Sri Lanka sitting on a knife's edge
|Gilchrist creates history - AFP
Luck played a decisive part for Sri Lanka to finish the day without losing a wicket after Australia thrived on their share of luck to post a wholesome 542 for 5 declared on the second day of the second and final cricket Test here at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart yesterday.
Openers Marvan Atapattu and Michael Vandort nervously negotiated some unplayable deliveries that dangerously passed their bats during an intensely cold final session to accept fading light conditions with the total at 30. The two batsmen of contrasting styles will have everything to play for on a make or break day when they move out to recommence their innings.
Earlier Australia ’s hardest hitting pair of Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds played havoc pounding 95 runs for the sixth wicket in just over an hour, a period in which the bowlers took their worst hammering in the match.
Gilchrist rode his luck when he edged Lasith Malinga past slips in the first two balls he faced belting anyone who was unfortunate to step in his path. When he hit Muttiah Muralitharan for two successive sixes to become the first player to pile up a hundred career sixes, it left the bowler devastated having missed his chance for a second wicket after close-in fielder Chamara Silva failed to grab a catch off Michael Clarke with the batsman on 69.
Sri Lankan allrounder Farveez Maharoof watched the proceedings from the comfort of the dressing room after a left-ankle fracture ruled out him of playing any further part in the match with the ball.
Should the Sri Lankans blow it up on the pitch today Maharoof will have the painful task of ambling out into the middle to play his part with the bat.
Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardena refused to concede that his team was batted out of the contest claiming that two days of batting could prove the pundits wrong.
“We have overcome a difficult final session, the openers started shaping up well and with Sanath Jayasuriya to come in the middle, our target is to bat two full days and throw the ball to Muralitharan”, said Jayawardena.