Australia v Sri Lanka, CB Series 1st final, Brisbane March 4, 2012

Unlikely trio give Australia scare

The fight that Upul Tharanga, Nuwan Kulasekara and Dhammika Prasad showed in Brisbane has let Australia know that the finals are not over. Sri Lanka are enjoying their tour and won't want it to end in defeat
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Upul Tharanga was making his comeback after failing at the top of the order. Dhammika Parasad, too, would not have played this game if not for injuries to Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera. Nuwan Kulasekara is a specialist bowler, whose runs are often a bonus. Also Tharanga batted in the middle order, an unfamiliar position. Between the three of them they had no business making a game out of the first final after Sri Lanka were 6 for 144, chasing 322.

It is the fight the three showed that gave Australia a scare, and made Michael Clarke remark: "They refuse to go away, don't they?" It is the fight the three showed that gives Mahela Jayawardene hope for the next two finals. It is the fight the three showed that shows Sri Lanka are enjoying playing here, despite the injuries, despite the tough schedule (they have played three games in six days, and will have to play five in 10 if they are to win). They are cherishing their time in the middle, trying their best to take the games as deep as possible.

"From 150 for 6, I am quite happy with the effort from the boys," Jayawardene said after their first defeat to Australia in four matches. "It shows a lot of character that we got back into it. Obviously we didn't play a perfect game today, with the ball. The momentum is very important. The first five-six overs we didn't put enough pressure on them

"Three hundred and twenty-odd was always going to be a tough ask. We lost wickets trying to catch up with the rate and were not sure of what would happen with the rain as well. Some of the boys showed some real character and kept fighting, which is something you want to cultivate in the team. But unfortunately we are 1-0 down in a three-match final and we need to improve to beat them."

Kulasekara and Tharanga formed a near irresistible combination, the former chancing his arm and connecting with everything, the latter staying calm, all in wet conditions. Sixty-eight runs came off the batting Powerplay. If Kulasekara's clean striking stunned Australia, Tharanga's cool head reassured Sri Lanka. He never looked panicked despite an asking-rate of close to two a ball. His calling was clear and his hitting areas worked out. Even after Kulasekara's dismissal, with 74 still required off 50 balls, Prasad kept the fight on, and the six he hit over extra cover off a short-of-a-length ball from Brett Lee would have done specialist batsmen proud.

Jayawardene spoke of the positive mindset his team has. "Even when they [Tharanga and Prasad] were left out, we gave them the reasons why. They are quite happy, and they kept working at their game. When they get an opportunity they are coming in with a very positive frame of mind. We have given them the licence to play some good cricket.

"I am quite happy with the way Upul played. That's a very unusual place for him to bat. He showed a lot of maturity. Kula [Kulasekara], we know he can do it, Dhammika as well. I am quite happy with the attitude, the decision-making process in the middle, so we just need to keep doing that, and we will improve as a team."

The fightback may not have resulted in a win, but it does let Australia know they have not been able to put distance between themselves and the spirited visitors. Jayawardene said his side's performances just needed a little tweaking for them to win the final two games. "As a team we have played some consistent cricket and know that if we fine-tune certain areas and handle certain situations better, we will win matches."

However, it will be difficult to continue the comeback. Thisara Perera has already gone back to Sri Lanka. They are not sure if Angelo Mathews can make a comeback in time. There is no day off. They travel to Adelaide on Monday, and play on Tuesday. What can you do over such a short period of time? "It's about speaking to a few individuals about their roles and trying to tighten things up in areas which we have let ourselves down in," Jayawardene said. "As a group, we will sit and discuss a few things. People will come up with different ideas in team meetings, which is always good, and in a situation out there in the middle we can implement those ideas."

The break may be brief, but considering Tuesday's match could prove to be their last game in Australia, bank on Mathews' making a desperate bid to play. Don't expect Sri Lanka to hold anything back either.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SLDude on March 6, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    @Sagay-Ed : dude I am sure you were not followinh the comments from indian fan's after indian team were out from the tournament. The one I mentioned at 1st final was just one incident. ( hope this comment will post )

  • gpm86 on March 5, 2012, 23:02 GMT

    Love the way the sri lankans play the sport. definitely my favourite sub continent team.

  • IntCricket on March 5, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    It is pathetic that this man Mahila is boasting about the whipping that they received. They are in the finals in any case because of the huge favor to them by the umpire in the tied match with India where India were robbed of a delivery which could have easily sufficed for winning the match. And then this flat track bully has the nerve to pontificate about not depending on favors while conveniently forgetting the HUGE favor received from the umpire in the tied match. Way to go Mahila!

