Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Atapattu makes India pay for costly lapse
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Sri Lanka ambles along to 93/1 at lunch
India's tour of Sri Lanka
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 the price as the Sri Lankans edged towards taking command in the third and final Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground. Sri Lanka, at tea on the second day, had reached 204 for two with Atapattu going strong on 86.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.