Sunday, June 16, 2024

‘Born-again’ Hasaranga brings ‘death’ to Sri Lanka

Heartaches for millions of home followers on TV as team is taken apart:

by malinga
June 9, 2024 1:15 am 0 comment 1.8K views

Wanindu Hasaranga after defeat yesterday

Sri Lanka cricket captain Wanindu Hasaranga who extricated himself from an impending four-match ban in T20 cricket failed to lift his sunken team as underdog Bangladesh snatched a two-wicket win in their World Cup match in Dallas, USA yesterday.

Hasaranga faced an automatic four-match ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for breaching the players’ disciplinary code by exceeding his demerit points during an ODI series against Bangladesh in March.

His keeper Sri Lanka Cricket did not mind him slipping through a loophole and abusing the intellectual format of five-day Test cricket to make a comeback from retirement and serve an alternative two-Test ban by showing himself on the reserves bench at a subsequent series.

Having mocked both the ICC’s Code of Conduct for players and the traditional format of cricket, Hasaranga had no escape route this time as millions of Sri Lankans glued to their TV sets even before sunrise watched in dismay how he was dismissed for a first-ball duck batting above the likes of the experienced Angelo Matthews and later with ball in hand conceding three consecutive sixes as Sri Lanka defended another low total of 124.

More heartache came the way of what is left of the most die-hard Sri Lanka cricket followers kicking their heels when Hasaranga threw the ball to a politically correct Dasun Shanka overlooking a crafty and deceptive bowler like Matthews at the most decisive stage of the match.

Matthews, who took a wicket in his first over against South Africa in Sri Lanka’s previous game, was not good enough for Hasaranga to bowl even one over on the day with Bangladesh needing 11 runs and down to eight wickets and two overs left as Shanaka offered Mahmudullah a well-relished full toss like a tasty meal that found its way into the stands.

In frantic telephone calls to the Sunday Observer disgruntled followers vented their anger after Shanaka, who may be enjoying a form of patronage, was given the ball ahead of Matthews.

The desperation on the faces could not have been visible any more than when the other bad boy in the Sri Lanka team, like Hasaranga, Kusal Mendis behind the stumps went up a hundred times like dodging bullets fired at his feet demanding a caught-behind catch off an over-head bouncer from Shanaka.

With two defeats from two matches and two more games to be contested the writing is on the wall for the Sri Lankans who were bestowed with brand new playing kits for the same old results at a grand send-off.

Only something out of this world could prevent the players from witnessing the Super Eight stage of the T20 World Cup from the comforts of their homes with even wins against the Netherlands and Nepal at the current stage yet to explain how Sri Lanka can be in the running.

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