ICC Cricket World Cup, 2010/11 / Commentary

ICC Cricket World Cup - 20th match, Group A

Sri Lanka v Australia

No result

We are all set for the start. Sri Lanka's openers walk out to a full house. Australia are in the field. Brad Haddin feels the ball in his gloves. Brett Lee will steam in with the new ball very shortly

Mahela: "Sri Lanka is playing a spin dominant attack. Why didn't Australia do the same?" Er, coz they don't have so many of them. Scarce commodity in Australia, spin

Shiva: "How's the weather looking? Interesting to note that there have been no mention about it so far?" Well, that is because it is just fine at the moment. I shudder to mention even the possibility of rain when it comes to Colombo. Well, now I have. You know who to blame if it starts pouring. Not me

2.20 pm Time for the national anthems

Sid with some unrelated trivia: "Talking about the Sid factor, they renamed me SID here in US to cover for my tongue-twister of a name. The case reminds me of last early 2000 when every third employee in MTV India was named Cyrus."

Joshua: "As an Australian who watched the Aus-Lanka ODIs last year I'm going to have to go with SL for this game. They're strong and reliable in every area except the lower middle order, whereas Australia have Watson and some pacemen on a track ill-suited to them. How Clarke bats and how Johnson bowls will prove the difference in a match of consistent hard work (Aus) vs brilliance (SL). Here's hoping for a closely fought match with the world cup the winner."

ragu: "This is actually for the stats man Madhu, and the editors of cricinfo- How many "Sid"s are there in cricinfo? Is it a job prerequisite to be named Sid?" I can answer that one, for once. There are three at last count, Monga, Ravindran, and Talya. And no it is not a prerequisite, but it does help, doesn't it?

Australia are going to be tested if Sri Lanka can put up a decent total. It's the age-old Sri Lanka way of constricting the opposition. How close will this game be? The legend has spoken again. Here is Shane Warne on Twitter: "Serious prediction for tonight's game... Aust will win by 10 runs or 4 wkts.... Another close game.." Can you go one better on Warnie? Give us your prediction here.

Three spinners. Sri Lanka are not rating Australia very highly in their ability to play spin. So Mathews will open the bowling with Lasith, or will they open with spin? What is happening to your Fantasy XIs meanwhile? How many spinners do you have?

2 pm Toss Sanga wins the toss to a huge roar. And he is going to bat. "We are playing three spinners. We have left out Kulasekara. No reflection on his record over the years. He is a champion but it is just for this game. We will have to go out and build a good total."

Ponting: "We will have to do a good job with the new ball. We are going with the same side. Hopefully there will be some reverse swing as the game goes on. Looks fairly dry this surface."

1.55 pm Tom Moody says it is a very dry surface. He says the spinners are going to take full advantage of it, and the team winning the toss would want to bat, but of course. No wonder Sri Lanka are thinking about playing three spinners.

Welcome to our coverage of the Group A game between Sri Lanka and Australia at the Premadasa. This has been billed as one of the big games of the tournament, and when you have Lee, Tait and Johnson on one side and Malinga, Murali and Mendis on the other, there is no reason why the match cannot live up to its hype. Osman Samiuddin takes a look at the bowling approaches of both teams.

There has been so much edge to Sri Lanka-Australia encounters in the last decade-and-a-half. Security concerns, forfeitures, umpires, everything has contributed to the rivalry. The sides have contested two World Cup finals, including the one of the previous edition in the Caribbean. Sid Ravi looks forward amid all this to today's match in his preview. And our stats man Madhu has dug up lots of interesting numbers ahead of the contest. Have a look.

0.1

Lee to Tharanga, no run, Lee runs in and bowls a gentle short of a length ball, by his standards, around leg stump, and Tharanga works it away on the leg side

0.2

Lee to Tharanga, no run, 142.4 kph length delivery, didn't look like that the way it came off the pitch slowly, Tharanga in fact waited on it before plonking it down close on the off side

0.3

Lee to Tharanga, 2 runs, Lee goes fuller across the left-hander and Tharanga is away, pushing out to guide it wide of point, and wide of third man as well

0.4

Lee to Tharanga, no run, tests out what the pitch has, bangs in a bouncer, Tharanga is taken by surprise and goes under it

0.5

Lee to Tharanga, no run, this one is on the stumps from just short of a length, tucks Tharanga up, and he opens the face to play it out to point

square leg goes to the boundary, fine leg comes in

0.6

Lee to Tharanga, no run, the short of a length ball arrives, not the bouncer, and tharanga easily keeps it down for Lee to field it

End of over 1 (2 runs) Sri Lanka 2/0 (RR: 2.00)
WU Tharanga    2* (6b)      B Lee    1-0-2-0
TM Dilshan    0* (0b)     

Michael Holt: "I once played in a cricket team that had 7 Mike's. Very confusing at times." Only at times? Here's SW Tait, right arm Fast

1.1

Tait to Dilshan, FOUR, immediately troubles Dilshan with extra pace and bounce, he went for his favourite slap-punch through the off side, got an outside edge that flew wide of second slip, and beat third man as well

Tait gives Dilshan a mouthful right away

Tait steams in from that impossibly long run up, now Dilshan pulls out very late, Tait is furious, the umpires have to intervene, lots of tempers early on

1.2

Tait to Dilshan, no run, throws the bait at Dilshan with a full and swinging delivery outside off stump, Dilshan knows only one way to deal with baits, he takes them on gleefully, but the away movement beats his airy attempted drive

1.3

Tait to Dilshan, no run, down the pads now off a full length, he misses out on the flick, that should have been put away

1.4

Tait to Dilshan, OUT, Tait has won this short but searing battle, Dilshan was on the crease, maybe expecting a bouncer, it was that bait again, moving away from a length outside off, Dilshan threw everything at it, and the edge flew at a comfortable height to White at second slip, Tait is pumped up, really is

TM Dilshan c White b Tait 4 (7m 4b 1x4 0x6) SR: 100.00

Sanga walks in to face the music

1.5

Tait to Sangakkara, 1 run, full and coming in to the batsman, Sanga goes tentatively half forward and gets it towards midwicket to get off strike, wise move

