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World Cup ends in darkness

The World Cup ended in darkness with even the commentators saying that they can hardly see what was happening out there in the field.

As darkness fell on the Kensington Oval floodlight were switched on and then switched off again. The ground staff were called in place the markers for the 30-yard circle. And Andrew Symonds was bowling his off spins in the dark.

It was a dismal end to a great series. There were two bright spots in this game: 1) Gilchrist punching his way into glory and (2) Sri Lanka, which appeared to be annihilated by his hitting, recovering to prove that they have the capacity to be the equals of Australia even if they have to bat in the dark.

Their recovery in batting is a remarkable performance. The failure was in the Sri Lankan bowling attack. Vaas, Murali and Fernando did not live up to their reputation. Only Malinga was able to contain the Australian batsmen. Australian Captian Pointing told The Australian that they would ďannihilateĒ Murali. It is not fair to put the blame on Murali. It was one of those days when the rain, the lights and to some extent even the umpiring went against the Sri Lankans. The pitch that did not swing for Vass began to swing when the Aussies began their bowling. Thatís how unlucky the Sri Lankans were.

Besides, the story would have been different if they won the toss. Well, thatís what cricket is all about. The task of the team is to beat the odds when they are against you. When you lose, even if itís by one, there are no prizes for the second best.

The Australians owe their victory to Gilchrist. Their chances would have been slim, even after winning the toss, if Gilchrist did not turn into a batting machine. He scored the fastest hundred in a one-day match. He scored his century in 72 balls. It was his brilliant 149 that won the match for the Aussies.

Sri Lankans was the only team that could have beaten them. The other teams fell by the way side as the Aussies dominated the series. They were on a winning streak, coming out of the series unbeaten and capping it with a hat-trick in the World Cup.

In cricket crazy Sri Lanka Mahela Jayawardena's team has not lost their stature as heroes. Preparations were made long before they went into the finals to give them a heroís welcome. That is still on the cards. It may be a consolation prize for them. Nevertheless, it is better to return home as heroes rather than coming home to see it burnt to the ground, as it often happens in India and Pakistan.

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