Sri Lanka 600-6 dec India 159-6: India left floundering by Dilshan and Murali

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The Independent Online

Tillakaratne Dilshan, who on Thursday made history by becoming the first Test batsman to appeal successfully to the third umpire after being given out, scored a century and Muttiah Muralitharan took four wickets as Sri Lanka took firm control of the game on the third day of the first Test against India in Colombo.

Sri Lanka declared just after lunch and then proceeded to take six wickets, leaving India still needing 242 runs to avoid the follow-on. VVS Laxman was unbeaten on 19, with Anil Kumble on one, when play was called off nine overs early because of bad light.

India went into tea at 73 for 1, Nuwan Kulasekara having dismissed Virender Sehwag for 25. Sehwag plotted his own downfall by attempting to hit one boundary too many. The opener had hit five boundaries in 15 deliveries and attempted to pull a bouncer from Kulasekara for another. But he managed only a top edge, which flew to Malinda Warnapura at square leg.

Thereafter, Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis piled on the pressure, and between them they struck vital blows immediately after tea to leave India precariously placed.