ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Sri Lanka v Australia, Group A, World Cup 2011, Colombo

'We were targeting more than 250' - Sangakkara

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 5, 2011

Comments: 52 | Text size: A | A

Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, has said a score in the range of 250 would have tested Australia on the Premadasa track, given that the hosts were playing three specialist spinners. Heavy rain, however, ensured the match was abandoned after 32.5 overs and the teams had to split the two points.

"The game was well poised," Sangakkara said. He was unbeaten on 73 and together with Thilan Samaraweera had laid a strong platform for a challenging score. "We were looking at 250 or even more and it would have been a good game. It was the second game on that track and we had three spinners and they would have been pretty useful on that kind of track."

Sri Lanka went in to this game with Muttiah Muralitharan, left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis - it was the first time all three featured together in an ODI. The hosts opted to bat and Ricky Ponting, the Australia captain, admitted chasing would have been tough on a such a track, conducive to spin.

"You could tell that it was going to be a lot different than the wicket that was played on the day before, because you could see that one right beside it," Ponting said.

Persistent rain in Colombo led to the game being called off after 32.5 overs, Sri Lanka v Australia, Group A, World Cup 2011, Colombo, March 5, 2011
Rain had the final say at the Premadasa © Manoj Ridimahaliyadda

"That one had a bit of grass on it, and the one we were going to use today was basically rolled mud. It spun quite a bit early in the game. What you associate with most one-day wickets is they generally don't do much in the first innings of the game and they might just spin a bit towards the latter half of the second innings of the game. It appeared that this one was going to be a difficult one to chase runs on."

Australia are placed third in Group A, but have a game in hand over second-placed Sri Lanka and face Kenya and Canada in two of their three remaining matches. Sri Lanka take on Zimbabwe in Pallekele next before heading to Mumbai to play New Zealand, though Sangakkara was surprised about not playing that game at home. "We were surprised when we learned that we will have to travel to Mumbai to play that game. I thought hosts play at home," he said. "Playing the New Zealand game is beyond our control. You can't change that now. That's gone now and we need to be up for the task."


Comments: 52 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (March 8, 2011, 6:59 GMT)

There're world class batsmen in Sachin, Ponting, Kallis and few others...But Sanga is the only Super World Class Batsman in the world and he proved that again in this match against Aussies...Aussie "fast trio" looked like school cricket seamers when Sanga was batting...True Class!!

Posted by Asanka Sharmal on (March 7, 2011, 15:12 GMT)

Sanga's surprise at having to go to India to play NZ is justifiable.Ppl pointing out that India playing Bangladesh in Bangladesh as an excuse may have forgotten that Bangladesh is also a co-host!!.

Posted by Anthony on (March 7, 2011, 11:28 GMT)

The whole point about home advantage is to prepare pitches to suit the home team. There should not be any arguments in this respect. Surely, all the visiting teams should and would have selected their squads to meet this need. The prime example is S. Africa selecting two or more spinners ( Unheard of, before). SL need to watch their running between wickets as Sangakkara and Samaraweera had many close shaves of being run out during their unbroken stand giving their fans heart-stopping moments. SL won the WC in 1996 fair and square although one one of the previous contributors appear to think it was due to luck. In which planet was he living? It is like saying the Aussies won the 1999 WC due to the lucky dropped catch of Steve Waugh by Herschelle Gibbs. The beauty of this World Cup is that any one of 6 countries can win it and it will not be due to pitch conditions or home advantage (no home team has won it so far) but because the winning team raised its game on the day when it mattered!

Posted by Fadzai on (March 7, 2011, 5:32 GMT)

After watching SA crumble yesterday, and India struggling against Ireland, i do not care if Sri Lanka meets any of these teams in the QF. There is no definite winner and if you are to be a world champion, you should be able to beat anyone on any given day. So bring it on!!! India or SA, we are game.

Posted by Dishan on (March 7, 2011, 2:59 GMT)

About Sri Lanka having to play New Zealand in Mumbai, only Sri Lanka is doing that even Bangladesh is playing all there game in their own back yard, the same has happened to Sri Lankan commentators there is only Russel Arnold but all the other teams have a minimum of two, fickle world is this they just wanna ridicule us

Posted by Andrew on (March 6, 2011, 23:57 GMT)

@shaznim - you don't understand the arguement mate. For starters, neither WITTY or myself have a problem with spin-friendly tracks. My arguement was that it was WEAK that you can have pitches WITH grass & pitches WITHOUT grass - side by side. Yes SL won a series in Oz, Oz pitches BOUNCE more than anywhere else in the world, they are also faster, SEAM & SPIN depend on the weather. That is the CHARACTERISTIC of Oz pitches. Different pitches add charm to the game, I believe we would/could of won regardless of the pitch my main concern is what SL did was NOT very SUBTLE!!!!!

Posted by Ted on (March 6, 2011, 17:10 GMT)

I think SL should take a close look at their running between wickets, without watching where the bowler stands after deliveries. Jayawardane's close run out was a prime example for this. If he didn't choose to run on the off side of the track, heading where the bowler stands, he would have escaped that close run out. Clearly that fraction of second needed to make the slight curve to avoid collision with the bowler, cost his wicket..! Most SL batsmen do that mistake very often. They should clearly think of this matter and try to make a running path on the leg side of the track, after discussing with individual batting partner. Aussies and most other teams do that very carefully.

Posted by Ravindra on (March 6, 2011, 16:20 GMT)

Dont assume Kapu will bat like Mahela in 2003.Kapu can handle fast bowlers better If Mahela bat with Silva in the middele (6 & 7) that will allow a strong middle order if the top order collepse. These 2 are the best players aginst spiners and in the middle orvers. On the top we have to take a chance and should promote players like Kapu and should allow him to play his natural game that will allow him to bat withought any pressure. He is world class player specially aginst fast bowlers can hit 6 or 4 to any bowlers.Some of the 1/2 test players get stuck when the face quality bowlers.He only bat once in Aus and WI. In this world cup he only played with Canada.He is in and out. 1 Dilshan 2 Tharanga/Kapu 3 Sag 4 Kapu 5 Mathiew 6. Mahela 7 Silva 8 Thisera/Herath (Depend on the teams) 9 Malinga 10 Murali 11 Mendis Have to take a risk if not we will be knock out soon. Today SL batting today dont have the fire power after dilshan if dont include Kapugadar, Silva & Thesera

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 6, 2011, 10:26 GMT)

SL won the last tournament against Australia in AUSTRALIA playing on those bouncy, swinging pitches without complaining or worrying. So why Ozs have to make such a fuzz on the pitch? If you are good enough, play and win like SL did in Australia in 2010. SL never complained about any of the fast, bouncy, seamer friendly pitches in Australia.

Ozs had Gilchrist, Hayden, Waugh who were very good against spin. But now they don't have players like them. They are not good against spin as they used to be few years back. So don't make lame excuses to cover your weaknesses.

Posted by Shazni on (March 6, 2011, 9:13 GMT)

@Something_Witty: I'm guessing that you are Australian, and hence the complaining! What would you have said if the pitch prepared was with green patches of grass, and had a lot of bounce, and Australia went in with 4 fast bowlers! I mean, if the world cup was in Australia, and we were playing at the WACA, this would be the situation! In the sub-continent, spin is our forte, and there's nothing wrong or low about preparing spin friendly pitches, just like the pitches down under favours fast bowlers. Just because the Aussies boys can't play spin (with the exception of Hussey and Ponting), you guys can't cry foul! I mean, every visiting team has to put up with the pace battery in Australia, so now put up with the spin!

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