After waiting patiently for almost an hour after Lunch, India finally got the opening it needed to run through the Sri Lankan batting. The hosts are now just five wickets away from a victory as the Lankans lost four wickets in quick succession in the post lunch session. Kumar Sangakkara is now left with wicket keeper Prasanna Jayawardene followed up by the bowlers.
Tharanga Paranavitana who was batting so well with Sangakkara patiently saw through the first few overs after lunch bowled by Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag. A bowling change from Dhoni to bring back Sreesanth provided the much neeeded breakthrough in the 46th over. Sreesanth bowling from over the sticks used reverse swing to get the ball to come back and straighten a bit to defeat Tharanga Paranavitana and strike his pad low. Paranavitana (54 from 144 balls with 8 fours) fell across and was beaten for pace and the late movement to be lbw to leave his team at 119 for 2. Sreesanth went past the outside edge of new man Mahela Jayawardene without any luck. He was later replaced with Zaheer Khan.
In the 54th over, which was about eight overs after Paranavitana’s exit, Sri Lanka lost the big wicket of Mahela Jayawardene to Zaheer Khan. Mahela came forward and was unsure whether to play or leave to one that was going across him and the result was a faint nick to the keeper to restrict his stay for just 24 balls. And four overs later, Zaheer Khan banged one short from round the sticks to have Thilan Samaraweera helplessly fend it with an angled blade to second slip. Laxman held onto a low catch to his left to have SL at 137 for 4. Samaraweera departed for a 13-ball duck.
In the last over before Tea, Pragyan Ojha joined the party with one that turned and jumped to force Angelo Mathews to edge his forward defence to the keeper. It was MS Dhoni’s 100th catch in his Test Career and this was quite a sharp chance because of plenty of bounce. Sri Lanka at Tea are 144 for 5 in 60.5 overs and are on the brink of a defeat which could either come in the last session or perhaps in the morning session of the final day. Sangakkara is the only one standing there for them on a maiden test fifty on Indian soil which has come in his 10th innings. The Sri Lankan Skipper has so far faced 151 balls while striking four boundaries.
The afternoon session saw 29.5 overs with Sri Lanka scoring 60 runs at the loss of four wickets. There are still 32.1 overs to be bowled in the day’s play.