Friday 22 June 2012

Mini-session Analysis 1st teat SL Pak Galle 12

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the first test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at Galle International Stadium, Galle, Sri Lanka.

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aSri Lanka 45/0 off 13Sri Lanka
1-1bSri Lanka 49/1 off 14Sri Lanka
1-2aSri Lanka 44/0 off 16Sri Lanka
1-2bSri Lanka 50/1 off 15Sri Lanka
1-3aSri Lanka 65/0 off 11Sri Lanka
1-3bSri Lanka 47/0 off 21Sri Lanka
2-1aSri Lanka 35/1 off 13Pakistan
2-1bSri Lanka 31/2 off 15Pakistan
2-2aSri Lanka 45/0 off 15Sri Lanka
2-2bSri Lanka 61/5 off 20.2Pakistan
2-3aPakistan 27/2 off 11Sri Lanka
2-3bPakistan 21/3 off 13Sri Lanka
3-1aPakistan 25/1 off 17Sri Lanka
3-1bPakistan 27/4 off 13.3Sri Lanka
3-2aSri Lanka 56/0 off 12Sri Lanka
3-2bSri Lanka 37/3 off 14Pakistan
3-3aSri Lanka 40/2 off 13Pakistan
3-3bSri Lanka 4/0 off 2Sri Lanka
Pakistan 36/3 off 15
4-1aPakistan 34/1 off 16Sri Lanka
4-1bPakistan 34/0 off 16Pakistan
4-2aPakistan 50/0 off 17Pakistan
4-2bPakistan 51/1 off 15Pakistan
4-3aPakistan 34/1 off 14Sri Lanka
4-3bPakistan 61/4 off 21Sri Lanka

Final update

Tea, Day 1: Sri Lanka lead the count 4-0.

When you win the toss and bat, 188/2 at tea is normally about what the captain is hoping for. More than 90 runs per session and only lost 2 wickets. And, while the pitch has been fairly placid, there have been a few moments of doubt for the batsmen, but good technique and concentration (along with some charitable umpiring) allowed them to get through a couple of dangerous spells from each of Umar Gul and Junais Khan without either taking a scalp. Very much advantage Sri Lanka at the moment, but we don't know too much until Pakistan have a bat on it.

Final drinks, Day 1: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 5-0.

And Sri Lanka continue marching on. Again there was a few tight decisions, but Sri Lanka will now be looking for big score in the first innings and then hoping the pitch breaks up. Pakistan need to play some good cricket to swing this back in their favour.

Stumps, Day 1: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 6-0.

Pakistan had probably their best spell of bowling in the last few overs, keeping Sri Lanka under 2.5 an over. However part of that was the two old campaigners playing for stumps. A couple of quick wickets tomorrow and everything could change, but Sri Lanka have enough on the board now that it would have to be 4 or 5 quick wickets to tilt the game back to even.

Final drinks, Day 2: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 8-3.

Pakistan have worked their way back into the game, but it is still very much advantage Sri Lanka. In previous tests when Sri Lanka have managed to get into a position like this they have been good enough to grind out a win. They managed it against India at Galle a couple of years ago, South Africa in Durban last year and earlier this year against England, also at Galle.

The story of the day, however was Kumar Sangakkara joining Andy Flower as batsmen who have been left stranded on 199* in a test match. Sri Lankan fans will hope that it won't be a similar result to Flowers, where despite him scoring 142 and 199* his team were beaten by 9 wickets.

The most important play of the day, so far might be Kulasekara taking two quick wickets before drinks. Exposing the Pakistani middle order to the new ball may well make things very interesting.

Stumps, Day 2: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 9-3.

It is difficult to conceive a realistic scenario where Pakistan was further behind in the game at this point. They still trail by 424 with only 5 wickets remaining in their first innings. It will take either a lot of rain or something remarkable to save Pakistan here.

Innings break, after final drinks, Day 3: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 12-5.

Another day of odd cricket. Strange umpiring decisions, strange captaincy, poor batting, and even a couple overs of Younis Khan bowling.

This was going to be a drinks update, but Jayawardene waited for 2 overs after drinks before declaring. They added 4 vital runs in those two overs.

They could have added 72 for all the difference that it is going to make.

Sri Lanka might have not followed on because they wanted to give the bowlers a rest. Or perhaps because they wanted to use the heavy roller. Or even because they were scared of Pakistan scoring 500 and making them chase 120 on the last day. Whatever the reason it was certainly a surprise to see it. And with almost 3 days left when they bowled out Pakistan, it probably was not a mistake as much as it was just plain odd.

Pakistan now stand at the door of history. If they can overcome the Sri Lankan bowlers, and the DRS-free umpiring they could post a world record winning score. There are some other records that they could conceivably break as well. They could be the first team to have an opening partnership of more than 250 in the 4th innings. They could also be the first test team to have 3 batsmen come out without shoes on. All of these are equally unlikely. If Pakistan do win this, it would be the greatest chase in the history of cricket, and probably the biggest comeback since Lazarus.

More likely will be a painful day of indecisive batting ending about tea time tomorrow with a convincing Sri Lankan win.

Stumps, Day 3: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 13-5.

Sri Lanka are dominating this match. Kulasekara had always seemed to me to be bowler more suited to limited overs cricket, but he has started off this series very well, picking up key wickets in each innings. It will be interesting to see if the Pakistani batsmen figure out how to deal with him, because when they are taking wickets with both pace and spin, Sri Lanka are deadly.

Middle drinks, Day 4: Sri Lanka lead the mini-session count 14-7.

Pakistan start climbing the mountain.

If they are going to win or save this test they require at least one enormous partnership. These two are looking comfortable, and they have plenty of time to get themselves established before the new ball is available. Their partnership is already at 119, only 7 short of the largest in the match.

Although, unlike in recent test all round the world, the new ball has not been very deadly this test. There have so far been only 3 out of the 29 wickets taken with the first 10 overs of each ball, (about 10.3%) despite the new ball being available for 50 of the 304 overs (16.4). This means that the new ball has been only 63% as effective as the old ball for getting wickets. That is another odd thing in this game. Despite this, as the pitch starts to wear the extra bounce that the spinners will be able to get from the new (or even newish) ball will be vital. The pitch is starting to misbehave a little, with one ball in particular from Herath really biting and turning. If that starts happening more often, but still unpredictably, it could cause some real trouble for the Pakistani batsmen.

This test is now in one of the most interesting phases. One team hanging on grimly, and the other trying to dislodge them. I really enjoy watching good spinners against quality batsmen on a turning pitch.

End of match: Sri Lanka win the match, and the mini-session count 16-8.

And that was about right. Sri Lanka played about twice as well as Pakistan. Sri Lanka scored their runs at just over 40 per wicket, while Pakistan scored at 20 per wicket. That probably says enough there. There were two highlights for Pakistan: the good bowling of Saeed Ajmal and the fight shown by the middle order. Younis was like we remember him, Asad Shafiq was beautiful to watch, it took a real piece of skill to remove him with the rebound catch. His footwork was phenomenal and the way he used the crease was art.

But it all ended they way that it was expected to. With Sri Lanka winning comfortably.

It will be interesting to see what sort of difference Misbah makes in the next test.

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