Sri Lanka consolidate after a good start (Tea Report)

July 26th, 2010 - 5:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Kumar Sangakkara Colombo, July 26 (IANS) Opening batsman Tharanga Pranavitana and skipper Kumar Sangakkara struck half-centuries as Sri Lanka piled up 235 for one in their first innings at tea on the first day of the second cricket Test match against India at the Sinhalese Sports Club here Monday.
Pranavitana was batting on 89 and Sangakkara at 80 and their unfinished 136-run partnership consolidated the Sri Lankan innings after a good start by opener Tillekaratne Dilshan (54).

Dilshan hit a brisk half-century as Sri Lanka made 128 for one by lunch. Dilshan played some attacking shots on both side of the wicket as Sangakkara’s decision to bat first paid off. Dilshan’s 42-ball inning was studded with 10 fours.

Indian pacers Ishant Sharma and Abhimanyu Mithun hardly troubled the Sri Lankan openers, who added 99 runs for the first wicket.

Dilshan came down hard on Ishant as early as in the fourth over, by hitting the lanky fast bowler for four boundaries. Dilshan then smacked Mithun, playing his second Test match, for three fours in the 14th over forcing India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to introduce spin from both ends.

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha provided India the much needed breakthrough when Dilshan smacked him hard but V.V.S. Laxman took a good catch at short extra cover.

The wicket offered some turn to the spinners but it was hardly dangerous for Sangakkara and Pranavitana.

Paranavitana completed his fifth Test fifty by punching part-time off-spinner Virender Sehwag to the sweeper cover. Sangakkara got to his 33rd half century in 82 balls and in style by hitting Ishant through the midwicket boundary.

Both the teams made a few changes in their side. Sri Lanka have inducted Ajantha Mendis, Suraj Randiv, Dammika Prasad and Dilhara Fernando in the squad. India have brought in Murali Vijay for Gautam Gambhir, who has a knee injury, while Suresh Raina comes in for Yuvraj Singh, who is down with fever.

Sri Lanka lead the three-match series 1-0.

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