Sri Lanka in charge after making 520
Jul 20, 2010 8:00:00 PM - aussieindolanka.com
It was a strange and fascinating day full of the unexpected: The ball talked in the morning, Ishant Sharma impressed, Lasith Malinga thrilled and Rangana Herath became an unlikely hero. Ishant had everyone spellbound in the morning with captivating seam bowling but Herath and Malinga - yes, you read right - stole his thunder with entertaining half-centuries to ensure Sri Lanka retained control on the first Test.
India lost Gautam Gambhir to the second ball of their innings, Rahul Dravid to an error in judging a run, and Sachin Tendulkar to faulty shot selection and it was left to Virender Sehwag to keep them afloat. He did his best but the day belonged to Sri Lanka and, especially, to an unlikely pair of lower-order batsmen.
The 115-run partnership between Herath and Malinga was as delightful as it was unexpected. Herath impressed with several high-quality shots and Malinga alternated between defence and fury during a joyous effort. Within his first six deliveries, Herath had declared his intent with two boundaries. The outstanding shot of his stay was a thunderous six off Abhimanyu Mithun: Herath smoked a short-of-length delivery on the up over long-on. It certainly wasn’t the shot of a lower-order batsman.