SL reel­ing at 154/5 SPORT


The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Sport - SPORT 22 JULY 28, 2017

IN­DIA’S bowlers tore through the Sri Lankan top or­der to put the vis­i­tors firmly on top on the sec­ond day of the first Test in Galle yes­ter­day. Pace­man Mo­hammed Shami picked two wick­ets in the same over and Umesh Ya­dav got rid of opener Dimuth Karunaratne af­ter In­dia posted a com­mand­ing 600 all out in their first in­nings.

For­mer cap­tain An­gelo Mathews was bat­ting on 54 with Dil­ruwan Per­era on six when stumps were drawn for the day, with Sri Lanka still trail­ing by 446 runs with five wick­ets in hand.

Opener Upul Tha­ranga struck a de­fi­ant 64 off 93 balls but was run out thanks to quick field­ing by Ab­hi­nav Mukund.

Mukund also took a fine div­ing catch to send back Niroshan Dick­wella (eight) and re­duce the hosts to a shaky 154-5.

Ya­dav gave his side an early break­through af­ter the In­dian lower-or­der bats­men scored at a quick pace de­spite los­ing wick­ets at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals.

Ya­dav had Karunaratne trapped leg be­fore and although the bats­man went for a re­view, the de­ci­sion was up­held af­ter re­plays showed the ball pitch­ing on the middle stump.

Shami then dis­missed debu­tant Danushka Gu­nathi­laka for 16 and Ajan­tha Mendis for a duck in the space of four balls.

Mathews, who quit as cap­tain af­ter Sri Lanka’s re­cent one-day series de­feat to Zim­babwe at home, tried to steady the in­nings and had faced 91 de­liv­er­ies so far.

Ear­lier, pace­man Nuwan Pradeep clinched his maiden five-wicket Test haul, putting the brakes on In­dia’s free scor­ing.

Pradeep (6-132) dis­missed Chetesh­war Pu­jara for 153, trig­ger­ing a bat­ting col­lapse which saw the tourists lose four wick­ets in a lively first ses­sion af­ter re­sum­ing the day at 399-3.

Pu­jara hit 13 fours in his 265-ball knock to match his pre­vi­ous Test best of 153 against South Africa at Jo­han­nes­burg in 2013.

Hardik Pandya struck a half­cen­tury on de­but as In­dia’s last two wick­ets added a quick­fire 83 runs in 71 balls to lift the side from 517 for 8.

Shami hit Ran­gana Herath for three sixes while Pandya lofted Pradeep for as many sixes in an at­tack­ing bat­ting dis­play by In­dia’s lower or­der bats­men.

Ajinkya Ra­hane (57) looked solid but was sent back to the pavil­ion af­ter Karunaratne dived for a low catch on his right off fast bowler Lahiru Ku­mara.

Ravichan­dran Ash­win and Wrid­dhi­man Saha struck back with a sixth-wicket stand of 59, but In­dia’s counter-at­tack un­rav­elled as Sri Lanka dis­missed the duo in the space of six balls. Ash­win (47) fell short of a well-de­served half-cen­tury while Saha (16) be­came the first vic­tim of skip­per Herath (1-159). – AFP

Cook and West­ley hold firm against South Africa

SOUND bat­ting from veteran Alas­tair Cook and debu­tant Tom West­ley saw Eng­land to 62 for one on the first morn­ing of the third Test against South Africa at The Oval yes­ter­day.

When rain stopped play some 10 min­utes be­fore the sched­uled in­ter­val, Cook was 34 not out and West­ley 24 not out.

The Es­sex duo had put on ex­actly 50 for the sec­ond wicket af­ter South Africa-born opener Keaton Jen­nings was out for a duck.

It was just the sort of ‘cor­rect’ toporder Test-match dis­play Eng­land’s crit­ics, in­clud­ing sev­eral for­mer cap­tains, had called for af­ter the hosts were twice bowled out cheaply in a huge 340-run de­feat at Trent Bridge that saw South Africa level the four­match series at 1-1 last week.

Left-han­der Cook had bat­ted for 82 min­utes, fac­ing 77 balls, in­clud­ing five fours, with West­ley so far hav­ing struck five fours in 47 balls faced dur­ing 87 minute at the crease.

Eng­land had a set­back soon af­ter cap­tain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat de­spite the over­cast con­di­tions and green-tinged pitch that promised to as­sist a Proteas’ pace at­tack bol­stered by the re­turn of Kag­iso Rabada.

The un­der-pres­sure Jen­nings was re­peat­edly beaten out­side off stump by Ver­non Phi­lan­der and it was no sur­prise when he even­tu­ally edged the seamer low to Dean El­gar at third slip for a nine-ball nought.

West­ley, one of three debu­tants in Eng­land’s XI for what is the 100th Test at The Oval, walked out to bat with Eng­land 12 for one.

But he im­me­di­ately looked far more cer­tain of where his off stump was then Jen­nings.

West­ley con­fi­dently left his first two de­liv­er­ies from Phi­lan­der, whose open­ing spell of one wicket for two runs in four overs, in­clud­ing three maid­ens, was tes­ta­ment to ac­cu­racy.


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