Throughout the last couple of weeks, Ashes fever has been everywhere. Its the buzz word on all the blogs and the general cricketing world. Not too many knew that Pakistan were in Sri Lanka for a 3 test series.
And probably not many know that SL has pulled off one of the greatest test wins in recent times. If not ever. Why should it. India is not playing. And its not an Ashes test. So no one really gives a fart. Its not even Cricinfos main headline.
But Pakistan and Sri Lanka have put together an amazing test match. 12 wickets fell on day 1. 300+ runs were scored. There were exceptional bowling and batting. Neither side were ever in front until day 3 when a young bowler took care of two of the finest batsmen in world cricket. The game then magically unfolded so that only one team could win it. Which was Pakistan.
Of course knowing Pakistan like we all do, meant that it wasn’t quite over. They needed 97 runs to win with 8 wickets in hand with 2 days to go. It was as if Pakistan forgot how to bat overnight and Sri Lanka discovered something magical in the pitch.
Forget Herath. Which is not easy. Thilan Thushara bowled one of the most enthralling spells I have ever seen from a Sri Lankan fast bowler. Given the situation. Given the state of the pitch and ball, what he did was incredible. He hit a perfect length nearly every ball. He hit the seam and moved it both ways at will.
Misbah, Malik, Akmal had absolutely no clue what was happening. The bastard put on this show for nearly an hour, unchanged. Its safe to say it would have turned on even the most ardent of 2020 fans.
Herath flew in from England. Didn’T get a bowl for 47 overs in the first innings. Didn’t bowl till the last over of the 3rd day and on the 4th day he came out there with a vengeance. Why Sangakkara went with Herath instead of Mendis today is probably a mystery to everyone but it worked. Herath bowled as well as I have ever seen him. He spun it, bounced it and was all over Pakistan.
This was the equivalent of Adelaide 06. But not many will remember it that way because apart from the Sri Lankans and Pakistani’s the outside world had no idea what was going on in Galle.
It was like enjoying an underground band do its best work, While everyone waits for the pop bands to take over tomorrow.
So over to you Cardiff, see if you can top this.