Sri Lanka v India, 3rd Test, P Sara Oval, 3rd day

Malinga the finger-cruncher

Plays of the day for the third day's play between Sri Lanka and India at the P Sara Oval

Sidharth Monga at the P Sara Oval

August 5, 2010

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Lasith Malinga is thrilled after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar, Sri Lanka v India, 3rd Test, P Sara Oval, 3rd day, August 5, 2010
Lasith Malinga has this knack of striking in the first overs of new spells © Cameraworx/Live Images
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Malinga comes, wicket goes
Lasith Malinga is the man for immediate impact, and it continued today. In his first over of the morning, he got Sachin Tendulkar, and then in the first over of a new spell after lunch, he got MS Dhoni. Admittedly they were not the greatest of shots, but Malinga has had this knack of striking in the first overs of new spells. Maybe use him in one-over spells from now on? Oh wait, he does that in Twenty20s.

Toe-crusher to finger-cruncher
Malinga has found new body parts to go for. Not pleased with just the toes, he kept going after the Indian lower order's fingers today, angling short balls into the ribs and chest. Nitin Patel, India's physio, was on permanent standby in the middle session. First it was Dhoni, who already has an injured middle finger on the right hand. After another hit on the hand, Dhoni looked to pull the next short ball and gloved it through to the keeper. In the next two overs, both Abhimanyu Mithun and Amit Mishra were hit on the fingers, but they weren't quite rattled, as their 64-run eighth-wicket stand would suggest.

Sehwag picks usual suspects
In Galle, Virender Sehwag fell twice to Chanaka Welegedara, at the SSC he gifted his wicket to Suraj Randiv. Today both men were involved in his dismissal. Randiv, in a persistent, testing spell, induced the error as Sehwag looked to break free, and Welegedara took the catch pedalling back at mid-off. And it was Sehwag's favourite score to get out on - 109, like in Nagpur against South Africa, and in Galle.

A case for UDRS
Just after Sehwag finished his 21st Test century, Randiv started a beautiful spell of offspin bowling. Three balls later, Randiv should have had Sehwag plumb lbw, but Rod Tucker thought otherwise. The excessive appealing from the trio of Randiv, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene didn't quite help the umpire, but this was the kind where Sri Lanka could have successfully got the decision reversed.

Later in the day, Ishant Sharma was given out caught off his pads. These are also the kind of decisions that the UDRS seeks to eliminate. Wonder if India took note.

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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