India, Sri Lanka criticise unsporting pitch after drawn Test (Lead)

July 30th, 2010 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Kumar Sangakkara Colombo, July 30 (IANS) The second cricket Test of the three-match series ended in a draw with both the teams India and Sri Lanka blasting the unsporting pitch after the end of the final day’s play at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground here Friday.
Sri Lanka declared their second innings at 129 for three shortly after tea and both the captains Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara decided to end the day with 70 minutes of scheduled play still left. Sri Lanka declared their first innings at 642 for four.

Earlier in the day, Sri lanka bowled out India for 707, some 20 minutes before lunch. Resuming at the overnight score of 669 for nine, India’s last-wicket pair of Ishant Sharma (27) and Pragyan Ojha (18) put on a partnership of 39 runs. Sharma was finally caught in the gully off fast bowler Dilhara Fernando.

India captain Dhoni was unhappy with the pitch and said there was nothing in it for the bowlers.

“This one was very unsporting, there was nothing in it for the bowlers,” said Dhoni.

“If there is nothing for fast bowlers in a wicket, it should at least help the spinners,” said Dhoni. “This one was just for batsmen, while the bowlers got spanked all around the park.

“I am glad we took the lead because when the opposition bats first and puts up more than 600 runs on the board, there is always pressure on the team batting second.

“But we played well and built partnerships, so there are a lot of positives to take away from the Test.”

Sangakkara also concurred, but praised his team’s all-round performance in the match.

“We batted and bowled well, maybe we need to buck up on the fielding,” said the Sri Lankan captain, who was adjudged Man of the match for his 219.

Sri Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss said such dead wickets were unlikely to ever produce positive results in Tests.

“We need pitches which are good for batting and have something for the bowlers too,” said Bayliss.

The two teams now head for the final Test at the P. Sara Oval here from Tuesday, with Sri Lanka enjoying a 1-0 lead in the series after winning the first match in Galle by 10 wickets.

A 2-0 series win will lift Sri Lanka to the top of the official Test rankings and India will remain number one if they win or draw the Test.

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