by Brian Thomas
Media Manager – Sri Lanka Cricket
The first session on day four went yet again to Sri Lanka. Mahela Jayawardena, And Prasanna Jayawardena rubbed salt on wounds of the Indian bowlers by extending their lead by a formidable score of 282 runs at lunch with the score card Reading a shocking 708 for 5 wickets. The two Jayawardena’s have broken all records for the 6th wicket in an unbroken partnership of 333 runs. Mahela remained unbeaten on 267, while his partner Prasanna remained unbeaten on 134. Sri Lanka’s wicket keeper rated as the best glove man in world cricket scored his first century in India and his second so far in his illustrious career with great responsibility. Mahela unbeaten on 267, became the first Sri Lankan not only to score the first double hundred on Indian soil but the first to reach a personal mile stone of 9000 runs in test cricket. The Indian bowlers tried every trick in the bag, but it’s fair to state that the two Jayawardene’s were too good for them.
The first hour of the post lunch session saw Mahela’s long vigil of 435 minutes come to an end, when he was bowled by Missara, when trying to loft the leg spinner. Mahela’s 275 runs was stroke filled with 27 fours and one six, it was an emotional moment to see the Indian players congratulating him for his classy knock. Dhamika Prasad joined Prasanna Jayawardena with the fall of the 6th wicket on 726.Sri Lanka declared their Innings on 760 for 7 wickets, giving selves a lead of 334 runs. Prasanna Jayawardena remained unbeaten on 154, Dhamika Prasad dismissed for 21 Jayawardena who joined his senior partner Mahela at the fall of Angelo Mathew’s wicket with the score on 375, spent 314 minutes, executed 11 fours and was involved in a world record partnership of 351 runs for the 6th wicket. Gambir and shewag who came into bat in India’s second innings saw the side Through to tea with 77 runs on the board with both opener’s intact.
India lost a quick wicket that of Virendra Shewag, soon after the tea break with the Indian total on 81.shewag made a quick fire 51 with 7 fours. Rangana Herath, who came in for a lot stick in the first innings had shewag caught at mid on, when an over ambitious shewag opened his shoulders to well pitched up delivery, only succeeding in top edging his mighty swing to Mathew’s at mid on.
Rahul Dravid the “Wall” joined Gautham Gambir, the pair looked composed and trouble Free on a pitch that seemed very easy to bat on. Muralitharan looked threatening but the slowness of the pitch didn’t help his cause. The spin whizzed, was negotiated with Ease by both Gambir and Dravid. With India closing in on the target of 334 with relatively no major threats Dravid played across the line of a Welegedara in dipper When batting on 38, he was ruled LBW by Darrel Harper, however Television replays Showed the ball heading past the leg stump. Dravid will count himself unlucky.
India 169 for 2 wickets, ended day 4 on190 for 2 with Gambir on 74 and night Watchman Misra on 12. India still trail by 144 runs with 8 wickets in hand. With the pitch dying a draw seems inevitable, having stated that the only team that can win this test is Sri Lanka. Well if you are an Indian fan here’s some interesting reading of how the Indian bowlers were put to task in the first innings.
Zaheer Khan 2 for 109
Ishant Sharma 2 for 135
Harbajan Singh 2 for 189
Mishra 2 for 203