1st Janashakthi National Test: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe at Colombo, 27 Dec 2001 - 1 Jan 2002|
Sri Lanka 1st innings:
Zimbabwe 2nd innings:
Zimbabwe 1st innings:
ZIMBABWE LOSE TWO WICKETS BEFORE THE CLOSEZimbabwe were left facing an innings defeat at the Sinhalese Sports Club on Saturday after being forced to follow on 402 runs in arrears in the first Janashakthi National Test.
The tourists had started their second innings so well, surviving the first hour without serious alarm, but eventually Muttiah Muralitharan broke through.
The off-spinner plucked out two wickets to leave Zimbabwe on 64 for two, still 338 runs in arrears with two days remaining.
Teenage opener Hamilton Masakadza had showed glimpses of his talent with five boundaries in his 28 before he top edged a slog sweep and was well caught by Marvan Atapattu running back from mid-wicket (40 for one).
His partner Trevor Gripper (10) then misread Muralitharan’s straighter ball for the second time in the day to be caught behind by wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara.
Night watchman Travis Friend (0 not out) somehow managed to survive the next seven overs till the close with Stuart Carlisle (22 not out), who played positively, hitting four boundaries.
At the final water break Zimbabwe were 39 without loss after 11 overs, with Hamilton Masakadza on 28 and Trevor Gripper on nine.
The 18-year-old Masakadza followed three failures in Sri Lanka with a positive start here. He clipped Nuwan Zoysa through the leg-side, straight drove Chaminda Vaas and square cut Charitha Buddika Fernando, who had replaced Vaas after a short three over burst.
Gripper was more cautious in approach, concentrating on survival.
The tourists start their second innings still 402 runs behind Sri Lanka facing an innings defeat.
Gar Brent lasted four balls before he was bowled through the gate for duck by Muttiah Muralitharan (167 for nine).
But the off-spinner was denied his 32nd five-wicket haul in Test match cricket when Charitha Buddika Fernando trapped Henry Olonga lbw to pick up his first wicket of the match.
At the tea interval, Zimbabwe were 166 for eight, still 220 runs away from saving the follow on, with Heath Streak on 12.
Samaraweera, who boasts a small but exclusive number of Test scalps, including Brian Lara and Sourav Ganguly, had been brought on to bowl in place of Muralitharan.
Flower had just witnessed the demise of Craig Wishart, who had been playing stoutly - twice punching Chaminda Vaas straight back down the ground and once clumping Samaraweera over mid-wicket – but then steered a short delivery from Nuwan Zoysa into the hands of Hashan Tillakaratne at third slip (146 for six).
Probably realising that with no frontline batsmen remaining the time had come for a more positive approach, Flower two-stepped down the wicket and aimed a shoulder-jarring swing to the leg-side, only to miss the ball and be clean bowled (146 for seven).
Travis Friend and Streak resisted for 41 minutes but on the brink of tea Vaas - fortuitously, as the ball was sailing down the leg-side - won an lbw appeal against the right-handed Friend.
Midway through the afternoon Zimbabwe were 131 for five having added 34 runs since lunch for the loss of one wicket.
Andy Flower was unbeaten on 36 and number seven batsman Craig Wishart was on 13.
Muralitharan took the fifth wicket of the innings in the first over after lunch, when Grant Flower pushed forward defensively to be caught for a duck at silly point by Hashan Tillakaratne (105 for five).
His brother then resisted Muralitharan, forcing the off-spinner to bowl over the wicket and eventually forcing him out of the attack. But unlike Brian Lara in the last series, Flower’s innings was defensive in style and the runs trickled rather than flowed.
Chaminda Vaas proved a trickier proposition for the left-handed Flower, as the ball started to reverse swing. On 34, Flower was twice pinned to his stumps by late indippers only to be given the doubt by umpire Riazruddin.
At the break, Zimbabwe were 100 for four, needing 286 to avoid the follow on, with Andy Flower on 19 and Grant Flower still to get off the mark after 22 minutes at the crease.
