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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sangakkara masterclass almost trumps Australia's stronger hand: Second Test Day 5

Kumara Sangakkara's 192/282b was the highlight of the final day's play of the Second Test, and also of the series.

Unfortunately he didn't receive from several of his teammates the support which his innings deserved. Four of the first seven in the order contributed 4 runs between them to a total of 410: if you want to identify the underperformers see the scorecard. Nor did he receive a good, or even half decent decision from umpire Koertzen, for which the official subsequently apologised (and which the Channel 9 vision showed K S accepting with exceptionally good - dare I say unAustralian - grace).

Australia therefore won by 97 runs, a comfortable margin on paper but one which will should make them think hard about (1) the policy of not enforcing the follow on where they've obtained a large lead, and (2) whether their attack is the best available. Stuarts Clark and MacGill were disappointing: Clark bowled a lot of tripe to the tailenders and MacGill did the same throughout the innings.

Brett Lee however bowled magnificently, and thoroughly deserved his Player of the Series award (Sangakkara should have received the Player of the Match as while he was batting Sri Lanka were still in with a chance).

And so, as Simon O'Donnell reminded the Channel 9 Cricket Show viewers at lunchtime today (a program which looked hastily cobbled together, as if Ch9 didn't believe the game would last that long , Test Cricket in Australia now goes into recess until after Christmas. Such are the exigencies of the modern game.

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