Mahela Jayawardene
Sri Lanka's captain and leading Test run scorer

Two-fifty is a good score under the new Powerplay rules

Large totals are going to be difficult to achieve without good starts. Teams are going to have to rethink their strategies

Mahela Jayawardene

November 17, 2011

Comments: 41 | Text size: A | A

Lasith Malinga is fired up after dismissing Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Dubai, November 14, 2011
Lasith Malinga gives Sri Lanka's other one-day bowlers an edge with his presence in the side © AFP
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It was quite pleasing to finally get that first win, considering how we lost the first one-dayer by a big margin. In the Test matches, we played some good cricket but didn't grasp some of the opportunities, and we repeated that in the first ODI. We had to make sure we didn't do that again in the second match, which we did. I think we controlled the game very well.

We had a very good chat after the first one-dayer, particularly about the areas we were found lacking in. We looked at where we didn't focus enough, and how we could get over a quality side like Pakistan. We were not consistent enough in our batting performances, and we didn't pick up early wickets. This time we managed a decent score, Lasith Malinga took early wickets, we controlled the middle overs, and as a good fielding side we knew we could create some run-out chances.

Pakistan's new-ball attack creates a different sort of challenge, so we had to see through that period. At the same time, we've tended to lose too many wickets in the middle order. That's an area we need to look at, because with the new Powerplay rules, I don't think we will see big totals unless a team gets a really good start and works towards 300. With two new balls at either end, the ball is going to do a lot more most of the time, so we need to rethink our strategy with the new ball and the Powerplays. Given the situation and momentum we got, we were maybe 20 runs short in the second game. I think 230-250 would be a par score these days with the new rules.

When I went in to bat it was the 27th over, we had lost a few wickets, and Pakistan were trying to get on top. I told Upul Tharanga not to panic as we had a Powerplay coming up in another six-seven overs. We just needed to settle the ship, get about three or four runs an over and launch during the Powerplay, and that's what we did. it came at the right time for us, at the 36th over, and we scored 48 runs without losing a wicket. Upul lost his wicket shortly after that but we had enough batsmen to come, so I just had to bat through with them and make sure we got to a competitive score.

During the interval we did fancy our chances, but given that Pakistan bat deep, we knew we had to strike early, and we had to cling on to every opportunity. We did take early wickets, which gave us a lot of confidence, but we dropped a catch off Umar Akmal, batted very well.

Lasith definitely adds a different dimension from our Test attack because he is an attacking bowler who takes wickets at different stages of the game, with the new and old ball. Because of him the others become more effective. We have a few guys with a lot of variations who give us options.

We knew in this second ODI that we had to take control in their batting Powerplay, as they still had Shahid Afridi to follow. Giving them just 26 runs and picking up three wickets was crucial. Till then it had been a 50-50 game.

Regarding my batting position at No. 5: we had spoken to the management and selectors about giving opportunities in different ODI series to youngsters. We talked about sandwiching Dinesh Chandimal between myself and Kumar Sangakkara so as to be able to control things better. We need to experiment more with this sort of thing going forward, and if it doesn't work, fall back on other plans. Chandimal is a very talented player, so hopefully we can guide him.

The Test matches were disappointing for me as a batsman, and I've been trying to spend time in the middle in the ODIs. I started well in the first one but couldn't handle the situation very well, as we were losing wickets. Here, I had the opportunity to take the initiative, which I did, so hopefully I can build on this.

Getting to 10,000 runs in both forms of the game has been one of my targets from about three years ago. I try not to think too much about those milestones. After I get to 10,000 I will sit down and set myself other goals to achieve over the next six months.

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is the country's leading Test run-scorer

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Posted by johnathonjosephs on (November 18, 2011, 7:35 GMT)

If ICC really want to make it hard for the batsman, allow 2 bouncers in an over.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (November 18, 2011, 6:50 GMT)

Oh boy... Problem with the Sri Lankan ODI team at the moment is the placement. Chandimal's addition messes all the orders and roles up but he is a very talented player. If Chandimal is playing, Mahela can not bat at number 5. It is a waste of talent. Opening the innings for Mahela in ODIs is ideal, but what then of Upul Tharanga who has shown some great form recently (record breaker too).... Huge chaos right now in Sri Lankan order. Hope they can mend it soon. To be perfectly honest, even though Sanga is a great player, ODI's is just not his song. I would promote Chandimal to 3 and Sanga to 4. Therefore if the three attacking batsman of Dilshan, Tharanga, Chandimal fail, we still have Mahela and Sanga to steady the innings. Very safe plan in my method then having the openers get out, followed by Sanga, then Chandimal (youngster under pressure), leaving everything to Mahela

