India 329 & 269 Sri Lanka 292 & 136: Kumble's India restore lost pride

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The Independent Online

India's captain, Anil Kumble, said he was proud of his players after they levelled their series against Sri Lanka with a 170-run victory in the second Test here yesterday.

India lost the first Test by an innings and 239 runs, but the three-match series stands at 1-1 after Sri Lanka, set a victory target of 307, were bowled out for just 136.

"I am really proud of the way we played in this Test match," Kumble said. "The first Test was one of those games where nothing went right for us, but the way we have come back after four days is really amazing. I am really proud of the fact that I have this group of players who have shown so much resilience not just once but time and time again."

Kumble praised the man of the match, Virender Sehwag, who scored an unbeaten 201 and then 50 in the second innings.

"The way Viru got those runs, scoring 201 out of 329, is something that is really amazing," he said. "And also taking that forward to the second innings is never easy – it was brilliant batting. Our opening partnerships in both innings were very important for us."

Kumble also paid tribute to the off spinner Harbhajan Singh, who took 10 wickets for 153 in the match, and the teenage fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who took 3 for 20 in the second innings.

"For a 19-year-old to crank it up like he [Sharma] did was something special," Kumble said.

Sri Lanka's captain, Mahela Jayawardene, criticised his batsmen for their inconsistency in the match.

"I thought chasing 307 on a fourth-day pitch was a good score to chase, but it's important you get a good start in any run chase," said Jayawardene. "We didn't get that and being 10 for 3 was obviously not ideal – we're very disappointed with those last two sessions.

"The bowling unit fought really well throughout the game, but we failed to capitalise on our first innings where we needed to get a lead and put India under pressure."