Sri Lanka v South Africa, 2nd Test, SSC, 1st day July 24, 2014

Yet another SSC hundred for Jayawardene

128

Sri Lanka 305 for 5 (Jayawardene 140*, Mathews 63) v South Africa
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 04:06
Fernando: Jayawardene held Sri Lanka together

The last time Mahela Jayawardene batted against South Africa in a Test at the SSC, he made 374, the highest score ever made by a right-handed batsman in Test cricket. Today he walked off to applause for an unbeaten 140 as his 34th Test century held together Sri Lanka's innings after Angelo Mathews won the toss on what looks another SSC batting beauty. It was his 11th Test hundred at his home venue - as many as the likes of Saeed Anwar, Ravi Shastri, Nathan Astle and Dean Jones each managed over their entire Test careers - and extended his lead at the top of the list for most Test runs scored at a single venue.

With Jayawardene passing 5000 first-class runs at the SSC, it might seem like it was business as usual, but it was anything but in the morning session. The peculiar sights early on included an elderly man in the stands keeping cool with a tiny portable fan on his chest, the run-machine Kumar Sangakkara getting a golden duck at a ground he thrives on, the South Africa slip cordon putting down two fairly straightforward chances and Sri Lanka motoring along at well above six an over for a big chunk of the first session of the Test.

What was not unexpected in the first session was Dale Steyn again showing he can cause damage on any surface in the world, whether a minefield or a highway. He banged it in in the fifth over had Upul Tharanga fending a catch to the keeper.

Steyn followed that up with another short ball to Sangakkara, who responded with a weak pull straight to Imran Tahir at square leg. Sangakkara walked off practising the pull, much like several England batsmen on the final day at Lord's earlier this week.

With Vernon Philander relentlessly probing around off stump, Sri Lanka looked shaky. Kaushal Silva was dropped at third slip off Philander by Alviro Petersen and Jayawardene's start-stop approach for a single at cover almost resulted in Silva's run-out.

Steyn got only a four-over spell with the new ball though, and once Philander's fruitless first stint was over, Sri Lanka cashed in against the spinners. The SSC is a track where batsmen are advised to give the first session to the bowlers, and then capitalise on the flatness of the surface. Jayawardene and Silva didn't have to wait that long. The boundaries were incessant, as full tosses were swatted to midwicket, full balls were driven away. Fifty-runs came in eight overs, and the early pressure had evaporated.

Silva had a reprieve early on against Duminy, when his edge whizzed past the stationary AB de Villiers at first slip. With minutes to go before lunch, Silva gave de Villiers another chance, and this time his streaky innings was over.

Another quick wicket, and South Africa would have had a crack at Sri Lanka's inexperienced lower-middle order. With Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne, two youngsters in whom Sri Lanka had placed immense amount of faith, dropped, the batsmen to follow were Kithuruwan Vithanage and debutant Niroshan Dickwella. That breakthrough didn't arrive though, as Jayawardene and the in-form Angelo Mathews put on a century stand.

They took no risks, but still scored at a brisk pace, latching on to the regular bad ball. The closest South Africa came to a wicket in the second session was when an off-balance de Villiers couldn't fire in a direct hit just before drinks. The session ended with Jayawardene top-edging a boundary to fine leg to bring up his hundred, one of the rare false strokes in a typically polished innings, where he once again demonstrated the value of timing, touch and placement. A nonchalant upper cut over the slips off Morne Morkel was among the highlights of his innings.

Mathews picked up most of his runs with drives and nudges to the leg side, though he also pounced on the many short and wide deliveries on offer, crashing them past point. With the attack fading, Mathews went for one more cut when Duminy dropped short, only to edge through to the keeper. Once again the part-time offspinner had delivered an unexpected breakthrough for South Africa.

Sri Lanka have picked three specialists spinners, clearly expecting plenty of turn as the match progresses, but South Africa's lone specialist spinner had another rough outing. The number of poor deliveries Tahir bowled - either half-trackers or loopy full tosses - were too many to be excused as the usual difficulty legspinners have in controlling the ball. South Africa need him to lift his game in the second innings, when the surface will have more in it for him.

It was the quicks who caused trouble towards the end of the day, with Vithanage stuttering against a short-ball barrage from Steyn before being undone by a bouncer from Morne Morkel. Dickwella faced a testing time before stumps, but he survived with the help of the DRS.

Sri Lanka's batsmen still have work to do on the second day, but who better to bank on at the SSC than Jayawardene?

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • TheKeeper on July 24, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    The best part about this Mahela innings is that when he walked out to bat the score was 16/2. Cometh the hour cometh the man - Mahela always stands up at the crucial moments when his team/country needs him most. He is, without any shadow of a doubt, the most pleasing batsman to watch at the crease. Well done Mahela!

  • Cricsnake on July 25, 2014, 11:02 GMT

    Well done MJ for a brilliant knock. A hundred in need is a hundred indeed. The way he batted is really a treat to eye. SSC belongs to MJ. However I'm not happy about SL's team selection. Only one fast bowler with 3 specialist spinners? That would work in 5th day but not very impressive for the first innings. I think we should have included Dammika Prasad instead of Mendis. SA is no longer feared by spin as before. In contrast see how Lakmal bowled today, he did very well on such a spin friendly track. Its all about line & length like Vaas, McGrath did. SL spinners got the support of lakmal to put pressure on SA. We need to limit SA below 300 & need quick & decent score in 2nd innings now.

  • Cricsnake on July 25, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    In Test cricket Pakistan was the most promising team outside the subcontinent in the past as they had plenty of quality pacers. They won a match in their first tour in 1954 in Enland whereas India took around 39 years. However India also did well since 1970's. SL's first tour to England came in 1984 at Lords and we managed to draw it with honours. SL 491/7 declared against a pace attack led by Ian Botham. Lankan fastmen limited Eng for 370 & scored 294/7 in 2nd innings. SL had only one match for decades when touring. SL's wins in 1995 (NZ) & 1998 (Eng) were remarkable. Still SL having very less nr of matches compared to other top 6 teams. India did extremely well since 2000's when Ganguly lead them. In fast pitches they did better than other SC teams. India had hard time during last couple of years but now they seems very promising. SL still in a rebuilding phase as Sanga & MJ gonna retire soon.

