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Top Performer of Day 2, 1st Test - India in Sri Lanka

Sanath Jayasuriya
Sanath Jayasuriya

Born:30 June 1969, Matara
Major Teams:Colombo Cricket Club, Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club, Sri Lanka.
Known As:Sanath Jayasuriya
Batting Style:Left Hand Bat
Bowling Style:Slow Left Arm Orthodox
Match pictures:
Sanath Jayasuriya
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Match Stats - Batting
Balls faced138
Strike rate80.43
Scoring shots45

1st Test

India in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka v India
[ Scorecard | Report]
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There are times when a player in full cry simply cannot be stopped. Whether you shuffle the bowlers around, change the field setting or change the pace of the game, there is very little you can do to stop Sanath Jayasuriya when he is in one of his murderous moods. The Indians often seem to evoke just this mood in the left handed destroyer from Matara. The second day of the first Test between India and Sri Lanka saw Jayasuriya tear the Indian bowling apart in an innings that stole the initiative away from the visitors.

Opening the bowling on a wicket that seemed to hold few demons, Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad found it difficult to contain the 32-year-old Sri Lankan captain. Despite the fact that he was playing a Test match, Jayasuriya scored at a run a ball for the best part of his innings. The Indians, in an attempt to curb Jayasuriya, bowled a line on the middle and leg stump. Every now and then the ball would be a touch down the leg side and away it would disappear, either to deep fine leg, through midwicket or over mid on. When the bowlers realised their folly, they often overcompensated and gave Jayasuriya width outside the off stump. Getting into position very early, using his strong forearms in inimitable fashion, Jayasuriya played some monstrous cut shots that rocketed to the fence. On one occasion, Srinath was even at the receiving end of a cut shot that sailed all the way over the ropes at point!

In, short, the Sri Lankan captain dictated terms to the bowlers, controlling the run of play till the very end. An hour and twenty five minutes after arriving at the crease, Jayasuriya brought up his fifty off just 51 balls. Not surprising, considering the fact that he sent the ball to the ropes nine time in that period.

However, the half century was just a sign of things to come. Judiciously mixing aggression with caution, Jayasuriya blunted the spin of Harbhajan Singh while dismantling the Indian pace attack. Off only 105 balls, Jayasuriya brought up his eighth Test ton and put India in deep trouble. Thankfully for the visitors, the superstition of 'Nelson' struck as Jayasuriya was dismissed on a well made 111. He had faced 138 balls in 193 minutes and struck 16 boundaries and a six.

But mere statistics do not tell the whole story. Jayasuriya's knock was one that led the Sri Lankans to a position of strength and for that he is easily the Top Performer on the day.

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