India has bounced back in style taking three big wickets in the afternoon session to have Sri Lanka under pressure at 213 for 4 in 56 overs at Tea. The post lunch session had a huge twist in the game with Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera perishing and thus making Sri Lanka’s mission of putting up a big first innings total in difficulty. But India are still kept on the backfoot slightly by the presence of opener Tillakaratne Dilshan who is one run short of a 11th test hundred.
Pragyan Ojha gave early success to his team after the lunch break when he had Sangakkara (18) edging his flick down the legside to Dhoni. It was the sharp turn down the leg that forced an edge to break the 35-run stand for the second wicket.
Sri Lanka after losing their Skipper got back to consolidation through Dilshan and Jayawardene. Dhoni had to bring in the changes, one of them being Sreesanth coming back with a reverse swinging ball. It was a surprise rising ball from Sreesanth that tempted Mahela Jayawardene to go for a pull shot in the 48th over but only to top edge it into the safe hands of Sehwag at square fine leg. Mahela had scored 29 in a third wicket partnership of 59.
Another bowling change did the trick for India again with Harbhajan striking back with the very first ball of his comeback spell. It was Sri Lanka’s run machine Thilan Samaraweera coming forward in defence but was forced to get a bat pad edge to Murali Vijay at shortleg. Samaraweera had a stay of just two balls in the middle much to the delight of the bowling side. Sri Lanka got to Tea without further damage to 213 for 4. Dilshan bravely used his feet and struck a six off Ojha in the last over before Tea to move onto 99 (from 138 balls with 10 fours and 2 sixes). Giving him company is a shaky Angelo Mathews who is on 8 (from 19 balls).
Harbhajan Singh (18-2-50-2) and Sreesanth (10-1-39-1) look like the best bowlers for India. Zaheer Khan (10-043-0) has failed to bowl accurately while Pragyan Ojha (17-1-76-1) is doing a decent job but is getting a fair amount of stick from Dilshan. Sri Lanka could score only 96 runs in this post lunch session in 29 overs having lost three wickets.