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

So who have the Pakistani players been meeting in those Colombo hotels then ? We have the low down who it may have been.

Artful dodger


Renowned dodgy character. Made dodgyness an art. Hence the name.Frequently seen a with pale looking, knackered boy named Oliver, who is also dodgy as he keeps asking for more.

Did Pakistan talk to him?
If they did, they probably wouldn’t have understood a word he said because of his thick British accent.

Sunil Perera


A weirdo with a beardo. Ozzes dodgyness. Runs a business called the Gypsies in Sri Lanka. Although many wish they would just travel somewhere else and never return. Currently desperate for cash and loves stag nights.

Did Pakistan talk to him?
Possibly. He would have spoken to them in Song if he did.


Prabakharan


Dead. But is he really? In dire neen of cash to launch another attempt at splitting up a country.He may have approached the Pakistanis to come good on his bets on betfair.com.

Did Pakitan talk to him?

Could prove to be tricky because he’s dead and stuff. Do Pakistanis understand tamil ?

sri lanka v pakistan 2009

Pretty amazing.

No one thought this was possible ofcourse, except for maybe some avid Pakistani supporters. Certainly not the bookies.

My interest in the series dropped by about 60% as soon as SL had won the test series. I watched the ODIs to see how the SL top order would cope. Apart from the 3rd ODI, they played to my expectations.

I also dont see the point of playing 5 ODIs. 3 is plenty in these days. Wrap it up with a 2020 or two and let Pakistan get back home with their tail between their legs.

So how did Pakistan win ? The answers are not that difficult to find.

Sri Lankas’ new alrounder Murali did not play in the 4th game.

Pakistan exposed Splendid again.

Sri Lanka were bored.

Sri Lanka couldn’t get over the fact that there was an Akmal that wasn’t ugly.

Pakistan are unpredictable.

The Sri Lankan top order got caught sleep walking. Again.

In the end this win is pretty insignificant. The Pakistanis might talk it up but they have been shithouse in this series and they havent taken the opportunities that have been handed to them by their opposition.

The one time they do is when no one really cares.

sri lanka v pakistan 2009

Few people talk about  Murali’s all round capability. Some would argue that is because he has no such ability. Todays performance heaped bucket loads of egg on those peoples faces.

Murali, as we all know now, is a bit of an unorthodox player. He is a non conformist in every sense of the word. This lends it self into his batting as well. His batting technique is unique to him. Kind of like Philip Hughes. But he doesn’t get dropped for it.

Today it was in full flow. It is a curious mixture of precise footwork, usually to the leg side,  and immense hand eye-coordination only a player like Murali can pull off. His first 4 balls went for 1, 4,6,4. In four balls his wagon wheel had lines all around the wicket, including a brilliantly angled shot over the keeper.

He ended up with 32 off 15. What made it even more remarkable was that Sri Lanka were 7-173 when he strode in with his arm guard and massive eyes. A knock like that in a situation takes plenty of testicular effort. Or as the kids say it – it took balls.

But for a man with a good 610 ODIs runs in his 329 games pressure does not really register.

I think he got some wickets too in the end. All Rounders are good like that you know.

murali sri lanka v pakistan 2009

Two wins with the bowlers dominating. For those watching the Ashes you are excused for thinking it’s old goggle eyes up to his tricks again.

There was no Murali. No sir. I didn’t even see him in the dressing rooms. No Murali in sight and still Pakistan collapsed for

9-78
10-90
9-35

in 3 consecutive innings.

Quite amazing really. So the question everyone is asking at the Kottu roti joints in SL is do we still need him to win test matches?

Sri Lankas bowling has never been stronger. Nuwan and Mirando seems to have found an unexpected groovyness together.

Herath has entered the fray and shown us the threat he can become.

Splendid has discoverd test cricket is no walkabout. But he has shown what he can do.

Malinga is on the verge of playing test cricket again.

Prasad is chomping at the bit to be let loose.

Mathews is also learning the trade.

So do we still need Murali? Absofuckenlutely. I would still play Murali in test if we had Warne and Mcgrath bowling for us.

SL have won 58 tests in their history. Of those Murali has been involved in 51. You dont just ignore that.

Specially now at a time when Mendis seems to have lost a bit of his Splendidness.

murali sri lanka v pakistan 2009