Tendulkar scripts India's fight back
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 28th July 2010
The Indian batsmen replied strongly to the mammoth Sri Lankan total as they finished the third day on 382 for 4. The Indian side were in a spot of bother
as they were precariously placed at 241 for 4 with the spinners doing the damage. But a calculated unbeaten century from Tendulkar and maiden fifty from Raina calmed the frayed nerves of the Indian side.
Resuming the day at 95 for no loss the Indian openers, Sehwag and Murali Vijay, continued their strong stand. Sehwag flayed the Lankan bowlers with the same gusto as he showed in the previous evening while Murali Vijay was contend to play the second fiddle. The pacers were thrashed all around the park and that forced the Lankans to bowl defensively. Sehwag was severe on anything that was full as he drove and flicked with panache as the opener neared his Test ton. With Sehwag on 99 Sangakkara brought Randiv on and Sehwag for reasons known only to him went down the track to reach his ton with the glory shot but was stumped a long way.
Murali Vijay did not pick the googlies of Mendis and the spinner very cleverly used it sparingly keeping the batsman guessing. Finally he delivered one and the batsman was caught right in front of the stumps. Dravid looked scratchy in the middle and Randiv continued his dream run in his debut match as he trapped Dravid with a perfect off-break the beat Dravid's defensive poke. The innings staggered at 173 for 3 and soon the pitch was beginning to assist the spinners. Tendulkar absorbed all the pressure and he began to play a near perfect innings suited for the situation.
The 37 year old right hander never over-attacked like Sehwag nor went into his shell like Laxman. Randiv especially was signalled out for special treatment as when the off-spinner dropped short, Tendulkar played some rasping cut shots. Laxman's misery in the middle was finally ended as Mendis trapped him leg-before. The pair of Tendulkar and Laxman added 68 runs in 30 overs to steady the innings.
Raina walked in at the score of 241 for 4 and with follow-on looming large. The southpaw survived a very close shout of lbw of Mendis when he padded up to a leg-spinner from the bowler. The height must have being the factor that saved him and after that he settled in. Tendulkar guided the youngster throughout the innings and Raina blossomed. The left-hander played some sweetly timed drives through covers and he duly reached his maiden fifty in his debut Test match. Tendulkar on the other hand motored along to score his 48th Test century and his first on Lankan soil after eleven years. India at the close of play were 382 for 4.