India in the driving seat

Sehwag misses out on triple century but India declare on 726-9 in first innings.

    Sri Lankan fielders can only watch as Tendulkar, centre, piles on the misery [AFP]
    India took control of the third and final Test, recording their highest ever Test score as they declared just before stumps at 726-9 on the third day in Mumbai.

    Opener Virender Sehwag, who blasted Sri Lanka the previous day with the second fastest double century, fell just short of becoming the first ever batsman to score three Test triple centuries.

    But his performance had already put the hosts in dominant form, leaving them well positioned to push for a successive innings victory and 2-0 series triumph.

    Sri Lanka, who scored 393 in their first innings, were 11-0 in their second innings at stumps, requiring another 322 runs to make India bat again.

    Strong performance

    India's score bettered their previous best of 705-7 against Australia in 2004.

    Sehwag was dismissed for 293, adding just nine runs to his overnight score before offering a return catch to offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who fumbled the attempt before holding the ball.

    Sehwag's overnight partner Rahul Dravid (74) soon followed him to the pavilion but skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (100), VVS. Laxman (62) and Sachin Tendulkar (53) piled on the agony against a weary Sri Lanka attack.

    Sehwag's two triple centuries were against Pakistan at Multan in 2004 and South Africa at Chennai in 2008.

    Brian Lara of the West Indies and Australian Donald Bradman are the only other cricketers in Test history to have passed 300 runs on two different occasions.

    Third day scorecard

    Sri Lanka first innings 393
    (T Paranavitana 53, T Dilshan
    109, A Mathews 99, H Singh 4-112)

    India first innings (443-1 overnight)
    M Vijay lbw b Herath 87
    V Sehwag c&b Muralitharan 293
    R Dravid c P Jayawardene b W'gedara 74
    S Tendulkar b Kulasekara 53
    V Laxman c Kulasekara b Muralitharan 62
    Y Singh c Mathews b Herath 23
    M Dhoni not out 100
    H Singh b Muralitharan 1
    Z Khan c Kulasekara b Muralitharan 7
    S Sreesanth lbw b Herath 8
    P Ojha not out 5
    Extras 13
    Total (nine wkts decl; 163.3 overs) 726
    Fall of wickets: 1-221 2-458 3-487 4-558 5-591 6-610 7-615 8-647 9-670

    Sri Lanka second innings

    T Paranavitana not out 8
    T Dilshan not out 3
    Total (no loss, 3 overs) 11

    Sehwag struck seven sixes and 40 boundaries from 254 deliveries to dominate the Sri Lankan bowlers.

    The expectation of a Sehwag triple century drew a large crowd to the Brabourne Stadium, but the spectators were yet to settle in when Sehwag mistimed a drive to give Muralitharan his first wicket of the match.

    Dravid struck a six and five boundaries from 147 balls before nicking Chanaka Welegedara's delivery to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene.

    Six boundaries featured in Sachin Tendulkar's 103-ball knock before he was bowled by paceman Nuwan Kulasekara (1-105).

    Muralitharan then had Laxman caught by Kulasekara, after the batsman struck eight boundaries. Later he removed Harbhajan Singh (1) and Zaheer Khan to finish with 4-195.

    Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath (3-240) earned the dubious distinction of conceding the most runs in an innings by a Sri Lankan and the sixth highest overall in Test history.

    Herath dismissed Yuvraj Singh (23) and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (8) to add to Thursday's wicket of opener Murali Vijay.

    India hold a 1-0 lead in the series after they won the second Test by an innings and 144 runs. The first Test ended in a draw.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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