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Rahul Dravid carries India forward to 221 for 5

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India continue to fightback in their first innings thanks to Rahul Dravid and have now found themselves in a decent position at 221 for 5 at Tea on Day 1. Rahul Dravid is just two runs short of what would be his 27th Test hundred. He has got the company of Skipper MS Dhoni who is batting responsibly on 29.

The second session started with both Dravid and Yuvraj playing their shots freely. Dravid with three boundaries in an over took Welegedara – the most successful bowler of the day out of the attack. Yuvraj got hit on the arm by a rising ball from Dammika Prasad but was rewarded with a couple of boundaries. However, in the 37th over, Yuvraj had a soft dismissal, stepping out and giving a bat pad catch to short covers after getting deceived in the air by Muralidaran. Yuvraj by then was looking very good for his 68 from 93 balls (with 13 fours) although there was a bit of rush in adrenalin for the left hander. Murali rescued Sri Lanka at that moment by breaking a potentially threatening 5th wicket stand that already put on 125 runs.

After Yuvraj’s exit, the Indian Captain MS Dhoni walked in and he kept the scoreboard busy with his positive running between the wickets. Dravid kept his end intact and continued to play his shots whenever possible. He did play a couple of risky shots as well in the air off Muralitharan but got away with boundaries. With Tea closing in, Dravid decided to tighten up and see his team through safely along with Dhoni. In the last over before Tea, Dravid cut Herath to the point boundary to move onto 98. He has got his runs in just 156 balls while collecting 14 fours and a six. Dhoni is on 29 from 49 balls with 3 fours and has made sure that India didn’t go into a shell. Along with Dravid, he has put on an unbeaten 64 run for the sixth wicket.

India had the better of Sri Lanka in this session with a healthy 116 runs coming in 29 overs at the loss of Yuvraj Singh. Sri Lanka need to bowl 36 overs in the last session which will be of two and half hours. India will be looking to stretch their first innings as long as possible and at the same time make sure that the runs keep on coming. Sri Lanka will need Murali and Herath to strike gold quickly and bowl India out below 320.

Originally posted 2009-11-16 08:59:14.

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