Posted by DJyash on (November 18, 2011, 6:24 GMT)

@ longlivewoodoo did you see what my point is yes my point is also made the point that it was a whole team effore oneday one person will be a hero just like shahid afridi was the hero in first odi but you said it is just because of malinga we won,did we complain like that in the first game....no never....it was a good allround peformance by pakisthan and we never said no....but you are talking about winning the rest of the tournament just wait and see how will the todays match will go,@ salman_0902 and chapathishot i never said other bowlers took 7 wickets i said others took 7 wickets including three runouts and 4 wickets which shared by dilhara and thissara 2 each so it was all round effore bowling and batting bowlers bowl good areas and didn't allow to score freely,just like akistan did in the first match,but sopeople talk about our batting that is why i said mind about your own team and see who will win the series

Posted by bMike on (November 18, 2011, 5:27 GMT)

In terms of batting averages Mahela might not be the best but in terms of elegant shot selection I don't see any better batsman than Mahela among currently playing batsmen. It doesn't mean that other batsmen can't play all shots or other batsmen don't have a good shot selection. yes they have but most of them use to play their favorite shots when it's needed to accelerate but Mahela can send any bowl to the boundary anytime as he has special elegant shots for each and every bowl.

Posted by playitstraight on (November 18, 2011, 1:14 GMT)

Well said Mahela, and keep it up!!!

Posted by tradetekbiz on (November 17, 2011, 22:31 GMT)

Well that's good because Pakistan is putting up 300+ if they bat first.

Posted by SamAsh07 on (November 17, 2011, 19:09 GMT)

250 won't be enough in this new format, we are all very well aware of how bad Pakistan is during chase, they can chase small totals but when they see a 200+ target, they freak out and lose. Only sometimes do they pull off a miracle.

Posted by chapathishot on (November 17, 2011, 14:59 GMT)

@DJyash : You should correct yourself,Malinga took two wickets and Pakistani batsmen took eight wickets .The match was lost only because of some rush of blood by Umar.He needs to win matches and without doubt he will be one of the future batting stars in world cricket.He reminds me of one of my favorite batsmen Aravinda,Hopefully he might attain that level.

Posted by Charith99 on (November 17, 2011, 14:52 GMT)

Mahela eventhough you and our team is going through a lean period we are still behind you guys , we know that you are doing your best and soon you will get your form back .

Posted by salman_0902 on (November 17, 2011, 14:23 GMT)

Mr. or Miss DJyash seems like didnt see the score card of the 2nd ODI Melinga took 3 wickets and there were 3 tunouts. the other bowlers didnt take 7 wickets.

Posted by salman_0902 on (November 17, 2011, 14:19 GMT)

"...In the Test matches, we played some good cricket but didn't grasp some of the opportunities, and we repeated that in the first ODI..." what is it? you played good cricket in test matches and repeated that in the first ODI? M.J means good as the meaning of bad. the first ODI was bad bad cricket if they did that in tests then it was bad. if they played good in tests it was totally opposit to what was that first ODI, ehat a waste of time reading this article.

Posted by longlivewoodoo on (November 17, 2011, 14:03 GMT)

@DJyash , stop hurting ur keyboard with anger. Number of wickets doesn't matter always. It also depand on the wicket who got out n the timing of wicket. No team can win until they contribute together but that does n't credit away from the hero of the match.

Posted by AlanHarrison on (November 17, 2011, 13:05 GMT)

It has yet to be proved, but I hope Jayawardene is right that the balance between bat and ball in one-day cricket has been restored somewhat. The bat has been too dominant, and while it's easy to get excited about big scores, too much of this makes a mockery of the game, as notably was observed in 2006 (after the game in which South Africa defeated Australia by chasing 438) by Barry Richards, whose opinion should be respected since he was a fine player (and an overseas player who succeeded in Australian domestic cricket)

Posted by zerotollerance on (November 17, 2011, 11:58 GMT)

Some good observations by MJ. More young players like chandimal should be introduced and persisted with even if they fail, but should be given to bat at top of the order. Tharanga is batting very slowly and putting stress on rest of batting order. Why not let thisaara pereira have a go at the power plays on certain games deepening on pitch conditions..maybe even malinga .....

