Rain washes out second session in Galle TestJuly 31st, 2008 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS
By Rex Clementine
Galle, July 31 (IANS) A brief shower during the lunch break on the opening day of the second cricket Test Match between Sri Lanka and India was enough to wash off the entire afternoon session’s play at the Galle International Cricket Stadium here Thursday. After the Indians had gone for lunch at 151, without losing a single wicket, a brief shower for ten minutes, caught the ground staff unawares and the delay in bringing the covers on by the ground staff resulted in the water-logging of some areas of the ground.
The umpires inspected the ground at 3:00 pm local time and announced that there will be another inspection at 3:45 pm.
India’s bid to level the series, after their horrific loss in Colombo, started off on a perfect note as captain Anil Kumble won the toss and elected.
It was Virender Sehwag who consolidated India’s position in the Test with a typical aggressive 91 in 82 balls, posing some serious questions from the Sri Lankan attack that had run through the Indian batting in a one-sided Test in Colombo.
Sehwag was well supported by Gautam Gambhir, who reached his fourth Test fifty.
The start of the Test was in complete contrast to last week’s happenings when no Indian batsman, barring VVS Laxman, made a fifty in the entire game. Here in the very first innings itself the openers had passed 50 that aided the tourists to record the highest score in Galle in the opening session of a Test Match.
Sehwag controlled things from the outset and reached his 15th Test half-century by cutting Muttiah Muralitharan for a boundary off the very first ball of the off-spinner. The Indian opener took only 50 balls to reach his half-century.
Sehwag had also come with a plan to counter Sri Lanka’s mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis and lofted him for a six in his second over. He continued to bat aggressively, forcing Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene to take him off after a spell of six overs in which he went for 37 runs. Muralitharan also was expensive with 32 runs scored off his first spell of six overs.
Sri Lanka had a chance for a breakthrough, but they let off Gambhir on 13 when wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene dived across Kumar Sangakkara when the catch was going to first slip at a comfortable height, off Nuwan Kulasekara’s bowling.
Gambhir was unbeaten on 50 in 92 balls with seven fours while Sehwag had moved to 91 with the help of 14 boundaries and a six.
Tags: afternoon session, Anil Kumble, cricket stadium, cricket test match, galle international, gambhir, ground staff, highest score, horrific loss, indian batsman, international cricket, laxman, lunch break, mahela, mendis, muralitharan, rain washes, second session, sided test, water logging