Cricket: Atapattu overcomes jinx

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The Independent Online
Sri Lanka 280-4 v India

Sri Lanka's Marvan Atapattu hit his maiden Test century to overcome his Indian jinx and put his side in charge of the first Test in Mohali yesterday.

The stylish right-hander, who failed to make a run in four Test innings in India in 1993, hit 108 to carry the tourists to 280 for 4 by close of the opening day's play.

Atapattu put on 98 for the first wicket with Sanath Jayasuriya and 104 for the second with Roshan Mahanama before reaching three figures an hour after tea with his 13th boundary.

Sri Lanka were cruising at 254 for 2 when India, who elected to field, hit back with two wickets off successive deliveries with the second new ball shortly before the close.

Atapattu was trapped leg-before by Javagal Srinath and then Aravinda De Silva was bowled by Abey Kuruvilla. Arjuna Ranatunga and Hashan Tillakaratne survived to end a profitable day for the Sri Lankans.

Atapattu, whose previous best in Tests was 29, survived a let-off on 86 when the wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia missed an easy stumping of Rajesh Chauhan's bowling.

First day; India won toss

SRI LANKA - First Innings

S T Jayasuriya c Chauhan b Srinath 53

M S Atapattu lbw b Srinath 108

R Mahanama lbw b Kumble 42

P A De Silva b Kuruvilla 33

*A Ranatunga not out 14

H P Tillakaratne not out 9

Extras (b4, lb8, nb9) 21

Total (for 4) 280

To bat: L De Silva, H D P K Dharmasena, W P U J C Vaas, M Muralitharan, S K L De Silva

Fall: 1-98, 2-202, 3-254, 4-254

Bowling (to date): Srinath 17-2-66-2; Kuruvilla 13-3-45-1; Mohanty 16- 1-52-0; Kumble 26-7-71-1; Ganguly 2-2-0-0; Chauhan 16-2-34-0.

INDIA: *S R Tendulkar, N S Sidhu, S C Ganguly, R S Dravid, M Azharuddin, N R Mongia, A Kumble, J Srinath, R K Chauhan, A Kuruvilla, D Mohanty.

Umpires: S Venkataraghavan (Ind) and S A Bucknor (WI).