Warnapura hundred puts Sri Lanka in driver’s seat (Lunch Report)

July 24th, 2008 - 3:02 pm ICT by IANS  

By Rex Clementine
Colombo, July 24 (IANS) Sri Lankan opener Malinda Warnapura scored his second Test hundred and joined the history books as the first man to be referred to the television referral umpire during the first Test between Sri Lanka and India at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground here Thursday. Sri Lanka had a good session on the second morning and took lunch on 205 for two after resuming at overnight 85 for two.

It was the left-handed Warnapura who stole the limelight with a disciplined hundred helping his team to seize the initiative. He batted with his captain Mahela Jayawardene during the extended morning session adding an unbroken 148 runs for the third wicket.

Warnapura was unbeaten on 110 at lunch while Jayawardene was on 66.

The centurion was on 86 when an LBW appeal was referred by umpire Mark Benson to the television referral umpire.

After a Harbhajan delivery struck the batsman’s pad, an appeal by the Indians was turned down, but on the insistence of wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, Indian captain Anil Kumble asked the head umpire to review the decision. After consulting colleague Rudi Koertzen, Benson ruled in the batsman’s favour.

While all the attention was on Warnapura, Jayawardene reached his 31st Test fifty and the sixth against India when he swung Harbhajan for a six over long-on.

The Sri Lankans had no trouble on a placid pitch. Runs started coming easily and the tourists needed to seize every opportunity that came their way. They missed out on dismissing Jayawardene when Karthik dropped the Sri Lankan captain on 55.

Warnapura reached three figures by cutting Ishant Sharma for four. He had faced 163 balls for his hundred hitting 13 boundaries. Close to lunch, he grew in confidence and didn’t mind dancing down the pitch to Kumble.

It was tough work for the Indians in hot and humid conditions where they toiled hard for two and a half hours without any success.

The game got underway only after tea on the first day due to rain and only 22 overs were bowled Wednesday.

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