It was a great outing for the Lions in Galle – one of their famous hunting grounds. While the Lions had the home advantage, the troop under captain Dimuth had done exceptionally well to beat the mighty Black Caps in a comprehensive fashion.
So, what was the mantra for this victory?
DISCIPLINE, in our belief.
A Consistent Showcase
If you had the chance to watch this perfect game of test cricket, you would have seen a stark difference in the Sri Lankan ranks. Almost all the players KNEW what they were supposed to do, and what they were doing in the middle.
Batters were responsible in the middle, as exemplified by the responsible stay of Dickwella in the middle. We have known him for a dasher who often gets out in the most ‘stupid’ fashions. But he was resilient and calm in the middle. This responsibility of Lions has been duly rewarded by the promotions for Mathews and Dimuth in the latest ICC Test Batsmen Rankings.
Bowlers were keeping at excellent lengths and lines. They were not disturbed by counterattacks. They held their nerve and the hard work had ultimately paid off.
The fielders were agile on the turf too. They were expecting the unexpected all the time. We did not see many blunders during the match.
The Spirit of the Game
The discipline was not only visible in the technical gameplay, but also in regards of the spirit of game. How often have you seen Kusal Mendis walking off to an edge? The youngster Lasith Embuldeniya was quick to signal a six when he touched the rope, while he was attempting to take a spectacular catch by the boundary line.
To the contrary, the third umpire had to chip in when Mitchell Santner knowingly disturbed the boundary line to prevent a boundary, but not indicating that he did so. These positive signs show that the players are beginning to take discipline seriously.
Overall, the game was played in very good spirit. We have seen a lot of smiles and pats being exchanged between the opposing players. While it is the case usually when any team plays with Kiwis, it was really good to see some smiles on the faces Sri Lankan boys. It had been a rarity in the past few years.
A Parise out of Desperation?
No, it is not. We do not believe in jumping into conclusions, but we try to see the game for what it is. True, Sri Lanka have had their tough times and we feel it still is a tough time for them. But, we have seen a ray of light since the World Cup. Someone has somehow managed to inject a touch of discipline into the Lions. Discipline is the key to victory – not just in sports.
We at Cricketry Sri Lanka, believe this is as an excellent steppingstone for future. Let us just hope the players, the management, and the fans are able to build on this. It is STILL too early to make conclusions though.