  • Philip_Gnana on March 5, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    What happened to the Holy Cows?

  • Sagay-Ed on March 5, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    @SLDude - Might be those some people supports Australia. Whats wrong with that? Are you expecting 100% Indians to support Srilanka? They can support anyone.. Just keep that in mind. Overall most of the Indian fans have already stopped following CB series after India's exit.

  • SLDude on March 5, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster : see the frames of the back ground of the 1st final video when Upul Tahtahranga's catch was taken. Indian fans were over the moon.

  • SLDude on March 5, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster : like to see at least one indian guy who think that way. did anyone notice on TV, how badly indian people at the ground wanted to see we loose to Australia at 1st final ?? did you guys see how the indian fans went over the moon when Upul Tharanga got out?

  • on March 5, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    Actually a lot went right for SL. They were beaten by SA but took confidence from their final wins from dead rubbers. They were not paid and they "had to" win. Next they had a few weeks off - ideal rest without too much rust. In the first match against Ind they were struggling. Ind did not want to play! Man to man SL has more allrounders -- maharoof, matthews, perera and even kula, malinga etc can bat a bit. So Tharanga at 6 reminds us of Mahanama/Tileratne at 6/7 to increase batting depth. They don't have any more of those slow bowlers as main bowlers but have so many allrounders suddenly. In fact they were a better balanced team than many others ever since the WC. Everything was just about right for them. Let SL do well - because they seem to want to unlike Ind who seem keen to go prepare for the IPL.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on March 5, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    SL cannot win a final against Aus as India did in last tour. SL fans will complaint about Indian hand in their lost! lol

  • randikaayya on March 5, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster: With you there mate, to be quite honest I don't think any (majority) of Sri Lankan fans ever wish India to be defeated unless playing Sri Lanka or in some cases Pakistan too. A bit of healthy rivalry can't hurt anyone eh (except egos!!). Good luck in the months to come

  • SLDude on March 6, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    @Sagay-Ed : dude I am sure you were not followinh the comments from indian fan's after indian team were out from the tournament. The one I mentioned at 1st final was just one incident. ( hope this comment will post )

  • gpm86 on March 5, 2012, 23:02 GMT

    Love the way the sri lankans play the sport. definitely my favourite sub continent team.

  • IntCricket on March 5, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    It is pathetic that this man Mahila is boasting about the whipping that they received. They are in the finals in any case because of the huge favor to them by the umpire in the tied match with India where India were robbed of a delivery which could have easily sufficed for winning the match. And then this flat track bully has the nerve to pontificate about not depending on favors while conveniently forgetting the HUGE favor received from the umpire in the tied match. Way to go Mahila!

  • Philip_Gnana on March 5, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    What happened to the Holy Cows?

  • Sagay-Ed on March 5, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    @SLDude - Might be those some people supports Australia. Whats wrong with that? Are you expecting 100% Indians to support Srilanka? They can support anyone.. Just keep that in mind. Overall most of the Indian fans have already stopped following CB series after India's exit.

  • SLDude on March 5, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster : see the frames of the back ground of the 1st final video when Upul Tahtahranga's catch was taken. Indian fans were over the moon.

  • SLDude on March 5, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster : like to see at least one indian guy who think that way. did anyone notice on TV, how badly indian people at the ground wanted to see we loose to Australia at 1st final ?? did you guys see how the indian fans went over the moon when Upul Tharanga got out?

  • on March 5, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    Actually a lot went right for SL. They were beaten by SA but took confidence from their final wins from dead rubbers. They were not paid and they "had to" win. Next they had a few weeks off - ideal rest without too much rust. In the first match against Ind they were struggling. Ind did not want to play! Man to man SL has more allrounders -- maharoof, matthews, perera and even kula, malinga etc can bat a bit. So Tharanga at 6 reminds us of Mahanama/Tileratne at 6/7 to increase batting depth. They don't have any more of those slow bowlers as main bowlers but have so many allrounders suddenly. In fact they were a better balanced team than many others ever since the WC. Everything was just about right for them. Let SL do well - because they seem to want to unlike Ind who seem keen to go prepare for the IPL.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on March 5, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    SL cannot win a final against Aus as India did in last tour. SL fans will complaint about Indian hand in their lost! lol

