Zeecric Bureau / Sudeshna Guha Roy
Galle: Sri Lanka enjoyed a double-ton treat as a blistering 181-run partnership between Kumar Sangakkara and Tharanga Parnavitana helped the host end the first day of the opening Test against India at 256/2.
Sri Lanka met with an initial hiccup as, after winning the toss and choosing to bat in the first Test at the Galle International Stadium on Sunday, they lost the priced wicket of opener Tillakaratne Dilshan that left their team at 55/1.
Abhimanyu Mithun took the first wicket for India on his debut as he sent back Dilshan for 25. Dilshan was caught behind the wickets by Indian skipper-cum-wicketkeeper Dhoni as he gloved a well directed bouncer.
Later, Sangakkara and Parnavitana kept the momentum going and took their team past the 200-run mark before the tea break.
Sangakkara (103) reached his 22nd Test century in the process that came with the help of 12 boundaries. Meanwhile, Parnavitana also slammed his maiden Test ton and kept perfect company to his skipper’s adventurous stay on the pitch.
However, a short, slow delivery on the stumps by Virender Sehwag propelled Sangakkara to pull which was caught by Sachin Tendulkar at the deep mid-wicket.
The Indian side could not do much magic on their part and dropped regular catches. This not-so-spectacular performance by the Indian team helped Sri Lanka dominate the first day.
Harbhajan Singh clearly looked out of sorts, said to have still suffering from the after-effects of the flu he caught during the practice match and thus, had to be replaced with Murali Vijay for sometime.
In the last session, the play had to be stopped due to bad light as the Lankan scoreboard displayed a voluminous score of 256/2.
Sri Lanka (From): Tharanga Paranavitana, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara(c), Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene(w), Rangana Herath, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chanaka Welegedara, Lasith Malinga, Suraj Randiv, Thilina Kandamby, Dilhara Fernando, Dammika Prasad, Lahiru Thirimanne
India (From): Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni(w/c), Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Abhimanyu Mithun, Amit Mishra, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Murali Vijay