Sunday, 16 December 2012

From strangled to stable to tatters to awkward

Sri Lanka vs Australia - 1st Test - Hobart - December 17th
Day 4 - Tea - Australia 450/5d & 278/9 dec.

Sri Lanka 336 all out. Need 392 to win.

Well well well. After I was denied on watching days two and three due to having to travel back and forth between Montreal and Toronto during the weekend, and finally I'm free on Sunday night to witness the game, Sri Lanka and Australia have decided to balance the match on a knife edge. It's balanced on a knife edge for now, because Sri Lankans haven't started batting yet, and haven't flopped on the chase already and we will have to wait another few minutes to find that out.

Day two was frustrating. Checking the score before I left, I was overjoyed by seeing Micheal Clarke out within the first 15 minutes of the day, but Hussey, Wade, Siddle and unfortunately also helped by Sanga and Samaraweera, pulled me back down to earth and probably stepped on me and trampled me a little as well. A cut on the last over of the day to an off spinner by Samare? What was he thinking? 3 down for 80 odd and a flashing cut to something he could have left alone? And who's idea was it to NOT send a nightwatchman after Mahela got out? There was only 3 overs to go. Very elementary tricks missed. And Hussey probably averages in kilo runs against Sri Lanka now. I'm sure his numbers against Sri Lanka will show something like 11.98k per innings. The man gets so much runs against Sri Lanka that Mohammed Azhrudeen and Virat Kohli might start feeling jealous about an Australian beating the Sri Lankans around the park, more than they have. Virat Kohli probably already is jealous, given that he was the first cricketer in recent history to average in kilo runs against Sri Lanka.
Mike Hussey has surpassed Virat Kohli in the
 "Most runs scored against Sri Lanka in a calendar year" award
Day three was for the most part, was one of the best returns for the Sri Lankan fans from the team, for being loyal. Dilshan and Mathews put their heads down and said "No, we aren't going to give up" and brilliantly held on for the most of the day, before Australia got back in to the act and bowled Sri Lanka out with a lead of 121 and didn't lose a wicket while batting. Dilshan's got his first 100 in Australia, and joined a list of an elite group of Sri Lankans, including Sanath, Aravinda, Gurusinghe, Hashan, Marvan, Mahela and Sanga. Come to think of it, since that first touring team in 89, Samaraweera is the only one who isn't in that list now. And Kapugedara. Kapugedara needs to be in every list. Just. Just to make those lists irrelevant and un-elite. 

On day four, Australia started by belting the Lankan attack to all corners. Memories of 2007/08 came to mind. And then Sri Lanka pegged them back. Got 5 wickets for 49 runs in the middle. Clarke got a quick 50 and left the field clutching his hamstring and Sri Lanka just rolled the tail out setting up the test perfectly. And after being strangled at 80/4 at the end of the 2nd day, then going to a stable position thanks to Dilshan and Mathews, and then thrown in to tatters by Warner and Cowan early on the 4th day, Sri lanka have now pushed Australia to an awkward corner where all three results are possible.

How much I'd give, to see a repeat of Sanga's 192 on this very ground, followed by Samare's inclusion to that list we were talking about before, I don't even know. Sounds like too much to ask, but after seeing Dilshan, Mathews then Herath and Welegadara script this comeback in true grit, I won't throw the possibility of a Sri Lankan win out of the window.

Argh! I hope I won't have to regret dreaming!


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