Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, Group B, Providence May 3, 2010

A Twenty20 hundred for the purists

Before this tournament started there were two Twenty20 international hundreds. In the last 48 hours that tally has been doubled and Mahela Jayawardene's even 100 will rank among the finest innings played in the format
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Before this tournament started there were two Twenty20 international hundreds. In the last 48 hours that tally has been doubled and Mahela Jayawardene's even 100 will rank among the finest innings played in the format. It proved, beyond doubt, that there is still a place for elegance and grace in the smash-and-grab world of Twenty20.

For a while it looked like rain would scupper Sri Lanka, but they managed to race to five overs in Zimbabwe's chase before another downpour. Now they are likely to progress to the Super Eights, and Jayawardene is going to take some catching as the tournament's leading scorer if his form continues, having begun with 81 off 51 balls against New Zealand three days ago.

On early form it is shaping as a race between him, Suresh Raina and possibly Shane Watson. Raina and Watson made their mark yesterday against South Africa and Pakistan respectively, but they were both innings more akin to this format. That isn't for one minute suggesting they weren't worthy knocks, far from it as Raina produced a glorious 60-ball 101 and Watson pulverised Pakistan with a 49-ball 81.

But watching Watson, and to a lesser extent, Raina hammer the bowling attack wasn't nearly as fulfilling an experience as watching Jayawardene toy with the Zimbabwe attack. The bowlers he faced weren't of the class of South Africa or Pakistan, but Jaywardene was in complete control from the moment he struck the second delivery of the match for four and the third for six as 14 came off the first over. It was a faultless innings.

"I'm relieved and happy we managed to play a game out there but I thought the day belonged to Mahela who batted absolutely brilliantly," said Kumar Sangakkara. "To score a hundred in Twenty20 isn't easy but the way he is batting I think he'll keep on doing things that are incredible."

It is a complete justification of his elevation to opening, which has led to Sanath Jayasuriya coming in at No. 8. Only twice in his previous 579 internationals has Jayasuriya batted so low and they were back in 1990 and 1991. Before Jayawardene moved, he had an underwhelming average of 22.05 from 23 Twenty20s and the task of launching the innings was left to Jayasuriya and Tillakaratne Dilshan. Now Sri Lanka have found the way to make the most of Jayawardene in Twenty20, especially with Jayasuriya coming towards the end of his career.

"It wasn't that I was disappointed batting lower down, I had a different role, it's whatever fits in but I knew I could be a lot more free and express myself a bit better batting higher up the order," Jayawardene said. "I started in provincial cricket back home and it went well and continued at the IPL, then I had a chat to my skipper. When you are in form you have to make best use of it, and in Twenty20, you need guys to control the innings so the big hitters can bat around you."

Jaywardene has always been one of the most pleasing batsmen on the eye and it is testament to his skill that he has been able to translate that into Twenty20, where the temptation is to leather the cover off the ball. However, regardless of how quickly runs need to be scored, there is no point swinging blindly because the net result is unlikely to be as successful as retaining the basics that make for successful run-scoring in any format. However, Jayawardene could probably make slogging looking graceful.

"I had to challenge myself to be a bit different in Twenty20 cricket as well as all the other aspects of the game," he said. "So you keep pushing yourself to try and be a better cricketer every day."

His impressive IPL form has no doubt played a part in his prolific start to this event, as have pitch conditions in Guyana, which are akin to those in Colombo and Galle. Still, batsmen normally like to take a little time to get their eye in but Jayawardene drove his third delivery over long off to signal his intent. It wasn't even a half volley, yet the back-of-a-length ball from Chris Mpofu was lofted on the up; in a Test match, or even an ODI, it would have been left or defended with a high left elbow.

