We don’t know how long it has been exactly since Sri Lanka won a test at home. But it’s felt like an aeon. We were going to write up a flattering post last week when they pulled off the win but we then ate some thai food we didn’t agree with.
A test win is a test win and probably one that should not be argued against. Test wins are hard fought. And this one certainly was. Mahela Jayawardene is probably being bathed in pure white milk by nubile virgins as we apeak. And so he should.
The win however, should not gloss over some of Sri Lankas timeless battles with consistency at the top order. Of course you could argue that 15-3 and 14-3 are nothing but.
Sri Lanka continue to search for the ideal opening pair. Paranavithana has now been dumped for Thirimanne. A right he has earned on the back of his decent run in the middle order in ODIs. A quick stint at the top against the red ball, with pace and spin, has proved yet again how vastly different the two formats are.
Thirimanne isn’t a bad player but he can easily drift into being another player shafted for failing in a couple of tests. In the middle order he proved that he can survive in an alien world. But maybe it hid the fact that his technique is too loose against the moving ball early on. Sri Lanka should give him a chance to prove that he can be a test match opener and with most of Sri Lankas next assignments being at home, it would be stupid to not give him any leeway.
Dilshans contributions in this test were bordering on comical. Dilshan doesnt need to tame himself but there is no harm in getting yourself in. On a pitch like Galle, blocking 20 balls is worth it before trying to belt one into the sea.
Sangakkara continued his stop start form from the ODIs in to the test. He has been setting a dangerous trend in starting series badly. And it is hurting Sri Lanka. And it hurts us. So get it together Kumar.
It’s barely believable and we feel weird writing about it but the thing that impressed us the most about Sri Lanka was the fight they showed in the lower order.
Sides dont usually win after being 3 for nothing in both innings. And they shouldn’t. The fact that England could not polish off Sri Lankas tail which fetched a 160 and 110 runs for the last 4 wickets in each innings played as important a role as Jayawardenes (plural) batting and Heraths bowling. And of course England ‘sin ful’ batting
It seems like an extension from their ODI form where they refused to give up. And if anything should be carried over from an ODI series (the Asia cup did not exist in our minds), we are glad it’s this.
Sri Lanka it seems, no longer wilts under the pressure but are willing to scrap. And if they are to string together a meaningful number of test wins and not just isolated triumphs then scrap they must.
And scrap they did. We liked it. We liked it a lot.