Cricket: Sri Lanka fall to Kumble's best

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

ANIL KUMBLE, the Indian leg-spinner, took 7 for 59 yesterday, condemning Sri Lanka to an innings and 119 runs defeat in the first Test in Lucknow.

Following on 293 behind India's first-innings score of 511, Sri Lanka crumbled from 56 for 1 at lunch to 174 all out on the fourth day.

Kumble, who took four wickets in the first innings, ended with career-best match figures of 11 for 128. Kapil Dev failed to add to the wicket he took in Sri Lanka's first innings and remains on 425, six short of the Test record of 431 held by Sir Richard Hadlee.

Hashan Tillekeratne, with 47, and Roshan Mahanama (45), were the top scorers in Sri Lanka's second innings, but it was a forgettable performance.

Kumble forced Mahanama, Sri Lanka's opener, to play defensively, and he gave a low catch to Mohammad Azharuddin at silly point. Tillekeratne, in at No 3, was the only other batsman who read Kumble well, but nine runs after Mahanama's departure the left-hander swung wildly at Kumble's off-side ball to give a sky-high catch to Manoj Prabhakar at mid-on.

Wickets fell regularly after that, including that of the captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, who was out caught behind off Kumble for 0. 'Kumble was lucky,' Ranatunga said. 'He took a couple of wickets in the beginning and then he was lucky in the middle.'

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