Monday, June 10, 2013

Where Angelo feared to tread

The Lankans and their captain are getting plaudits for coming to within a wicket of beating New Zealand, when they had only 138 runs to defend. But really, the Lankans should have won this game when they had the Kiwis in a flutter at 80 for 6. It was a miscalculation by Angelo Mathews at that point that allowed New Zealand to pip the Lankans at the post. Lasith Malinga had just taken the sixth wicket, but he was taken off after one over. Angelo wanted to keep Malinga's last four overs for the end game, to polish off the tail once the seventh wicket fell. The spinners Dilshan and Herath, and then the seamers, Eranga and Thissara Perera, failed to break through, however, and the McCullum brothers settled down to a partnership. It was only when Malinga was brought back that the brothers were separated. But it was too late. Instead, if Malinga had continued after getting the sixth wicket, and removed one of the McCullum brothers earlier, the spinners and other seamers could have bowled with more success at the tail instead of to the McCullums. Angelo Mathews wasn't too hot as a captain in the IPL and his inexperience may cost a talented Lankan team a place in the Champions Trophy semi-finals.

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