Kumar Sangakarra

New Zealand Vs Sri Lanka Match Report

Kane Williamson scored a quite brilliant 242 not out as he and BJ Watling shared a record breaking 351 sixth wicket partnership

Kane Williamson scored a quite brilliant 242 not out as he and BJ Watling shared a record breaking 351 sixth wicket partnership

Kumar Sangakarra’s double century which took him one short of Don Bradman’s all time record of 12 wasn’t the only milestone to be reached in the match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Vice Captain Kane Williamson and BJ Wattling yet again was involved in a record sixth partnership in test matches .

New Zealand who came into this game looking to seal the two match series were unchanged just like Sri Lanka were. The Asian side who came into 1-0 down were looking from inspiration from Angelo Matthews and veteran Kumar Sangakarra no doubt.

Sri Lanka won the toss and were no looking to get an early breakthrough , and they duly did. Tom Latham was the first man to go for six, Prasanna Jayawardena taking the catch behind the stumps off the bowling of Lakmal.

The score at that point was 31-1, and the new batsmen was Kane Williamson who would go on to make a telling contribution in the match. The second wicket pair of Hamish Rutherford and Kane Williamson put on 31 for the second as well. Rutherford was going along nicely and was just starting to get into his stride with some glorious drives.

It was actually a bit of a surprise when the New Zealand opener Rutherford nicked a ball to wicketkeeper Jayawardena who took his second catch of the match. Ross Taylor who came to the crease did accompany Williamson very well, until the former Kiwi’s captain dragged back onto his stumps for a attractive looking 35. A procession of wickets fell including captain Brendan McCullum for a duck after the former wicketkeeper also dragged back onto his stumps.

Kane Williamson did make a battling 69 as he tried to ‘anchor’ the innings for New Zealand – but after the fall of the third wicket, the other seven wickets were lost with just 80 runs scored. The Black Caps after being 141-3 crumbled to 221 all out.

The tourists decision to field look to be a good one, and Sri Lanka were no doubt looking to advantage of such a low first innings total. The Asian Side though couldn’t have got their innings to a worse of a start. The Sri Lanka’s were five down with only 78 on the board – but a crucial 130 stand between the master Kumar Sanagakarra and the protégé Dinesh Chandimal, allowed the defending T20 world champions to regain the initiative.

When Chandimal was dismissed it was down to the veteran Kumar Sanagakarra to farm the strike – and the 37 year old did it expertly as Sri Lanka were all out for 356, a lead of 135. Sangakarra in the process is now only one career double behind Don Bradman’s all time record of 12.

After allowing the visitors to gain a 135 lead, New Zealand knew that they were going to have to perform much better with the bat this time around. The Kiwi’s , second time around produced a much better showing. The first wicket pair of Tom Latham and Hamish Rutherford put up a much better resistance than they did in the first innings.

The opening pair put on 75 for the first wicket – but the first wicket partnership ended when Hamish Rutherford was caught by Dinesh Chandimal. Tom Latham fell soon after with just another three to the board and Ross Taylor was out with out scoring, pandaemonium in the New Zealand batting line up was ensuing.

Skipper Brendan McCullum and vice captain Kane Williamson put on a 43 run fourth wicket partnership which did allow a recovery of sorts – but when McCullum was trapped for 22 by Dhamika Prassad and Jimmy Neesham suffered the same feat at the hands of Pradeep, New Zealand at this stage were in trouble at 159-5.

‘Cometh the hour cometh the man they say’ and for New Zealand it was Kane Williamson. Williamson who was at the other end while the other wickets fell, eventually had an ally in wicketkeeper BJ Watling. The New Zealand pair ended up putting on a test record 365 for the sixth wicket, I guess BJ Watling just loves being involved in record breaking partnerships – it was only last year that the wicketkeeper batsmen was involved in the previous sixth wicket record stand with his captain BJ Watling. The difference here was that this partnership was unbroken.

Brendan McCullum decided that the Sri Lankan’s had endured enough torture – and decided to declare with New Zealand’s batting card reading 524-5, a very impressive feat considering the Black caps were 159-5 at one stage.

The game had been turned on it’s head, Sri Lanka who were at one stage in control of the game, again were firmly on the back foot. The priority was surely survival – but the Sri Lankan’s second innings was just as doomed as their first.

Four wickets fell before the score had even reached 100, in fact the first wicket partnership of 42 was the highest of their second innings. The Sri Lankan score card was depressing reading for Sri Lanka fans. Several players fell for single figures including double hundred hero Kumar Sangakarra who was out for just five.

Sangakarra’s partner in the impressive 130 sixth wicket stand Dinesh Chandimal didn’t fair much better and was out for 13. In fact there were only two players to score 50’s , Kaushal Silva scored 50 and vice-captain Lahiru Thirimane top scored with 62 – but sadly for Sri Lankan fans their team crumbled badly and were all out for a disappointing 196 to lose by 193 runs.

New Zealand then took this series 2-0 to keep their brilliant form of late going, The Kiwi’s have now only lost twice in 15 tests, as for Sri Lanka this test series defeat isn’t ideal preparation for the cricket world cup which starts on the 7th February.

Sri Lanka Vs England Sixth One Day International Match Report

Kumar Sangakarra's brilliant hundred help helped Sri Lanka win the seven match series with one game still to play.

