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The perfect Pakistan – Sri Lanka final

June 21, 2009

My fellow bloggers; damiths and Q continue with their indepth analysis of strategy and tactics for the teams and what is likely to happen in the final today. All that while secretly crossing their fingers and promising their first-borns in exchange for fortuitous inside edges and erratic opposition bowlers spewing wides and no-balls, us neutral observers have the chance to think of what we’d like to see in the title-fight today.

Here’s how it needs to unfold…

  1. Going by current form, Sri Lanka has more going for them which means we’d like them to begin with a handicap, albeit a small one based on statistics on tournament finals. So, Pakistan wins the toss and elects to bat.
  2. Pakistan makes a statement and opens with Kamran Akmal and Abdul Razzaq. Kinda far-fetched but Pakistan will be aware of the need to play more fearless cricket to take the final
  3. Angelo Mathews is then hit out of the attack by the above-mentioned duo to go to 30-odd by the 3rd over. (Now, I have nothing against the young all-rounder, but with three potential matchwinning bowlers in the ranks, us neutral observers don’t need Mathews to end the contest in the first twenty minutes.) Sangakarra goes to Malinga and one of his premier spinners who bring some sanity to proceedings and get one out. 40-odd for 1 by the 5th over.
  4. Younus Khan walks in and strokes a couple of silken cover drives and settles into well-judged ones and twos. Game on! Sri Lanka’s bowlers hit back to take a wicket or two while Younus and Shoaib Malik play smart cricket to push the score along at a decent clip. 80-odd by 13th over.
  5. Afridi walks out in the 15th over and along with the lower order sets up the game with a blistering attack to take Pakistan to 160 in their twenty overs. (fyi, Pakistan has won 17 of the 23 times he made 50+ in ODIs)
  6. Sri Lanka know they have it all to do at this stage and set about the chase in earnest with Jayasurya and Dilshan. Dilshan, however, pays the price for some overconfidence and is dismissed early. 20/1  by the 3rd over.
  7. Jayasurya however decides to remind everyone about which Sri Lankan opener teams have been really worried about for over a decade and puts on a ‘short-arm jab display’, especially against Umar Gul. 50/1 by the 5th over.
  8. Pakistan needs some inspiration when Razzaq bowls a peach to take out Jayasurya and Mathews in quick succession. 60-odd for 3 by the 9th over.
  9. Two of the most elegant batsmen in world cricket, Jayawardene and Sangakarra then set about the dual task of consolidation and maintaining the run rate while Younus rings in the changes. For a change, the Pakistan fielding holds up and doesn’t give any easy runs.
  10. With 45 needed off the last five, Gul returns to take out Jayawardene’s leg stump. Sangakarra doesn’t relent and keeps peppering the boundaries…

Wouldn’t really matter who won from here, but a game decided on skill and temperament rather than bad luck and choking under pressure.

That’s the final I want.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2009 1:19 pm

    And that’s the final we will probably get.. it should be a close game.. and I do believe both the teams are closely matched.

    • June 21, 2009 1:49 pm

      Sure hope so Q. Nothing more deflating than a big game turning into a lop-sided hammering.

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