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India take control of final Test
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter


Ground:Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
Scorecard:India v Sri Lanka
Player:V Sehwag, SR Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, MS Dhoni
Event:Sri Lanka in India 2009/10

DateLine: 4th December 2009

 

India continued to press their foot on the throat of the Lankans as they piled on agony over the visitors with yet another emphatic performance. India secured a massive 333 run lead over the Lankans leaving them two full days to bat through and save the Test. Muralitharan finally had some wickets to show for his troubles while Herath was unlucky, with a lot of missed chances and edges not going to hand.

 

Earlier in the day the interest of the match revolved around Sehwag as to whether he would re-write the history books to become the first batsman in Test history to reach the triple ton thrice in his career. The belligerent right-hander was quiet as the record was well-within his sights but Sehwag tripped at the door-step of history. Finally Muralitharan flighted a ball and Sehwag chipped lamely back to the bowler who juggled twice but held onto the catch to send back the marauder. Suddenly fangs began to appear for the bowlers and the run-rate came back to normalcy as normal cricket shots began to be played. Dravid, after surviving an edge that the umpire missed, followed him, edging Welegedara to the keeper having added 12 to his overnight 62.

 

Tendulkar looked in a hurry initially but then settled down to play a sedate knock while Laxman was in his element straight-away. Herath and Murali began to find some rhythm and the duo of Tendulkar and Laxman began to bide their time. Murali kept VVS Laxman quiet by bowling from round the stumps, with a strong leg-side field, and India scored 49 runs in 18 overs between Dravid's dismissal and lunch. Post lunch Tendulkar crossed 50 for the 97th time in Tests and Laxman opened up after a dry spell, taking 12 runs off one Welegedara over. In the next over Kulasekara breached Tendulkar's defence with an offcutter. Laxman soon crossed his fifty but a Murali doosra ended his innings.

 

Yuvraj looked uncomfortable in his stay as Herath troubled him constantly and he finally holed out in the deep and a cluster of wickets fell as Harbhajan tried to be a little cheeky, Zaheer holed out in the deep while Sreesanth was plumb to a carrom ball from Herath. Dhoni farmed the strike expertly as he and Ojha added 56 for the last wicket to push the lead past the 300 run mark. In the process India also got past their highest Test score as they posted 726 for the loss of 9 wickets. Dhoni got to his third Test century with the help of six huge sixers and three boundaries. The skipper declared the innings as soon as he got to the landmark leaving Sri Lankan openers three overs to face.

 

Harbhajan Singh and Ojha were handed the ball to try and create a break-through but the Lankan openers were good enough to ward off the spinners as they closed their innings on 11 for no loss in their 3 overs.


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