And How.

A day ago people were talking about a white wash for Pakistan.

That was before the real Sri Lanka turned up and played a bit of something we like to call – cricket.

It involved the top order getting off to a hectic start. Osman Samiuddin wants to know who or what Dilshan is, something the Sri Lankan team and selectors have wondered too. But he’s taking to opening like its his divine right.

Still the technical issues exist, that waft to mid off, in the first over of the day shows this, but Dilshan quickly puts that out of his head.  He has only one gear and its the 7th. He starts on it, cruises on its, takes corners on it. With the PPs in place, Dilshan’s tactics pay off, but for how long ?

Sanath can still butcher a few over the covers, so this combo seems to work. SL have had good starts in both games. Cant argue with that.

Sangakkara looks solid as ever, but he’s not scoring runs, but he still has some credit in the bank, although if he continues run others and himself out it might be time to turn theflyslips wrath on him.

The question on everyones mind was how many runs would Mahela get, so it was kind of a kill-joy when Kandamby walked out. Now Thilina’s a guy I’ve been wanting in the test and ODI team for a while.

And yesterday he showed that runs in the domestic set up wasnt a fluke, and he looked rock solid – and thats no pun on his size. At the very least he is keeping Mubarak out of the team – so well played Thilina.

See, my theory is you dont need a player to score 100s in ODIs to win them, as long as you have 3-4 guys getting close to 50 and a couple getting around 70 you are always gonna end up with a good total.

Sri Lanka’s problem has always been that if they get a good start, they flop at the end, if they don’t they flop anyway. Yesterday everyone got in the runs and 290 was a winning total.

Pakistan did their best, but only Gul and bRAOdman impressed. Their opening bowling might need a look at. Akthar is not fit and he’s no where near quick enough to scare anyone.

Tanvirs wrong footed himself into bowling no balls and wides. This equates to almost no pressure at the start of the innings and SL have got away both times.

Lack of spin options is also a worry for Pakistan, Shoaib Malik, bless him, comes no where close.

A day ago, SL couldnt buy a wicket, but today they got 3 for next to nothing.

Murali possibly turned the game with his mid innings spell where Pakistan were slowing regaining a bit of speed. Mendis looked ordinary at the start but got better when he got a wicket and had some confidence.

In fact this may have been the first time Murali outbowled Mendis since Splendids been on the scene. The old masters still got a bit left in him it seems. Dont bet against his 500th in the last game.

So from being white washed to a series leveling win, see what happens when you play cricket.

ajantha mendis mahela jayawardane pakistan v sri lanka sangakkara shoaib akthar shoaib malik

A new era of cricket is dawning.

Australia are wobbling and India seem to be the pretender to the throne.

England and South Africa are resurgent.

Sri Lanka is hitting above its weight consistently.

The Kiwis are rebuilding.

In between all this, Pakistan and WI have been in the doldrums. Pakistan don’t play cricket anymore. The team attends training camps ahead of test series and then finds out that the touring team wont show up because of a couple of bombs.

WI, also known as the International Shiv Chanderpaul Team, have been smoking weed and getting tans on the beach for too long.

How can this be. Both teams are packed with explosive players who can turn matches and heads with the bat and ball.

These are the countries that gave us Viv, Imran, Mushy, Ambrose.

I’m sick of seeing Pakistan promise so much and deliver so little.

I’m sick of seeing Gayle chew gum when the team is crumbling to pieces.

The cricket worlds needs these two power houses to step and play to their potential.

I want to see Shoaib and Taylor charge in with anger and send wickets cart wheeling to the boundary.

I want to see ‘Air Plane’ celebrations from Akthar.

I want to see Gayle pumping his fists after a 50.

I want to see chest thumping , ‘who da man’ antics from the WI quicks.

I wanna see some sledging, some ball tampering. Hell I don’t even mind a elbow or two thrown in their for good measure.

I wanna see Malik take responsibility and lead from the front and not be a pussy on the field.

Play some good cricket. Play it hard. Play it with passion.

chanderpaul jerome taylor pakistan pakistan cricket shoaib akthar shoaib malik west indies

A Distraught Pakistani and dear friend of the flyslip, Zaid, sent this one in.

Captain Malik or Captain Mistake?

I feel that twenty twenty cricket is the easiest form of the game to captain in. Shoaib Malik, Pakistan’s young skipper, failed badly vs Sri Lanka in both matches. The first match he got away with, but if it was test or 50 over cricket the result would most probably be very different.

