Seventeen wickets fell, twelve of them to spinners on a dramatic second day of the first Test at Galle between Sri Lanka and England.
Sri Lanka starting on an overnight score of 289 for 8 added 29 runs before getting bowled out for 318. England’s batting had been unable to play spin bowling against Pakistan in UAE, and it was expected that the experience will only prepare them well for Sri Lanka. But against Rangana Herath and Suraj Randiv their famed batting line up crumbled like nine pins. Except for a half century by Ian Bell none of the batsmen made a significant contribution. Herath picked up six wickets and Randiv two to bowl out England for 193. Six of England’s wickets were lbw, clearly suggesting their indecisive footwork against spinners. England’s troubles in the sub-continent continued as they yet again failed to post a good total in the first innings.
Having conceded a lead of 125 runs, England managed to pick five Sri Lankan wickets, who in their second sojourn failed to negotiate Swann’s spin. Sri Lanka closed the day at 84 for 5 with Chandimal and Randiv at the crease. Sri Lanka now have a lead of 209 going into the third day. The advantage definitely lies when if one were to look into history, the highest score made in fourth innings at this ground is only 253.
Going by the proceedings of day two, the test match might be over by end of day three. The first session tomorrow will be crucial.