SL bounce back with late strikes

Galle, August 2:

Sri Lanka grabbed three big wickets in the closing session to throw the second Test against India wide open on the third day here on Saturday.

India were strongly placed at 144-1 before slipping to 200-4 in their second innings at stumps. The tourists are now 237 ahead with six wickets in hand. Sourav Ganguly and Venkatsai Laxman had yet to open their accounts when bad light stopped play.

India appeared to have seized the initiative after attacking knocks from Gautam Gambhir (74), Virender Sehwag (50), Rahul Dravid (44) and Sachin Tendulkar (31) before losing their way. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 292 in their first innings on the stroke of lunch in reply to India’s 329, with skipper Mahela Jayawardene top-scoring with 86. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh hepled India gain the lead as he grabbed 6-102 for his 22nd haul of five or more wickets in a Test innings. He was well supported by leg-spinner Anil Kumble (3-81).

Left-handed Gambhir and Sehwag then gave India a flying start for a second successive time in the match, adding 90 for the opening wicket.

Sri Lanka bounced back into the match when they dismissed Tendulkar and Dravid in the space of eight deliveries.

The Indian spinners earlier shattered Sri Lanka’s hopes of gaining the lead by sharing five wickets, with Kumble taking three and Harbhajan two. The hosts could add only 77 to their overnight total of 215-5. Jayawardene (86) looked set to complete his 24th Test hundred before being caught behind off Kumble.


INDIA - 1st innings: 329

LANKA - 1st innings: (overnight 215-5)

M J’rdene c Karthik b Kumble 86

P J’rdene c Laxman b Harbhajan 24

C Vaas c Harbhajan b Kumble 1

N Kulasekara not out 5

A Mendis lbw b Kumble 0

M Murali c Ganguly b Harbhajan 0

Extras: 24 (b10, lb12, nb2)

Total: 292

FoW: 1-4, 2-137, 3-144, 4-192, 5-192,

6-250, 7-255, 8-291, 9-291

India bowling: Z Khan 9-1-51-1,

I Sharma 8-1-36-0, A Kumble 36-7-81-3,

H Singh 40.3-8-102-6

INDIA - 2nd innings

G Gambhir b Mendis 74

V Sehwag c Dilshan b Vaas 50

R Dravid lbw b Murali 44

S Tendulkar c M J’rdene b Vaas 31

S Ganguly not out 0

V Laxman not out 0

Extras: 1 (lb1)

Total: 200/4

FoW: 1-90, 2-144, 3-200, 4-200

Sri Lanka bowling: Vaas 13-4-32-2,

Kulasekara 5-0-31-0, Murali 21-1-70-1, Mendis 17.4-3-66-1