|P Sara Oval, Colombo
|Sri Lanka v India
|V Sehwag, VVS Laxman, SK Raina, A Mithun, A Mishra, SL Malinga, BAW Mendis
|India in Sri Lanka 2010
DateLine: 5th August 2010
The third and the final Test was interestingly poised as both the sides fought hard to take hold of the Test. The Lankan bowlers bowled well to put India in deep trouble before the middle order and the lower order rallied together to take India to a position of strength. The Lankans in reply looked good but then once again the Indian bowlers led by Sehwag pulled the rug from under the Lankan feet.
India suffered a major blow when Malinga got Tendulkar to feather an edge behind of a wide delivery in the very first over of the day. Sehwag got to his 21st Test century and was looking set for more when Randiv coaxed the belligerent right-hander to scoop a simple catch to mid-on. The Indian innings all of a sudden began to look wobbly at 199 for and the Lankans were sensing a kill. At this juncture entered VVS Laxman and Suresh Raina and the duo steadied Indian innings. The pair played positive cricket as they were not bogged down by the Lankan bowlers.
Malinga and Mendis were a threat through-out the Indian innings while Randiv fizzled out. Welagedara was not considered as he was too expensive for the liking of Sangakkara. Raina was on look-out for runs from ball number one while Laxman after initial circumspection began to play some attractive shots. The pair added 105 runs for the fifth wicket before Mendis, bowling from round the wicket, had Laxman caught at slips. Raina checked his on-drive and was caught at silly-mid-on again of Mendis. MS Dhoni's poor run with the bat continued as he was caught down the leg side of the gloves of Malinga and the Indian innings once again wobbled.
The Indian tail is known to fold up meekly but this time they wagged and how. Mithun showed admirable patience and temperament as he dealt with the pace and spin of Malinga and Mendis with ease. Mishra after being hit by Malinga looked solid. The pair added 64 runs for the eighth wicket as the Indian total crept closer to the Lankan score at a rapid pace. It looked like the two batsmen would reach their respective fifties but it was not to be. The Indian innings finally closed at 436 with a lead of 11 runs.
The Lankan innings in reply were for most part rarely troubled by the Indian pacers who bowled well only in patches. Dhoni immediately gave the ball to Ojha and then to Sehwag and the two spinners bowled exceptionally well. There was flight, dip and spin as the Lankan batsmen now began to grapple with some serious issues. Sehwag finally broke through as he removed Paranavitana and the Dilshan to leave the hosts in a point of strife. Skipper Kumar Sangakkara and nightwatchman Suraj Randiv then kept the Indian bowlers at bay to end the day at 45 for 2.
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