Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day

Rain and the tail fail to support hosts

ESPNcricinfo's Plays of the Day from the fourth day of the first Test between Sri Lanka and Australia in Galle

Daniel Brettig in Galle

September 3, 2011

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Shane Watson removes Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day, September 3, 2011
Angelo Mathews failed to receive any support from the Sri Lankan tail © Associated Press
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The rain
The expected overnight showers did not arrive in Galle until 15 minutes into the fourth day's play, as Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews resumed their occupation. The intensity of the coming downpour was indicated by how dark the ground became, and by how quickly the groundstaff emerged to cover the pitch - before the rain actually began falling - in the instinctive manner of the Gabba curator Kevin Mitchell jnr. Strong winds hampered their efforts to get the covers down rapidly, but the same winds would also ensure the rain did not hang about. Play resumed at 11.05am; it was hardly the sort of monsoon Sri Lanka needed.

The pitch mat
All those who wondered why the pitch mat appeared to change places on day three of the Test have proof their eyes were not deceiving them. Turns out there indeed was something off about it. According to the match officials, the first mat was generated by the host broadcaster, the second by Hawk-Eye. Given that the Hawk-Eye mat is used by the umpires for decision-making purposes, the match referee Chris Broad asked the television crew to re-align their own mat, and to refrain from using it in the broadcast if this was not possible.

The tailender
Nothing, it seems, can stop Rangana Herath from playing in a particular vein. When he walked to the wicket after the fall of his spin compatriot Suraj Randiv, Mathews was unbeaten on 84. Even if the match could not be saved, it was hoped that the tail would get Mathews through to his century. However Herath's innings showed about as much inclination to support as it did to survive. He played a shot a ball, providing fleeting entertainment but showing no desire to adjust his game, having been caught in the deep for a duck in the first innings. Herath had managed 12 by the time he miscued Ryan Harris to short midwicket, after an innings that caused as much laughter as celebration among the tourists.

The stats, redux
Ten Sports, the series' host broadcaster, has responded to claims made by the Melbourne-based statistical and graphics company, Alex Loccisano Broadcast Services, surrounding a late exit from its contracted role for the series. While Loccisano alleges he is owed money from a previous series, Ten's vice-president production management, Anil Mohan, denies any arrears exists. He says the graphics firm was changed, from Loccisano to the British company Alston Elliot, after the former requested immediate advance payment for this series and the next, between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Dubai. Not prepared to meet this demand, Mohan says Ten Sports judged the contract to be broken and called in the other firm.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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