Victoria v Wayamba, CLT20 2010, Centurion

Nothing goes right for Wayamba

Wayamba have looked unsure of themselves and their purpose, failing to replicate their terrific domestic form

Firdose Moonda in Centurion

September 20, 2010

Comments: 17 | Text size: A | A

Jehan Mubarak clubs one over mid-on, Victoria v Wayamba, Champions League Twenty20, Centurion, September 20, 2010
Jehan Mubarak's stand of 73 with Mahela Jayawardene was by far Wayamba's best phase in the match © AFP
Enlarge

For the third time in as many games, Wayamba have played the part of the scorned lover, on the wrong end of a one-sided break-up. They've failed to produce any memorable clashes driven by hot-headed passion or any exchanges fuelled by sheer desire. The real truth is that the Sri Lankan champions showed little inkling of wanting to be here at all and that's been their biggest downfall.

On paper, Wayamba look as strong a squad as any, filled with international players. They are one of only three teams making a second appearance in the competition and, astonishingly, of the five teams in their group, Wayamba have the best record in Twenty20s - winning 73% of their matches. None of those impressive numbers made a sliver of difference tonight as the Centurion crowd was lulled to sleep for the second time by Jehan Mubarak's side. In their dreamy slumber, amid thoughts of pristine Sri Lankan beaches, some might have wondered, just what went wrong with Wayamba?

This time, they had their best start with the bat in three outings. When compared with the precarious 64 for 3 that they were perched on at the halfway stage against the Warriors, or the suicidal 57 for 6 they managed to scrape together after 10 overs against Chennai, the 81 for 2 that Wayamba had crafted at the midpoint of their innings today was glorious. They were well poised to go on and post a confident 170-plus total to really test Victoria.

Mahela Jayawardene, who made just 10 runs in his two stints at the crease before this match, was finally showing ever-so-small glimpses of form. His first boundary came from a top edge that squeaked over the rope for six and he found two fours through risky edges, but Jayawardene's determination shone through. In between his nerves, he was trying to reclaim his old self, the one who played the ball with classic touches of delicacy and finesse.

If he had had a partner on the other end, the results could have been spell-binding. Mubarak did the job for a while, but when he went, it was though someone had eaten all the chocolate off an Easter egg. Only the soft marshmallow remained and how simple it looked for Victoria to plough their way through that mush. Eight wickets for 25 runs was the result. Wayamba have not had more than two batsmen go past 20 runs in an innings and that trend continued tonight.

It could be blamed on the conditions, with the South African pitches offering more life and bounce than what the Sri Lankans are used to, but Mubarak quashed that argument. He said that the pitch for this match looked quite similar to tracks his team would have encountered at home and Jayawardene admitted it was a slow wicket. What Wayamba really needed was some semblance of the continuity that saw them inch over the 150 mark in Port Elizabeth.

With just 106 on the board, the bowlers couldn't be expected to be more than cannon fodder, as they were in the Warriors chase. On both occasions, the bowling rarely had the opportunity to show itself off, and when it did, against Chennai, it looked woefully inept.

Wayamba have been able to build pockets of pressure. At the start of the fifth over, they had Victoria at 27 for 1. The next three overs yielded just 10 runs and produced a wicket. Instead of tightening the noose, the next over went for 17 runs and all the hard work unravelled like a misbehaving ball of wool.

As their main two main disciplines fell so short of expectations, the fielding was never going to be breathtaking. It had few memorable moments to show itself, and when it did it was not in a flattering light. Matthew Wade top-edged the ball in the direction of long-on and Chanaka Welegadara was left to scan the skies for the prize. The lights would not have made it easy for him to find it and despite running a loop around the area he hoped it would land, Welegedara's hands never found the ball.

That sort of confusion and perplexity sums up the Wayamba campaign so far. They have looked unsure of themselves and their purpose. Wednesday gives them an opportunity to change that. Their match against Central Districts is set up to be a lullaby but if they are to start playing to a more edgy tune, they can leave South Africa with notes of a redemption song.

Firdose Moonda is a freelance writer based in Johannesburg

RSS Feeds: Firdose Moonda

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by sonjjay on (September 23, 2010, 11:22 GMT)

That Kalatunga guy looked good, why isnt he playing in the sri lankan team ??

