Sri Lanka rock West Indies but Sarwan steps up to steady ship

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The Independent Online

The West Indies vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan steadied his side yesterday after they lost three quick wickets chasing 253 to defeat Sri Lanka on the fourth day of the second Test. At lunch West Indies, seeking to level the two-Test series, were 93 for 3 with Sarwan on 45.

Tillakaratne Dilshan took a superb catch to dismiss the West Indies captain Chris Gayle for 10 when the left-hander attempted an ambitious drive off a full-length Thilan Thushara delivery. Chaminda Vaas then trapped Sewnarine Chattergoon lbw for 11 reducing the hosts to 24 for 2.

Marlon Samuels and Sarwan added 49 for the third wicket with Sarwan looking in confident form, striking three beautifully timed boundaries off Thushara, before Vaas struck again. Samuels was caught out by a well-disguised slower ball and, having committed himself to the drive, his attempt to pull out of the shot was too late to stop the ball flying to Malinda Warnapura who took an excellent low catch.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul was unbeaten on 13 at lunch, which was taken 20 minutes early due to a rain shower.

Elsewhere, India bolstered their bowling attack for this week's final Test against South Africa by including their fit-again paceman Ishant Sharma and recalling the medium-pacer Munaf Patel to a 16-man squad.

Sharma, 19, has been out of action since returning from a fine tour of Australia, due to injuries to his foot and finger, and missed the first two Tests against South Africa, while Munaf last played a Test in December. The visitors went 1-0 up in the three-Test series on Saturday after winning the second game in Ahmedabad by an innings and 90 runs inside three days.

Indian selectors also recalled off-spinner Ramesh Powar in the squad. Powar, who has played two Tests, has been named partly as cover for captain and leg-spinner Anil Kumble, who suffered a groin strain in the drawn first Test and did not seem fully fit in the second.

India squad (for third Test v South Africa, Friday, Kanpur): W Jaffer, V Sehwag, R Dravid, S Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Y Singh, M Kaif, MS Dhoni, IPathan, A Kumble (captain), H Singh, P Chawla, R Powar, I Sharma, S Sreesanth, M Patel.