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Rahane ton leads the way for India

By The Assam Tribune
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COLOMBO, Aug 23: India were eyeing a series- levelling victory in the second cricket Test by reducing Sri Lanka to 72 for two after setting the hosts a daunting victory target of 413, riding on Ajinkya Rahane�s sparkling century.

The 27-year-old Rahane (126) notched up his fourth Test century as India declared their second innings at 325 for eight and then snapped up early wickets to leave the islanders in a shaky position at close on an engrossing fourth day.

India will now look to take the remaining eight wickets on a tricky fifth day track to level the three-match series 1-1 and spoil the party for retiring legend Kumar Sangakkara in his farewell Test match.

Sangakkara, 37, did not have a fairytale ending to his final innings after the one-down batsman departed for just 18 runs. He was scalped for the fourth time in this series by Ravichandran Ashwin (2-27) as the home crowd gave an emotional farewell to the left-handed batsman.

After coming on to the ground amid a standing ovation and guard of honour by the visiting Indian team, Sangakkara was done in by an Ashwin turner to be caught at gully by Murali Vijay. The visiting players, including captain Virat Kohli, then shook hands with the departing Sangakkara as his family looked on from the stands.

Dimuth Karunaratne (25 not out) and skipper Angelo Mathews (23 not out) then stood their ground for an unbeaten 39-run stand to fight on.

The Lankans will look to score the remaining 341 runs for a series clinching victory though that will a tough task. With two wickets already down, they will try to bat out for a draw on a P Sara oval track, which is expected to deteriorate and assist the spinners.

No team has ever scored 413 in the last innings of a Test match on Sri Lankan soil. The highest successful run chase has been achieved by Pakistan only a few months back, when they scored 382 for three against the Lankans in Pallekele.

The highest fourth innings target successfully chased by the hosts has been 352 against South Africa in Colombo in 2006.

The highlight of the day was Rahane�s knock and his 140- run second wicket partnership with Murali Vijay (82), which put India in a position to take a mammoth overall lead. Rohit Sharma chipped in with a useful 34 before India declared the second innings.

Dhamikka Prasad and Tharindu Kaushal picked up four wickets apiece but failed to stop the flow of runs.

Ashwin had opened the bowling along with Umesh Yadav (0-10) and made immediate impact with the new ball. In the 3rd over Kaushal Silva (1) played a loose shot off a full toss and hit it straight to short mid-wicket.

Sangakkara then put on 25 runs for the 2nd wicket with Karunaratne before Ashwin dismissed him.

Mathews came in next and survived the 12.1 overs before stumps. Ishant Sharma (0-18) and Amit Mishra (0-13) were the other bowlers deployed.

Earlier, after tea, India continued to bat on and didn�t declare until they were eight wickets down. Stuart Binny (17) was gone first ball after the break and to everyone�s surprise Wriddhiman Saha (13*) came out to bat, despite a right hamstring strain. Later he didn�t keep wickets as Lokesh Rahul donned the gloves.

At the other end, Ashwin (19) was accounted by Dhammika (4-43) after he threw his bat around and helped India clear the 400-run mark in terms of overall lead.

Mishra (10) was dismissed, again off Prasad in the 89th over, and Umesh (4*) batted a bit too as India played for comfort. The declaration finally came after 91 overs after the visitors added another 42 runs in 9 overs after tea. Rangana Herath (0-96), Angelo Mathews (0-1) and Dushmantha Chameera (0-63) were the other bowlers tried out earlier in this innings.

SCORECARD

India 1st Innings: 393

Sri Lanka 1st Innings: 306 all out

India 2nd innings: Murali Vijay lbw b Kaushal 82, KL Rahul b Prasad 2, Ajinkya Rahane c Chandimal b Kaushal 126, Virat Kohli lbw b Kaushal 10, Rohit Sharma c Mubarak b Kaushal 34, Stuart Binny c Thirimanne b Prasad 17, Wriddhimaan Saha not out 13, R Ashwin c Chandimal b Prasad 19, Amit Mishra c Mubarak b Prasad 10, Umesh Yadav not out 4. Extras: (LB-4, W-3, NB-1) 8. Total: (8 wickets dec; 91 overs) 325. Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-143, 3-171, 4-256, 5-262, 5-267 (Saha, retired hurt, 78.6 overs), 6-283, 7-311, 8-318. Bowling: Dhammika Prasad 15-0-43-4, Rangana Herath 29-4-96-0, Dushmantha Chameera 14-0-63-0, Angelo Mathews 2-1-1-0, Tharindu Kaushal 31-1-118-4.

Sri Lanka 2nd innings: Kaushal Silva c Binny b Ashwin 1, Dimut Karunaratne not out 25, Kumar Sangakkara c Vijay b Ashwin 18, Angelo Mathews not out 23. Extras: (LB 4, NB 1) 5. Total: (2 wickets; 21 overs) 72. Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-33. Bowling: R Ashwin 10-5-27-2, Umesh Yadav 2-0-10-0, Ishant Sharma 4-0-18-0, Amit Mishra 5-1-13-0. � PTI

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Rahane ton leads the way for India

COLOMBO, Aug 23: India were eyeing a series- levelling victory in the second cricket Test by reducing Sri Lanka to 72 for two after setting the hosts a daunting victory target of 413, riding on Ajinkya Rahane�s sparkling century.

