result . I am sure we can bounce back. All the best Mahela & Co. - Sandeep, US

  • nyc_missile on February 28, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    Fair comment Sid,rather than heaping praise on Dhoni which usually the rest of media does,you focused on the real reasons and at least mentioning the opposition as a stake-holder in a team's win! Yes,Mahela despite being the shrewdest & most positive captain in ODIs now, miscalculated that by drying up runs,he would choke Indian batsmen who he thought would just go hell for leather! Well,what turned out was an absolute master class & a user guide on how to construct an ODI inns by both Kohli & Gambhir and how to finish by Raina! In fact,even Sachin & Sehwag need to watch those two inns carefully,not one slog by Kohli even when hitting a six,this guy is class,technique & timing personified! Gambhir & Kohli didnt even hit more than 5 fours in their stand,just singles & 2s to stay afloat on RRR.SL were thoroughly out-batted & out-classed!

  • abiindia on February 28, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    it is very sad, srilanka have four finals in one tournamant. today with india, and again with aus, and in two real finals to get a cup. very sorry state.

  • on February 28, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    Most of the blame for the defeat should go to Sri Lankan bowlers who failed to defend such a massive score in just 40 overs. In my opinion, Mahela should have introduced Herath into the attack much earlier when his pace bowlers were found to be extremely ineffective. To date Lasith Malinga has had an ordinary series by his own high standards. It will do him as well as the team a world of good if he could be rested for the Friday's match against Aussies although that may appear as a psychological setback for Sri Lankans. However, I feel that Malinga needs a rest and could be brought back into the team if we qualify to play in the finals. It was ok to play three seam bowling all-rounders in the earlier matches when the conditions were assisting them. With the wickets giving no assistance in last few games it may be prudent to play Sachitra Senanayake in place of a seamer who could in partnership with Herath bowl some tight middle overs to contain Aussie batsmen.

  • espnchekmate on February 28, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    Bring it home Boys.just can't give up now after making it this far 4 da 3rd time in 2 decades .India last time won this tournament its upto us 2 make IT OUR THIS TIME. playing attacking cricket, playing Sri Lankan brand of cricket isn't going 2 serve da purpose and mahela thinking he's da smartest skipper isnt going 2 work if sri lanka gets selected 2 da finals better try out something new & fox da oz's. make it count........cheers boys....its all in your hands ones u take da filed ,make them pay..relax enjoy.....dnt freak out......never give up till the last man is out. its upto ASHANTHA DE MEL TO MAKE A CALL LIKE DA OZ'S CHIEF SELECTOR, 2 DROP MALINGA AND A GIVE A CHANCE TO CHANAKA WELAGEDERA AND MAKE HIM THE SUPRISE ELMENT,MAKE HIM THE X FACTOR BETWEEN OZ'S N SL,OUR THISARA PERERA ,ANGELO MATHEWS,NUWAN KULASEKERA N RANGANA GERATH SOONER RATHER THAN LATER ARE GOING TO FOUND OUT & HAMMERED BETTER MK A MOVE CZ JAMES PATTINSON IS BACK N V BETTER HV THT TRI FACTOR OR ELSE

  • Nampally on February 28, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    Let us be honest. Kohli batted brilliantly to finish the game in great style.He got 24 off one over from Malinga thru' great stroke play. Malinga bowled as well as he normally does. But he faced a batsman who was playing superbly. It would have hardly mattered whether malinga continued bowling after he got Sachin out, instead of being rested. SL bowling had no answer to Kohli & other India batsmen in top gear. So blaming Mahela is wrong. He did not expect a top class batting from this India team. In fact no one did after they failed to get 300 runs in all their matches but one. Facing a do or die situation, India rose to the occassion and went for the bowling from the word go @8 runs/over - except for a 5 over spell where they just got 21 runs. The whole line up batted superbly with Kohli being superlative.The short boundary & flat pitch helped the matters. Even Aussies might have felt relieved that they were not on the reciving end today.Great batting India. Hope you reach the Final.

  • on February 28, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    It's deja vu all over again. It was half expected really, a repeat of the World Cup final, for whatever reason.