Kumar Sangakarra’s brilliant hundred help helped Sri Lanka win the seven match series with one game still to play.

England came into this game looking to level the series after an impressive five wicket win last time out. The tourists came into this one unchanged as they looked to carry on the winning momentum, as for the hosts Suranga Lakmal comes in, in place of Ajantha Mendis. Dhamika Prassad also makes way for Seekkuge Prasanna and at the top of the order out of sorts opener Kusal Pererra is dropped so Dinesh Chandimal comes in as the hosts looked to clinch the series with a win in Pallekele.

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat, it initially appeared to be not the right decision as Mahela Jayawardena who was opening in place of out of form Kusal Pererra departed cheaply. Jayawardena seems to have caught the same ‘bug’ as Pererra, the usually reliable Jaywardena departing cheaply to leave his side in early trouble.

A second wicket stand of 153 however turned the game back in the hosts favour. Chief tormentor in the last game Kumar Sangakarra was up to the same ‘tricks’ in this game as the Sri Lankan wicket keeper and Tilkeratne Dilshan were threatening to take the game from England.

Thankfully for England they managed to get a wicket at a good time, Ravi Bopara taking the catch of James Tredwell’s bowling to remove Dilshan. After the loss of the second wicket Sri Lanka were in danger of throwing away the good start they made.

Two further wickets fell before the score reached 200, England were looking to get a foothold back in the game – as for Sri Lanka their middle order was on the verge of anther collapse. with Sangakarra still at the crease, Sr iLanka knew they could post a competitive total.

The next wicket to fall would be that of Sangakarra’s , the veteran wicketkeeper managed to score yet another hundred in the midst of the carnage that was happening at the other end as wickets were falling at regular intervals.

The 39 year old eventually departed for a run a ball 112, at that stage Sri Lanka were 243-5 and in a good position to set a total which would be difficult for England to chase. The hosts would go on to make 292-7 which was always going to be a difficult total to chase considering the hosts bowling attack.

A near run a ball 35 of just 31 balls from Dinesh Chandimal was another contributing factor to the Sri Lankan’s getting to such a score.

England needing 293 to level the seven match series, got off to the worst possible start. Alistair Cook’s struggles continued as he fell second ball, James Taylor fell cheaply and Moeen Ali fell for an attractive 34 – but the tourists lost their first three wickets for 50 runs and were on the back foot very early into this run chase.

Just when the tourists looked to be on the road to recovery Sri Lanka made the break through with Lakmal having Ravi Bopara caught behind by centurion Sangakarra to break a fourth wicket partnership that was worth 84.

Just to make matters worse for England they lost another wicket with out a run being scored. At 84-5 it felt like the game was up – and sadly it was. Despite a battling 55 from Joe Root and a equally as gutsy 41 from all- rounder Chris Woakes, England lost wickets at regular intervals and eventually fell short of their target by 90 runs.

With that win Sri Lanka take the series with a game to play, as for England the plus point they can take out of this game is that they only have to bowl at Sangakarra once more in this series!

The seventh and final one day international is on Tuesday in Columbo.

Can Kumar Sangakarra’s Record Be Broken?

Kumar Sangakarra wrote his name into the record books. The former Sri Lanka captain has 474 dismissals in one day internationals.

Kumar Sangakarra wrote his name into the record books. The former Sri Lanka captain has 474 dismissals in one day internationals.

On Wednesday kumar Sangakarra wrote his name into the record books, it wasn’t for the innings of 63 that enabled that 39 year old to rewrite history, although being only the fourth player to score 13,000 runs is a very respectable achievement but it’s Sangakarra’s record behind the stumps we’re talking about.

Just for good measure the 39 year old took another catch to take his career tally to 474 dismissals. A testament to Sangakarra is that he is keeping Dinesh Chandimal out of the side (no pun intended). Sangakarra is not getting any younger, so the former captain who has also studied law can be happy with his achievements.

As for Sangakarra’s record it self that he now has outright, it’s going to be difficult for this record to be broken. The nearest challenger to the Sri Lankan is Mark Boucher with 424 – but with the South African now retired it won’t be Boucher who will take the record (we can ‘Bouch’ for that).

The player who is closest to this record and still playing is Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, or ‘Ice Cool Dhoni’ as he is also known is way behind Sangakarra’s impressive 474 dismissals. MS Dhoni has 312 dismissals to his name, and is the only player realistically who can catch Kumar Sangakarra’s record – but even for the Indian captain this will be difficult, 162 dismissals and counting to make up will be extremely difficult if not impossible.

Kumar Sangakarra is still is a very talented player and a great leader despite not being captain – and lets not forget what a great run scorer he is as well ( Sangakarra’s stats back that up). The modern day wicket keeper these days seems to be a batsmen first and wicket keeper second, where as Sangakarra over the years has been immaculate in all departments of his game.

The former Sri Lanakan captain’s record we feel won’t be beaten for some time, if ever and it’s due to one fact – and that’s the emergence of batsmen who do wicketkeeping, rather than wicketkeepers who can bat. Pakistan’s Umar Akmal is a prime example of that.

As a testament to Adam Gilchrist, the Australian’s record was only beaten on Wednesday, I hope as a testament to Sangakarra who has been a brilliant servant of the game, that he keeps the record for a very long time. With Sangakarra’s nearest challenger some 160 dismissals behind, Kumar Sangakarra’s record we feel will not be broken – or at least anytime soon.