Dead Test on a dead wicket | Sunday Observer

Dead Test on a dead wicket

2 May, 2021

That the Sri Lankan cricketers took the field as the better team and having conditions to their liking and that they could not beat the Bangladeshis in the first of two Tests at the Pallekele International Stadium is a sad reflection on the state of their game. The game ended in a high scoring drab draw.

After the Sri Lankan tour of the West Indies where they came out well drawing the two Test matches, they were expected to have an easy go against Bangladesh who had lost a series to the Windies before coming here.

Add to that Bangladesh are at the basement of Test rankings with Sri Lanka just above them and after the tour of the Windies, the Lankans trained hard with the injured players all recovered and the return of all-rounder and former captain Angelo Mathews.

Before going on to comment on the game, it was sad to note the dropping of stylish right hand batsman and former captain Dinesh Chandimal. Chandimal has not been treated well in recent times and it would have been heartbreaking to him when he was left out of the playing eleven.

With allrounder Mathews available, the selectors would have had a difficult decision to make and finally after much deliberation would have nodded in favour of Mathews. It is hoped that Chandimal would take the decision to drop him in the spirit it was made and not be disappointed.

To the first Test and the wicket that was prepared was a heartbreak to bowlers both pace and spin and the bowlers of both sides looked innocuous. There was a little grass on the wicket and when Sri Lanka included three pacemen in Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando and Lahiru Kumara, it was an indication that had they won the toss they would ask Bangladesh to bat.

But Bangladesh won the toss and batted and after an early loss, the three left handers Iqbal 90, Shanto 163 and Haque 127 batted sensibly, playing straight and had the Lankan bowlers looking mediocre as they batted nearly two and a half days to score a massive 541 for 7 declared hoping that they could put pressure on the Lankan batsmen and dismiss them twice.

But when the Lankans batted the wicket continued to play like a concrete one with absolutely no help to the bowlers and batsmen Thirimanne 58, skipper Karunaratne 244 and Dhananjaya de Silva 166 made the bowlers toil, like the Bangladesh batsmen did to the Lankan bowlers and ran up a mammoth 648 for 8 declared. The visitors made 100 for 2 in their second innings. Karunaratne became the first batsman to score a double hundred on the Pallekelle turf.

With it ended a cricket match that no one would want to see played on a dead pitch that had no pace, movement on or off the pitch or pace for the fast men and bounce or vicious turn for the spinners.

It is hoped that a result oriented wicket would be made for the next Test, so that the talents of the batsmen and bowlers would be tested. Preparing dead wickets will not do the cricketers or the game any good. One wag commented that such a wicket was prepared to stall Sri Lanka’s run of shameful defeats. It is hoped that a result would ensure either way in the next Test.

Canvassing like mad

Canvassing for votes to be in power at Sri Lanka Cricket at the Annual General Meeting to be held on May 20 seems to be raging like wildfires in Australian states according to reports reaching us.

‘Ask and you shall receive’, seems to be the ploy spun out by those contesting to those with voting power and the promises made are mind boggling. But the question baffling those with voting power is: will they deliver as promised once seated in power?

So it will be seen that till the AGM day comes around, the voter or the voters will be worshipped like gods. And once in power whether the promises made will become a reality or voters taken for a ride only time will tell.

With the date for the AGM drawing near, we make bold to state that a former first class cricketer Kanagadaran Mathivanan who is challenging for the top post at SLC propped by an efficient set of officials be voted into power and given the prestigious seat as President.

Mathivanan who hails from Hartley College, Point Pedro where he played for the school with great success, joined Saracens Sports Club and continued with his success and when his career came to an end he joined Colts Cricket Club.

At the club he efficiently and honestly worked while holding office and sweated for the love of the game and its promotion and the success of its cricketers and saw to it that the club with its rich history would go from strength to strength and while doing things for the players and the club as President saw to it that the club attained a never before attained status.

The new look he gave the club and its surroundings amazed all members and its supporters and he proved a hard and honest worker and eligibility to hold office at SLC. And his opportunity knocked when he became and held the onerous position of Secretary of SLC Interim Committee.

Mathivanan did an excellent job as Secretary of the interim committee which he served for three years from 2005 to 2008 under that gentleman and efficient chairman of that time Jayantha Dharmadasa.

Mathivanan as Secretary developed and maintained a good rapport with the media always being available to them and answering and clarifying queries and questions so much so that he became the darling and the favourite of the media.

In came a green eyed who was jealous of him and his popularity with the media an gagged him from having any dealing with the media. But Mathivanan took it in the spirit it was made and continued his secretarial functions to the best of his ability for the love of the game.

[email protected]