2nd Test: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe at Kandy, 4-8 Jan 2002|
Sri Lanka 1st innings:
Zimbabwe 1st innings:
SRI LANKA FINISH SECOND DAY IN FORMIDABLE POSITIONSri Lanka ended the second day of second Janashakthi National Test series in a formidable position after a brilliant hundred from captain Sanath Jayasuriya who was given good support from the rest of the top order.
The hosts finished the day on 334 for four having already a useful first innings lead of 98, with Russel Arnold still unbeaten on 44 and Hashan Tillakaratne looking solid on 35.
After the tea interval Jayasuriya increased his score to 139 before he sweep a delivery from left-arm spinner Grant Flower straight into the hands of Trevor Gripper at square leg (273 for four). The left-handed opener batted eight minutes short of five hours, hitting seventeen fours and one six.
Arnold, who had added just 18 to a 71 partnership for the fourth wicket with Jayasuriya, batted doggedly throughout the final session of the day before showing greater fluency against the new ball, as he tried to safeguard his position in the side with a big score.
Tillakaratne continued his run of good scores but had one moment of good fortune when Grant Flower floored a caught and bowled chance with the 35-year-old left-hander on 12.
The hosts, who have rattled along at 4.3 runs per over throughout the day, were 233 for three at the break, just three runs behind the Zimbabwean first innings score.
In the second hour of the afternoon the visitors did have one moment of success when left arm spinner Grant Flower dismissed Mahela Jayawardene, who had been in sparkling form.
Jayawardene added 120 for the third wicket and reached his 13th half-century in Test cricket before trying to pull Flower, who he had just hit for two boundaries, to mid-wicket. The right-hander missed the ball and was trapped lbw for 56.
Russel Arnold, in desperate need of a long innings to solidify his place in the side, then joined Jayasuriya. The left-hander batted for 39 minutes for his four runs.
Meanwhile, Jayasuriya reached his century off 155 balls with a confidant clump over mid-wicket. The left-hander had hit 14 fours in his innings.
Zimbabwe missed two chances as Sri Lanka added 69 runs in 16 overs, leaving them on 180 for four at the afternoon water break, with Jayasuriya on 81 and Jayawardene on 43.
The visitors tried to put the breaks on after lunch, with Heath Streak bowling wide of the off-stump and off-spinner Douglas Marillier bowling with just one close fielder, but were too frequently picked off by the inform Sri Lankan pair.
When Jayawadene was on 35, Andy Flower missed a catch behind the wicket after a leg glance from the right-hander. Diving forward, he made a desperate second grab at the ball, but failed to hold on to the ball as he became entangled with the short leg fieldsman, also trying sniffing out the catch.
Soon after, in Olonga’s first over of his second spell, Jayasuriya tried to smear the bowler over the top but failed to connect properly and the ball carried high to Carlisle at mid on. But the captain, fielding quite deep, completely misjudged the catch and the ball sailed through his hands for four.
Jayawardene, on 60 at the time, had already reached his 21st half-century.
If they continue to score at their present rate of 4.6 runs per over then they will start building that lead later this afternoon, as they went into lunch on 111 for two after 24 overs, with skipper Sanath Jayasuriya on 42 and Mahela Jayawardene 13.
Zimbabwe did at least winkle out two wickets, both of which were taken by fast bowler Travis Friend, who started waywardly but improved as the session progressed.
Marvan Atapattu (9), the source of so much heated debate leading up this game, started well with two boundaries but was then trapped lbw by Friend in the second over (11 for one).
Next, Kumar Sangakkara started where he had left off in Colombo, when he had scored his third Test century, with a flurry of stylish and well-timed boundaries. But the local boy, playing at his old school ground, was dismissed for 42 (44 balls) when he trod on his stumps whilst trying to kick the ball away having missed an attempted hook.
Sangakkara’s wicket ended an entertaining 71 run partnership with Jayasuriya, who had played the anchor role. But Jayasuriya also had time to express his good form with a sizzling lofted cover drive off Henry Olonga.
Olonga proved expensive, conceding 35 runs in his five over burst and Zimbabwean captain Stuart Carlisle was force to turn to the off-breaks of Douglas Marillier. Any hopes that he may have a calming influence on the Sri Lankan batsmen were quickly dented by two floating full tosses that were smashed to the cover boundary by Jayawardene.
