Stellar Sehwag steers India reply

Virender Sehwag's astonishing double century puts India in command on day two.

    Thumbs up for the brilliant Sehwag who has all but crushed chances of a Sri Lanka win [AFP]
    Virender Sehwag blasted the second fastest double century to put India in control of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka in Mumbai.

    The opener plundered an unbeaten 284 on the second day and is just 16 runs short of becoming the first player to hit three triple Test centuries.

    At stumps on day two, the hosts were 443 for one, their highest score in a day, in response to Sri Lanka's first innings of 393.

    After just two days, it appears Sri Lanka's chances of getting a series-levelling victory are quickly fading away.

    Fast work

    Sehwag made his lightening double century in just 168 balls, compared to New Zealander Nathan Astle's 153-ball effort against England in 2001-02.

    In all, he hit seven sixes and 40 fours off 239 deliveries, dominating two big partnerships with Murali Vijay (87) and Rahul Dravid (62 not out).

    Sehwag and Australia's Donald Bradman are the only players to have scored two triple-centuries in Tests. Sehwag's triple-centuries were made against Pakistan at Multan in 2004 and against South Africa at Chennai in 2008.

    Sehwag shared a pacey 221-run opening stand with Vijay, who was the only India batsman dismissed on Thursday, lbw to Rangana Herath after picking the wrong delivery to attempt a sweep.

    Vijay, on duty filling in for Gautam Gambhir, who is missing this Test to attend his sister's wedding, hit 10 boundaries.

    Sehwag and Dravid then featured in an unbroken 222-run partnership for the
    second wicket.

    With Sehwag punishing the bowlers, Dravid was content to play the supporting role, hitting just five boundaries in his 121-ball knock.

    Second day scorecard

    Sri Lanka first innings
    (overnight 366-8)

    T Paranavitana c Dravid b Harbhajan 53
    T Dilshan c Vijay b Harbhajan 109
    K Sangakkara c Dhoni b Ojha 18
    M Jayawardene c Sehwag b Sreesanth 29
    T Samaraweera c Vijay b Harbhajan 1
    A Mathews run out 99
    P Jayawardene c Harbhajan b Ojha 43
    N Kulasekara c Dhoni b Zaheer 12
    R Herath c Dravid b Harbhajan 1
    M Muralitharan not out 4
    C Welegedara lbw b Ojha 8
    Extras 16
    Total (all out; 94.4 overs) 393
    Fall of wickets: 1-93 2-128 3-187 4-188 5-262 6-329 7-359 8-362 9-379 10-393

    India first innings

    M Vijay lbw b Herath 87
    V Sehwag not out 284
    R Dravid not out 62
    Extras 10
    Total (one wicket; 79 overs) 443
    Fall of wicket: 1-221

    All Sri Lanka's bowlers came in for severe punishment. Herath, the lone successful bowler, finished with the figures 1-112 in 22 overs, while ace offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan conceded 119 runs off his 20 overs.

    Earlier, Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews fell just one run short of his maiden Test century when he was run out.

    He pulled a short ball to deep square-leg, and tried a second run in his eagerness to complete the ton, but failed to beat Sachin Tendulkar's accurate throw to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

    Mathews hit 15 boundaries off 131 deliveries.

    Resuming at the overnight score of 366-8, Sri Lanka added 27 runs for the loss of their remaining two wickets.

    The visitors' innings folded soon after the departure of Mathews, as last man Chanaka Welegedara (8) fell lbw to Pragyan Ojha (3-101).

    SOURCE: Agencies


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