Friday, January 30, 2009

Jayasuriya proves age is just a number - Harsha Bhogle

The unchanged aura of Sanath Jayasuriya

Thursday 29th January 2009

In a dream that often recurs I find I am visiting familiar places, some I may have lived in, others merely travelled through, and people I knew still reside where they did, hang out under the same light pole, are doing the same things they used to . The only person that's changed is me and I get the feeling I am a traveller looking at an unchanged past. I found similar thoughts coming back, though I was wide awake this time, while watching Sanath Jayasuriya bat on Wednesday.

He is still crashing the ball past a bewildered fielder at point, surprising third man who might harbour thoughts of reaching the ball; still playing the pick up shot and depositing the ball into the stands at square leg; still charging back for the second like there is a brownie waiting for him. There is still a great simplicity of thought and action and often those are the humble building blocks of greatness. He is now the oldest man to score a one-day hundred and I suspect that, like Sergei Bubka, he will keep breaking his own record.

I had the opportunity of watching him closely when he played for the Mumbai Indians last year and was struck by the passion he still exudes. It is no coincidence that the two longest serving international cricketers love the game deeply and with no reservation. And so, thirteen years after he set the cricket world alight at the World Cup, that itself seven years after his debut, he continues to be Sri Lanka's talisman cricketer; his is still the wicket valued more than any other. Jayasuriya makes age look like an irrelevant statistic. There is still joy and anger and disappointment and a burning desire to win. Cricket is not yet a chore, arriving at the ground is not yet a job. When that happens he will age rapidly, young men will knock him over without realizing the enormity of what they have done.

If there is a pleasant feeling of déjà-vu watching Jayasuriya bat there is a rather more disagreeable one with the insistence of umpires to go to the replay for close catches. We saw that with Kulasekara's excellent effort to catch Gambhir off his own bowling. For all that you know the catch might have been clean but the moment it was referred to the third umpire, there was only one result possible. In spite of all the advances that television has made, it cannot rule on close catches, they will always look like bump balls. This was comprehensively proved many years ago and indeed, cricket went through a phase when the on-field umpire had to rule on whether or not a catch was clean. Yet, years later we continue to try and use technology that cannot help. Cricketers have known for many years that if they wait they might just tempt the umpire into asking for a reply and the moment that happens they are safe.

Cricket needs to find a solution to this and I'm afraid the only workable one is to ask the umpire to follow his instinct and get the players to agree to it. You can at best have a quick chat with the third umpire in case it was a clear bump ball but if the picture is not conclusive the on-field umpire must go with his instinct. In Australia, having discovered that a lot of the not out verdicts were probably out, third umpires tend to give a batsman out on the replay. I am afraid that is no solution either because the moment the third umpire is called in, he has to go by the evidence that is in front of him. I won't be surprised if Gambhir was actually out but the moment the rectangle was drawn by the umpire he would have known he was safe.

A little earlier a decision that could easily have been checked by a replay produced a mistake. It takes no time at all to verify if the ball pitched in line before passing an lbw verdict. It is one of the easiest replay decisions and far more conclusive than a lot of other pictures. Thushara's ball to Tendulkar pitched sufficiently outside the leg stump. All you needed was a quick word on the walkie-talkie and the right decision would have been arrived at. It would have had none of the dangers of predicting where the ball would have gone which is an area I am extremely concerned about in use of replays.

We need to take the help of replays when they are simple and conclusive not when they involve judgement. But this strange use of technology was only a minor blot on a day when Jayasuriya turned the clock back again.

Dambulla hundred one of my best against India: Jayasuriya

His team may have ended up on the losing side but explosive Sri Lankan batsman Sanath Jayasuriya says he would rate the century in Dambulla as one of the finest he has hit against India.

"It (the century) will be the one I remember most among all the hundreds that I have scored against them (India)," Jayasuriya told .

Matara broke former England opener Geoff Boycott's record as the oldest man to score a century with his 28th ton in Dambulla.

"I think my 107 on Wednesday was good because I was playing to meet the team's demands. The ball was seaming mostly in the morning and we did not have the best of starts when Dilshan got run out," Jayasuriya said.

Asked to name his best innings against India, the left-hander said, "there is nothing like my 151 not out."

He mauled the Indians to all parts of the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in May 1997.

All Indian bowlers including Anil Kumble and the present bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad were put to sword in an innings lasting under two hours.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sanath Jayasuriya Century in Pictures | Dambulla ODI

‘I want to make my form count’ - Sanath Jayasuriya

Sanath Jayasuriya’s joy at scoring his century was short-lived; he would rather have had Sri Lanka win.

His 28th ODI hundred was a special effort but Sanath Jayasuriya said, “I would have been happier had my effort won the match for Sri Lanka.

But there are four more games remaining and we can come back,” added Jayasuriya after becoming the oldest cricketer to score a hundred in a One-Day International.

“I am getting older, but I keep getting the runs,” the punishing opener added.

Joy and pride

Jayasuriya said representing Sri Lanka gave him immense joy and pride. “I want to play and perform for my country. That has always been my goal. Not everyone gets the opportunity.

“When I am batting well, I want to make my form count.”

And landmarks do not particularly interest him. “I don’t really think about records, that’s not my style. What matters more is how your contribution helps the team.”

Jayasuriya admitted that the conditions were not easy for batting. “It was very hot and I was struggling a bit. I wanted to bat for a longer period so that the other players could bat around me and get some runs on the board.”

Jayasuriya was appreciative of the Indian bowling effort. “The past experience we had here suggested that the wicket would seam a lot but that was not the case today.

“But the Indians bowled well. We were going well at one point and it would have been ideal had we had got some more runs on the board.”

Poor fielding

He conceded that the host did not field well. “The fielding was not up to our expectations and we did not take those catches either.”

The two wickets that Sri Lanka lost in the batting Power Play proved costly, he said. He also lamented the run-out dismissal of Tillakaratne Dilshan.

“In every match, one or two of our batsmen are getting run out. We need to avoid that.”