  • Nathan_123 on February 28, 2012, 19:39 GMT

    In hindsight anybody can say Mahela could have done "this and that". I think Mahela completely lost focus the way Indians have battered today. They never gave him time to think as the game moved very fast and Mahela lost it completely. One must give credit to Virath Kohli. What a mindblowing innings he played. Then again Indians were in a situation where they got nothing to loose. I think this situation gave them the impetus to bat like this. I would like to see SL in the final because they played better cricket than the other 2 teams. But it's going to be a uphill task to beat Australia for the 3rd time. Let's see what happens on Friday.

  • Cpt.Meanster on February 28, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    Not an off day. It was Kohli's brilliance that annihilated Mahela's team. His bowlers were made to look like school boys. Malinga in particular was thrashed brutally. This goes to show any bowler can be made to look ordinary if you play without fear and full of determination. Indian batsmen looked at their absolute best and didn't slog mindlessly. Sure, 321 was a big target but then again even the moon was a distant object, yet man stepped onto it. Team India played like true world champions, WOW ! it was a wonderful homecoming to fans and neutrals alike to see the men in blue glitter. SL just didn't know where to bowl and how to bowl. I guess they expected India to lie down and fold up. Now the momentum is gone from them. I pay tribute to the IPL for what India have achieved here. Sometimes the T20 mentality does pay rich dividends.

  • LAKINGSFAN on February 28, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    It's good to see Sri Lanka's baseball pitcher got clobbered for home runs. And, icing on the cake is the pitcher is the worst ever pitcher(most home runs...) (bowler???) in ODIs. Good, India. Keep it up.

  • micklem on February 28, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    After the IPL started, so many Occasions Sri lankans were played very badly aga inst indians.World cup final also a fine example for this, when they did so many mistakes in team selection and tactics.In these match they made zillion errors.Only against india they are making these mistakes.Against all other countries they are playing well.Guess whats Happeng! Todays match it is unbelievable that a captain like Mahela made this much mistakes.Looks like they desperatively wants india to win with bonus point.

  • VickGower on February 28, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    Oh, the power, passion, and wisdom of hindsight. I long to hear one day how a captain did a wonderful job even if his team lost. I will know then that I am dealing with a worthy writer.

  • SistlaSrikkanth on February 28, 2012, 18:28 GMT

    In his Press Conference, Mahela did wrap it up nicely, in the game of cricket it happens and definitely more than saying that Mahela had an off-day, lets put it that Virat and the partnerships with Gambhir and Raina were brilliant after the start India got it. Well Played India.

  • on February 28, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    Excellent analysis....now that the match is over! Could you please check how many overs Malinga usually bowls at death in the innumerable matches he has won for SL?

  • on February 28, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    Hi Mahela Lets forget the theories and pundits. You did a fine job but wasn't tactical enough. They simply batted well as much as we batted well too. Lets get into the final. Tilak

  • on February 28, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    oh ho ho monga spoke too soon didnt you

  • seantells on February 28, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    Mahela, you showed sportsmanship and did your best, it's one of those days and nothings lost but gain some new sights , batting had picked so go forward with positive attitude you have, cheers

  • chapathishot on February 28, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    I thought MJ wanted to choke India by increasing the Run Rate by delaying powerplay and it was a good idea but back fired .I dont think they will be able to come back at the G against Aussies .They are almost unbeatable ,Srilanka have never beaten them in MCG also

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on February 28, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Sri lankan attack is built on Malinga's ability to strike almost at will , today he misfired and there was no plan B for them , a flat pitch and the fact that Indians had nothing more to lose didn't help him either.. but he is a superb captain..and all credits to kohli

  • analyseabhishek on February 28, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    An opponent unexpectedly fighting back is one of the biggest nightmares for any captain. Jaya's case today also explains the strange moves of MSD in this tournament. However, he at last got a gamble right- about backing India's biggest but misfiring weapon, its batting, to be able to chase down if they had a defined target in front of them.

  • 9ST9 on February 28, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    The biggest mistake SL did was, they were always playing for the 40 over scenario. They should have gone about it as if it was a normal game. The fact they were keen on denying the bonus point, rather than going for a win hurt them.