Posted by dicky_boy on (November 17, 2011, 11:47 GMT)

And mr jayawardeena, We must agree to disagree , we are seeing two teams batting without any quality ,please look at our batting team ,just one glitch in England or else we score 290 every game even in England too ,speak for your own team lol

Posted by dicky_boy on (November 17, 2011, 11:44 GMT)

Uh yawn boring !!! Srilanka was an excellent team until five months back when we beat them in the finals, how did it start losing to average teams, who don't have any batsmen haha

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (November 17, 2011, 11:34 GMT)

I REALLY WANT MALINGA TO WITHDRAW HIS RETIREMENT FROM TEST CRICKET FOR SERIES AGAINST SA . OTHERWISE IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT FOR SL TO SURVIVE IN SA .

Posted by longlivewoodoo on (November 17, 2011, 11:02 GMT)

@Mark00 , i wished , i could have been in position to say all d best , specially with mahela's new profession !!

Posted by ahilcool on (November 17, 2011, 10:46 GMT)

lucky win if pak hadnt had the runouts they would have won but at the end of the day pak lost so 1-1 lets see what happens next

Posted by TheScot on (November 17, 2011, 10:42 GMT)

Is it just me or Mahela actually sounds psuedo intellectual? I think if there is obligation to choose a Sri Lankan then Sanggakara is far more intelligent than him any day. The point is why not better thinkers, writers, and cricketers write columns for Cricinfo.

Posted by DJyash on (November 17, 2011, 10:17 GMT)

@ longlivewoodoo and REHAN CHEEMA,yes malinga did a good job for srilanka,but it is not only him bowled malinga took only 3 wickets,others took other 7 wickets,just look at the first oneday afridi took 3 wickets did any srilankan sad it was because of afridi????just don't be hypocritics and mind your own team....why didn't your so called great pakisthan knock a great match out of the second match?srilanka did an all round team effort and wait and see the next match how your so called great pakistan team win.....every body talk about dilshans captaincy but look closely every matchdid bowling let us down?no it was always batting which let us down captain can't do any thing for batting so please don't blame dilshan he is doing a fine job but only our batsman should support him

Posted by S.Jagernath on (November 17, 2011, 9:45 GMT)

I like the introduction of the 2 new balls and powerplays being restructured.It gives conventional swing bowlers a little more.Scores really need to be reduced.I still feel that the original 15 overs of fielding restriction was best.With that and the 2 new balls would make 250 a very large score again

Posted by zavahir on (November 17, 2011, 9:36 GMT)

Sri lanka is totally depending on Malinga to strike. Otherwise, it will be disaster for SL. Batting revolves around Mahela & Kumar. It is a 3 man band with 11 names. I sincerely hope Chandimal will mature soon.

Posted by Vaji78 on (November 17, 2011, 9:21 GMT)

@ Salman_Mugha, Well said my friend, most of the people that comment on this page has no idea what they write about.

Posted by Haleos on (November 17, 2011, 9:17 GMT)

@Mark00 - spot on mate. If SLC payed him well why would he not choose country over club.

Posted by Haleos on (November 17, 2011, 9:15 GMT)

Mahela says 250 is a good score. If teams use the power plays sensibly we have a possible 30 overs of cranage. 250 would be child play to chase. Wiht 20-20 teams can afford to score only 120 odd in 30 overs and then score the remaining 130 in 20. Get to grips mahela. You won because of Misbah and Afridi.

Posted by Haleos on (November 17, 2011, 9:14 GMT)

@longlivewoodoo - he should also thank brainfreeze boom boom.

Posted by innocent_gikian on (November 17, 2011, 8:14 GMT)

@Hareendra do u consider pakistan an average team? after such a superb performance. i think u didnt c the test matches when srilanka couldnt take 20 wickets even in only one match but pak did i almost all times.i have alot ov respect for srilanka but one should show respect to each other.