Age and weather hold no bar for Jayasuriya

Sanath Jayasuriya, whose 107 made him the oldest centurion in one-day internationals, says he is happy to be scoring runs for Sri Lanka but sidestepped discussion over his future. Asked whether he would continue till the 2011 World Cup, he said: "I don't know, let's see how it goes."

Jayasuriya, now 39 years and 212 days old, broke Geoffrey Boycott's record with his 28th century. Boycott was 39 years and 51 days when he scored a hundred against Australia in Sydney in 1979. Jayasuriya was unaware about the record, but nonetheless pleased to continue performing at the highest level.

"Although I am getting old, if I can get more runs on the board that's the key thing," he said. "I always want to play for my country and perform. Sometimes you don't play that well and when you play well you need to get more runs on the board. That's the goal I always think of whenever I get the opportunity."

Jayasuriya, named the Man of the Match, battled the hot conditions during the innings to record the second century at the venue. "I was struggling a bit today because it was very hot outside. What I wanted to do was bat for the first 10-15 overs and then carry on for a longer period which I did," he said. "The others batted around me and put some runs on the board."

His performance, though, was the only bright spot in a disappointing start for the hosts to the five-ODI series. "India bowled really well in the morning. We knew it would seam around. Our experience was that the wicket would do a lot but it was not the case today. It would have been ideal had we got some more runs on the board. We need to field well and take those catches also."

During his innings, Jayasuriya went past 13,000 ODI runs, the first to reach the mark after Sachin Tendulkar. "You cannot think of records and play cricket, it is difficult. I am happy to have achieved the milestone. Had we won this contest I would have been happier."

It is seldom Sri Lanka finish on the losing side when Jayasuriya scores a century - only three have come in defeats. "It is sad that we couldn't win the match despite my scoring a century. We performed very well in the recent series leading up to today's match," he said. "We have four more matches to go and we should be able to turn it around in the next few games."


Records tumble as Jayasuriya explodes | Statistical Highlights

Sri Lanka Vs India 28th Jan 2009, Dambulla

  • When on 37, Jayasuriya became the second player to reach the 13,000 run mark. He was playing his 428th ODI, while Tendulkar achieved this feat in his 330th ODI.
  • Aged 39 years and 212 days, Jayasuriya became the oldest to score an ODI hundred. The previous oldest was England’s Geoffrey Boycott who scored a century at 39 years 51 days when he scored 105 versus Australia in Sydney on December 11, 1979. This was Jayasuriya’s 28th ODI hundred and seventh against India.
  • This is also Jayasuriya’s 12th century after the age of 35. The next best performance after 35 is five centuries each by Gordon Greenidge, Matthew Hayden and Zaheer Abbas.
  • Jaysuriya’s hundred is only the second scored at this ground in 26 ODIs. The only other player to score a hundred at this ground is Rahul Dravid (104) vs UAE on July 16, 2004.
  • Jayasuriya won his 49th MOM award. His ninth against India. Twenty four of his 28 centuries have resulted in MOM awards.
  • He also crossed 50 for the 95th time to go one clear of Sourav Ganguly, and in second place behind Sachin Tendulkar who has 132
  • Sachin Tendulkar (19 years 41 days) now has the second longest career span in one-day cricket. Javed Miandad, with 20 years 272 days, had had the longest career. Sanath Jayasuriya, with 19 years 33 days, is in the third position.

JAYA HO: Jayasuriya Still Going Strong

Geoffrey Boycott did it before him and it was Sanath Jayasuriya's turn on Wednesday! At 39 years and 212 days, he became the oldest cricketer to score a century

The 107 against India in the picterque city of Dambulla is a sheer test of durability. No wonder then that he's the most credible face for the Lankan consumer companies to pitch their products in the world of intense competition. Much like MSD's hoardings at various hot spots in big Indian cities, it is Sanath, the common man who stands out here!

He is the common man from Matara whose stardom has come from 2 decades of dedication, diligence and doggedness. Unlike the supremely talented sub-continental bunch, Sanath has not allowed age to take control of his mind, which still today is as free as the upper cuts he plays.

It has been 13 years since Sanath became the most famous citizen of Lanka. Things began to change in the summer of 1996 after Sri Lanka won the cricket World Cup and Jayasuriya the man of the tournament. With it came a swanky red Audi car. One remembers the drive to Matara in that red piece of art. Aravinda de Silva's convertible Merc and Sanath's Audi were the only two fancy vehicles outside the Lankan dressing room in those days. Things have changed much…as much as Indian Cricket has undergone a transformation.

Despite the very recognisable signs of this famous citizen in the Lankan outfit, he remains a simple man at heart. Never pretentious, always willing to welcome guests and strangers with a smile, even act as a perfect sporting ambassador. A committed father and a husband with preferences for television soaps like FRIENDS and even Indian news channels.

After almost 7000 days of one day cricket, 13000 plus runs and over 300 wickets, the Mumbai Indian's genius is unrivalled in international cricket today….Despite a world cup medal and many more in his cabinet Jaya will be going for one final shot at the T20 medallion. And all his fans will hope, JAYA HO!

Sanath Jayasuriya | Grand old man of cricket is still relishing it

At 40 when most people draw up retirement plans, Sanath Jayasuriya continues to redraw the age limits. At 39 years and 212 days, he cracked a superb century in trying conditions here to become the oldest player to score an ODI ton. Former England opener Geoff Boycott had held the record at 39 years and 51 days when he scored a hundred against Australia at Sydney in 1979.

"Getting old and getting runs on the board is not bad," he smiled when reminded about the age record.

Where the younger members of the side failed, Jayasuriya raised the bar. "I was struggling a bit today because it was very hot outside. I wanted to do bat for the first 10-15 overs and then carry on for a longer period which I did. I always want to play for my country and perform. Sometimes you don't play that well and when you play well you need to get more runs on the board. That's the goal I always think of whenever I get the opportunity.