Muralitharan’s participation had been in doubt overnight after he dislocated his ring finger whilst trying to take a diving catch on the square leg boundary off the last ball of the day.
Further medical analysis revealed that he had also torn ligaments around the finger joint and would require surgery at the end of the series according to team physiotherapist Alex Kontouri.
But Muralitharan was determined to bowl this morning and with a doctor on stand-by, should he need a pain-killing injection, he took the field to bowl the first over.
Bowling to Travis Friend, he came close to grabbing a wicket from a bat-pad catch first ball, but Russel Arnold grassed the chance. He then had a good shout for lbw turned down by umpire Venkatraghavan fifth ball.
Next over, Vaas went through the motions at the other end, bowling friendly medium pace. But Henry Olonga flashed at the last ball of the over, a wide delivery outside the off-stump, edging it to wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara.
There was a moment of silence, when everyone tried to pretend that he hadn’t been dismissed, but Sangakkara was walking back to the pavilion and Vaas had been unable prevent a squeaked appeal. Umpire Asoka de Silva raised his finger to universal disappointment.
Murali had so nearly become the third man in history to take ten wickets in an innings after Jim Laker (10 for 53) and Anil Kumble (10 for 74).
He had also been agonisingly close to recording the best ever bowling figures in cricket's 1583 Test history.
Muralitharan finished with nine wickets for 51 runs from 40 overs, to become the first man to take nine wickets twice.
Zimbabwe were bowled out for 236.
Muralitharan took his ninth wicket at 5.22pm when Grant Flower, who top scored with 72, was clean bowled whilst trying to sweep.
The last wicket pair of Travis Friend (28 not out) and Henry Olonga (17 not out) then survived the 33 minutes before bad light forced the players from the field.
Zimbabwe’s last pair capitalised on some generous bowling, as Sri Lanka tried to ensure that Muralitharan took the final wicket. Jayasuriya bowled two balls that almost bounce twice and Marvan Atapattu dropped what appeared an easy chance running back from mid on.
Then, in what turned out to be the final over, Muralitharan dislocated a finger in his right hand as he tried to take a tumbling catch on the square leg boundary.
Physio Alex Kontouri clicked the finger back in and the management are confidant that he will be able to play take the field tomorrow.
Theoretically, he still has a chance to break the world record tomorrow, having finished with figures of 39-18-51-9, but he cannot afford to concede more than one run with Jim Laker having taken 10 for 53 at Manchester in 1956.
At the present moment his figures leave him number five in the all-time wicket-takers list.
In the 12 overs bowled after the tea interval Grant Flower passed fifty – his team’s first of the series – as Muralitharan picked up one more wicket to leave Zimbabwe on 178 for eight.
Douglas Marillier, who added 26 for the eighth wicket with Flower, was the man to fall after tea as he was bowled through the gate by yet another off-break that turned wickedly (166 for eight).
Travis Friend, using his long reach to good effect, and Flower then survived without great alarm till the interruption, although Flower did edge just wide of Mahela Jayawardene at first slip.
It was Flower’s 13th Test fifty and took him past 3000 runs in his 58th match.
The hill country off-spinner took his seventh wicket of the innings when brought back for a second spell from the Press Box End to leave Zimbabwe on 159 for seven at tea.
But even Muralitharan struggled to break a 54 run partnership for the sixth wicket between Craig Wishart and Flower – Zimbabwe’s highest partnership of the series so far.
Muralitharan was taken out of the attack for a short graze in the outfield, as Thilan Samaraweera and Sanath Jayasuriya rolled out a few overs of gentle spin.
But Jayasuriya then called back Muralitharan, with instantaneous success. Third ball Wishart (26) was forced onto his back foot and trapped lbw as an off-break hurried onto to his pads (137 for six).
Next, Heath Streak (1), who had batted so well in Colombo where he was not dismissed, was bowled off his pad as he tried to pad Muralitharan away (140 for seven).
Flower remained unbeaten on 47 at the interval, with Douglas Marillier, no mug with the bat, on two.
Muralitharan, meanwhile, now has a chance to record the best ever bowling analysis in Test cricket, if he can grab the last three wickets, surpassing Jim Laker (10-53) and Anil Kumble (10-74). As it is, his present figures are remarkable: 22-13-26-7.
