Sat, Aug 22, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Sangakkara helps Sri Lanka close gap to 253

AFP, COLOMBO

Kumar Sangakkara contributed to a Sri Lankan revival in his final Test as India found wickets hard to come by in the second Test in Colombo yesterday.

The hosts recovered from an early setback to close the second day at 140-3 in their first innings, still 253 runs behind India’s total of 393, with seven wickets in hand.

Sangakkara survived a torrid start to make 32, adding 74 for the second wicket with Kaushal Silva after Dimuth Karunaratne was LBW to Umesh Yadav in the second over of the innings.

Silva, who had been caught behind off Stuart Binny on 14 before replays indicated a no-ball, scored 51.

At stumps, Lahiru Thirimanne was unbeaten on 28 and skipper Angelo Mathews was on 19. India, seeking a series-leveling win after losing the first Test in Galle by 63 runs, were all out in the third over after lunch with wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha making 56.

Sangakkara, the fifth-highest run-getter in Test history who is to quit international cricket after the match, walked on to warm applause from about 4,000 home fans and an honor guard by the Indian fielders.

However, the left-hander endured a tough time in the middle after keeping out a first-ball yorker from Yadav. He remained scoreless for 13 deliveries before steering Ishant Sharma to third man for two to get off the mark.

Sangakkara drove Yadav to the point fence for his first boundary, but escaped narrowly on 24 when Ajinkya Rahane failed to grasp a sharp chance in the slips after the batsman slashed at Ravichandran Ashwin.

Sangakkara managed to add only eight more runs before the same Ashwin-Rahane combination got rid of him after tea, with the fielder completing a low catch in the slips.

Silva, who made five and zero in the first Test, defied the Indian bowlers for more than three hours before top-edging a sweep off Amit Mishra to Ashwin at fine-leg. Earlier, Saha followed his 60 in the first innings at Galle with another gutsy half-century before he was ninth out, LBW to left-arm spinner Rangana Herath after lunch.

Saha and Amit Mishra put on 46 for the eighth wicket to frustrate the hosts’ bid to wrap up the innings quickly after India resumed the day at 319-6.

Mishra, essentially playing as a leg-spinner, made 24 with three boundaries before he was caught behind off a rising delivery from fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera.

Saha led a charmed life at the crease with two lucky escapes off the bowling of seamer Dhammika Prasad before he had added to his overnight score of 19.

The first time, the bail failed to dislodge after the ball brushed the off-stump, and then he survived an appeal for a low catch by wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal, which replays showed might have hit the ground first.

Ashwin, who joined Saha after Rohit Sharma was dismissed for 79 off the last ball of the day, made two before he holed out at extra cover off Mathews.

Herath finished with four wickets, while Prasad, Mathews and Chameera claimed two each.

ASHES

Steve Smith made a battling century to steer Australia to 376-7 at lunch on the second day of the final Ashes Test against England at The Oval yesterday.

Reprieved on 92, when he nicked a wide delivery from Steve Finn to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, but was recalled after replays showed it was a no-ball, Smith’s marathon effort put his side in control of the match.

He shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 146 with Adam Voges, who made 76, to give Australia a strong position from which to push for a consolation victory after they relinquished the Ashes by losing the fourth Test.

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