By Brian Thomas
SRI LANKA LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY THANKS TO KUMAR SANGAGKARA Skipper Kumar Sangakara came up with a sterling batting performance to remain unbeaten on 133, to help his side to 274 for 6 wickets at close of play. The visitors still trail by 59 runs with only the tail Enders left in the hut to fight 3 full sessions tomorrow.
Kumar made his 21st Test century with 19 fours and one six. From a Sri Lankan perspective they will be pleased that their skipper is back to form before the limited the over series.
Prasanna Jayawardena , who came into bat with Sangagkara after the tea break made valuable 32 runs before he fell victim to a arm ball bowled by PP Ojaha which had him trapped plum in front.
Sri Lanka losing her 8th wicket on 208, the writing was certainly on the wall for India to wrap up the tail before close of play.
Kulasekara took advantage of umpire Nigel Long’s big blunder when he gave him not out off a definite LBW decision off Ojah in the very same over. Nuwan Kulasekara was gone for all money; he still lives to fight another day unbeaten on 13.
MS Dhony took the new ball in the 83rd over. Sangakara smashed both Zaheer Khan and Srisanth to both sides of the wicket. Boundaries off the Sangagkara’s bat were great to watch. His elegance is far beyond compare. Copy book when defense or in attack. He cover drove, flicked and punched down the ground with nimble footwork.
will Sri Lanka make India bat again? If they do it’s a mini battle won.
MAIN SCORE CARD
SRI LANKA 393 & 274 for 6
Kumar Sangagkara 133 Not out
Tharanga Paranavithana 54
Prassana Jayawardena 32
Nuwan Kulasekara 13 Not out
PP Ojah 2 for 84
Zaheer Khan 2 for 51
Tharanga Paranavithan and Kumar Sangagkara looked settled with a 90 run partnership until Dhoni, the Indian skipper brought back his fast bowler Sreesanth into the attack. The youngster responded immediately by trapping Paranavithana LBW for a well compiled 54 with Sri Lanka‘s score on 119.
Jayawardena and Sangagkara needled around for 10 over’s .On hindsight they became too defensive with the pitch it self playing a few tricks. Jayawardena the double centurion at Ahmadabad edged a Zaheer Khan out swinger into the waiting gloves of skipper Dhoni for 12 runs and Sri Lanka stumbled to 137 for 4 wickets.
Thilan Samaraweera who did not disturb the scorer in the first essay obliged him for the second time when he played away from his body to give VVS Laxman an easy catch at second slip, with Sri Lanka going deeper into the woods with 137 for 4 wickets.
Angelo Mathews who made a test best of 99 in the first innings found life not to his liking with the ball bouncing and turning as expected on day 4. He was brilliantly caught by Dhony off PP Ojah , while Sangakkara stood helplessly at the non strikers end on 5o.
Sri Lanka took tea on 144 for 5 wickets still trailing by 189 runs to avoid an in evitable innings defeat with just 5 wickets in hand. Credit must go To India for applying pressure soon after Paranavithana’s dismissal. They seem to be well organized and will end up as the top test playing nation in the ICC rankings, which they richly deserve. Having stated that I must add that Team India were also benefactors of some appalling umpiring decisions.
Sri Lanka who have been on the back foot during the Indian series, have been unlucky on too many occasions.
The referral system is used for Pakistan Versus the New Zealand series. Why not for India Versus Sri Lanka? Had the referral system been in place for this test, I assure you both Darrel Harper and Nigel Long would have been exposed and the cricket world would have seen their incompetence when umpiring on sub continental wickets.
I hope the ICC will take the views expressed by Pakistan’s former captain Ramiz Raja when selecting umpires to officiate in sub continental wickets where one needs a special skill to judge the turning ball.
Sri Lanka took lunch on 84 runs for 1 wicket still trail by 249 runs with 5 more sessions left to bat on a pitch that’s taking lot of spin. Paranavitharana is batting on 41 with his skipper Sangagkara on 22.
The man dismissed this morning was Dilshan ruled LBW off Harbajan Singh. Dilshan padded up to a ball pitching out side his off stump and that too in full streach. For every one who watched the impact first up in was clear the ball was heading past the leg stump, except Darrel Harper. Dilshan fell victim to the same bowler twice in this test due umpire errors.
Score at Lunch, Sri Lanka 84 for 1 and will hope apart from batting cautiously to save the test, that umpires too will be competent when making decisions