Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sangakkara Supreme and Unfortunate Umpiring

Ok, I got lucky. Because my mom arrived from chennai at 5.30 in the morning, I woke up that early and since there was nothing much I could think of doing, I switched on the TV and sat down to watch the final day of the second Test between The Lankans and Aussies. SL was 8 down at about 280 odd chasing 500+ and one would think there is nothing left to see.

But what a brilliant innings from Sangakkara. He was 140 odd and he moved to 192 in no time. Superb shots in all directions off all the bowlers. He was playing supremely. Moving around the pitch and timing at will, if he played a shot, the only way it would be a dot is if a fielder pounced on it. Two shots, both off Brett Lee, particulary impressed me. One was a flick of a chest high fast-short ball into fine leg boundary. Another was similar fast, even shorter ball, guided intentionally off the middle of the bat across the 3-5 slips area into the boundary.

I would have sat up watching him all day, but alas, he was given out. Mind you, I didn't say he was out, only he was given out. Rudy Koertzen gives him caught behind when he attempted a hook and his bat was nowhere near the ball, touching the shoulder and helmet on the way to Slips. He was given out at 192. What a pity. Considering that Lasith Malinga was giving him solid support and the Lankans ended up only 96 behind, it seems, it could have been a lot closer.

I fail to understand when Cricket will move closer to use technology for controversial decisions. Considering the recent Ind-Eng test series, where there were a host of bad decisions, and this one, it suddenly seems that Umpiring errors have increased. As my colleague Narayan suggests, we should let the captain have three chances to appeal for a TV driven decision if he feels that the umpire on the ground has faulted. Really good idea. Let me think about it. Maybe I will post more on it.

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