Posted by Nipun on (September 21, 2010, 11:46 GMT)

In both the Champions League editions,the team from Sri Lanka & New Zealand have been a disgrace.Guyana too have been disgraceful this time-how on earth could they topple a vibrant,enthusiastic,keen Trinidad & Tobago side to win the Caribbean T20 competition goes beyond me.Some things,as they say,can't be explained....

Posted by Ralp on (September 21, 2010, 11:26 GMT)

I can't believe the best T20 team of SL with plenty of international experience would perform this badly. I think Wayamba threw all the games away for money.

Posted by evenflow_1990 on (September 21, 2010, 10:04 GMT)

just get sanga, dilshan and malinga into the wayamba team and we'll make the finals next time hahaha.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2010, 7:27 GMT)

Is Mubarak the captain can win a CLT20? Many dont think so. Moreover Mahela was kind of afraid to face the pace attack. Very poor show. Disgrace for Sri Lankan Cricket. It is a game and someone has to lose. But godown with a fight. None wanna see Welagedara bowling for national side anymore. Wayamba 11, Good for nothing.

Posted by KaZsa on (September 21, 2010, 7:12 GMT)

For me Wayamba is not the best T20 side in SL.They won the tourney purely through brilliance of Jeevantha and Mahela. They do not have those so called T20 specialists in the side.But they would have tried their best.Its not easy for them for sure to be performing at their best with T20 specialists like Victoria who has the most capped T20 player(Hussey).I think this shows Sri Lankan domestic T20 level needs a serious look in.Although I myself don't care much for CLT20.But authorities must look to develop all domestic cricket in Sri Lanka and make spectators come to watch the matches, much like in Australia or England.

Posted by TharinduChat on (September 21, 2010, 6:55 GMT)

Basnahira South and Basnahira North should be combined as one team. That will make it more stronger and would give other teams a hard time.

Posted by Lion_of_Lanka on (September 21, 2010, 6:22 GMT)

Now it will be the stags vs wayamba to determine the worst team in group A. I respect Mubarak for not offering excuses and admitting the other team was the better side. And to be honest, Wayamba is almost like the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003-2008 period where the whole team depended on LeBron James. Likewise, the whole team depends on MJ to win the match and for others to only play around him but not take charge. The match against the Warriors wasn't too bad though. I enjoyed Jeevantha's batting and Kushal Perera's 3 sixes. But let's hope kandurata wins next years tournament so we can at least give a good fight in the next champions league.

Posted by SLfan on (September 21, 2010, 6:04 GMT)

When only one team from a country is going for a tournament like this, they actually not representing their state, rather they represent their country ! So, you can't be that much relaxed as you showed through out this tournament. They need to be more responsible, since whole country is expecting you to perform well...It would have been different, if Mahela captained the side....I believe that Kandurata is a better team, when you compare the players. But the thing is still they lost to Wayamba twice, from big margins I guess. If Kandurata is really good, then they should be able to beat Wayamba. So, let's see what will happen in the next domestic tournament.

Posted by KaZsa on (September 21, 2010, 5:32 GMT)

For me Wayamba is not the best T20 side in SL.They won the tourney purely through brilliance of Jeevantha and Mahela. They do not have those so called T20 specialists in the side.But they would have tried their best.Its not easy for them for sure to be performing at their best with T20 specialists like Victoria who has the most capped T20 player(Hussey).I think this shows Sri Lankan domestic T20 level needs a serious look in.Although I myself don't care much for CLT20.But authorities must look to develop all domestic cricket in Sri Lanka and make spectators come to watch the matches, much like in Australia or England.

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Firdose MoondaClose
Tournament Results
Warriors v Super Kings at Johannesburg - Sep 26, 2010
Super Kings won by 8 wickets (with 6 balls remaining)
Warriors v South Aust at Centurion - Sep 25, 2010
Warriors won by 30 runs
Super Kings v RCB at Durban - Sep 24, 2010
Super Kings won by 52 runs (D/L method)
Super Kings v Warriors at Port Elizabeth - Sep 22, 2010
Super Kings won by 10 runs
Central D v Wayamba at Port Elizabeth - Sep 22, 2010
Wayamba won by 74 runs
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days