A Cricket Match is a Game of Passion for Both Players and Fans

When you can feel the adrenaline pumping and the excitement level at an all time high and the atmosphere charged with electricity it could mean that an exciting cricket match is in progress and is being closely watched by passionate cricket enthusiasts. It is not just the players on the field who are suffused with energy and passion but also the fans at the stands who are reduced to nail biting wrecks, thanks to tension of the game unfolding in front of their eyes. Perhaps it is this thrill of the game that draws millions of people to the stadiums and keeps them glued to their television sets during any exciting cricket match. It would be safe statement to say that cricket indeed has become a religion in many countries involved in the game and the cricketers are no less than well worshipped idols.

A cricket match can be a test match, a one-day match or a Twentytwenty match and fans have their own preference for the style of game that they prefer. However no one can doubt the fact that a one day match between top teams in the cricketing world is cause for much excitement and speculation. The anticipation of the game starts building right from the beginning of the day that the cricket match is about to be played. Cricket enthusiasts supporting opposing teams can be found involved in heated arguments even before the first ball has been bowled in the cricket match. The level of interest and involvement in the game surpasses all expectations once the cricket match actually begins on the field.

A cricket match can bring out the hidden side of any cricket fan. A normally quiet person may become a vociferous supporter of his team if challenged by a strong supporter of the opponent team. Heated words and at times even physical fist fights are a common sight among cricket fans. The cricket match is also one of the favorite programs with the marketers and advertisers. The advertising fraternity is ready to pay through their noses to get an advertisement slot during a popular cricket match as a voluminous viewership is assured for such a game. As the commercial breaks are for a short duration during an ongoing cricket match, the viewers are usually hooked to the particular channel telecasting the match even during the commercial breaks. It is no wonder therefore that channels make a killing when selling advertisement slots during a popular cricket match that is to take place between favored teams.

It is not unusual to find a cricket fan scheduling his day around the timings of a particular cricket match. Even examinations are at times scheduled and rescheduled to avoid days on which crucial games are being played in important tournaments. The once in four years World Cup often sees such behaviour followed by many cricketing nations. Cricket, a gentleman’s game, has therefore indeed come a long way from the time when it was first played in the 16th century and is still gaining further fan following.

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Jayasuriya blitz seals win for Lanka

New Delhi: World Cup finalists Sri Lanka looked in irrepressible form as they sailed into the Super Eight stages of the ICC World Twenty20, beating New Zealand by seven wickets at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Sanath Jayasuriya continued to defy his age as he flayed the Kiwi bowlers en route to 61 from 44 balls to lead his side to the second stage, becoming the first team to advance without blemish in the competition.

New Zealand rode on a classy half-century from Ross Taylor and a belligerent knock from Jacob Oram to reach 164-7 after skipper Daniel Vettori won the toss and decided to have a bat.

But Sri Lanka came out all guns blazing with opener Sanath Jayasuriya hammered six fours and three sixes as they cruised to victory with an over to spare. Jayasuriya remained the most consistent batsman in the tournament with successive half-centuries.

Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga provided the perfect start for the Lankans as they went about knocking off the required runs off the board, putting up 82 runs for the first wicket before Tharanga was dismissed for 37 in the eighth over.

Despite losing Kumar Sangakkara relatively early, the Sri Lankans didn’t look in trouble at all as Mahela Jayawardene and Jayasuriya added 50 runs for the third wicket to ease the pressure.

Jayawardene took over after Jayasuriya’s fall for 61 to ensure victory as he remained not out on 35 from a mere 18 balls.

New Zealand were jolted up front when Brendon McCullum was dismissed as Dilhara Fernando removed the wicketkeeper-batsman without making any impact for 10, while partner Lou Vincent succumbed to a mighty heave to the same bowler for 14.

But Peter Fulton and Ross Taylor strung together a useful partnership for the third wicket, scoring heavily off the likes of the second string Sri Lankan attack, particularly Gayan Wijekoon, who sprayed plenty of extras before being hit for a string of boundaries.

Wijekoon got the vital breakthrough just as the New Zealanders began to cut loose, getting rid of Fulton for a 19-ball 25, which sparked off another dismissal, that of Scott Styris, who was out trapped leg before without troubling the scorers.

The Kiwis further slumped into trouble as Craig McMillan was run out leaving them tottering at 102-5 in the 12th over.

However, a composed Ross Taylor guided the Kiwis out of trouble with 43-ball 62 before he was dismissed by Lasith Malinga in the penultimate over of the innings. Jacob Oram stepped up the Kiwi score to end with 164-7 as he slammed 32 from 19 balls.

New Zealand went into the game unchanged from their win against Kenya in their first outing.

The two teams had already qualified for the Super Eights stage of the competition after winning their opening league fixtures.

Teams:

New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (captain), Shane Bond, Peter Fulton, Mark Gillespie, Chris Martin, Craig McMillan, Brendon McCullum, Jacob Oram, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Lou Vincent.

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardena (captain), Dilhara Fernando, Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga, Jehan Mubarak, Kumara Sangakkara, Chamara Silva, Upul Tharanga, Tilakarathne Dilshan, Chaminda Vaas, Gayan Wijekoon.