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Justin Langer
Sunday 26 September 1999
Day five, second Test at Galle

Looking out of my bedroom window this morning the skies were clear and the tall coconut trees were swaying in the gentle breeze, almost smiling at the prospect of a sunny tropical day in Galle. The message being circulated around the breakfast buffet was one of a full day's cricket and a definite start on time. After an abandoned day yesterday this was good news, although we all knew this meant that 22 Test cricketers were in for a very tough day's play.

Many theories were getting around the breakfast table and later the changing room as to what was likely to transpire over the scheduled 104 overs of Test cricket. Would Sri Lanka bat all day for a tame draw? Could we bowl the opposition out very cheaply and pull off an inspiring victory? Would the Sri Lankans bat aggressively and set us a target in the afternoon? These questions and more were going to be answered within the next six hours of a Sunday in downtown coastal Galle, or at least that is what we thought as we took the field at 10am.

Unfortunately the only questions answered after all this speculation were reduced to more theories of what might have been. When the rain came after a handful of overs, it left everyone in no doubt that the day would again be abandoned and a draw would be the result. The only time I have seen a heavier downfall was during the first Test against England at the Gabba last summer. Within 10 minutes the waterlogged ground looked more like a lake than a cricket field.

When he came into our changing room for the post-match shaking of hands, Sri Lankan skipper Sanath Jayasuriya hinted that he was looking to bat until just after lunch to give his bowlers four hours to try and bowl us out.

Sitting in the bus on the way back to Colombo this afternoon it dawned upon me that had we played a full day it could well have been one of the best days of Test cricket I have ever been involved in. With a run chase at hand and two Sri Lankan spinners playing their tricks on a turning pitch it could have been as exciting as any one-day international you are likely to see. It is impossible to predict what might have eventuated because this game is so changeable, but I do know it would have been as tense as any Hollywood thriller.

It is now five o'clock and it has not stopped raining since it started six and a half-hours ago. "Rain, rain go away, the Aussies are 1-0 down and need to play!" One-nil down in the series with one Test to play, this is a challenge in itself. We may not be able to win this series but we can still draw it. The next Test starts on Thursday, let's hope it can offer the same entertainment that this second Test promised but never delivered.

Back in Colombo, JL