Sehwag leads Indian charge with blistering 97 (Lead)

August 4th, 2010 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Virender Sehwag Colombo, Aug 4 (IANS) Virender Sehwag smashed an unbeaten 97 as India made 180 for two in their first innings, in reply to Sri Lanka’s 425, at close of play on the second day of the third and final cricket Test here Wednesday.
Sehwag and Tendulkar (40 batting), who is making a record 169th Test appearance, added an unbeaten 88 runs for the third wicket, scoring at a brisk rate at the P. Sara Oval before bad light ended play.

Sehwag’s 97 came off just 87 balls that included 17 fours.

Earlier, Sri Lanka, resuming at overnight 293 for four, added 132 runs with Thilan Samaraweera making an unbeaten 137, his 12th Test century. Sri Lanka lost their last four wickets for 44 runs after lunch. Left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha was the top wicket taker with four for 115.

Samaraweera and Angelo Matthews (45) took time to settle down on a wicket that was tough for them to negotiate. Samaraweera’s unbeaten knock came off 288 balls with 12 boundaries and a six.

The duo found it easy against the Indian pacers, Ishant Sharma and Abhimanyu Mithun who, though able to extract some bounce, were hardly threatening.

Ojha provided the much-needed breakthrough by trapping Mathews leg-before and then dismissed wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene (9) in a similar fashion.

The lower order provided some resistance before the Indian bowlers cleaned up the tail.

Sehwag removed Randiv and Amit Mishra took a fine catch off his own bowling to dismiss Lasith Malinga. Ishant Sharma claimed the last two wickets of Ajantha Mendis, who played 41 balls for his 3 runs, and Chanaka Welegedara.

India began on a blistering note with Sehwag on song and he smashed 17 fours, 11 of them against left-arm pacer Chanaka Welegedara.

Lasith Malinga provided Sri Lanka the first breakthrough when opener Murali Vijay (14) lofted an easy catch to mid-on in the 11th over.

Mathews then got rid of Rahul Dravid (23) by trapping him leg before, and in the next over put down a return catch of Sehwag who was then at 52.

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