Debutant Prasad puts Sri Lanka on top

August 8th, 2008 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Aug 8 (IANS) Indian opener Gautam Gambhir came up with a timely half-century to stem the rot after Sri Lanka’s debutant pacer Dammika Prasad ripped through the top order on the opening day of their third and decisive cricket Test match here Friday. The medium pacer claimed Virender Sehwag (21), Rahul Dravid (10) and Sachin Tendulkar (06), restricting the visitors to 104 for three by lunch.

India’s captain Anil Kumble might have expected a strong start after electing to bat but Prasad’s efforts pegged India against the wall as he finished with figures of three for 49.

Prasad claimed the wicket of Sehwag, who was a thorn in the Sri Lankans’ flesh in the second Test by hammering an unbeaten double hundred and a half-century, in his first spell from the Air Force Flats end and then switched ends to snap Dravid and Tendulkar.

Prasad, 25, who replaced Kulasekara, was struck on the left wrist by Sehwag’s ferocious drive and needed the help of physiotherapist, but he soon bounced back by removing the dangerous Sehwag in his next ball.

Sehwag had been also dropped on 41 when Malinda Warnapura missed a chance off Chaminda Vaas at short square leg.

Prasad then struck two vital blows by removing Tendulkar and Dravid after both decisions were referred to the Television Referral Umpire.

The Sri Lankan opted for a referral after a loud leg before wicket shout off Dravid had been turned down. After consultation with umpire Billy Doctrove, Mark Benson ruled the batsman out for 10 and two overs later Prasad claimed the big wicket of Tendulkar.

The star batsman was beaten by the fuller delivery. Tendulkar will now have to wait to till second inning to break Brian Lara’s world record for most runs in Tests. Tendulkar started the Test requiring 101 runs to break the record and he managed just six runs in the first innings here.

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