Against New Zealand he had dominated the scoring - after six overs he had 30 of Sri Lanka's 36 - and was at it again here, when Dilshan's poor run continued as he miscued a lofted drive for 2. This time after six overs, Jayawardene had 48 (off 25 balls) out of Sri Lanka's 59 for 1 and his fifty off 27 balls was the fastest of the tournament to date. Because there was so little outlandish swinging by Jayawardene, the opportunity of the hundred almost crept up, and when he nudged a single into the leg side he celebrated with an understated lift of the bat to the dug-out and the crowd.

There has also been a role reversal with his opening partner Dilshan, who led Sri Lanka's batting at last year's World Twenty20 but can't buy a run this time. However, you couldn't get two more contrasting players and there isn't a Dilscoop in sight when Jayawardene has his bat in hand. There is no need for such extravagance when the tried and tested methods work so well.

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Cannuck on | May 7, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    What is clear from the final posting is that although backing a "former" legend & hope he'd catch fire in the future, some cannot even remember an actual "major" tournament, their hero won for SL. Sad thing to me is that I never compared MJ to J'ya. It's like apples & oranges, each to their own, different players with different approaches to the game, both effective in their own way. Besides they play for the same team, so what's the point. All I said was that J'ya is past his prime & should have bowed out gracefully years ago. Others blindly back J'ya & marginalize the performance of a player like MJ who is in TOP form. However by comparing the 2 players in his final posting, it is obvious to the world how selfishly some SL fans think., which is not any different from the SL Board's thinking. It's one of the reasons why SL is never on top, why we can't find replacements to Murali, Vass etc. Talent is there, if only players, board & fans weren't selfish for their own causes & moved on!

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | May 5, 2010, 18:39 GMT

    This would be my final posting here, so I need to make my point clear before leaving. I have good respect to Mahela, may have watched him since I was 14 or so (I'm a couple of years younger than him & in a totally different field). But what really worries anyone who admires Mahela is he's really good on flat tracks milking moderate attacks, still struggles on more challenging tracks especially when up against good attacks under some pressure. He may have a couple of sparkling performances overseas, yet only a very few given the vast amount of matches he's played. I mean ODIs here, NOT tests where you can take all your time & adjust to the conditions at your pace. No comparison is required when it comes to ODIs between J'ya & Mahela. Any good enough follower of the game would know. Mahela seems classy when on song, yet fails miserably in between in most cases. If I want the class, I mean the genuine class, I'd turn to T'kar, Ponting or Lara, not to Mahela. Even De Silva was far better.

  • POSTED BY Cannuck on | May 5, 2010, 17:07 GMT

    Some live in stats world. Fortunately cricket is played in the real world, on a turf using a bat & a ball, not a pen & a calculator. People have free time to dig up stats & think they are experts on cricket. So they know what MJ did as a 16 year old, so what? Does that make them a rational thinker? BTW, look who's talking about still living in the past, & still hoping to see lightning strike for J'ya, again. When was that, 3 yrs ago? BTW what Major tourney did J'ya win ALONE? Hope they are not counting Asia Cup & Tri series as Majors.. REALLY? The only tourney that qualifies as a Major was the 96WC win & it was Ara not J'ya who won that! Albeit even Ara would say it's a team sport & he didn't win it alone. At least Ara left on top, not greedy like J'ya. MJ may not have the average or strike but he is still kicking butt & taking numbers. I think it's time for some to get off a broken down stud still in the team thanks to politicians & give credit when & where it's due.

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | May 5, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    It's quite dissapointing to see some not having even any rational thinking.They still live in Mahela's master class against NZ in '07WC semi final (where rest of his 500+ runs in the whole tournament came at a pretty ordinary strike rate), his 3/4 hundreds against Eng. in '06, etc..If you say you have memory, I may have few times of that.I can clearly remember more of his magical innings;his maiden ODI 100 against Eng. in Aus. in '99/'00,his 30+ ball fifty against the strong Pakistani attack in Sharjah in early 2000s,& his 95* to win the ODI tournament in '05/'06.Also his majestic 167 against NZ in the test played at Galle as a mere 21 yr old in '98,brilliant 168 at Welegedara stadium as just a 18 yr old against a strong SA U-24 attack in '95,his 108 as a 16 yr old against Eng U-19 side in '93.I can keep going on,but can you loose the biggest picture?.8000+ runs in 300+ ODIs at a mere SR of 75+ batting at 4-5?.How many major tournaments he's won for SL , compared to De Silva or J'ya?.

