CRICKET : Virender Sehwag hit a swashbuckling double-century as India seized control at the end of day two of the final Test against Sri Lanka in Mumbai.
Virender Sehwag hit a swashbuckling double-century as India seized control at the end of day two of the final Test against Sri Lanka in Mumbai.
Sri Lanka, needing victory to draw the series, steadily lost ground as Sehwag hammered a pedestrian-looking attack around the park, scoring an undefeated 284 – his sixth double-hundred and the game’s third highest individual score in one day’s play.
He dominated sizeable partnerships with fellow opener Murali Vijay (87) and Rahul Dravid (62 not out) as India closed on 443 for one, 50 runs ahead of Sri Lanka’s total of 393 and in position for a huge first-innings lead.
The visitors had begun the day badly, losing batsman Angelo Mathews for 99 and being bowled out within the opening half-hour.
Mathews, who raced into the nineties by edging Shanthakumaran Sreesanth for a boundary, pulled a short delivery from Sreesanth to deep square leg and turned for a second run when Mahendra Singh Dhoni collected the throw from Sachin Tendulkar and dislodged the bails.
The other overnight batsman Muttiah Muralitharan was undefeated on four, while Chanaka Welegedara was the last man to be dismissed – leg before to Pragyan Ojha, the left-arm spinner finishing with three for 101 from 23.4 overs.
Sri Lanka’s total was expected to test the home side, but Sehwag and Vijay quickly rendered the advantage ineffective with an almost effortless display. The opening duo had added 221 for the first wicket when Rangana Herath, who had dropped Vijay on 67, eventually found success, trapping the batsman in front as he attempted a sweep shot.
There was no respite for Sri Lanka, however, as Sehwag and Dravid continued to punish the visitors’ bowling attack.
Sehwag reached his century off 101 deliveries by sweeping Muralitharan for four, but his second 100 was achieved in even more blistering fashion, coming off just 67 deliveries. He reached the 250-run mark with another boundary off Muralitharan.
It took India less than three sessions to overhaul Sri Lanka’s total, scoring more than 400 runs in a day for the second time in as many Tests.