Jacob Oram

He’s big. But he’s soft. And you already knew that. If he survives an over from Murali we would be pleasantly surprised.

Jacob just seems lazy. He’s built like Freddie but plays like a pussy. It must be really annoying to be a Kiwi supporter when such a huge man fails so often.

The somber, rough pitches of SL will wear this man down.

Verdict– balless, if he has any

Jesse Ryder

The rotund one has class but does he have a good hydration system under all that blubber.

We predict the heat and general slowness and gruelling conditions will wear Jesse down.  With absolutely no experience in the real subcontinent- Bangladesh doesn’t count – Jesse stands to loose more than his wicket.

Verdict– will probably loose more weight than balls

Malinda Warnapura or anyone else who opens with Paranavitana

Given that he gets a game.

Warnapura is in some of the worst form of his life. A good fast bowler can easily expose his short comings without too much fuss.

The Kiwis don’t have a world class quick bowler but they have enough guys who can put the ball the right place. The openers slot is probably SLs biggest weakness at the moment- so it’s a good thing if he doesn’t play at all.

Verdict- balless if he plays, balless if he doesn’t

jesse ryder malinda warnapura oram sri lanka v new zealand 2009

The series is done.  There are some 2020 matches scheduled but that’s just for fun. It’s like the entrees in a 5 course meal. But at the end. Bad analogy yes, but it makes the point.

Below we have attempted to rate the SL players in the test and ODI series. The things we took into account include how many runs are wickets these players took. But more importantly their impact on the series and the how adapt they were in flashing their balls. Not literally of course but you get the point.

Test series

10- Kulesekara, Herath

The two players that made the biggest impact in the series.

We have said this before and we will say it again. Kulesekara shouldn’t really make it as a test player, only he does. If you want an example of hard work paying off then Nuwan is it. His work in getting the ball to move both ways had Pakistan shitting their pants.  He reminds me a lot of another Sri Lankan bowler who worked with the limited talent he had worked out a way to get wickets on subcontinental pitches through seam movement and swing. He retired a few weeks ago.

Is this the arrival of Nuwan ? The Kiwi tour might give us a better gauge.

Herath was the wild card entry that went all the way. When Murali got injured everyone focused on Mendis. Which was Pakistans biggest mistake. Herath has always been a good bowler. And like Mcgill he was probably playing in the wrong era. And from the 2nd he opened the bowling on the last day of the 1st test he didnt look back. He was helped by Sangakkara’s shrewdness in picking up that Herath was the danger man.

With Murali coming back will he get more game time against NZ ? If Mendis keeps bowling pies its very likely.

8- Sangakkara

Big runs. Big impact. And balls.

Failed in the first test but came back with two crucial innings in the 2nd.  Apart from the runs King Kumar was at his tactical best in terms of leadership and taking the opportunities that Pakistan were all too eager to offer.

Opened the bowling on day 5 on the first test with Herath when everyone thought Mendis would be the key.

Ballsy.

Threw the new ball to Herath in the 2nd.

Slighly insane but proved to be genius.

All hail the King.

7- Mathews.

It’s been a meteoric rise for Mathews. From his acrobatics in the 2020 WC to making Younis Khan his bunny. Mathews had made a big contribution to SL’s success in recent times. The thing about Mathews is that he is always in the game. Bat, ball or in the field the guy is wired for action.

Apart from a single half century he doesn’t show much in terms of runs but he kept running out of partners nearly every time he batted. If I were Mathews I wouldn’t mind a word in Kumars ear about coming up the order.

6-Thushara , Paranavitana

To say that Thushara was unplayable on the last day of the 5th test is an understatement. And he carried this form on throughout the series. Pakistan had only 1 opening stand of over 50 and that is largely due to Nuwan and Thusharas new ball antics.

These two certainly arn’t the most scariest opening bowlers in the test world right now. But they are possibly the most accurate on their day.

Paranavitana seems to be the first half of the solution to SL’s long search for two guys to replace Marvan and Sanath.

This guy has a solid technique. Plays his shots and knows where his off stump is. You can’t ask for more from your openers.

If only the dude at the other end could do the same.

Lost their balls

Splendid Mendis– Balless, Spineless, ridiculous and finally dropped. As the main spin threat in the country after Murali he didn’t really do much.

Whats going on you might wonder. It appears Splendids got the heebeegeebees. That or he is a shithouse bowler if he doesn’t pick up wickets early in his spell. They inform me he is what you might term a confidence bowler.

He was too full and flat when SL needed him. Time for a visit back to Adams peak for him we reckon. Although the Kiwis are tempting.

Warnapura

Was the first SL wicket to fall 5 times out of 6. Being an opener those stats are always going to be skewed but when you total 96 runs in 6 innings which includes a 50 you start to look pretty pathetic.

SL had just 1 opening stand over 50. Not good enough. Warnapura is dodgy outside off stump. Against better bowlers on better pitches he wouldn’t survive past the 5th over.

ODI rankings to follow.

ajantha mendis anjelo mathews malinda warnapura nuwan kulesekara paranavitana rangana herath sangakkara sri lanka v pakistan 2009 thilan thushara

-Don’t leave out Prasanna Jayawardene. Dilshan did an OK job, but at the PSS the ball will spin and I wouldn’t want Dilshan making an error at a crucial time. Plus his batting is more important to the team than anything else.

Who should they leave out? It’s a tough call. And that’s why you have selectors.

-Do get ready for a Pakitan assault. u might smile, but all it takes is for Gul to find his 2020 form for more than 5-6 overs at a stretch and Pakistan will be dangerous with the new ball.

-Pakistan’s strength is in their fast men. Which is also Sri Lanka’s weakness.

