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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

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Play on the third day? Your guess is as good as mine:

Not a ball bowled in Sri Lanka-Pakistan Test

After an interesting first day’s play where the teams were on even terms, with Pakistan making 226 and Sri Lanka 44 for three, another exciting second day’s cricket was in the offing. It was overcast from morning and with about half an hour to the start, a heavy cloud cover formed and a few minutes later it came down heavily and it left a lot of water on the covers.

With rains continuing and with the light too fading and with no signs of any improvement and with no play possible, umpires Simon Taufell and Steve Davies had no option but to call off play for the day at 3.10 p.m. Play is scheduled to start at 9.45 a.m. tomorrow weather permitting.

No decisions

Previously two Test matches have been played on this ground, both ending in no decisions and this final Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan was nicely poised to break the hoodoo and produce the first result.

But the cricketing rain gods decided otherwise and played the role of spoil sports and the second day was a washout. As the series stand, Sri Lanka is ahead having won the FirsTest in Galle.

The SSC Test ended in a draw with Pakistan taking the honours. And when the teams continued the battle here in Palekelle, the onus was on Pakistan to force a victory and save face with Sri Lanka only needing to draw to win a Test series in three years.

Glorious uncertainties

Although not a ball was bowled on the second day, with this game being associated with the glorious uncertainties, and with three more days to go, anything is possible.At the moment exchanges are even.

Sri Lanka having done well to bundle out Pakistan for 226, thanks to the demoralizing spell by young Thisara Perera who blitzed through the Pakistan top order, and scalped the top order of Mohammed Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Azhar Ali and then Captain Misbah Ul-Haq, were in a spot losing three top batsmen – Dinesh Chandimal, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene for just 44 runs to trail by 182 runs.

Left armer Junaid Khan who had five wickets in the SSC Test, was once again in a fiery mood as he sent back Chandimal leg before with quick delivery and then knocked back the stumps of Sangakkara with the ball of the day which left the batsman stunned.

Steaming in

Then second last ball of the day, Sami came steaming in to have Jayawardene LBW with a stinging Yorker. 44 for 3.

If and when play resumes, the rest of the Lankan batsmen must dig in and endeavour to go past the Pakistan score by at least a 100 runs not get bogged down and bat for as long as possible.

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