By BV Swagath
Stumps on Day 1: Sri Lanka finished the opening day’s play of the Galle Test on a high at 300 for 2 in 90 overs. It was a flat wicketless session for Pakistan as Sri Lanka collected 112 runs in 32 overs.
Kumar Sangakkara went onto bring up his 29th Test century. The former Lankan Captain ended the day’s play with 111* (from 194 balls with 13 fours). Skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who was lucky to survive an lbw scare off Umar Gul, stroked his way to 55* (from 109 balls with 8 fours).
By the end of the day’s play, Pakistan had taken the second new ball but the pair of Sangakkara and Jayawardene watched it through to take SL safely.
Tea on Day 1: Sri Lanka are nicely placed at 188 for 2 in 58 overs at Tea on Day 1 at Galle with Kumar Sangakkara on 56 (from 105 balls with 6 fours). Joining Sangakkara just a couple of minutes before Tea was Captain Mahela Jayawardene, who is yet to open his account.
It was another solid session for the homeside as they lost just the one wicket. Tillakaratne Dilshan was the man to be dismissed in the post lunch session but not before the opener had registered a 13th Test century. Dilshan (101 from 180 balls with 13 fours and a six) fell at the stroke of tea, lbw to Saeed Ajmal when he went back rather than coming forward to a full delivery from round the sticks, which turned in sharply to hit the pad plumb infront of middle.
Dilshan had put up 124 runs for the second wicket with Sangakkara. The Lankans are in control to put up a big total as the pitch hasn’t provided much assistance to the bowlers. Abdur Rehman seems to be the only bowler posing questions so far by getting some nice turn.
Lunch on Day 1: Sri Lanka had a solid opening session in the First Test with a score of 94 for 1 in 27 overs. Tillakaratne Dilshan is batting on a positive looking 56 (from 73 balls with 6 fours and a six) along with Kumar Sangakkara, who is on 12 (from 32 balls with 2 fours).
The only casualty for Sri Lanka in this session was left hander Tharanga Paranavitana, who scored 24 (from 59 balls with 4 fours) in an opening stand of 63 in 15.5 overs. Paravitana threw his wicket away when he danced down the track to loft Saeed Ajmal straight down the ground but only to be left stranded for a stumping after being comprehensively done in by a widish turning off break.
It was a bright start for Sri Lanka as they survived the new ball scare from Umar Gul, who went past the bat in the early overs. Dilshan and Paranavitana had an easy time against the other bowlers.
Toss and Teams: Hosts Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to bat first in the opening Test at Galle. The pitch is expected to be good for batting and it could take turn as the game progresses during the fourth and fifth days. There could be some movement for the seam bowlers initially. There has been a bit of rain in Galle and that could change the conditions for the pace bowlers.
As far as the teams are concerned, Sri Lanka have lost their left-arm pacer Chanaka Welegedera, who woke up with a sore shoulder this morning according to Mahela Jayawardene. His place has been taken by fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep, who had played just the one Test so far in his career.
Pakistan, of course are being led by Mohammad Hafeez as Misbah-ul-Haq serving a one-match ban. The visitors have included left-arm pacer Junaid Khan to open the bowling attack with Umar Gul. The big news from the Pakistani camp is that the 32-year-old Mohammad Ayud gets to make his Test Debut in the place of Misbah.
Pakistan: Taufeeq Umar, Mohammad Hafeez (Captain), Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal (Wicket Keeper), Mohammad Ayub, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan
Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene (Wicket Keeper), Nuwan Kulasekara, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Pradeep