Gavin Rennie had looked to play positively against the off-spinner, hitting him for consecutive boundaries. But Muralitharan always looked likely to take his wicket, as the left-hander narrowly survived a couple of close appeals.
Having had a very good back foot shout turned down in the previous over, Muralitharan won an lbw decision from umpire Peter Manuel with his next ball, as Rennie missed a sweep (89 for four).
Rennie had scored 35 in 68 balls, hitting five fours.
Meanwhile, Andy Flower was being given a thorough working over by Nuwan Zoysa, who was reintroduced after a six over burst from Charitha Buddika Fernando.
At the break, Zimbabwe were 69 for three, still needing 317 runs to avert the follow on, with Gavin Rennie on 20 and key batsman Andy Flower, playing himself in carefully, on one.
Muralitharan was pulled into the attack in the 13th over of the day after a six over burst from Chaminda Vaas.
But his introduction didn’t meet with immediate success as Trevor Gripper danced down to the track to skew an off-side boundary and Rennie lapped a further four in the next over.
However, in his third over of the day, Muralitharan deceived Gripper with his well-disguised straighter ball. Expecting an off-spinner, he tried to work the ball onto the leg-side, but instead edged straight to Mahela Jayawardene at slip.
Vaas, buoyed by memories of his last Test match at this ground when he took 14 wickets, nearly snatched a wicket second ball, as wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara grassed a difficult one-handed catch down the leg-side off Trevor Gripper.
But Vaas was not to be denied for long, as acting captain Stuart Carlisle edged a catch to Sanath Jayasuriya at first slip, who completed a sharp one-handed catch to his right (29 for two).
Nuwan Zoysa then came perilously close to trapping Gripper lbw when the right-handed opener decided to shoulder arms to a delivery that nipped back off the seam. Fired up by umpire Riazruddin’s not out decision, he cracked Gripper on the head with a lively bouncer next ball.
Gripper (20 not out) and new batsman Gavin Rennie (3 not out), who surprisingly came in ahead of star player Andy Flower, then survived until the first water break without further mishap. Zimbabwe were 38 for two.
Zimbabwe lost Hamilton Masakadza in the fourth over of the innings when Nuwan Zoysa conjured up a throat-threatening short delivery. Masakadza tried to take evasive action but the ball off his glove to be caught at second slip by Hashan Tillakaratne (3 for one).
Stuart Carlisle then narrowly survived a good shout for lbw off an inswinger from Zoysa, which may have pitched outside leg stump.
Muttiah Muralitharan was brought on for one over and Sanath Jayasuriya tried to prolong the days play by bringing himself on, but the umpires eventually offered the light to the batsmen at 6.13pm.
Zimbabwe were 14 for one at the close.
Samaraweera came into the side as an all-rounder but has now scored two centuries and two fifties in six Tests. He finished with a career best 123 and now averages 140.7.
In this game he had started aggressively, hitting eight fours in his first fifty, before accumulating more steadily in the second part of his innings. Between 70-100 he didn’t hit a boundary.
He eventually reached his hundred with a sweep for two off 148 balls and then celebrated with a lofted extra cover drive for six and then showed off with a fine sweep off medium pacer Gary Brent.
Chaminda Vaas also played his part, ending a disappointing run with the bat with a career best 74 from 113 balls, which included two meaty sixes and nine fours.
Heath Streak was the pick of the Zimbabwean bowlers, but he had to work tremendously hard for his three wickets, bowling 34 overs (34-5-113-3).
Zimbabwe’s openers now face a difficult 16 overs batting before the close of play.
At tea, Sri Lanka were 461 for six, with Thilan Samaraweera still going strong on 65 and Chaminda Vaas on eight.
Tillakaratne looked set to score his fourth century since making his international comeback in August, but was caught behind for 96, as he flashed at a wide delivery from Heath Streak and was caught behind (450 for six).
It was Streak’s third wicket (3-98).