  • POSTED BY malingasyorkers101 on | May 4, 2010, 19:06 GMT

    You might think im crazy, but jayasuriya is where he should be. He shouldn't open, he's past his batting prime, and is more of a bowler who can occasionally hit the ball hard. I think Sri Lanka has the right team, they just need Dilshan to come back into form and they would have a devastating opening partnership! I think that's what is best for the team!

  • POSTED BY Cannuck on | May 4, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    Have to agree with ELLIS about the Monday morning QBs writing here. No matter what SL does, Kumar does or MJ's brilliance, there's always a few idiots not happy. The guy I referred to in my previous post has posted here again, saying MJ is yet to prove he's a match winner. duh! 4 his benefit I'll remind him just a couple of many. 07 WC semis 100 against NZ, 2010 tri-series final against India & 06 series in ENG. Just cause MJ doesn't maul every ball & play for the "gallery", some think he is not a match winner. Acknowledged by the world as a shrewd tactician on the field he doesn't have to always perform with the bat to win a game. As for ppl claiming Sanga is out to get rid of a legend. Same ppl accused MJ when he was the skipper too. It's not a win win situation for them. On one hand they have to give the new guys a chance, but cannot drop the ailing legends, because of the "gallery" support. The bottom line is that these legends should have bowed out gracefully many moons ago!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    What a batting line up! guess it's the worlds best as a cricketing legend can't find a place to bat any higher than no 8. Sangakkara is totally out of his mind, and with his recent form I don't mind Sanga batting at no 8 and Santh open with mahela or atleast at no 3-4.

    Well done Mahela! I hope you give some advice to your swollen headed best friend.

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    Raina and Mahela... ha ha why would yo want to compare? Thats like comparing mahela and sachin.

  • POSTED BY Ellis on | May 4, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    Here we go again! The Monday morning quarterbacks and armchair critics who pose off as Sri Lankan supporters are at it again! They are rarely satisfied and are always on the hunt for conspiracy theories. Jayasuriya has an important role to play, and will. He is at the tail end of his career but can still contribute. Jayawardena's innings was all class. No matter who it was against, the manner of it's making was the proof of the pudding.He was, is, and will be a class batsman in all forms of the game. Clearly one of the best in the world right now. Sangakkara is an innovative captain. Those types always run the risk of having tactics go astray.Especially if the team is not in top form. The real weakness in the SL team in this format is their performance in the last five overs whether batting or bowling. The absence of consistent long ball hitters and at the death bowlers is a major weakness. Malinga rarely bowls as well for SL as he does in the IPL. Vaas is sorely missed in this phase.

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    Well Most of you guys want to play sanath Up the order. This is T20. Spinner opening the Ball,Thisara Perera Came @ no 3. Whle Chandimal is Due for that place. No Wonder If Mendis open the inning Next Match For Srilanka,

    Bit Of Sanga's Captaincy Record's

    In Srilankan 50 Over Domestic Tournament Final. Sangakkara Sent Weerarathna As Opener. And T20 Semi Final he sent Samaraweera As Opener while Weerarathna Available.

    What is Going On Sanga's Mind

  • POSTED BY Cannuck on | May 7, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    What is clear from the final posting is that although backing a "former" legend & hope he'd catch fire in the future, some cannot even remember an actual "major" tournament, their hero won for SL. Sad thing to me is that I never compared MJ to J'ya. It's like apples & oranges, each to their own, different players with different approaches to the game, both effective in their own way. Besides they play for the same team, so what's the point. All I said was that J'ya is past his prime & should have bowed out gracefully years ago. Others blindly back J'ya & marginalize the performance of a player like MJ who is in TOP form. However by comparing the 2 players in his final posting, it is obvious to the world how selfishly some SL fans think., which is not any different from the SL Board's thinking. It's one of the reasons why SL is never on top, why we can't find replacements to Murali, Vass etc. Talent is there, if only players, board & fans weren't selfish for their own causes & moved on!