  • Cricsnake on July 25, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    @vkias Though SL win WC in 1996 & 2014 in subcontinent you should not forget our achievements outside SC too. Let me remind. In 2003 WC Sri Lanka played brilliantly in South Africa & reached semi-finals beating SA at their Home. SL lost to MIGHTY Aussies in semis but we were able to limit so much powerful Aussie team for 212/7 in 50 overs. Isn't that good enough? Even India lost to Aussies in finals. In 2007 ODI WC in WI, SL reached finals. In 2009 T20 WC in England SL reached finals. Even in SC, SL lost to India in 2011 WC final. However in ODI's & T20's SL did perfectly well outside SC against top teams. I accept that in Tests we are quite behind but the issue is we are not having enough number of tours. However I have no arguments about India's achievements as they Won all their wins in 1983 & 2007 in England & SA. In addition they reached semis in 2003 in SA.

  • vkumar_086 on July 25, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    @Gayan Buddika...but SL did not win any major ICC tournament outside subcontinent...whereas India won all 3 ICC trophies at least once outside the subcontinent

  • on July 25, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    jj0685. I agree SL don't play many Tests abroad but thats why average is a fair metric to guage performance. When you speak of average it doesnt matter if you play 2 Tests or 5 Tests. Mahela's average is under 35 and under 30 in most countries outside the subcontinent. In contrast look at Sangakara's average having played in the same games. Its not good enough for someone batting in the middle order. Greatness is not measured by style. I respect your opinion. I just think greatness should have a higher standard of measurement. I respect, admire and enjoy Mahela's batting and achievements.

  • on July 25, 2014, 6:17 GMT

    rk_ks Hey thing comes to my mind about India. Out of last 10 world cups during the last two decades, India have played only 4 finals & won 2. Also played a semi final. Rest of the world cups hardly reached the second round. Where Sri Lanka during the same time played 6 finals & won 2. Also played 2 semi finals. If you talk about stats it shows who are the better team on global stage.

  • on July 25, 2014, 6:11 GMT

    I remember the excitement amongst Sri Lankan fans when this Series was announced but this Match is anything but exciting. This pitch is dead. Dickwella is reverse sweeping Tahirs balls coming off the rough. What is strange for me is how deserted the stadium is...where are the fans of Test cricket? where are the Mahela fans? The real fan should drop everything to be at the Stadium to savour Mahela's last innings.

  • katch47 on July 25, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    I wonder why Mahela not included in the cricinfo modern masters list

  • WASHJ-Sydney on July 25, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    What was also pleasing for SL cricket fans apart from that classy ton from maestro Mahela is selectors' boldness to have faith in talented youngsters. It was due to the wisdom and foresight of past SL selectors the cricket world was fortunate to witness blossoming of the likes of Aravinda, Rantunga & Murali. These SL cricket greats were thrust into the deep end of hostile international cricket if not while still school boys then soon after leaving school. Reciprocating the trust placed by selectors young Aravindas and Muralis dished out performances, from the word go, that justified their national duty call up. Sadly in recent times SL selectors seemed reluctant to infuse real young blood into SL cricket arena. That makes advent of Vithanage and Dickwella to test cricket all that heartening to witness. I sincerely hope that like the past SL greats they honor selectors' trust and trully blossom for Lanka. Virtuoso Mahela at other end was the best chance they had to get the start right.

  • TheKeeper on July 24, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    The best part about this Mahela innings is that when he walked out to bat the score was 16/2. Cometh the hour cometh the man - Mahela always stands up at the crucial moments when his team/country needs him most. He is, without any shadow of a doubt, the most pleasing batsman to watch at the crease. Well done Mahela!

  • Cricsnake on July 25, 2014, 11:02 GMT

    Well done MJ for a brilliant knock. A hundred in need is a hundred indeed. The way he batted is really a treat to eye. SSC belongs to MJ. However I'm not happy about SL's team selection. Only one fast bowler with 3 specialist spinners? That would work in 5th day but not very impressive for the first innings. I think we should have included Dammika Prasad instead of Mendis. SA is no longer feared by spin as before. In contrast see how Lakmal bowled today, he did very well on such a spin friendly track. Its all about line & length like Vaas, McGrath did. SL spinners got the support of lakmal to put pressure on SA. We need to limit SA below 300 & need quick & decent score in 2nd innings now.

  • Cricsnake on July 25, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    In Test cricket Pakistan was the most promising team outside the subcontinent in the past as they had plenty of quality pacers. They won a match in their first tour in 1954 in Enland whereas India took around 39 years. However India also did well since 1970's. SL's first tour to England came in 1984 at Lords and we managed to draw it with honours. SL 491/7 declared against a pace attack led by Ian Botham. Lankan fastmen limited Eng for 370 & scored 294/7 in 2nd innings. SL had only one match for decades when touring. SL's wins in 1995 (NZ) & 1998 (Eng) were remarkable. Still SL having very less nr of matches compared to other top 6 teams. India did extremely well since 2000's when Ganguly lead them. In fast pitches they did better than other SC teams. India had hard time during last couple of years but now they seems very promising. SL still in a rebuilding phase as Sanga & MJ gonna retire soon.

  • Cricsnake on July 25, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    @vkias Though SL win WC in 1996 & 2014 in subcontinent you should not forget our achievements outside SC too. Let me remind. In 2003 WC Sri Lanka played brilliantly in South Africa & reached semi-finals beating SA at their Home. SL lost to MIGHTY Aussies in semis but we were able to limit so much powerful Aussie team for 212/7 in 50 overs. Isn't that good enough? Even India lost to Aussies in finals. In 2007 ODI WC in WI, SL reached finals. In 2009 T20 WC in England SL reached finals. Even in SC, SL lost to India in 2011 WC final. However in ODI's & T20's SL did perfectly well outside SC against top teams. I accept that in Tests we are quite behind but the issue is we are not having enough number of tours. However I have no arguments about India's achievements as they Won all their wins in 1983 & 2007 in England & SA. In addition they reached semis in 2003 in SA.

  • vkumar_086 on July 25, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    @Gayan Buddika...but SL did not win any major ICC tournament outside subcontinent...whereas India won all 3 ICC trophies at least once outside the subcontinent

  • on July 25, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    jj0685. I agree SL don't play many Tests abroad but thats why average is a fair metric to guage performance. When you speak of average it doesnt matter if you play 2 Tests or 5 Tests. Mahela's average is under 35 and under 30 in most countries outside the subcontinent. In contrast look at Sangakara's average having played in the same games. Its not good enough for someone batting in the middle order. Greatness is not measured by style. I respect your opinion. I just think greatness should have a higher standard of measurement. I respect, admire and enjoy Mahela's batting and achievements.

