Friday, December 7, 2007

Jayawardane's men have an Ice-Kandy

A beautiful morning at the Asrigiya Stadium-Kandy,which is the home pitch of the spin wizard-Muttiah Muralitharan was awaiting a treat to watch for as many as three players viz Muralitharan-who was on th e verge of breaking (recapturing) the world record once again which he had lost to Shane Warne-another gr8 leg spinner,Sanath Jayasuria-who was playing his last test and kumara Sangakkara-who later justified that the match was something special for him too by becoming the first player to score 4 consecutive scores above storage

The match started with Mahela Jayawardane winning the toss and electing to bat.Things din't go too well for the lankans as they lost 5 quick wickets for a score less than 50.At 42/5,the inform Sangakkara steped in along with Wicket keeper Prasanna Jayawardane.The duo ut on 106 run partnership for the 6th wicket wh ich was the best 6th wicket partnership for Srilanka against England(surpassing the previous best of 98).Sangakkara fell 8 short of yet another 100 at 92,when he tried to loft Anderson only to find Paul Collingwood at the just wide off gully.

Matthew Hogard(left) was the successful of England's bowlers picking up 4-29

(right) Matthew Hoggard removed Chamara Silva during his magic spell

Finally the day Srilanka were allout for a modest total of 188,with Hogard being the most successful with 4/29.The day din't seem to be too good for England either as they lost Alistair Cook for naught with no score on the board.The day ended with England on 49/1 with Vaughan on 13 and Bell on 36.
The second day saw all cheers from the crowd when Murali-the local hero was on the verge of conquering the world of test cricket.But England had different plans.Both the Vaughen & Bell put up a partnership of 107 for the second wicket.The breakthrough for Murali came when
Vaughan gets a thin edge into his pad as he tries to flick a flighted ball on leg stump into the on side, silly point(Chamara Silva) takes a sharp catch.Murali goes on to take 3 more wickets that day with
England's scoreboard reading 186/6.Murali's test record tally now standing on 708(equalling that of Warne).

Day 3 on the ground saw cheers for the man who stepped in to take the gaint record.The ground was filled with crowds consisting of his school mates,his wife and his son.Ah!what a day it was going to be for all those Murali fans.Finally,the inevitable happens and Murali sends back Collingwood who plays down the wrong line and the ball clips the top of middle and off stumps, sparking celebrations in the middle, dancing in the stands and firecrackers are set off all over the place. Somebody in the crowd has thought ahead and prepared a poster with Murali smiling above the numbers 709. You can't match his grin out there now, though.
Getting back to the test match,England had some reasons to smile as they took a 93 run lead against Murali's party.Muralitharan finished with figures of 6/55.

Srilankan Batsmen take the charge:Now the 2nd innings expected some fireworks from the Lank
an batsmen after Murali did it with the ball.And there was Jayasuriya who playing his last test plundered a decent 78 putting on 108 run 1st wicket partnership.Jayasuriys's innings consisted of 10 fours and 1six(also an over consisting of six boundaries).Next came in Sangakkara(the hero in Sl's 1st innings).Sangakkara scored 152 as Sl declared for 429/8.

This time for a change it was not Murali but Vass who did much of the damage by claiming 3 quick wickets-that of Vaughan,Anderson and Bell,with figures of 3/56.Murali wiped off the tail by claiming the wickets of Bell,Prior and Sidebottom.Finally,Sri Lanka won the match by 88 runs with Sangakkara beibg adjudged the man of the match for his winning effort of 92 & 152.

Kumara Sangakkara(left)
raises his bat as he scores his
16th test hundred

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