by Brian Thomas
Media Manager – Sri Lanka Cricket
Trailing by 576 runs with Dilshan out without scoring, Kumar Sangagkara will be regretting that he lost a vital toss on day 1. The pitch at Kanpur played well on day one but showed signs of bounce and turn in the second session of play yesterday. This morning over night batsman Sangagkara and Paranavithana, motored along well negotiating the early over’s. Paranavithana known for his vulnerability for deliveries pitched back of a length outside his off stump fell victim to a similar delivery from s.sreesanth. The left hander paid the penalty for not moving his feat and was brilliantly caught by MS Dhoni for 38 with Sri Lanka loosing the second wicket on 82.
Jayawardena the double centurion from Ahmadabad edged the very first delivery, he faced, luckily for him and Sri Lanka Tendulkhar and Dhoni were guilty of ball watching as the ball raised to the third man fence for a bonus four. Sangagkara batting with great composure, on 44 played on, a pitched up delivery from sreesanth , straight onto his stumps to give the young seamer from Kerela his second wicket of the day.
With Sri Lanka on 101 for 3 wickets the Indians put more pressure in pursuing with Sreesanth who scalped the prize wicket of samaraweera by having the right hander bowled neck and crop for 2 with Sri Lanka, in big trouble on 111 for 4. Angelo Mathews who executed a six and a four soon fell victim to a beautiful off spinner from Harbajan Singh to be bowled for 13 runs. Sri Lankan went in for lunch with Mahela batting on 30 and the score on 138 for 5 wickets.
India stamps their authority in the 2nd session.
Mahela Jayawardena and Prassana Jayawardena who created a record partnership for the 6th wicket in Ahmedabad last week showed signs of resurrecting Sri Lanka, from a hopeless situation.
The two Jayawardene’s rotated the strike, punished the loose balls to keep the Indian bowlers at bay. Prassana Jayawardena batting on 39, sacrificed his wicket at the wrong time. The right hander chased a Sreesanth delivery, only succeeding in nicking it to MS Dhoni who gleefully grabbed it with both hands and Sri Lanka slumped further into deep waters on 194 for 6 wickets.
Mahela Jayawardena running short of partners, was the next to go, lost concentration by coming down the track to a flighted delivery from left arm spinner Prageeth Ojah only to be well caught by Tendulkhar at deep mid on for 47.With seven batsman back in the hut for 204 runs the follow on was definitely inevitable for the visitors. Rangana Herath was the 8th Sri Lankan batsman dismissed when he was bowled off a Sreesanth back of a length delivery that clipped his off stump with Sri Lanka losing their 8th wicket on 216.
Sri Lanka took tea on 219 for 8, for India the hero was Sreesanth who did all the damage by picking up 5 wickets. Many experts expected the spinners to do the damage, but Sreesanth proved all of them wrong in his come back test with a disciplined effort.
Sri Lanka wrapped up for 229 runs a herculean task to save the test
The final session saw the Indian spinners wrap it all up with Ojha and Harbajan getting into the act very quickly to mop up the innings with Muralitheran ruled lbw to Ojha while Harbajan got his second victim in the innings by traping Welegedara plum in front.
Yes the Sri Lankan’s trail by a huge margin of 413 runs. To save this test bat for 6 ½ sessions face 204 overs on a turning pitch. If they do get their it’s a moral victory.
Dilshan and Paranavitha opened the innings. Sri Lanka lost their premier opener, Dilshan caught by Dhoni off the bowling of Sreesanth for 11 with Sri Lanka’s score on 13. With two left hander’s at the wickets Dhoni opted to introduce the off spin of Virendra Sehwag.The part time bowler very good at breaking partnerships stuck an important blow when he got one delivery to spin into the pads of Parnavithan that trapped him on the back foot to be adjudicated lbw by umpire Nigel Long for 20 with Sri Lanka’s score on 37.Disaster stuck the Sri Lankan camp when Mahela Jayawardena was unnecessarily run out on with the score on 54.In the very next over Sangagkara for second time in the day when he played on a Harbajan off spinner straight onto his stumps and the hosts slumped to 54 for 4 wickets. At close of play the writing on the wall looks inevitable for Sri Lanka. 13 wickets in a day just prove the Indian dominance in this test. With 356 runs to avoid an innings and only 6 wickets in hand, further two full days of play still left India obviously is the happier dressing room.
India 1st Innings 642 all out
Sri Lanka 1st Innings 229 all out
Mahela Jayawardena 47
Kumar Sangagkara 44
Sri Lanka 2nd Innings 57 for 4 Wkts