India crash to big defeat

Colombo, July 26:

Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis made a mockery of India’s strong batting reputation as Sri Lanka won the opening Test by a record innings and 239 runs on Saturday.

Maverick off-spinner Muralitharan finished the match with 11 wickets as India were shot out for 138 in their second innings after conceding a lead of 377 on the fourth day. He was brilliantly supported by debutant Mendis, who took eight wickets in the match.

None of the Indian batsmen could read the spin duo as the tourists’ second innings lasted just 45 overs, with man of the match Muralitharan taking 6-26 and Mendis 4-60. India were bowled out for 223 in their first innings in reply to the hosts’ 600-6 declared.

Indian opener Virender Sehwag (13), star batsman Sachin Tendulkar (12) and Rahul Dravid (10) were initially given not out by umpires. But the Sri Lankan captain requested the officials to review the decisions under a new experimental rule and they changed their decisions after consulting TV umpire.

India failed to cope with spin for a second successive time in the match, with opener Gautam Gambhir top-scoring with 43. Venkatsai Laxman contributed 21.