Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day March 11, 2013

Dilshan drops a dolly

Mohammad Isam and Andrew Fidel Fernando
Plays of the day from the fourth day of the Galle Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

The shot
Walking in to bat at 550 for 6, Sohag Gazi had the license to play his shots and get Bangladesh as close to Sri Lanka's score as possible. As they neared the 570-mark, Gazi played an upper cut off Nuwan Kusasekara that bounced once before thudding into the third-man boundary hoardings. He leaned back, let the ball get slightly past his right shoulder before flicking the bat in an upward direction. The slips raised their arms in hope as the ball sped away. With that boundary, it was the first time Bangladesh had taken the lead against Sri Lanka in 13 Tests.

The foreshadow
Mohammad Ashraful had looked like a batsman who didn't have nerves on the third day, but with the impending milestone of becoming the first double-centurion of the country just 11 runs away, it was always going to be hard to follow up on a near-perfect act. As if on cue, Ashraful began the day with a daft shot, trying to reverse-sweep the first ball, which was bowled by Tillakaratne Dilshan from around the wicket. The leg slip caught the ball that went past the bat's edge and probably hit the thigh-pad. Four overs later, Ashraful got out for 190, via another uneasy shot, against Rangana Herath.

The dolly drop
Sri Lanka, like Bangladesh, allowed the long, tortuous spells in the field to affect their catching, but the worst drop in the Test was a return chance that Sri Lanka's best fielder Tillakaratne Dilshan would have expected to catch comatose. Elias Sunny had just arrived at the crease and gently stroked a length ball back to Dilshan at thigh height. Dilshan set himself, but closed his fingers too early, and let the ball fall on the pitch. Thankfully for the bowler and Sri Lanka, he had Sunny caught behind next over.

The debutant's moment
Most Test debutants might recall their first Test as a great moment in their career, but Kithuruwan Vithanage is likely to have fewer fond memories of his first international outing, given his only involvement so far was to spend two full days in the scorching Galle sun. He is still at great risk of not getting a bat in the Test, but at least he will be on the scoreboard, after holding on to a ball at short leg that was deemed to have brushed Sohag Gazi's bat, in his 177th over in the field.

The reprieve
Given Kumar Sangakkara's three last scores against Bangladesh at home read 200*, 222* and 142, the visitors would have been keen to see his back early on a flat pitch, but after also shelling a chance off him in the first innings, Bangladesh did similarly in the second. Gazi got one to bite more than Sangakkara expected in the 13th over, and though the feather edge caused no major deviation to the ball's trajectory, Mushfiqur Rahim shelled the chance, having kept tidily throughout the Test. By stumps, Sangakkara had added 36 chanceless runs to his score, and was on the verge of a half-century.

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  • Dummy4 on March 11, 2013, 22:31 GMT

    To be honest Sri Lankan bowlers were very ordinary and balling the same line and length. It was so boring to see Sri Lankan bowling that didn't have any variation. When Mahela was the Captain, he always one believe variation is the key and we all cricket fans may agree. None of the Sri Lankan bowlers in this game didn't trouble batsmen with variation. Same spot, same line... I am not impressed with balling change and field setting of Angelo Mathew either.come on!!!!

  • Sam on March 11, 2013, 21:26 GMT

    I completely agree with CricketMaan. This type of pitch does a lot of disservice to Test cricket and it is such a pity that the departing Chief curator of pitches Sri Lanka will de leaving the scene with a fizzle. I remember major batsmen like Sangakkara and Mo Yousuf making comments to the effect that certain Test centuries are unsatisfying because of the pitch a few years ago. ICC has to part of the blame. Didn't they censure SLC for preparing a difficult pitch when Australians visited Galle not too long ago? Shane Warne thinks that CA's administrators are muppets. They are not the only ones.

  • manu on March 11, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    As both bd n sl r good at playing spin n sl ll no more have murali to run through d batting so sri lanka shud look to prepare swinging n bouncy tracks while playing against bd as bd dont have any decent swing bowler to trouble them but sl have decent fastmen in kula,eranga n it ll also help their batsmen to improve their game.. so sl board must think abt d strenght n weekness of d opposition before preparing d track...

  • Dummy4 on March 11, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    It is a known fact.. spin vs spin.. I mean less possibility for a result in a flat spin friendly pitch.. At least for result sake make green pitches if two sub-continent teams were playing.. Srilankans are not australia, they were also bought up in spin friendly conditions.. Green top or square turner will make it a good sport overall..

  • Sriram on March 11, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    And people say Test cricket is the pinnacle. Why not play with bowling machines on such pitches? I'd rather watch cricket on a green top or a minefield than such roadies!! No disrespect to the centurions, but really this wont satisfy them than a 50 on bowling pitch!

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