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Two valuable stands help Lanka recover

It was fighting cricket by both sides as Makhaya Ntini (4 for 84) and Dale Styn (5 for 82) produced telling blows to break the backbone of the Sri Lanka batting before two highly productive partnerships between Chamara Kapugedera and wicket keeper Prasanna Jayawardena and there after Chaminda Vaas and Farveez Maharoof salvaged some pride into the Sri Lanka batting at the end of the second day of the Second cricket Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa at the P. Sara Stadium yesterday.

The Sri Lanaka batting was woven around these two partnerships as Prasanna Jayawardena and Kapugedera added 105 for the fifth wicket bringing the score from 86 for 5 to 191 for 6 while another entertaining stand between left hander Chaminda Vaas (64), who recorded his eleventh Test 50, and Farveez Maharoof (56) was associated in a 117 run stand for the eight wicket in 228 deliveries brought the score from 191 for 7 to 308 reducing the defect. Maharoof faced 110 deliveries and struck ten fours while Vaas faced 130 balls reaching the fence on ten occasions in his 64.

In reply to South Africa's first innings total of 361 Sri Lanka were all out for 321 conceding a 40 run defect, The visitors had to face just two overs in their second innings and they were 6 for no loss.

Sri Lanka started fresh in the morning ,but lost wickets in rapid succession. By the 22nd over the South African speedster had shattered the Sri Lanka batting capturing 5 wickets for 86 runs with Makhaya Ntini cutting through the hard crust of the host team batting claiming the wickets of Upul Tharanga, Jayasuriya, Sangakkara and Dilshan.

Ntini who had a nightmare of a match in the first Test which Sri Lanka won, found things suitable for his liking, while Steyn playing in his eight Test got the prized wicket of Jayawardena caught behind by Boucher going for a cut as the Lankans were heading towards disaster. At lunch Sri Lanka were 98 for 5 with the cream of the batting enjoying the comfort of the pavilion.

Tharanga was the first to depart when he miscued a pull shot and presented Boje with an easy catch of Ntini. The in the third over of the day second by Ntini Sangakkara who was shaping well was snapped up by Amla at mid wicket for 14. Skipper and triple centurion Mahela Jayawardena joined by Jayasuriya added a further 31 runs. Jayawardena going for an ambitious cut managed to touch one and wicket keeper Boucher took the catch.

The entire morning session was dominated by the South African fast bowlers. Ntini took four of the five wickets which fell in the pre lunch session. Steyn who looked the fastest of the pace trio accounted for Dilshan and the Lankan batting was in an disarray at lunch 98 for 5.

Jayasuriya who began in his own inimitable style in the opening overs hitting Steyn twice to the cover boundary became more cautious with wickets falling around him. Jayasuriya was given a bit of torrid time by Steyn, he was hit in the chest, but stood up well. But just before the lunch adjournment he too fell edging one to Gibbs in the slips for 47 after facing 67 deliveries with eight boundaries.

Soon after lunch Chamara Kapugedera and Prasanna Jayawardena resumed their rescue operation. If ever there was an opportunity for both Kapugedera and wicket keeper Prasanna Jayawardena to prove beyond doubt that they were now an essential part in the Sri Lankan side this was surely an opportunity not to be missed. They were immediately tested to the full by the pacemen who were operating at top gear. They withstood everything produced by the Protease pacemen and looked more sound and secure than any of the previous batsmen. Kapugedera hit Ntini for a six over square leg and drove Boje for another six. He also had nine fours after facing 77 deliveries when Boje got him bowled around his legs. Jayawardena too played exceptionally well hitting a six off Ntini to mid wicket and hammering another six fours facing 49 deliveries. The fifth wicket pair of Jayawaredena and Kapugedera realised 105 runs.

U. Tharanga c Boje b Ntini	  	 2
S. Jayasuriya c Gibbs b Ntini	 	47
K. Sangakkara c Amla b Ntini	 	14
M. Jayawardene c Boucher b Steyn	13
T. Dilshan b Ntini	  		 4
C. Kapugedera b Boje	 		63
P. Jayawardene b Steyn	 		42
F. Maharoof b Steyn	 		56
C. Vaas c Boucher b Steyn	 	64
L. Malinga not out	  		 8
M. Muralitharan c Hall b Steyn	  	 0
Extras (lb-1, nb-5, w-2)	  	 8
TOTAL (all out, 85.1 overs)		321
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-16, 2-43, 3-74, 4-85, 5-86, 
6-191, 7-191, 8-308, 9-317, 10-321.
BOWLING: Ntini 21-3-84-4, D. Steyn 13.1-1-82-5 (nb-3 w-2), 
S. Pollock 16-4-52-0 (nb-2), A. Hall 15-7-31-0, 
N. Boje 20-6-71-1.

H. Gibbs not out	  	4
A. Hall not out	  		2
Extras	  			0
TOTAL (for no loss, 2 overs)	6
BOWLING: C. Vaas 1-0-4-0, L. Malinga 1-0-2-0.


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