Day 5 Report
As expected the second Test at the SSC has ended in a draw. India have managed to keep the Sri Lankan Series lead at 1-0 and will hope to force a win in the third and final Test at the P Sara Oval which begins on the 3rd of August. India prolonged their first innings for most part of the morning though it was only the last wicket pair of Ishant Sharma (27 from 117 balls) and Pragyan Ojha (18 from 92 balls). It was after 225.2 overs that Sri Lanka could finally bowl out India. The visitors piled up a mammoth 707.
Sri Lanka batted out 45 overs before declaring their second innings just on time before the start of the last hour. They were under slight trouble with the Indians able to get the ball to turn and bounce sharply. Harbhajan Singh found some rhythm to trouble them while Pragyan Ojha also looked a touch better. Sri Lanka finished the match at 129 for 3 declared with Sangakkara top scoring with 42 not out (from 114 balls). He collected the Man of the Match award.
Day 4 Report
India made the impossible possible that of overhauling Sri Lanka's first innings total of 642 for 4 declared! The visitors who were kept on the fielder for around 160 overs during the first two days of the match made the Lankans toil hard for as many as 198 overs with still the last wicket yet to be taken as the score moved onto 669 for 9 at Stumps on Day 4. Batting Maestro Sachin Tendulkar piled up 203 (from 347 balls with 23 fours and a six) which is his fifth double century before he finally got dismissed during the last session. His overnight partner, Suresh Raina went onto score a century on Test Debut making 120 (from 228 balls with 12 fours and 2 sixes). Raina's partnership with Sachin for the fifth wicket is worth 256 runs and nearly lasted 70 overs to certainly force the match towards a draw.
Skipper MS Dhoni got useful batting practice, scoring 76 (from 138 balls with 7 fours) and newcomer Abhhimanyu Mithun once again showed promise with the bat making 41 to help India take the lead eventually.
Day 3 Report
India are breathing easy in the second Test at SSC, Colombo thanks to their most experienced batter Sachin Tendulkar who scored his 48th Test hundred. Tendulkar led the team on a day of crisis and with Suresh Raina is in an unbroken stand of 141 for the fifth wicket. At 382 for 4, India are just 61 runs away from avoiding the follow on. They should fancy their chances with Tendulkar on an unbeaten 108 (from 181 balls with 14 fours and a six) and Suresh Raina batting positively on 66 (from 133 balls with 8 fours).
The third day's play started with openers Sehwag and Vijay continuing their good partnership. Sri Lanka managed to break their partnership in the 37th over when Sehwag (99 from 101 balls with 15 fours) following a rush of blood charged down the track to debutant Suraj Randiv but only to get stumped out. Mendis then almost immediately removed the other opener Vijay (58 from 124 balls) who went back to a full ball to be lbw. Randiv then gave a big jolt by rapping Dravid on the pads with a sharp off break to reduce India to 173 for 3.
The visitors fought back in the next two sessions with Sachin Tendulkar batting for four and a half hours first in the company of VVS Laxman and then Raina. With Laxman (29), Sachin put on a stand of 68 runs before the former was lbw after misreading a googly from Ajantha Mendis. After that wicket, India was resurrected through the pair of Tendulkar and Raina who batted for around 37 overs to see the end of Day 3 safely.
Day 2 Report
India staring at a massive Sri Lankan first innings total of 642 for 4 declared have finished the Second Day's play at 95 for no loss. This after batting just the 18 overs after the Tea Break with Virender Sehwag racing away to an unbeaten 64 from 63 balls with a dozen boundaries. Murali Vijay, his opening partner is looking solid on 22 (from 50 balls). The visitors are trailing behind by 547 runs with three full days left in the match.
It was another dry day for the Indians with only two Sri Lankan wickets falling down. Kumar Sangakkara brought up his 7th double century in the second day's play having started on an overnight score of 130. His partner - Mahela Jayawardene was unlucky to miss out on a double hundred falling 26 runs short and with his dismissal, Sri Lanka declared the innings at 642 for 4 in 159.4 overs. Mahela Jayawardene scored his 174 from 244 balls with 20 fours and a six while Kumar Sangakkara got his 219 in 335 balls with 29 fours. The pair put on 183 runs for the third wicket. Sangakkara's end finally came when he edged his forcing drive off a turning ball from Sehwag to slip. Jayawardene who was the only other batsman to get dismissed on the second day was caught at mid wicket in a tired flick off Harbhajan Singh.
All the four main bowlers for India conceded a century in their bowling figures. The only consolation for the tourists is the way Sehwag and Vijay have batted in the last session showing that the wicket is a batting paradise and the bowlers have very little margin of error.
Day 1 Report
Sri Lanka finished Day 1 of the Second Test at SSC Colombo at a strong 312 for 2. Tharanga Paranavitana and Kumar Sangakkara helped themselves to centuries on a placid pitch. India could only take two wickets that too because of the false shots from the batsmen. There were hardly any chances in the day for the Indians as the Sri Lankans played freely through the line against pace and spin.
The first and much needed breakthrough came for India in the 19th over when an explosive Tillakaratne Dilshan jumped out to drive Pragyan Ojha but only into the safe hands of VVS Laxman at short covers. Dilshan's innings was cut short to a personal score of 54 which he smashed in just 42 balls with 10 fours. He added 99 runs for the first wicket with Dilshan. Paranavitana added 174 runs for the next wicket with his Skipper Sangakkara which flattened the Indian bowlers further. Paranavitana finally got out in the 72nd over after inside edging a cut shot off Ishant Sharma. His 100 came in 221 balls with 10 fours and a six.
Sri Lanka lost the momentum towards the end of the day's play to finish with 312 for 2 in 90 overs. Sangakkara moved onto 130 from 225 balls (with 15 fours) and has Mahela Jayawardene batting with him on a slow 13 (from 56 balls). India's best bowler was the young Abhimanyu Mithun though he remained wicketless in his 17 overs.
Toss and Teams
Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to bat first in the Second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo. Both sides have made changes to their line-ups for what is expected to be a batsman-friendly wicket though traditionally the SSC always has something for the pacers. Suraj Randiv, the tall off spinner takes the place of the retired Muralitharan. Pacers Dilhara Fernando and Dammika Prasad have taken the places of Lasith Malinga and Chanaka Welegedara.
India who are 0-1 down in the series have replaced the injured Gautam Gambhir and the unwell Yuvraj Singh with Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina who will be making his Test Debut.