Malik’s Mistakes vs Sri Lanka

1. (first match) captain Malik wins the toss and choses to bowl first on a pitch that is getting harder to bat on

2. (first match) Captain Malik brings Umar Gul on in the 15th over so he can only bowl 3 overs max (note gul took four wickets in those 3 overs)

3. (first match) Captain Malik comes into the match and plays one hell of a slow innings forcing other batsman to take risks and get out

4. (1st match) Captain Malik sends in Sohail Tanvir ahead of recognized batsman Fawad Alam and makes Pakistan’s task more difficult

5. (2nd match) Captain Malik brings on Umar Gul too early and well…just watch this to see the result

<a href=”http://www.youtube.com/v/-jh0QUJQuJ4&rel=0″ target=”_blank”>http://www.youtube.com/v/-jh0QUJQuJ4&rel=0</a>

6. (2nd match) Captain Malik brings on Akhtar in the 15th over…now this is where Gul would have been brilliant as shown in the next over Gul bowled who took a wicket and should have had another

Now after that Akhtar over the match was over. Now you say “why bring on Gul? he got hammered by a rookie!”

Well a few days before captain Malik said Gul is the best bowler with the old ball, so why bring him on in the 5th over and then why not bowl him when the opposition is under pressure rather than giving it to the out of form Shoaib Akhtar.

All this one a short T20 match. Malik’s time as skipper is running out. I would take anyone as captain now- Afridi, Misbah, Younis, or even Yousuf

fan-atism fawad alam misbah shoaib akthar shoaib malik tanvir umar gul younis khan yousuf

If you aren’t been careful you might just miss the cricket that’s been played outside India.

The Kiwis have hopped on a plane and landed in Bangladesh for a test series that Daniel Vetorri is trying desperately hard to promote as being ‘tough’.

Really Daniel. Shame on you. Even your mesmeric looks cant help you this time.

You can read more about it here at the balls-ingly brilliant cwb.

There also a little shindig happening in Canada, yes you read that right. Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Canada, Zimbabwe are all gonna be engaged into a 2020 slog fest for a little over 4 days. The importance of this series can be highlighted by the fact that Cricinfo are yet to put it up on their current series list.

Is this an ICC event? I don’t know.

But it has the familiar stench of one. 2 days ahead of the start of the tournament, Things are going a little pear shaped. More on that later.

In the interest of world cricket, and those who care about this series, manic Sri Lankans, cricket starved Pakistanis and of course the starving Zimbabweans, lets see how things could pan out.

Yes, I know. Canada dint get a mention. Lets keep it that way.

Sri Lanka.

Batting– Strong.

Although Scrappa (pronounced PAH) Sanga wont be there cuz he is nursing his bruised limbs.

Old man Sanath to open with comeback man Upul Tharanga.

Middle order looks solid with new addition Thilina Kandamby who has been belting the Seth Africans.

Back from injury is Maharoof, a lot of talk about this young man as being developed into an all rounder for ODIs and 2020. So we’ll be keeping a close eye on him.

Bowling-Solid

Mendis leads the charge with new quick, Thilan Thushara and Dilhara Fernando. Slightly inexperienced as Murali & Vass are taking a breather at home.

Chances– Winner or Runner up .

Pakistan

You were waiting for this weren’t you.

Pakistan are a lot more exciting a team than Sri Lanka.

They got it going on ya hear.

Batting– Strongish.

Moyo might actually make it for this. ICL troubles might be a thing of the past.

Shoaib, Malik is itching all over. For some cricket.

Misbah,Jamshed, Y.Khan spell stronggish to me.

Bowling-Decent

Shoaib, Akthar this time. Could possibly miss this if he doesn’t get his visa. He was in surrey collecting money to pay his 7mil fine so PCB couldn’t’t get a hold of his passport in time.

Tanvir adds the spice. Potential for some rocking one on one battles with SL.

Chances: Winner or runner up.

Zimbabwe

Their biggest problem right now is.

Visas.

True story.

Might not make it. They could be replaced all together with another team.

With 3 days to go- that’s a bitchslap if ever there was one.

No one knows who plays cricket for Zimbabwe anymore, much less their 2020 team.

Chances: Might not get any.

Canada

Hosts.

That’s about all the accolades they get.

Their captain was banned from the tournament a few minutes ago for being a bad boy. Giving stiff competition for the Pakistanis on who is the bigger drama-queen.

Chances: None.

Incidentally this series is being played on a ground no ones heard of. Might not even be telecasted according to some. People will be bringing folding chairs , attesting to its proper shindig status.

‘The only thing that sets it apart from a normal ground is a piece of paper stuck to the gate that says ICC’- Thanks Fuddy. True Story.

canada dilhara jayasuriya maharoof mendis pakistan shoaib akthar shoaib malik sri lankan tanvir thilan thushara thilina kandamby upul tharanga vetorri zimbabwe