By Brian Thomas
Tendulkhar and Laxman had easy pickings after the lunch break. Sri Lanka bowling with the 2nd new ball used both Kulasekara and Welegedara from both ends. Kulasekara stuck early to dismiss the dangerous Sachin Tendulkhar when he had the prolific run scorer rated as the best in the world comprehensively bowled, off a delivery that kept low.
With India on 558 runs for 4 wickets, Sri Lanka still had their work cut out with Yuvraj Singh batting at number 6. The left hander joined VVS and the pair put on 33 runs for the 5th wicket, when Murali stuck for the second time in the day having Laxman caught by Kulasekara for a bonus 62 runs he made with India’s score on 591.
The strength of India’s batting never seems to end. Imagine Dhoni walking into bat with India’s score on 591 for 6. Rangana Hearath a victim of umpire error’s this time got justice at last, Angelo Mathew held onto a catch offered by Yuvraj Sing with India on 610, giving Rangana his 2nd well deserved Indian wicket in this test.
Murali going for plenty of runs smiled at last when he had Harbajan sing comprehensively bowled for 1. India took tea sitting pretty on 629 for 7 wickets thanks mainly to Shewag’s 293.
India lost 2 wickets this morning in fact they should thank Umpire Nigel Long and Darrel Harper for turning down three positive appeals by the Sri Lankans that looked adjacent.
Virendra Schewag, after giving a display worthy of all praises faltered this morning when he pushed at a tossed up delivery by Muralitheran to be caught and bowled by the bowler much to the delight of the Sri Lankan’s, who fell victims to Schewag’s willow yesterday.
Murali thankfully grabbed the catch in his second attempt with India’s score on 458. The 237 run partnership between Dravid and Schewag should have been 226, but umpire Nigel Long turned down a definite nick from the Rahul’s bat off the bowling of Rangana Herath which was gloved cleanly by Prassana Jayawardena when batting on his overnight score of 62. Virendra Schewag who fell short by 7 runs for a well deserved triple hundred, batted for 366 minutes faced 254 deliveries, executed 40 boundaries and 7 sixes.
Rahul Dravid who was lucky on 62, was caught by Prasanna jayawardena for 74 off the bowling of welegedera with India on 487.Dravid Chased a ball outside his off stump, this time Nigel Long raised his finger since the dismissal was too obvious.
With two new batsmen at the wickets Sri Lanka put pressure on the Indian batsman for the first time in this test. Laxman was caught off the bowling of Herath down the leg side by keeper Jayawardena before he opened his account this time it was Darrel Harper who made the wrong decision by ruling the batsman not out. Re plays showed the guilt on Laxman’s face.
Nigel long making blunders after blunders made another error, when he gave Tendulkhar not out off the bowling of Rangana Herath again. Satchin was on the back foot for a Herath delivery while batting on 36. He was wrapped on his pads and he looked plum in front.
India take lunch on 536 for 3 wickets with Tendilkhar Lucy to be at the wickets on 48 while Laxman a lucky survivor of another umpire error batting on 22.
Rangana Herath will count himself very unlucky.