ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

Sri Lanka v Canada, Group A, World Cup 2011, Hambantota

The fans turn up...and so does an elephant

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day as Sri Lanka begin their tournament by hosting Canada

Osman Samiuddin in Hambantota

February 20, 2011

Comments: 9 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka flags on sale on route to the stadium in Hambantota, Sri Lanka v Canada, Group A, World Cup 2011, Hambantota, February 20, 2011
There was plenty of support for the home side despite the long journey © Manoj Ridimahaliyadda
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Start of the day
Having overcome so many hurdles to get ready for the country's opening match of the World Cup - venue being a jungle just a couple of years back, unexpectedly heavy rains hampering work, unhappy inspection teams to name just three - it was somehow fitting that the start of the game would be further delayed. Upul Tharanga had to wait an extra ten minutes to face the game's first ball from Khurram Chohan: of all the things that could go wrong, the culprit was a minor sightscreen malfunction. The devil clearly is in the detail.

Memo of the day
To boards, ICC and broadcasters: The UDRS without HotSpot is like, well, a World Cup without the world. Twice in successive overs from Jimmy Hansra, Canada was convinced Mahela Jayawardene had edged behind. HotSpot comes into its own particularly for edges. Slo-mo replays suggested the first one might've been a good shout; HotSpot would've confirmed it.

Appearance of the day
The district of Hambantota, to the tourist, can appear a quiet, isolated one. Sixty kilometers to and from the stadium can pass with few souls spotted; at night, you can go without seeing anyone. SLC had announced in advance 35,000 people would be turning up and for a couple of days, it didn't look like there were that many in the region. Yet on match day, in they came, in huge numbers, some from 50-60km away. By midway through Sri Lanka's innings, the general stands and grass embankments were packed with life.

Appearance of the day II
The elephant that ambled up outside the stadium near the southern entrance. Really. Clearly he didn't seem much that interested him and he was soon off, ambling away.

Drop of the day
Canada dropped a couple of chances in the field but as the minnows are being given such a tough time on and off the field, we thought of picking on Thilan Samaraweera for the sake of balance. And the chance, waist-high at second slip from the first ball Zubin Surkari faced, was simple enough that, dare we say it, a Canadian would've held it.

Run of the day
Tyson Gordon's international debut wasn't a particularly memorable one. In attempting a run-out from point he injured his ankle and had to go off. He came out to bat later with a runner and off his first ball clipped the ball elegantly to deep square-leg. And set off for a run, getting halfway down before remembering someone was there to do that for him.

Run of the day II
Henry Osinde, Canada's big, burly fast bowler, pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring strain early in his spell when Sri Lanka batted. After a break for treatment, he tried to run in again, stopped and slowly trudged off the field not to reappear again. He wasn't expected to bat, but he gamely came out as last man ... without a runner; and duly jogged a comfortable single from the very first ball he faced.

Shot of the day
Whenever Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene score runs you can be guaranteed a fine, vast array of strokes. But for sheer chutzpah the shot of the day came from Canada's own Boom Boom, Rizwan Cheema. He'd already clubbed a couple of boundaries when Muttiah Muralitharan came on. The very first ball he faced from him, he lofted him over extra cover for six. As you do.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 9 
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Posted by Chandeesha on (February 22, 2011, 7:49 GMT)

u cant not expect a player to wlak in with 5 overs to spare ad scroe fast....

Posted by Nami on (February 21, 2011, 3:20 GMT)

I'm a Sri Lankan and I know Mahela is a great player but never walks It's Sanga for that job.

Posted by Chandima on (February 20, 2011, 23:46 GMT)

Yet another great start to a global tournament.Now keep up the good work until lifting the Cup That Counts.This match is again a good example as to why Kapu should not be in the playing IX ahead of Samaraweera or Silva.This is a world cup & SL need the type of players who can perform consistently at real match situations, not ones who are forever deemed as bright prospects yet never live upto that billing.Thisara Perera deserves a permanent place in the playing IX. At the moment he's probably the second best bowler we have after Malinga.Also he was rather unlucky to be run out in such a way when he was already getting into his own. Also Mendis should be dropped as it is clearly evident that he is no longer the world beating mystery bowler that he was.Herath surely will fetch you more wickets than Mendis does.Even in the warm ups & Windies' tour,Herath was the more impressive & more successful of the two.Good to see Mahela batting so well. Congrats to our lions. Cheers

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 20, 2011, 19:08 GMT)

it was one side game canada bowling and batting attack poor allowing vetren player and youngstar out of mach

Posted by Tharindu on (February 20, 2011, 17:59 GMT)

Well apparently there wasn't any Super slow-mo's..

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 20, 2011, 16:58 GMT)

I disagree with both Mr Osman and sanath007 regarding the referrals for the catches behind the wicket. The first one wasn't out but the second one probably was. There was a clear sound and the bat was well off the ground and no where near the pads, so unless Jayawardene has crippling arthritis the sound must have been leather on willow. The dust from the pitch was clearly from the ball and not the bat, something the commentators totally failed to notice.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 20, 2011, 16:42 GMT)

This world cup will be even more boring than the last two, and todays's two matches are a good indication of that.

Posted by Praveen on (February 20, 2011, 16:34 GMT)

Gosh the Replays clearly showed Mahela DIDN'T edge it, and Mahela is a Walker when he edges.so please Mr.Osman watch the match and write articles. Even the Commentators told he didn't edge it.

Posted by DAVRELL on (February 20, 2011, 16:09 GMT)

let hope ireland and zimbabwe can spring a few suprises because these last 2 games have been really one sided

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.

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