India take control late on

On day 2, wickets late in the day from Anil Kumble brought upon a Sri Lankan collapse, giving India a crucial advantage. Today, India’s leading wicket taker claimed 2 scalps late in the day, to leave Sri Lanka with little of hope of reaching their world record target of 436.

The morning skies were dull over Delhi, so due care and attention was needed from Yuvraj and Ganguly. Muralitharan was on the money as always, but his doosra was less effective than he would have liked, on a slow pitch. His doosra did get him the wicket of Ganguly however, the former captain playing on. Brought in for Sehwag, Yuvraj continued to show his worth, but after lunch it was Mahendra Dhoni who took centre stage.

Their minds set on a declaration, Yuvraj and Dhoni upped the ante. This situation was perfect for the pairing, quick runs were needed with little pressure on them. Dhoni started things off, lofting Murali over mid-on. A few swipes and slogs later, he had his first test 50, 51 off the same amount of deliveries. The pair had added 100 in just under 20 overs, and Rahul Dravid called the innings to a halt when the wicketkeeper reached his milestone, and Sri Lanka were left with a world record chase.

Following his excellent batting performance yesterday Irfan Pathan gave India a crucial early breakthrough with the ball, trapping Gunawardene lbw with a full, swinging delivery. Atapattu and Sangakkara played watchfully in their partnership of 79, indicating Sri Lanka were hoping for a draw, not a win. Atapattu played a great little knock under pressure, his 67 including 11 boundaries.

Agarkar was the one to break the partnership, Sangakkara driving at a full outswinger, and finding the outside edge. 9 overs and 10 runs later, Kumble struck. He first of all deceived the captain with a slower one, inducing a drive back to him, and 4 balls later he trapped nightwatchman Bandara lbw, but replays showed an inside edge. Sri Lanka shut up shop at this point. There was another blow for India, however, Kumble’s spin partner Harbhajan Singh finding the edge of Samaraweera’s bat to add insult to injury.

There is little hope of a draw, let alone a win for Sri Lanka. They must hope that their batsman can somehow pull it out of the bag, but it seems very unlikely.

India 290 all out
Sachin Tendulkar 109, VVS Laxman 69
Muttiah Muralitharan 7-100

Sri Lanka 230 all out
Marvan Atapattu 88, Mahela Jayawardene 60
Anil Kumble 6-72, Irfan Pathan 3-34

India 375-6 declared
Irfan Pathan 93, Yuvraj Singh 77*, Rahul Dravid 53
Chaminda Vaas 2-65

Sri Lanka 123-5
Marvan Atapattu 67
Anil Kumble 2-34

Sri Lanka need 313 more runs to win with 5 wickets left

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