1.6

Tait to Tharanga, no run, 149.5 kph ripper that thuds into Tharanga's defensive bat and rolls away without harm on the off side, this is super stuff from Tait

End of over 2 (5 runs) Sri Lanka 7/1 (RR: 3.50)
WU Tharanga    2* (7b)      SW Tait    1-0-5-1
KC Sangakkara    1* (1b)      B Lee    1-0-2-0

2.1

Lee to Sangakkara, 3 runs, Sanga gets going, drives Lee with minimum of effort through cover, it was just short of a length and he eased it in to the gap, just the man Sri Lanka need right now

Lots of movement behind the sight screen

2.2

Lee to Tharanga, no run, Tharanga gets one in his zone, wide and short outside off stump, cuts on the bounce to point

2.3

Lee to Tharanga, 1 wide, 109.1 kph slower one from Lee, but goes wrong completely, pitches outside leg and moves further away down the leg side

2.3

Lee to Tharanga, 1 run, gets it on target this time, on a length going across Tharanga, who gets forward and pushes it wide of extra cover

One slip goes out now

White is at a sort of short cover point

2.4

Lee to Sangakkara, no run, dug in short of a length, sitting up on this track, punched away nicely to extra cover

Lee goes around the stumps

2.5

Lee to Sangakkara, FOUR, Sanga comes right forward to meet this one coming in from a length outside off, shows the full face of the bat, and holds the pose as the ball races past mid on

2.6

Lee to Sangakkara, 3 runs, Sanga is looking good, uses the angle from round the stumps to whip this length delivery wide of mid on, Lee has yet to find his radar

End of over 3 (12 runs) Sri Lanka 19/1 (RR: 6.33)
KC Sangakkara    11* (5b 1x4)      B Lee    2-0-14-0
WU Tharanga    3* (9b)      SW Tait    1-0-5-1

3.1

Tait to Sangakkara, 1 run, stands in the crease as this short of a length ball comes off lazily off the pitch, and punches it wide of mid off

3.2

Tait to Tharanga, no run, bowls the bouncer, tharanga thinks it can be carved over point, but was late on the shot

3.3

Tait to Tharanga, no run, another bouncer, higher this time, 147.2 kph, tharanga goes underneath it hurriedly

3.4

Tait to Tharanga, 1 run, they steal a single as Tharanga drops this one in front of point

3.5

Tait to Sangakkara, 1 run, Sanga wanted to send this length ball through cover, he bent the knee and went for the drive, but got an inside edge that flew past the stumps to fine leg

3.6

Tait to Tharanga, no run, right on the money is Tait, length ball on the stumps, Tharanga blocks resolutely

End of over 4 (3 runs) Sri Lanka 22/1 (RR: 5.50)
WU Tharanga    4* (13b)      SW Tait    2-0-8-1
KC Sangakkara    13* (7b 1x4)      B Lee    2-0-14-0

smudgeon: "I guess this is the bit where Australia find out if their all-pace attack gamble is going to pay off. Anyone think pace is going to be enough to win this tournament?"

4.1

Lee to Sangakkara, no run, Lee starts off well in this over, just short of a length into Sanga who brings it down close to the stumps

4.2

Lee to Sangakkara, no run, late decision to guide this one, he was rooted to the crease, saw this one going across him, and at the last instant brought down the bat to play it away to point

4.3

Lee to Sangakkara, no run, 144.6 kph and hurrying on to Sanga who pushes too hard at it, and it travels fast to mid off, and Tharanga has to rush back in to his crease

4.4

Lee to Sangakkara, no run, no room to make use of the pace, Sanga tries to guide it past point but cannot

4.5

Lee to Sangakkara, 1 run, Sanga pushes this one softer to mid off than the one earlier this over, and goes scurrying across for the single, Ponting fires in the throw, Sanga was home with the clumsy dive in the end

4.6

Lee to Tharanga, no run, cut away off the back foot to cover, too much bounce for Tharanga's liking

End of over 5 (1 run) Sri Lanka 23/1 (RR: 4.60)
WU Tharanga    4* (14b)      B Lee    3-0-15-0
KC Sangakkara    14* (12b 1x4)      SW Tait    2-0-8-1

Its Shane Watson coming on as first change. Tait has had his blast for the moment

5.1

Watson to Sangakkara, 1 run, the friendlier pace is to the batsman's liking, he can get the front foot out, and guides it wide of point

5.2

Watson to Tharanga, 1 run, fuller from Watto, and he is coming on to the front foot and driving it wide of mid off, what a difference a few yards of pace make

5.3

Watson to Sangakkara, FOUR, shot! Sanga has had enough of being pegged on the back foot, comes forward and stylishly slams this full delivery in the tiniest of gaps past cover

5.4

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, whoa, pushes this one and takes off at the same time, Watson got to the ball, and Sanga had to go back hastily

5.5

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, goes for another carve through covers but checks the shot at the last moment, short cover and short extra cover are playing on his mind

5.6

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, length ball pushed down the ground to mid off

End of over 6 (6 runs) Sri Lanka 29/1 (RR: 4.83)
KC Sangakkara    19* (17b 2x4)      SR Watson    1-0-6-0
WU Tharanga    5* (15b)      B Lee    3-0-15-0

6.1

Lee to Tharanga, 1 run, Tharanga gets away, he was very late in bringing an angled bat down on a length ball around off stump, and got an inside edge on to pad that rolled away on the off side

6.2

Lee to Sangakkara, 1 run, just short of a length, enough for Sanga to work it past square leg

6.3

Lee to Tharanga, no run, short one on leg stump, he goes outside the line and tries to turn it past a very short short fine leg, but he puts in the dive to stop a certain boundary

6.4

Lee to Tharanga, OUT, what a take! Tharanga cannot believe it, it was that short and wide delivery that he likes to take toll of, but it bounced a shade too much for his comfort, tand he cut it in the air past point, or thought he had, but Steve Smith there pulled off a stunner, timing his leap at full stretch to perfection, taking it one handed, he juggled with it somewhat before taking it cleanly in the end, that ball was really traveling like a bullet, if not a 'tracer' bullet

