Swann spins- England in charge
Day 4 of the second Test at Colombo between England and Sri Lanka remains in favor of England, with the help of Graeme Swann. At stumps of Day 3, Sri Lanka was trailing by 181 runs with the night watchman Dhammika Prasad and Lahiru Thirimanne still at the crease.
The opening pair did not remain at the crease for long; James Anderson opened the accounts for England by grabbing the wicket of Thirimanne (11) who nicked a ball straight into the hands of Andrew Strauss at slip. Prasad and Tillakaratne Dilshan kept the scoreboard ticking with their second wicket partnership of 41 runs. Prasad played his role well as the night watchman and collected 34 runs under his belt. Steven Finn got rid of Prasad (34) as compensation to a drop catch of Prasad (at 16) at mid-off.
The tension could be felt when Kumar Sangakkara stepped on to the crease after the dismissal of Prasad, having performed poorly in the series.
Strauss had a very attacking field set for Sangakkara to add pressure on him. It took a while but Sangakkara eventually started to outplay the pressure exerted by the English bowlers.Dilshan and Sangakkara managed to put up a 40 runs partnership once they started to get a grasp of the English bowling.
The third wicket partnership came to an abrupt end when Dilshan (35) was given out by the on field umpire for a catch at slip, the dismissal was reviewed by Dilshan and the original decision was upheld by the third umpire- Dilshan was not happy about the decision as he felt that he had no contact with the bat and the ball brushed his pads but with the lack of ‘hot spot’ and other technology so assist the DRS (decision review system) it was hard for the third umpire to overturn the on field umpire’s decision.
Mahela Jayawardene and Sangakkara (21) did not last long together on the crease and their partnership ended with just 21 runs on the board. Thilan Samaraweera (47) and Jayawardene played sensibly to provide Sri Lanka with a much needed solid partnership of 90 runs. It was Swann that gave England the much needed break by dismissing Samaraweera with a delivery that tipped the cap of the leg stump bail. Swann took it upon himself to dismiss the Suraj Randiv (0) as Sri Lanka struggled to keep their wickets intact.
Swann’s (4-82) bowling turned out to be a challenge to Sri Lankan batting line up, he grabbed vital wickets at crucial intervals to give England the much needed upper hand in the second session of the second match.
The second test is clearly dominated by England so far, if they manage to bowl the remaining four wickets without allowing Sri Lanka to score a lot of runs they is a good chance of England grabbing their first test win of the winter season and leveling the series 1-1.
At stumps Sri Lanka was 218/6 and was leading by 33 runs with Jayawardene (55) and Angelo Mathews (3) still at the crease. Jayawardene and Mathews will try to hold out as long as they can to keep England at bay and keep their lead to win the series. The game can sway either way by the looks of things at the end of Day 4.
Day 5 will most certainly be the ‘battle of the fittest’ as both the teams will not go down without a fight.
- Asian Tribune –