2nd Test: Sri Lanka aim for double delight
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2nd Test: Sri Lanka aim for double delight
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka hope to celebrate 30 years in Test cricket by toppling England from the number one ranking when the second and final Test starts in Colombo tomorrow.
Sri Lanka, who won the first Test in Galle by 75 runs, are determined to scalp the tourists again at the P. Sara Oval and clinch their first series victory since 2009 when they beat New Zealand 2-0 at home.
Andrew Strauss’s spin-wary England will slip to number two behind South Africa if they lose or draw the Test on a traditionally sporting Oval wicket that offers assistance to both batsmen and bowlers.
It was at the same venue that Sri Lanka played their inaugural Test in February 1982 against an England side led by Keith Fletcher, which won by seven wickets inside four days.
Strauss will look for a similar result, but his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahela Jayawardene wants to settle for nothing less than a win in the landmark Test.
“I’ll be very proud to be on the field and even prouder if we can claim a series victory,” said Jayawardene, who hit 180 in the Galle Test to put his side on top.
Captain wants more of the same from Herath
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who claimed nine wickets against South Africa, destroyed England with six wickets in each innings to earn the man-of-the-match award.
Jayawardene was delighted with the way 34-year-old Herath has shaped up and was confident the spinner will continue to build on his 132 wickets from 36 Tests so far.
“Herath has been around a long time and is a class act. He’s the most experienced bowler I have right now and he’s taken the responsibility to shoulder the attack.”
Sri Lanka will be bolstered by the return of all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who missed the first Test with a calf injury.
England, meanwhile, were left to ponder a new bowling combination after Stuart Broad returned home for assessment on a calf injury he sustained in the first Test.
Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn are standing by to replace Broad, but both could play if England decide to drop spinner Monty Panesar and leave Samit Patel to share the spin attack with Graeme Swann.
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