Ton-dulkar, Viru keep India in hunt

Zeecric Bureau

Colombo: Sachin Tendulkar’s brilliant unbeaten century helped India exorcise the ghost of another batting collapse as they end day 3 at 382/4 after Sri Lankan spinners left India tottering at 241/4 at one stage. India were still trailing by 260 runs when stumps for the day were drawn.

When Suresh Raina, who hit a patient half-century, joined Sachin in the middle, India were in real trouble. Suraj Randiv and Ajantha Mendis were looking like the true successor of Muralitharan and India were in danger of losing their start-studded middle order once again in the series.

But Sachin, in company with Suresh Raina, rescued India, forging an unbeaten 141-run partnership. Raina, playing in place of injured Yuvraj Singh, made use of the opportunity with an undefeated 66-run knock.

Randiv and Mendis shared two wickets each as the Sri Lankan pacemen proved ineffective on a surface which helped only the batsmen throughout the last three days.

Post Tea Session

Sachin Tendulkar scored a brilliant century to steady Indian innings after Sri Lankan spinners inflicted four crucial blows. He and Raina took India past 350-run mark. It was Sachin’s 48th ton and 9th against Sri Lanka. His 167-ball ton consisted of 13 fours and a six off Suraj Randiv.

Suresh Raina, playing his first Test, scored a timely half-century to save India from further trouble after India were tottering at 241/4. Raina became 22nd Indian to score more than a fifty on Test debut.

Post Lunch Session

Just when it was looking that Laxman and Sachin got into the groove and took India out of difficulties, Ajantha Mendis struck a crucial blow to get rid of the former. Laxman made 29 off 98 balls with the help of just two fours. India went to the tea at 243/4, 399 runs adrift of Lankan first innings total.

Just when it was looking that Laxman and Sachin got into the groove and took India out of difficulties, Ajantha Mendis struck a crucial blow to get rid of the former. Laxman made 29 off 98 balls with the help of just two fours.

After the shocking loss of three batsmen, old war-horse Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman stabilize the Indian innings and help them cross 200-mark.

Morning Session

Despite having started well, India slumped to 173/3 at the lunch of Day 3, still 469 behind Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 642.

Rahul Dravid’s poor series continues as he departed cheaply again. Dravid, who made just 3, got out LBW off Suraj Randiv. Randiv was having a great time as his first two wickets of his Test career are Sehwag and Dravid.

Both the openers-Virender Sehwag and Murali Vijay- departed in quick succession to leave India suddenly on 169/2 from 165 for no loss.

Virender Sehwag’s innings came to an unfortunate end as he departed just one short of a well-deserved hundred. Sehwag, who was playing superbly for his 99 off just 101 balls, came down the track to hit out debutant off-spinner Suraj Randiv which he missed completely to be stumped by wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene. Sehwag slammed 15 fours during his entertaining stay at the crease.

Scorecard: Ind Vs SL »

Earlier, Sehwag was dropped by Thilan Samaraweera for 89 off Mendis.

Soon after Sehwag’s departure, Ajantha Mendis picked up Vijay with a perfect delivery that found him in front of the wicket. Vijay made 58 off 124 balls with 8 fours.

Both the overnight openers-Virender Sehwag and M Vijay-started from where they left off on Day 2 as they denied any wicket to the Sri Lankan bowler in the first half an hour of the Day 3.

India would look up to Sehwag to provide an encore of the first Test and save India from the disgrace of losing two consecutive Tests in Sri Lanka. The day 3 will be crucial for India as they have to bat really well if they want to save the match.

There is no doubt that Sri Lanka would go hard at Indians and want to finish Indian innings as early as possible.

It was bat all the way on the second day of the second Test match between India and Sri Lanka being played here at the Singhalese Sports Club Ground on Tuesday as 425 runs were scored for the loss of only 2 wickets.

Replying to Sri Lanka’s mammoth total of 642/4, India were 95/0 at stumps, still trailing the Lankans by 547 runs with Virender Sehwag (64) and Murali Vijay (22) on the crease.

The highlight of the day was a superb double ton (219) by Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jaywardene’s 174.

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