WU Tharanga c Smith b Lee 6 (32m 18b 0x4 0x6) SR: 33.33

Mahela Jayawardene walks out to the middle

6.5

Lee to Jayawardene, 1 wide, goes in search of the yorker but sprays it down the leg side

6.5

Lee to Jayawardene, no run, pacy length delivery that makes Mahela come out and block solidly

6.6

Lee to Jayawardene, FOUR, they had removed the second slip some time ago, the edge from Mahela flies at catchable height in that direction, it was angled in from a length, and Mahela went prodding at it, getting a thick edge

End of over 7 (7 runs) Sri Lanka 36/2 (RR: 5.14)
DPMD Jayawardene    4* (2b 1x4)      B Lee    4-0-22-1
KC Sangakkara    20* (18b 2x4)      SR Watson    1-0-6-0

7.1

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, played down the ground to mid off

7.2

Watson to Sangakkara, 2 runs, flicked off the pads to fine leg

7.3

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, Sanga caught in two minds, if not more, went across and in the end pushed outside the line of one going across him, was he looking to run it to third man, was he looking to leave it, survives nevertheless

7.4

Watson to Sangakkara, FOUR, Watsone gets the outside edge, but it flies through a vacant slip cordon and wide of third man to the boundary, it was a length ball going across Sanga and he went for the drive off the front foot

7.5

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, played away on the off side

7.6

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, in the channel outside off stump, now he leaves with a flourish

End of over 8 (6 runs) Sri Lanka 42/2 (RR: 5.25)
KC Sangakkara    26* (24b 3x4)      SR Watson    2-0-12-0
DPMD Jayawardene    4* (2b 1x4)      B Lee    4-0-22-1

Krish: "I have a question regarding Tharanga's wicket. The replay shows that Brett Lee stepped on the line (which makes it a legal delivery), however by the time the ball was released from his hand the front foot had went pass the bowling crease. Would that make it a no ball or still a legal delivery??" It is a legal ball. He landed a bit behind the crease first up. Mitch it will be now

8.1

Johnson to Jayawardene, no run, goes wide and across Mahela with a short of a length ball with his slinging action

two slips wait for the edge

8.2

Johnson to Jayawardene, no run, and Mahela almost gives it to them, goes driving at a fuller one from the crease, that was not far from the edge, Haddin knows it

8.3

Johnson to Jayawardene, no run, a touch shorter and Mahela sees it early, and decides to leave it

Bryn: "Wow. Steve Smith, the 21st century Jonty Rhodes."

8.4

Johnson to Jayawardene, 1 wide, Mitch's turn to check out the bounce on this pitch, gives it the full shoulder, and that takes it high over Mahela, too high in fact

8.4

Johnson to Jayawardene, 2 runs, Mahela turns this straight one on the stumps towards midwicket, Johnson goes after it, and concedes an overthrow as he has a go at the non-striker's end

8.5

Johnson to Jayawardene, no run, squares him up with one bowled at that uncomfortable angle and bounce, he manages to push it away to backward point

8.6

Johnson to Jayawardene, no run, wider outside off stump this time, Mahela has had enough adventure for the over, and leaves it alone

End of over 9 (3 runs) Sri Lanka 45/2 (RR: 5.00)
DPMD Jayawardene    6* (8b 1x4)      MG Johnson    1-0-3-0
KC Sangakkara    26* (24b 3x4)      SR Watson    2-0-12-0

9.1

Watson to Sangakkara, 1 run, length ball on middle, Sanga goes forward and turns it to midwicket who lets it slip away

9.2

Watson to Jayawardene, FOUR, flicked away fine, it was one leg stump, Mahela went across and turned it with those lovely wrists, no chance for fine leg

9.3

Watson to Jayawardene, no run, comes forward and blocks this one on the off side

there is a breeze blowing across the ground

9.4

Watson to Jayawardene, 2 runs, this one comes in off a length around off, Mahela arrests the forward movement and turns it past square leg, and comes back hard for the second

irishman: "Better him looking like Jonty Rhodes than Shane Warne if you ask me!" Haddin is standing up now

9.5

Watson to Jayawardene, no run, he gets bounce from a length outside off, Mahela decides to go for the cut, is beaten by the extra lift, and Haddin gathers neatly

9.6

Watson to Jayawardene, no run, defended solidly off the back foot in to the off side

End of over 10 (7 runs) Sri Lanka 52/2 (RR: 5.20)
DPMD Jayawardene    12* (13b 2x4)      SR Watson    3-0-19-0
KC Sangakkara    27* (25b 3x4)      MG Johnson    1-0-3-0

bowling Powerplay is taken now. no slips now

10.1

Johnson to Sangakkara, 1 wide, goes full and wide down the leg side with the angle from over the wicket

10.1

Johnson to Sangakkara, no run, meets this full delivery with a confident forward push and the ball goes towards short midwicket

10.2

Johnson to Sangakkara, no run, tries to dab this shortish one away wide of point but cannot get the placement right

10.3

Johnson to Sangakkara, FOUR, lovely push-drive from Sanga, how good is that for timing, it was a length delivery some way outside off, Sanga brought the bat down nice and straight, bisected the gap between mid off and mid on, both of whom gave up the chase early

10.4

Johnson to Sangakkara, no run, turned away to mid on off the front foot, looking for that push-drive again

10.5

Johnson to Sangakkara, no run, played out towards covers

10.6

Johnson to Sangakkara, no run, he is so quick to get on that front foot, spots the length quickly and pushes it back to the bowler

End of over 11 (5 runs) Sri Lanka 57/2 (RR: 5.18)
KC Sangakkara    31* (31b 4x4)      MG Johnson    2-0-8-0
DPMD Jayawardene    12* (13b 2x4)      SR Watson    3-0-19-0

syed: "He is definitely the future... given him more chances and confidence, definitely will turn it like warne (if possible like becham... and can bat brilliantly..fearless cricketer." Tait is back for another go

11.1

Tait to Jayawardene, 1 run, 144 kph low full toss swinging in to the pads, flicked away through square leg

11.2

Tait to Sangakkara, no run, 144.8 kph bouncer that makes Sanga go underneath it, it dies on its way to the keeper