  • Charindra on February 28, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    So Jayawardena had an off day, and Malinga had the worst day of his career. And this happens exactly when India needed it. Hmmm................. Now why am I not surprised? There's a lot of people riding on India being in the finals, including the sponsors, broadcasters, Cricket Australia, BCCI, and who knows, maybe even SLC!

  • on February 28, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    To the writer, do you know what a poor captaincy record Mahela has against Ind,Pak and Aus overall? not sure why he gets the praises only for making that WC final. he was much better in tests though.

  • buncers on February 28, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    Not a good game by Jaya, if he wanted to slow things down why didn't he bowl Dilly.

    Surely, he had to be the go to guy today, to mix things up a bit when the seamers are getting a creaming.

    With a flat pitch and the batters enjoying the ball coming on surely you turn to the spinners.

    Note - to prove my point most economical bowler for SL was Herath and IND Jadega

  • on February 28, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    we found another brilliance - Virat Kohli . Future of indian cricket

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on February 28, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    Typical. When a team loses all its move seems wrong. I personally see nothing wrong in Jaywardhane captainship. He did the right thing which was required at the moment. It's always easy to sit on the other side of fence and comment. This coming from an Indian fan.

  • KingOwl on February 28, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    We can find loads of reasons for the defeat. But the single most important one is the wicket - it was a flat track and the flat track bullies won. Simple as that. Trying to find fault with various decisions after the fact is a silly thing. Sometimes things pay off, other times they don't. That's life. But the wicket - that is what helped India. It was like playing at home. If the wickets are tough, the lose more often than not.

  • priceless1 on February 28, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    Jayawardan should be sacked from the Captancy, and Malinga should retire from ODI cricket

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • priceless1 on February 28, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    Jayawardan should be sacked from the Captancy, and Malinga should retire from ODI cricket

  • KingOwl on February 28, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    We can find loads of reasons for the defeat. But the single most important one is the wicket - it was a flat track and the flat track bullies won. Simple as that. Trying to find fault with various decisions after the fact is a silly thing. Sometimes things pay off, other times they don't. That's life. But the wicket - that is what helped India. It was like playing at home. If the wickets are tough, the lose more often than not.

  • Full-Blooded-Wallop on February 28, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    Typical. When a team loses all its move seems wrong. I personally see nothing wrong in Jaywardhane captainship. He did the right thing which was required at the moment. It's always easy to sit on the other side of fence and comment. This coming from an Indian fan.

  • on February 28, 2012, 15:56 GMT

    we found another brilliance - Virat Kohli . Future of indian cricket

  • buncers on February 28, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    Not a good game by Jaya, if he wanted to slow things down why didn't he bowl Dilly.

    Surely, he had to be the go to guy today, to mix things up a bit when the seamers are getting a creaming.

    With a flat pitch and the batters enjoying the ball coming on surely you turn to the spinners.

    Note - to prove my point most economical bowler for SL was Herath and IND Jadega

  • on February 28, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    To the writer, do you know what a poor captaincy record Mahela has against Ind,Pak and Aus overall? not sure why he gets the praises only for making that WC final. he was much better in tests though.

  • Charindra on February 28, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    So Jayawardena had an off day, and Malinga had the worst day of his career. And this happens exactly when India needed it. Hmmm................. Now why am I not surprised? There's a lot of people riding on India being in the finals, including the sponsors, broadcasters, Cricket Australia, BCCI, and who knows, maybe even SLC!

  • 9ST9 on February 28, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    The biggest mistake SL did was, they were always playing for the 40 over scenario. They should have gone about it as if it was a normal game. The fact they were keen on denying the bonus point, rather than going for a win hurt them.

  • analyseabhishek on February 28, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    An opponent unexpectedly fighting back is one of the biggest nightmares for any captain. Jaya's case today also explains the strange moves of MSD in this tournament. However, he at last got a gamble right- about backing India's biggest but misfiring weapon, its batting, to be able to chase down if they had a defined target in front of them.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on February 28, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Sri lankan attack is built on Malinga's ability to strike almost at will , today he misfired and there was no plan B for them , a flat pitch and the fact that Indians had nothing more to lose didn't help him either.. but he is a superb captain..and all credits to kohli