The senior statesman of the Lankan team was hurt that his team had finished on the losing side. "We need to put more pressure on the Indians. We need to take the catches," he muttered. The southpaw, who went past the 13,000-mark, made light of the achievement saying, "You cannot think of records and play cricket."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sanath Jayasuriya slams his 28th century against India

Sanath Jayasuriya just keeps getting better with age. Still going strong in his 40th year, his 28th ODI hundred - on an oppressively hot and humid day and on an uncharacteristically sluggish track - took Sri Lanka to the highest total in a day match in Dambulla. He played a different game from his team-mates: when he got out in the 40th over he had scored 107 in 114 balls, while the rest had managed 64 in 122 deliveries.

Jayasuriya had a bit of making up to do after running out Tillakaratne Dilshan in the first over. He had responded to Dlishan's call but stopped after taking two steps and Yusuf Pathan made no mistake in sending back the in-form batsman.

What followed was an asphyxiating opening spell by Zaheer Khan. No runs were scored off his first 17 deliveries, and he gave away only eight runs in that five-over burst. But Jayasuriya targeted Munaf Patel from the other end, taking at least one boundary in the first four of Munaf's overs, not letting the scoring stagnate.

Kumar Sangakkara stayed cautious throughout his 44-run stay - a contrast to Jayasuriya, who reached 38 off 41 deliveries before spinners were introduced in the 16th over. With spin came the shackles, as Pragyan Ojha and Pathan bowled accurately using the slow nature of the pitch to clog the boundaries.

In demanding conditions, Jayasuriya showed he was supremely fit at his age and though he was visibly short of fluids - cramping up and kneeling down between deliveries to recover - he didn't take any short cuts.

He broke the 10-over boundary-less spell by hitting Ojha onto the sightscreen, and followed it up with a pulled four off Yusuf in the next over. But Sangakkara departed just when Sri Lanka had reached a stage from where one of the two could have gone for an all-out assault.

Jayasuriya scored 36 in his next 34 deliveries, and his exit came at an inopportune time as well. He had lost all his energy by the second over of the batting Powerplay as he lobbed a slower fulltoss from Zaheer Khan to Munaf Patel at mid-off.

The batting bar was lowered once again, as Zaheer and Ishant Sharma bowled superbly in the final overs. They used the change of pace to good effect, and Zaheer also managed some late swing. Mahela Jayawardene's struggle continued, and only 82 runs were scored in the last 12 overs.

At the innings break, both teams would have been left thinking - with vastly different emotions - what if there was no Jayasuriya?

Sanath Jayasuriya becomes the Oldest man to hit a Century

Sanath jayasuriya became the oldest man to hit a ODI Century today playing against India

Sanath Jayasuriya reaches 13000 run milestone in ODI's

When he steered Ishant Sharma in the 14th over for his 37th run, he became the second man to reach 13,000 career runs.

Over 13.5 I Sharma to Jayasuriya, 1 run, that'll be 13000 runs for Jayasuriya, he guides a wide ball outside off towards third man

Second man to reach that milestone after Sachin Tendulkar

List of Highest run scorers in ODI - Cricinfo

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jayasuriya blitz, Dilshan brilliance and bolwlers win series against Pakistan

Tillakaratne Dilshan blasted a career-best unbeaten 137 while Muttiah Muralitharan grabbed his 500th ODI wicket as Sri Lanka bulldozed Pakistan by 235 runs to win the three-match cricket series 2-1 here on Saturday.

Opting to bat first, Sri Lanka piled up 309 for five before unleashing their bowlers who skittled out Pakistan for a meagre 75 in just 22.5 overs to inflict on the hosts a humiliating defeat in the all-important series decider.

Despite having two hard-hitters in the middle, Sri Lanka initially found boundaries were not easy to come by but Jayasuriya finally broke free in the 15th over off Rao Iftikhar Anjum which yielded 25 runs.

The first ball disappeared over long-on for a massive six, followed by back-to-back fours, five wide and another boundary as well.

The fifty that seemed up for grab eventually eluded Jayasuriya who miscued Gul to perish after a 50-ball 45.

Lankan pacer Nuwan Kulasekara (3-17) and Thilan Tushara (3-33) mowed down the Pakistani top order before Muttiah Muralitharan (2-2) and Ajantha Mendis (1-12) completed the rout.

Muralitharan castled Sohail Khan (4) for his 500th ODI scalp which also dropped curtains on Pakistan's innings.

Muralitharan, already highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 769 scalps against his name, needs three more wickets to overtake Wasim Akram (502) to top the ODI charts as well.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sanath Jayasuriya vs Glen McGrath "Black Monkey" Controversy | says Roshan Mahanama in his Bio Retired Hurt [Video]

Flashback | Mahanama blasts the Aussie media at book launch

Rex Clementine

August 1, 2001

Former Sri Lankan Test cricketer, Roshan Mahanama, blasted the Australian media for blowing the "Glen McGrath incident" out of proportion at the launch of his autobiography "Retired Hurt" yesterday at the Bandaranaiake Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo.

In his autobiography "Retired Hurt", Mahanama criticizes the Australian cricketers for the amount of sledging they do during play and refers to a particular incident where Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath calls Sanath Jayasuriya a "Black Monkey".

However, Mahanama feels this was yet another incident of that tour and he feels that the Aussie media blew the incident out of proportion after he mentioned it on his autobiography.

"I went to Melbourne to launch the book peacefully. But the Australian media were there with lot of cameras and focused on the Glenn McGrath incident. It 's sad. This is just one line in the book, which has 235 pages. They have taken this out of proportion and there were threats by McGrath to take legal action," said a disappointed Mahanama.

McGrath denies calling Jayasuriya a "black monkey" while Mahanama sticks to his allegation. On the person of Glenn McGrath he further says, "Glenn is a great bowler. But that doesn't allow him to say whatever he wants to the other players"

He's also critical of the then Australian skipper Mark Taylor and the present captain Steve Waugh, who suggested that Mahanama's comments were a publicity stunt.

"If I wanted publicity I would have gone with the story to a publisher much earlier. This is just a remark in the book," he said.