The 27-year-old Rahane (126) notched up his fourth Test century as India declared their second innings at 325 for eight and then snapped up early wickets to leave the islanders in a shaky position at close on an engrossing fourth day.

India will now look to take the remaining eight wickets on a tricky fifth day track to level the three-match series 1-1 and spoil the party for retiring legend Kumar Sangakkara in his farewell Test match.

Sangakkara, 37, did not have a fairytale ending to his final innings after the one-down batsman departed for just 18 runs. He was scalped for the fourth time in this series by Ravichandran Ashwin (2-27) as the home crowd gave an emotional farewell to the left-handed batsman.

After coming on to the ground amid a standing ovation and guard of honour by the visiting Indian team, Sangakkara was done in by an Ashwin turner to be caught at gully by Murali Vijay. The visiting players, including captain Virat Kohli, then shook hands with the departing Sangakkara as his family looked on from the stands.

Dimuth Karunaratne (25 not out) and skipper Angelo Mathews (23 not out) then stood their ground for an unbeaten 39-run stand to fight on.

The Lankans will look to score the remaining 341 runs for a series clinching victory though that will a tough task. With two wickets already down, they will try to bat out for a draw on a P Sara oval track, which is expected to deteriorate and assist the spinners.

No team has ever scored 413 in the last innings of a Test match on Sri Lankan soil. The highest successful run chase has been achieved by Pakistan only a few months back, when they scored 382 for three against the Lankans in Pallekele.

The highest fourth innings target successfully chased by the hosts has been 352 against South Africa in Colombo in 2006.

The highlight of the day was Rahane�s knock and his 140- run second wicket partnership with Murali Vijay (82), which put India in a position to take a mammoth overall lead. Rohit Sharma chipped in with a useful 34 before India declared the second innings.

Dhamikka Prasad and Tharindu Kaushal picked up four wickets apiece but failed to stop the flow of runs.

Ashwin had opened the bowling along with Umesh Yadav (0-10) and made immediate impact with the new ball. In the 3rd over Kaushal Silva (1) played a loose shot off a full toss and hit it straight to short mid-wicket.

Sangakkara then put on 25 runs for the 2nd wicket with Karunaratne before Ashwin dismissed him.

Mathews came in next and survived the 12.1 overs before stumps. Ishant Sharma (0-18) and Amit Mishra (0-13) were the other bowlers deployed.

Earlier, after tea, India continued to bat on and didn�t declare until they were eight wickets down. Stuart Binny (17) was gone first ball after the break and to everyone�s surprise Wriddhiman Saha (13*) came out to bat, despite a right hamstring strain. Later he didn�t keep wickets as Lokesh Rahul donned the gloves.

At the other end, Ashwin (19) was accounted by Dhammika (4-43) after he threw his bat around and helped India clear the 400-run mark in terms of overall lead.

Mishra (10) was dismissed, again off Prasad in the 89th over, and Umesh (4*) batted a bit too as India played for comfort. The declaration finally came after 91 overs after the visitors added another 42 runs in 9 overs after tea. Rangana Herath (0-96), Angelo Mathews (0-1) and Dushmantha Chameera (0-63) were the other bowlers tried out earlier in this innings.

SCORECARD

India 1st Innings: 393

Sri Lanka 1st Innings: 306 all out

India 2nd innings: Murali Vijay lbw b Kaushal 82, KL Rahul b Prasad 2, Ajinkya Rahane c Chandimal b Kaushal 126, Virat Kohli lbw b Kaushal 10, Rohit Sharma c Mubarak b Kaushal 34, Stuart Binny c Thirimanne b Prasad 17, Wriddhimaan Saha not out 13, R Ashwin c Chandimal b Prasad 19, Amit Mishra c Mubarak b Prasad 10, Umesh Yadav not out 4. Extras: (LB-4, W-3, NB-1) 8. Total: (8 wickets dec; 91 overs) 325. Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-143, 3-171, 4-256, 5-262, 5-267 (Saha, retired hurt, 78.6 overs), 6-283, 7-311, 8-318. Bowling: Dhammika Prasad 15-0-43-4, Rangana Herath 29-4-96-0, Dushmantha Chameera 14-0-63-0, Angelo Mathews 2-1-1-0, Tharindu Kaushal 31-1-118-4.

Sri Lanka 2nd innings: Kaushal Silva c Binny b Ashwin 1, Dimut Karunaratne not out 25, Kumar Sangakkara c Vijay b Ashwin 18, Angelo Mathews not out 23. Extras: (LB 4, NB 1) 5. Total: (2 wickets; 21 overs) 72. Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-33. Bowling: R Ashwin 10-5-27-2, Umesh Yadav 2-0-10-0, Ishant Sharma 4-0-18-0, Amit Mishra 5-1-13-0. � PTI