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Rediff.com  » Sports » Images: India vs Sri Lanka, Day 4

Images: India vs Sri Lanka, Day 4

Last updated on: July 21, 2010 20:29 IST

Muralitharan picks 67th five-wicket haul

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Muttiah Muralitharan scalped six wickets in his last match to put Sri Lanka within sniffing distance of a victory at Galle on Wednesday.

Muralitharan claimed of 5 for 63 in the first innings and added another wicket - that of Yuvraj Singh - in the second to be just two short of the 800-mark as India were skittled out for 276 in their first innings in response to the home team's total of 520 for eight declared.

The retiring off-spinner took a five-wicket haul for the 67th time in his career as India failed to cross the limit required to avoid follow on. 

Despite being armed by some of the best Test batsmen, India have not able to make it a fight against the hosts, who look determined to make it a memorable swansong game for their star Muralitharan.

With 63 runs still required to avoid the embarassment of an innings defeat, the result seems all the more obvious.


Image: Mutthiah Muralitharan walks off after picking five wickets at the end of India's first innings
Photographs: Reuters
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Dravid made a patient 44

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Asked to follow on, the Indians were struggling at 181 for five at close on an eventful penultimate day, still needing 63 runs to avoid the embarassment of an innings defeat.

The seasoned duo of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar steadied the innings to some extent after early losses by batting cautiously on a track which was still good for batting.

The two batsmen did not take any risks at all and were quite content in keeping the scoreboard moving with gentle pushes and nudges.

Dravid made a patient 44 before falling prey to Lasith Malinga's swing.


Image: Rahul Dravid

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The 'second innings curse' continued to haunt Sehwag

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Earlier, the second innings curse came back to haunt Virender Sehwag.

Only one of the opener's 21 Test hundreds - against Australia at Adelaide in 2008 - have come in the second innings and it remained that way.

For Sehwag failed to have a perfect follow up to his first innings' ton.

Lasith Malinga almost had Sehwag soon after he dismissed Gambhir but it was a no-ball. The paceman brilliantly caught Sehwag's uppish straight drive in his follow through but had over-stepped.

Sehwag responded with two boundaries after that in the same over.

He was on song and hit Chanaka Welegedera for two boundaries until he became victim of the same bowler.

Before falling to a stunner by Mahela Jayawardene he hit six boundaries in his 30-ball 31 and has he kept his cool and restrain himself India could have been in a better position.


Image: Virender Sehwag walks back after his dismissal

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It was a double failure for Gambhir

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Meanwhile, the Galle Test was a dual failure for Gautam Gambhir.

Coming to bat with a dauting task after India had been asked to follow-on, Gambhir yet again failed miserably, falling in the first over to Lasith Malinga for the second consecutive time in this Test.

He had not even opened his account when Malinga had him caught behind.

The left-handed opener had made just two runs in the opening essay.


 


Image: Gautam Gambhir

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Tendulkar made an impressive 84

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Sachin Tendulkar was the more dominant in his partnership with Rahul Dravid and was prompt to punish the loose deliveries to the boundary.

The third wicket partnership yielded 119 runs.

Tendulkar made an impressive 84, a knock that was inclusive of 11 glorious hits to the fence and a huge one over it.

But both Dravid and Tendulkar's dismissal at the fag end of the day off Lasith Malinga swung the game decisively in Sri Lanka's favour.

The Master Blaster was adjudged leg before.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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Yuvraj perished just before stumps

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Yuvraj Singh (5) perished just before close of play to compound India's misery.

Asked to follow on, the Indians were struggling at 181 for five at close on an eventful penultimate day, still needing 63 runs to avoid the embarassment of an innings defeat.

With one day remaining in the rain-hit Test, the Indians will have to bat out of their skin to save the match and much will depend on how long VVS Laxman and M S Dhoni can hold fort on the final day.


Image: Yuvraj Singh

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The hosts dominated proceedings at Galle

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Like on all the other days, the hosts dominated the proceedings by first dismissing the Indians cheaply in the first innings and tightening the grip on the match by evicting the two openers in quick succesion.

Resuming at the overnight score of 140 for three, the Indians lost wickets at regular intervals in the pre-lunch session to allow the home team to gain complete control.

And the batting in the second innings has been equally disappointing, save Tendulkar and Dravid. 

As a result, the visitors are faced with a daunting task of saving the first cricket Test


Image: Malinga, Murali and Matthews

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