Monday, 19 November 2012

Even Stevens in Galle

Tim Southee 4-46
Both sides fought hard on the second day at Galle, leaving the match as even as it was at the toss.

In the first hour, Tim Southee gave an excellent display of swing bowling, moving the ball both ways and removing opener Tharanga Paranavitana and night watchman Suraj Randiv in his first two overs and when Trent Boult had Kumar Sangakkara caught by McCullum at second slip, Sri Lanka were 4-20 in just four overs of play. Thilan Samaraweera batted out the first hour with his skipper Mahela Jayawardene but was out the ball before drinks. Having edged Southee perilously close to Ross Taylor at first slip, he offered no shot at one that bent the other way and was lbw. New Zealand took refreshments with Sri Lanka 5-50 and the prospect of a substantial first innings lead.

That was it until tea as the Sri Lankan leadership team took over. Jaywardene and his deputy, Angelo Mathews, didn't just rebut the Kiwi bowlers but their partnership rocked along at four an over for the hour either side of lunch, Mathews accelerating past his skipper. Doug Bracewell copped the worst of the hiding, bowling too short, too often and was sent to boundaries square and on either side of the wicket. New Zealand clawed their way back into the game in the hour before tea with tight spells from Jeetan Patel, Boult and Southee near the end.

Mathews - another good half century
The 6th wicket partnership finally ended at 206, after 156 had been added. Mathews was caught behind off James Franklin.

The rest barely lasted an hour. Jayawardene took his side to the lead and then nine short of a hundred, swept at Patel and in a mess of pads and gloves, was caught brilliantly by an alert and diving van Wyck. Patel and Boult wrapped up the rest.

Brendon McCullum was gone before the deficit was removed. Jayawardene bought Herath on in only the fourth over and McCullum worked the first ball away for a couple of runs to leg, hit the third ball way over mid wicket for six and the fifth straight down Kulasekara's throat at deep square leg. McCullum had watched as Jayawardene repositioned Kulasekara there after the six. In the dictionary under "dumb cricket" it says "Brendon McCullum".

Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson took New Zealand to the lead but not without playing and missing and edges flying just short of the slips.

The match is there for the winning.