Plays of the day

Unlucky Herath, and proactive groundstaff

Younis battles humidity, Mathews follows Aamer, Herath loses an appeal - all part of the action from the second day in Galle

Sidharth Monga in Galle

July 5, 2009

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Younis Khan looks back at replays, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Galle, 2nd day, July 5, 2009
In Galle, you sweat for every run © AFP
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It's humid, yeah
Just take a look at how Younis Khan ran to realise how sapping the conditions were. Whenever at the non-striker's end, he would take his helmet off, throw the gloves inside, and carry them like a bucket running. Just as well, then that he didn't have to do much running, as he edged Angelo Mathews when he was just 25.

Dance of the debutants
What's with the debutants and this Galle Test? Even Kumar Sangakkara, who made his debut at the same venue, suggested before the match it was a great place play your first Test. After Mohammad Aamer yesterday, Mathews too did a first-over trick, taking out Younis with the first ball he bowled.

Conspiring against Herath?
Apart from the many debutants, Rangana Herath was making a comeback to international cricket, having been flown in hours before the match, from England. And then they made him field for 47 overs before having a bowl. Going by the maxim 'it is never too late to start', Herath produced a bat-pad from Mohammad Yousuf, but Daryl Harper missed it. Such is the lot of an ageing left-arm spinner.

Forewarned and forearmed
The groundsmen in Sri Lanka are one of the more proactive lots. As soon as the sea turns grey, they get hold of the covers, ready to charge onto the field. On the first day of the match, they created a false scare by covering the whole ground up during the tea break. Only to take the covers off after the break. They went for it again today before it really rained. Thanks to their effort no damage was done to the ground and the match could resume as soon as the cloud passed over.

Wicketkeeper's curse
After Kamran Akmal's fumbles yesterday, Tillakaratne Dilshan, keeping wicket so that Sri Lanka could accommodate Angelo Mathews, had a mixed bag as well. Some of his takes were outstanding. They appeared so for two reasons: because he was a split-second late in moving, he would be far from the ball, but his hand-eye coordination meant he made athletic dives. But apart from a few other unclean collections, he did okay and didn't drop any edges.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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