-Don’t worry too much if you loose the toss. Out of the 13 matches when the team’s won the toss and batted 6 have ended in victory, 3 in losses.

-King Kumar – don’t bat like a god in the first 20 runs of your innings. Even Kings need to ease into business. Twice he got caught on the walk in Galle. It did not look pretty and we don’t really care for it too much.

Also it would be nice if Herath comes on a bit earlier than the 47 over.

-Warnapura- do get some runs soon, your credit rating is dropping at an alarming rate.

-Mahela- don’t edge the ball outside off when your team really needs you.

-Dilshan- the 2020 world cup is over. No more scoop shots thank you very much.

-Mendis- people are asking us why we still call you splendid. It is making us very uncomfortable. Kind of like sitting on the toilet seat in winter. We don’t like it one bit and it would be nice if you picked up a few wickets.

We know you got attacked in Lahore and all that but we thought you had put that behind you in England. We understand that Pakistan are a dirty bunch who seem to have figured you out but cmmon man. You owe us.

ajantha mendis dilshan flyslip mahela jayawardane malinda warnapura sangakkara sri lanka v pakistan 2009

Sri Lanka

Lost Warnapura on 0. Which wasn’t exactly the start you want when you are 50 behind. Warnapura’s run as a SL opener might be coming to an end. His last 5 innings total 12 runs. He has probably got enough credit to last out the series but if there are no big scores then its going to be a tricky time for him.

Apart from Paranavitana, Mathews and Samaraweera SL really didn’t do much. Mostly the top order mucked around and got done in by a 17 year old. Some days you make love to the pitch and some days you dry hump it. Today a left ‘Aamer’ cock blocked the middle order.

It was good if you were Pakistani, not so much if you were Sri Lankan.

160 is no where close to good enough, unless Mendis pulls out something special with the rest of the bowlers.

But how bad do you want Pakistan to be 100-6 tomorrow morning?

Pakistan

For two days the match was in the balance. Today Pakistan grabbed it by the back and anally stimulated it to their liking.

Aamer turned the game with 3 deliveries that would have given Wasim Akram a raging hard on.
Paranavitana got a screamer that left him. Sangakkara was caught on the walk, for the 2nd time. And Mahela edged it outside off like we all knew he would.

It was brilliant. And it’s hard not to think about Wasim when Aamer bowls like that. Pakistan keep finding these diamonds in the rough and hopefully, if he keeps away from the drugs and politics, he might be taking on the rest of the world for a good while.

Another important battle Pakistan won was when Saeed Ajmal picked up Samaraweera against the run of play. Ajmal looked harmless tell he got Samaraweera with a clever doosra which turned things around for him.

This is Pakistans game to win or loose. Knowing Pakistan you just never know.

Play of the day.
Rameez Raja spying on little kids in the crowd with his Binoculars. We just thought it was weird. Just really weird.

(Lack of)Balls of the day.
Umar Gul never left London. Or so it would seem. A week ago he was looking a million bucks. Now he cant seem to find a good length and some swing if his balls were on the line. While at the other end Aamer looks like he can do no wrong.

We really hope he didnt have a chat with Steve Harmison or something in England. Cuz that would be a real shame.

ajantha mendis anjelo mathews flyslip mahela jayawardane malinda warnapura Mohammad Aamer nuwan kulesekara sri lanka v pakistan younis khan yousuf

So the test series ‘of the summer’ got off to the cracking start we predicted. Today was a day of test cricket. None of that yahoo-tomfoolery white ball stuff. A hard grind, where neither team was ever really on top.

12 wickets

300 runs.

Doesn’t get better than that. Specially in the Sub-C.

Sri Lanka

Are always wobbly against good pace/swing. And today was no different. Warnapura needs to come up with an innings that makes me believe he is a test opener. Right now he is one off side swish away from earning a monumental earful from us.

SL were never really in the game, but they weren’t ever out of it either. The middle order and the lower order showed a lot of fight today. Which is always a good thing. Sangakkara got a good one early.

Paranavitana played an important innings. Sure he was dropped twice but you gotta make the most of it. A century was probably asking for too much. The kid showed guts and he is already looking twice the opener Warnapura is.

Pakistan

Younis Khan is a wily old fella. Read the pitch well. Picked the right combo. Pity their hands turned to butter. Pakistan could have easily had Sri Lanka for under 250. Instead they are looking at 300. On this pitch you would think that is around the par to above average score.

Aamer looks a gem. There were whispers of the new Akram. There are shades but he is only 17. The older and stronger he gets the more tricky he is gonna become. Cant wait.

A lot now depends on Younis, who seems to be in the thick of all Pakistani fortunes these days. A wicket early tommorow and SL will count them selves to be on top.

Splendid will be the big threat. If they can negate him, Herath should not pose too much trouble. It will be case of SL always just being a wicket away from being back in the game tomorrow.

Play of the day.

Pakistan dropped 3-4 catches today. But Akmals drop off Mahela was beauty. It was so straight forward that your grandma woulda cought it sitting on their wheel chair. It was also an important drop. Because the Mahela-Paranavitana partnership put Sri Lanka back on track before lunch.

Akmal we salute you.

Balls of the day

Paranavitana and Aamer share the balls. Although we hope not their own with each other.

Aamer.17.

Wickets in your first over on debut and making King Kumar look like an English county player. Wear those clangers with pride young paduwan.

Paranavitana – its been a rough ride for the young man but today he used his brains and balls to good effect. A good innings up top was desperately needed and he rode his luck to produce solid knock.

ajantha mendis mahela jayawardane malinda warnapura mendis Mohammad Aamer splendid mendis sri lanka v pakistan younis khan yousuf