With the clouds starting to bubble up around the ground and drinks being taken in the afternoon, Zimbabwe were 108 for five, with Grant Flower on 19 and Craig Wishart on 11.
Captain Stuart Carlisle (20) added just two runs in 29 minutes after the luncheon interval before Muralitharan conjured up a big spinning off-break – pitched two foot outside off-stump – that trapped the right-hander lbw (83 for five).
Flower and Wishart then added 25 runs for the sixth wicket. Flower swung Muralitharan over square leg in a rare moment of aggression and hit two further boundaries off Chaminda Vaas, who returned after lunch from the Press Box End, and Nuwan Zoysa, who replaced Vaas.
But it was Muralitharan who stole the show, as he moved closer to 400 wickets and nearer Richard Hadlee’s world record for the most number of five wicket hauls in Test cricket. Hadlee took 36 five-fors in 86 games, Muralitharan has taken 32 in 71 matches.
Muralitharan grabbed four wickets in the first session, including the key wicket of Andy Flower, to leave the visitors on 71 for four after 22 overs. Captain Stuart Carlisle was left unbeaten on 18 with Grant Flower yet to score having just replaced his brother at the crease.
Hamilton Masakadza (10), who had battled hard for 65 minutes, eventually tried to work a delivery to leg, but had failed to pick Muralitharan’s straighter ball, which turned past his bat onto the stumps (45 for two).
Gavin Rennie was then stumped for a duck by wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara, as he used his feet and tried to push into the off-side – a perilous shot against Muralitharan, who was already turning the ball sharply (51 for three).
Andy Flower (8) also looked to be positive against the off-spinner, slog-sweeping over square leg to get off the mark. But he too was struggling to get to grips with the turning ball as Muralitharan operated from over the wicket.
Just before lunch he tried another sweep, but became the second player of the day to be caught off his bootstraps, as an inside edged ballooned off pad and boot into the grateful hands of Sangakkara (67 for four).
With the dust finally settling on Sri Lanka’s selection debacle, that had dominated the run-up to this Test, Zimbabwe were 39 for one at the first water break of the day, with Hamilton Masakadza on 10 and captain Stuart Carlisle yet to score.
Chaminda Vaas started the day with a vehement appeal for leg-before against Trevor Gripper, but struggled thereafter conceding 19 runs in his fourth over as Gripper pulled him to the leg-side boundary on three separate occasions.
But Nuwan Zoysa was impressing from the other end, extracting bounce and movement from the pitch. He frequently beat the bat and Masakadza edged just over the slips as he was forced into taking evasive action.
In the ninth over of the innings skipper Sanath Jayasuriya threw the ball to his master off-spinner, who needed just two balls to grab his first wicket of the game. Gripper (20) tried to sweep but edged onto his boot and up into the hands of Mahela Jayawardene at slip (39 for one).
The team was incensed by the selection committee's decision to rest vice-captain Marvan Atapattu and fast bowler Charitha Fernando so that middle order batsman Chamara Silva and pace bowler Prabath Nissanka could gain exposure.
The decision was made against the wishes of the team management, who first appealed to the selection panel - all based in Colombo - to change their minds. But when they refused to do a so a standoff ensued until the sports minister intervened.
Sri Lanka were forced into having two team meetings during the evening and the matter was only finalised at 11pm after a flurry of telephone calls involving the sports minister, chairman of selectors, BCCSL chief executive and the team management.
So, Sri Lanka named an unchanged side to the team that won so convincingly in Colombo, whilst Zimbabwe made one change, introducing off-spinning all-rounder Douglas Marillier in place of medium pacer Gary Brent.
Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat first. It was a brave move on a pitch that is bound to favour the Sri Lankan fast bowlers in the opening session.
The start of play was delayed by 15 minutes because of dampness in the pitch. The weather, unlike the days leading up to the Test, is good with bright sunshine and a gentle breeze.
Sanath Jayasuriya (capt), Marvan Atapattu, Mahela Jayawardene, Russel Arnold, Kumar Sangakkara, Hashan Tillakaratne, Thilan Samaraweera, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Zoysa, Charitha Buddika Fernando
Stuart Carlisle (capt), Hamilton Masakadza, Grant Flower, Andy Flower, Gavin Rennie, Craig Wishart, Travis Friend, Henry Olonga, Heath Streak, Trevor Gripper, Douglas Marillier
Date-stamped : 05 Jan2002 - 18:40