Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Atapattu makes India pay for costly lapse
Published: Monday, August 6, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Colombo: One life can make or mar a teams chances. And the Indians rued the fact that they let Marvan Atapattu off the hook. The dogged opener made the Indians pay a heavy price as the Sri Lankans moved themselves to a commanding position in the third and final Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground. Sri Lanka, at close on the second day, had reached 323 for five (a lead of 89) with Jayawardene going strong on 95.It was the 133-run partnership between Atapattu and Jayawardene that really took the game away from the tourists.Resuming at 204 for two at tea, the pair continued in the same vein and looked like grinding the Indians further into submission. However, the Indians had a piece of good fortune come their when Atapattu (108) was declared caught bat pad when television replays showed otherwise. But, Attapatu had done most of the damage by then registering a personal century and taking the teams score to 252 for three.In walked Russel Arnold and snuffed away whatever little chance the Indians had of restricting the Sri Lankan lead. He played a little camoe of 31 (38 balls) in quick time and helped his team put on 58 and take Sri Lanka to 310 for four (a lead of 76).In the meanwhile Jayawardene, in the company of the rest was taking Sri Lanka towards a formidable total and in the process took his individual score towards yet another hundred. Although Sri Lanka lost nightwatchman Liyanage caught behind to have Sri Lanka five down, Sri Lanka is still in a good position to force the issue on Friday.Though Venkatesh Prasad struck soon after the lunch break to dismiss Sangakkara, Atapattu eased into his customary role of sheet anchor. He also played some pleasing straight drives of fuller length deliveries making India rue the chance that they got in the morning to get rid of him.Mahela Jayawardene has proved to be compact against the Indians and he continued his good run to frustrate any hopes that the Indians might have salvaged of early break throughs especially after getting the wicket of Sangakkara.The missed chance against Sangakkara may not have proved too costly, but the lapse against Atapattu may as well cost the Indians dear. If India had taken both the chances in the first session of play, the game could well have had a different story to tell in the second session of play.The Indians lost a golden opportunity to run Marvan Atapattu out. Substitute Dinesh Mongia fumbled with the throw from point with Atapattu way down the wicket from the non-strikers end.The hosts had reached 93 for one at lunch with the bowlers failing to make an impression. Marvan Atapattu (30) and Kumar Sangakkara (29) were at the crease. Sameer Dighe muffed an opportunity to stump Sangakkara off leg spinner Sairaj Bahutule just before lunch. Sanath Jayasuriya did seem to enjoy a piece of luck when a confident appeal for bat-boot catch at silly point was turned down by umpire Dave Orchard. Jayasuriya played the next ball uppishly, but backward square leg was not in a position to take the catch.But, the Sri Lankan captain did not stay long to enjoy the luck. In the very next over, bowled by Venkatesh Prasad, he dragged the ball on to his stumps to give India the first success of the morning.