Sri Lanka make solid start after bowling out India for 329 (Tea Report)

August 1st, 2008 - 6:18 pm ICT by IANS  

By Rex Clementine
Galle (Sri Lanka), Aug 1 (IANS) Left-handers Malinda Warnapura (60) and Kumar Sangakkara (59) anchored Sri Lanka’s strong reply after India were all out for 329 in the first innings in the second cricket Test at the Galle International Cricket Stadium here. Sri Lanka reached 126 for one by tea on the second day after Virender Sehwag’s double hundred helped take India to a respectable total.

Michael Van Dort, who had cracked a four off the very first ball of the Sri Lankan innings, was out on third ball when he pushed hard at a Zaheer Khan delivery to be caught by Rahul Dravid at wide third slip.

Sangakkara joined Warnapura and exploited the good batting conditions, adding 122 runs for the second wicket.

Sangakkara reached his 26th Test fifty by pushing Kumble for a single having faced 63 balls while Warnapura was aggressive right from the start and reached his third Test fifty by paddle sweeping Kumble. He needed only 54 balls for his half-century.

India could have had the wicket of Sangakkara but Dinesh Karthik missed a stumping chance when the wicketkeeper-batsman was on 58. Sangakkara had come down the track and was deceived by the flight, but Karthik’s sloppy glove work let the batsman off the hook.

Earlier, the day was dominated by Indian opener Sehwag, who became the second Indian after Sunil Gavaskar to carry his bat through in an innings. Sehwag completed his fifth Test double hundred and remained stranded on 201 as India bowled out for 329.

Mendis finished with six for 117, earning his first five-wicket haul.

While Sehwag made more than half of his team’s runs, only two other Indians managed double figures as the batting collapsed once again in a dramatic fashion.

Sehwag and V.V.S. Laxman extended their fifth wicket stand to 100 runs Friday morning after India had lost four wickets in the space of 19 balls the previous evening.

Sehwag had nicked Ajantha Mendis earlier to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene when on 188, but umpire Billy Doctrove had turned down the appeal and the Sri Lankans couldn’t ask for a referral as their three referrals had been exhausted by then.

Sri Lanka used their third referral when Sehwag was on 182 after a confident leg before wicket shout off Muralitharan was turned down. But it came back negative after umpire Gamini Silva went through video replays.

Umpire Silva was functioning as the Television Referral umpire as colleague Mark Benson had to move on filed after Rudi Keortzen was indisposed.

Sehwag, who had earlier taken only 87 balls for his hundred, was cautious on his way to the double hundred. Together with V.V.S. Laxman, Sehwag added 100 runs for the fifth wicket. But from thereon, wickets fell at regular intervals as none of the tail-enders managed to get to double figures and Sehwag was left fighting a lone battle.

The batsman was on 195 when last man Ishant Sharma entered the crease, but he managed to get to the milestone before Sharma was ruled leg before wicket to Ajantha Mendis.

Sehwag also became the tenth Indian to complete 5,000 runs after Sachin Tendulkar (11,826), Sunil Gavaskar (10,122), Rahul Dravid (10,101), Dilip Vengsarkar (6,868), Sourav Ganguly (6,819), Mohammad Azharuddin (6,215), Gundappa Vishvanath (6,080), V.V.S. Laxman (5,892) and Kapil Dev (5,248).

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