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | May 5, 2010, 18:39 GMT

    This would be my final posting here, so I need to make my point clear before leaving. I have good respect to Mahela, may have watched him since I was 14 or so (I'm a couple of years younger than him & in a totally different field). But what really worries anyone who admires Mahela is he's really good on flat tracks milking moderate attacks, still struggles on more challenging tracks especially when up against good attacks under some pressure. He may have a couple of sparkling performances overseas, yet only a very few given the vast amount of matches he's played. I mean ODIs here, NOT tests where you can take all your time & adjust to the conditions at your pace. No comparison is required when it comes to ODIs between J'ya & Mahela. Any good enough follower of the game would know. Mahela seems classy when on song, yet fails miserably in between in most cases. If I want the class, I mean the genuine class, I'd turn to T'kar, Ponting or Lara, not to Mahela. Even De Silva was far better.

  • POSTED BY Cannuck on | May 5, 2010, 17:07 GMT

    Some live in stats world. Fortunately cricket is played in the real world, on a turf using a bat & a ball, not a pen & a calculator. People have free time to dig up stats & think they are experts on cricket. So they know what MJ did as a 16 year old, so what? Does that make them a rational thinker? BTW, look who's talking about still living in the past, & still hoping to see lightning strike for J'ya, again. When was that, 3 yrs ago? BTW what Major tourney did J'ya win ALONE? Hope they are not counting Asia Cup & Tri series as Majors.. REALLY? The only tourney that qualifies as a Major was the 96WC win & it was Ara not J'ya who won that! Albeit even Ara would say it's a team sport & he didn't win it alone. At least Ara left on top, not greedy like J'ya. MJ may not have the average or strike but he is still kicking butt & taking numbers. I think it's time for some to get off a broken down stud still in the team thanks to politicians & give credit when & where it's due.

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | May 5, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    It's quite dissapointing to see some not having even any rational thinking.They still live in Mahela's master class against NZ in '07WC semi final (where rest of his 500+ runs in the whole tournament came at a pretty ordinary strike rate), his 3/4 hundreds against Eng. in '06, etc..If you say you have memory, I may have few times of that.I can clearly remember more of his magical innings;his maiden ODI 100 against Eng. in Aus. in '99/'00,his 30+ ball fifty against the strong Pakistani attack in Sharjah in early 2000s,& his 95* to win the ODI tournament in '05/'06.Also his majestic 167 against NZ in the test played at Galle as a mere 21 yr old in '98,brilliant 168 at Welegedara stadium as just a 18 yr old against a strong SA U-24 attack in '95,his 108 as a 16 yr old against Eng U-19 side in '93.I can keep going on,but can you loose the biggest picture?.8000+ runs in 300+ ODIs at a mere SR of 75+ batting at 4-5?.How many major tournaments he's won for SL , compared to De Silva or J'ya?.

  • POSTED BY malingasyorkers101 on | May 4, 2010, 19:06 GMT

    You might think im crazy, but jayasuriya is where he should be. He shouldn't open, he's past his batting prime, and is more of a bowler who can occasionally hit the ball hard. I think Sri Lanka has the right team, they just need Dilshan to come back into form and they would have a devastating opening partnership! I think that's what is best for the team!

