Sri Lanka tamed by Harbhajan
Harbhajan Singh spun India into a strong position before Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag put India in command in Galle.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 03/08/08 1:05pm
Second Test Match
India 329 (V Sehwag 201 no, G Gambhir 56, B A W Mendis 6-117) & 200-4 (G Gambhir 74, V Sehwag 50) v Sri Lanka 292 (D P M D Jayawardene 86, K C Sangakkara 68, B S M Warnapura 66, Harbhajan Singh 6-102)
Harbhajan Singh spun India into a strong position before Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag struck half-centuries to put India in command on day three of the second Test in Galle.
The controversial off-spinner took 6-102 to wrap up Sri Lanka's first innings for 292 before opening duo Gambhir (74) and Sehwag (50) put the tourists firmly in the driving seat.
Sri Lanka did fight back to claim the vital wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in the final two overs of the day, however the tourists remain favourites to level the series heading into day four.
Resuming the day on 215-5, 114 behind India's total of 329 - Mahela and Prasanna Jayawardene added another 35 to their overnight stand before the latter was caught at backward short leg by VVS Laxman off the bowling of Harbhajan for 24.
Harbhajan was again involved when Vaas (1) - provided him with the catch at short cover to hand India skipper Anil Kumble his first wicket.
Skipper Jayawardene was the next to go, 14 short of his century, when he got an outside edge to Kumble and was caught behind by Dinesh Karthik.
The final two wickets fell for the addition of just one run, with neither Ajantha Mendis - trapped lbw playing forward to Kumble - nor Muttiah Muralitharan - caught at long-on by Sourav Ganguly off Harbhajan - troubling the scorers.
With a useful 37-run lead, India quickly set about extending their advantage with Gambhir and Sehwag adding a brisk 90 for the first wicket.
Sehwag was the first man out as his uppish cover drive off Chaminda Vaas was well grasped by Tillakaratne Dilshan and the aggressive opener departed for a 52-ball 50.
With the day seemingly having belonged to India, Sri Lanka struck with a wicket in each of the final two full overs of the day to lift spirits inside the home camp.
Tendulkar (31) got an outside edge to a Vaas delivery and was taken at first slip by Jayawardene.
And 200-3 soon became 200-4 when Dravid was trapped leg before wicket by Muralitharan when attempting a sweep on 44.
Laxman and Ganguly, both scoreless, return to the middle on Sunday looking to add to their side's already sizable advantage with the hope of batting their opponents out of the game.