11.3

Tait to Sangakkara, 1 run, back of a length just outside off stump, and he stays in the crease to push it past cover

11.4

Tait to Jayawardene, no run, short of a length delivery on the stumps, Mahela goes on the back foot and blocks on the leg side

11.5

Tait to Jayawardene, FOUR, Mahela's brand of non-violence brings him a boundary, got forward to this length delivery and eased it in the gap between extra cover ad mid off, from where Lee went chasing it desperately all the way to the ropes, he even put in a dive in the end but it eluded him

11.6

Tait to Jayawardene, no run, angled furiously in to the pads, Mahela misses on the flick and Tait goes up in appeal, but that was going down leg

End of over 12 (6 runs) Sri Lanka 63/2 (RR: 5.25)
DPMD Jayawardene    17* (17b 3x4)      SW Tait    3-0-14-1
KC Sangakkara    32* (33b 4x4)      MG Johnson    2-0-8-0

12.1

Johnson to Sangakkara, 1 leg bye, rolls away fine off the pads, Haddin puts in the dive to collect it, Mahela wills Sanga in to the run

12.2

Johnson to Jayawardene, 1 run, pushed away in front of midwicket and they take on Clarke who scores a direct hit but the batsman is safely home

12.3

Johnson to Sangakkara, 1 run, good running, pushed in front of mid off and now Sanga takes on the throw, easily gets it in the end

12.4

Johnson to Jayawardene, 1 run, Mahela goes tall to bring down this short one in front of cover, and the duo steal yet another single from Australia

12.5

Johnson to Sangakkara, no run, 131.6 short delivery, comes in sharply off the wicket to strike him on the shoulder, Sanga looks surprised, did it hit a crack? was it the off cutter? hard to tell, maybe bit of both

12.6

Johnson to Sangakkara, no run, pushed away to point off the back foot

End of over 13 (4 runs) Sri Lanka 67/2 (RR: 5.15)
KC Sangakkara    33* (37b 4x4)      MG Johnson    3-0-11-0
DPMD Jayawardene    19* (19b 3x4)      SW Tait    3-0-14-1

13.1

Tait to Jayawardene, 2 runs, 149.3 kph full delivery on the stumps, Mahela flicks it past midwicket

13.2

Tait to Jayawardene, no run, short delivery banged in, a bit misdirected, goes down the leg side, Mahela goes under

13.3

Tait to Jayawardene, no run, the Mahela defence, makes even relative inaction look beautiful, high elbow, the ball thuds into bat and rolls away harmlessly on the off side

13.4

Tait to Jayawardene, 1 run, good bounce again, turned away off the pads towards square leg

round the stumps to Sanga

13.5

Tait to Sangakkara, no run, bangs it in short of a length, not a very good idea on this wicket, he defends easily

13.6

Tait to Sangakkara, no run, waits for this one to come on outside off stump and guides it to point

Time for a drink for the players. And time for a swap here. George to take over ball-by-ball. I'll jump over to, over-by-over

End of over 14 (3 runs) Sri Lanka 70/2 (RR: 5.00)
KC Sangakkara    33* (39b 4x4)      SW Tait    4-0-17-1
DPMD Jayawardene    22* (23b 3x4)      MG Johnson    3-0-11-0

14.1

Johnson to Jayawardene, 1 run, good length outside off stump, Mahela beats the fielder at cover with a gentle push off the front foot

14.2

Johnson to Sangakkara, no run, good length and straight from Johnson, Sangakkara gets behind the line and drives towards mid-on

14.3

Johnson to Sangakkara, no run, Sangakkara is taking a bit of a risk, moving across his stumps to clip a good length ball from middle stump towards midwicket

14.4

Johnson to Sangakkara, 2 runs, and again, Sangakkara walks across his stumps and flicks a good length ball from middle towards deep square ... if he misses ...

14.5

Johnson to Sangakkara, no run, and again, the step across the stumps and the flick towards midwicket

14.6

Johnson to Sangakkara, 1 run, outside off stump from Johnson this time, so Sangakkara waits in his crease and opens the face to steer the ball towards third man

End of over 15 (4 runs) Sri Lanka 74/2 (RR: 4.93)
KC Sangakkara    36* (44b 4x4)      MG Johnson    4-0-15-0
DPMD Jayawardene    23* (24b 3x4)      SW Tait    4-0-17-1

Australia have some catching up to do in terms of over-rate. They should have completed the 15th nearly 20 minutes ago. Watson's back, Haddin's standing up.

15.1

Watson to Sangakkara, 1 run, good length, angling across the left-hander. Sangakkara dabs the ball towards third man

15.2

Watson to Jayawardene, OUT, Smith has run out Mahela, and that is a massive moment in this match. Mahela pushed the ball towards cover point and set off for the run. He saw Steve Smith, who took that stupendous catch, swooping on the ball and hesitated a fraction. Sangakkara had responded to the run so Mahela decided to go for it. Smith picked up cleanly and let loose a throw that clipped the top of the stumps at the bowler's end. Mahela was several inches short. Sangakkara had also hesitated a touch, and Mahela was looking at the fielder as he ran, which could have reduced his speed. Silence at the Premadasa.

DPMD Jayawardene run out 23 (47m 25b 3x4 0x6) SR: 92.00

Samaraweera is the new batsman.

15.3

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, played on the leg side

15.4

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, Sangakkara stays in his crease and blocks

15.5

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, played towards cover

15.6

Watson to Sangakkara, 1 run, Sangakkara moves a touch towards the off and cuts towards third man

End of over 16 (2 runs) Sri Lanka 76/3 (RR: 4.75)
KC Sangakkara    38* (49b 4x4)      SR Watson    4-0-21-0
TT Samaraweera    0* (0b)      MG Johnson    4-0-15-0

"If Mahela had the bat in his right hand, he would have maybe stretched better. Just a couple of nano seconds of hesitation added to it," says Vivek. Krejza prepares to bowl his first over.

