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By Bharath Ramaraj
Jun 16, 2014
At the end of the first session of the fifth day’s play of the first Test between England and Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka are 99 for the loss of one wicket. Sri Lankan openers started the fifth day’s play against England cautiously. Both openers, Dimuth Karunaratne, the left-hander and Kaushal Silva were hit by a barrage of short deliveries by England pacers; James Anderson and Stuart Broad. It finally worked as Karunaratne spooned a catch to the short-leg fielder, Sam Robson off Broad’s bowling and he got out for 16 runs. A huge wicket for England to take, as they look to win the first Test of the series.
It meant that Kumar Sangakkara came into bat at No 3 position. It turned out to be an interesting tussle between Anderson and Sangakkara with Anderson bowling from around the wicket and getting the ball to shape away from the left-handed batsman. However, Sangakkara showed good defence outside his off-stump. England finally made a change with Chris Jordan coming into the attack. He has a tendency to bowl too full, and unfortunately for England, he started with a rank bad full toss and that was duly dispatched for a boundary.
Liam Plunkett, who came into bowl as second change also bowled from around the wicket to Sangakkara. It seems like they are following a plan. Even Moeen Ali bowled a few overs with his part-time off-spin. The important factor for Sri Lanka was not to lose early wickets and negotiate Anderson, and they have done that quite well on the final day’s play. All the credit has to go to Sangakkara and Silva, the opener.
Earlier, Alastair Cook declared the innings and set Sri Lanka 390 runs to chase down. If Sri Lanka chase the target down, it would be the fifth highest score chased down by any team in the history of cricket. It would also be the highest successful run chase by any team at the homes of cricket, Lord’s.
One more interesting point to note is that Mahela Jayawardene, Sangakkara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul seem to be battling it out to see who can aggregate more Test runs. Sangakkara has just gone past Chanderpaul now.
England 575 for 9 decl. & 267 for 8 decl. (Gary Ballance 104*, Chris Jordan 35; Shaminda Eranga 3 for 63, Rangana Herath 4 for 95) lead Sri Lanka 453 & 99 for 1 (Kaushal Silva 44*, Kumar Sangakkara 34*; Stuart Broad 1 for 20) by 291 runs.
(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)
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