  • on July 25, 2014, 6:17 GMT

    rk_ks Hey thing comes to my mind about India. Out of last 10 world cups during the last two decades, India have played only 4 finals & won 2. Also played a semi final. Rest of the world cups hardly reached the second round. Where Sri Lanka during the same time played 6 finals & won 2. Also played 2 semi finals. If you talk about stats it shows who are the better team on global stage.

  • on July 25, 2014, 6:11 GMT

    I remember the excitement amongst Sri Lankan fans when this Series was announced but this Match is anything but exciting. This pitch is dead. Dickwella is reverse sweeping Tahirs balls coming off the rough. What is strange for me is how deserted the stadium is...where are the fans of Test cricket? where are the Mahela fans? The real fan should drop everything to be at the Stadium to savour Mahela's last innings.

  • katch47 on July 25, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    I wonder why Mahela not included in the cricinfo modern masters list

  • WASHJ-Sydney on July 25, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    What was also pleasing for SL cricket fans apart from that classy ton from maestro Mahela is selectors' boldness to have faith in talented youngsters. It was due to the wisdom and foresight of past SL selectors the cricket world was fortunate to witness blossoming of the likes of Aravinda, Rantunga & Murali. These SL cricket greats were thrust into the deep end of hostile international cricket if not while still school boys then soon after leaving school. Reciprocating the trust placed by selectors young Aravindas and Muralis dished out performances, from the word go, that justified their national duty call up. Sadly in recent times SL selectors seemed reluctant to infuse real young blood into SL cricket arena. That makes advent of Vithanage and Dickwella to test cricket all that heartening to witness. I sincerely hope that like the past SL greats they honor selectors' trust and trully blossom for Lanka. Virtuoso Mahela at other end was the best chance they had to get the start right.

  • jj0685 on July 25, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    @ Francis Mel, I don't understand why you don't want to give credit to Mahela. As an Aussie I love to watch him bat, he is the most stylist batsman in the world today. I am sure if he had more opportunities to play outside the sub continent his average would be around 50 outside the subcontinent. Sri Lanka don't get the opportunities say India get, for example SL got 2 tests in England in early Summer, while India gets 5 tests in Summer. I would put Mahela in the same class as Ponting,Lara,Sanga & SRT.

  • dunger.bob on July 25, 2014, 3:26 GMT

    305/5 seems pretty much even-steven to me. Maybe slightly in favour of the batting side because those runs are in the bank. Great knock from Mahela - in fact, it was the quintessential Test knock in my view. The side was in trouble when he came to the wicket but he toughed it out and surfed the wave right onto the beach. .. Mathews continues to impress. He's close to being the no. 1 middle order player in the world at the moment. He just doesn't seem to miss out with the bat these days. Great stuff from him as well.

    Steyn, what can you say. One of the best of all time might cover it. Anyway, still 5 wickets to go. Can SL make 500 or so?

  • CheerforUnderdogs on July 25, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    @RaghuProdhutoori: If SA bats big in first innings which is more likely to happen, We can have a scenario that SL might be batting to save this test on day 5.

  • Sri_Lankan_Cricket_Fan on July 25, 2014, 2:15 GMT

    And people were commenting to drop Mahela Jayawardena in the 2nd Test.

  • RaghuProdhutoori on July 25, 2014, 0:53 GMT

    Superb innings by Mahela and this is Srilanka's test for sure...facing three srilankan spinners in fourth innings will be a uphill task for SA

  • Kinguru007. on July 25, 2014, 0:49 GMT

    Mahela looks like heading for another double hundred. But the question is how well the tail wag? Anything over 450 put S.L in command. Pitch is gona spin more after day 2. So more runs is more better. 1st session of day 2 will say it all. Lets hope no rain forecast tomorrow.

  • Chris_P on July 25, 2014, 0:49 GMT

    @Proudly_SA.47. Although I am an Aussie, I still see SA as #1 as we still got a bit to do, but let me point out something in one of your posts.. The rankings currently are applied he same way. The extended run in the past of both West Indies & Australia is measured exactly as they are now.... And of course.. rankings are only a measure of performances in the past, they do not mean teams automatically should win their match-up due to being ranked higher. I see the most inane posts regarding that. South Africa is still in rebuild stage given Smith's & Kallis departure, & Steyn hasn't got that long to go, but appear to be far better position that England in their restructuring. Sri Lanka also will be facing some tough questions in the coming few years. This is and has always been the case and it is why we enjoy this great game.

  • on July 25, 2014, 0:28 GMT

    A little humble man , with tall record and grace , who practise humility and gives credit of his accomplishents to others but his ego .

  • KingPower on July 24, 2014, 22:39 GMT

    Fantastic Performance Sri Lanka....never say die!

  • Postmortem on July 24, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    Sanjaya Perera is correct. Sri Lanka Cricket must make this happen, he really deserve this. When Presidents strive through public fund, the hardworkers deserve it better.

  • jackthelad on July 24, 2014, 21:21 GMT

    Jayawardene has class and he has the concentration of the Test player - too few batsmen have it nowadays; I seem to remember comments - from not so very long ago (yesterday, was it?) that he should step down and let youngsters, who are SL's future, come through ... it's hard to think of one who is fit to lace Mahela's boots, unfortunately. Given his measured approach, Mahela is good for another two or three years at Test level, and SL will be fortunate if he condescends to stay with them. A master.

  • bestofluckindia on July 24, 2014, 21:13 GMT

    Looks like srilanka is going to fall below west-indies and new zealand once the likes Mahela and sanga say sayonara to tests and one days. Australia recovered in 2 years when gilly, warne, hayden, mcgrath quit. England still recovering from trott, KP, collingwood, Prior. India still recovering after SRT, Dravid, VVS. Srilanka have a huge job on their hands. Would be unjust to lose the series @ home specially for Mahela. What a player, great team man and tactician. Still remember the World cup final 2011. What a hundred ! ----- Team India Fan

  • Gravitational_Waves on July 24, 2014, 20:56 GMT

    I see some fans are comparing Kallis and Mahela, remember you can never compare two players just based on averages. Cricket is a team game, what's important is how you contributed to your team. They both are great cricketers. Do not try to compare two players, just enjoy their cricket.