  • POSTED BY Cannuck on | May 4, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    Have to agree with ELLIS about the Monday morning QBs writing here. No matter what SL does, Kumar does or MJ's brilliance, there's always a few idiots not happy. The guy I referred to in my previous post has posted here again, saying MJ is yet to prove he's a match winner. duh! 4 his benefit I'll remind him just a couple of many. 07 WC semis 100 against NZ, 2010 tri-series final against India & 06 series in ENG. Just cause MJ doesn't maul every ball & play for the "gallery", some think he is not a match winner. Acknowledged by the world as a shrewd tactician on the field he doesn't have to always perform with the bat to win a game. As for ppl claiming Sanga is out to get rid of a legend. Same ppl accused MJ when he was the skipper too. It's not a win win situation for them. On one hand they have to give the new guys a chance, but cannot drop the ailing legends, because of the "gallery" support. The bottom line is that these legends should have bowed out gracefully many moons ago!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    What a batting line up! guess it's the worlds best as a cricketing legend can't find a place to bat any higher than no 8. Sangakkara is totally out of his mind, and with his recent form I don't mind Sanga batting at no 8 and Santh open with mahela or atleast at no 3-4.

    Well done Mahela! I hope you give some advice to your swollen headed best friend.

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    Raina and Mahela... ha ha why would yo want to compare? Thats like comparing mahela and sachin.

  • POSTED BY Ellis on | May 4, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    Here we go again! The Monday morning quarterbacks and armchair critics who pose off as Sri Lankan supporters are at it again! They are rarely satisfied and are always on the hunt for conspiracy theories. Jayasuriya has an important role to play, and will. He is at the tail end of his career but can still contribute. Jayawardena's innings was all class. No matter who it was against, the manner of it's making was the proof of the pudding.He was, is, and will be a class batsman in all forms of the game. Clearly one of the best in the world right now. Sangakkara is an innovative captain. Those types always run the risk of having tactics go astray.Especially if the team is not in top form. The real weakness in the SL team in this format is their performance in the last five overs whether batting or bowling. The absence of consistent long ball hitters and at the death bowlers is a major weakness. Malinga rarely bowls as well for SL as he does in the IPL. Vaas is sorely missed in this phase.

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2010, 10:02 GMT

    Well Most of you guys want to play sanath Up the order. This is T20. Spinner opening the Ball,Thisara Perera Came @ no 3. Whle Chandimal is Due for that place. No Wonder If Mendis open the inning Next Match For Srilanka,

    Bit Of Sanga's Captaincy Record's

    In Srilankan 50 Over Domestic Tournament Final. Sangakkara Sent Weerarathna As Opener. And T20 Semi Final he sent Samaraweera As Opener while Weerarathna Available.

    What is Going On Sanga's Mind

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | May 4, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    J'suriya batting at no.7/8 is due to nothing but the idiotic management & the swollen headed captaincy who keep on believing that they've got may be a half a dozen of superioir batsmen to win a major tournament, let it be this 20-20 WC or the 50-50 eidtion coming next year. I cannot even memorize any major tournament won by either S'kara or even Mahela for that matter during the past decade or so (this is no insult to Mahela, he batted quite well in the last two games, but still he has a lot to prove in limited overs games to win matches & tournaments on the consistent basis.). How stupid the dicision to send J'suriya so low down even below some pretty average new comers is to be seen when SL takes on any of the stronger sides in the tournament.To me one thing is 100% sure, S'kara as a batsman wouldn't win either 20-20 or 50-50 tournaments, let alone a World Cup.He is really good at accumulating numbers in tests.Then & there he'll play a decent knock in the shorter versions. That's it.

  • POSTED BY manasvi_lingam on | May 4, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    I have always found Jayawardene's batting style to be the most pleasing among the Sri Lankan batsmen. There are some great batsmen around such as Sanga, Jayasuria, Dilshan, etc but Jayawardene's batting is much more classy. People who complain about his away record should note that it is a very healthy 43.00. And I agree with others that Jayasuria should bat higher up. Instead of Thissara Perera why not use Sanath as the pinch hitter since he is a proper batsman and he can score very quickly. Thus, Jayawardene and Dilshan at opening, jayasuria at 3 and Sanga at 4. Great lineup!

