Sri Lanka v West Indies, 6th match, Qualifying Round - Discussion and Updates

zMario

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For all practical purposes the Champions Trophy will finally get under way at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday. Brian Lara's West Indies will be battling an in-form Sri Lankan side for the right to not face Australia in the next round of the Champions Trophy. With all due respect to Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, they haven't exactly stretched the qualifiers in the early stages, and it is from here on that the going gets tough.

For West Indies, it's vital that the tough get going. Chris Gayle is on fire, and Lara looked in sublime touch for the few minutes that he batted against Zimbabwe. But West Indies are still heavily dependent on these two, if they're in a crunch situation. The likes of Wavell Hinds and Runako Morton have shown a propensity to fold meekly once the big guns are silenced, but Lara strongly opposed the suggestion that his team was over-dependent on one or two players.

"We're not over-dependent on anyone. Recently in the Caribbean it was Sarwan who controlled the series," said Lara on the eve of the match against Sri Lanka. "We have the likes of Chanderpaul and Bravo, a good mix of people. It's always very important that the first two guys out in the middle stabilise things and make sure we don't lose too many wickets. A setback troubles any team. Most times when a side struggles their top four batsmen have not performed."

That might well ring true, but it would be untrue to totally deny how dependent West Indies are on Lara and Gayle. Lara did agree that a move was on to clearly delineate roles for different players. "We have stressed the importance of each person playing a role. We've moved away from names and wanting a particular name to play in West Indies cricket," he said. "We need people to fulfil the various roles we have developed and the guys are all aware of the different roles. We have a very good plan and we're still improving."

But when the lights come on, and the glare is at its harshest, some people lift themselves and others look for cover. Lara has always been the sort to relish a pitched battle, and the manner in which he handles Muttiah Muralitharan will be crucial. If he can set the tone with a strident innings, others less gifted might be able to chip in and build around him. "It's been great over the years," Lara said of his battles with Muralitharan. "We've had some good contests - some I've won and some he's won. We've really enjoyed playing against each other. And having Murali as a team-mate in the World Series was excellent. We've got a very good friendship and that will always continue even though there's a fierce battle between us. At the end of the day he's a world class bowler. On his day he can get any batsman out. I've been lucky to have batted well against him and this is another opportunity, and it's not going to be an easy test. It's not so important who wins the battle between Murali and Lara, what's important is who wins the battle between West Indies and Sri Lanka."



Upul Tharanga, who is in fine fettle, could be quite a handful for any opposition © Getty Images



Well, the winner of that battle will have earned the right to play in Group B, comprising South Africa, New Zealand and Pakistan. That means staying away from those big bad Aussies, for a while, at least. "We'd like to win tomorrow. So obviously the preference would be Group A," Lara admitted. "In a tournament like this no team wants to have to pick themselves up and dissect a loss. We play every single game to win. If things don't work out then we have to look at the opposition which may be Australia, India and England. We just want to win each and every single game."

Tom Moody, when asked the same question, was a touch less candid than Lara, in saying. "At this stage I don't personally have a huge preference. To win a tournament like this you need to be prepared to beat every team in the tournament. If you start hedging your bets and think I'd rather be here because I want to keep away from this team or that you're defeated before you even enter the contest," he said. "Our approach is - let's win this game of cricket that we've got before us. Australia are comfortably the favourites. The pundits would be thinking that's the group to steer away from. But, why can't we beat Australia? They're a good side but they're beatable." Yes, but no-one is in any hurry to find out just how beatable Australia are.

Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo

© Cricinfo




Should be a very good game of cricket today, after all those one-sided games :19:

May the worst team win, and face us :p

Really and truly, I dont see much differance in WI and SL
 
Why do you want Lara to get a 100?!!!

Man, sometimes, this place gets really hilarious
 
he's already got a perfect record against pakistan so even if he does it wont be something new,

his average is the best against pakistan and he plays against pakistan for fun
 
gambino said:
he's already got a perfect record against pakistan so even if he does it wont be something new,

his average is the best against pakistan and he plays against pakistan for fun
So ur West Indian now? :O
 
Mahela jayawardena says hes happy to chase and lara happy to bat 1st.

This will be a good battle, hopefully lara v murali in middle overs.
 
WI need to bat first in order to give themselves a chance, so this is good for them. I just can't see them chasing against this SL attack and with their bowling attack the way it is.

If they can get a big total on the board, then they're in with a big chance!
 
Gayle v thuranga will be a key battle, Both batsmen are firing on all cylinders at moment. Good starts at top of order will be crucial.
 
Vass to start off bowling to gayle,

gets ball to come back no shot offered, hit on thigh pad.

any lower and could have been trouble
 
Gayle gone lovely outswinger and caught by sangakarra

brilliant cricket all round.

1/1
 
Huge appeal for LBW. looked very close!

just missing leg stump!

sarwan very lucky!
 
No ball and 4 more flicked to exact same spot as before.

WI 12/1
 
Porr field settings before, has been changed.

Malinga swinging ball into left hander, he needs cover on leg side.
 
Really, in my opinion (in field placing), Jayawardene is very poor at field placing, but he has a brilliant team...
 
Sarwan gone lbw, was always going to happen.

bunny in car headlights!
 
WI (image:cannot be read) (image:cannot be read) (image - ???) (error 908) oScript
 
Hawkeye on the LBW : Swinging, taking middle and leg, hawkeye says its leg stump
 
Z,mario,

get rid of the script thingy please its annoying.
 
morning guyz...its 5:17 here @ NY....i woke up for a cracker & yet the game is just gone lame... anyway great start by SL, they look really dangereous...

Mario wats the 'oScript' thingy in ur posts
 
Lara looking very agressive, he could end up throwing his wkt away here!

13/2 (3)
 
b0wld said:
morning guyz...its 5:17 here @ NY....i woke up for a cracker & yet the game is just gone lame... anyway great start by SL, they look really dangereous...

Mario wats the 'oScript' thingy in ur posts
I have a thing on the TV, that reads the scorebar on the bottom, and pastes it in here, and clicks post reply for me. Free posts, and free score updater :p
 
Chanderpaul gone, a ripper from malinga!

absoloute cracking ball!

caught behind!

13/3
 
b0wld said:
morning guyz...its 5:17 here @ NY....i woke up for a cracker & yet the game is just gone lame... anyway great start by SL, they look really dangereous...

Mario wats the 'oScript' thingy in ur posts
Also, it updates and pastes score here about every 30 - 60 secs, without me even doing anything - AND I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF!
 
Only 3.1 overs gone, and Sri Lanka are looking like they're gonna win this easily now
 
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