Sachin’s ton earns In­dia the draw against Sri Lanka

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

SACHIN TEN­DULKAR cel­e­brated his 20th year in Test cricket with a pa­tient un­beaten cen­tury yes­ter­day and guided In­dia to a draw against Sri Lanka in the first Test.

In­dia wiped out a huge firstin­nings deficit of 334 runs on the fifth and fi­nal day to fin­ish at 412-4 in their sec­ond in­nings with Ten­dulkar (100 not out) scor­ing his 43rd Test cen­tury.

Ten­dulkar, who made his Test de­but against Pak­istan at Karachi in 1989, hit 11 bound­aries in his match-sav­ing knock of five hours dur­ing which he faced 211 balls.

V.V.S. Lax­man was un­beaten on 51 when the game closed and shared 137 runs with Ten­dulkar for the best part­ner­ship of the in­nings.

Sri Lanka scored the high­est to­tal in a Test in­nings in In­dia when they de­clared their first in­nings at 760-7 af­ter dis­miss­ing In­dia for 426.

Ten­dulkar and Lax­man en­sured In­dia avoided any hic­cups in forc­ing a draw on a wicket which of­fered lit­tle for the bowlers dur­ing their three-hour fifth-wicket stand.

Gau­tam Gamb­hir (114) was the only wicket to fall in the last two ses­sions, but not be­fore the el­e­gant left­handed opener had com­piled his sev­enth Test cen­tury.

In a rare lack of con­cen­tra­tion, Gamb­hir charged left-arm spinner Ran­gana Herath’s de­liv­ery and of­fered a tame catch to Dam­mika Prasad at mid-off.

Gamb­hir was the sev­enth bats­man in the match to reach three fig­ures in the opener of a three-Test se­ries and faced 230 balls, hit­ting 13 bound­aries.

Sri Lanka cap­tain Ku­mar San­gakkara tried his luck with the sec­ond new ball mid­way through the sec­ond ses­sion but failed to find an­other break­through.

“Ul­ti­mate win­ner is prob­a­bly the wicket,” San­gakkara said af­ter the match.

“It stayed nice and flat through­out five days and the In­dian team showed a lot of fight to save the Test match.”

Ear­lier, In­dia added 66 runs in the morn­ing af­ter re­sum­ing on 1902 overnight and lost the lone wicket of Amir Mishra (24).

How­ever, tailen­der Mishra made Sri Lanka’s bowlers labour for nearly an hour to get rid of him.

Til­lakaratne Dil­shan took a su­perb catch at leg gully as Mishra played a de­cent shot only to see it caught just inches off the ground.

Off­spin­ner Mut­tiah Mu­ralitha­ran has now bowled 38 sec­ondin­ning overs without tak­ing a wicket and con­ceded 124 runs, but the flat na­ture of the Ahmed­abad wicket of­fered noth­ing to ei­ther the seam or spin bowlers.

Herath (2-97) was the pick of Sri Lanka’s bowler while seam­ers Mathews (1-29) and Chanaka Welegedara (1-76) shared the re­main­ing two wick­ets.

In­dian cap­tain Ma­hen­dra Singh Dhoni, who also scored a cen­tury in the first in­nings, said the wicket favoured bats­men.

“We were ex­pect­ing the wicket to have a bit more bounce for our spin­ners,” Dhoni said.

The sec­ond test be­gins at Kanpur on Tues­day. – Sapa-AP

AP PHOTO

TON UP: Sachin Ten­dulkar

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