We should have scored around 270 runs – Mahela Jayawardene

Mahela Jayawardene, the Captain of Sri Lanka presumed that his batsmen fell short of around 40 runs which cost them the match. The Indians outplayed them by four wickets in the second match of the Commonwealth Bank Series 2011-12 at WACA, Perth on February 8, 2012.

Mahela Jayawardene - 40 runs more and we would have won the match!
Mahela Jayawardene – 40 runs more and we would have won the match!

The Islanders scored 233 runs while deciding to bat first after winning the toss, only Dinesh Chandimal achieved a fifty.

The score was difficult to defend keeping in view the strong batting line up of India which consisted of the highest scorer in the world, Sachin Tendulkar, maximum run maker in an innings of One Day Internationals, Virender Sehwag, experience of MS Dhoni and spirited youth consisted of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina.

Jayawardene went in to defend the reasonable total with an attacking mode and maximum fielders were placed inside the ring even out of powerplay period when that was not mandatory. The tactics were implemented to restrict the batsmen from changing the ends by earning singles which could have been vital to pick the wickets as well.

The skipper admired the dedicated fielding by his team mates who threw them often to minimize the runs. The bowlers were belligerent and tried their best to defend the limited total but missed the opportunity as their frontline bowler Lasith Malinga could not manage reverse swing. He further commented,

“When you are defending 230, you are trying to save as many singles as possible. The only way we would win this one-day game was by picking up wickets. I didn’t mind them scoring boundaries. It was a tough wicket to get singles. I didn’t want them to get that. The fielding was fantastic. The bowling was very aggressive.”

India was reeling at 181 for the loss of six wickets in 35.6 overs and the match was evenly poised at that stage. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja played determined innings and avoided any risk during their stay at the crease. The duo achieved the target in 46.4 overs and India captured the match by six wickets.

The Islander batsmen produced a 62 runs partnership between Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara for the second wicket. Chandimal and Jayawardene associated 52 runs for the fourth wicket and another solid partnership could have put them on top. The addition of 30-40 runs in the total should have enhanced the total around 270 and was easy to defend. Jayawardene said,

“We felt short because we were probably 30-40 runs short of our target. We had a good start. We just had to have one more big partnership, we would have been around 260-270. That was our target but we fell short of.”

Sri Lankans suffered a defeat in the first match against India and have not earned any point yet. They will face the hosts Australia on February 10, 2012, at the same venue and the dreams of Jayawadene will be fulfilled only if their batsmen provide them a better score to defend.


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