Sri Lanka reach 65/1 at tea in reply to India's 393

Last Updated 21 August 2015, 09:46 IST

Retiring Kumar Sangakkara and Kaushal Silva steadied Sri Lanka innings after an early jolt as the home side reached to 65 for one at tea in response to India's 393 on the second day of the second cricket Test here today.

Silva (30 batting) and Sangakkara (29 batting) put on 64 runs for the second wicket as Sri Lanka trailed by 328 runs with nine first innings wickets in hand at the P Sara Oval.

Indian pacers Ishant Sharma (0/15) and Umesh Yadav (1/18) made a good start as they used the new ball to good effect. Yadav struck with his first ball, in the second over of Sri Lanka innings, as Dimuth Karunaratne (1) was adjudged LBW even as the ball appeared to be missing leg stump.

It brought Sangakkara to the crease in his last Test and the Indian team lined up along with the two umpires in a guard of honour in greeting the retiring batsman.

It was an interesting passage of play thereafter as the two batsmen had many near-miss moments. Silva chopped on a couple of times, and once failed to negotiate a short delivery that flicked off his bat and looped up, but survived somehow. Sangakkara was a little uneasy against R Ashwin (0/11) when he was introduced in the 12th over.

Both batsmen survived big moments as well. First-change bowler Stuart Binny (0/17) induced an edge from Silva, while on 14, in the ninth over and he was caught behind only to be given not out as the bowler had over-stepped marginally.

Then Sangakkara, on 24, was dropped by Ajinkya Rahane at slip off Ashwin in the 14th over, albeit a tough chance as the batsman played a full-blooded cut that went to the fielder very quickly. The Lankan 50-run mark came up in the 17th over and the two avoided any further loss going into the break.

Earlier, India were bowled for 393 in their first innings, three overs after lunch as Rangana Herath took 4/81.

On the third ball after play resumed at 368/8 for the second session, Herath trapped Wriddhiman Saha LBW. The keeper-batsman was unable to add to his score 56 runs (117 balls, 6x4), and then last batsman Umesh Yadav (2 not out) came to the crease. The innings lasted for another 15 balls before as Herath dismissed Ishant Sharma (2) in the 114th over, another LBW.

Earlier, India scored at a slow pace in the morning session as Wriddhiman Saha (56) shepherded the lower order to avoid a below-par total in the first innings of this match.

Resuming the day at 319/6, the visitors did not get off to a great start. Saha was lucky not to be bowled off the seventh ball of the morning while on his previous day's score of 19. Dhammika Prasad (2/84) was the unlucky bowler as the ball kissed the off-stump but did not dislodge the bail.

Six balls later, Sri Lanka did get their first wicket of the morning, with Ravichandran Ashwin (2) hitting Angelo Mathews (2/24) straight to short extra cover fielder.

Saha survived another close call in the 91st over, Prasad again being the unlucky bowler, as his loose shot did not quite carry enough to the keeper.

TV replays appeared to suggest that the umpire's decision to give Saha a benefit of doubt to be correct. He finally got going on the 14th ball he faced whilst Amit Mishra (24, 50 balls, 3x4) joined him at the other end.

Mishra too was lucky to survive, without opening his account off 10 deliveries, when in the 94th over, umpire Bruce Oxenford failed to detect a faint edge to the keeper with Mathews being the one to miss out on a wicket this time.

With these 'lives' given, it was no surprise that the batsmen decided to settle down and curb their shots, and run scoring was slow as a result.

Saha and Mishra built a sluggish partnership of 46 runs for the eighth wicket and it helped India cross the 350-run mark in the 101st over of the innings. Just as Mishra looked to open up a bit, he was dismissed caught behind, with Dushmantha Chameera (2/72) getting the breakthrough in the 106th over.

Saha then reached his second Test fifty off 106 balls and with Ishant for company, avoided further loss until lunch. 67 runs came in this first session of play in 23.4 overs.

(Published 21 August 2015, 07:15 IST)

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