Daily Archives: August 20, 2015
Opener Lokesh Rahul struck a fluent century as India recovered from early jitters to reach 319 for six at stumps in their first innings to leave the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval in Colombo evenly poised on Thursday.
Opting to bat, the visitors lost opener Murali Vijay (0) and Ajinkya Rahane (4), surprisingly promoted to number three, with only 12 runs on the board before young Rahul (108) and skipper Virat Kohli (78) resurrected the innings with an attractive 164-run third-wicket partnership. Rohit Sharma also chipped in with a strokeful 79 but was dismissed on what turned out to be the last delivery of an engrossing opening day’s play which saw both teams sharing the honours.
The ton was Rahul’s second in Tests as he faced 190 balls, hitting 13 boundaries and a six in the process. Kohli, who looked good for another Test ton scored 78 off 107 balls with eight boundaries and a six. The Indian captain was unlucky to miss out on his 12th Test hundred after rival skipper Angelo Mathews took a smart diving catch off Rangana Herath’s bowling.
Under-fire Sharma, however, justified the immense faith shown in him by the team management as he somewhat redeemed himself with a stylish knock after his twin failures in the 63-run defeat at Galle. The Indian team management’s decision to try Stuart Binny (10) as an all-rounder did not work as the Karnataka player looked totally out of sorts during his 40-ball innings before playing a terrible shot which brought about his downfall.
At stumps, Wriddhiman Saha was unbeaten on 19 as play was called off immediately after Sharma’s dismissal.
It was Indian captain Kohli, who won the toss and decided to bat on a hard strip that had some bounce and carry.
Vijay, who missed the last Test due to a hamstring injury, had a forgettable comeback as Dhammika Prasad trapped him leg-before with a delivery that came in a shade after pitching in line with the stumps. In order to shield Sharma from the new ball, the dependable Rahane was sent at the crucial number 3 position and he started with a boundary.
However, Prasad got him with an outswinger that he tried to drive on the up and was caught in the slips by Dimuth Karunaratne. It was then that skipper Kohli joined Rahul and the duo started the repair work cautiously but were positive in their strokeplay. Rahul got a reprieve when he was on 11 and made the most of it.
According to South Korean media, they were aiming at a loudspeaker which had been blaring anti-Pyongyang propaganda.
KBS News, a Korean state broadcaster, quoted a South Korean military officer who said shots were fired around 4pm local time, according to Reuters.
South Korea’s defence ministry said its military had returned fire in a statement on Thursday.
It said that their surveillance equipment had detected a single North Korea shell fired across the border and confirmed it had fired dozens of shells at the location of that North Korean shell.
The North has previously said it would retaliate against South Korean rhetoric being blasted across the border, praising their democracy and criticising alleged North Korean provocations.
Seoul starting broadcasting against the North last week in the response to what it alleges were North Korean-laid land mines which maimed two South Korean soldiers.
Additional reporting by Reuters and AP
More to follow
The Central Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has appointed a committee to formulate a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), for the forming of a National Government with the United National Party (UNP).
SLFP Central Committee member and former MP Nandimithra Ekanayake stated that former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has been appointed to chair the six-member committee.
He stated that an agreement was reached regarding the matter at the Central Committee meeting this morning and that the party would enter a National Government after singing the MoU.
Ekanayake stated that the objective of this is to unite as one country in order to face the upcoming challenges in Geneva.
India will be looking to hand veteran Kumar Sangakkara a not-so-happy ending in the second Test at Colombo which begins tomorrow. The Sri Lankan legend had already decided to hang up his boots after this Test match having already retired from One Day Internationals earlier this year after the World Cup.
Sri Lanka under Angelo Mathews would be looking to give their legend a grand farewell with a series win especially after losing the series to Pakistan last month. India were in pole position to win the 1st Test match until Dinesh Chandimal’s counter attacking unbeaten 162 changed the whole complexion of the Test match.
Chasing 176 to win on the 4th day, India succumbed to Rangana Herath’s guile as the 37-year-old picked up a 7-wicket haul to give the home side a shock 1-0 lead. The visitors will have to quickly regroup and must take advantage of the occasion surrounding the Test.
They have added Stuart Binny to their squad at the last minute and he is expected to slot in straight away most likely in Harbhajan’s place. Shikhar Dhawan will certainly be missed at the top of the order, but India have been welcomed by the return of Murali Vijay who has been one of their most prolific run-scorers in the last 18 months.
He will replace Dhawan at the top which will provide KL Rahul one more opportunity. But it remains to be seen whether Rohit Sharma will be getting another crack at number 3 or if the team management decides to go back to Cheteshwar Pujara whose record in the sub-continent is good.
For Sri Lanka, their only concern has been the fitness of seamer Nuwan Pradeep who is likely to miss out. Dushmantha Chameera in all likelihood will be replacing him in the XI. The most worrying concern for the fans will be the weather though.
The weather forecast says that showers are expected on all five days of the Test. Hopefully it stays away for us to witness a cracking contest.
Sri Lanka – 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Kaushal Silva, 3 Lahiru Thirimanne, 4 Kumar Sangakkara, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Jehan Mubarak, 7 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 8 Dhammika Prasad, 9 Rangana Herath, 10 Tharindu Kaushal, 11 Dushmantha Chameera
India – 1 M Vijay, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Rohit Sharma, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 7 R Ashwin, 8 Stuart Binny, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Amit Mishra, 11 Varun Aaron