Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gambhir ton helps India hold off Sri Lanka

AHMEDABAD: Opening batsman Gautam Gambhir reached his century Friday as India fought to stave off defeat by Sri Lanka in the first Test.


The hosts reached 256-3 at lunch on the fifth and final day, still trailing by 78 runs and hoping to force a draw by preventing Sri Lanka claiming the remaining seven wickets.

Gambhir (105 not out) became the sixth batsman in the match to reach three figures on a batsman-friendly wicket in the opener of a three-Test series.

Gambhir, the elegant left-hander, has watchfully played 213 deliveries and has hit 12 boundaries in his patient knock.

Sachin Tendulkar, celebrating his 20th year in Test cricket, was unbeaten on 22 at the break as India made a slow but steady progress towards a draw.

Sri Lanka scored the highest ever total in a Test innings in India when it declared its first innings at 760-7 after dismissing India for 426.

India lost nightwatchman Amit Mishra (24) after resuming at the overnight 190-2, but the tailender made Sri Lanka's bowlers labor for nearly an hour to get rid of him.

Tillakaratne Dilshan took a superb catch at leg gully as Mishra played a decent shot only to see it caught just inches of the ground.

Gambhir, 74 overnight, completed his seventh Test century when he glanced seamer Angelo Mathews to fine leg for his 12th boundary of the innings.

Ace off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has bowled 22 overs in the second innings, but the dead nature of the wicket has given nothing to either the seam or spin bowlers.

Seamers Mathews (1-16) and Chanaka Welegedara (1-46) along with left-arm spinner Rangana Herath (1-64) have taken the wickets.

Tags : Test cricket, Sri Lanka, India, Scorecard