|Sri Lanka declare after piling on 600|
|Friday, 25 July 2008|
by Sidharth MongaSri Lanka 600 for 6 dec. (Jayawardene 136, Dilshan 125*, Warnapura 115, Samaraweera 127) v India
After a breezy 40-minute spell post-lunch in which they scored 48 runs, Sri Lanka declared their innings at 600, leaving India a possible 54 overs to bat out the third day of the Test. Led by Tillakaratne Dilshan, who scored his first Test century in three years, they scored 178 runs in 42 overs today, making 55 in the last 10. India had been on the field for 162 overs, spread over the three days in sapping conditions, and the declaration set up an interesting battle between the tired Indian batsmen and the Sri Lankan bowling attack, who know the conditions better.
The run orgy continued. Tillakaratne Dilshan was the latest to join the SSC fun, compiling the fourth ton of the innings, even as India tried to slow the scoring down and delay the inevitable declaration for as long as possible. Runs came fairly quickly - 130 in 34 overs, but something suggested Sri Lanka would push for a greater pace sometime in the middle session.
Thilan Samaraweera would be kicking himself for not having converted his overnight century into a big one, as batting seemed easy on the sun-baked pitch. Prasanna Jayawardene was tentative at the start, but by lunch, he top-edged Harbhajan Singh to square leg just when it seemed he too would join the party. Dilshan, who resumed the day on 20 off 55 balls, was a transformed man, having reached 102 off 146 by lunch. He rocked back and cut the first ball of the day for three to cover, and then clipped the first ball of the next over for two.
Malinda Warnapura celebrates his second Test century, Sri Lanka v India, 1st Test, SSC, Colombo, 2nd day, July 24, 2008
The outfield was slow, India soon employed an in-and-out field, and Dilshan set into a one-day mould, tipping and running, finding gaps in the outfield for two, and going for an occasional boundary. All through, only his head gear changed: from helmet to bare head to the floppy hat. The floppy hat was his only discomfort, falling off whenever he sprinted for quick runs.
The true show of intent came in the 10th over of the day, when Dilshan cut Zaheer Khan for a boundary and followed it with a Twenty20-style paddle. In his next over, Zaheer reached his most expensive figures in Test cricket, beating the 3 for 135 he had conceded against Pakistan in Faisalabad in 2005-06. Towards the end of the session, both Indian spinners went round the stumps to Dilshan, with a 6-3 on-side field at times.
Mahela Jayawardene celebrates his century, Sri Lanka v India, 1st Test, SSC, Colombo, 2nd day, July 24, 2008
There was momentary control, but Dilshan pulled and swept effectively, hitting Kumble for a four and a six in one over to move to 89. He brought up his fifth Test hundred with a slog-sweep in the over before lunch.
Thilan Samaraweera was the third centurion of the Sri Lankan innings, Sri Lanka v India, 1st Test, SSC, Colombo, 2nd day, July 24, 2008
The only chance for India arrived early on when Samaraweera ended his innings tamely by guiding Zaheer to VVS Laxman at gully. Harbhajan showed encouraging signs by getting a nice loop and offbreak going, but as usual the spin was too slow.
Tillakaratne Dilshan reaches his fifth Test century, Sri Lanka v India, 1st Test, SSC, Colombo, 3rd day, July 25, 2008
There was enough time for the batsmen to recover even after getting beaten in the flight. And when Harbhajan did get the edge, off Dilshan, it landed short of Gautam Gambhir at leg slip.
(Courtesy : Cricinfo )
|Last Updated ( Monday, 09 March 2009 )|
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