India win Galle Test against Sri Lanka, square series

August 3rd, 2008 - 8:03 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Galle, Aug 3 (IANS) India bounced back in dramatic style after losing the first Test, thrashing Sri Lanka by a whopping 170 runs in the second Test at the Galle International Cricket Ground here Sunday inside four days. Chasing a target of 307 runs, the Sri Lankans collapsed for 136, barely 45 minutes before close of play.

Harbhajan Singh returned a match haul of ten wickets, including four in the second innings, for 153 runs and Virender Sehwag hit an unbeaten double ton in the first innings and a half-century in the second to set-up the victory for India.

The efforts of Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis, who took his maiden 10-wicket haul, were overshadowed by that of the two Indians.

After Sri Lanka bundled India for 269 in the second innings, the hosts had to negotiate nine overs before the lunch break on the penultimate day, but they lost three wickets to give the visitors the initiative even before the spinners came on.

Ishant Sharma (3-20) and Zaheer Khan (1-18) bowled a tidy first spell and had the Sri Lankans in trouble. While Ishant picked up Malinda Warnapura (0) and Mahela Jayawardene (5), Zaheer Khan got the wicket of Kumar Sangakkara (1) to leave the Sri Lankans at ten for three.

The Indians could have taken a fourth wicket before lunch, but Michael Van Dort (10) was put down by Rahul Dravid at third slip before he had opened the account. Van Dort was also caught off a no ball when he was on six and finally Harbhajan put an end to his misery claiming the opener with an arm ball.

Thilan Samaraweera (67 not out) and Tillekeratne Dilshan (38) repaired the Sri Lankan innings with a 76 run stand for the fifth wicket as Sri Lanka took tea on 109 for four. But after the break, they collapsed like ninepins losing their last five wickets for only six runs and Samaraweera was left stranded when last man Muttiah Muralitharan was out for a pair.

Harbhajan finished with four wickets in the second innings as Sri Lanka were bundled out inside 48 overs.

This was Sri Lanka’s third lowest total against India and their lowest against the same opponents at home.

The Sri Lankans started the day well when India resumed at overnight 200 for four. Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman extended the Indian total to 221 before Mendis pushed Laxman on the back foot and had him leg before wicket.

Ganguly and Dinesh Karthik took the Indian total pass 250 before Karthik was caught at deep mid wicket off Muralitharan (3-107) with the total on 252. India lost their last five wickets for the addition of just 17 runs.

India were bowled out for 329 runs in their first innings and restricted the Sri Lankans for 292 in their first innings.

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