Exciting finish to Windies-Sri Lanka Test series

The third Test ended today with Sri Lanka winning, thus equalizing the three-Test series at 1-1, with one game drawn. The Windies won the first test easily, outplaying Sri Lanka in all areas of the game. The second Test was an exciting see-saw affair with the Windies dominating early, then Sri Lanka unexpectedly gaining the upper hand on the fourth day, and the game poised evenly on the fifth and final day. Unfortunately rain halted play before a decision could be reached. It was the kind of match that Test cricket aficionados love.

The final Test was also an exciting but low-scoring affair that ended early on the fourth day. It was largely a battle of the fast bowlers on the two sides with the excellent performances of the Windies trio of Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, and Kemar Roach being matched by the Sri Lankan trio of Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, and Kasun Rajitha. The Windies captain Holder won the Man of the Match award. This award usually goes to a player on the winning side but Holder’s superb performance with both the ball and the bat made him the clear choice.

I have long been partial to watching good fast bowling, irrespective of the team. Because bowlers in cricket have to bowl with a straight arm (throwing is disallowed), the only way that you can get the ball to speeds close to and exceeding 140 km/h (about 90 mph) is to have a smooth, long run up and a fluid delivery motion. Great fast bowling is a thing of beauty, Perhaps I am influenced by the fact that as a young boy I saw Wesley Hall, one of the great all-time fast bowlers for the Windies, bowl in Colombo and it was awesome.

This series was also enjoyable because of the good atmosphere between the two teams. There did not seem to be any of the unpleasant psychological tricks that some teams use on their opponents. The one ugly incident was in the second Test when the Sri Lankan captain was found to be guilty of ball tampering and banned from playing in the final Test.

Sri Lanka must be pleased (and relieved) to have won the final Test not only without their current captain but also their former captain, a senior batter, and a senior bowler who were all unable to play due to injuries. Towards the end of the third day of this Test, they had to send another player to hospital after he crashed into an advertising banner on the boundary while attempting to take a catch. But he returned to play the next day heavily bandaged and, despite being in obvious pain, played a key role in their win when it very much looked like they might lose.


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    Weird -- I don’t care much for cricket, and haven’t played it since school. But when I see guys playing in the park behind our house (pretty sure they’re Sri Lankan Tamils), I have to fight the compulsion to go out and tell some of them to stop chucking.

  2. Mano Singham says


    It is apparently the case that many young children on the subcontinent are growing up playing cricket without much guidance and some are chucking because they do not know any better. Such habits learned when they are young are hard to shake off.

  3. bargearse says

    Perhaps I am influenced by the fact that as a young boy I saw Wesley Hall, one of the great all-time fast bowlers for the Windies, bowl in Colombo and it was awesome.

    My 2 earliest memories of cricket both involve WI fast bowlers. The first was Queensland playing another state side (I think it was Tasmania but my memory could be failing here) and Michael Holding was the visiting pro for the opposition. Watching him push off the fence at the Gabba to begin his runup was something to see.

    The second was at a small regional ground where the Windies were playing Queensland in a tour match (back when such things happened). When he wasn’t bowling Joel Garner spent the entire day at third man signing autographs and talking to us kids, he did look up once in a while to make sure the ball wasn’t heading his way. Looking back it’s amazing the patience he had with us.

  4. Mano Singham says


    The Windies players were always crowd favorites. I am trying to think of any who were rude or grumpy with spectators and cannot come up with any names.

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