Sanath Jayasuriya, Wills Quadrangular Tournament, Pakistan, 1997


It won’t be ironic if I say that T20 is more of batsmen’s game. Because things are prepared like that with shorter grounds, more fielding restrictions and more restrictions on bowlers’ array. During the seventies and eighties seldom you could see batsmen’s strike rate above nineties with the exception of Viv Richards and Kapil Dev.

People talk about the aggression of Virender Sehwag, Adam Gilchrist and Chris Gayle. But Sanath Jayasuriya’s contribution with both bat and ball is something to be remembered. He started his attacking mindset from the mid nineties and that attacking mode was matched by very few at that time. Whenever I had chats with my circle of friends about cricket I was reasonably able to follow them with my experience.

Jayasuriya’s this knock is one area where I had no answer when my friends talked a lot. The answer is very simple. I didn’t have a cable connection when Jayasuriya played this knock. When I didn’t have a cable connection I used to go to a football club near my house to watch events in other channels. Playing carroms and casual talks with people were also there along with watching cricket.

It was a delight to watch his batting and so was his bowling and fielding. I remember one of my friends talked a lot about Jayasuriya’s attack on Wasim Akram in this match. Even in the commentary you can hear Ranjit Fernando saying the same. I think Tony Cozier was also there in the commentary box. Tony Cozier was an excellent commentator without having a cricket background. Harsha Bhogle also falls in that category. I became so sad when I came to know about the demise of Tony Cozier. His voice both in the Caribbean and outside was really outstanding.

Even now I wonder why the selectors didn’t allow Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas to play the 2011 Cricket World Cup. No better way they could have played the swan song.

 

  1. Series – Wills Quadrangular Tournament
  2. Year – 1997
  3. Venue – Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
  4. Date – 5 November, 1997
  5. Result – Sri Lanka won
  6. Margin – 8 wickets
  7. Player of the match – Sanath Jayasuriya
  8. Series won by – South Africa
  9. Margin – 4 wickets
  10. Player of the series – Lance Klusener

 

Written on May 2016