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Monday, April 16, 2007

Australia vs Sri Lanka: Detailed Forecast

Here goes my next round of predictions, as the Cricket World Cup jamboree reaches its final phase:

April 16: Australia vs Sri Lanka, Grenada
Mahela calls it right, and elects to bat. (enough people have told him by now that it's the only way to beat Australia, so he just ignores the damn pitch and everything...)
Jayasuriya is dropped on the very first ball of the match. Ranjit Fernando tells everyone who are watching Set Max a brand new thing: 'this may be a very costly mistake.' (do non Set-Max watchers also have to bear Fernando?). Jayasuriya plays the same shot again on the very next ball, and the same fielder makes the same mistake again. Ponting can't believe that Hussey has dropped dangerman Jayasuriya twice in two balls and our man in the commentary box gets more excited. "This is surely going to be a costly mistake." Jayasuriya gets more excited, the bowler bowls a similar length again but the batsman is cautious this time - he plays a defensive shot, and there is no need for Hussey to hold or drop a catch. The ball hits the inside edge of the bat, and deflects to the stumps. Fernando is quiet.

Tharanga plays the innings of his life, and Jayawardene plays his best innings in the last year. Chamara Silva and Vaas chip in with quick 30's as Lanka post an imposing 312. Mandira Bedi is very happy - she looks nice n chirpy in her yellow n brown Satya Paul sari. ( the sari has large motifs of a lion holding a knife or something in its paws. Satya Paul is going crazier.) Ian Chappell bears the brunt of her chirpiness as Mandira is sure that the Aussies are surely going to lose the match now, and she wants Ian to say that and provide some logic to that end. Chappell thinks that Hayden and Ponting hold the key, but Mandira doesn't like that comment so he quickly adds that Murali and Vaas are the keys too.

Well, Ian was right. Ponting and Hayden were the important guys indeed. Both scored fine centuries, and the score stood at 235/4 at the end of over no.40. Mahela had delayed taking his final power play and he had taken the last one only at the end of the 36th over. Play is held as there ensues a serious conference on the field between the Lankan top guns. The captain throws the ball to Murali, who has just an over left. Gamble.

And how it pays. Magician Murali snares two wickets off his penultimate balls, and Lanka is strong favourties now. Just 4 wickets left and an asking rate of 8.5. It's too much, even for the Aussies, as they finally capitulate, bringing an end to their defeatless streak since 1999.
to be continued

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