Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Colombo, 3rd day July 14, 2009

On your mark

Surprise choice and an interesting marker

It surprised everyone that Kumar Sangakkara began the day with Thilan Thushara and a non-spinning, part-time offspinner, Tharanga Paranavitana. It is also interesting how Paranavitana marks his run-up. He doesn't take steps, and when he marks his run, his right foot meets left, then left meets right and so on. It helps that he hardly has a run, it's just a couple of paces. To be fair to Sangakkara and Paranavitana, an edge was produced in the latter's second over, but it flew wide of slip.

Thushara v Fawad - watch out for the head

After Fawad Alam escaped a blow on his head by centimetres yesterday, another accurate bouncer from the same bowler found him today. Late to duck, Fawad was in an uncomfortable place again and got hit flush on the helmet. Like yesterday, though, it didn't faze the debutant.

Brain freeze of the day

And the action revolved around Paranavitana. He came back for a second spell, overs before lunch. Slowly he marked his run-up, sedately he took his two paces to bowl, and suddenly he saw Younis Khan, 82, shaping up for a reverse-sweep to the first delivery of the spell. Paranavitana slipped a full toss down what would have been leg side, Younis went through with the shot, dragged it onto his right shoulder, and the ball lobbed to the keeper. Earlier this year, Younis had got to his triple-century against the same opposition with the same shot.

Successful surprise choice of the day

Just after lunch Sangakkara took the new ball, and threw it to - surprise - Rangana Herath. Herath got Mohammad Yousuf lbw, plumb too, off his second delivery with the new ball. In the four Tests that Yousuf has now played against Herath, he has fallen five times to him - four of them blocking the wicket. The choice of the new-ball bowler doesn't sound that strange anymore.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo