Tendulkar, Sehwag keep India’s hopes alive (Lead)

July 28th, 2010 - 10:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Colombo, July 28 (IANS) Sachin Tendulkar struck his 48th century and Virender Sehwag fell one short of his 21st to keep alive India’s hopes of avoiding their second consecutive Test defeat against Sri Lanka after the end of the third day’s play in the second cricket test here Wednesday.
Tendulkar was batting on 108 and test debutant Suresh Raina on 66 as India made 382 for four when the stumps were drawn at the Sinhalese Sports Club. India still trail by 260 runs and need 61 more runs to avoid the follow on. Sri Lanka declared their first innings at 642 for four.

India resumed on 95 for no loss needing a further 338 runs to avoid the follow-on. Sehwag opened the day aggressively by hitting fast bowler Dilhara Fernando for two successive boundaries in the second over of the day that saw India go past the 100-run mark.

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara was quick to introduce spin in the eighth over with Ajantha Mendis. The mystery spinner almost gave the hosts a breakthrough in his third over, when Thilan Samaraweera dropped Sehwag on 84.

Indiscretion cost Sehwag his wicket and also a century. Sehwag wanted to complete his century in style with a six. He rushed down the track but completely missed the line, giving wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene an easy stumping.

Sehwag hit 15 fours in his 101-ball inning. His dismissal triggered a collapse as India lost three wickets in quick succession within a span of eight runs in the first session.

Mendis trapped Murali Vijay (58) leg before in the very next over and just 17 balls later Randiv got Rahul Dravid (3) leg before as India slumped from 165 for no loss to 173 for three.

Tendulkar and V.V.S Laxman (29) started the repair work with their 68-run stand and they steered India past 200.

Tendulkar was fortunate to survive when Prasanna dropped a relatively simple chance. But Sri Lanka piled on the pressure soon and Mendis dismissed Laxman by trapping him leg before just 10 minutes before tea.

Tendulkar and Raina negotiated the entire post tea session and consolidated the innings and took India close to avoiding a second consecutive follow on.

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