16.1

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, tossed up on middle and off from round the wicket, dabbed from the crease towards point

16.2

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, Krejza turns the ball away from Sangakkara after pitching on off, played off the back foot on the off side

16.3

Krejza to Sangakkara, 1 run, a touch shorter outside off and Sangakkara goes back to cut the ball hard and in the air through cover point

16.4

Krejza to Samaraweera, no run, Krejza slants the ball across the right-hander from round the wicket and zips it back into him from outside off. Lots of turn there. Murali, are you watching? Samaraweera lets it go

16.5

Krejza to Samaraweera, no run, the offbreak outside off, Samaraweera defends

16.6

Krejza to Samaraweera, 1 run, played off the pads behind square for a single ... Ponting had brought a silly point in for that final ball

End of over 17 (2 runs) Sri Lanka 78/3 (RR: 4.58)
TT Samaraweera    1* (3b)      JJ Krejza    1-0-2-0
KC Sangakkara    39* (52b 4x4)      SR Watson    4-0-21-0

17.1

Watson to Samaraweera, 1 run, short of a length angling into the right-hander, tucked off the body towards long leg

17.2

Watson to Sangakkara, 1 run, good length outside off, dabbed towards third man from the crease

"Krejza's turn and bounce defends Sanga's decision to go for 3 spinners," says Sunil. Perhaps, that turn looked ominous.

17.3

Watson to Samaraweera, no run, played off the back foot towards cover

17.4

Watson to Samaraweera, no run, Watson nips the ball from a good length outside off into the right-hander, cramping Samaraweera for room

17.5

Watson to Samaraweera, no run, Watson unleashes the bouncer, but it's a slower one. Samaraweera played the pull too early and didn't make contact

17.6

Watson to Samaraweera, 1 run, short of a length delivery angling into the rib cage, Samaraweera moves across and plays it behind square

End of over 18 (3 runs) Sri Lanka 81/3 (RR: 4.50)
TT Samaraweera    3* (8b)      SR Watson    5-0-24-0
KC Sangakkara    40* (53b 4x4)      JJ Krejza    1-0-2-0

18.1

Krejza to Samaraweera, no run, Samaraweera tries to drive through the off but the turn into him from around the wicket causes an inside edge on the leg side

18.2

Krejza to Samaraweera, 1 wide, Krejza spun the ball down leg and Samaraweera had come a long way forward and was beaten. He got his foot just behind the line before Haddin took off the bails

18.2

Krejza to Samaraweera, 1 run, that kept low as well, pulled off the back foot

18.3

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, Sangakkara strides forward and defends

18.4

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, short ball around off stump, cut off the back foot towards cover

18.5

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, pushed off the front foot towards cover

18.6

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, Krejza pitches outside off and turns it away from Sanga who gets on to the front foot and plays no shot

"I feel SL will be happy with a total in the range 230-240. With that score they can put Aussies on the mat," says Neel.

End of over 19 (2 runs) Sri Lanka 83/3 (RR: 4.36)
KC Sangakkara    40* (57b 4x4)      JJ Krejza    2-0-4-0
TT Samaraweera    4* (10b)      SR Watson    5-0-24-0

19.1

Watson to Samaraweera, 1 run, that's a fine yorker and Samaraweera does well to dig it out through square leg

19.2

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, Sanga tries to use the width outside off to cut towards third man but gets beaten. Haddin completes a sharp take.

19.3

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, good length delivery from over the wicket, angling across the left-hander. Sangakkara defends from off stump towards cover

19.4

Watson to Sangakkara, 1 run, a touch shorter and Sangakkara cuts off the back foot towards deep point. They were going back for the second when Samaraweera slipped and had to turn back and scramble

19.5

Watson to Samaraweera, 1 run, tucked off the hips towards square leg

19.6

Watson to Sangakkara, 1 run, full ball outside off stump, driven off the front foot towards long off

Hiran brings bad tidings: "It was a massive downpour yesterday. Sky has already changed into a gloomy mode now and can hear loud thundering. I am 6km away from RPS. Don't think there will be any play if it rain like yesterday."

End of over 20 (4 runs) Sri Lanka 87/3 (RR: 4.35)
KC Sangakkara    42* (61b 4x4)      SR Watson    6-0-28-0
TT Samaraweera    6* (12b)      JJ Krejza    2-0-4-0

20.1

Krejza to Sangakkara, 1 run, flight from Krejza, bowling round the wicket, pitching on middle. Sangakkara leans forward and clips the ball towards midwicket

20.2

Krejza to Samaraweera, 1 run, Samaraweera strides forward and nudges the ball off his pads towards square. Haddin sprints to do the fielding

20.3

Krejza to Sangakkara, 1 run, lots of flight outside off stump, driven off the front foot towards long off

20.4

Krejza to Samaraweera, 1 run, Samaraweera goes deep into his crease and budges the ball behind square

20.5

Krejza to Sangakkara, FOUR, shot! A boundary after a while. Sangakkara got down on one knee, waited for the flighted ball to pitch around off, and swatted it with power into the gap at deep midwicket

20.6

Krejza to Sangakkara, 1 run, played towards long off for a single

End of over 21 (9 runs) Sri Lanka 96/3 (RR: 4.57)
KC Sangakkara    49* (65b 5x4)      JJ Krejza    3-0-13-0
TT Samaraweera    8* (14b)      SR Watson    6-0-28-0

21.1

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, played from the crease towards mid off, tight line and length from Watson

21.2

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, a good length delivery pitching in line with the stumps and angling just outside off, Sangakkara stays in his crease and blocks

21.3

Watson to Sangakkara, no run, identical ball to the previous one, Sangakkara tries to dab it behind point but doesn't find the gap

21.4

Watson to Sangakkara, 1 run, a bit straighter from Watson and Sangakkara nudges it behind square and takes the single to reach fifty. The Premadasa crowd gives him a huge cheer. They want him to score a century. He hasn't scored one since 2008.

21.5

Watson to Samaraweera, no run, an appeal from Watson as Samaraweera strides forward and gets hit on the front pad by a good length delivery that nips into the right-hander. Did it strike the pad just outside off? It did, just about. Australia's review against the not-out decision is unsuccessful.

21.6

Watson to Samaraweera, no run, Watson pitches the ball on a good length outside off and nips it back into Samaraweera, who stays in his crease and defends this time

"What happens if a match gets washed out? Are the points shared like a tie?" asks Rohit. Yes, a point each.

