Indian opener Virender Sehwag is trapped plum in front by left arm spinner Rangana Herath
(Pic by Ranjith Perera)
Two wickets in one over by right arm seamer Dhammika Prasad put India on the back foot on the second day of their three day game against a Sri Lanka Board XI at the NCC grounds yesterday. But it was not all gloom for the tourists as Sachin Tendulkar showed that he is in ominously good form. He scored 69 runs which included eight fours and a towering six. Wicket keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik weighed in with an unbeaten 58.
At stumps on the second day India had scored 196 for the loss of 8 wickets. Overnight rain and a damp outfield delayed the start of play by more than four hours. India replying to home team’s first innings score of 224, started the day at four for loss of Gautam Gambhir’s wicket.
Rahul Dravid joined opener Virender Sehwag at the wicket. Both of Sri Lanka’s opening bowlers -- Dilhara Fernando and Sujeewa De Silva were getting appreciable bounce from the pitch that still seemed to have some moisture underneath. Dravid was lucky after Rangana Herath dropped a straight forward catch at square leg off the bowling of Fernando. However, Dravid could not capitalize on his stroke of luck as he was run out at the non strikers end following a misunderstanding with Sehwag.
Tendulkar came to the crease with India in a spot of bother at 27 for 2. Tendulkar and Sehwag put on 31 for the third wicket before the latter was trapped plumb in front to Herath in his first over.
Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly took the score to 80 with a mixture of caution and aggression before disaster struck. First Ganguly was caught by Mahela Udwatte off Prasad for 14 and then two balls later VVS Laxman was out in freakish fashion. A quick delivery from Prasad saw Laxman’s bat shattering in two and the ball rolling on to the stumps.
With just three days left before the start of the first test, India will be hoping that rain will not deprive them of the practice they would dearly like before taking on Sri Lanka.