You are here: Home » Cricket India » Sanga’s disciplined ton rescues Lanka

Sanga’s disciplined ton rescues Lanka

Related Links : Link to 3rd Test Scorecard I India’s Tour of Sri Lanka 2008

If not for Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka would have struggled to have got 249 which is India’s first innings total. It was a day of some old fashioned cricket at the P Sara Stadium in Colombo. It was a day where nobody could afford to make any mistakes. Although Sri Lanka had the better of the day, India somehow managed to comeback again and again in the match. And at stumps on Day 2, the match perfectly hangs in a balance with the Lankans with a tiny little lead of two runs and with just the four wickets in hand. On the brighter side, Kumar Sangakkara is unbeaten with his 17th Test hundred.

The second day’s play started in a completely inauspicious manner for the visitors. During the warm-up session in the morning, came a big blow in the form of an ankle twist scare to VVS Laxman. Somewhere in the afternoon, Sachin Tendulkar jarred his left elbow onto the ground while trying to take a diving catch. If that wasn’t enough there were two more injuries after Tea, first to Ishant Sharma, who pulled off a buttock sprain after falling down in his follow through and later in the day when Parthiv was hit on his nose through the deflection of the batsman’s pad. Parthiv was courageous enough to continue keeping, but he was really lucky that the ball didn’t hit him on the eye!

When the second day’s play started, India had the difficult task of getting rid of two stubborn defensive batsmen in Michael Vandort and night watchman Chaminda Vaas. In the 17th over, there was the first breakthrough when Zaheer Khan in the middle of an intelligent spell, got one to nip back and to have Vandort plumb infront. SL at 42 for 2 and India sensing that they could bowl them out cheaply. But that wasn’t to be as Vaas continued to show a lot of discipline in keeping his end intact and Kumar Sangakkara bent on making his first big score of the series. India’s next breakthrough came only in the afternoon session which meant that the night watchman Chaminda Vaas was successful in batting through an entire session. He got out only when he wanted to play a few shots to get a move on. Vaas was caught at covers off an ambitious cover drive in Harbhajan’s bowling in the 48th over which ended his long vigil of 47 from 111 balls with 9 fours. Vaas aided Sangakkara in putting on 95 for the 3rd wicket.

Harbhajan helped his side to spring back in the game in his very next over by getting his off break to drift away Mahela to beat his attempted sweep shot. The ball hit Mahela low infront of the stumps and the Umpire was convinced in giving that out lbw. Mahela (2) as expected asked for a review which wasn’t a successful one. India were then unlucky not to have Samaraweera out lbw just a while after those two wickets. Samaraweera was struck on the pad by a Kumble skidder, the stride wasn’t a big one, but enough doubt was there whether there was an inside edge or not. The Umpire gave the benefit of doubt and Kumble asked for the Review which should have gone in his favour, simply because there was confirmation of the ball hitting the pad first! There was an injured Sachin who raised his finger up in the dressing room to his team mates on the ground, but the ones who mattered declared that as ‘not out’. That certainly wasn’t the right umpiring decision despite the presence of the review system and technology.

Samaraweera always likes playing cricket the old-fashioned way and his patience enabled Sangakkara to put up another solid partnership. The right hander looked set for a good score until Zaheer produced an ‘out of the blue’ delivery to find a thin edge in Samaraweera’s backfoot defence. Thilan Samaraweera made 35 (from 84 balls with 3 fours) in a partnership of 60. Skipper Anil Kumble after a long frustrating spell got his first wicket when his skidder struck Dilshan’s pad before he could get his bat down. Dilshan contributed 23 while taking SL to 244 for 6. He did help Sangakkara get to his 17th century by promptly responding to a risky single. India were to have wicket no.7 when Harbhajan’s doosra foxed Prasanna Jayawardene to hit his backpad. Umpire Rudi Koertzen raised his finger up but the Review System played spoilsport. To the naked eye, it was a straightforward lbw decision, the ball would have just gone onto hit the off stump. But there was the Virtual Eye that showed the ball to be sailing over the top which wasn’t really convincing. The Umpires had to follow that given evidence and that gave Prasanna Jayawardene and SL a lifeline. The long day’s play came to an end because of bad light with SL at 251 for 6 in 92 overs. Sangakkara is on 107 and Prasanna on 1.