The wicket ended a 130 partnership for the sixth wicket, the fourth time in six matches that the pair have added over a hundred runs.
Earlier, Samaraweera had completed his third Test fifty off 79 balls. He will now be looking for his second hundred in only his sixth Test.
A declaration before the close now seems likely, probably after a further hour of batting.
The pair started watchfully after lunch, in their now familiar style, but then displayed a newfound aggressive streak, as they powered past 400.
At the afternoon water break Sri Lanka were 411 for five, having added 200 runs in 43.4 overs in the day. Tillakaratne, on 74, and Samaraweera, on 45, had added 91 for the sixth wicket.
Zimbabwe’s bowlers lost the self-discipline that they had displayed yesterday, struggling with their line and length.
Samaraweera pulled Travis Friend to the boundary on three separate occasions and then launched Henry Olonga through the covers for two further fours.
Tillakaratne went on a run spree after reaching his 18th Test fifty off 106 balls with an on-drive for four.
He was particularly harsh on Trevor Gripper, hitting him for five boundaries as the part-time off-spinner conceded 30 runs in three overs.
Sri Lanka were 338 for five after the first session with the in-form Hashan Tillakaratne unbeaten on 36 and Thilan Samaraweera on 12.
Sangakkara’s eventual dismissal was controversial. The left-hander tried cut a ball from Gary Brent and the ball flew quickly to the left of Craig Wishart at first slip. Wishart failed to grasp the ball at the first attempt but re-took the ball after a last-second scramble on the floor.
Third umpire Tyronne Wijewardene was called to adjudge whether the ball had been grassed and ruled that the catch had been taken cleanly after the ball bounced up off Wishart’s forearms.
Wijewardene’s decision may well have been right, but with there being some doubt as to whether the ball had bounced off forearm or the ground, he seemed too hasty to make a judgment.
Sangakkara had scored 128 from 166 balls and hit 22 fours and one six during his 289-minute knock.
Yesterday, he had played a supporting role to Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Jayawardene, but today he dominated, scoring 66 runs off just 55 balls, hitting 13 fours in all.
His dismissal ended a 71 run partnership in 14.4 overs with Tillakaratne.
Tillakaratne, who was hit on the head by a Henry Olonga bouncer, then consolidated with Samaraweera, as the pair look for their fourth century stand since Samaraweera made his debut against India in August.
At the second drinks break of the morning Sri Lanka were 309 for four with Sangakkara on 119 not out and Hashan Tillakaratne on 29.
Sangakkara pushed a single on the on-side to reach his four-hour hundred off 161 balls, which included 16 fours and one six. It was the third time he had scored a hundred in the first Test of a series after similar performances against India and West Indies at Galle International Stadium.
Sangakkara was joined by Tillakaratne after the fall of Arnold and the pair carried on positively. Tillakaratne clipped through the leg-side for two boundaries and Sangakkara tucked into Henry Olonga, who had replaced Heath Streak, with a glide to third man and an on-drive through wide mid on.
Sangakkara then had a close call when Olonga rapped him on the pads just above the knee roll – umpire Peter Manuel giving him the benefit of the doubt.
After the first 50 minutes of a day that had started early because of the severe thunderstorm last night, Sri Lanka had added 53 runs in 10.4 overs to leave them on 264 for four.
Zimbabwe did manage to claim the wicket of Russel Arnld with the new ball, but the morning belonged to Sangakkara, who was 97 not out at the break.
The stylish left-hander, on 62 overnight, was in scintillating form, starting the day with a punched on-drive off Henry Olonga, which was then followed by a swivel-pull over square leg. He greeted the second new ball, taken in the 81st over, with a short-arm crack through mid-wicket.
But the new ball did bring the breakthrough for Zimbabwe. Arnold, who started the day with an audacious sweep off medium pacer Gary Brent, was trapped lbw by an inswinger from Heath Streak (249 for four).
Arnold had scored just 13 but had supported Sangakkara for 86 minutes in a 79 run stand.
Date-stamped : 29 Dec2001 - 18:39