India has come back strongly in the third and final Test at the P Sara Oval by finishing Day 2 at 180 for 2. This was after batting out just the 35 overs! Virender Sehwag has pounced hard on the potent Lankan attack to smash an unbeaten 97 from just 87balls (powered by 17 fours). All the other batsmen who got into the middle tried their best to counter punch the Lankan bowlers. While Vijay and Dravid failed to make it last long, the inform – Sachin Tendulkar made sure that he stayed not out till the end of the day’s play to keep India alive and kicking.
Tendulkar has got himself to 40 from 66 balls with 5 fours while being engaged in an unbroken stand of 88 with Sehwag who also went past 7000 Test runs during this innings. The Indian innings was slightly shaken up at 92 for 2 in the 18th over when an unusually aggressive Rahul Dravid (23 from 26 balls with 5 fours) fell right across the line in a flick shot to be lbw to swing bowler Angelo Mathews. Before that, India had lost Murali Vijay (14) after the youngster drove on the up a bit too early off a Lasith Malinga to leave the ground at 49 for 1. Of all the five bowlers used by Sangakkara, off spinner Suraj Randiv looked the most dangerous with his sharp turn and bounce.
Though India had to work hard for their wickets, they managed to bowl out the Sri Lankans to 425 about thirty minutes before Tea. The batting was terribly slow from the hosts as they took 138 overs to reach there. Overnight batsman – Thilan Samaraweera was to be blamed for going in a shell and towards the end couldn’t get the tail to wag long enough. Samaraweera was left unbeaten on 137 (from 288 balls with 12 fours and a six). He got a crucial fifth wicket of 89 with Angelo Mathews (45) which ensured a par total for the Lankans.
Pragyan Ojha continued to impress amongst the Indian bowlers adding up two more wickets to finish with a career best of 4 for 115 in 46 overs while bowling a good 10 maidens. Ishant Sharma found some luck too late in the innings to finish with 3 for 72 in 23 overs.