  • randikaayya on March 5, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster: With you there mate, to be quite honest I don't think any (majority) of Sri Lankan fans ever wish India to be defeated unless playing Sri Lanka or in some cases Pakistan too. A bit of healthy rivalry can't hurt anyone eh (except egos!!). Good luck in the months to come

  • Rahul_78 on March 5, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    Srilanka has more experience in their batting order then OZ and next games will be held at the spinner friendly Adelaide. It will balance out the bowling attack as Mahela will and should go in with 2 spinners along with few overs from Dilshan. After playing for almost close to 3 months, it must be taking some toll on OZ cricketers. Warner is a doubtful starter and Clarke is always fragile and Watson is coming back from injury break. If Srilanka can manage to stretch OZ into the 3rd game it will work in their favor. Mahela should plan well and seniors need to take more responsibility in the absence of Mathews and Parrera. Lankans were expected to loose at Gabba but Adelaide will provide them with some advantage. This is golden opportunity for Mahela and co and they haven't made a bad start.

  • on March 5, 2012, 4:35 GMT

    yes capt.meanster.. im with you.

    I cant forget the support given by the Indian and Pakistani fans during the world cup 96. whenever a team from our three countries meet the feeling is same. we want that particular cup to come to Asia (not forgotten Bangladesh but they are yet to prove) . ( this doesn't mean we hate the other countries) yet, this unity is great.

  • SachinIsAGoner on March 5, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    Accept it. Aussies were the best Team in the end.

  • on March 5, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    Really startled to find that someone has commented that we lost the game because of Tharanga...what a comment mate? Here is an opener, who asked to bat at a unfamiliar position of Number 6 and along with Kulasekara and Prasad, he brings the team to the brink of victory and he is being singled out as the reason for the loss. Can anyone explain this logic?

  • on March 5, 2012, 3:41 GMT

    i remember how everyone loved to take a shot at the aussies when they first started losing....

    i guess tht says something abt the kind of effect the indian side has had on everyone else with the success they had tht made them no.1 in test matches and world champions.... they weren't as dominant as the aussies or the west indies b4 them but, ppl sure as hell r loving to see the indian team struggle... so much that everyone keeps pointing out how the indians folded without a fight..... it's funny tht ppl think so after they came out of nowhere to score 321 off 37 overs in a do or die situation..... nd essentially lost out on a place in the finals b'coz of the 1 extra run they couldn't get in 49.5 overs.... :)

  • satish619chandar on March 5, 2012, 3:03 GMT

    Good fight SL.. Wholeheartedly wish you can succeed more in Adelaide and play two spinners with Seekuge.. Australia never had any measure of him in the middle overs.. Wish Matthews and Thissera recover to provide more balance to the team.. Just loved the way Tharanga played the innings where he initially looked complete misfit.. This shows the value he put on the chance he got.. Great attitude..

  • satish619chandar on March 5, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster: Am with u buddy.. Really hate to view the page and comments to see someone(Irrespective of nation) come here only to bash other team when their team were winning.. Good to support the home team bt not by hurting others..

  • on March 5, 2012, 2:57 GMT

    It looks like a great fight. However, I would say SL struggled. They fought in south africa but only when the pressure eased off and the series was won. Yes they seem to fight but that is because both Ind and Aus were off color. Ind should have easily won the tied match and the first match - but they struggled. Aus too made a mistake in selecting mckay - they needed some variety - Hogg or bollinger would have been ideal.

    Yes SL did not give in. They have this small nation attitude where they scrap for the slightest. Unfortunately, Ind and Aus seem to have lost this. Ind teams mind was elsewhere. This team had really "fought" back from brink since the time of Saurav often with meagre resources.

    Aus - known for fighting - seems to have lost it all. They did well with a new team to beat SL. So yes SL did not give up but it looked like a fight only coz the other two teams were off color.

  • on March 5, 2012, 2:57 GMT

    Tharanga is their 3rd Great batsmen in SL team after Sanga and Mahela,but he doesnt get the recognition as those around him do.....He has scored a staggering 12 hundreds,this early in his career....

  • OutCast on March 5, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    Aus inadvertently scheduled the last 2 finals in Adelaide- the flat pitch heaven... It will only help SL coz the flat pitch takes away the bowling talents of Aus and Aus bowlers will look as same as SL's NONAME bowlers... the finals should've been scheduled in Perth, so that the real team will get to display their talents... even Brisbane ground didn't live up to its name- ended up like offering Adelaide characteristics where Patt and Lee's bowling were almost noneffective... Hope Aus doesn't delay SL departure, so that SL can get home early, lick their wounds and start preparing for ANOTHER Indian mauling..

