Saturday, February 11, 2006


Two things amazed me in yesterday's VB series final match between Sri Lanka and Australia. First was that Sri Lanka managed to win, and in doing so, set up a cracker in Sydney tomorrow. Second was that Kumar Sangakkara was made Man of the the Match instead of Tillakaratne Dilshan. My belief is that the award should go to the player who is most instrumental in his team's victory. Instead it went to the top scoring batsman. Often these can be one and the same, but yesterday, I feel Dilshan could feel robbed. Sangakkara's innings was good, and under the circumstances helped Sri Lanka to a good total. It was however made at less than a run a ball. It was left to the later batsmen to turn what looked like 250 into a very defendable 273. One of these batsmen was Tillakaratne Dilshan - who did score at over a run a ball. It was the last flurry from him that turned the innings, though the slower 83 from Sangakkara may have saved it.
In the second innings, it was again Dilshan that made the difference. 4 run outs is in itself exceptional. Add a catch, and then look at the batsmen he got out. Would Sri Lanka have won without him - No way. Would they have won without Sangakkara - possibly. Maybe there is some rule from the sponsors saying it has to be the best performing batsman or bowler, but I still say fielding, and Tillakaratne Dilshan were robbed. I don't have a cheque to give, or a fancy little trophy, but for me, there is no doubt as to who the real Man of the Match should be.

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