Sri Lanka vs Australia
So there you go. Just when things were getting interesting the rain intervened, and so Sri Lanka will go into the third Test at the SSC in Colombo with a chance to level the series. They'll certainly have to perform a lot better, but will be heartened by a much-improved showing with the bat in this second innings. The final Test starts on Friday, so do join us then.
Tom Moody, who is in Pallekele as a commentator, has just tweeted: 'You can close the book on this match rain set in & full covers coming out, Aust will go to 3rd Test 1 up, SL need to bounce back!' Looks like the game will be called off pretty soon then.
Aaand now they're back on again. The last of the covers was just coming off when another shower swept down from the hills. Have to suspect that that will be that. Officially we have a little more than two hours of possible play left, but the light is so bad that it's hugely unlikely they'll get back on at all, let alone play for long enough to make it worthwhile.
Good news - the rain has stopped, and so the covers are slowly being peeled off.
Still raining in Pallekele, so presumably we're into the tea break. The groundstaff are exceedingly efficient so if the rain stops we will be back on in the shortest possible time, but at the moment it looks highly unlikely that the rain Gods are about to allow Australia a Test victory here.
The rain is heavier now, so the entire ground has been covered. Australia's hopes of a series-clinching victory recede further. Still a lot of time left in the day but this looks like it could be a lengthy delay.
It's still drizzling out there, so the covers are in place, although the umpires stopped the groundstaff from bringing on the ones that cover the outfield. The Aussies have traipsed off for the moment, and will be frustrated to see heavier showers in the distance. We'll keep you updated.
Over 115 Johnson 0-0-0-
317-6 - It's pretty dark out there at the start of the over and you sense it won't be long. Indeed it's just three deliveries before the drizzle begins and Tony Hill confirms that rain has stopped play. However the Aussies stay out in the middle with the umpires because it looks to be a passing shower. Of course the Sri Lankan batsmen are up the stairs and into the dressing room in no time.
Over 114 Watson 1-0-4-0-0-0
317-6 - Risky stuff from Randiv as he pushes at one away from his body and drives in the air through the covers for four. Would have been at a perfect catching height had the cover fielder been five yards to his right. Perhaps it was just impeccably judged by the batsman?
Over 113 Johnson 0-0-0-0-0-0
312-6 - Johnson has three slips, a gully and a square-ish point in place in the hope that Randiv will be tempted outside his off-stump. The right-hander bites, but not enough to find and edge - just an awkward play'n'miss. Drinks break.
Over 112 Watson 0-0-0-0-0-0
312-6 - Watson threatens, but Mathews would rather have himself see of the reverse swing than the cavalier Randiv.
Over 111 Johnson 0-0-4-0-1-0
312-6 - News from the Aussie camp reveals that Harris is being assessed for a stiff hamstring, so we await the extent of that injury. In the meantime, Mathews is yet again left to bat with the lower order and this really must be old hat for the all-rounder now.
Over 110 Watson 0-0-0-0-0-W
307-6 - Mathews and Samaraweera have the tendency to play across the line now and then, so Clarke sticks in two close catches to the on-side. Watson, meanwhile, really working hard at the ball - sometimes seam up, sometimes a scrambled one and at every turn a shine to the pants pocket in his quest for more reverse swing. WICKET! It does the trick, although it's more Samaraweera's poor shot than the impact of the ball that does the job. The right-hander had another go outside the off-stump, the ball stayed on its line and copped the edge. Haddin was at hand for the catch. Australia into Sri Lanka's tail now as Randiv, not one for blocking things out but rather a bit of a willow wielder, comes to the crease. Sri Lanka, only just ahead, effectively 70 for six now.
Over 109 Johnson 2-0-0-0-0-0
307-5 - Some lengthy troubles with the sightscreen delays proceedings, with some sort of rope thingy eventually fixing the problem. Play eventually resumes, with Johnson forcing the edge but Mathews deploying soft enough hands to avoid the ball carrying to Clarke in the slip cordon.
Over 108 Watson 2-0-0-0-0-1
305-5 - Watson pushes hard for the yorker but can't quite reach the blockhole and Mathews cashes in for a couple worked through the on-side to get off the mark. Small signs of reverse swing creeping into the seamer's approach now. Good signs for the Aussies. Ominous ones for Sri Lanka.
Over 107 Johnson 0-0-0-0-0-0
302-5 - Clarke won't want to rest Harris, but he has to for the time being. So, Johnson resumes. 12th man Warner is on the field as today's chief wicket-taker enjoys a quick break in the pavilion. Samaraweera, meanwhile, flashes wildly at a wide delivery and is pretty lucky not to fetch an edge. That said, he is also rather unfortunate not to have that scream through the covers. Either or. You choose.
Over 106 Watson 0-0-0-0-0-0
302-5 - Watson enjoys some sharp nip off the seam into the right-handed Mathews, but the line isn't good enough to trouble the batsman. Then something that keeps low and based on this sporadic lack of bounce, I'd really like to see the slip cordon take a collective step or two forward. The edge, if or when it arrives, is bound to fall short.
Over 105 Harris 0-0-0-0-0-0
302-5 - Harris finds some kicking elevation off a standard length, with Samaraweera entirely surprised by one that lifts through him. With the momentary theatre done and dusted, it's another maiden over.
Over 104 Watson 0-0-1-0-0-0
302-5 - With Sri Lanka sporting a rather long tail, the bulk of the home side's charge sits with the batsmen currently at the crease. Samaraweera and sidekick know this, and won't dare drive at anything sent down outside their off-stump. The slips are waiting for the error.
Over 103 Harris 0-0-0-0-W-0
301-5 - Cautioned by the umpire for running on the wicket in the previous over, Harris makes sure to fall away from his follow-through much quicker this time around. WICKET! Meanwhile, Jayawardene's attacking vigil meets its end on the defence. He got forward for the block, but didn't account for the slightest bit of seam movement. So arrives the edge and Haddin does the rest. The Aussies are going about their hunt for 10 second-innings wickets methodically. Mathews in now.
- 8th - 12th Sep 2011
- A L Hill and R A Kettleborough
sri lanka BATTING CARD
|Paranavitana||c Haddin b Hussey||55|
|Dilshan||c Watson b Harris||36|
|Sangakkara||c Clarke b Harris||69|
|Jayawardene||c Clarke b Copeland||51|
|Samaraweera||c Haddin b Watson||43|
|Jayawardene||c Haddin b Harris||21|
|Extras||1nb, 6b, 20lb||27|
|Total||Close, 114.3 Overs||317 - 6|