Rain had the final say in the game between Australia and Sri Lanka at Pallekele as the match ended in a draw on the fifth day. Sri Lanka were 80 runs ahead at that stage, with six wickets back into the hut, a position from which the Aussies could have looked to push on for a win, but at that exact stage, the heavens opened and the sides had to make do with a draw.
It has been a pretty lop-sided series so far, what with the Aussies having not only won the first Test match at Galle but also having had the better of the exchanges in this second game.
Sri Lanka had been bowled out for 174 in the first innings of this second match before the Aussies replied with 411 for seven halfway through the third day. Persistent rains ended that day’s play and given the issue of bad light expected to haunt them right through all the days, the Aussies declared at the same score.
On the fourth day, Sri Lanka, who were behind by 237, began well through Tillakaratne Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavitana. Dilshan showed signs of coming back into form before getting out at the stroke of lunch for 36 while Paranavitana went on to score a half-century.
It was the third wicket stand of 101 runs between the two former captains, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene that meant that the side would go into the final day with eight wickets intact.
On the final day, Sri Lanka lost wickets in a pack; Sangakkara departed for the addition of one run, Jayawardene got to his own 50 and was sent back while there were starts for Thilan Samaraweera and Prasanna Jayawardene but both fell soon after.
At an overall lead of 80 and with six wickets down, and almost two sessions to go, it looked like the tourists were closing in on a series-winning triumph. But then, the rains came down again, allowing the Sri Lankans to escape to live to fight another day while the Aussies were left grimacing at what would have been.
The third Sri Lanka v Australia Test match begins from September 16 at the SSC in Colombo.