  • TexanBlue on July 24, 2014, 19:32 GMT

    Watch out Mahela's fans, he'll score a big double ton tomorrow given the tail gives him the needed support. There will be a huge hole in the middle order and extra burden on Sanga once Mahela retires. I don't see any capable batsmen in the reserves. Wishing him all the very best from Pakistan.

  • ThilankaK on July 24, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    Highest score by a right hand batsman !!! 374 vs SA !! 3rd in all time list !!!

  • Lassie.Perera on July 24, 2014, 19:08 GMT

    When Mahela get some runs at the SSC there are few people who wants to criticize him strait away. Now he has the record of most Test runs scored at a single venue. This is an unique feat and I can't understand that why some people can not digest this achievement. I remembered that what S Gavascar said about him. He said ''I can watch Mahela bats all day long as its a pleasure to watch him play''. Well done Mahela.

  • krishna_bangalore on July 24, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    Its job half done for Srilanka and Mahela, need at least 500 to put pressure on formidable SA batting lineup. Looking forward to a hard fought test match. Captaincy is really bringing the best out of Mathews. It is really surprising how different players react to captaincy. Mathews who was an average batsman before is batting like a champion now and Cook is fighting for his place. Cricket is certainly a game of glorious uncertainties.

  • slazenger on July 24, 2014, 18:27 GMT

    Stop comparing and enjoy the game of cricket because after the 2015 World cup we will not see these greats playing anymore.

  • Charindra on July 24, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    If I remember correctly the last time Mahela faced SA at the SSC he came to the crease at 14 for 2 and went on to score that 374.

  • SLMaster on July 24, 2014, 17:45 GMT

    There is battle going on where Mahela stands with rest of the greats. He is a great batsman no doubt...however, he is little below the greats like Sanga.

    The item that throw many away is that when Mahela get set, his batting/stroke style is better than many of the greats. It is like Kallis record is better... but Mahela's play is better in viewers' eyes...

  • CM_Nikhil on July 24, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    Mahela never looked like a "out of form player" during this innings. He came to bat under a tough situation,under pressure against fire balls from styne and co. But he batted with authority and confidence, scoring with a superb strike rate.What a season Mathews is having,contributing well with both bat and ball, its real joy to watch such a captain who leads from the front. Keep going team Sri lankan , the world is watching !!

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    SSC should be renamed as MJCC

  • MeTalHeD69 on July 24, 2014, 16:53 GMT

    @ Shenal Braedon Fernando I am a SA fan and I agree with you. If SA knuckled down when it was crunch time instead of falling apart, they'd dominate world cricket. This means the SA senior players should not just score tons of runs when there is no pressure on them. For example, whenever SA bats first they do well and can win a game. They struggle when chasing and in the shorter formats, struggle when the pressure is on. In tests they are more determined and can fight back from a losing position. The more time they have, the easier it gets because they have time to think and plan. This often leads to a conservative game plan. Perhaps with Amla as captain, they won't be too conservative and will steam roll the opposition even when the pressure is on.

  • rk_ks on July 24, 2014, 16:52 GMT

    @VinodGupte: Well said brother.

  • rk_ks on July 24, 2014, 16:50 GMT

    @Herath-UK:If you talk about records. Did Mahela score 100 centuries. Did his average is close to Kallis. One big thing which comes to mind about SL. Losing 4 worldcup finals out of 5.

  • slazenger on July 24, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    Some people believe in stats and some doesn't but everybody has to agree at some point on numbers. Mahela is behind Kallis/Dravid/Ponting/Kumar on number of runs scored in tests. But he was a valuable player and a match winner for SL.

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:35 GMT

    mahela n kallis have no comparison bcz kallis is far better in tests but not in Odis bcz sa can't perform in big matches in odis

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:29 GMT

    mahela is no where equal to kallis just look at kallis avg in odi and test. also he was fantastic bowler. every body should follow his fitness secret. s mahela was big ambassador for SL cricket. great to get 34th ton in test cricket

  • LAKINGSFAN on July 24, 2014, 16:21 GMT

    @TheKeeper: //The best part about this Mahela innings is that when he walked out to bat the score was 16/2. Cometh the hour cometh the man// Really, what he was doing at Galle last week?

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    SL must appoint mj as mentor in future that would help youngsters

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    mahela u r getting a good send off. pls convert this into double ton

  • St.John on July 24, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    Go Vikes...I'm not taking anything away from Jayawardene's sublime innings but the Problem is that he does stay 'out of touch ' for very long periods! In-between Sri Lanka looses/draws many matches and his inconsistency is a contributing factor. MJ is selected by default which is unfair for other young batsmen waiting for a chance to represent SL.

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    l think this ground is specially made for mj and sanga. no pair Will break that 600+ PS bw sanga and mj. really unbelievable. sa dropped Silva catch. if that catch was taken means story would have been change. I think that dropped catch has made the difference

  • Tendulkardrives on July 24, 2014, 15:47 GMT

    congratz mahela for ur excellent knock. mahela is a true legend of the sport,he always perform when the chips are down, a big match player & all time great.from indian fan

  • slazenger on July 24, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    Again we can see SL are struggling when the seniors are not performing very well. The issue with SL team is even the youngsters are performing to the expectations when their given with opportunity. Thirimanne, Chandimal and even with Kithuruwan I am not sure whether he will live up to SL expectations. 305/5 and couple of early wickets in the 2nd day again SL are struggling.

  • slazenger on July 24, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    SA is a very good team but very under rated as well when compared to IND,Aussie or England.

  • on July 24, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    @ Proudly_SA.47, I actually believe on paper SA has been the best team in the world since 2006 by a far margin..No team has even come close..But in my book, to be the best you gotta win when it matters..And SA fr sme reason hv always choked in the big tournaments. I believe after the disbanding of the core of the Australian team in 2006..The hasn't been a proper leader of the pack..Jus inform teams dominating in patches.But SA has cme pretty close to bein best @Prabhash1985 , Dude like you I love Mahela but to say Kallis doesn't rate as well as mahela is stupid..Both of them are legends of the modern game and I think it's unfair to rate either over the other..

