Tighter than the seal provided by a nitrile O-ring

'My first order as captain is that Mahela will do all the captaincy stuff'

But yet able to withstand heat in the manner of an O-ring fashioned from a Viton fluoroelastomer. Sri Lanka’s bowling was so efficient, it deserves to be described using mechanical gasket terminology.

The power of weirdness

This World T20 was another lesson for those who still believe that the shortest format is ‘all about power’. Some feel that England were always bound to fail because of some sort of biceps shortfall, but their biggest weakness was that they didn’t have weird enough bowling. Sri Lanka on the other hand…

Unlike in Tests, runs are the unit of measurement in limited overs cricket, but this Sri Lanka side haven’t reached final after final because they’ve got exceptional one-day batsmen. They’ve got some good ones, certainly, but they’re not match-winners. Overall, Sri Lanka are a pretty average batting side. They win because they generally don’t need to score as many runs as other teams thanks to their freakish and hugely varied bowling attack.

Sri Lanka’s best batsman

In the final, Sri Lanka’s best batsmen was Yuvraj Singh. That is unarguable. Kumar Sangakkara played well, but no willow-wielder did more to ensure a Sri Lankan victory than Yuvi. The sad fact is that this is distracting from one of the great one-day team bowling performances.

Yes, Yuvraj seemed like he’d never held a cricket bat before, but Sri Lanka exploited that masterfully. Batsmen often start scratchily, but then they somehow get one away and suddenly everything’s fine. However, Sachithra Senanayake and Lasith Malinga in particular managed to make Yuvraj’s scratchiness persist for long enough that it became ‘a thing’. From there, they just rode a wave of uncertain mishits, allowing their victim the strike, until Nuwan Kulasekara foolishly dismissed him.

But perhaps that wicket wasn’t a mistake. This might not sound credible if you happen to have seen Yuvraj’s innings, but perhaps Sri Lanka’s bowlers actually wanted to get him out. Why would they do this? What possible reason might they have had for wanting to sweep aside the batting depression and bring in a Dhoni front? Well maybe they wanted to make a point – for it was not just Yuvraj who struggled.

Not just Yuvraj

India basically have just one batsman who can come in and start hitting boundaries from the first ball they face and that is the perennially ace-shit Suresh Raina, a flawed batsman with a wonderful ability to take a swing. But no, this was a man’s job. Things were looking tough out there, so Dhoni made a big show of taking responsibility and moved himself up the order.

Intent on salvaging things for his team LIKE THE HERO HE IS, Dhoni promptly made four not out off seven balls, monopolising the strike in the process.

So maybe it wasn’t just Yuvraj. Maybe it was Yuvraj’s poor form coming up against an organised, skilled, well drilled bowling attack which just happens to include pretty much the finest death bowler to have played the game.

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25 Appeals

  1. It’s a victory for common sense. T20 tournaments deserve to be won by teams with weird players. In a game of cricket Top Trumps, it’s the Sri Lankans you’d like to have in your hand when freakiness is the chosen category.

    It’s such a shame that cricket Top Trumps doesn’t exist anywhere on the internet. It would be really great if it did.

  2. Yuvraj is a murderer of average-to-above-average bowling. Now, Stuart Broad isn’t one of those now but perhaps he was, in 2007.

    He has always struggled against quality spin – even when in form otherwise.

    His best get-out-of-jail card was being able to take advantage of the average-to-above-average bowling even when otherwise in poor form. In 2007-08, he got 169 against a generous Paki bowling attack, which, true to character, reduced India to 69-4 before starting their generosity. On the back of that innings, he was taken to Australia, and was targetted and felled. By the time India realised the con adn selected Sehwag instead, the series was lost.

    The advantage batsmen have in the current era is that there are always enough average-to-above-average bowlers to target. Dhoni has made a career out of his talent of being able to preserve his wicket against top bowlers and cashing in on against the weaker ones, in LO cricket.

    Kohli seems a cut above both of these pretenders and will probably end up as one of the greatest batsmen of his generation. Truly special talents have to emerge to stop him from being one.

    • You’re kidding, mate. In the 2007 WC he didn’t just murder England — he destroyed Australia and they had Brett Lee and Stuart Clark in their attack. I can also never forget the innings that he played in 2008 against England in a Test match in Chennai on the 5th day. Who can also forget his hundred on a difficult pitch in Lahore in a Test where everyone else struggled.

      Yes, he hasn’t lived up to his talent, but I disagree that he’s a flat-track bully. In any case, he’s probably past his prime now.

      As far as Dhoni is concerned, he’s no “pretender”. There have been many times when even Kohli has failed and Dhoni has stepped up to the plate.

  3. Raina seemed to be in a HUGE sulk (or is it an habitual expression as you say?) and Dhoni will have a very bad time bringing him and Kohli round.

    Kohli looks drawn and as if living on his nerves.

  4. Is that a one-legged ferret or is it an optical illusion? Also, their marketing guy needs a bit of a hand, because this doesn’t work as a sales pitch: “Our Cricket Ferret T-Shirt features: Batting, Expressions, Funny.”

  5. “Batsmen often start scratchily, but then they somehow get one away and suddenly everything’s fine.”

    Momentum? Momentum.

