Wednesday, November 18, 2009

India fighting for the test after a huge Sri Lankan Total


India made a confident start in their bid to save the first Test after Sri Lanka enjoyed a record-breaking run-feast on the fourth day on Thursday.

Openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir saw off the first 16 overs of pace and spin as India, trailing by 334 runs on the first innings, went to tea at 77 for no loss in their second knock.

Sehwag was unbeaten on a typically robust 47 with six boundaries and left-hander Gambhir was on 28.

Sri Lanka piled up 760-7, the highest total ever on Indian soil, before skipper Kumar Sangakkara declared the first innings 40 minutes after lunch at the Motera stadium.

Mahela Jayawardene hit a monumental 275 and wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene remained unbeaten on 154 after a world-record stand of 351 for the sixth wicket.

The pair broke the 72-year record set by Australians Don Bradman and Jack Fingleton, who had put on 346 for the sixth wicket against England at Melbourne in 1937.

Sri Lanka, who have never won a Test match in India, have four sessions to carve out a win and take the lead in the three-match series on a barren track that has proved a bowlers' graveyard so far.

India had made 426 in their first innings after being reduced to 32-4 within the first hour of the match.

Sri Lanka's total surpassed India's 676-7 against the same opponents in Kanpur in 1986, which was the previous highest total in a Test match played on Indian soil.

Mahela Jayawardene batted for eight hours in his sixth double-century that was studded with 27 boundaries and a six.

He was dismissed in the third over after lunch when he shaped to drive leg-spinner Amit Mishra, missed the line and was bowled.

Sangakkara declared at the fall of Dammika Prasad's wicket, caught in the deep off Harbhajan Singh, leaving Prasanna Jayawardene stranded at the other end.

India claimed the third new ball from the start of the day's play, but it failed to contain the flow of runs.

Prasanna, who was on 84 overnight, reached his second Test century by edging Ishant Sharma to the third man fence for his eighth boundary.

Mahela, the ninth-highest scorer in Test cricket, completed 9,000 runs when he reached 253 with a single to long-on off Harbhajan.

All the four frontline Indian bowlers conceded over 100 runs with Mishra being the most expensive with 1-203 from 58 overs and Harbhajan going for 2-189 from 48.4 overs.

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