  • on July 24, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    When Mahela scored 242 , I was there at the SSC. When He scired 374 , I was there. Today I was watching he scored his 140 no. I will be there tomorrow to see he gets his double ton !. Do not disappoint me and all the Sri Lankan fans, Mahela. I wish you all the luck you need to get to your 200 + score. Good luck Mahela !.

  • FlatTrakBully on July 24, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    Great innings from Mahela. Hope Sanga will be back to his best. They are truly legends.

  • YsaKaru on July 24, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    vithanage again and again showing his poor technique... Dikwella looks much better player than vithanage.....

  • ramz30380 on July 24, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    As much as I love the ton scored by Mahela and as much I adore the young man in Angelo Mathews, I feel sorry to say tht there seems to be nothing more in the SL batting cupboard! Take away the veterans, SL will have only Mathews as the stand out player! Wht happened to the team of the old, when there were ppl time and again standing up for the team.

    When Sanga & Mahela retire along with Dilshan, Herath, Malinga - wht will be there? SLC please wake-up and get ur domestic structure straight! I was happy to see the likes of Chandimal & Thirumanne but they have flopped in recent times.

    Why isnt the SLC giving them more chances - they are good, at times they cud flop but class is der, I feel sorry, tht the selectors are not backing these players!

  • on July 24, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    Those who were screaming for Mahela's removal from the team: Mahela will never stay 'out of touch' for long.

  • on July 24, 2014, 14:31 GMT

    Prabhash85. Future generations could make that mistake about Flintoff because they may not have seen him play or be aware of his Ashes heroics but we have seen all of Mahela's career and we still feel he cannot be called a 'great' or 'legend'.

  • SurlyCynic on July 24, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    Where are all those defenders of Tahir from the preview comments? We called for Piedt to come in as he couldn't do any worse and would at least gain experience for the future and improve the batting and fielding... instead Tahir played again. And couldn't get through a single over without at least one terrible delivery. Nightmare.

    This must be his last test, let him focus on the short forms.

  • on July 24, 2014, 14:27 GMT

    @Prabhas85. The probability of Mahela scoring a 100 is 0.75 conditional only to the match happening at SSC. There you go mate...analysis using conditional probability.

  • BellCurve on July 24, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    BTW to be fair, if you do the same to Kallis - i.e. strip out Zim, Ban and his favourite home vanue (Cape Town) then what remains is 10,166 runs at and average of 50.07. That is about 18% better than Mahela - which is very significant.

  • SLMaster on July 24, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    SSC pitch is different from now. Can produce results when worked hard. It is not necessarily a flat-flat track. Anyway, good knock from Mahela to boost confidence. One need one match to turn things around...

  • Prabhash1985 on July 24, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    From the espncricinfo website itself about Andew Flintoff, for example, note the last sentence in the first para. - "What stats don't show is his presence and the uplifting effect that Flintoff at his finest had on his team mates and crowds " - I think if anyone who watched Freddy playing, knows what he meant to English cricket. Similarly, Mahela gave us everything to Sri Lankan cricket, the best out of all was the world cup finals against India, which gave any chance though we couldn't.

    "Future generations might look at Andrew Flintoff's career figures and wonder what all the fuss was about. In Tests he averaged 31 with bat, and 32 with ball. For all the talk of fearsome fast bowling, only three five-fors featured among his 226 wickets. His one-day figures were good without being outstanding, and his Lancashire ones nothing special. But what the stats don't show is his presence, and the uplifting effect that Flintoff at his finest had on his team-mates, and crowds." From espncricinfo

  • ForeverProteas49 on July 24, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    @Suresh, What was said this morning before this test began, This ground is known for draws, We all know where this test is going, You will bat and bat and bat and we will bat and bat and bat, Lets see if there will even be a second innings, Then again it is cricket, Anything can happen at any given moment

  • Proudly_SA.47 on July 24, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    Yes South Africa is the current best team in the world, but being the best doesn't mean you can't be beaten or no one can score a hundred or take a 5-er against you. So I really don't get your point sir. I don't know why some people find it so hard to just acknowledge that SA is and has been the best test team for the last 2-3years. If this team were Indian they would be considered cricketing gods and if they were English they would be "the best ever" but somehow for some reason to some they just will never do enough. They have proven it so many times that they deserve to be at the top. They have done consistently well for the last 3years, have won/drawn games that they should have lost, but some still say that they don't possess the fighting ability. Are you kidding me? They have one slump against an inform team (Australia), didn't do too bad in that series, but than suddenly everyone forgets all the good work this team has done over the years and the inform team is suddenly considered the best by some after just one series!! I think people need to stop comparing this SA team with great teams of the past like Aus and Windies. It would be impossible for SA to stay at no.1 for 10yrs or even 5. Firstly the ranking system has changed since the days of Aus, Secondly, politics would not allow it (top 3) and lastly most of the other nations are relatively competitive now especially at home and we all know the top 3 play most of their cricket in their own background and they play the most cricket, SA gets 3 Test series' atmost, but considering all that they have still remained at the top for 2 years. Go figure.

  • cricket_slcsupport on July 24, 2014, 13:15 GMT

    Mahela is a cricketer with immense talent, In my opinion he could have achieved more ! Well played today. Doesn't matter SL or other parts of the world, when it mattered the most he delivered with the Bat ! Could have continued playing Test match for a couple of years ! SL cricket does not have anyone at the moment to replace him.

  • Prabhash1985 on July 24, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    Jayawardhena is the best I have ever seen after Aravinda. Stats say nothing perfectly. If you want to explain using statistics as a must, don't just take school kid's level parameters such as average, max, min. You have to do enough mathematics, take conditional probabilities and analyse it. I don't see anyone anywhere closer to that. It's silly to judge such a great man from statistics. It's simply showing that someone is not ready to appreciate a great man. Jayawardhena is a very selfless character. You can see so many great qualities in him. Why are you so materialistic to see the great man in a humanly perspective? For me, Kallis is no where closer to Mahela. Mahela is truly a legend, whether you believe it or not.

  • Sameeratennakoon on July 24, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    Guys let's enjoy the cricket not averages and stats. Every player from each countries are valuable for their country. So Mahela is a great player for SL as much as Kallis for SA. Let's enjoy the good cricket rather than stats and averages. And Mahela s ton shows us how important a players' mindset is. He got a good reputation at SSC and there he goes.