On this particular incident, the former CEO of the Australian Cricket Board, Malcolm Speed had questioned Mahanama as to how he knew about the incident since he didn't play in that particular game,

"Even if I had played the match, I wouldn't have been in the middle when the incident occurred," points out Mahanama. " After getting out Sanath came to the dressing room and told us on Glenn's remark. That's how I came to know about it"

To prove his point, at the book launch Mahanama played some video clips of the 1996 World Series where it's seen McGrath standing in Jayasuriya's way while the batsman was looking for a run. The video footage also shows McGrath using foul language at the Sri Lankan opener. It also goes onto show the umpire, Steve Randol pointing the incident to the Aussie captain Mark Taylor.

The book, which was initially launched at Melbourne, Australia, was launched in Sri Lanka yesterday with the Sinhalese and the English versions. The minister of sports Lakshman Kiriella was the chief Guest at the occasion. Cricketers of Sri Lankan, Indian and New Zealand teams, International cricket commentators, members of parliament, cricket administrators, past cricketers, foreign ambassadors and lots of Mahanama's fans and family members participated.

The book starts from Sri Lanka's World Cup victory and goes onto speaks of his reasons to quit the game. He also deals at length on Australian tour of 1995-1996, calling it the "the most controversial tour in my career."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sanath Jayasuriya Interview - 'Sourav was to India what Arjuna was for us'

Sri Lanka's champion batsman Jayasuriya pays tribute to former India captain

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Tributes poured in for former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly who finished his international career having played his last Test Match against Australia in Nagpur on Monday.

Ganguly retired having represented his country in 113 Test Matches and 311 One-Day Internationals, where he made over 7000 runs in Tests and more than 11,000 runs in ODIs.

Former Sri Lanka captain and current chairman of the board Arjuna Ranatunga said that Ganguly will be remembered as a fighter and will be missed.

“He took over the Indian team at a difficult period and I have always admired him. Everyone didn’t like everything that he did, but he had his own way and succeeded and I have full admiration for the bloke,” Ranatunga said.

“Probably the presence of too many stars undervalued his contribution to the Indian team, but make no mistake, he will be missed,” Ranatunga added.

“When you announce that you are retiring at the start of the series there’s so much of pressure on you. Especially, the Australians let you know that you are on your way out. It would have been tough for many other players, but Sourav seemed to have relished the challenge. His hundred in Mohali set the game up for India and then in Nagpur, I thought he deserved the hundred. But nevertheless, knowing Ganguly, he wouldn’t worry much as India won the Test,” Ranatunga said.

Ganguly had made his debut for India in 1992, in a One-Day International against West Indies in Brisbane, but then was not considered for the national team for four more years and there were speculations about his attitude. He was recalled for India’s tour of England in 1996 and was an instant success as he scored a hundred on debut at Lord’s.

“I remember we played him at home in Test series early part of his career and he was struggling a bit as there were high expectations of him after making those back to back hundred in England. We were at the receiving end as he scored something like 145 in Colombo and then a few months later hit two big hundreds when we toured India and I remember him being dismissed for 99 in one of the Tests in that series. He had hit a purple patch and unfortunately I was the opposition captain,” Ranatunga added.

Sri Lankan opener Sanath Jayasuriya has reasons to remember Ganguly for the rest of his life as it was the Bengali who took the catch to dismissing the Sri Lankan when he was marching to Brian Lara’s then World Record of 375 when he made 340 against India at R. Premadasa Stadium in 1997.

“I haven’t thought about it in that way, but Sourav was a tough cricketer. He was to India what Arjuna was for us. He will be remembered for captaining the team for an unlikely victory against the Australians in 2001 in a highly hyped up series. No one gave India a chance, but things turned dramatically midway through the series. V.V.S. Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Harbhajan Singh may have played their parts, but I am sure the inspiration would have come from the captain. If the captain gives up, there’s not much of hope for the team. Sourav never gave up,” Jayasuriya said

“As a team, we rated him pretty highly. I wonder whether there was a better player who excelled in off-side play than Sourav. He was mentally tough too and as captain his greatest contribution was to believe in the young players who came into the team when he was leading the side.”

“Yuvraj, Sehwag, Zaheer and even Harbhajan came in when he was the captain and he provided them with regular opportunities. When the players know that their captain is backing them they become confident and you can just see what these guys have achieved for India,” Jayasuriya added.

Sanath Jayasuriya Interview - 'Kumble's contribution to cricket huge'

Sri Lanka's champion batsman Jayasuriya pays tribute to former India captain

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sri Lanka opener Sanath Jayasuriya believes that Anil Kumble retired from the sport at the right time, but was of the opinion that he could have returned to his best had he opted to continue at the top level. The veteran batsman speaking from Hong Kong where he will represent the All Stars team at the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes that gets underway on Saturday hailed Kumble's contribution to the sport.

"As a team we have a lot of respect for Anil. The fact that he practiced a very difficult art for 19 long years speaks of his commitment and passion for the sport," the former Sri Lanka captain said.

Kumble announced his retirement during the recent Delhi Test after he split a finger that required 11 stitches.

"Earlier on in his career, we had a set plan to counter him on a theory based on Aravinda de Silva's assessment during the mid 90s, but later, we found that he had worked on a few variations and we had to adapt quickly. Anil was a quick learner and something that made him a tough opponent was his understanding that at the top level you need to keep on improving," Jayasuriya said.

Kumble struggled towards the end of his career as he picked up just eight wickets in a three Test series in Sri Lanka and then in the series opener against Australia, he failed to pick up a wicket in Bangalore and then missed the second Test in Mohali due to a shoulder injury before returning to the side in the Delhi Test where he announced his retirement with India still leading the series.

"He was struggling a bit here and the injuries weren't healing as fast as he would have liked so that would have forced him to retire. But I have no doubt in my mind that he would have returned to his best if not for the unfortunate injury in Delhi," Jayasuriya added.
"Very few people realize that he's the third highest wicket taker in the world. Warne, Murali and Anil have taken spin bowling to a different level and this will be remembered as the golden era of spin bowling."

