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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 105

When Kulasekera proved the expert wrong!

By S.H.Moulana - Riyadh

When at the fall of Mahela Jayawardena's wicket, Nuwan Kulasekera was sent in to bat, the experienced cricket commentator, Sunil Gavaskar joked that Sri Lanka has sent in a 'night watchman' - as it is normally done in Tests late in the evening to save a recognized batsman for the following day.

I in fact fully endorsed his view watching Nuwan conceding 'dot ball' after 'dot ball'. Alas! when he started firing all cylinders he kept his critic totally silent, in the commentary box, never to be heard again!
The raft of flag-waving Sri Lankans inside the almost full Oval gave the impression of a home match for the south Asians despite even colder conditions as the London gloom descended.

Sangakkara never looked in danger but controlled bowling from medium pacer Bopara and returning spinner Graeme Swann helped keep a lid on Sri Lanka's attacking tendencies and by halfway the required run rate had crept up to seven an over.

Loose bowling from Stuart Broad allowed them to retake the initiative however and Mahela Jayawardene began to dispatch all of the bowlers around the ground before holing out to sub Jonny Bairstow off James Anderson for 42.

Sangakkara guided Sri Lanka home with 17 balls to spare with the help of the bludgeoning Nuwan Kulasekara (58 off 38), who was brought back into the side and promoted up the order.

Beating England on its own ground by 7 wickets is not an easy task by any means!

As for me the most consoling factor is to see Mahela Jayawardena returning to his old form. Some of the shots he played in his 42 were really marvelous!

- Asian Tribune -

Pinch-hitter Nuwan Kulasekara, who was sent in at the fall of the third wicket, hit a quickfire 58 not out off 38 balls during a match-winning partnership of 110 from 71 balls with Sangakkara.
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