  • on July 24, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    SureshMurugaser. Only if he had managed to score a 100 in South Africa. His average there is below 30.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 24, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    In a way, I am happy that Tahir flopped again today, just like I said he would. It only makes the case for playing Dane Piedt even stronger. Tahir is a fantastic ODI and T20 player but he doesn't have the ability to keep the runs tight and create pressure. For example when SA bats, Sri Lanka will use their 3 spinners to strangle the opposition.

  • on July 24, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    If Sanga misses, Mahela hits. Such a perfect combination. SL are going to miss Mahela. Will someone convince Mahela to play till 2016, by when both Chandimal, poor guy he is being tossed around, and Vithange will have settled down. Thirumanne will continue to haunt with his inconsistent batting. So don't know if he will last till 2016.. Mahela please stay on for cricket's sake.

  • Greatest_Game on July 24, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    @ Herath-UK. Many, like me, are flu of praise for Mahela's innings today, & for his achievements over his career. Today he carried the weight of the Sri Lankan team, an enormous feat in the heat & humidity, cramping at the end of the day but still focused on hi job. Without him, it seems the SL innings would not have lated 3 sessions.

    That said, I feel his efforts are diminished when he is compared to other players, & claims of one being greater than the other are made. His career is not honored when we reduce it to a squabble, filled with a few stats about this or that. His record should be celebrated, for that is right & good, but an argument is no celebration.

    Think of it this way: if today you had the chance to greet Mahela & congratulate him on his career, would you say "tell me Mahela, who is better, you or Kallis?" I very much doubt he would enjoy the question, & that you would enjoy his answer.

    His achievements are his, and stand alone. They require no comparison to anyone.

  • on July 24, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    You know, all this talk about Mahela being an average player and only scoring at the SSC is all rubbish in my view. Finally, we are talking about a Test 100 scored against supposedly the best Test team in the world. Enough said!!

  • Tamimfan on July 24, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    jayawardene is a good batsman but its silly to say he is better than kaliis. jayawardene averages 31 in australia.. 27 in south africa.. 35 in england.. 27 in new zealand.. jayawardene will retire as a good entertainer not as all-time legend like kallis..

  • on July 24, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    @Herath-UK - I think you are missing the point. Mahela is a good batsman but surely cannot be compared to Kallis and certainly not to Bradman. They scored in games and in various conditions all over the world. If you are a fan of his, enjoy his achievement today. Don't compare him to batsmen that he cannot emulate.

  • on July 24, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    HerarthUK. Mahela d√łesnt come anywhere close to Kallis the batsmen in terms of class or achievements. Leave aside Kallis the bowler. Even Sehwag can boast of better records than Mahela, just to mention three triple centuries and 190 odd in Australia in 3 sessions. We dont even include Sehwag in the same breath as Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting and Kallis who are in a class of their own and very exclusive club. Please lets not insult the achievements of these great players. Mahela has done well for himself by Sri Lankan standards and wish him a happy and successful retirement.

  • JohannK on July 24, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    Forget about who is great of the moment. Let's go to the other side of great. Imran Tahir. How SA will miss a spinner with control! Dane Piedt's selection is now overdue. Gut feel should have guided the selectors to switch after the first test where Tahir was totally ineffective in a spinner's paradise. SA quicks are even more menacing when no one is leaking runs at the other end. If he was taking wickets, one could accept runs being scored. Now SA are effectively playing with 10 men and need to take 20 wickets.

    It is also time to drop Alviro P. His dropped catch was critical. SL would have been 3 down, with the two experienced players in within the first hour of the day, Mathews facing the new ball, etc. SL might have been all out by the close if this was the case. Amla should open with Elgar, then Faf, DeV, Stiaan v Zyl, De Kock and the rest. That is now the strongest team we have.

  • on July 24, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    @Herath-Uk. The partnership of 670 was at SSC. A complete highway, not a huge achievement. Stop embarrassing yourself.

  • KosalaDeSilva on July 24, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    Well played Mahiya, I think for us Sri Lankans what more important is how we enjoy our cricket. Not worrying about other teams, players. Just enjoying the beauty of his batting . The gracefulness with classy touch of batting, always a treat to watch. we will miss you, Mahiya...

  • VinodGupte on July 24, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    When the Lankan captain exerts his authority and says "My way or the highway", MJ is the only player who says "Highway fo sho!".

  • on July 24, 2014, 12:31 GMT

    Well said Pubudu. Some of these Indian fans commenting here are not actual cricket fans. They just cannot bear SL doing well. Don't waste time in these people. Just acknowledge the SL brand of cricket. Well played Mahela!! Niroshan looks solid too. Hope he'll play well tomorrow. Angelo did well as always and Kaushal should make his starts count. Go lions!!

  • yohandf on July 24, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    Guys its easy to hate . but these haters are nothing in front of a legend like Mahela . He had scored 695 runs and 7 test matches this year @ 60 prior to this match . So he does not need SSC to score . Of course he is a champion in his home ground which no one can argue of . I m really pleased to see another Mahela ton with silky shots . hope to see more from him tomorrow .

  • Tamimfan on July 24, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    icc should do something about these pitches .. pitches like these are like highways ( i doubt sri lankan highways are as flat as this pitch) and killing test cricket..

  • Herath-UK on July 24, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    Has Kallis made any records as such; two come to mind for Mahela ,highest score of 374 as a right hander & highest Test partnership of over 670!

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on July 24, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    @HERATH-UK Mahela Jayawardene Test stats:

    At Galle and SSC: 5096 runs at 76.05, 18 hundreds

    Elsewhere: 6511 runs at 39.70, 16 hundreds 84 Retweets 38 favorites Collapse

  • Mervo on July 24, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    SL will miss Jayawardene. He will leave a huge hole in their ability to score runs. Once the new ball lost its shine, the wicket showed its low slow characteristics

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on July 24, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    @HERATH-UK Mahela Jayawardene Test stats:

    At Galle and SSC: 5096 runs at 76.05, 18 hundreds

    Elsewhere: 6511 runs at 39.70, 16 hundreds

  • on July 24, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    @HerathUK. If you really feel obligated to praise SL batsmen then atleast talk about Sanga, who even though has scored most of his tons in the subcontinent, has a good average on what is universally considered at difficult countries to Tour. And there is Aravinda who was feared for his counter attacking play. Mahela scared nobody. Seriously.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 24, 2014, 10:57 GMT

    @Herath-UK I find it interesting that you categorise Mehela in the same class as King Kallis. I have to strongly but politely disagree.

