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

A successful strategy, and an end-of-innings hoax

Plays of the Day from the fourth day of the first Test in Galle

Sidharth Monga in Galle

July 21, 2010

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Virender Sehwag is dejected after being dismissed, Sri Lanka v India, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day, July 21, 2010
Virender Sehwag had some luck but fell prey to seemingly defensive tactics from the hosts © AFP
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Kumar Sangakkara's choices
Sri Lanka were the only team that could win the match at the start of day four, but they didn't begin with their best bowlers. Chanaka Welegedara and Angelo Mathews started the day, Lasith Malinga came on only in the sixth over, and Muttiah Muralitharan didn't turn his arm over in the first hour. The fields for Virender Sehwag were defensive too, belying a team going for the win. In the end, though, it all worked: Welegedara got Sehwag thanks to defensive fields, and Murali came on and completed a five-for. Captain knows best.

Follow-on, or no follow-on?
After Sri Lanka bowled India out 244 short of their score, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavitana, their openers, charged back to the dressing room. Everyone was baffled. How could they not enforce the follow-on with just one-and-a-half days to go? Turned out it was just a hoax, India were asked to follow on. Dilshan, perhaps, was trying to make the Indian batsmen relax prematurely.

Dhoni's word comes true - almost
"That [no-balls] is definitely a big worry because if you get a wicket in Test matches, especially on flat tracks, and that's a no-ball, you have only yourself to blame," MS Dhoni said of his own side's overstepping troubles (36 times) in the tour game. It was an opposition bowler, though, who made the cardinal sin. Lasith Malinga bowled a superb over to Virender Sehwag in the second innings. Three short balls were followed by a full one, which Sehwag ended up playing in front of his body. Malinga took a superb one-handed catch in his follow-through, threw the ball in the air, and was five steps towards celebrating with the slip cordon when he realised he had over-stepped.

Welegedara has Sehwag's number - almost
Welegedara bowled a load of loose balls to Sehwag throughout the day, but became one of the very few bowlers to have taken Sehwag's wicket twice in a day. They were not necessarily the best of deliveries - both short and wide - but Welegedara will be the first one to point to the scoreboard, and say there isn't enough space there to say "short and wide". Malinga, who got the batsman off a no-ball, wouldn't mind either.

Rahul Dravid's feat
This tour hasn't so far been a great one for Rahul Dravid, with dropped catches and the run-out, but he achieved an important landmark during the fourth day's play. When he gently worked Murali around the corner in the 19th over, he became only the second batsman to score 9000 Test runs in the No. 3 position, behind Ricky Ponting. There are only nine batsmen who have scored 9000 or more overall, leave alone from one position.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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