Mahela Jayawardena puts Sri Lanka in command

by Brian Thomas
Media Manager – Sri Lanka Cricket

The First session of play at the Sadhar Patel Stadium, on day 1 and 2, helped the Sri Lankan bowlers to capture 8 Indian wickets. Taking the above statistics into equation, there is no doubt that this was one of the topics that would have been discussed at length, by the Sri Lankan think tank, knowing very well that they were trailing  by 151 runs and in pursuit of India’s big total of 426. Sri Lanka won day 2 of the battle with an overnight score of 275 for 3 wickets.

Day 3, fresh for the visitors, with Jayawardena on 37 and samaraweera looking good on 45.The pertinent point for Sri Lanka is to ensure that they don’t lose early wickets. Experts, were of the view an early loss, will turn the tide in favor of India. Jayawardena and samaraweera came up with a sterling performance, they used their experience and skill levels to a great extent by negating the early movement of the second new ball and further putting away the loose delivery’s dished out by the Indian seamers. The overnight partnership of 81 was extended to 138, and the score card Read a menacing 332 for 3, when Ishant Sharma stuck to dismiss Samaraeera  batting  on 70.The right hander was dismissed for  yet another short delivery and was brilliantly caught at backward of square by Yuvraj Sing, when the right hander’s intended pull shot was mistimed giving Ishant his second scalp.

Jaywardena, showed what a class act he was. Composed in his shot selection, graceful, in  his approach, playing the spinners with soft hands to great effect  and the  timing, exquisite. At the stroke of lunch umpire Darrel Harper, made his usual error on sub continental pitches ruling Angelo Mathews out for bat pad catch, where his bat was nowhere near the ball. Angelo walked back dejected because in the recorders book it read as Angelo Mathews Ct Gautham Gambir B Harbajan Singh 17. Sri Lanka went in for lunch with Jayawardena unbeaten on 85 and Sri Lanka on 375 for 5 wickets still trailing by 51 runs with 5 wickets in hand. Sri Lanka made 100 runs in the first session but Unfortunate to lose 2 wickets with one wicket being a bonus for to India thanks to Darrel Harper The umpire.

The post lunch session was the most frustrating for the Indian’s to state the least. The two Jayawardenr’s came up with another sterling performance to put on an unbeaten Partnership of 108 runs with Mahela reaching his 27th century to be unbeaten on 142, While Prasanna joining the party with an unbeaten 43, which helped Sri Lanka to go past the Indian total of 426, to be comfortably placed on 483 for 5 wickets at tea.

After tea India got into a negative mood. MS Dhoni introduced spin from both ends With leg spinner Mishra and part time spinner Satchin Tendulkar bowling negative, by pitching Most delivery’s outside the leg stump. It took Dhoni 27 overs to introduce his fast bowlers. The two Jayawardene’s with a specific plan stuck to their task by pushing the score onto 591 for 5 wickets at close of play, with a lead of 165 runs and  5 wickets in hand. Mahela Jayawardena what a performance 204 not out, the first Sri Lankan to score a double hundred in India against the Indians. Jayawardena’s Unbeaten herculean knock consisted of 17 boundary’s and 1 six. This is the classy right hander’s 6th double hundred. This marathon effort took him 476 minutes, he faced 332 balls. Mahela’s partner Prassanna is unbeaten on 84.The unbroken 216 partnership between the two jayawardener’s for the 6th wicket is another record  The big question is, what lead will the Sri Lankan’s look at.