    Mehela away Test average in Australia and South Africa is 31 and 27. Conversely Kallis Test average in Australia and Sri Lanka is 48 and 35.

    They are miles apart my friend, Mahela is a good player but not a great. Getting a lot of centuries at one ground doesnt make you a great, conquering bowling attacks around the world does.

  • 1st_WC_without_Sachin on July 24, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    @Herath-uk, No wonder, mahela is good tactician, its also no wonder, that his triple came at same SSC HIGHWAY... Ur greats mahela struggling to get 30+ since an year, got SSC, will help him to get another 300+, UR GREAT WILL STRUGGLE TO GET 30+ AGAINST PAK in 1st test, and again will come to HIT A TRIPPLE at SSC in 2nd test... LOL...:-D

  • on July 24, 2014, 10:37 GMT

    If the difference between runs scored in the subcontinent and non subcontinental pitches is so much then you have to consider it. Mahela averages 38 away and much less in NZ,SA, AUS which are more difficult pitches to plan on and decent quality attacks.

  • St.John on July 24, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    Mahela's ton was expected. He knows every blade of grass on this ground. It doesnt however excuse his poor performances in recent times, his mediocre contribution on the England tour, and his continued selection by default. I'm guessing Amla & Co. are just yearning to bat on this Placid SSC wicket. A draw definitely...

  • Herath-UK on July 24, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    Congrats to Mahela for wonderful innings & scoring runs in the subcontinent should not be anyway inferior to outside it.Mahela got two hundreds at the Mecca,Lords whereas Kallis none,Kallis had no century in Sri Lanka & his highest of laboured 200 odd,no any triple, against Mahela's highest by any right handed batsman over such greats like Bradman,are a few to show what a great is Mahela.

  • on July 24, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    Bad comments given by a few should now know how great Mahela is, and well done mj

  • Realistic_cri_fan on July 24, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa yah man, you are absolutely right.If the out-of-form MJ can scorea century think about Amla,Devilliers,Duplesis and Duminy.I don'tknow how many Srilankan bowlers gonna get injured.

  • SLisBestinEarth on July 24, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    Mahela - A gentleman, A most respected & feared by other captains by his captainship skill & leadership skill.. A tactician.. A living legend. A test average of 49.80 for around 150 matches says he is in with Ricky pointing, Lara, Kallis league.. Best Slip catcher to play around cricket game...

  • on July 24, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    Mahela is by no means a great batsmen as much as SL fans convince us. Only 11 of his centuries have been made outside SL. Most of them have been in the subcontinent or in Zimbabwe. I think he has couple of centuries in NZ and England and a lone century in WI and Australia with none South Africa. How is this a great record?

  • ITJOBSUCKS on July 24, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    Another FLAT pitch like any other Srilankan pitches!!! These kind of pitches kills the interest of fans....RIP TEST cricket!!

  • SLisBestinEarth on July 24, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    Mahela - a True Legend of Modern cricket .. Only Player in this decade to play & score very well in any conditions(bouncer/Quicker/Spinner)... Delight to watch.. Next to Don Bradman

  • on July 24, 2014, 9:50 GMT

    This ground is very lucky for MJ, outstanding batting by him and goes fast to make an other brilliant century and has made good platform for SL team, at least SL should pass over 400+r now which way they are going. Good luck SL team next player's show your confidence.

  • lazyone on July 24, 2014, 9:44 GMT

    Steyn is the difference between two teams. SL can easily beat SA when Steyn is not playing. In 2011 series in SA, SL lost first 3 ODIs and won last 2 ODIs where Steyn didn't play. Last year SL easily won 4-1. This time SL won the 2nd ODI where Steyn was injured. SL is yet to win an ODI against SA including Steyn since 2009. In this test series Steyn takes more than half of SL wickets while Morkel and Philander are not causing any trouble for the batsman. One man make such a difference.

  • TANAmesh on July 24, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    Great knock from Mahela against current world no 1 team, all the best MJ!!! Mahela is the one of world best stroke player( Ponting,Lara, Sanga,Kallis,Aravinda) and best in the world for spinners, he has beautiful shots to all around the ground, People say he is only perform in SL, but they know about him more than that he can.. he is best in the business, team player, never selfish, what a player he is..

  • Prabhash1985 on July 24, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    Congratulations Mahela. Awesome! Ends the drought, and so nice to see the way you get going.

  • on July 24, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    what a ground for mj. what a player for this ground

  • Cricketlover54 on July 24, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    Despicable pitch, absolute Highway. 11 Hundreds out of his 34 came from SSC. It doesn't matter if MJ gets 300 or 400, a pitch like this shouldn't even be in international cricket.

  • Basil777 on July 24, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    Well done MJ love to see him in touch; but as a Protea fan I must mention that this partnership is SL last throw of the dice I dont see them progressing far in the innings

  • VinodGupte on July 24, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    MJ will score a triple hundred today. After all, this is the Sri Lankan national highway he is batting on. He really likes this highway. Any other road and he score an average of 19 runs.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 24, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    Wow, after the first session this pitch turns into an absolute ROAD. No wonder these guys have such good averages at this ground.

  • on July 24, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    Better everyone keeps an eye on the ball.

  • Yousufahmed1 on July 24, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    I think SA just rest their fast bowlers on this pitch, Let SL score for 2 days and then SA should bat for 2 days. SL can not take 10 SA wickets on this pitch in 5 days. There is no way that there will be a result on this highway. Sl will escape whitewash. which was their plan by offering this pitch. Batsmen will get boost their average. mahela will have an illusion that he can still score. Win Win for everybody except for the fans who want to see a fair pitch. If the pitch doesn't have anything for the fast bowlers then it should be a turner at least so we can see some competition.

  • on July 24, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    Winning the toss is a big plus. But batting first on this track if you don't get 450 plus you lose the initiative of winning the toss. SL are already 3 down with not many proven batters to follow. 450 looks a very distant target from here on. Hope Mahela can get a biggy.

  • Durbow on July 24, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    Its unlike Petersen to drop a catch. He is most probably one of the best fielders in SA. I bet you, he wont drop another catch soon.

  • vis0121 on July 24, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    Steyn and Morkel where on hat-trick's today.Steyn's spread over two overs.Morkel took two of the laast balls of the first test,so his hat-trick would have been over two tests...

