Sehwag-Gambhir in unfinishe 151-run stand in Galle TestJuly 31st, 2008 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS
By Rex Clementine
Galle (Sri Lanka), July 31 (IANS) After suffering their third worst Test defeat inside four days in Colombo, India did well to reach 151 without losing any wicket at lunch on the first day of the second cricket Test here at the Galle International Cricket Stadium. India’s bid to level the series started off on a perfect note as captain Anil Kumble won the toss and elected to bat.
It was Virender Sehwag who consolidated India’s position with a typically aggressive 91 off 82 balls asking some serious questions from the Sri Lankan attack that had run through the Indian batting in a one-sided Test in Colombo.
Sehwag was well supported by his Delhi teammate Gautam Gambhir, who reached his fourth Test fifty.
The start of the Test was in complete contrast to last week’s happenings when no Indian batsman made a fifty in the entire first Test. Here in the first innings itself the openers had passed 50 helping the tourists to record the highest score in Galle in the opening session of a Test Match.
Sehwag controlled things from the very outset with his approach and reached his 15th Test half-century by cutting Muttiah Muralitharan for a boundary off his very first ball. He took only 50 balls to reach his half-century.
He had also come with a plan to counter Sri Lanka’s mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis and lofted him for a six in his second over. He continued his aggressive approach and that forced Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene to take him off after a spell of six overs wherein he went for 37 runs. Muralitharan was also expensive as 32 runs came in his first spell of six overs.
Sri Lanka had a chance for the breakthrough, but they let off Gambhir on 13 when wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene dived across Kumar Sangakkara at first slip off Nuwan Kulasekara’s bowling.
Gambhir was unbeaten on 50 in 92 balls with seven fours while Sehwag’s 91 had 14 boundaries and a six.