Kandamby and Mathews rescue Sri Lanka
England pacemen James Anderson, Graham Onions and Stuart Broad made
early inroads into the Sri Lanka top order batting and it was left to
the Lankan middle order to extract the side from a deep hole when they
were precariously placed at 81 for 5. Thilina Kandamby and Angelo
Mathews scored half centuries and a late flourish from Muthiah
Muralitharan and Nuwan Kulasekera took Sri Lanka to 212 in 47 overs.
Conditions allowed the ball to move and seam prodigiously nurturing
confusion in the minds of the batsmen. In a pre match press briefing
England coach former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower said that he would
prefer to play at Wanderers instead of Centurion because the nature of
the wicket. It was similar to the one that Pakistan played West Indies.
Andrew Strauss, the England captain won the toss and inserted Sri
Lanka into bat and they got off to a dreadful start within 5.2 overs Sri
Lanka was reduced to 17 for 4 with the cream of the batting back in the
Anderson and Onions shared nine overs and Stuart Broad was introduced
into the attack and Samaraweera struck him twice to the boundary.
In the opening spells the Sri Lankan batsmen Sangakkara and
Jayawardena were in all sorts of trouble, they were hit by rising
deliveries. But Samaraweera and left hander Thilina Kandamby dug
themselves in to produce a sensible partnership for the fifth wicket
adding 64 runs off ninety six deliveries. Samaraweera drove with
exquisite timing to reach the ropes on four occasions.
Samaraweera and Kandamby batted with steady increasing confidence and
restored some order to the Sri Lanka batting.
So did Mathews and Kandamby who added 58 runs for the sixth wicket
off 58 deliveries. Kandamby reached his fifth ODI 50 with company of
Mathews off 71 deliveries the duo, had guided the side from 81 for 5 to
140 for 5 unseparated with Mathews batting with a lot of maturity.
After the pair had added 84 runs for the sixth wicket Kandamby
driving to cover ran down the pitch for a run but was sent back by
Mathews could not beat Luke Wright’s throw to wicket keeper Prior and
was out for 53 off 82 deliveries with five fours.
Then Mathews crossing for a second run was obstructed by bowler
Graham Onions, of course not wilfully and was unable to make his ground
good, the ball was thrown to the keepers end and wicket keeper Matt
Prior took off the bails.
The two umpires Billy Bowden and Alim Dar conferred and gave Mathews
run out. But the England captain Andrew Strauss sportingly called
Mathews back. But he did not last long as he was caught behind for 52
off 73 balls with five fours.