  • denwarlo70 on March 5, 2012, 2:50 GMT

    @capt.Meanster, I am with you Brother. I am a Lankan across the palk starit as I always say and I agree with you wholeheartadly . To be honest, I gave up watching the match when we lost our 4th wicket and went on to do my laundry :-) and by the time I was back, we had just lost by 14 or 15 runs which I found to be super stuff from our boys. You see, we never give up without putting up a fight and this is Asian nature I guess. I wish my TEAM SRI LANKA all the VERY BEST for Tuesdays game.

  • Balumekka on March 5, 2012, 2:45 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster: TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU MATE! a Sri Lankan fan here...

  • on March 5, 2012, 2:19 GMT

    It was a great comeback from the Sri Lankans after losing 6 wickets for 150. Most of the people thought match was over by then, but learned it had just started. Kulasekara's innings gave much hope but it was not enough to beat the aussies. Anyway Sri Lankans showed the reason they were selected to the finals. Also the best thing is Sri Lankan bowlers showed that they can play shots as regular batsmen and by their innings it was evident that it wasn't just 'luck', they played shots that would remind us of great batsmen.

  • on March 5, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    The whole world noticed how Kangaroos were scared to death when Lions roared.

  • Mr.Bite on March 5, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    Loved the reaction of David Hussey when he took the wicket of kula (kulasekara). That meant how Aussie players got e nightmare when kula was firing...

  • Harry_Kool on March 5, 2012, 0:38 GMT

    Scare yes, but to be fair, the Aussies appeared to have backed off into cruise control as they may have been looking at the 2nd final to complete a hectic season. That is a dangerous thing to do with the Lankans, the Indians almost invariably turned up their toes with little fight, but to give credit where it's due, the Lankans have a unique fighting quality. The Brisbane pitch has never been a happy hunting ground with SL, but this is an opportunity to conquer previous unassailable heights.

  • on March 4, 2012, 22:22 GMT

    Srilanka making their fans proud!

  • on March 4, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    They way T20 cricket is played has revolutionised the way one day cricket is played. A 300+ score is no longer a winning total. The way India showed last week would mean 350 would be a score to beat.

  • OutCast on March 4, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    Remember folks that SL was on its way to get bundles out for 200... but it drizzled and made the ball too wet to handle and the bowlers couldn't bowl seam or slow variations... Pattinson's slower ball resulted in waist-high full toss .... in summary rain made SL look better and they will be all out for 200 next time... take my word and deposit into the bank.. what SL doing now is SMOKE N MIRROR and they can't continue with PHONY talent....

  • spinkingKK on March 4, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    The best thing that happened to SriLankan cricket is when they re-appointed Jayawardane as the captain. He is a brilliant player with a very right approach to the captaincy. What a game! SriLanka will have a great series when they tour here next season. Because, they have two world-class veterans in Jaya and Sanga and some terrific youngsters like Chandimal and Mathews in their line-up. Only thing SriLanka should develop is some good swing bowlers and one more spinner who is slightly better than Herath. Being an Australian citizen, I have to go for Australia. However, all the best to the SriLankan team. I predicted that whoever makes the final will find it difficult to beat the Aussies which is strengthened further by the inclusion of Clarke, Watson and Pattinson. However, now, I beleive SriLanka got the wood on the Aussies and it looks like it will go to the 3rd final.

  • on March 4, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    Mahela plese do what smart captains do .ask Clerkie why is stop giving balling to Hilfie and Pattison.its a simple equation,.hope you understand that at least after two loses.yes Malie is the best strike bowler.no offence on him.if he is getting hammered please stop him giving bowling.go for the next best.Dillie had one over left Hera had three left.Please don't loose matches in this way any more.can some body convey this message to Mahela before the next match.

  • Hyderabadi_Nawab on March 4, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    I think Upul Tharanga cost the Lankans the match. He is quite listless on the field as well and even if he had scored 'run a ball' it would have eased the pressure on Nuwan and Dhammika. Great match nevertheless and look forward to Adelaide

  • Cpt.Meanster on March 4, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    I have many SL friends who love team India and heartily congratulated me when India won the world cup last year. I too wish the SL team the very best and I always admire their players from the time they won the world cup in 1996. I have ALWAYS wished in the UNITY of the Indian sub-continent. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh are brothers born to different mothers. We should be ONE and enjoy each others' successes. I feel hurt when Indians abuse SL fans and vice versa. How about we come together and topple Australia ?! anyone here with me ?

