India steady innings after early double strike

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The Independent Online

India lost two early wickets before Vangipurappu Laxman and Suresh Raina were able to launch a recovery with an unbeaten fifth wicket stand of 83 on the third day of the third test against Sri Lanka on Thursday.

Laxman and Raina withstood testing spells of bowling from Lasith Malinga and Suraj Randiv to help India reach lunch on 282-4 in reply to Sri Lanka's first innings of 425.

At the interval, Laxman was unbeaten on 42 and Raina on 39.

Resuming on 180-2, India got off to a bad start when they lost the wickets of overnight batsmen Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar within the first five overs of the day.

Tendulkar added just one run to his overnight 40 before edging paceman Malinga to wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene.

His dismissal in the first over of the day ended a 91-run liaison for the third wicket with Sehwag and provided Malinga with his 100th test wicket.

Sehwag completed his 21st century off 90 balls when he pulled Randiv for his 18th four of the innings but played a loose shot off the same bowler to give a simple catch at mid-off after he had reached 109.

Sri Lanka lead the three-match series 1-0.