Sri Lankan batsmen make it tough for India

August 9th, 2008 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS  

By Rex Clementine
Colombo, Aug 9 (IANS) India’s bowling attack that had looked formidable in the second Test against Sri Lanka at Galle, was found wanting here in the decisive third and final Test at the P. Saravanamutu Stadium in Colombo as the hosts consolidated their position reaching 114 for two at lunch on day two. After the Indian batsmen had managed only 249 runs in their first innings in perfect batting conditions, the bowlers required to fire, but the Sri Lankan batsmen negotiated the Indian attack without much trouble losing just the wicket of Michael Van Dort in the morning session.

Ishant Sharma was not able to get the same bounce he got in Galle. His two spells in the morning did not bring the 19-year-old any success.

Resuming from the overnight 14 for one, Van Dort and Chaminda Vaas, who had been promoted as a night watchman, helped Sri Lanka to 42 before Zaheer Khan struck by getting Van Dort leg before wicket. It was another failure for the tall left-hander, who made only 14 runs after grinding for 77 minutes. Van Dort, who played the third Test only because there was no other opener in form, has accumulated only 31 runs in four innings in this series.

Vaas proved to be difficult to dislodge as he played with caution. He had spent more than two hours at the crease for his 39 and had faced 74 balls hitting four boundaries.

The left-hander added an unbroken 72 runs for the third wicket with vice-captain Kumar Sangakkara, who was unbeaten on 45 at lunch.

The Indians missed a chance to break the partnership when Sangakkara was put down by Rahul Dravid at first slip off Anil Kumble when he was on 34.

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