  • fataquie on March 4, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    I support SL as they have that spirit of making a game out of any situation, in most cases, that Pakistan used to have in the '80s and '90s.

  • on March 4, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    Cricket lovely cricket. What a show? Good luck to both the teams on Tuesday. After all the fuss SL can play on fast bouncy wickets?

  • on March 4, 2012, 20:25 GMT

    Great trio showed how to play shots in Aussieland though very intelligent bowling at death took the game away from SL.Almost gave up watching after loosing the 6th wicket.So glad didn't miss a single ball of that late super action.All the best for next game.

  • on March 4, 2012, 20:19 GMT

    Thanks for Indian and Pak friends who have wished SL below.... And I think despite of the outcome of match, SL has proved that they are real fighters today. Satisfied even though we ae in the wrong part of the outcome....

  • Cannuck on March 4, 2012, 20:16 GMT

    @ Rajasekaran Paramasivam: Sometimes it's the INDIANS themselves who bring it up first , like you & the first commentor Deepanjan Datta, who's handle doesn't sound like a SL fan. As for the match, I think our top order was a bit too defensive during the first 2 batting PP. Now that they know the lower order can handle tight situations, they need to open up & hit out like Kula. Most of the time the best defence is an offence which can take the opposition out, as IND did to us. MJ & Dilly tried it early along with Sanga to some extent in the latter part of the 1st PP, but we didn't do so in the 2nd. Few other misses in the field, not having a fielder like Perera to attempt that early Aussie opener catch etc., hurt us. But the boys battled hard, take good positives & come back hard in the next 2. As fans all we can ask is to see they give their best, & make the games interesting. Results will take care of it selves, but SLs do love their cricket team regardless of the results! GO LIONS!

  • Nadeem1976 on March 4, 2012, 19:10 GMT

    Not good enough to beat Australia. That's why aussies are number 1 ODI team in the world. It's hard to play down under and win. I am really disappointed at Malinga the way he bowled in this match. He is match winning bowler but on the big stage he is once again fail to impress like he did not in WC final. He needs to take responsibility.

  • moBlue on March 4, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    fantastic chase by SL! i am an IND fan but i *knew* SL would step up to the plate when given a tough chase! what a terrific team you have, SL! they never quit! very cool, indeed! i will be rooting for you to kick some aussie backsides in the next 2 games... that too in AUS! given the way SL batted yesterday, i have no doubt that they have the talent/potential to do it!

  • Kavum on March 4, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    @Girish Kulkarni Well said. If India had made the finals (and they could have, after that brilliant chase) I would have supported them to win. As it is, as a SL fan, I am disappointed that most Indian supporters do not have the class that you seem to have. We love Indians to do well (except against SL) and we hope that India supporters want the best for team SL (except when facing India). Maybe its too much to ask of a neighbour?? I hope not.

  • sachin_saurav on March 4, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    Australia-beware of Ceylon lions.Clearly warner was the difference,I would say that were it not for him,and if matthews and perera were in SL side,they would have chased down the target. Australia's bowlers were unable to stem the flow of runs from SL lower order. Bowlers were largely ineffective they got wikets only on lofted shots.SL have beat them more times in this series. ' I would still bet on SL given Malinga and their batting order which is firing.

  • braveknight on March 4, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    Proud to be a srilankan even when our sinhala brothers annihilated us tamils..sports knows no race and creed..What a game, congratulations!!

  • on March 4, 2012, 17:50 GMT

    No point in thinking about the absence of Thisara and Angelo. Just think forward. This team looks quite capable as it is, except that Maharoof appears to be less than fully fit. Thisara's absence in the field was really felt but Mathews hasn't quite done justice to his reputation. One hopes there won't be unnecessary tinkering with the team and that Malinga would step up with one of his good days.

  • Cricket_Fan_And_Analyst on March 4, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    I want Sri Lanka to win this tournament. They really deserve to win this as they haven't won anything recently despite playing well.

    They played out of their skins today - just need to win the toss, bat first and put up a big score .

  • on March 4, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    wish u all the best in next final

  • Balumekka on March 4, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    Fighting till very last moment... That's the Sri Lankan spirit! Anyway with Kula's performances, We can safely say that Sri Lanka has four quick bowling genuine all rounders in the team, which is so handy on any surface.

