The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Sanga symphony misses one note

Lankans tighten grip on day two

Lankans celebrating a dismissal.

Three hundred runs in the bank on day one, and Sangakkara (111) and Jayawardena (55) the not out batsman, one expected a slight acceleration when play resumed. Sangakkara was the chief offender, striking his first boundary after fifty minutes. He followed up with a similarly swept four in the same over.

Umar Gul was the main spoiler, with a restrictive seven over spell that cost 16 runs. He was accurate with his off stump line, bowled at a brisk pace and got a few to sit up.Mahela had moved to 62 with a reverse sweep for four off Ajmal. But then he got a tad over confident and tried to take the off spinner from outside off, to deep midwicket. It’s a shot he plays with success maybe eight times out of ten. But not today.

Having played a few aggressive shots, Sangakkara reverted to his more solid role. In the mean-time, there had been two strikes of summer lightning. Samaraweera was stretched forward by a perfect Doosra from Ajmal and the nimble Adnan did the trick. Next, the five day-old hero was gone first ball. Ajmal made him reach out to that delivery, which he did, bat far in advance of the pad. This was another five for to Ajmal.

Prasanna Jayawardena and Sangakkara featured in a liaison of 80 runs for the sixth wicket. The stand was dominated by the stumper who made 48. By dint of perseverance and talent, Prasanna now represents solidity and aggression. A vital number seven indeed!
Sangakkara went on and on, only hurrying when he sensed that he maybe left behind. His drives through the covers were well controlled. Occasionally he switched to the other side for a boundary or two. It was only at the far end of his innings that he put the ball in the air. In the 190s he sensed that time was running out and lofted Hafeez straight back. Hafeez back-pedaled and tried to get under it, without avail. In the next over, Pradeep was out and he was left high and dry. It was his second score in the 190s.

A defiant, tentative Pakistan side had a few nightmares in the 24 overs they faced. They lost wickets because of their timing, and at the end of the day, they were 135 runs short of avoiding the follow on.

If they don’t show some well-chosen aggression, it might be an early finish.

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