Tuesday 18 December 2007 

Sangakkara And Jayawardene Frustrate England Again

Sri Lanka 147-4 (M Jayawardene 51no, Harmison 3-28) after 55 overs v
England in Galle

Sri Lanka lead the three-match series 1-0

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene continued their series-long dominance over England's bowlers as they pieced together a half-century partnership rebuild Sri Lanka's innings on the opening day of the third Test in Galle, although England hit back with two late wickets to drag themselves back into the game.

The two sides went to lunch after the first session of a symbolic return to Galle with neither side on top, while the middle session was comprehensively Sri Lanka's, Jayawardene and Sangakkara batting through virtually untroubled.

However, England struck back almost immediately after the tea break, Sangakkara lofting Steve Harmison into the deep, where Monty Panesar hung on to take the catch, with the left-hander departing for 46.

Harmison then had Chamara Silva caught by Ian Bell in the slips after the middle-order batsman struggled for 26 balls, scoring only one run, as England enjoyed the better of a shortened final session before bad light ended play, which was delayed by two hours, early.

Jayawardene remained unbeaten on 51, however, reminding England that they still have a lot of work to do if they are to win the match, which they must do to score a series draw.

England, who elected to persist with Harmison at the expense of Graeme Swann as Matthew Hoggard returned, saw Harmison and Ryan Sidebottom trap openers Michael Vandort (18) and Upul Tharanga (16) in front early on. Both batsmen might count themselves unlucky.

That left the home side at 44 for two before Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene came together, and showed no lack of eagerness to play their strokes, adding 88 for the third wicket.

Sri Lanka handed a debut to Chanaka Welegedara while Tillakaratne Dilshan returned to the side in place of Jehan Mubarak.

Sri Lanka lead the series 1-0, England won the toss and chose to field.

© Cricket World 2007