Sangakkara takes Sri Lanka to a strong position (Lead)

August 3rd, 2010 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Kumar Sangakkara Colombo, Aug 3 (IANS) Skipper Kumar Sangakkara struck a valuable 75 as Sri Lanka made 293 for four in the first innings at the close of the first day’s play against India in the third and final cricket Test on a day when Sachin Tendulkar became the most capped player in Test history here Tuesday.
Thilan Samaraweera was batting on 65 and Angelo Matthews on 26 when poor light stopped play at the P. Sara Oval.

Tendulkar, who turned out for his 169th Test, surpassed the record of former Australia captain Steve Waugh.

After winning the toss and opting to bat, the Sri Lankan middle order guided them to a safe total as India are looking to win the match and level the series.

The wicket helped both the Indian seamers and the spinners, but a solid display of batting from the hosts took them to a strong position before bad light brought an early end to play.

It was a crucial innings from Sangakkara and with Tillekaratne Dilshan (41), he added 87 runs for the second wicket and then stitched a 55-run stand for the third wicket with Mahela Jayawardene (56).

The Sri Lankan captain smashed five fours and two sixes but lack of discretion cost him his wicket. He perished to a poor shot off left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who along with leg-spinner Amit Mishra, led the bulk of the Indian bowling attack in the second session.

India struck early when opener Tharanga Paranavitana (8) edged the last ball of Ishant Sharma’s second over to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. After a crucial 87-run stand with Sangakkara, Dilshan was also run out by an athletic Murali Vijay.

Sri Lanka then made a strong reply after lunch with Sangakkara reaching his 33rd fifty with a single off Ojha. The 32-year-old missed his century when he stepped out to an Ojha delivery and gave a simple catch to Virender Sehwag at long-on.

Sangakkara got a life on 23 when Suresh Raina messed up an easy chance at third slip off a Abhimanyu Mithun delivery. It was a straightforward catch for V.V.S. Laxman at second slip but Raina lunged out in front of him and failed to hold on.

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