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DD batsman hits unbeaten 168 as SL finish Day 1 at 289/8 against Eng
By IPL desk
Mumbai 26 March 2012
Delhi Daredevils’ Mahela Jayawardene brought up his 30th Test ton as Sri Lanka finished Day 1 of their first Test match against England at 289 for eight. Jayawardene, who remained unbeaten on 168 when played ended, was the only Sri Lankan batsman to put up any kind of fight on a day otherwise dominated by the English bowlers.
The hosts were in trouble early on after captain Jayawardene won the toss and opted to make first use of the wicket at the Galle International Stadium. James Anderson and Stuart Broad did the early damage for England as they quickly reduced Sri Lanka to 15 for the loss of three wickets before the completion of the fourth over. Thilan Samaraweera (20) was then run out backing up at the non-striker’s end with the score at 67.
Jayawardene, though, managed to hold the innings together. After a 52-run stand with Samaraweera, the DD batsman struck a 61-run stand with Dinesh Chandimal during which he surpassed Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar as the eighth-highest run-getter in Test cricket. Then, after Samit Patel had Chandimal (27) caught by Ian Bell, James Anderson trapped Prasanna Jayawardene (23) lbw and Suraj Randiv (12) was run out by a direct hit from Andrew Strauss. Mahela Jayawardene then took the Lankan score past 250 thanks to a 62-run stand with Rangana Herath. While Herath (5) showed tremendous fight during his 30-ball stay at the wicket, Jayawardene went on to bring up his 30th Test ton in the 69th over of the Lankan innings by paddle sweeping Graeme Swann to the fine leg boundary.
After bringing up his century, Jayawardene switched gears. Where his first 101 runs came off 200 deliveries (strike-rate 50.50), the Lankan ace took just 90 deliveries to score his next 67 runs (strike-rate 74.44) as Sri Lanka finished the day at a competitive 289 for eight. Jayawardene’s century today also has him tied in eighth spot with Australian Matthew Hayden on the list of batsmen with most Test centuries in a career.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 1st innings 289/8 (Mahela Jayawardene 168*, James Anderson 3/56, Samit Patel 2/27)
KKR all-rounder overtakes RR’s Watson in ODI Rankings
By IPL desk
Mumbai 26 March 2012
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Shakib Al Hasan has returned to the top spot of the ICC ODI Rankings for all-rounders with brilliant performances in the recently concluded 2012 Asia Cup in Mirpur, Bangladesh. Shakib has replaced Australian and Rajasthan Royals star Shane Watson at the top of the list.
The Bangladeshi left-hander scored 237 runs in the tournament. This performance has also put him on a career-best 12th spot in the batsman rankings. His six wickets have brought him down one rung to No. 8 on the best bowlers list.
Delhi Daredevils’ new signing Andre Russell and Mumbai Indians star Kieron Pollard have also improved on their previous rankings on the all-rounders list that was updated on Monday, March 26.
In the batsman rankings, India and Chennai Super Kings’ skipper MS Dhoni has moved up one place to No. 4. MI captain Sachin Tendulkar (No. 27), CSK star Suresh Raina (No. 32) and DD’s fiery opener David Warner (No. 43) have also improved on their rankings.
On the bowlers list, India and CSK off-spinner R Ashwin has climbed six rungs to No. 4. He picked up five wickets in the Asia Cup. Watson’s 11 wickets in the ODI series against West Indies have helped him to the 17th spot – an improvement by nine places.