India looking down the barrel in the first Test
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Galle International Stadium, Galle
Scorecard:Sri Lanka v India
Player:SR Tendulkar, SL Malinga, M Muralitharan, V Sehwag
Event:India in Sri Lanka 2010

DateLine: 21st July 2010


A combination of lethal pace bowling from Malinga and bewildering spin from Muralitharan left the visitors staring at the wrong end of the battle. Sri Lanka are well on course for a comprehensive win in the first Test of the three match series and India can only hope for a miracle of sorts to get out of the hole that they have found themselves to be in.


Resuming at 140 for 3 in the first innings the Indian hopes rested on the shoulders of Sehwag and VVS Laxman and the pair never looked in any sort of discomfort as they motored along with ease. Sehwag duly reached his 21st Test century before playing the most atrocious shot that one can imagine to be dismissed. Welagedara pitched one way outside off, and any batsman would have let that one pass by harmlessly, but not Sehwag, The right-hander threw everything at it and got the toe end of the bat and the ball flew to Paranavitana at wide first slip who took the catch with ease. VVS Laxman played a lame pull which was held with ease at deep square leg and the Indian innings stumbled. Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni held fort for some time before Muralitharan played havoc as he claimed the remaining four India wickets to claim his 67th five wicket haul in his Test career.


The Lankan captain opted for the follow-on option and if India must have harboured a faint hope of doing the unthinkable they were in for a shock. Gambhir did not survive for long as Malinga had his edging to the keeper for a nought. Sehwag batted as if he was on a hundred while Dravid opted for the safety first approach. With Sehwag batting aggressively it was very evident that he might fall soon and that is what happened.


Sehwag edged to gully where Jayawardene took an exceptional catch and that brought together the experienced pair of Dravid and Tendulkar. The pair batted with caution as they aimed to take India to safety. The pair added a sedate 119 runs in 42.1 overs to give some hope to the Indians before Malinga came back to disrupt their plans. Dravid flicked a yorker from Malinga straight to Sangakkara at short fine-leg while Tendulkar was trapped leg before with a pin-point yorker. If that was bad for the Indians at the fag end of the play Yuvraj fell as he edged to slip of Muralitharan leaving the legendary off-spinner tantalizingly close to the 800 wickets mark.