  • POSTED BY auggie on | May 4, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    Jayasuriya like Diilshan may have come to the tournament being out of form. True he is old, but he is fit as a fiddle and the only SL batsmen still capable of hitting an attack out of the grounds and into the dust. Sangakarra by demoting him into no.8 shows his vicious qualities. He is prepared to let SL lose rather than give his now confirmed 'enemy' Jayasuriya a decent chance to push SL forward into the super 8's and perhaps a final place. Sangakarra has wanted to kick Jaya out of the team the past few years like he kicked out Vaas. Even Sanga's captaincy leaves much too be desired.Change the captain SL.....

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    Well I can see why sangakkara prefer to play Sanath way down in the batting order. It is because sanath is not strong as compared to Maththews,Thissara Perera or Kapugedara.But I believe he can be elevated to bat at no.3 or no.4 positions because he is very good player of spin too.Just hope Dilshan is one knock away from coming to form and if he does it he can consistently do so. And there is some kind of unhappiness by sanath because I saw in the last match that sanath does not wanted to have the strike when batting with Malinga !$#%#$# :o Yes I believe Sri Lanka has to get there act together correctly and I don't think sanath opening is the best choise right now.

  • POSTED BY Aussie_rulez on | May 4, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    Because Jayasuriya uses his ministerial influence to be in the SL team. He is old and clearly out of form. But, as he is greedy and selfish and doesnt care for the future of the team, still wants to be a 'hero'. Clearly, there is an internal problem in the team. Nobody in the present team wants an out of form old man in their team, even the captain. So the captain has to push this fellow down the order, because he cant push him out of the team.

  • POSTED BY randikaayya on | May 4, 2010, 5:30 GMT

    Jayasuriya appears to be playing purely as a bowler. Perhaps he's down on confidence with the bat. He may be taking up Thushara's rightful place perhaps?

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    My batting order for the T20 world cup is Mahela, Jaya, Dilshan, Thisara, Sanga, Chandimal, Mathews, Kapugedara, Randiv, Malinga and Mendis. What ever the form will be, you cannot keep high scoring batsmen at death coz that will proove nuttin but frustration that they cannot get enough strike of the ball.

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | May 4, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    Yes, Mahela is a purist's delight all right, but still yet to come out of the Flat Track Bully range. When was the last time he scored big in hostile conditions in any form of the game? He cannot be curtailed when he is in his zone, but true greatness is being able to score when you are up against it, under pressure, or when your form and timing are below par. Purely from a T20 perspective, Raina hit his 100 against a good attack, while Mahela...?

  • POSTED BY Experienceisoverrated on | May 4, 2010, 3:49 GMT

    One guy does it against Pakistan. One guy does it against South Africa. And the "most fulfilling" experience came when a guy does it against the feared attack of Zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2010, 3:09 GMT

    Mahela's innings yesterday gave me goosebumps all over. The grace, the elegance as the bat hit the ball. There was not one moment where it looked ugly. If that innings were to contest for miss world, it would win miss photogenic, miss congeniality and miss world. Mahela should keep on doing what he does, without experimenting too much. Class like that is very rare in these, the days of twenty over cricket.

    On another note, I do believe Sanath Jayasuriya, despite his age, should come higher up in the order. I agree with sending Thisara Perera up the order, and I like the look of Dinesh Chandimal, but Jayasuriya should play lowest at number 6, rather than batting as a lower middle order batsman, specially in this format. If you want a batsman to perform, you have to give him time in the middle. He is, like Dilshan, only one brutal boundary away from finding form.

    I think some credit should be given to the way Sri Lanka's bowlers bowled last evening. 29/1 in 5 is testament to that.

