Posted by: tootingtrumpet | April 2, 2011

The World Cup Final 2011 – The Final Over of Sri Lanka’s innings

Only one eyebrow, but one hundred runs.

Ball One – Is Zaheer Khan the new McGrath? He’s a different kind of bowler – less bounce, more swing – but he tortures batsmen with subtle movement and discipline at not much above medium pace just like Pidge did back in the day. He’s not the most natural of athletes, but he knows his body and has managed it superbly through this long tournament. No cricketer has improved more over the last five years and no praise is too high for a player whose career had stalled, but now has soared.

Ball Two – Controversy even before the match begins, but I don’t see why. The Toss is owned by the referee – if the referee does not hear the call, the toss is repeated. Doesn’t matter what the call was or who made it – it’s the referee who is in charge and must satisfy himself before awarding the toss to one captain or the other. Referees can’t start asking captains about what they called.

Ball Three – 105-2 at the halfway mark. The Lankans will be looking to follow the regular pattern in this World Cup and accelerate towards the end of the innings. It looks like a 250 pitch to me, though Sehwag can make any score look inadequate. A run a ball from here is a big ask, but that’ll only get the Lankans to ten ahead of my par score – there’s little margin for error now.

Ball Four – Mahela late cuts and Sachin flings himself to the ground to stop the boundary. Two impressions bubble up: that Mahela may be the last of a dying breed of players who hit the ball only as hard as they need to; and that Sachin really, really wants this one. As if we thought otherwise.

Ball Five – Still ten overs to go and it’s all about Mahela as far as the Lankans are concerned. The great Australian sides always seemed to find someone to deliver in this situation, but there’s only Mahela left now – what pressure!

Ball Six – Is it ever worth using a review for an outside edge off a seamer? Munaf looked to have snared Kulasekera, but there’s seldom enough evidence available to the TV umpire to overturn the on-field decision. By sound and sight in real time, all my instincts told me it was out, but instinct isn’t evidence and Kulasekera was reprieved.

The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999

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Responses

  1. Still 13 balls remaining.. Brilliant innings by Mahela. Similar knock to Aravinda in ’96. Not sure the Lankans have enough but they are in with a good chance if they bowl well.

  2. Yes – as good as Aravinda’s knock, which is very good indeed. I think 250 would have been enough – we’ll see.

  3. Brilliant Mahela! As sad as I will be for Tendulkar for failing to hit a match-winning hundred yet again in a big-stake match, it still is something to savour as a Ponting fan. Ponting will always have this over Sachin – a match winning hundred in a world cup final!

    • I wouldn’t be too confident of Sachin failing. Three and a bit overs in and every ball has rocketed off the middle of his bat.

      Sehwag desperately reviewing his dismissal has the potential to harm India’s chase.

      Sri Lanka’s fielding has been outstanding so far.

      • Well, one could argue that if Sachin’s team had managed to appear in 4 WC finals (like Australia since 1996) and batted 1st on 3 of those occasions, he too might have secured a WC finals 100.

        As it is, he surely feels fulfilled by not just winning a World Championship, but also by the love and respect of his teammates… young & old. (Anyway, the man already owns more WC-runs records than any other bat)

  4. Will be enough l reckon* Incredible last five overs to their innings. Khan went for 55 or so off his second set of 5 overs?!

    What was Sehwag doing referring that….

    * Sachin

  5. 44 off 3 overs jalp.
    Sachin and Zaheer – 2003 deja vu for them. And it wasn’t even Australia. It was Perrera for chrissake, dismantling Zaheer

  6. That was a really fine innings by Mahela. He’s lovely to watch. He bats with that orthodoxy in t20 and is equally successful.

    He plays the ball almost breathtakingly late.


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