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.

sri lanka v pakistan

Sri Lanka

Lost Warnapura on 0. Which wasn’t exactly the start you want when you are 50 behind. Warnapura’s run as a SL opener might be coming to an end. His last 5 innings total 12 runs. He has probably got enough credit to last out the series but if there are no big scores then its going to be a tricky time for him.

Apart from Paranavitana, Mathews and Samaraweera SL really didn’t do much. Mostly the top order mucked around and got done in by a 17 year old. Some days you make love to the pitch and some days you dry hump it. Today a left ‘Aamer’ cock blocked the middle order.

It was good if you were Pakistani, not so much if you were Sri Lankan.

160 is no where close to good enough, unless Mendis pulls out something special with the rest of the bowlers.

But how bad do you want Pakistan to be 100-6 tomorrow morning?

Pakistan

For two days the match was in the balance. Today Pakistan grabbed it by the back and anally stimulated it to their liking.

Aamer turned the game with 3 deliveries that would have given Wasim Akram a raging hard on.
Paranavitana got a screamer that left him. Sangakkara was caught on the walk, for the 2nd time. And Mahela edged it outside off like we all knew he would.

It was brilliant. And it’s hard not to think about Wasim when Aamer bowls like that. Pakistan keep finding these diamonds in the rough and hopefully, if he keeps away from the drugs and politics, he might be taking on the rest of the world for a good while.

Another important battle Pakistan won was when Saeed Ajmal picked up Samaraweera against the run of play. Ajmal looked harmless tell he got Samaraweera with a clever doosra which turned things around for him.

This is Pakistans game to win or loose. Knowing Pakistan you just never know.

Play of the day.
Rameez Raja spying on little kids in the crowd with his Binoculars. We just thought it was weird. Just really weird.

(Lack of)Balls of the day.
Umar Gul never left London. Or so it would seem. A week ago he was looking a million bucks. Now he cant seem to find a good length and some swing if his balls were on the line. While at the other end Aamer looks like he can do no wrong.

We really hope he didnt have a chat with Steve Harmison or something in England. Cuz that would be a real shame.

ajantha mendis anjelo mathews flyslip mahela jayawardane malinda warnapura Mohammad Aamer nuwan kulesekara sri lanka v pakistan younis khan yousuf

So the test series ‘of the summer’ got off to the cracking start we predicted. Today was a day of test cricket. None of that yahoo-tomfoolery white ball stuff. A hard grind, where neither team was ever really on top.

12 wickets

300 runs.

Doesn’t get better than that. Specially in the Sub-C.

Sri Lanka

Are always wobbly against good pace/swing. And today was no different. Warnapura needs to come up with an innings that makes me believe he is a test opener. Right now he is one off side swish away from earning a monumental earful from us.

SL were never really in the game, but they weren’t ever out of it either. The middle order and the lower order showed a lot of fight today. Which is always a good thing. Sangakkara got a good one early.

Paranavitana played an important innings. Sure he was dropped twice but you gotta make the most of it. A century was probably asking for too much. The kid showed guts and he is already looking twice the opener Warnapura is.

Pakistan

Younis Khan is a wily old fella. Read the pitch well. Picked the right combo. Pity their hands turned to butter. Pakistan could have easily had Sri Lanka for under 250. Instead they are looking at 300. On this pitch you would think that is around the par to above average score.

Aamer looks a gem. There were whispers of the new Akram. There are shades but he is only 17. The older and stronger he gets the more tricky he is gonna become. Cant wait.

A lot now depends on Younis, who seems to be in the thick of all Pakistani fortunes these days. A wicket early tommorow and SL will count them selves to be on top.

Splendid will be the big threat. If they can negate him, Herath should not pose too much trouble. It will be case of SL always just being a wicket away from being back in the game tomorrow.

Play of the day.

Pakistan dropped 3-4 catches today. But Akmals drop off Mahela was beauty. It was so straight forward that your grandma woulda cought it sitting on their wheel chair. It was also an important drop. Because the Mahela-Paranavitana partnership put Sri Lanka back on track before lunch.

Akmal we salute you.

Balls of the day

Paranavitana and Aamer share the balls. Although we hope not their own with each other.

Aamer.17.

Wickets in your first over on debut and making King Kumar look like an English county player. Wear those clangers with pride young paduwan.

Paranavitana – its been a rough ride for the young man but today he used his brains and balls to good effect. A good innings up top was desperately needed and he rode his luck to produce solid knock.

ajantha mendis mahela jayawardane malinda warnapura mendis Mohammad Aamer splendid mendis sri lanka v pakistan younis khan yousuf

The test series ‘of the summer’ gets under way in less than a day and we answer all the questions that’s been ailing your thought process.

Who will drop like MJ ?

Who will be trip over and fall flat on their face? In short,

Who will loose their balls?
The ultimate guide.

Malinda Warnapura.

Grab them while you can. Malinda on his last balls ?
Grab them while you can. Malinda on his last balls ?

He’s young, he’s tall and he has no technique outside off stump.

Pakistan might not have a Waquar and Wasim but Gul and that new fella Aamer will do nicely. He has enjoyed a free ride at the top of the order mainly because the rest of the openers SL are churning out are not up to the mark. We think his fairy tale will end. Quickly.

Verdict– Not nutmeg, but nutless. Hmm. Maybe one and a half nutless.

Abdul Razaq

Where are your whites Abdul? Where ARE THEY ?
Where are your whites Abdul? Where ARE THEY ?

The bastard child. He play in the ICL, now he play the test cricket. Lalit Modi might have cared if it was the IPL. But he’s not, so he doesn’t.

Razaq last played a test like 400 years ago or something. Sure he can knock it about in a 2020 game but does he still remember hold to hold a red ball.

Does he even have white flannels ???

His stats against SL and in SL isnt even going to scare my granny. Mendis with four around him ?

Verdict – Do you even need to ask ?

Danish ‘Cookies’ Kaneria

God doesnt care about your balls Danish.
God doesn't care about your balls Danish.

With an average of 35 and a strike rate of 70 he is possibly one of the most overrated spinners in the game at the moment.

It has been suggested by some wily conspiracy theorists that his figures of 5-205 in the first test at Karachi was what pushed those terrorists over the edge in Lahore.

Sri Lankans usually play leg spin pretty well and Leg spinners usually don’t do so well in SL.  Only Shane Warne has an average better than his overall figures in SL. Anils at 44 (29 Career), Mushie 40 (32 Career).

Don’t be surprised if Danish crumbles like a cookie- smirk.
Also, his middle name is ‘Prabha’. And you know how Sri Lankans take to dudes with that name. Even if it is your middle name.

Verdict– Cookies don’t have balls. So yea, Ball-less

abdul razaq danish kaneria flyslip malinda warnapura sri lanka v pakistan

This is what happened when Younis Khan implied that Pakistan might win the 2020 WC.

sangakkara sri lanka v pakistan younis khan