The 2011 world cup was held in the sub-continent and with no surprise the two best teams of the sub-continent reached the finals. After a thrilling performance India emerged victorious, beating Sri Lanka and got the second world cup triumph. But was it a trap?
With the game played in Mumbai and this being a day night game it was obvious that the dew factor would come into play as the game goes more and more into the night. It was obvious that Sri Lankans had a major problem of gripping the bowl and was giving the Indians way too much of full tosses and wayward balls to score runs.
The first innings is scheduled to finish at sharp 6.00 pm (local time). When it was 6.00pm there were approximately 10 overs to be bowled. That is a lot of overs behind schedule. It doesn’t matter if it was 2 overs or 3 overs, but 10 was a great amount of overs to be bowled (20% of the match). This would mean that the match would be delayed for around 45-50 minutes than usual time. That means pushing Sri Lanka further down into bowling with the dew. Yes there was a reduction in changing time of 20 minutes (the normal 40min was brought down to 20) but still there is approximately a 30 minute loss. This made Sri Lanka get trapped more and more by the dew factor.
The other factor was that the rope which normally goes around the field during the drinks break was not put in that day. Amazed by this the commentators were saying “I donno why they are not taking the rope across the field, maybe there is no dew today “. Even the commentators were amazed to see what was happening.
As time went it was getting harder and harder to grip the ball. The batsmen were easily scoring runs against the bowlers and keeping up to the required run rate. The difference can be seen by the fall of wickets, more the dew approaches more the gap between the wickets. The first two was due to the skill of the bowlers and the mistakes of the batsmen, but after that Sri Lanka had a hard time getting the ball into the right place. Kohli’s wicket was due to a magnificent catch by Dilshan and Gambhir was just taken away by the pressure. Other than that it was just the bowler putting the ball towards the batsman.
The fact that confirms that there was heavy dew, was the fact that Yuvraj Singh was using the practice pitch in a distance as his line of running because the grass was so slippery. He just had to move there in order to get a good grip onto his shoes.
Another fact is that Sangakkara was reluctant to give Murali the 47th and 49th overs, because he could not grip the ball. It was given to Kulasekara who was a seamer but he too had problems delivering it and was giving full tosses.
If you look at the game played before, Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand, Sri Lanka didn’t have any problems because the 1st innings was over on time and the game didn’t last the full quota. It was over before it. So Sri Lanka did not have any problems. They posted a score and they managed to defend it, which is their strength.
In the final the game was totally given away because of the dew. I am not blaming the Indians for this. They played good cricket and finally they got to the score of 275. But the question is was it a trap? Did the Sri Lankans fall into it.