The Reuters global sports blog
We’re blogging from the final of the World Twenty-20 cricket in the West Indies, with the clash between England and Australia building towards a climax.
England are doing surprisingly well, but who would write off Australia after their semi-final comeback against Pakistan? Stay tuned … and remember, comments are extremely welcome…
Pakistan bowled aggressively and batted with supreme calm to seal a convincing eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final of the World Twenty20 on Sunday.
Shahid Afridi’s finely judged 54 saw them home with eight balls to spare after three wickets from Abdul Razzaq had limited Sri Lanka to 138 from their 20 overs.
Tillakartne Dilshan gave Sri Lanka a total and West Indies were undone by an astonishing first over that saw them lose three wickets…. There’s no coming back from that against a team that bowls as well as Sri Lanka. What an extraordinary tournament this has been, to provide something unexpected almost every game…
This week’s attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team means Pakistan will be a no-go area for sports teams for years to come but the country will still be able to “host” matches elsewhere, with a “home” series already lined up against Australia in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
It’s a good solution for the Pakistan Cricket Board, who will keep the team playing and generate much needed cash from the sale of the TV broadcasting rights, but I hope this is not the start of a trend.
To those uninitiated with cricket, to hear complaints about a playing surface being ‘flat’ would only further confuse them. As if the game, also hit by tragedy this week, wasn’t complex enough.
Now, a recent trend of high scores has led to criticism from some of the game’s former players, who are equally baffled by pitches that serve up nothing more than run feasts.
That myth was exploded on Tuesday after gunmen wounded six Sri Lankan players after firing heavy weapons as their team bus wound its way towards the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore to start the third day’s play in the second test.
Scenes of bloodshed on the streets of Lahore after gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus instantly ended any hopes Pakistan might have held of coaxing the cricketing world back to its grounds.
Repercussions from Tuesday’s incident that left six players wounded and five policemen dead may also be felt through the entire region for years to come (read our main report here and click here for reaction).
Pakistan captain Younis Khan will be chasing Brian Lara’s record highest Test score of 400 when he resumes on 306 not out against Sri Lanka but no matter how many runs he racks up — 400, 450, 500 even — it is not going to be remembered as one of the great Test knocks.
Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka’s most successful test captain and one of the nicest men in cricket, is stepping down as skipper after their tour of Pakistan.
“In the best interests of the Sri Lanka team, I have decided to stand down as Sri Lanka captain after this Pakistan tour,” Jayawardene said in a statement after three years at the helm.