Laxman’s spectacular ton helps India to dramatic series leveling win against Lanka

August 7th, 2010 - 5:47 pm ICT by ANI  

Sachin Tendulkar Colombo, Aug 7 (ANI): Veteran middle-order batsman VVS Laxman struck his 16th Test century, as India pulled off a five-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the third and final Test match of the series on Saturday leveling the three match series 1-1.

India started the day three down on 53 still needing 203 runs on a pitch, offering huge purchase to the spinners.

The number one Test team relied heavily on the middle order, and both Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman made sure that their squad remains on top of the ranking table.

“It was a great win and an exceptional team effort. The partnership between Sachin and me was crucial. I am proud of what I achieved today. I had an opportunity to do something for India. It was a wonderful victory,” said Laxman, who was adjudged the Man of the Match for his splendid knock of 103 not out.

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said: “I think it was a convincing victory. We have got the talent needed and the bowlers stepped up at the right time. Both Sachin and Laxman took away the pressure from us.”

“We put in good effort through out the series. Lasith Malinga and Suraj Randiv were exceptional in the match. But credit goes to Laxman and Tendulkar, who were positive through out the play,” said Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara.

Indian opener Virendra Sehwag was adjudged the Man of the Series for an exceptional performance with both bat and ball.

“We lost the earlier match. It was a fantastic team effort,” said a pleased Sehwag, who scored two centuries, one half-century and claimed seven wickets in the series.

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar was given a special award for completing a world record 169 Tests, besides a special award from the Sri Lankan Board for his contribution to international cricket.

Chasing 257 on a rather difficult fifth day track, the Indians recovered from early blows suffered on Friday with a 109-run partnership between Laxman and Tendulkar that laid the foundation of the win.

Tendulkar was dismissed on 54, when Randiv flighted one outside the leg stump and the Indian, attempting a sweep shot, ended up gloving one to wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene.

Joined by the in-form Suresh Raina, who scored a century on debut in the drawn second Test, Laxman ensured that the boundaries kept coming for India at regular intervals and he alone collected 12 of them.

Raina clobbered Chanaka Welegedara for a six to hand Sri Lanka there first defeat at P Sara Oval Stadium since August 1994, triggering scenes of celebration in the Indian dressing room. He remained unbeaten on 41.

But on the flipside, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men could not break the 17-year-old jinx of not winning a series in the island nation.

Randiv was the most threatening of Sri Lanka’s bowlers and assumed the role of the lead spinner after Murlitharan’s retirement in just his second Test. He claimed five wickets in the match.

Brief Scores: India 436 (Sehwag 109, Raina 62, Randiv 4-80) and 258 for 5 (Laxman 103*, Tendulkar 54, Randiv 5-82) beat Sri Lanka 425 (Samaraweera 137*, Sangakkara 75, Ojha 4-115) and 267 (Samaraweera 83, Mendis 78) by five wickets. (ANI)

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