End of over 22 (1 run) Sri Lanka 97/3 (RR: 4.40)
TT Samaraweera    8* (16b)      SR Watson    7-0-29-0
KC Sangakkara    50* (69b 5x4)      JJ Krejza    3-0-13-0

22.1

Krejza to Sangakkara, 1 run, Sangakkara plays the ball towards deep point for a single

Ponting is having a word with Krejza. There's a slip and leg slip in place.

22.2

Krejza to Samaraweera, no run, Samaraweera goes deep into his crease and plays the ball on the on side

22.3

Krejza to Samaraweera, 1 run, Samaraweera moves forward and drives a full ball towards long-on

22.4

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, Sanga dabs the ball off the front foot behind square and sets off, Haddin sprints towards the ball and Samaraweera sends Sangakkara back

22.5

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, cut hard off the back foot towards cover

22.6

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, defended on the front foot towards the bowler

End of over 23 (2 runs) Sri Lanka 99/3 (RR: 4.30)
KC Sangakkara    51* (73b 5x4)      JJ Krejza    4-0-15-0
TT Samaraweera    9* (18b)      SR Watson    7-0-29-0

Here's Steve Smith, to bowl leg breaks. Ponting trying to catch up with the proper over-rate perhaps?

23.1

Smith to Samaraweera, no run, defended on the front foot with bat and pad close together

23.2

Smith to Samaraweera, no run, that drifted in a touch and turned away from Samaraweera, who let the ball go. Lots of flight

23.3

Smith to Samaraweera, 1 run, Sri Lanka reach hundred with a cover drive from Samaraweera through the in field

23.4

Smith to Sangakkara, no run, big turn for Smith after he pitches just outside off and rips it into the left-hander, after slanting the ball across him. Sangakkara gets hit on the pad

23.5

Smith to Sangakkara, 1 run, played towards square leg for one

23.6

Smith to Samaraweera, 1 run, tossed up wide outside off, Samaraweera reaches out for it and drives towards the fielder on the sweeper boundary

End of over 24 (3 runs) Sri Lanka 102/3 (RR: 4.25)
TT Samaraweera    11* (22b)      SPD Smith    1-0-3-0
KC Sangakkara    52* (75b 5x4)      JJ Krejza    4-0-15-0

24.1

Krejza to Samaraweera, FOUR, dangerous shot with a slip in place. Samaraweera backs away to make room and cuts an offbreak past the fielder at first slip

24.2

Krejza to Samaraweera, 1 run, nudged off the pads towards midwicket for a single

24.3

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, defended watchfully on the front foot towards point

24.4

Krejza to Sangakkara, 1 run, punched off the back foot towards long off

24.5

Krejza to Samaraweera, 1 run, nudged off the pads behind square for a single

24.6

Krejza to Sangakkara, 1 run, flighted delivery on off stump, Sangakara stays in his crease and punches towards extra cover. The fielder at cover tries to cut it off but ends up pushing the ball towards mid-off

End of over 25 (8 runs) Sri Lanka 110/3 (RR: 4.40)
KC Sangakkara    54* (78b 5x4)      JJ Krejza    5-0-23-0
TT Samaraweera    17* (25b 1x4)      SPD Smith    1-0-3-0

"OK, regarding the over rates, how can Ponting be blamed when there are things like and side screen problems and umpire reviews and the batsmen having random drinks?" asks Bryn. Even after those allowances, Bryn, Australia are still slow.

25.1

Smith to Sangakkara, 1 run, nudged off the pads behind square for a single

25.2

Smith to Samaraweera, no run, driven inside out from the crease towards cover

25.3

Smith to Samaraweera, 1 run, flighted ball on off stump, driven off the front foot towards long off

25.4

Smith to Sangakkara, no run, tossed up outside off stump, defended on the front foot towards point

25.5

Smith to Sangakkara, no run, punched off the back foot towards long on

25.6

Smith to Sangakkara, 1 run, Sangakkara skips down the track and hits the ball flat towards wide long-on with a graceful golf-swing

End of over 26 (3 runs) Sri Lanka 113/3 (RR: 4.34)
KC Sangakkara    56* (82b 5x4)      SPD Smith    2-0-6-0
TT Samaraweera    18* (27b 1x4)      JJ Krejza    5-0-23-0

"This is a tricky situation for SL. They can't afford to lose another wicket at this point and must play cautiously. However, with rain around the corner, this might be a shortened game. At this point, that will favor the Aussies unless SL score some quick runs to have a favorable advantage of the D/L method," says Ankit.

26.1

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, Sangakkara played the ball towards cover and Samaraweera set off for the run. Smith fielded the ball and Sangakkara sent Samaraweera back. but Smith fumbled and a run-out was missed

26.2

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, beaten by the off break outside off

26.3

Krejza to Sangakkara, 1 run, played towards cover for a single

26.4

Krejza to Samaraweera, no run, tossed up slowly on off and middle, Samaraweera came forward, waited for a bit, and then defended

26.5

Krejza to Samaraweera, 1 run, played with the turn from the crease through the leg side

26.6

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, Krejza drifts the ball into the left-hander and spins it away, Sangakkara pushes forward and edges towards the off

End of over 27 (2 runs) Sri Lanka 115/3 (RR: 4.25)
KC Sangakkara    57* (86b 5x4)      JJ Krejza    6-0-25-0
TT Samaraweera    19* (29b 1x4)      SPD Smith    2-0-6-0

27.1

Smith to Samaraweera, no run, smith tosses the ball up outside off and spins it away, Samaraweera lets it go

27.2

Smith to Samaraweera, 1 run, this time he cuts towards deep point for a single

"An Aussie I'm in Nittumbuwa 40 klms from colombo its thundering and about to rain here, storm clouds are heading towards Colombo duckworth lewis may be needed tonight," says Ian Pollard.

27.3

Smith to Sangakkara, no run, played towards midwicket from the crease

Dark clouds around the Premadasa.