Posted by Salman_Mughal on (November 17, 2011, 7:54 GMT)

Its just 2 games.. and people are fighting here, who is better to lead team and who is not.. just one game before every one was cursing Malinga that he performs in IPL and cannot perform for his nation.. now in second match he performed and contributed in his team win.. now every one is disgracing Misbah & Co. even some are saying that Pakistan in an average team.. so my dear friends Australia all out for 47 does that makes Australia an average team ? India lost to England 4-0 so it means India is an average team ? i am pretty sure.. if Pakistan wins next match, everyone will be praising Misbah and degrading Dilshan.. take some time before furnishing any kind of comment !!! these cricketers are playing from past 10 to 15 years they know the pressure.. they know how to deal things.. everyone here think he is expert...but the truth is you can even run a street cricket team properly !!!.. Let cricket be cricket..a game.. and its unpredictable .. got it ?

Posted by CRIC89 on (November 17, 2011, 6:46 GMT)

@longlivewoodoo: Don't worry man. I promise you Sri Lankans play better than Pakistanis in those 3 ODIs.

Posted by Mark00 on (November 17, 2011, 6:30 GMT)

@RandyOZ, given the choice between a long career making millions of dollars and short, painful test career with little to show at the end of it, I'm pretty sure you'd choose the former as well.

Posted by itisme on (November 17, 2011, 6:19 GMT)

Credit must be given to SL for the big win, but Misbah's stupidity has also contributed to this. How on earth sarfaraz comes ahead of Afridi? can misbah explain this? I am sure I will not see a more stupid move in cricket anywhere in the world. Afridi should have come ahead of Razzaq, if not ahead of Misbah himself.

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 17, 2011, 5:55 GMT)

Without muralidharan , srilanka do not have that consistent wicket taker. Now it all depends on who click on that day. toucgh times ahead for srilanka once sanga retires

Posted by innocent_gikian on (November 17, 2011, 5:46 GMT)

From my point of view Mahela's words are excessively (not more) positive than he did. this was only malinga who saves srilanka to another loss pakistan was not far (only 210) to 236 so all credit goes to Malinga.(REHAN CHEEMA)pakistan

Posted by Hareendra on (November 17, 2011, 5:36 GMT)

I cant agree that we have made such a lot of progress. We are struggling to post an average score against an average team like Pakistan. I don't think Mahela is making a lot of sense. We are just not making meaningful progress.

Posted by M.S.Rafaqat on (November 17, 2011, 5:06 GMT)

obviously the rules will effect the game and will be helpful to make the ODIs more attractive and there will be close encounters to watch and enjoy for lovers of the game.

Posted by longlivewoodoo on (November 17, 2011, 4:31 GMT)

Don't explain after just one win. Luckily malinga clicked otherwise u guys would have been continuing ur legacy. And say even thanks to misbah ul haq , he always does pathetic in these type of situation. 3 more to go. Can u win even a single ? Leave it . Can u knock even a single inning.

Posted by goldeneye075 on (November 17, 2011, 4:04 GMT)

yep it was good knock by Mahela.. good to see u back .. hope u guys can guide young Chandimal.. to be a good player.. ;; We really need a good spinner ;-) if we are going to become a force ... But I think Jeevan and Prasanna did a good job.. need to give these guys some chance to perform.. hope to see a good performance on Friday ;-)

Posted by 9ST9 on (November 17, 2011, 3:53 GMT)

" With two new balls at either end, the ball is going to do a lot more most of the time" good luck in South Africa, boys... try to bat out the 50 overs at least....

Posted by Saksham197 on (November 17, 2011, 3:34 GMT)

Mahela is one of the most elegant batsmen to watch when he is in full flow. His strokeplay is simply sublime. Even in T20s, just by his sublimke strokeplay, he will maintain a healthy strikerate, similar to the big hitting sehwags and gayles. I really hope he reaches the 10,000 run landmark. He is a true legend of the game, and along with Sangakkara, Jayasuriya and Muralitharan, is one of the sri lankan cricketers who commands respect.

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 17, 2011, 3:26 GMT)

How sad is it that Malinga has ditched his country to chase money.

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Mahela JayawardeneClose
Mahela Jayawardene Elegant and prolific, Mahela Jayawardene is easily one of the best batsmen around. By a fair margin he is the highest run-getter for Sri Lanka, and on his way to becoming an all-time great. His excellent slip catching, and sharp captaincy - until early in 2009 - made him a big contributor to Sri Lanka's cause. He and Kumar Sangakkara hold the world record for the highest partnership in Tests, 624 for the third wicket, against South Africa in Colombo. Jayawardene is one of cricket's gentlemen: well-mannered, humble, intelligent and articulate.

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