Sri Lanka and England have announced their teams for the decisive second Test and the home side looks for a win to compliment their 30 years in Test cricket.
The Lankan Lions were awarded the Test status in 1982, played their first Test ever against England, on February 17, 18, 20 and 21 at P Saravanamuttu Stadium, Colombo. The English Side was led by Keith Fletcher whereas Bandula Warnapura was the captain of the Islanders. The Lankan Lions scored 218 runs in their first innings. Ranjan Madugalle excelled with the bat by dispatching 65 runs as Arjuna Ranatunga supported him well by scoring 54 and the duo shared 99 runs partnership for the fifth wicket.
Derek Underwood spun the rival batsmen by grabbing five wickets, Ian Botham held three as Bob Willis claimed two.
England was bowled out for 223 runs, David Gower top scored with 89 as Keith Fletcher contributed 45. Ashantha de Mel was the top wicket taker with four, Somachandra De Silva got three and Ajit de Silva started his account with two.
Sri Lanka was sent back to the pavilion for 175 runs in their second innings, Roy Dias was the highest scorer with 77 and Warnapura chipped in with 38. England off spinner John Emburey was the star performer with six wickets, Underwood had three and Willis got one wicket.
England achieved the target by smashing 171 runs for the loss of just three wickets, Chris Tavare thrashed 85 and Gower remained unbeaten on 42. Ajit De Silva claimed two wickets from the home side and de Mel got one.
Sri Lanka started the two Test series on a promising not by winning the first match by 75 runs at Galle International Stadium on March 29, 2012. They want to continue with the winning spree by grasping the second Test, by making it a memorable event and in a way taking a 30 years old revenge from the visitors by clinching the series. Their captain, Mahela Jayawardene was complacent that they can win the match and said,
“I’ll be very proud to be on the field on Tuesday and even prouder if we can claim a series victory.”
The left arm spinner, Rangana Herath was the chief destroyer in the first Test by grabbing 6 wickets in each innings and the English batsmen were unable to read him. He is their most experienced spinner after at the moment and has appeared in 36 Tests for the country. The 34-year-old has grasped 132 wickets at an average of 32.50 runs per wicket, the best of 7 for 157 in an innings and 12 for 171 in a match. Jayawardene acknowledged the way Hearth has taken the responsibility of bowling after the retirement of the great Muttiah Muralitharan. He commented,
“Herath has been around a long time and is a class act, the skipper said. He’s the most experienced bowler I have right now and he’s taken the responsibility to shoulder the attack.”
Chanaka Welegedara has been ruled out of the second Test due to groin injury and the 24-year-old all rounder, Angelo Mathews has been included in the side. Matthews sustained calf injury during the Commonwealth Bank Series earlier this year but has recovered fully. The chief selector of Sri Lanka, Ashantha de mel notified the changes while reporting that,
“Welegedera bowled with some discomfort during the Galle Test and an MRI scan revealed that he had a groin strain. Mathews has been declared fit and we have brought him in, but he will only bat.”
The second and final Test of the series will be played at P Sara Oval, Colombo from April 3, 2012.
Sri Lanka (from): Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene, Suranga Lakmal, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Dhammika Prasad, Shaminda Eranga, Tharanga Paranavitana.
England (from): Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Ravi Bopara, Samit Patel, Matt Prior, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn, Monty Panesar, Graeme Swann.