  • on March 4, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    Well played SL!! Enjoyed the fight shown by SL.. keep it up! Good game of cricket... ! Though I am an Indian, and love Aussies.... I wish SL to win this cup!

  • MENDIS_Forever on March 4, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    @Deepanjan Datta : well said sir.. @ Ejaz Ahmad Siddiqui : thank u very much sir.

  • mohanan on March 4, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    "It's about speaking to a few individuals about their roles and trying to tighten things up in areas which we have let ourselves down in," : Jayawardene I have no doubt those few individuals include Malinga and Co. LOL.

  • KingOwl on March 4, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Big challenge getting the balance in the team right without two top class all rounders in Angelo and Thisara.

  • on March 4, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    This is the game between srilanka and Australia. Srilanka is still paying well and with this final two country competition why you guys still bring India in to it. no point in comparing India in these finals

  • on March 4, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    Fantastic cricket by SL, Best of Luck for next games (from Pak).

  • on March 4, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    they refuse to go away don`t they ? ____________ Micheal Clark__________________________proud of our lions ...win or lose does not matter never give up with out a fight

  • Kavum on March 4, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    Right now, SL look to be the weaker side but can surprise. Malinga is one of the key players. He has played continuously and has bowled his heart out but must be a bit tired now. The batting is generally solid and with a good hand from a couple of players from among Dilly, Sanga, Mahela, Chandimal and some supporting knocks from the rest, we should come good. Hope they do not risk a half-fit Mathews. Equally hope the never-potential-fulfilling Kapu is left on the bench. NuwanK and DhammikaP are the real positives. Also Herath must aim for a sub-40 spell. Watch out Aussies, Sri Lanka could hit back..... hard!

  • on March 4, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    GO LIONS GO..WE STILL BELIEVE IN YOU...No matter what happens we r behind u....@ the end cricket is just a game...we fans don't take it as a religion..And we come to have blast and a jolly good time....And for the boose..:D .

  • on March 4, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    yeah a great effort by sri lanka....... good luck guys

  • on March 4, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    Fans of Australia might (justifiably) be smug, while those of India might be (unreasonably) trying to put SL down. But this was spirited stuff! Results do matter, but the fight shown by Kulasekara, Tharanga and Prasad makes you appreciate the game for it's beautiful uncertainties.

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  • on March 4, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    Fans of Australia might (justifiably) be smug, while those of India might be (unreasonably) trying to put SL down. But this was spirited stuff! Results do matter, but the fight shown by Kulasekara, Tharanga and Prasad makes you appreciate the game for it's beautiful uncertainties.

  • on March 4, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    yeah a great effort by sri lanka....... good luck guys

  • on March 4, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    GO LIONS GO..WE STILL BELIEVE IN YOU...No matter what happens we r behind u....@ the end cricket is just a game...we fans don't take it as a religion..And we come to have blast and a jolly good time....And for the boose..:D .

  • Kavum on March 4, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    Right now, SL look to be the weaker side but can surprise. Malinga is one of the key players. He has played continuously and has bowled his heart out but must be a bit tired now. The batting is generally solid and with a good hand from a couple of players from among Dilly, Sanga, Mahela, Chandimal and some supporting knocks from the rest, we should come good. Hope they do not risk a half-fit Mathews. Equally hope the never-potential-fulfilling Kapu is left on the bench. NuwanK and DhammikaP are the real positives. Also Herath must aim for a sub-40 spell. Watch out Aussies, Sri Lanka could hit back..... hard!

  • on March 4, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    they refuse to go away don`t they ? ____________ Micheal Clark__________________________proud of our lions ...win or lose does not matter never give up with out a fight

  • on March 4, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    Fantastic cricket by SL, Best of Luck for next games (from Pak).

  • on March 4, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    This is the game between srilanka and Australia. Srilanka is still paying well and with this final two country competition why you guys still bring India in to it. no point in comparing India in these finals

  • KingOwl on March 4, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Big challenge getting the balance in the team right without two top class all rounders in Angelo and Thisara.

  • mohanan on March 4, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    "It's about speaking to a few individuals about their roles and trying to tighten things up in areas which we have let ourselves down in," : Jayawardene I have no doubt those few individuals include Malinga and Co. LOL.

  • MENDIS_Forever on March 4, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    @Deepanjan Datta : well said sir.. @ Ejaz Ahmad Siddiqui : thank u very much sir.