  6. There was me thinking Dernbach was a great death bowler…

  7. So Sri Lanka are the champions. But England beat Sri Lanka.

    So that makes England…meta-Champions, right?

    • Sri lanka are World-T20-champions.
      England are Champion-Of-World-T20-Champions.

      If one match can decide the champions, then one match can decide the champion-of-champions as well, eh ?

  8. Huh? So India had one bad day, and suddenly Sri Lanka have the ‘finest death bowler’ and Yuvi and Dhoni are shit batsmen? This weird bowling couldn’t do much against Alex Hales. And Dhoni promoted himself up the order in a World Cup final and ensured victory not too long ago.

    Again, SL had a good series, and India had one bad day. There is nothing more to it than that.

    • King Cricket

      April 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      No, the final isn’t why we’ve concluded that Sri Lanka’s weird bowling is so good – it’s the fact that they’ve competed so well for so long. If anything, this Sri Lanka side has been unfortunate to have to operate at the same time as a top notch India limited overs side, otherwise they would have won way more.

      India were always likely to have a bad day eventually and the odds were that it was going to be Sri Lanka who were there to exploit it. That’s our point really. Saying it’s just a bad day for India denies the opposition the credit they deserve.

      We didn’t say Yuvi was a shit batsman. If anything, we implied that he had ‘one bad day’ – although our real point was that Sri Lanka’s contribution to that seems somewhat unappreciated.

      We also didn’t say that Dhoni was a shit batsman. The thing about him being a hero alludes to that World Cup final performance after promoting himself, highlighting that the intent was the same, but the outcome different.

      As for how Sri Lanka’s weird bowling performed against England? Well that was just ‘one bad day’ wonnit?

    • Well, it’s not just here, but everyone seems intent on flagging poor Yuvraj. Regarding Dhoni, I mistook your use of caps for sarcasm – my apologies.

      I am not denying SL anything. They certainly played better cricket. But I invite you to think about the efficacy of their attack sans Malinga. The line-up of Hearath, Mathews, Senanayake, and Kulasekara isn’t exactly fear inducing, is it? Weird or not. My point is simply to not over-estimate the prowess of a winning side.

    • But Yuvraj Singh is a crap batsman.

    • King Cricket

      April 7, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      No, but the other side of it is that you can’t rely on one bowler when each is limited to four overs. They all did their job and to some extent it was the sheer variety which kept life difficult for India.

      They’re not fear-inducing, but nor was this Test cricket. Twenty20’s more about being irritating than being threatening.

      Attention is being drawn to Yuvraj because his innings was dire. Our point is that it wasn’t entirely his fault.

    • I am not going to indulge in further analyzitude for a stupid T20, and take back everything I said. Can we get back to rhymes or cats?

    • Deep Cower,
      Ended this encounter sounding rather sour.
      Probably his sharp tone is sarcasm intended to confuse or,
      Perhaps he really is a bad loser!

    • I DID NOT LOSE.

      Your face is a loser.

    • Yuvraj isn’t a crap batsman but he isn’t particularly great. He has performed very well in ICC tournaments but really struggles against good swing or spin. When he is in bad form, such as now, he has no technique to fall back on. This may have contributed to him being unable to rotate strike yesterday.

      Sri-Lanka were very good, and their record in recent ICC tournaments suggests a perennial contender, deserving of much respect.

    • Sri Lanka have been more consistent than Indian in World tournaments since 2007.

      India were pathetic in 3 consecutive T20 World cups. Sri Lanka reached finals in two of them and semis in one of them.

      If we are talking of bad days and good days, India had 3 good days out of the 4 finals theyr eached in ICC tournaments in last 7 years. SL had 4 bad days out of 5.

      By any yardstick, India is not a better team than Sri Lanka. Unless flat pitch batting and batting against ordinary bowlers is a criterion.

  9. I think you could make an arguement that the post-2000 generation of Sri Lankan players that is about to end have both over achieved and under achieved. They are never thought of as particularly special, and I doubt they will be remembered as say the South African or Indian team of this era (or even the England side pre mecha-meltdown), which when you consider how often they make finals and challenge the best sides is silly.

    Yet, at one point, they had available to them Dilshan, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Samaraweera, Malinga, Vaas and Murali, plus a fair few other “decent” players. I know there have been other strong teams about, but they were a dodgy performance away from having won nothing as a generation, and they never even really challenged the top few spaces of the Test rankings for very long.

    • King Cricket

      April 7, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      This result might just allow them to be looked upon as being a particular ‘vintage’ as a one-day side.

  10. Please tell us more about nitrile o-rings.

    Do they provide particularly tight seals? Is this a subject in which you are an expert.

    In other news, I see Lancashire have started the season well.

    • King Cricket

      April 8, 2014 at 8:07 am

      One thing against Peter Moores’ bid to become England coach is that Lancashire’s batting really hasn’t improved in recent years.

    • Lancashire has long-term goals and is still in a rebuilding phase, so there’s nothing to worry about. They look well set to improve on their previous long-term rebuilding phase (1934 – 2011), and should be in position to win the championship several years before their 2088 deadline.

    • lmao

      meanwhile… bbc are excitedly reporting on prior’s and finn’s performances, as if this has any bearing whatsoever on the potential future performances of the england team…

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