27.4

Smith to Sangakkara, 1 run, pushed off the front foot towards long-off

27.5

Smith to Samaraweera, no run, Samaraweera goes back in his crease and cuts the ball towards backward point

27.6

Smith to Samaraweera, 1 run, he goes back again and cuts harder, towards the fielder on the sweeper boundary

End of over 28 (3 runs) Sri Lanka 118/3 (RR: 4.21)
TT Samaraweera    21* (33b 1x4)      SPD Smith    3-0-9-0
KC Sangakkara    58* (88b 5x4)      JJ Krejza    6-0-25-0

Tait replaces Krejza, will slow the over-rate and give me more time between balls! He'll be back for two overs or so.

28.1

Tait to Samaraweera, no run, good length ball but a touch wide outside off, Samaraweera plays the ball towards point

28.2

Tait to Samaraweera, 1 run, the yorker but Samaraweera is up for it and digs it out on the off side for a quick single

Tait swung that one a touch back into the right-hander. Reverse?

28.3

Tait to Sangakkara, no run, good length, angling into Sangakkara from round the wicket. Defended on the back foot towards the bowler with a straight bat

28.4

Tait to Sangakkara, 1 run, Tait strays on to the pads and Sangakkara glances the ball towards long leg

28.5

Tait to Samaraweera, FOUR, this time he strays on to Samaraweera's pads and the batsman closes the face so late to nudge the ball past Haddin towards the boundary

28.6

Tait to Samaraweera, no run, better line, around off stump, Samaraweera defends on the back foot towards the off side

End of over 29 (6 runs) Sri Lanka 124/3 (RR: 4.27)
TT Samaraweera    26* (37b 2x4)      SW Tait    5-0-23-1
KC Sangakkara    59* (90b 5x4)      SPD Smith    3-0-9-0

Australia are about 20 minutes behind the over-rate, I reckon. Lee's back for another spell. Terrific competitor.

29.1

Lee to Sangakkara, 1 run, angles the ball into Sanga's pads from round the wicket, flicked fluently towards deep square leg and that single brings up the 50 partnership

29.2

Lee to Samaraweera, no run, Lee tails the ball from a good length into the right-hander, Samaraweera punches the ball towards Lee off the front foot

29.3

Lee to Samaraweera, 2 runs, a nice friendly full toss on middle stump, Samaraweera flicks the ball towards deep square

29.4

Lee to Samaraweera, 2 runs, that kept rather low and it was headed for middle stump before Samaraweera clipped it behind square

29.5

Lee to Samaraweera, no run, short of a length outside off, played awkwardly off the back foot towards point

29.6

Lee to Samaraweera, no run, good length and very straight, Samaraweera moves back and across and pushes towards the leg side

Over to Abhishek Purohit for the rest of the innings ...

End of over 30 (5 runs) Sri Lanka 129/3 (RR: 4.30)
TT Samaraweera    30* (42b 2x4)      B Lee    5-0-27-1
KC Sangakkara    60* (91b 5x4)      SW Tait    5-0-23-1

Thanks George. Australia have managed to keep this partnership to well under four an over. Aravinda de Silva is looking up at the sky, it has gone a threatening shade of grey-black.

30.1

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, tossed up, he comes forward and pushes wide of point, there was a mix-up but the throw was late to the non-striker's end

30.2

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, lovely flight, good turn from outside off, Sanga plays it with an open face on the off side

30.3

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, touch shorter, looks to punch it down the ground, but mistimes it in to the ground

slip in place

30.4

Krejza to Sangakkara, no run, floats it up wide outside off, it turns away sharply, he has a look at it and lets it go

30.5

Krejza to Sangakkara, 1 run, drives this fuller delivery to long off

30.6

Krejza to Samaraweera, 1 run, flighted outside off stump, he pushed forward tentatively and picks up a single as the ball rolls away towards cover

End of over 31 (2 runs) Sri Lanka 131/3 (RR: 4.22)
TT Samaraweera    31* (43b 2x4)      JJ Krejza    7-0-27-0
KC Sangakkara    61* (96b 5x4)      B Lee    5-0-27-1

31.1

Smith to Samaraweera, 1 run, drive with the turn wide of point

Andy Zaltzman tweets: "129-3 after 30. This is cagier than a security-loving parrot at the moment."

31.2

Smith to Sangakkara, 1 run, full on the stumps, swept away to fine leg

31.3

Smith to Samaraweera, no run, tossed up very full, he stays beside the line and drives inside out to extra cover, good player of spin, Thilan

31.4

Smith to Samaraweera, 1 run, follows this wide delivery that turns away a long way, manages to dab it away fine on the off side

31.5

Smith to Sangakkara, FOUR, gift, full toss around off stump, Sanga happily whacks it wide of deep midwicket

31.6

Smith to Sangakkara, 1 run, now he drops it marginally short, and is pulled away to deep square leg

End of over 32 (8 runs) Sri Lanka 139/3 (RR: 4.34)
KC Sangakkara    67* (99b 6x4)      SPD Smith    4-0-17-0
TT Samaraweera    33* (46b 2x4)      JJ Krejza    7-0-27-0

32.1

Krejza to Sangakkara, 1 run, turning away from Sanga, who waits for it to go away, and cuts it away to sweeper cover

light drizzle has started now

32.2

Krejza to Samaraweera, 1 run, goes forward to a flighted ball, and Sri Lanka get away with another mix-up, Thilan hurries back in to his crease

32.3

Krejza to Sangakkara, FOUR, Sanga gets one full down the leg side, and sweeps it very fine, too fine for fine leg

32.4

Krejza to Sangakkara, 1 run, shortish and turning away, cut away to sweeper cover off the back foot

32.5

Krejza to Samaraweera, no run, goes for the forward defensive, was it pad first, was it bat, Krejza asks the question in hope, Ponting seems more confident, goes for the review right away as the appeal is turned down, replays show the ball was going to miss leg stump with all that turn on offer, Australia lose their last review

19.50 And that's that. The game has finally been called off. A real shame but there was no chance it would resume once the rain began with such intensity. Sangakkara was sublime during his half-century, and the game was shaping into a tight contest.

So Sri Lanka and Australia take a point each from the game. Pakistan lead Group A with six points, while Sri Lanka and Australia are level with five points each, though Sri Lanka have played an extra game.