"He was a decent lad, but that doesn't mean he wasn't tough. Very intelligent as well and a chat on cricket with him was always interesting and I liked his company," Jayasuriya said.

Kumble was part of the Indian side as Jayasuriya mauled the Indian attack on his way to a marathon 340 as Sri Lanka posted a World Record 952 for six declared at R. Premadasa where he purchased a solitary wicket for 223 runs.

"The wicket was flat but I tell you what, it wasn't easy batting against him. Your concentration level had to be extremely high when you bat for that long and all what it takes is one mistake. I didn't get out to him, but he dismissed Roshan (Mahanama) after our huge partnership and soon I was out too to Rajesh Chauhan," Jayasuriya remembered.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jayasuriya can do the trick | Sri Lanka vs Pak Final ODI

With more than 12,000 ODI runs and 300 wickets, Sanath Jayasuriya is one of the legends of limited overs cricket.

The powerfully built left-hander is on song and there is little any bowler in the world can do to stop him. No matter how big a ground is, Jayasuriya has the ability to clear any boundary in the world.

Pakistan has a fair idea of Sanath Jayasuriya's pyrotechnics as the southpaw has more than 2,000 one day runs against them and they were on the receiving end once again on Tuesday when he thumped his way to 38 off only 35 balls before Umar Gul dismissed him.

The failure of Jayasuriya to convert his brisk start into something substantial was one of the factors Sri Lanka couldn't post a big total on the board.

By his whirlwind knock, Jayasuriya has given enough indications that he is in form and Shoaib Akhtar and co will have to bowl well in final game to restrict him.

Undoubtedly Jayasuriya is vital cog in Sri Lankan batting line and the visitors will be hoping that he gets more runs in the final game which will give them a big fillip.

Apart from his flamboyant batting, Jayasuriya is also a more than capable left arm spinner and it was strange to see that he wasn't used much in the first game.

He has good record against Pakistan with a best of 5-17 and is expected to bowl more today and later in the series as well.

Sanath is still a complete package in one day cricket despite his growing age and will be one player Pakistan will have to look out for.

Sri Lankans would definitely be hoping that Sanath fires in his trademark fashion.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jayasuriya gets out Hit Wicket for the first time | SL vs Pak 2nd ODI 2008

2nd ODI: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Karachi, Jan 21, 2009

Over 5.5 Umar Gul to Jayasuriya

OUT, hit-wicket, what an unfortunate way to get out, short outside off, pushes it wide of cover and sets off for a single but his back foot just clips the stumps while he was attempting that shot. Crucial breakthrough

ST Jayasuriya hit wicket b Umar Gul 19 (34m 17b 4x4 0x6) SR: 111.76

Glenn McGrath cites Jayasuriya in his toughest XI batsmen

Glenn McGrath
April 29, 2007

I HAVE been invited for a beer at Mudgee by people I have never met - and I had one Test selector tell me he was disappointed he didn't get the chance to axe me.

It was all part of the fun of the last week of my cricket career.

In truth, leaving the game has not yet hit me. It may not be until Australia plays again, in the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September, that it will finally hit home that I will never wear my country's colours again.

Physically and mentally I feel I could play for another two years. But it's time. There are other priorities in my life.

Test selector Merv Hughes, always the prankster, has a unique take on my retirement.

He told me that, as I effectively replaced him in the Test side in 1994, he was looking forward to getting square by sticking the knife in and ending my Test career.

He said he was disappointed I announced my retirement before he had the chance to swoop.

Merv, of course, was only joking, but I am pleased to be bowing out on my terms.

The first thing I want to do is get away from it for a while, unwind and see what options come up and what I want to do.

I do feel I have a role to play in the game, but I want to have six to 12 months away from it first.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper encouraged people to fax the team hotel to wish me all the best and I received some nice telegrams, including a couple from people I knew from my days growing up in Narromine. Another came from a cricket fan in Mudgee, who finished it by saying if I am ever calling through, please give him a bell and he will take me for a beer.

I might just get there.

It was terrific to get those sorts of messages because some time we are so focused on what we are doing, we forget that people outside our bubble are watching us closely and getting a lot of enjoyment from the game of cricket.

I feel pleased that I am leaving the game in good shape because there are a lot of young fast bowlers coming through.

My approach has always been simple. The less complex you make things, the less things can go wrong.

I always tell youngsters if you can bowl 99 balls out of 100 that can hit the top of off-stump, you will take wickets. They always seem disappointed by the simplicity of the advice, but it's the truth.

Finally, I've been privileged to have competed against some fine players in my career.

Here is my toughest XI to play against:

Mike Atherton (England): I respected him and he was one of themost successful opening batsmen of our era, even though Curtly Ambrose and myself had great records against him because he seemed to struggle with our extra bounce.

Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka): Others may have had better records but few were more dangerous. It is always a massive compliment to someone to say they changed the game, and his storming innings in the 1996 World Cup changed everyone's thinking about how to start one-day innings. Great natural flair.

Brian Lara (West Indies): I felt he was just in front of Sachin Tendulkar when at his peak. He was just a naturally gifted player with so much ability. Against spin, he was in a league of his own. No spinner ever had it over him and Muttiah Muralitharan always said he was the toughest he bowled to.

Sachin Tendulkar (India): More technically correct than Lara and on his day could really destroy attacks, but probably did not have as much natural flair as Lara. But who does?

Mentally strong enough to carry the hopes of a billion Indian cricket fans whenever he batted.

Aravinda de Silva (Sri Lanka): When he got a start on home soil in Sri Lanka you just felt you were never going to get him out. Was excellent for Sri Lanka in a tough era when they did not have the array of talent or experience that they have today.

Andrew Flintoff (England): Just pips Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock and Chris Cairns as an all-rounder because of his heroics against us on the 2005 Ashes tour. To swing the ball both ways at 145kmh throughout lengthy spells was pace bowling at its absolute best.

Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka): Averages in the high 40s with the bat in Test cricket and has also done some great work keeping to Muralitharan. If you have Murali in the team you would go for Kumar as keeper. He is an under-rated player with a great record. He pipped South Africa's Mark Boucher, a solid player for a long time.

Curtly Ambrose (West Indies): With his height, he could really get great bounce and he was one of those special bowlers who always had an extra gear. He barely had a bad day and he enhanced his aura by keeping his distance from opponents, including me.

Wasim Akram (Pakistan): Just a champion for what he could do with the ball. He could swing it at will both ways and the way he powered through the crease made him something to behold. He was on you before you knew it. He wasamazing.

Allan Donald (South Africa): Had great pace and a fine record for South Africa. I always got along well with him and for a long time our records were very similar.

Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka): Simply because of his incredible statistics, he has to go in here. But there were other spinners who I admired, Saqlain Mushtaq, Anil Kumble and Dan Vettori among them.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sanath Jayasuriya | Ageless and merciless : ( Cricinfo Award - Best ODI Batting Performance 2008 )

Best ODI Batting Performance

Sanath Jayasuriya

125 off 114 balls v India
Asia Cup final, Karachi

Enough context existed, for Sanath Jayasuriya's 125 in the Asia Cup final, to fill a book. He had just turned 39, an age at which some men have been known to contemplate grandfather-hood. He was in Pakistan again, a land closely associated to his legend.

Here it was that he remodelled himself as the berserker opener unveiled at the 1996 World Cup. Against Pakistan it was that he scored the then-fastest ODI hundred, and the Iqbal Stadium's grass in Faisalabad he scorched during a monstrous double-hundred. He had also just found a way back into the ODI side - his natural home - through a handy, very Pakistani, mix of performance and politics. And of course, it was a final, against India at that, with whom there is always some spikiness.

Just in itself, and without all the extra meaning, the innings was immense. Only a handful of men could have even considered playing it, let alone been capable of doing so: Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, but who else? The National Stadium pitch wasn't up to much, but India's attack was handy enough.

Ishant Sharma had bowled the first, and only, meaningful spell of fast bowling through the tournament, at a stadium replete with such displays. He found bounce, a little cut and some loose batting, as Sri Lanka fell to 66 for 4 after 12 overs. Jayasuriya had been, in any case, responsible for even that start - he had made 42 at the time. The decision on how to proceed was evidently a simple one for him: he had taken 11 off Irfan Pathan in the 11th over, before Ishant struck twice in the 12th, and so decided merely to continue. It is said and written about easily, but not so its accomplishing.

Mostly, the whole piece was built on extraordinary coordination between hand and eye (his feet have mainly been used to prevent him from falling down), the instinct to do it but a given. The coordination was extraordinary because it is assumed the older a batsman gets, particularly one of Jayasuriya's kind, the less he has of it. All the shots had been seen before and believed, and yet here, as he pulled Ishant for six over deep square to bring up 50, you had to believe all over again. Was he really doing this now? Again? In this situation? At that age? He was.

There came a chance soon but RP Singh fluffed it. How, in the next over, he wished that at least the ground would swallow him up. Jayasuriya lofted him for six either side of the sight-screen, then carved twice through covers for four. The over, and Indian momentum, ended with a pulled six to make it 26. In Hollywood, Bruce Willis took on the world. In Karachi, Jayasuriya took on all of India.

One of few batsman to so consistently threaten an ODI double-hundred (Sehwag another), a personal score of 87 after only 16 overs strongly indicated another attempt at ODI batting's last frontier. It wasn't to be, as spin came on and Jayasuriya took a breather for what we all presumed to be a final late-overs assault. Thirty-eight came off the next 56 balls, no boundaries, and just as he attempted one, he was gone, responsible at that stage for over 60% of the total.

On any other day, for any other country, it wouldn't have been eclipsed for impact. But it was, testimony to Sri Lanka's wonderful ability to produce the strangest, most wonderfully different cricketers. Ajantha Mendis' six-for was merely the latest affirmation of that truth; those familiar with Jayasuriya didn't need telling at all.

- Cricinfo

Cricinfo Awards : Jayasuriya and Mendis take ODI prizes

Virender Sehwag's match-winning 201 not out against Sri Lanka, and Dale Steyn's 5 for 67 at the MCG, which helped South Africa win a series in Australia for the first time, have been voted the best Test performances of 2008 by a Cricinfo jury. Sehwag's double-hundred won the prize for the Test Batting Performance of the year by a whisker from Graeme Smith's series-winning 154 not out against England at Edgbaston.

The winning ODI performances both came from the same match, the Asia Cup final between Sri Lanka and India:

Sanath Jayasuriya's 125 off 114 balls


Ajantha Mendis' 6 for 13.

"It was a breathtaking double-century and it came against a remarkable spin attack," Tony Greig, one of the members of the jury that voted on the awards, said of Sehwag's innings. "Sehwag is, and will be for a while, the most dangerous batsman in world cricket."

The rest of the jury comprised Ian Chappell, Sanjay Manjrekar, David Lloyd, Ramiz Raja, Daryll Cullinan, and five of Cricinfo's senior editors.

The lists of nominees, announced in the first week of this year, were compiled by Cricinfo's global staff. The winners were selected on the basis of a ranking of the performances by the jury, with the players who fetched the most points winning the respective awards. Smith's Edgbaston effort, a favourite, lost out by a single point.

Mendis has been hailed as one of the most exciting new talents in the game, and his win underlines his growing reputation. "Players like him are difficult to find. He is great for the game and we all want his magic to last," Raja said.

Sachin Tendulkar missed out on the jury awards, but he was clearly the favourite with Cricinfo's readers, winning in the Test and ODI batting categories in the Readers' Choice segment of the awards. Tendulkar's match-winning 103 not out in Chennai against England was voted the best Test innings, while his unbeaten 117 against Australia in the first final of the CB Series won the ODI title. The readers agreed with the jury in the bowling awards, though, with Steyn and Mendis taking the prize for Tests and ODIs.

