Mahela Jayawardene scored his sixth double century of his career during the final session of Day 3 and is still unconquered along with Prasanna Jayawardene who is approaching a hundred. Sri Lanka rounded off Day 3 at 591 for 5 which has stretched their first innings lead to 165 runs. India will not be too upset with the way things went in the last session as the two Jayawardenes certainly slowed down and in the process killed some valuable time in the Test Match.
Sri Lanka resumed the final session at 483 for 5 and they looked set to get a lead of 200 by stumps. MS Dhoni managed to slow down the proceedings for the first time in this innings by having Mishra and Tendulkar bowl their leg breaks outside the legstump. The two Jayawardenes didn’t take many chances and were forced to just pad the ball away. Both batsmen were also getting tired after their long stay, in particular – Mahela who went into a shell to carefully get to his double century. Towards the end, Dhoni got his two pacers back into the attack and they did a good job in keeping the two Lankans quiet. The Lankan run rate overall has dipped down to 3.69 much to the delight of the Indian camp and it looks like they are going to take some time tomorrow morning to get to a lead between 200 to 250.
Mahela Jayawardene has got to 204 from 339 balls with 17 fours and a six by Stumps and Prasanna Jayawardene has picked up 84 from 186 balls with 4 fours. The two batsmen have now put on an unbeaten 216 runs for the sixth wicket. Sri Lankans have also gone way past their previous highest total in India with their 591/5. For the record, the post Tea session produced 108 runs in 36 overs.
For India, it was a second consecutive session in which the bowlers failed to take even a single wicket. In a way it proves that the Motera pitch is still heavily favoured for the batsmen with little to extract for the bowlers. The pitch has started to take turn off the footmarks from what one could see from the leg spin of Amit Mishra and Sachin Tendulkar. However, the batsmen seem to have all the time in the world to rock on to the backfoot and counter the extra turn comfortably. So India should fancy their chances of forcing a draw in this match despite the visitors having Murali and Herath.
Originally posted 2009-11-18 14:19:32.