Ponting said it would have been a tough chase. The pitch spun more than Australia expected and Sangakkara was controlling the Sri Lankan innings nicely. Ponting hopes the replacement for Doug Bollinger will be announced in the next two days.

Thank you for all your emails today. Do tune in tomorrow for what should be a cracking day's cricket. South Africa and England play at 9.30 IST, followed by India v Ireland at 14.30 IST. That's it from us at ESPNcricinfo today. Cheers.

19.30 There's no good news, I'm afraid. The rain hasn't stopped in Colombo. It's only a matter of time now, in my opinion. They have to wait until they can formally call it off.

19.00 Still raining. The umpires say they will struggle to get a game. But they won't make the decision just yet. 21.20 is the cut off time for a re-start, but the rain needs to stop well before that so that the ground staff can get the ground ready for play. They will need at least 60-90 minutes to do that.

18.45: I got lots of guesses for Azhar, Kapil and Kumble. But before Tendulkar, it was Srinath. Zubair Ahmed, Zaid and Taimoor Hasan Qazi were the first three I saw with the right answer.

Right, so while we wait for the inevitable - and I apologise for my realism - here's a quesion. Before Tendulkar became India's most-capped World Cup player, who had played the most World Cup matches for India? I won't be able to name and shame all the cricket tragics who get it right, but I will name the first three that I spot.

18.30: Bleakest scenes at the Premadasa. The ground is fully covered. The rain is still falling. Someone's doing the moonwalk on the covers. Someone else is sliding across the surface water and showing off. A large part of the crowd is waiting it out. Commendable optimism. It will need a minor miracle for the game to restart, in my opinion.

18.25: "Who suffers the maximum when a match gets interrupted by rain? Is it Players or Umpires or Crowd or Commercials or Commentators or Cricinfo?" That's a tough one, it is, from Kamal.

Did someone say snow in Lahore earlier? Snow? Seriously? I'm getting lots of email saying it was hail, and not snow. Hail is believable.

Fair comment from Osala: "ICC should be more flexible on deciding when to start a match. Anybody living in Colombo would know that given the weather pattern of last few days it would definitely rain in the evening around 5 o'clock. They should have definitely start this match as a day game. 2002 Champions Trophy finals was the best example. Sri lanka batted twice and shared the trophy with India cos it rained around the start of the second session on both days."

But then again, rain this time of year in Sri Lanka is supposedly unseasonal.

18.17 "Forget reserve grounds - this tourney is so horribly spread out they should be able to manage a reserve *week* for each match. No reason for anything to be called off unless the biblical Flood arrives," says Bryan.

Jawad: "Two weeks back there was snowfall in Lahore for the first time in history... and surely it was before life found on Mars.....!!! then you naver know with mother nature!" Jawad, you don't know Bombay. It'll sink under the monsoon, but snow? Nopes

Kim: "A back-up ground? Marvelous idea! As soon as it starts raining, pack the teams, and the umpires and the TV and media people, coaching staff etc into helicopters and fly them to the back-up field where it presumably isnt raining. A wonder nobody thought of it earlier." And the crowd?

6 pm Still the same situation. Still more rain, a bit lighter than before. Still more puddles on the ground. Lightning in the distance. Pretty dull and forlorn pictures. The cut off time is 9.20 pm to get in a minimum of 20 overs in Australia's innings, and the target would be 154 then.

Nomi: "It's a tragedy that a match of this level get decided by some old-textbook rule and both teams end up splitting points. Better facilities would have been nice say a dome stadium or maybe a back-up field. Hosts countries shouldn't forget that this is a world class event. It generates enough revenue to cover such expenditures. They should be prepared and ready to deal with unforeseen events like this. What's next, final match get decided by some similar rule because it snowed in Mumbai?" Snow in Bombay? You'll find life on Mars before that happens

Irishman: "Not even an Englishman could rain on that Irish parade, son!"

Another gem from Zaltzman: "There's been so much rain here, it must be possible to backdate some of it to Wednesday in Bangalore. At around 7.30pm, preferably."

Priyanka: "there you go: the four semi finalists are the teams that split points. India, England, Australia and Sri Lanka!" Not so soon, not so soon

Sajjad: "these two countries have played their last worldcup match in dark, why they can't in rain today ..."

Ravi: "How about a swimming contest between Dilshan and Tait... ;)"

Jonesy: "Sorry to burst any bubbles, but that rain aint stopping tonight. And even if it does the lads will need snorkels and fins." You won't need all that equipment to head over to our Facebook page.

Andy Zaltzman's latest from Twitter: "Ground authorities are ushering two of every type of cricketer into an ark. I'm being moved on in case the place blows up." "CRICKETERS' ARK UPDATE: Garfield Sobers, Wasim Akram and Mike Yardy arguing over who should take the two left-handed all-rounder spots."

5.30 pm It is pouring down at the Premadasa. The entire ground is not covered though. Wonder why. Short of covers? Huge puddles on the outfield.

kamal: "Did Warne predict rain today?" He said it would be a very close match, and that Australia would win, That still stands as a possibility. Smart Warnie

More Zaltzman on Twitter: "I haven't seen anything this thunderous since Ricky Ponting's face during the Melbourne Test."

rajeev: "Had to turn off TV due to thundering. Please make some sound when match starts again,.." Sound?

Dan: "Good strategic move from Ponting there, using the review on any chance of another wicket, knowing the rain was coming and if it was given would make a significant difference to any D/L calculations. Didn't work, but definitely worth the shot and excellent thinking." Hail Punter

Degant Puri: "Most of my Fantasy League players haven't even got a chance to do anything yet. Damn you rain!"

the rain just got heavy enough for the umpires to send the players back to the dressing room, the covers are coming on, it has gone absolutely dark, very black, not much grey about it anymore. Well, there is some time now to check out our smartphone apps.

Photos

Mar 5, 2011

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

Persistent rain in Colombo led to the game being called off after 32.5 overs

© Manoj Ridimahaliyadda

Mar 5, 2011

Fans take refuge from the rain, Sri Lanka v Australia, Group A, World Cup 2011, Colombo, March 5, 2011

Fans take refuge from the rain

© AFP

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