International Stadium, situated 116km south
of Colombo, is one of the world’s most beautiful
cricketing venues. A 200-year-old UNESCO protected
Dutch fort provides a dramatic backdrop for the breathtaking
view of the glistening Indian Ocean in the distance.
The venue played its first first-class match in 1984
and its inaugural Test match in 1997/98 when Sri Lanka
took on New Zealand.
LANKA Vs. ENGLAND (2003)
It may have been guarding Sri Lanka's southern coastline
for the best part of 400 years, but the old Dutch
fort at Galle can rarely have witnessed a more magnificent
backs-to-the-ramparts effort than England's tailenders
produced to save the first Test. From a position of
apparent hopelessness at lunch on the final day, England
rallied sufficiently to cling to their positions until
nightfall, before being airlifted to Kandy on Sunday
in a military helicopter, with their spirits at a
higher ebb than at any other stage this winter.
It was a match in which an English defeat ought to
have been a formality, especially after losing the
toss at Muttiah Muralitharan's most prolific hunting-ground.
Instead, they held out, and for all the brave words
being uttered publicly by the Sri Lankan players and
officials, their failure to break through England's
defenses has been a shattering disappointment. On
a local radio phone-in on Sunday afternoon, the presenter
referred bleakly to "Sri Lanka's defeat"
on more than half-a-dozen occasions, and not one single
caller felt the need to correct him.
By escaping with a draw, England are already in a
stronger position in this series than they were two
years ago, when Kandy was the venue for one of the
most explosive Test encounters in recent years. England
eventually won a nail biter by just three wickets,
although the result said nothing of the main incidents
of the match - dodgy umpiring that brought even the
mild-mannered Sanath Jaysuriya to the brink of apoplexy,
a finger-jabbing face-off between Kumar Sangakkara
and the rarely ruffled Mike Atherton, and most crucially
of all for England, a hard-fought (if fortunate) century
by Nasser Hussain, which brought an end to the most
desperate run of form of his career.
Sri Lanka 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2
Marvan Atapattu, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela
Jayawardene, 5 Tillekaratne Dilshan, 6 Hashan Tillakaratne
(capt), 7 Thilan Samaraweera, 8 Kumar Dharmasena,
9 Chaminda Vaas, 10 Dilhara Fernando, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.
England 1 Michael Vaughan (capt),
2 Marcus Trescothick, 3 Mark Butcher, 4 Nasser Hussain,
5 Graham Thorpe, 6 Andrew Flintoff, 7 Chris Read (wk),
8 Gareth Batty, 9 Ashley Giles, 10 Richard Johnson,
11 Matthew Hoggard.
Tour of Sri Lanka - 2004
mighty Aussies took on the Sri Lankan lions on the
5th & 12th of March, 2004 at the Galle International
Cricket Ground. The 1st test played at Galle was a
high scoring one with the Aussies clinching the match
much to the dismay of the local supporters.
Inn - AUS 220/all out, 68.3 overs
1st Inn - SL 381/all out, 136.4 overs
Inn - AUS 512/8 [declared], 152.0 overs
2nd Inn - SL 154/all out, 45.2 overs
Australia won by 197 runs.