Sri Lanka have move onto 375 for 5 at Lunch on Day 3 of the first Test at Ahmedabad. They are now 51 runs away from India’s first innings total. Former Skipper Mahela Jayawardene is batting fluently on 88 from 138 balls with 8 fours and a six. India has managed to take just the two scalps in the morning session.
Resuming the third day’s play at 275 for 3, Sri Lanka eased through the first hour without losing any wickets and both the overnight batsmen – Mahela Jayawardene and Samaraweera got past their fifties. The second new ball was taken by India and apart from a couple of good balls from Ishant Sharma nothing seemed to be happening at all. The pitch was getting slower and slower and even the new ball was hardly carrying to the keeper. Against the run of play though India found a breakthrough in the 87th over when a full blooded pull shot from Samaraweera was caught overhead by a flying Yuvraj Singh who was just about 20 yards away from the batsman at squareleg. Samaraweera departed with a score of 70 (from 145 balls with 9 fours) while putting on a crucial 138-run partnership for the 4th wicket with Mahela.
MS Dhoni thought his team could tighten up the screws after breaking the big partnership but instead it was a counter punch from Mahela who took Zaheer out of the attack with three fours in an over. His new partner Angelo Mathews played positively and even danced down the wicket to deposit a six over long on off Mishra. However, the dangerous Mathews got a dubious bat pad decision just at the stroke of lunch to leave his side at 375 for 5. Harbhajan Singh was more than lucky to get his first wicket in his 27th over when Harper gave Mathews (17) caught at shortleg.
Sri Lanka at Lunch are 375 for 5 in 96.2 overs and they would like to get a lead of around 150. The morning session has produced 100 runs in 26.2 overs at the loss of two wickets.
India would like to see the Sri Lankans stretch their first innings on the fourth day as well should they not be able to take the remaning five wickets in a hurry. There is plenty of batting to do as far as Sri Lanka is concerned and the key to that is Mahela Jayawardene to score a big hundred.
Originally posted 2009-11-18 06:36:42.