The importance of the No 3 batsman

I guess SL desperately need a timely reminder about the long forgotten winning habit. Since January 2015, SL had suffered a massive 13 series defeats from 16, hitting the rock bottom in all formats. Steadily descending ICC rankings vouch for it (Test -No 7, Odi – No 5, T20 – No 8).

1st warm up Vs Essex highlighted the things to follow, pretty soon. Facing a deficit of 160+ runs in 1st innings, and 2 wickets already down for 40+ in the 2nd innings, if the match had continued in 3rd day, it could have been a humiliating innings defeat. Especially the teenage debutante AP Beard in such a devastating mood, already having 5 in his pocket… The Contrasting difference between SL national side and a county side Essex was highlighted by the two Tons put up by Essex top order batters, to declare after putting up massive 400+ runs for just 4 wickets, to enforce a threatening command on SL (despite granting a handicap of 6 wickets).

Keep experimenting with inexperienced rookies or useless Thirimanne at Vital No3 is calling for trouble and it is going to be disastrous, but I hope I am wrong. Since Sanga retired, we already saw that in NZ, V India, V PK in 2015/16. Except for Upul Tharanga's Solitary Test @ No3 spot v Pk, Av 47 in 2015, none of them succeeded at that spot.

– Upul Tharanga :  @ No-3 – 47.0 av
– Thirimanne       : @ No-3 – 14.5 av
– Dimuth K           : @ No-3 – 5.5 av
– Kusal  Mendis   : @ No-3 – 26.0 av
– Jayasundera     : @ No-3 – 7.50 av

The way current openers are batting, it is highly unlikely to see a 1st wkt stand long enough to see-off the new ball threat. Therefore, without a proper batter with wide experience @ No3 to tackle the conditions and pressure, total Collapses are on the way for SL in England.

It is worth having a look at the most recent virtual demonstration displayed by current cricket regime's stepchild, Upul Tharanga. Yesterday, in ongoing Dhaka premiere league tournament. Upul continued his impeccable form with another unbeaten 90*.  He carried his consistent batting productivity from recent SL-PL FC-Super 8 (scoring 561 runs @ 70 Av with 3 big consecutive Tons 111, 139, 172 & 2 x 50+) to Dhaka-PL List-A, hitting 70, 71, 48 & 90* so far from 5 matches. UT helped his team (Mohammedan SC) to register their 3rd consecutive win and lifted his side to the top spot in the leagues' points table.

Here is the virtual demo of how to win matches and lift the team. This demo is a timely reminder to all Pet-Sons of current SL cricket, who are lucky enough to grab freebie spots on petty performances, thanks to the dotty minds of shitty decision makers.  

How Upul Tharanga's consistent batting contributions @ No 3 in DPL- 2016, helped to lift his team Mohammedan SC to the TOP spot in Points Table from 5 matches played so far:

1) Half-centuries from Mushfiqur, Hossain and No-3 Upul Tharang (70) led Mohammedan SC to a 78-run victory over Brothers Union at Mirpur. Mohammedan lost their openers within eight overs but captain Mushfiqur and Upul Tharanga lifted their team with a 135-run vital partnership in 24.5 overs. DPL 2016 April 24, 2016

2) No-3 Upul Tharanga was the top scorer for Mohammedan in the run chase with a brilliant 99-ball 71 with the help of 7 fours and a sole sixer. Shykat Ali and Ahmed, the Mohammedan openers, made good starts, but both fell by the 22nd over. No-3 Upul Tharanga and Mushfiqur Rahim added 106 for the third wicket and sealed the game. Like the captain Mushfiqur, Upul is having the best of times in this DPL and helped Mohammedan Sporting Club to a go across the finish line in just 46 overs with 24 balls and 7 wickets to spare.

3) Mohammedan lost Ahmed early but Top scorer Upul Tharanga (47) batting @ vital No-3 and Shykat Ali added 76 for the second wicket to keep the chase on, in a low scoring game, overcoming a tough track. Mohammedan Sporting Club leapfrogged Gazi Group Cricketers on the points table by beating them in Mirpur by seven wickets, thereby putting themselves in second place behind Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club.

4) Top scorer Upul Tharanga's unbeaten 90* clinched win for Mohammedan SC and lifted them to the top spot of the points ranking table.Opener Ezaz Ahmed and No.3 Upul Tharanga put on 111 runs for the second wicket to set up the chase. Experienced No-3 Upul Tharanga stayed unbeaten on 90* off 114 balls, including eight fours and one colossal six to make sure the ultimate win, despite a few quick wickets falling at the other end.

While continuously helping to lift his team Mohammedan SC to the top spot of the points ranking table,
No3 batter Upul Tharanga hit the 3rd Spot in the overall batting ranking table of DPL-2016, with his 5th match played up to now. UT : 5 innings –  299 runs –  90* HS – 74.75 Av – 75 SR

As I said, this is a perfect demo to show the value & necessity of an experienced, productive batter @ No-3, to lift and guide any team to a winning path. It could be Internationals (Test, Odi), Premiere leagues (FC, List-A), but this undeniable fact remains the same and well accepted world over.    

Upul Tharanga is a Sri Lankan lad by birth, formidable top order batsman by natural skills and a versatile batter with over 10 years of worldwide experience, Abilities proven player with long standing credentials including many world records. Match winner garlanded with 12 international MoM awards for high-profile performances, including vs Aus in Aus, Vs Eng in Eng, Vs Nz in Nz, Vs Ind in India & WI…. and most of all he is in peak form with astonishingly consistent productivity…   what else needed for such a player to serve his Nation? All you need is a decent window of continues opportunity, but constant denial is the answer reserved for him in SL for the past 36 months.

Outsiders see that…! but never our visionless, boneheaded decision markers.!!
Currently he is considered as an ABANDONED Orphaned child of SL and rendered step motherly treatment, obviously due to various personal prejudices, malice or phobias.

As I see, It could be our misfortune, rather than UT's.

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