Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

Australia v Sri Lanka, one-off Twenty20, Perth

An island-themed Halloween party

A Sri Lankan student joins in the bash thrown by his home team at the WACA

Shehan Dias

Comments: 4 | Text size: A | A
Lasith Malinga in his delivery stride, Australia v Sri Lanka, Only Twenty20, Perth, October 31, 2010
All eyes on the slinger © Getty Images
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Choice of game
This was my first live cricket match since Brian Lara made a 200 and Chaminda Vaas got 14 wickets at the SSC in Colombo in 2001. Also, a heavy final semester at university does take its toll on you - what better way to relax before final exams than to see your sports heroes in action.

Team supported
I may be studying in Australia, but I was always going to support my home country Sri Lanka.

Key performer
Although Kumar Sangakkara was great after he got settled, unleashing an array of super shots, Suraj Randiv gets the nod today for setting the game up for Sri Lanka. He deserved his Man-of-the-Match award; he got a lot of bounce and was able to vary his deliveries.

One thing I'd have changed
I'd have loved to see a bit more fight from the Australian top order and a couple more boundaries earlier on would have set up the game very well. Instead, there was a batting collapse which was the last thing most of us expected.

Face-off I relished
It was very enticing to see the Australians use their feet to the Lankan spinners. Michael Clarke hit a six off the first ball he faced from Muttiah Muralitharan. Steven Smith's reverse-sweeping was great to watch, and some sensible batting let Australia claw their way back. But in the end, Randiv made sure the target wouldn't be out of reach.

Wow moment
Dilhara Fernando plucking a superb one-handed catch to send back Clarke. We all thought that he wouldn't even get a hand on it, but somehow he held on.

Player watch
The fans by the boundary didn't seem inclined to hassle the players (Clint McKay and Lasith Malinga) for any autographs, and the fielders by the boundary had little to do anyway.

Shot of the day
I'll be a bit biased here and go with my school-mate Thisara Perera's final six. He was great since he really took to Smith's line and length. The execution of the shot was brilliant and it was a fitting way to end a dominant win for the visitors.

Crowd meter
The crowd was near full capacity and got very vocal whenever their teams got a wicket or a boundary. Malinga got a lot of attention when he bowled; the crowd held its breath while he steamed in. As the game progressed, the Sri Lankan fans were clearly the happier bunch but even then the whole crowd gamely attempted a couple of Mexican waves and bounced a beach ball.

Fancy-dress index
Being Halloween, I expected some costumes and saw Elmo, Tigger and Barney. A lot of the fans were dressed in their team jerseys and there were a lot of green Milo fingers too.

The PA was informative since it clarified who was bowling and had some pumping music every time there was a boundary or a wicket. It was nice to listen to Survivor, Jet and the Black Eyed Peas but "If you're happy and you know it (clap your hands)" seemed out of place.

During the innings break, Spiderman and Batman made appearances on a zip line. There were a lot of fireworks and a catching contest which was horrendous since after what seemed like ages the game was stopped because the four people participating couldn't hold on to a single catch. A spectator tried to intervene by staking his claim to participate but the guards put a stop to his antics and he was promptly booed by the crowd.

My trusty cap, whistle, finger food, Sri Lanka shirt and a notepad in case I got a chance to ask for an autograph.

For my first game at the WACA, it was a pleasant experience, but could have been better. The quality of the game was good barring the middle overs since both teams seemed content to settle for singles. It was disappointing that Sri Lankan fans couldn't play their brand of music since it would have helped create a more vibrant atmosphere.

Marks out of 10
9. It is great to see your home team do so well, but a lack of a real fight by Australia was a bit of a dampener since they are known to produce a fightback when the chips are down.

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Shehan Dias, a 21-year-old Sri Lankan residing in Perth, is a mega cricket lover (tennis comes a close second). He plans to work in a multi-national corporation but till then is doomed to immerse himself in university assignments, presentations and short-lived hours of studying. He hopes to start work on his Honours soon, but is briefly considered putting it off to be in the subcontinent for the 2011 World Cup.

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Comments: 4 
Posted by BeeAre on (November 2, 2010, 1:07 GMT)

That last shot of the SL innings was the biggest six I have seen in ages!! It was a very fitting end to the match dominated by a very sharp Sri Lankan outfit. Looking forward to seeing the Aussies fire up in the ODIs and hope all is in readiness for the ashes...

Posted by   on (November 1, 2010, 15:19 GMT)

Kuruwita .....I don't think that they can bounce back, with the SL ODI team.Just imagine the power of bowlers in the side.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (November 1, 2010, 10:00 GMT)

Do not write off Aussies. They will bounce back under Ponting. I believe ODI series will be much closer if not Aussies will win comfortably. But I need to see how SL plays motivated Aussie outfit. If SL can win by 2-1, then it will prove. If SL looses narrowly or after a good fight, then I can believe they are one of the favourites for the WC.

But the match was very good as SL were much much better than Aussies in every department.

Posted by Vivek.Bhandari on (November 1, 2010, 8:44 GMT)

no biases Shehan...that gigantic six was indeed the shot of the day...really takes some strength to hit that far...looked enormous on the must be enthralled watching it live...:)

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