India pile up runs in final SL Test

MUMBAI: India continued to torment Sri Lanka in the final Test on Friday after Virender Sehwag missed a world record third triple-century by seven runs.

India, replying to Sri Lanka's first innings total of 393, moved to 629-7 by tea on the third day at the Brabourne stadium, a lead of 236 runs with three wickets in hand.

Sachin Tendulkar hit 53, sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 71 with Venkatsai Laxman, when he was bowled by seamer Nuwan Kulasekara soon after lunch.

Laxman chipped in with 62 and Yuvraj Singh made 23, before both were dismissed before tea on a wearing wicket that provided turn to the slow bowlers.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was unbeaten on 21 and Zaheer Khan was on three.

Sehwag had moved from his overnight score of 284 to 293 when he tapped a flighted ball from Muttiah Muralitharan back to the bowler who took the catch.

A hush descended at the stadium where some 15,000 home fans had packed the stands anticipating a world record by the swashbuckling opener.

Sehwag returned to a warm applause for his 254-ball effort which was studded with 40 boundaries and seven sixes.

Off-spinner Muralitharan's first success after 21 overs which cost 124 runs broke a second-wicket stand of 237 between Sehwag and Rahul Dravid that had lifted India to 458-2.

Sehwag's two triple centuries, matching Australian legend Don Bradman and West Indian great Brian Lara, were 309 against Pakistan in Multan in 2004 and 319 versus South Africa in Chennai last year.

Dravid fell soon after for 74, edging a wild drive off seamer Chanka Welegedara to wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene to make it 487-3.

Dravid, who survived a confident appeal for a catch at the wicket off Rangana Herath earlier in the morning, hit five boundaries and a six.

Sri Lanka claimed the second new ball after 104 overs but failed to dislodge Tendulkar or Laxman before lunch.

All four specialist bowlers conceded over 100 runs with Muralitharan being the most expensive with 3-181 from 41 overs.

India lead the three-match series 1-0 after an innings and 144-run victory in the second Test in Kanpur last week.