Ahmedabad: A splendid 224-run partnership between Rahul Dravid and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni helped India rise from the rubble and score a fine 385/6 on the opening day of the first Test match against Sri Lanka here on Monday.
Dravid and Dhoni also claimed their 27th and 2nd Test centuries in the process, respectively. The former also completed his 11000 runs in Test cricket during the marathon innings.
Sri Lankan bowler Dammika Prasad gave a major breakthrough to his team after he dismissed Mahendra Singh Dhoni for 110 runs after the Indian skipper reached his second Test century.
After winning the toss, India chose to bat first. However, captain Dhoni’s decision backfired initially as the team lost 4 early wickets.
Sri Lanka wrapped-up a fine morning of cricket as the hosts were seen doing damage control with their scorecard reading 105/4 at lunch on Day 1.
The Indian top order however, did not do justice to their talent as it suffered a breakdown against a charged-up Sri Lankan pace battery, losing the first four wickets cheaply. VVS Laxman fell for duck to D Prasad’s guile.
C Welegedara was the wrecker-in-charge, claiming two more batsmen in Virender Sehwag (16) and Sachin Tendulkar (4), after he had made the first breakthrough of the morning, scalping Gautam Gambhir (1).
Yuvraj Singh, later, was a casualty of concentration-lapse and it cost him his wicket at a score of sixty eight runs. He had came good earlier and struck a fine fifty at a healthy strike rate to get India back into the game at Ahmedabad.
Then came Dhoni and Dravid into action as they steered the team’s score past the 350-run mark.
Dravid dominated the Lankan bowlers, slamming a brilliant 177 at a time when his services were required more than ever by the team.
Just when it seemed that India had gained the strong hold in the game, Dammika Prasad played the spoilsport and cut short Dhoni’s innings to 110. the Lankan bowled a short delivery outside off as Dhoni went for the square cut only to give a good catch to Prasanna Jayawardene.
India (Playing XI): Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni(w/c), Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Tharanga Paranavitana, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara(c), Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene(w), Dammika Prasad, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chanaka Welegedara, Rangana Herath
First Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 08:59