Attacking hundred by Jayasuriya puts India in trouble

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The Independent Online

Sanath Jayasuriya, the Sri Lanka captain, scored a fabulous hundred to give his side an excellent chance of victory after the second day of the first Test in Galle yesterday.

At the end of play, Sri Lanka had established a secure first-innings lead – on 264 for 3, 77 runs ahead of India, with plenty of batting to come.

"I had no plan to go after the bowler every ball, but today I decided if I get a loose one I will score," Jayasuriya said. "When I was there I got the width and we batted a lot more positively than India."

The tourists had started the day on 163 for 5 and would have expected to get through the morning session and some of the afternoon at the very least. But Dilhara Fernando continued his fine form of yesterday with the ball, taking three quick wickets and within 52 minutes the tourists were all out for 187. Fernando finished with Test-best figures of 5 for 42, his second five-wicket haul in seven matches.

The Sri Lankan openers Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu put on an unbroken stand of 44 before lunch and raced to 101 before Harbhajan Singh struck. When on 33, Atapattu prodded forward at the Indian off-spinner but sent the ball straight to Hemang Badani at silly point.

Jayasuriya's first 50 came from 51 balls and, in a flurry of attacking shots, he destroyed the Indian opening bowlers, swiftly putting his side in firm control of the match. He reached 105 by tea, including a crashing six off pace-man Javagal Srinath over the head of point. Jayasuriya eventually succumbed to Zaheer Khan, deflecting a lifting ball to Rahul Dravid at first slip for 111 off 138 balls.

Mahela Jayawardene was the third man to lose his wicket, as he lazily edged a drive off Srinath to wicketkeeper Samir Dighe for 28 with the score on 211. But Kumar Sangakkara, who arrived at the crease after Atapattu's departure, dug in to reach 54 at stumps and will resume alongside Russel Arnold, unbeaten on 19, as the Sri Lankans aim to reach a match-winning total.