  • fiddlerv90 on July 24, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    Once again petersen disapoint where SA could have been on top in the 1st 10overs. He dropped silva and he went on to build a massive partnership with mahela who seems to have laid to bed his late misery(failing to score). I hope steyn get rid of him b4 he gets to his 3figure mark.

  • Durbow on July 24, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    @Birkat. Yeah seems that way. Its a pity. I was always afraid of him. Whats your view? He was a decent player

  • missionbegins2011 on July 24, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    looks like 2-0 whitewash is on cards...steyn is on fire

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 24, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    Sangakara first golden duck for over 220 batting innings. Shows what a run machine he has been. But who else better to get his scalp than Steyn-Gun.

  • fiddlerv90 on July 24, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    Is Amla really a gud captain? I doubt it. I don't think he has done anything different to what smith used to do especially bowlingwise. Steyn always bowl 4overs spell even if he's threatening to take wickets. And how hell on earth can one persist with tahir bowling full tosses in every over? Amla need to buck up. Our strength is pace attack, so he should give those guys enough overs. Maybe he need to take a tip or 2 from ms dhoni if u know what i mean.... He gave kumar 10overs spell because he knew anything is possible with him bowling. But however Amla sticks to his hopeless spinner(tahir) with his economy rate of almost 6. At some stage i thought it is an ODI match but NO it is a test match.

  • birkat on July 24, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    @Durbow: It looks like you really aren't updated. Dilshan retired from Test Cricket last year.

  • on July 24, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    How could you go out and play a test match regardless of the conditions with just one specialist fast bowler? Strange things happens in cricket but this an abomination..It doesn't happen in T20 cricket let alone Test cricket.. Sangakkara played an aweful shot knowing fully well that he's the best batsman in this fragile batting line-up..Very very irresponsible in my opinion..Hope Jayawardene revives them by scoring a ton on his favourite hunting ground..SSC..Steyn impressed again(nothing unusual abt it though)..

  • Dilmah82 on July 24, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    @Durbow Dilshan retired from Test cricket last year. He is currently playing for Surrey in the UK.

  • on July 24, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    @Durbow- Dilshan retired a long time ago..I am an Indian fan though not from SL..

  • katch47 on July 24, 2014, 6:36 GMT

    Looks like toss is not the key to SL losses in previous matches, its bad batting.I think people with sense must have realized it by now

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 24, 2014, 6:36 GMT

    Before this TEst match started I criticized the selection of Imran Tahir for Test matches. He is a superb ODI and T20 bowler but he is too inconsistent for Test cricket. My grievances were once again on show for everyone to see as Tahir bowled buffet ball after buffet ball and released pressure. Dane Piedt should have been given his Debut, why do keep making the same mistake over and over again!!??

  • 9ST9 on July 24, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    @Durbow - Dilshan retired from tests quite a long time ago.

  • St.John on July 24, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    As Siddarth reports Dickwella was far away and not even in SL's test squad. Yet he finds himself replacing Chandimal. I am all for new faces in the SL team (Long overdue) but checking Dickwella's record it isn't much to crow about. Quite mediocre as a matter of fact. What can he do against Steyn & co. to warrant his selection? Wasn't there a better Wktkeeper replacement? Thrimanne 's dropping is a good thing, and including Vithanage will be a boost. SSC is a batsmen's paradise so both teams could score big here.

  • Durbow on July 24, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    Not to updated about all the players in SL. Can someone tell me where Dilshan is? Is he injured?

  • YsaKaru on July 24, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    surprising inclusion from sanath....right arm medium bowling ajantha mendis in playing XI......

  • on July 24, 2014, 5:32 GMT

    Sangakkara 0 - surely a Headline news. It won't happened very often.

  • HateCritics on July 24, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    playing 3 specialist spinners in a test match is too much boring.i dont think it will pay off well for SL.their batsmen already started to crumble. lets c

  • on July 24, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    Sanga will share the new ball with Mathews as first change. Mahela, Perara, mendis and Jayawardene will bowl spinners. Only question is who is going to score uns? No body us inclined in this SL team it appears.

  • OttawaRocks on July 24, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    Steyn blowing away SL once again. No surprises here.

  • Mervo on July 24, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    SL have only one fast bowler for the new ball? Tells us something about the wicket, their fast bowling stocks and their response to their loss in the last test. Strange times in international cricket and harks back to the days long ago of WI and their 4 fast bowlers.

  • Mervo on July 24, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    SL have only one fast bowler for the new ball? Tells us something about the wicket, their fast bowling stocks and their response to their loss in the last test. Strange times in international cricket and harks back to the days long ago of WI and their 4 fast bowlers.

  • OttawaRocks on July 24, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    Steyn blowing away SL once again. No surprises here.

  • on July 24, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    Sanga will share the new ball with Mathews as first change. Mahela, Perara, mendis and Jayawardene will bowl spinners. Only question is who is going to score uns? No body us inclined in this SL team it appears.

  • HateCritics on July 24, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    playing 3 specialist spinners in a test match is too much boring.i dont think it will pay off well for SL.their batsmen already started to crumble. lets c

  • on July 24, 2014, 5:32 GMT

    Sangakkara 0 - surely a Headline news. It won't happened very often.

  • YsaKaru on July 24, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    surprising inclusion from sanath....right arm medium bowling ajantha mendis in playing XI......

  • Durbow on July 24, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    Not to updated about all the players in SL. Can someone tell me where Dilshan is? Is he injured?

  • St.John on July 24, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    As Siddarth reports Dickwella was far away and not even in SL's test squad. Yet he finds himself replacing Chandimal. I am all for new faces in the SL team (Long overdue) but checking Dickwella's record it isn't much to crow about. Quite mediocre as a matter of fact. What can he do against Steyn & co. to warrant his selection? Wasn't there a better Wktkeeper replacement? Thrimanne 's dropping is a good thing, and including Vithanage will be a boost. SSC is a batsmen's paradise so both teams could score big here.

  • 9ST9 on July 24, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    @Durbow - Dilshan retired from tests quite a long time ago.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 24, 2014, 6:36 GMT

    Before this TEst match started I criticized the selection of Imran Tahir for Test matches. He is a superb ODI and T20 bowler but he is too inconsistent for Test cricket. My grievances were once again on show for everyone to see as Tahir bowled buffet ball after buffet ball and released pressure. Dane Piedt should have been given his Debut, why do keep making the same mistake over and over again!!??