Sehwag also won a number of titles in the Statsguru Awards, which are based on detailed data analyses of the year's performances. In both Tests and ODIs he was the batsman with the highest strike-rate in the year, and the one with the highest boundary percentage. Shivnarine Chanderpaul was the other big winner in the Statsguru Awards, taking the titles for Batsman of the Year, Most Consistent Batsman in Tests, and the one for highest percentage of team runs scored by a single batsman in Tests.

This is the second edition of the Cricinfo Awards. Last year's winners were Kumar Sangakkara and Zaheer Khan in Tests and Adam Gilchrist and Lasith Malinga in ODIs.

- Cricinfo

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bangladesh win despite Jayasuriya's heroics

Shakib Al Hasan's powerhouse batting and inspired bowling performances from vice-captain Mashrafe Mortaza and debutant Rubel Hossain ensured Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka in the third match of the tri-series and, more importantly, secured a place in the final on Friday, where they will face the same opposition again.

In a must-win match for them, reduced by bad light to 31 overs each, Bangladesh restricted Sri Lanka to 147 before Shakib's 92 off 69 balls completed the win. A fourth-wicket stand of 91 between Shakib and captain Mohammad Ashraful helped them pick up the bonus point as well to end the hopes of Zimbabwe, the third team in the competition.

Ashraful's decision to field, paid off immediately with Mortaza striking twice in his first two overs, removing Upul Tharanga and Kumar Sangakkara. He then removed Sri Lanka's top-scorer Sanath Jayasuriya, whose fifty was largely responsible for pushing the visitors to a somewhat respectable total.

Jayasuriya's 64-ball innings included seven boundaries, but failed to encourage the other batsmen as the middle and lower orders fell apart. Rubel helped himself to the spoils, ending with 4 for 33, and was responsible for the damage towards the end.

Bangladesh celebrate the dismissal of Kumar Sangakkara
The reduced overs resulted in a 6-3-3 Powerplay split, with a maximum of seven overs for any one bowler and six each for four others. Mortaza struck with the third ball of the morning, trapping Tharanga leg before. In his next over, he produced an identical delivery to castle Kumar Sangakkara.

Rubel was given a hostile welcome to international cricket by Jayasuriya, who hit him for two fours in his first over and then got a life when Raqibul Hasan failed to pull off a catch off a short delivery from Mortaza.

Bangladesh then opted for spin at both ends through Naeem Islam and Shakib Al Hasan. Naeem managed to break the stand in the 18th over when Jayawardene holed out to Rubel at deep-midwicket while attempting a slog sweep.

Mortaza was then brought on soon after and had Jayasuriya caught and bowled shortly after bringing up his half-century as Sri Lanka found themselves in a spot of bother at 95 for 4.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dolphins rue missed chances in semi

IT was a matter of close but no cigar for the Dolphins on Sunday in the MTN Domestic Championship semi-final in Bloemfontein, and they are left to rue what could have been this week.

Convenor of selectors Jay Naidoo told The Witness yesterday that there was a genuine sense of frustration among the team at missing out after getting so close.

“For sure we had our chances to win, but we just didn’t get that one top order batter who played through the innings for us,” Naidoo pointed out.

The trio of Ahmed Amla (37), HD Ackermann (27) and Jon Kent (39) all got in, but crucially failed to provide the base for a late assault on the 253-run target. “If you look at the Eagles, from 40-odd for three they got one big partnership and that made the difference,” Naidoo continued.

Loots Bosman (95) and skipper Boeta Dippenaar (71) rescued a stumbling home innings with a pivotal 125-run stand for the fourth wicket.
“Loots is obviously an attacking player, and he rode his luck a bit,” Naidoo said. “If one of our batters who got in had batted on, it would have certainly made things much easier for the likes of Daryn [Smit] at the end of the innings.”

The Dolphins still fancied their chances at the halfway stage, despite a 44th over assault by Dillon du Preez, which harvested 19 runs.
“That over did hurt us a bit, but if you had offered us 250 to chase on that deck before the start, we would have backed ourselves to get it,” he said.

Naidoo said the loss of limited-overs maestro Sanath Jayasuriya was keenly felt, and said the side was looking forward to “Sunny’s” return from the tri-series in Dhaka.

“His experience with the ball in the latter stages would have been vital, and obviously we all know what he can do with the bat,” Naidoo said.

The Dolphins now have a decent break to reflect on what could have been before the start of the Standard Bank Pro20 series next Friday.
“We have a tough start [away games to MTN finalists the Eagles and the Titans], but if we can steal one win out of those two it will stand us in good stead to make the semis,” an upbeat Naidoo said.

He also revealed that Jayasuriya will be back in time for the second clash of that tournament, against the Titans on January 25.

A Jayasuriya blitz just before he departs KZN may yet prove to be just what the doctor ordered for Amla and his troops.

The Pro20 series offers the Dolphins one final chance of silverware in a season where they have steadily improved without ever really dominating proceedings.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dolphins looking to cause an upset in Bloem despite Jayasuriya's absence

The Nashua Dolphins go into their MTN Domestic Championship semifinal against the Gestetner Diamond Eagles at the Outsurance Oval in Bloemfontein on Sunday confident of causing an upset against the side that finished at the top of the log.

After qualifying by finishing fourth on the log, the Dolphins tackle the more fancied Eagles who finished 13 points ahead of them after the round-robin stages, without the services of Sanath Jayasuriya, who has been recalled to the Sri Lankan team for a tri-series in Dhaka and Johann Louw, who pulled a hamstring two weeks ago.

"Johann will only be available again if we reach the final. Sanath is on international duty for Sri Lanka and is highly unlikely to make the final," said Yashin Ebrahim, the Dolphins coach.

Despite these setbacks, the Dolphins are quietly confident of beating the Eagles with the squad they have. They have also introduced 21-year-old Cameron Delport to the team as a replacement for Jayasuriya. The former Westville Old Boy is a hard-hitting left-handed batsman who made his senior debut against the Warriors in Port Elizabeth last week.