  • POSTED BY nawaben on | May 4, 2010, 3:08 GMT

    It seems when batting is difficult (pitches like WI), our run machines (Sanath, Dilshan and Sanga) fails to get on the board. We may have to count on Mahela, Kapugedara and chandimal in this series. It is better let Dilshan to bat down in the order (as an experiment). He is terribly out of touch in the front. Felt sorry when he was trying to do something against NZ only to score 3 runs in three Overs. I like yesterday batting line up. One thing I would do is send Sanath to open the innings with Mahela and send Dilshan around # 6.

  • POSTED BY on | May 4, 2010, 1:28 GMT

    I rather think Dinesh chandimal will suit the opening role

  • POSTED BY KaZsa on | May 4, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    Class at its very very best....a superb knock by Mahela...Has to be the best ever T20 international hundred up to date....Hats off to a maestro. If Dilshan gets going as well...Its going to be a very lethal opening combination for Sri Lanka...

  • POSTED BY Cannuck on | May 3, 2010, 23:54 GMT

    Here's what many do not understand, specially SL fans who'd been on MJ's case when he wasn't scoring (only on the shorter format). A player of MJ's calibre with such talent & technique will always find away to get into form, because they have the basics. He is not unorthodox like Dilly is, & he isn't gung-ho like Sana. For that many who have no cricketing experience write MJ off as just an accumulator of runs. While I can't see what's wrong with that title, what irks me is that people still question his ability, & one person on another article even asked when was the last time MJ ever won a match for SL. How short are their memories when there's Sabine Park 100 in 07WC against NZ, rearguard centuries to square test series against ENG, in England! Wonder why they still say he only scores at home? To me he is a class act, way above others with his elegance, & unassuming way of going about playing the game! Way to go MJ, keep on going! Thrill us with your artistry of stroke making!

  • POSTED BY on | May 3, 2010, 23:09 GMT

    Why sanga why????why are u doing this to sana???

  • POSTED BY rnkasthuri on | May 3, 2010, 22:16 GMT

    I think Jayasurya deserves to play at any number, specially at #8. Why not? He is a hitter and a good bowler.When there is a problem with the batting order, he will be of use at #8.

  • POSTED BY DwightR on | May 3, 2010, 22:12 GMT

    if dilshan was in form then sanath at 6,7 or 8 makes perfect sense but i think sanga should try opening sanath 1 more time if dilshan continues to struggle in the next game, there really is nothing to lose by it.

  • POSTED BY on | May 3, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Mahela's inning was fantastic. Hope Mahela continue to play the way is playing...

    But why can't Sanga send MP Sanath as Mahela's partner since MP is there in the squad?

    And in this tour so far it is obvious that Dilshan has struggled to put bat on ball than MP.

  • POSTED BY amilasan on | May 3, 2010, 21:58 GMT

    Again showing the poor captaincy from Sanga. He is letting down the team with poor decisions and also with his poor batting. What is the inability of Jayasuriya to be sent at No 8...? This is a really big question about the sanga's tactics. Any child knows that how Jayasuriya plays and love to see him than sanga's poor batting. My point is that if Jayasuriya is in the team he should be batted within one to five positions. Otherwise no point in selecting him in the team. Mahela is wonderful. But we cant' ask him to always score the runs. In coming matches if he is not scoring what will be the situation. I think Sanath should bat on top. I am really upset with Sanga's captaincy. Let's wait and see his next show.

  • POSTED BY on | May 3, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    Wonderful knock by Mahila after firing in IPL3. Though Punjab couldn't make it to final four, Mahila was the only consistent player for Punjab. Now he has carried his form into ICC WC. He is so orthodox test player that watching playing T20 is really amazing. Well done Mahila!

  • POSTED BY VineetGupta on | May 3, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    I agree to Shehan. Jayasuriya is just too good to be wasted at 6,7,8. Tilshan is totally going through a purple patch. He needs to move down the order and let Jayasuriya play his blinders at the top.

