India beat Sri Lanka by 170 runs

Harbhajan Singh’s 10-wicket haul in the second Test at Galle guided India to 170-run win on Sunday. India avenged the humiliating Colombo Test defeat with the help of Virender Sehwag’s double century and Harbhajan’s sensational bowling. The Idea Cup Test series is now leveled 1-1 with both the teams recording a win each.

Though Sehwag was adjudged as the ‘Man of the Match’ for his scores of 201* and 50 runs, Harbhajan was no less deserving as after picking six wickets in the first innings, the ‘Turbanator’ dismissed four islanders to complete his fifth 10-wicket haul in Tests.

Bhajji continued from where he had left on the third day and struck in his very first over to send Michael Vandort back. Vandort failed to read the delivery as the ball after landing on the off-stump turned towards the middle stumps and rapped his pads. He made 10 runs.

He then removed Prasanth Jaywardene and Chaminda Vaas in successive overs. Prasantha added 17 runs for the sixth wicket along with Thilan Samaraweera, contributing just four runs before Ganguly caught him at the square leg region. Vaas, who replaced Prasantha, went without scoring as Bhajji caught him plumb. Mendis was his last prey of the match.

Indian skipper Anil Kumble also completed his five-wicket match haul as he picked two wickets in the second innings. He dismissed Nuwan Kulasekara and Muralitharan.

After being bundled out for 269 runs in the second innings with a lead of 306 runs, India started their defense on a positive note with fast bowler ripping through the Sri Lankan top order in the first three overs.

Ishant Sharma in his very first over removed Malinda Warnapura for a naught as Laxman caught him at the second slip. In the next over, Zaheer Khan combined with Laxman and removed Kumar Sangakkara for just one run.

Ishant in his second over got Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene for just five runs. Mahela swung his bat to kiss a short delivery going outside the off stump from Ishant, only to land in the safe hands of Rahul Dravid, standing at the first slip. The lanky pacer struck again just after the tea break to dismiss Tillakratne Dilshan. Dilshan added 76 runs with Thilan Samaraweera for the fifth wicket and scored 38 runs. Samaraweera remained unbeaten on 67 runs.

Earlier in the day, Indians resumed the batting on the penultimate day of the Galle Test with their overnight score of 200/4, leading by 237 runs. But they managed to add only 69 runs at the loss of last six wickets with Murali and Mendis doing the damage.

Murali picked five wickets while Mendis picked ten wickets in the match. Soon after the start of the day’s play, Mendis picked Laxman’s wicket, whom he trapped with his deadly carrom ball for 13 runs. The ball landed on the middle and leg stump and hit Laxman’s back pad. Laxman added 21 runs with Sourav Ganguly for the fifth wicket.

Muralitharan removed India’s last recognised batting pair of Dinesh Kathik and Sourav Ganguly by dismissing the two in the same over. Karthik was caught at mid-wicket by Kumar Sangakkara while Ganguly was caught behind by wicketkeeper Prasantha Jayawardene. A flighted delivery from Murali dipped hurriedly and turned sharply to take an edge of Ganguly’s bat before Prasantha caught him behind for 16 runs. Once these two batsmen fell, the tail-enders did not last for long.

The final Test of the three-match series will be played on August 8


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