"Both the experienced players will be missed. However, we have enough experience and depth in the team to compete. The boys are confident, focused and positive ahead of the big game. Barring any last-minute injuries, Cameron will open with Imraan Khan. I think he is good enough to perform at this level and gives us an extra option as a medium-pace bowler as well," Ebrahim said.

The Dolphins were well-beaten in their two pool matches against the Eagles, losing by five wickets with 11 overs to spare in Durban and by six wickets with an over to spare in Kimberley, but this does not concern Ebrahim.

"Losing both the league games to the Eagles counts for nothing. This is a one-off and anything can happen," he said.

The winner of Sunday's semifinal will play the Nashua Titans, who thrashed the Western Cape Cobras by nine wickets on Friday night.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Odds against Dolphins win after Sanath leaves for Dhaka

THE KZN Dolphins will meet the table-topping Diamond Eagles in the second semi-final of the MTN Domestic Championships tomorrow.

The winner will go through to Friday’s final against the winners of last night’s encounter at SuperSport Centurion, which saw the star studded Titans entertaining the Cobras.

That the Dolphins have regrouped in time to get into the semis is no small feat, in a season that was descending into mediocrity.

The form of Imraan Khan at the top of the order has been one of the few consistencies of a season that may yet be re-ignited by a winning end to the 45 over competition.

Khan has outshone even the mercurial Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya, who is currently in Dhaka.

The other significant plus for the KZN franchise has been captain Ahmed Amla’s steady form with the bat. He and Khan hold the key for a Dolphins line-up, which has considerably deep batting, with talented all-rounder Morne van Vuuren having batted as low as nine.

What the Dolphins have to improve on mostly is their bowling, particularly in the powerplays. This is perhaps where Jayasuriya’s golden arm will be sorely missed, as his wily darters worked well at the death of several innings.

The Dolphins have suffered severely in this regard, with the visit to Potchefstroom to face the Lions earlier this season a brutal example.

Jean Symes churned out a classy 146 while Vaughn van Jaarsveld bludgeoned a 56- ball century.

With the experienced Johann Louw also missing, the likes of Yusuf Abdullah, Jon Kent and Ugasen Govender will be under pressure to foil a formidable Eagles batting card, which includes the hard-hitting Loots Bosman, Morne van Wyk and the vastly improved Dean Elgar.

The Eagles spin duo of Con de Lange and Thandi Tshabalala will also pose a threat, and the form of stalwart HD Ackermann in the middle overs will be crucial.

The Eagles have already beaten Amla’s men twice this season, the first a five-wicket cruise at Kingsmead.

All in all, with home-ground advantage, a better team on paper and two victories over their opponents this season, the odds are heavily stacked towards an Eagles triumph.

But as Dolphins convenor of selectors Jay Naidoo explained this week, form counts for very little when it comes to the business end of a knockout tournament.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

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Sanath Jayasuriya & Shabana Azmi in Nepal on AIDS awareness mission

Sri Lankan Master Blaster Sanath Jayasuriyaand Noted Bollywood actor and social activist Shabana Azmi on Tuesday underlined the need for greater unity and cooperation among the South Asian countries to combat stigma and discrimination against millions of HIV infected people.

Azmi, who is SAARC Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS along with Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya, has carried on with her three-day trip to Nepal despite Pashupatinath temple row while Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan cancelled his trip.

Earlier in May 2008 Sri Lanka's star batsmen Sanath Jayasuriya and Ms. Shabana Azmi were selected as SAARC Goodwill Ambassadors for the programme " Uniting for HIV AIDS" by the selection committee at a meeting held at the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu.

This prestigious honorary title is for a period of two years and the Goodwill Ambassadors are expected to travel to all SAARC member States.

The overall goal of the Goodwill Ambassador is to garner enhanced response to the fight against HIV/AIDS within the Member States through advocacy and public mobilization efforts at the regional level.

India nominated Ms. Shabana Azmi and Mr.Baiching Bhutia . Nepal nominated Mr. Madan Krishna Shrestha and Mr. Hari Bamsha Acharya Pakistan nominated Mr. Jehangir Khan, Sri Lanka nominated Mr. Nimal Siripala de Silva and Mr. Sanath Jayasuriya.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Dolphins left with opener dilemma after Sanath Jayasuriya bids farewell

The Nashua Dolphins have at least improved on their record in the MTN Domestic Championship last season, edging up from fifth to fourth and securing the last semi-final place.

After a poor start to the competition, in which they lost their first three matches, the Dolphins improved to such an extent that they won four out of five matches completed, with two abandoned because of rain.

With Sanath Jayasuriya yesterday failing in his bid to stay on for Sunday's semi-final against the Eagles, the main problem the Dolphins have is finding an opener to take his place.

The selectors, who meet tomorrow to finalise the squad to travel to Bloemfontein, will probably have to choose between Grant Rowley and Cameron Delport.

Experienced Rowley, despite a disappointing season to date, must surely be favoured to get the nod over 19-year-old Delport, who made his senior team debut in the Dolphins' three-wicket victory over the Warriors on Sunday.

Coach Yashin Ebrahim was delighted with the Dolphins' last-ball win over the Warriors on a slow St George's Park pitch, with Jon Kent made man of the match for a superb innings of 86, which included 10 fours in 119 balls. He shared a key fourth-wicket partnership of 109 with H D Ackerman (46), and that, added to a late cameo from Daryn Smit (26), enabled the Dolphins to squeeze home by three wickets on the last ball.

"Kentie played out of his socks, and H D's experience was also very important," said Ebrahim soon after the team returned to Durban yesterday.
The Dolphins had already secured their semi-final place on Friday night, but it was important to go into the semi-final with winning momentum.

The rain-out on Friday was the second consecutive match lost to inclement weather in Durban. Next season, Cricket South Africa should consider awarding more day fixtures for the Dolphins in Durban, since the rain generally comes at night.

The Dolphins will have a well-earned rest today, with the build-up to Sunday's semi-final starting in the nets tomorrow.
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