  • POSTED BY amir01 on | May 3, 2010, 21:09 GMT

    Fantastic batting display by mahela but one thing srilanka should consider is, he is not a specialist batsman as an opener. Sending jayasuriya at no.8 is a ridiculous act from the srilankan team management. Even at his 40, he could be easily a better batsman than the rest of the srilankan team. At least give him a due respect. looks like sanga has some issues with the legend.

  • POSTED BY on | May 3, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    Shehan its simple. If Sanath comes up the order and under performs (which he definitely would given his pathetic form over last 2-3 years) he would be forced to sit out of the team or else the reason he is in the team would be OBVIOUS.

    So face it, he will not face more than 5 balls in each match whatever the situation might be and its beyond the managements' control!

  • POSTED BY on | May 3, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    on another note - why the heck is Sanath Jayasuriya coming at no. 8? SLC need to get their act together. Clearly its either Dilshan or Jayasuriya!

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  • POSTED BY on | May 3, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    on another note - why the heck is Sanath Jayasuriya coming at no. 8? SLC need to get their act together. Clearly its either Dilshan or Jayasuriya!

  • POSTED BY on | May 3, 2010, 21:02 GMT

    Shehan its simple. If Sanath comes up the order and under performs (which he definitely would given his pathetic form over last 2-3 years) he would be forced to sit out of the team or else the reason he is in the team would be OBVIOUS.

    So face it, he will not face more than 5 balls in each match whatever the situation might be and its beyond the managements' control!

  • POSTED BY amir01 on | May 3, 2010, 21:09 GMT

    Fantastic batting display by mahela but one thing srilanka should consider is, he is not a specialist batsman as an opener. Sending jayasuriya at no.8 is a ridiculous act from the srilankan team management. Even at his 40, he could be easily a better batsman than the rest of the srilankan team. At least give him a due respect. looks like sanga has some issues with the legend.

  • POSTED BY VineetGupta on | May 3, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    I agree to Shehan. Jayasuriya is just too good to be wasted at 6,7,8. Tilshan is totally going through a purple patch. He needs to move down the order and let Jayasuriya play his blinders at the top.

  • POSTED BY on | May 3, 2010, 21:54 GMT

    Wonderful knock by Mahila after firing in IPL3. Though Punjab couldn't make it to final four, Mahila was the only consistent player for Punjab. Now he has carried his form into ICC WC. He is so orthodox test player that watching playing T20 is really amazing. Well done Mahila!

  • POSTED BY amilasan on | May 3, 2010, 21:58 GMT

    Again showing the poor captaincy from Sanga. He is letting down the team with poor decisions and also with his poor batting. What is the inability of Jayasuriya to be sent at No 8...? This is a really big question about the sanga's tactics. Any child knows that how Jayasuriya plays and love to see him than sanga's poor batting. My point is that if Jayasuriya is in the team he should be batted within one to five positions. Otherwise no point in selecting him in the team. Mahela is wonderful. But we cant' ask him to always score the runs. In coming matches if he is not scoring what will be the situation. I think Sanath should bat on top. I am really upset with Sanga's captaincy. Let's wait and see his next show.

  • POSTED BY on | May 3, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Mahela's inning was fantastic. Hope Mahela continue to play the way is playing...

    But why can't Sanga send MP Sanath as Mahela's partner since MP is there in the squad?

    And in this tour so far it is obvious that Dilshan has struggled to put bat on ball than MP.

  • POSTED BY DwightR on | May 3, 2010, 22:12 GMT

    if dilshan was in form then sanath at 6,7 or 8 makes perfect sense but i think sanga should try opening sanath 1 more time if dilshan continues to struggle in the next game, there really is nothing to lose by it.

  • POSTED BY rnkasthuri on | May 3, 2010, 22:16 GMT

    I think Jayasurya deserves to play at any number, specially at #8. Why not? He is a hitter and a good bowler.When there is a problem with the batting order, he will be of use at #8.

  • POSTED BY on | May 3, 2010, 23:09 GMT

    Why sanga why????why are u doing this to sana???