India leave Sri Lanka tottering

India leave Sri Lanka tottering

Indian batsman Virendra Sehvag, Skipper M S Dhoni and Umpaire Daren Daniel during the third day of the third and final test Match aganist Sri Lanka at the Brabourne stadium. APThe visitors were still trailing by 199 runs after conceding a 333-run first innings lead.

Zaheer Khan struck two big blows after his pace partner S Sreesanth claimed one wicket. Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha also grabbed a wicket in the last over prior to the break as Lanka lost four wickets for the addition of only 25 runs.

Visiting skipper Kumar Sangakkara was battling hard by notching his highest-ever score of 50 on Indian soil after a stay of 216 minutes. But his team's hopes of earning a draw were fast receding on a track that is increasingly offering more turn and bounce.

Sreesanth got the first break for the home team after lunch by sending back opener Tharanga Paranavitana in his first over of a fresh spell as Lanka slumped from 119 for one to 137 for four.

Zaheer, brought back for a new spell from the Churchgate end, sent back Mahela Jayawardene (12) and Thilan Samaraweera (0) in the space of 15 balls for one run.

And just as Lanka were hoping to go into tea without further loss, Ojha turned a ball across the face of all rounder Angelo Mathews' bat and India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni accepted the edge.

A victory for India, which looks inevitable at the break, would not only give them a 2-0 triumph in the series but also take them past South Africa to the number one spot in the ICC Test rankings.

Sreesanth and Zaheer delivered the blows in the very first overs of their new spells in the post-lunch period to send back Paranavitana (54) and former Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene (12) respectively.

Resuming at the lunch-time score of 84 for one Lanka progressed slowly to 119 before India got an important break.

Sreesanth, getting some reverse-swing, brought a ball back into Paranavitana who injudiciously tried to play it to leg and was trapped plumb in front after striking eight fours in 144 balls. His partnership with Sangakkara was worth 90 in 220 balls.

Sangakkara and Jayawardene, who scored 275 in the opening drawn Test at Ahmedabad, forged together a stand of 16 runs before India struck three quick blows to bring the visitors on to their knees.

Zaheer sent back Mahela when the batsman poked at a ball that moved away a shade and edged behind the wicket for Dhoni to take an easy catch.

Then the left-arm pacer induced an edge from Samaraweera (0) which was caught at second slip by Venkatasai Laxman to leave Lanka tottering at 137 for four.
Ojha then struck another blow by having Mathews caught at the wicket.

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