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Sehwag doubles up in Galle

Harbhajan claims four wickets to leave Test evenly poised after day two

Sehwag: Carried his bat

Second Test Match
Galle
India 329 (V Sehwag 201 no, G Gambhir 56, B A W Mendis 6-117) v Sri Lanka 215-5 (K C Sangakkara 68, B S M Warnapura 66, Harbhajan Singh 4-71)

Sri Lanka finished day two of the second Test on 215-5 after Virender Sehwag had smashed a brilliant unbeaten double hundred in India's total of 329.

The big-hitting opener became just the second Indian to carry his bat through an innings, striking 22 fours and four sixes in his 231-ball knock.

In reply Sri Lanka suffered an early blow when they lost opener Michael Vandort in the first over but Malinda Warnapura (66) and Kumar Sangakkara (68) steadied the ship.

Although both fell in quick succession when well set, home skipper Mahela Jayawardene was unbeaten on 46 at the close in Galle.

Respectable

The hosts could well have already been in a healthy lead had it not been for Sehwag, who batted for 12 minutes short of six hours to help get the tourists up to a respectable total.

Resuming in the morning on 128, the right-hander continued his one-man assault on the Sri Lankan bowlers to score his fifth Test double ton.

He put on a century stand with VVS Laxman, one of only two other Indian batsmen to reach double figures, for the fifth wicket before Ajantha Mendis rattled through the lower order.

The new star of Sri Lankan cricket, the unorthodox spinner claimed his first five-wicket haul in just his second Test as India lost 6-51 to collapse from 278-4.

Mendis ended Laxman's patient innings of 39 in slightly fortunate fashion when a long hop was pulled straight to Thilan Samaraweera at mid-wicket.

Sehwag stranded

The lower order crumbled quickly, Mendis claiming three victims to finish with 6-117. Muttiah Muralitharan picked up the other two wickets, leaving Sehwag stranded on 201 not out.

Sri Lanka's hopes of forging a first-innings lead were then checked by Harbhajan Singh, who picked up 4-71 to keep alive India's chances of squaring the series.

After Zaheer Khan got rid of Vandort with his third ball, the spinner went on to dominate proceedings, crucially ending a 133-run stand for the second wicket when he had Warnapura caught by Gautam Gambhir.

Sangakkara soon followed when he offered a return catch to the bowler and although Samaraweera briefly stopped the rot with a 48-run stand with his captain, Harbhajan struck twice more before the close to leave the contest firmly in the balance.