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Vandort, Mahela repair the Lankan ship

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Opener Michael Vandort and Skipper Mahela Jayawardene rescued their side from a precarious 22 for 2 to a solid looking 105 for 2 at the close of the second day’s play at the SSC.

England had earlier stretched their first innings total to a handy 351. They could have got a lot lesser than that after losing Collingwood and Debutant Stuart Broad in the space of few minutes that reduced the score to 272 for 7. Collingwood could just get past his fifty this morning before getting lbw to Vaas and Broad, a good lower order bat fell to the pace and movement of Lasith Malinga. That left England with just Matthew Prior and the tail. Ryan Sidebottom, who has got a decent technique gave the support to Prior and the pair added 74 important runs for the 8th wicket. Sidebottom batted close to two hours scoring 17. Matt Prior was the last to fall in the English innings after a superb 79 (from 130 balls with 9 fours). Muralitharan as he mostly does ended up with another fifer. He bowled 47.2 overs of the 126.2 overs that Sri Lanka had bowled!

Ryan Sidebottom followed up his gritty batting show with two top order wickets including that of the big fish Kumar Sangakkara. He first induced Upul Tharana into a false drive and then got Sangakkara nicking a great delivery. Matthew Prior took good catches behind the stumps on both occasions. Sri Lanka were in trouble at 22 for 2 but they fought back strongly through the rock solid Michael Vandort (50 from 91 with 5 fours) and Mahela Jayawardene (43 from 106 with 5 fours) in the final session. England are striving on a bit of movement and swing that is possible but otherwise the wicket has hardly provided any pace and bounce even for Steve Harmison. Sri Lanka have finished at 105 for 2 in 38 overs.

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