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Aussies to counter Malinga

COLOMBO, March 4 – Defending champions Australia insist they have a plan to tackle Sri Lanka's record-breaking Lasith Malinga in Saturday's mouth-watering World Cup clash.

The co-hosts are considering playing all their three spinners — Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath — but Australia captain Ricky Ponting said his team is braced for all potential threats.

"We have played a fair bit against Malinga over the years. Obviously he had a great game against Kenya, so he was one of the main focuses in our team meetings and we talked about the right ways to tackle him," said Ponting.

The 27-year-old Malinga took a career-best 6-38, including his second World Cup hat-trick, against a Kenyan side bamboozled by his unique slingshot action.

"Malinga’s bowling in the middle overs with the older ball was particularly good, so we have to make sure he doesn’t take wickets but we still can’t focus on one of their bowlers," said Ponting, whose team is chasing a fourth consecutive World Cup title.

These two sides met in the World Cup final in Bridgetown four years ago with Australia winning by 53 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis formula, a controversial end to the showpiece occasion that finished in virtual darkness.

Malinga played in that match, taking 2-49 in his eight overs.

Since then Australia have lost quality players Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Glenn McGrath while Sri Lanka can take heart from a one-day series win in Australia last year.

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Ponting said the spin threat posed by Sri Lanka can also be dealt with on a R. Premadasa stadium pitch where the ball hasn’t spun much.

"The first game they had there was a really high-scoring one and didn’t really favour the spinners as much as they would like," said Ponting, of Sri Lanka’s 11-run defeat against Pakistan.

"Sri Lanka were one of the favourites coming into the tournament and although they lost against Pakistan, that didn’t change anything about them, they are a skilled and well-drilled team.

"Everything points in the direction of a good game on Saturday," said Ponting, whose team have so far beaten Zimbabwe by 91 runs and New Zealand by seven wickets, stretching their World Cup win streak to 25 successive matches.

Australia have beaten Sri Lanka in six of their seven World Cup meetings, with their only loss coming at Lahore in the 1996 final.

Even if Sri Lanka employ a spin-trap, Ponting insisted Australia will look to their three in-form seamers, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee and Shaun Tait.

"I made it really clear at the start of this tournament that I don’t care who we’re playing against or where we’re playing, if we get these three guys playing as well as we can, then it’s going to be hard work for any team batting against us," Ponting said.

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara urged his batsmen to show some improvement.

"The real negative for us from the Pakistan game was that we lost a bunch of wickets in a very short space of time and against Australia we have to look at that, keeping wickets and building partnerships will be important," said Sangakkara.

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"It’s a big game for us and hopefully we can keep improving, make sure everyone does well enough to beat Australia."

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Carolynar

    February 29, 2012 at 10:43 am

    6 months ….hmmm maybe he got bored and wants a break !!

  2. Sulei

    February 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    He goes to the gym and doesn’t ask you if you would want to accompany him……No more baby what do you wanna do today or can i take you for shopping. Its the least of things that caught s the interest of a lady, so is  to men apart from having great sex there has to be somethings that keep two people together……Gal it was great for him to be with you but to him he thought that things would change and be good other than sex, for me he still find u somehow attractive but at the same time he doesn’t find u anymore attractive….If u still want to keep him stop complaining about the sex and try find some activities that he enjoys and you might enjoy and do them together but for the time been postpone sex……Good luck

  3. Alex Mwega

    February 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Want the truth? he took you for a test drive then realized he may not want to spend the rest of your life with you. That’s the problem when you release ‘the goods’ before the intentions of a relationship can be tested. You shouldn’t rush to physical intimacy until you know he’s gonna stay committed to you no matter what. I highly advocate for sex within marriage…with an equally serious and committed partner, otherwise what’s gonna happen when one of you is ill and in hospital for a length of time (read no sex). Marital commitment will take you where the hot passionate sex won’t! Besides, he really has no obligation right now to stick it out with you….especially if he doesn’t think the sex is as good. Sex is not everything!

    This is one relationship you don’t want to be in – poor communication is a pointer of graver things to come.

    My Take

  4. Bob

    February 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Relationships are tricky and unless u speak abt some issues, it may be hard to understand. One thing that women should also understand is that its not all abt sex, sex comes as an end result. For example, if the two of you are able to talk, share what the day was like, how u feel abt the other then you will find sex coming in. In the situation above, the lady should not conclude the guy is seeing someone but should look for the best opportunity/time and place to have a chat with this guy even if it means her organizing for a suprise dinner for him at a quite place and make him understand what she feels. U also need to understand that peple are different, there are those who dont like talking abt stuff so u must be careful may be he is one of them and if he is, then u need to give hime time, something may be bothering him. This can either be work related or somewomen there which he may not be willing to discuss.

    All the best

  5. Godfrey Kimega

    February 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Maybe you guys were so intense in those 6 months that he feels like he neglected the rest of his life, and he’s now trying to catch up. Just give him some space, while keeping the communication lines open. 

  6. Myne Whitman

    April 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    It seems you guys are living together. I suggest you live apart for a while and see what happens.

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